Welcome to Emerson Online

There’s no bluff and bluster and no punches pulled.
He tells it as he sees it.

His opinions are entirely his own and he welcomes your feedback.

New blogs will be posted as they happen.

Click to find out why Emerson is online.

Alan Emerson tells it how it is. There’s no bluff and bluster and no punches pulled. He tells it as he sees it.

Welcome to Emerson Online

The aim of this blog is to inform those interested in provincial New Zealand of stories and opinions of relevance to them. My opinions are entirely my own and I welcome your feedback. Blogs will be posted as they happen.

I’m not associated with any political party, I’m not your traditional reporter and I’m not afraid of anyone. If it needs to be said I’ll say it.

There’s no bluff and bluster and no punches pulled. I tell it as I see it.

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Let’s Clean Up the Election

I started covering parliament as a young journalist in 1973 and have kept an interest ever since. I’m no moralist and have seen many goings on and reported none. The current melee however, offends me.

The Andrew Falloon scandal was just that. Politicians are no different to the rest of us and there are bad as well as good.

The Ian Lees-Galloway affair was a different matter.

I watched Judith Collins on the am show talk about knowing of a scandal in the Labour Party. She was on the program to talk about Andrew Falloon.

I don’t believe the straight answer to a question argument she put up and I don’t believe in coincidences. The morning after a National scandal the National Leader hurls dirt at the government.

What I want to know is who sent the email. We know with Falloon it was the mother of a 19 year old student which is transparent.

Convince me the message to Collins wasn’t organised.

If all of parliament knew about the affair as journalists tell us a letter to Collins the day of the Falloon scandal is just too cute.

In addition I’m reminded of the scriptures quote, ‘let he (she) who is without sin cast the first stone’.

Then we have National MP Barbara Kuriger telling us to leave MP’s families alone. Would an MP give me the same courtesy? Did Collins think of the wife and family when she hit the am show?

I’ve been in Hawkes Bay where the rumour factory anti the PM and he fiancee were both vicious and unbelievable. Dirty politics is alive and well with National. If they want my vote they need to clean up their act.

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Promising Billions on Road Transport is Stupid.

I’ve worked from home for 20 years. We have a high speed wireless network in coastal Wairarapa. For the record working at home was infinitely more profitable and relaxing than running an office with staff on the Terrace in Wellington.

In addition it drastically lowers your carbon footprint. You don’t have to start a vehicle to go anywhere, don’t get stuck in the traffic and you don’t waste money on coffee.

Hopefully the recent experience with the lock down has convinced employers and employees alike of the benefits of working from home.

It seems to have done that as more people in Auckland are working from home and traffic volumes are down.

What frustrates me is that we’re bombarded with information about global warming, reducing our carbon footprint and stopping burping ruminants yet heading into an election we’re promised more roads which will encourage a greater traffic flow and a larger carbon footprint.

Why can’t politicians think laterally and factor in different work habits.

We’re told that in Holland over 14% of the Dutch workforce work from home. Taking that percentage of vehicles off the road at rush hour is huge.

Another issue is that 98% of Dutch homes have high speed internet. In NZ while that figure is true for the cities it certainly isn’t for the provinces and needs to be fixed.

That would allow people to move from the cities to work in the provinces further reducing our carbon footprint.

So this election don’t give me the old pork barrel of uncosted motorways and harbour crossings. Tell me what you will do to improve the quality of life of Kiwis, while creating a more efficient economy and lower carbon footprint.

It might take brain power but it won’t take billions of dollars.

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Auckland Water – It Defies Gravity

On one hand I’m pleased at the furore over the Auckland water crisis. The agricultural sector has to put up with the same circus whenever they want to save water – for whatever reason.

On the other I’m disgusted with the opportunistic and arrogant attitude of Iwi and local and regional government in the Waikato.

The Waikato is a large river that no-one owns. It floods regularly with the destruction that brings.

Over 90% of the water from the river runs out to sea and is of use to no-one.

Auckland is suffering a drought they need the water. The people of Auckland look the same and behave the same as those of the Waikato. It is inevitable many are related.

Why then can’t they take water from the Waikato? It isn’t going to make one blind bit of difference to the river or the locals but will have a major effect on Auckland and its people.

While I’m pleased we’re going to have a Board of Inquiry I’d sooner the Minister made the only sensible decision and allowed Auckland to take the water.

For heaven’s sake. The entire country has suffered a drought, we’ve been through a covid-19 crisis and now we’re having one man made by idiots from the Waikato who are no doubt suggesting profit before integrity.

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Shane Jones Gives Away NZ First Provincial Vote

I covered the 50 Shades of Green March on November 14 for my Farmers Weekly column. It was an interesting experience. I covered the Rogernomics protest in the ’80’s and the Fart Tax in the 90’s. Whereas the Fart tax had 400 the 50 Shades of Green protest had 1200.

The issue is the blanket planting of good farmland with pinus radiata. What’s happened locally is a titled foreigner has purchased a good productive sheep and beef unit and blanket planted it with trees using foreign labour. They then leave it alone claiming carbon credits for as long as they can.

The forest then rots thus returning the carbon to the atmosphere so we’ve achieved nothing.

The land is out of production removing employment opportunities and the support that brings to rural communities.

My view, therefore was that the protesters had a valid point.

It was an orderly protest with many placards with the theme of provincial destruction.

They ended up in Parliament with National’s Todd Mueller speaking. He said National would change things which didn’t resonate with the crowd as National had voted to support the Zero Carbon Bill.

The was followed by Minister of Primary Industries Minister Damien O’Connor who I couldn’t hear properly. If I was him I’d have said something along the lines of ‘you obviously feel strongly about this let’s work something out’ but he didn’t.

Then Shane Jones did his bit claiming, how I have no idea, that the march was disrespectful of the PM.

He then did his redneck quote which I found offensive. A redneck according to my dictionary is ‘a poor uneducated white farm worker’. There were many Maori on the march and an Asian contingent. I’m sure there would have been many substantial farmers and graduates.

Labeling the crew as rednecks would have lost more NZ First votes in Provincial NZ than the largess of his Provincial Growth Fund would have achieved.

Maybe its time to save the $billion annually and put it into something worthwhile like methane mitigation research.

My reaction to the Jones outburst was to label the man a buffoon which means ‘a person who amuses others by ridiculous or odd behavior.

On the button I thought

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How to Save the Planet – Emerson Style

I just read some really relevant research to global warming. It came from UCLA so it has to be right.

In America there are more than 163 million dogs and cats which surprised me.

That’s fine in itself but they are responsible for dumping 64 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the air every year.

That’s about equivalent to 13 million vehicles or three times the entire NZ fleet.

What I didn’t realise is that cats and dogs in the good old US of A consume about 19% the amount of calories that people do and as they are carnivors they eat meat.

They eat the same number of calories as 62 million Americans or 13 times the population of NZ.

On the flip side they produce 30% as much poop as Americans do, equivalent to the total trash of six million Americans.

Their carbon footprint is increasing too as pet owners go up market with their pet food. Gourmet pet food is increasingly popular.

So my thoroughly research suggestion for New Zealands carbon woes is not to push farmers into the ETS. Don’t tax their methane either.

Just kill all the cats and non-farm dogs.

It’s simple really. I’m off to talk to Eugenie and David.


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Aussie Banks Need to Step In Line

I can’t believe the attitude of the Aussie banks. The governor of our Reserve Bank wants to improve the ratios thus making the economy safer. He also wants deposits guaranteed to keep us in line with the rest of the world.

The howls from the banks has been extreme despite most submissions supporting the move.

ANZ has even gone as far to suggest stepping back from the NZ market. I don’t believe it. At best it is Aussie bullying, at worst it is extreme arrogance.

In addition they’re taking us for idiots.

The banks are, humbly speaking, venal. They make 20% more from Kiwi’s than they do from Ockers. Are they going to give that away?

Further I’d respectfully suggest that ANZ aren’t in any position to criticise anyone.

They had their ratios wrong, a serious offense and the chair, John Key, blamed it on someone quite junior.

The departure of their chief executive was a mess. The Board was Missing in Action.

They sold the now retired CEO a house for less than its value which should concern shareholders and the IRD.

Both highly respected director Kerry MacDonald and Deputy PM Winston Peters has called for Key’s resignation.

In any industry other than banking that would have happened.

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New Gun Lobby a Waste of Rations

In the believe it or not category we have a new gun lobby in New Zealand. They want the introduction of a mandatory gun register, a ban on all semi-automatic weapons and a shortened three year registration period for gun owners.

For the record I don’t have a problem with a gun register, you can’t control some introduced pests with a bolt action rifle and why have a three year registration for gun owners when you have a passport and drivers license for ten. Cars kill more people in New Zealand than guns do.

Some of the quotes from the group are, well, nauseating.

‘As a parent I don’t want children and teachers to view shooter lock down drills as an everyday part of school life’ was one quote. One could respectfully ask for the evidence behind the quote.

Another who is a lecturer at Otago made the point that ”gun owners and non-gun owners alike saw the benefits of living in a non-violent society’.

What an asinine statement and it is important to realise that the vast majority of violence in NZ has nothing to do with guns.

A third member told us that it was important to remember ‘that all guns held illegally in NZ were once legal’. She added ‘we have no smuggling of guns into NZ’.

Wrong in fact. There has been considerable documented smuggling of guns.

I suppose on the bright side if the three do-gooders are making ridiculous statements about gun control it will keep them off the streets. If they’re not going on about guns who knows what they might do. Require teachings of the Flat Earth Society to be compulsory in schools.

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New Gun Laws Won’t Work

I’ve written two Farmers Weekly articles on the new gun laws and why they won’t work. For a start I believe the approach by the government, non-government politicians and the police was both cynical and opportunistic and as the old adage states, ‘rushed legislation is bad legislation’.

Semi-automatic rifles and shotguns are now illegal but that won’t solve anything. A Stuff investigation into guns in homicides between 2004 and 2019 showed 35 of the incidents involved shotguns and 33 involved 22 callibre rifles. They are both still legal.

Correspondingly less than 10 involved semi-automatics, about the same number as handguns that are illegal.

Stuff also identified that a third of the shootings involved gangs or other criminal activity. Will they hold an arms license? I’d suggest not. Would they hand in illegal weapons? Not a snowballs chance in hell.

They also found that ‘the vast majority of firearms aren’t registered in New Zealand’ meaning the authorities have absolutely no idea where most of the guns are whether they are legal or not.

So we have to coin a phrase a complete buggers muddle sponsored in the main by a gullible and gung ho minister of police, Stuart Nash.

It is actually worse than that.

The government is spending around $160 million to control pests on public land. You and I are paying for it.

To support that Department of Conservation Officers and Regional Council staff can have access to semi-automatics.

Farmers have four million hectares of land at risk from pests and are given scant opportunity to enjoy the same largesse that public land does.

In the meantime armed police are taking Rambo like action against legal gun owners.

What will happen next?

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NZ Farmers Have No Friends in Parliament

I’ve written a Farmers Weekly article on the so-called reform of the Arms Act. You can read it on Friday but I do make the point that there is no place for military style semi-automatics, exploding ammunition or large magazines. It was parliament that allowed them.

There is, however, the need for semi-automatics on farms to control goats, pigs and deer.

The parliamentary brains trust that suggested semi-automatic 22’s would do the job have no idea.

Then we read that Doc staff, Regional Council staff and contractors will be allowed to have semi-automatics but farmers won’t. We can phone a contractor.

As any idiot knows that’s not how it’s done. Getting rid of pests takes many hours in isolated areas. The cost of hiring a contractor would be prohibitive.

In addition why do our politicians want to get rid of pests on public land while ignoring them on the productive rural sector?

It seems to me they are there for perks, position, and privilege, certainly not performance.

And where are the rural based politicians and those in the provinces.

I’m unimpressed with Damien O’Connor on this issue but as far as I can tell he is the only person in the Labour party with a farming background.

Where are Nathan Guy, David Carter, Barbara Kuriger, Hamish Walker or Todd Muller?

Where are Shane Jones and Mark Patterson from NZ First.

What that tells us is that there is not one politician in parliament willing to stand up for farmers. We’re on our own and that brothers and sisters constitutes a crisis.

There is no party in the NZ Parliament that farmers can vote for – we’ve been sold out by the lot.

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The USA is Running Right off the Rails with its Foreign Policy

I’m really pleased our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is building bridges in China. They are our biggest market and I believe that despite the hysteria from some they are a far more benign influence on world politics than the USA.

The cries of ‘traditional allies’ from some are hollow. I’d sooner be friends with China than the USA over its current foreign policy, the Brits with Brexit or the EU over protectionism.

We have an absolute shambles currently in Venezuela as a result of American interference which has in turn encouraged Russia. It’s the business of neither.

Syria has just finished a bloody chapter and who won that?

Iraq and Afghanistan has achieved little, certainly for the USA.

The American’s have been sycophantic to the Israelis which might make them feel good but is a little more than a two fingered salute to world opinion.

It seems paranoid for whatever reason about Iran and has imposed draconian boycotts. For the record I don’t have a problem with Iran. They are or could be a good market for New Zealand.

America doesn’t want Iran to be nuclear but I don’t see why not, Israel is.

It gets worse. Papers just revealed that the Trump administration is encouraging Saudi Arabia in the nuclear race. Why? They murder journalists they don’t like, are still in the dark ages and just recently they tapped Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos phone so they could embarrass him in the American media. One would have to ask why?

With all the above in mind I’m happy the PM is in China, I’m thrilled that unlike Australia we have an independent foreign policy and I’d sooner be friends with Beijing that Washington.

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