Hmmmm…. good question,
You kiwis out there might remember we had a little snow recently – Perfect for the film right!!! beautiful and deadly, adds jeopardy to the story……blah blah blah. Only in reality I like many of us was stuck at home, however . . .
Sofie, Annie, Dalek, Oscar, Rowan
other creative avenues were explored in our limited winter wonderland as you can see we invited the neighbours to help us build a snowman (or snow Dalek). I hope all my farmer friends are doing ok, and didnt loose too many lambs, hopefully that’s behind us and the spring sun will creep in soon (there’s been some spotted here in Dunedin but for how long?).
And whats the film all about?
Well that one I’ve been struggling to get my head around and if you’ve read some of my earlier posts maybe you’ll have an idea,
or at least a glimpse of my evolution of ideas.
When I started out this seemed to be a pretty simple issue:
– Dairy farming is an ecological disaster
– The Mackenzie/ Waitaki basin is an area of outstanding values
– I need to convince people to keep Dairying out and maintain the basin as it is.
Whereas in reality things are far more complicated than that. While I stand by much of what I thought before the answer to many questions depends
It depends on the station, on the paddock, on the managers and owners and the climate that each one has to work in and its different for everyone. So while I’m still not a fan of intensive farming, and in some instances i know it is the wrong choice for the Mackenzie/ Waitaki (in my opinion, and it’s for you to decide what value that has) my whole approach to this project has changed thanks to all the people who took the time to tell me their stories.
Theres no question that some farmers behave as though the law doesnt apply to them, and sometimes it seems lack of enforcement encourages this, but remember this isnt everyone, and it certainly isnt confined to dairy famers (you might remember my soapbox moment a while back over seeing beef cattle in the Ahuriri). You can’t tar all farmers with the same brush, even within ‘types’ or styles of farming each one is different and in such a unique and variable environment each farm needs to be treated accordingly.
These people of the basin told me their histories and the passion they have to be here, they showed me the commitment required to survive in an uncompromising environment and the devastation when things go wrong. They took me across the plains and up the valleys of this wild country so I could see their stories laid out in the land.
This is a place where people have passion and perseverance, where science and technology meet really smart thinkers to find newer better ways to survive, and preserve, and pass something on in better condition than they found it.
These are the true guardians, the stewards of a wild and wonderful place and there’s a name I think fits them well – Ahikaa: those who keep the home fires burning. These are the people on the land working it every day, while this place holds a place in the hearts of many New Zealanders these are the people who hold that place for us, they care for it on behalf of all, and that needs to be recognised and supported.
Something to think about…