Firing Ground


Coming out of the Ashburton Gorge with a layer of smoke over the Canterbury Plains

I understand why

and I know it’s allowed

but I also know it isn’t necessary so:


It’s appalling this layer of smoke over Canterbury for the last month on every nice day.


Stubble to burn under smoke burdened clouds

It’s appalling that a third world practice persists in a country that trades on its ‘clean – green’ image.

Theeere goes, Another One!

Theeere goes, Another One!

It’s appalling that an arable farmer can fire paddocks, burning the carbon in the surface of the soil, when a forest owner has to buy carbon credits when a tree is felled.

And Another

And Another

It’s appalling that a high-tech farmer can increase profit by transferring the environmental cost of poor practice to the population at large through air pollution, anthropogenic global warming and depleting the soils natural potential.

Stubble fire, Geraldine, Canterbury, NZ. An unsustainable but accepted farming practice.

Stubble fire, Geraldine, Canterbury, NZ. An unsustainable but accepted farming practice.

Bottom line: this pall of smoke is unsustainable and needs to end.


Stubble fire – smoke haze. Mt Peele from near Mayfield, Canterbury, NZ

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2 Responses to Firing Ground

  1. Chris says:

    Thank you for sharing this and I understand your anger. This is a weird country, still full of mysteries – which are in most cases strongly related to its past. From a global perspective, many practices in New Zealand do not make much sense and raise very controversial debates – from large scale 1080 drops, over plantation forestry to house insulation. This list is quite long and discussing those issues would keep us busy for many hours (days/weeks) – any probably will. We still got a long way to go …


    • graemeu says:

      Hi Chris,
      My apologies it took so long to release your comment from moderation. Today the change in the weather has pushed the smoke down to ground level. Stench of burnt grain and visibility down to maybe a little over 1km, right across South Canterbury.
      If you’ve had a look around the blog you’ll realise I work for DOC, at least this summer. I’ve been around the fringes of the 1080 debate for 30 years and while I don’t like chucking poison around it seems to be the best solution currently available for widespread possum control under the current funding and political constraints. I’d rather not get into a debate about it here and now on this site, rather if we can agree to disagree for now. I may revisit it later when “The Battle for the Birds” round 2 starts up in the months ahead but right now I have neither the time nor the energy to start something that could get as tedious, divisive and downright nasty, as the climate change debate.


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