Latest Posts: Friday January 20, 2012
1) How lovely is the golden-rayed lily of Japan? The auratum lilies (of which we have many) are just opening here.
2) Of matters related to social class and social conscience (or basil, cardoon and lawns, to put it in gardening terms).
3) Grow it Yourself – cardoon (warning: it needs space).
4) Tikorangi – the new Texas? What intensive petrochemical development next door actually means to us.
5) Lovely lily, lily love – the first instalment of photos this week in a new album of lilies currently in flower here posted on our Facebook garden page.
Tikorangi Notes: Friday January 20, 2012
Our indifferent summer continues, the lilies are opening and the clematis look great. I am working in the rockery and we hear there are to be at least another 22 wells drilled in the close environs. Yes folks, we live in the proud energy heart of New Zealand, the new Texas of the Long White Cloud. Taranaki may be dairy heartland with one of the best growing climates possible, but we embrace the boom and bust of the petrochemical industry with unquestioning fervour. It is just a shame that a fair amount of it is centred right in Tikorangi where we live. To raise any objections is to be a sad-sack, a Luddite or worse – a greenie who stands in the way of progress and employment.
Over the years I have devoted a lot of time and energy to trying to get measures to mitigate the impact of the petrochemical industry on local residents. I don’t actually blame the private companies who will do as much or as little as is required of them in any given situation. And to be fair to the company involved next door to us, they have never employed the intimidatory and bullying tactics we saw in the past with other companies. In fact they are unfailingly courteous and do their utmost to keep us informed and to act on any concerns. But the bottom line is that their activities impinge heavily on residents close to their sites.
I hold the councils to account – the District Council and the Regional Council. And they have never done anything at all to inspire any confidence in their planning (what planning?) or in the rigour of their monitoring. No, they think it is great because it keeps the money flow going and they appear to do all they can to remove any impediments to the companies.
So we have learned to roll with the punches and take the long view. We can’t see the sites from our garden – even if that is because we have so many trees. I can generally avoid having to drive past the sites because most of them are up the road from us. We have adapted to the gradual increase in heavy traffic, much of which runs along our two road boundaries. I don’t want to be able to hear the site work either and most of the time I can’t. If fracking nearly the entire sub strata of the area where we live causes problems down the track as many around the world fear, we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
We are circling the wagons and looking inwards. Oil and gas is a finite resource. The Jury family were settled here and planting trees long before that resource was even discovered. I anticipate that we will still be settled and planting trees after the resource has been used up.
In the meantime we smell the lilies.