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Am I Green?

June 20, 2008

I think I was green before we knew the term.. You judge my credentials for yourself.  I suspect your verdict might be at least "greenish". Here they are (in no particular order):

* Joined Forest and Bird in 1974 when I first started work as a lawyer and have been a member ever since.

* Very early member of the Karori Sanctuary. When organisations paid speaking fees while I was an MP, I sent them to the Sanctuary

.collecting-for-karori-sanctuary.JPG Collecting for the Karori Sanctuary this year.

* One of the earliest members of the Wellington Organic Food Co-op 30 years ago. It later gave way to Jim Kebbell’s Commonsense Organics Store.

* I’ve walked, biked or bused to work for 30 years. I ‘ve never had a designated work car-park. Public transport or taxis can do when the weather is too much.

*  My great delight is biking on Mount Victoria or out at the Makara Bike Park.  What a great job the volunteer builders have done.

* Our "bach" for the past 20 years has been four recycled railway wagons, with no electricity, on land north west of Nelson. We rely on a gravity water system and some solar gadgets but must admit to gas cooking and hot water. The wagons were barged to the site but kanuka has now almost hidden them from the coast. We share the camp with another family and we all plant trees nearly every time we go there.

* I’ve always preferred vegetarian food but fit in with my omnivore family.

* Tramping, deer stalking and climbing have been life long passions. I’m happiest out in the hills with friends or my dog. The bird song in the Wairarapa is now magical after getting rid of  most of the possums on our land.

hens3.jpgCampaigning with Green M.P. Sue Kedgley against battery hens

* I don’t like battery hen farming or caged pigs and I’ve publicly supported Sue Kedgely’s campaigns against both.  

* I’ve never scoffed at ‘Peak Oil’. I tried to respond helpfully to the hundreds of emails that bombarded me on the topic as an MP.

*   I doubt that any MP could surpass me in the carbon neutrality stakes. Our 2000 hectares of steep Wairarapa hill country is mostly scrub and regenerating bush. We shut stock out of half of it eight years ago and now keep bees on the thick manuka, kanuka and other bush.  2.5 tonnes of manuka honey this year with a 12.5 UMF healing factor will help cover costs.

*  We’re playing host at the farm to 12 Kaimanawa horses rescued from culling.  I like seeing them out in the scrubby paddock when we go to tend the beehives.  Possibly their grazing’s not green but on balance, the wild horses win here.

* As soon as it’s economic, I’ll put in our own micro-hydro electricity scheme in the Wairarapa. I’ve identified the source. It won’t be long.

* And, yes, we make compost, grow vegetables and recycle, all a bit haphazardly on our small town section (though I wish I’d planted the fejoas when we first moved to our current house in 1984). We’re better at it in the country.