Why it makes so much sense to work to­gether g

Our world would be so much more re­silient if we could har­ness the spe­cial­ists.

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Contents - MUR­RAY GRIM­WOOD

Afriend who worked in a univer­sity once de­scribed academia as “a col­lec­tion of peo­ple who learn more and more about less and less, un­til they know ev­ery­thing about naff-all.”

I re­mem­bered that com­ment when I came across three things af­fect­ing many block own­ers and farm­ers which are be­ing as­sessed sep­a­rately but which would greatly ben­e­fit from col­la­tion.

Those three par­tic­u­lar items were ri­par­ian strips, bio­di­ver­sity and bee cor­ri­dors. You don’t need a PHD to see the con­nec­tion, do you? All we need is in­ter­con­nected, bio­di­verse ri­par­ian plant­ings, and we’ve got all three boxes ticked, an ob­vi­ous can­di­date for a com­bined, co-or­di­nated ap­proach. The thought oc­curred to me dur­ing a

| one-day seminar on bio­di­ver­sity, hosted by For­est and Bird which may point to one of the prob­lems. Even sin­gle is­sues take sig­nif­i­cant chunks of dis­cus­sion time, and the more is­sues you try to ad­dress, the less ground you cover. There’s also the need for some­one to set the agenda, to de­cide what is in and what is out, and how much em­pha­sis each part gets.

If I do an online search on ri­par­ian strips, bio­di­ver­sity and bee cor­ri­dors in Otago, I find the bee cor­ri­dor is­sue is only be­ing ad­dressed in one ge­o­graph­i­cal area ( Waitaki) and es­sen­tially by one per­son. Bio­di­ver­sity is be­ing cov­ered in a wider fash­ion, but it ap­pears that the Otago Penin­sula (a long way from Waitaki) is where it has the most trac­tion. Ri­par­ian plant­ing is wider still, ad­dressed by the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil and by Dairy NZ (which has an ex­cel­lent web­site), but nei­ther group seems to men­tion bees.

An over-arch­ing ap­proach would work best. Dairy NZ, de­spite the clear and use­ful web-of­fer­ing, is a ‘vested in­ter­est’, so even with the best will in the world, it has the po­ten­tial to weigh things in a skewed man­ner.

Would it not be best if mon­e­tary

WE WOULD END UP WITH A SEP­A­RATE GROUP OF PEO­PLE SPE­CIAL­IS­ING IN GEN­ER­AL­IS­ING...

con­sid­er­a­tions had no part in iden­ti­fy­ing what the best en­vi­ron­men­tal, phys­i­cal or so­cial out­comes might be? We only have to look at the re­moval of shel­ter­belts in Can­ter­bury to see what hap­pens when ‘fi­nan­cially ben­e­fi­cial’ meets ‘en­vi­ron­men­tal im­prove­ment’.

This tells us that over­all gov­er­nance (with rules and lim­its) via struc­tures like the Re­gional Coun­cil might be the best way to go. But it would re­quire at least 51% of the vot­ing pop­u­lace to be ad­e­quately in­formed and vote in favour of it. The Can­ter­bury ex­am­ple also shows us how easily the lo­cal vot­ing pop­u­lace can be side-lined by vested in­ter­ests. Log­i­cally then, we also need an in­formed pop­u­lace vot­ing for an en­light­ened

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