Unfortunate odours

By   /   June 24, 2015  /   3 Comments

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I’m not suggesting that Colin Craig is about to come out as a transgender homosexual philanderer, but it’s no surprise that a person who campaigned on the moral highground should now find himself caught in a rising tide of dirty swamp water.

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The addition of a new dog to the household meant the kids had found a new creature to blame for the unfortunate odours often emanating from their general confines (and less savoury places).

The pup, looked guilty whenever the smell caught her delicate nose. No doubt she associated the evil odour with the blame that soon would be apportioned. And apportioned it was to this innocent, but guilty looking dog. But before long we all realised that it took more than a puppy with a perennial look of shame to draw the heat from those who would blow-up the ambience. Indeed it’s an ill wind that blows no good.

Quickly the phrase “who smelled it dealt it” entered the lexicon of those who suffered from the dastardly people who’d try and blame the poor dog or other unwitting creature.

Expanding the doctrine a little, it can often be said that those who create the greatest noise about things that offend them are the most likely to be the perpetrators. Two examples spring to mind. One of them is Colin Craig who is living proof of the risk of chem-trails and of getting one’s tinfoil hat too close to the powerlines.

American politics are littered with haters of the rainbow community who have come unstuck, being revealed as serial philanderers, homosexuals, paedophiles or porn hounds. The more righteous the politician, it seems, the greater the chance of revelations of impropriety.

Surveys have backed this “who smelled it dealt it” maxim. A recent one confirmed an earlier one that those who are most vocal about the horrors of homosexuality are the ones most likely to be gay. Proven in the older survey, a bunch of self-proclaimed haters universally cracked a woody when they had gay porn played on a screen. Of even greater amusement was the fact that they all denied it.

I’m not suggesting that Colin Craig is about to come out as a transgender homosexual philanderer, but it’s no surprise that a person who campaigned on the moral highground should now find himself caught in a rising tide of dirty swamp water.

So distracted was he by the glory of his own reflection, the narcissistic Craig thought he had the charisma and common sense not to need a minder. Even the howls of laughter about chem-trails and his expressed doubts about the moon-landing didn’t prompt a moment of self-reflection that might have caused him to ring up one of the many spin doctors that could have helped him.

Nope, come hither looks as he lounged seductively in the grass and a quick trip to the sauna were more his cup of tea. After all, why settle for a miserable cup of cha when he there was a prospect of a roll in the meadow with a photographer or a cool shower after a steamy session with a reporter?

Ensuring that no one could mistake him for anything other than the bumbling hypocrite that he is, he then publicly blurted secrets he’d promised not to tell and, just to confirm that his departure must involve some moral turpitude, he trotted his wife out to be part of his televised demise. This kind of ritual humiliation is the kind of thing people usually pay for. In the case of Colin Craig, his bill’s running in the millions.

No one in the ranks of the Conservatives stepped up to contest the vacant leadership. Obviously Christine Rankine wasn’t going to do it; her reputation and moral highground making such uneasy bed partners that she clearly had no sway, even if she did try and exert influence.

Bob McCoskrie also ducked for cover, perhaps knowing that his undue fascination with the rainbow community and marriage equality might bring too much scrutiny if he stepped up. After all, every silver lining has a dark cloud.

Garth McVivar, involved in two trusts with “sensible” their names, has the wisdom to keep his head below the trench. The shamed Conservative Party’s future looks grim. Garth’s not interested in taking the helm of the Titanic, nor arguing about who pays the bar tab.

And, to date, no one else has put their hand up to lead this righteous party. Clearly stepping-up as a moral crusader means having no skeletons in the closet and an ability to conduct oneself in an appropriate manner along with a deathwish. The cry for a new leader was met initially with a chorus of crickets. Now it’s the sound of a stampede towards the door as the less sullied avoid the very sullied. Even Craig’s brother has deserted him faster than if he’d cut the cheese in the sauna.

Meanwhile, another organisation that’s been fouling the environment and pointing the finger at others is the New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers which is horrified about the prospect of Maori raising trout in their rivers to feed their people. Executive member Tony Orman said proposals by Ngati Tuwharetoa “set a dangerous move towards allowing commercial farming of trout, an issue which over the decades has been strongly resisted by the trout fishing public”.

“The trout fishing public”! With tears no doubt falling on to the leather chairs in the exclusive fishing lodges the need for protection of these people and their quarry is clearly considered more important than putting food on the table for the fish-eating public.

The duplicity and lack of appreciation of history is breathtaking. The farming of trout has been going on in New Zealand since the 1870s when they were first released. There are hatcheries (aka farms) in most catchments. These farmed fish are then released for “sporting” people with licences and access to waterways to catch them using expensive and inefficient methods.

Those who have condemned the proposal which is aimed at putting kai on the table have been condemned for their desire to do almost exactly what is already being done for privileged anglers for sport. But there’s an even worse irony:

In the 1870s, vast schools of upokororo used to frequent the rivers and estuaries. These fish – renamed “grayling” by the invaders –  grew up to 45cm in length and were a food source heavily relied upon by the locals.

There are many reasons proffered for the rapid demise of the upokororo. Fishing pressure greatly increased with the arrival of Europeans. The felling of forests upset the ecology and, of course, the farming of trout in Aotearoa had a considerable effect. The exact cause of this probable extinction isn’t known, but the arrival of pakeha and the release of farmed fish into the environment must be more than a coincidence.

Rainbow trout are renowned for their hardiness. They easily coped with the trip in a bucket over the Equator and populations were quickly established in almost all our rivers. Against these disease-carrying carnivorous imports, the vegetarian upokororo and its spawn had little chance.

With the collapse of that fishstock a valuable source of food was lost from the river. Now those same waterways are occupied by trout, to the exclusion of almost every other species.

And for those who hunt this invasive import with a traditional net or spear, the hinaki for humans awaits.  No, a licence is needed to fish in their rivers now. But, worse, the restrictions on access to rivers and the fishing methods required mean it is largely the preserve of the rich with rich mates who’ll give them a key to the gate.

The fish from the river that used to feed hungry people have become a plaything for rich people. The use of light lines and frail rods is there to supposedly give the fish a “sporting chance.” But this attempt to prolonga fish’s struggle for life can not be seen as humane. In our household, we call it playing with our food. The act disrespects the poor animal and, of course, the growing number of hungry people here.

When Maori want to raise trout in their rivers to put fish back on the table, it’s hardly surprising that the colonial “sport” fish farmers would object.  To date it’s proved impossible to attract significant numbers of wealthy hunters to stalk sheep. Farming them means they’re readily available rather than the “wild” trophy extracted from rugged terrain. I guess pointing to the trophy on the wall and saying it came from Pak’n’Save doesn’t fly in game hunting and fishing circles.

Assessments have been made about the value of the trout fishery to the country, but it’s the businesses involved that get the money. It’s the wealthy lodge owners, moteliers and tackle shops that are making the money from this sport. Those wanting to put freshwater fish back on the table can anticipate opposition and jail if they push too hard.

Bad smells abound when it comes to politics and indeed fishing. But, like most places, here in New Zealand it’s likely that the first person to complain is more likely than not the source.

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About the author

Kelly Ellis

Contributor

A staunch human rights advocate and barrister, she ran on the Labour ticket in that electorate in 2014. When not working or politicking she plays with old cars and motorbikes, sails, fishes, cooks or hides out on her boat.

3 Comments

  1. elle says:

    America is lining up against Russia, being provocative because they fear Russia will take some power from them.
    The TPP could be signed today, America is flying a false flag again in the guise of the Confederate flag upsetting people.
    We in NZ think Colin Craig being stupid (hes always been stupid) is important. I despair .

    • wild katipo says:

      Right on the button , ELLE.

      While major events happen that affect millions….we here in NZ wring our hands over a tin pot party with a strange little man leading it who sits in sauna’s with a business shirt on whilst being interviewed by another strange little man from yet another strange little media station….

      We certainly are becoming a strange little nation.

      And no one outside this strange little place gives a rats shit….its not hard to wonder why that might be no matter how many seats on the U.N we get , is it ?!!?….