Friday, March 2, 2012

Kaiwhakahaere used a "Garry Owen".

This week I attended the biennial get together of the High-Country section of Federated Farmers, this year hosted by the Marlborough area centered on the Middle Clarence Valley.

The commencement was at the Kahautara River on Highway 70 and kicked off by current chair, Graeme 'Stumpy' Reid. Keynote speaker was the man who heads Ngai Tahu, Mark Solomon who started off with a claim the the South-Island tribe wished to become "Farmers" by clearing the land they own growing the Eyrewell and Balmoral forests and converting it to Dairying following the cutting of currently leased trees.

All well and good, then later in his speech he moved into unrelated territory with a lament of the alleged bias in the media against Maori. He quoted the cases of the Kahui twins murder and the death of Nia Glassy, claiming that those tragedies were given extensive negative media coverage because the perps were Maori and if they were non Maori the media scrutiny would be considerably less.
He also suggested that it wasn't 'fair' to blame Maori as a group instead of the individuals involved.

Well whenever Maori activists make connections with "colonisation" they do not differentiate between those who came to New Zealand 160 years ago and those of us who are 3rd, 4th, 5th or even 6th generation New Zealanders of European extraction, some of whom have Maori blood in their veins but consider themselves 100% New Zealand citizens first.

Hello Mark, welcome to this country Circa 2012, we New Zealanders, you call an amorphous bunch of Pakeha, are not a convenient target group who oppress the so called Tanga Whenua, as normally described by current rewriters of history.
Any allegation of responsibility, current leaders of the grievance industry hold, is solely the domain, long extinguished by the passage of time, of those who were trying to establish order between those who had come in boats years before, and the much maligned settlers from Europe, recently arrived,not those who are making their way in the country today.

A great shame you couldn't spare the time to come on the rest of the trip and gain an insight to the benefits of continued grazing, management and protection of one of the remaining tracts of the High country still spared the invasion of broome, gorse, wilding pines and blackberry. Probably only a matter of time though as "Helens Folly" in the upper Clarence will eventually overcome the efforts on Muzzle, The DOC lease on The Clarence Reserve and Bluff stations down stream and down wind.

I was privileged to see a vast area at present clear of the threat of rabbits but fighting a war against briar as they continue to act as custodians of that little bit of the High-Country.
Other speakers covered Tb control, Rabbit control (The Awatere Valley to the North of the Inland Kaikouras is experiencing an upsurge), Tenure Review (or as those who have been there,'Ten Year' review), DOC administration and tourism, Bee Keeping on Muzzle and current Station Management Practice.

The cavalcade of in excess of 40 vehicles carrying about 100 people made over 30 river crossings including the Clarence River between Clarence Reserve lease land and Muzzle Station, went over 4000 ft past Mt Clear and traversed 100 Kms of the Middle Clarence to Kekerengu at sea level.
Tour facilitator was Jim Ward, current Manager of Molesworth Station who made it seem so easy.
A big Thankyou to Colin and Tina Nimmo and Family and Sue and Richard Murray and family.

A terrific opportunity to visit one of the most remote areas of our country, I was indeed privileged.
BTW, my first night under 'canvas' since I was a school cadet accompanying the Canterbury Scottish Regiment on a training camp at Balmoral Station Tekapo in the 1950s with 25 pounder field guns.
I enjoyed every minute of the 200 Km round trip.

1 comment:

Chris Bird said...

We have been in to Muzzle a few times over the past few years with a 4wd group, although not for 3 years. My big concern is the spread of the Briar on Clarance Reserve, and I hope that the rest of the DOC high country estate doesn't end up like this.
We are part of Fed farmers in Marlborough and I am sorry we missed this trip