Happy birthday Kiki Dee – 63 today.
Happy birthday David Gilmour – 64 today.
I didn’t want to risk posting a Pink Floyd clip with out him so I’ve chosen a solo:
Happy birthday Kiri Te Kanawa – 66 today – and happy anniversary New Zealand Symphony Orchestra which first performed 63 years ago today.
Environment Canterbury has offered the government a compromise between the status quo and the recommendations of the independent review panel on the regional council.
ECan is offering the government what its chair Alec Neill describes as an olive branch.
They’re suggesting the government appoint a commissioner-advisor to manage the region’s water.
They also recommend an external advisory group be set up to assist the commissioner and councillors.
“We’ve come up with what we believe ticks all the boxes for the Government to carry out their direction as to water but allows for the community to retain elected representation.”
The intention was for ECan elections to still go ahead this year, Neill said.
The advisory group would comprise two members of Local Government New Zealand’s regional affairs committee, one Ngai Tahu representative, one member of the Canterbury Mayoral forum, Neill and the commissioner-adviser.
The review panel’s recommendation to sack the council and appoint a commissioner would have requried legislation.
ECan’s offer would mean there is no need for that, provide an opportunity for improved water management in the region and still allow council elections in October.
This isn’t as radical as the review panel’s recommendations but it would retain democratic elections and enable action to improve the region’s water management much sooner than any changes which required legislation.
The need for improved management of Canterbury’s water is urgent and if ECan’s plan was accepted work could start immediately.
Must have an irony deficiency – Longinius Howard at Born On State Highway One laments the lack of irony.
Thank you for not expressing yourself – Theodore Dalrymple on the civility of silence.
It takes a village but not my one thank you very much – In A Strange Land on train troubles for travelling twins.
The Other Side of The Red Bus Lou Taylor at No Minister
Apropos of that: Labour’s latest taxpayer funded elecitoneering – Liberation reckons Labour hasn’t learned from the reaction to the pledge card rort.
Still on the same topic – Faster than a speeding tax bus – Keeping Stock couldn’t keep up even when he edged over the speed limit.
The inheritance of face recognition (should you blame your parents if you can’t recognise faces) Grant Jacobs at Sciblogs – provides an excuse for facial recognition failures.
Graham Sydney in North Dakota – Quote Unquote finds nature imitating art imitating nature.
Celebrating pain relief – Opinionated Mummy on birth battles.
Tim Shadblot lays it bare – Southern Squall has an exclusive interview with Invercargill’s mayor.
What parking fines?! RivettingKateTaylor finds communication can counter fines.
The devil made me do it – Macdoctor’s not impressed by excuses.
Pukeko Bridge – Not PC shows there’s art in engineering.
The light dawns reality bites # 82 – Inquiring Mind on media priorities.
One year anniversary – Offsetting Behaviour celebrates his birthday with links to posts readers liked, and some the writerd did but readers didn’t. Also at Offsetting Behaviour – beer and revenue – how hatred led to better health.
It’s a year since I discovered ClustrMaps which records visitor locations and numbers.
An email last night advised me that the record for the past 12 months is being archived and a fresh map started.
If this didn’t happen the map would turn into a giant red blob.
For the record, here’s where visitors have come from in the last year:
UPDATE: on the subject of visitors Something Should Go Here has the February blog stats. His vary quite markedly from the sitemeter rankings at Open Parachute and Tim Selwyn’s blogosphere rankings at Tumeke!
The car park at the bottom of Mount Iron on the outskirts of Wanaka almost always has at least one overnight freedom camper.
If you’re not prepared to pay to stay the night it’s not a bad place to choose because there are public loos just over the fence.
Not everywhere freedom campers frequent has such convenient conveniences.
If you travel from Wanaka to Cromwell earlyish in the morning it’s not unusual to pass more than a dozen freedom campers parked up along the road beside Lake Dunstan.
That might not be a problem for the bigger campervans which have their own loos. But it is for the smaller vans and station wagons which don’t.
There’s not a public loo for miles so where do these campers go when they need to go?
The answer sadly is almost anywhere which has led to calls to ban campervans and/or restrict freedom camping.
Waitaki Mp Jacqui Dean says education not regulation is the answer:
“We need to be communicating better with visitors to this country, so that they appreciate the precious environment in which they’re travelling and understand the expectations which exist.
“Part of the responsibility lies with rental and tour companies who are often the first point of contact for many of the travellers who visit this country.
“However, local councils also need to step up to the mark, by providing campervan friendly facilities with adequate toilet and rubbish disposal areas, appropriate signage outlining the rules and in some cases council staff visibly enforcing standards,” Mrs Dean said.
“I think this problem can be addressed if everyone works together and ensures that the expectations, which we as New Zealanders have in relation to our environment, are clearly passed on to visitors.”
Some districts do ban freedom campers in certain places for very good reasons but I agree that on the whole education is better than regulation.
One of the reasons for the pee and pooh problem is probably that people from more populated countries aren’t accustomed to so much open space and distance between towns.
But open space isn’t necessarily public property and even if it is it’s not a public convenience.
Travellers need to know that if they can’t go they can’t stay.