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Mahurangi magazine

Dedicated to climate-action mobilisation, curiosity, democracy, and the Mahurangi

Depraved indifference to humanity and the home planet

Aotearoa has demonstrated that democracy can work. Globally, however, covid-19 demonstrates the deadly degree to which governmental and intergovernmental governance, democratic or otherwise, is grossly unfit-for-purpose. The world’s ascendant and declining…

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Making molehills out of mobilisation mountains

What should have been no worse than a four-thousand-death epidemic is determinedly on its way to becoming an at-least-four-million-death pandemic—a cruel and unnecessary global demonstration of the nothing-to-see-here-folks instincts of bureaucrats and…

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Democratic climate-action mobilisation or martial law

That what should have been one of the most influential books of all time ranks 302 209 places behind Nevil Shute Norway’s On the Beach in Amazon’s best sellers, speaks volumes. Comparing Shute’s fiction with Dr James Hansen’s non-fiction Storms of My Grand…

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Yes Aotearoa can mobilise by example

As the epitome of physical distancing, Aotearoa is perfectly placed to lead the global project to survive the covid-19 pandemic, and anthropogenic global heating. In respect to climate, after petulantly insisting cop26 must proceed, on 1 April it was finally postponed…

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Splendid self-isolation opportunity for civilisation

Having wasted two months of preparation time, the challenge for civilisation now is to break its determined habit of wasting every crisis in its entirety. Aside from abiding by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s succinct advice to act as though one had covid-19, and stay strictly…

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Sweet Te Muri crossing consensus

In its 33-year story, the Mahurangi Coastal Trail has seen some meaningful milestones. Last Thursday’s is one such significant trail marker. Circa 1987, Auckland Regional Parks management had decided where a bridge was to cross Te Muri Stream; it was to run smack…

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Octavius Browne, second brother to visit Gordon

William Browne’s son Octavius Browne was born on 2 November 1809. Charles Browne says “the place of his birth and the date of his baptism is not known, but we have been told that just before he left Courtlands on the journey to Scotland in the course of which he died, he…

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Planning Mahurangi Regatta 2021 at the town hall

Revival of the Mahurangi Regatta was the direct result of 1970s Mahurangi River restoration efforts. Two years of determined advocacy for a more far-sighted solution to tidehead town’s sewage woes had comprehensively convinced the regional water authority…

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Mahurangi Regatta 2020 results combined list to come

Results are ordered alphabetically by division, then by handicap place within each division. However, for those desiring an overall picture of the day’s racing, a combined-fleet list ordered by elapsed time will, in time, be appended below the division placings…

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Regatta 2020 lost, found and thanked

Effusive thanks have been lavishing the organisers, sponsors, and volunteers from even before Saturday’s Mahurangi Regatta began, but also in its immediate aftermath: ”Thanks mate. Such an awesome event—huge congrats to everyone involved…

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Climate action of the people, by the people for the planet

That government of the people, by the people, for the people, has perished from the earth, has placed all earth’s creatures in existential peril. All too foreseeably, the half-billion creatures and counting destroyed by wildfire this globally-heated Australian summer will later…

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Octavius’s brother, Gordon Davis Browne

Gordon Davis Browne was born in early 1805, and baptised at St Mary’s Lambeth on 22 March that year. The explanation for his given name of Gordon is not known. Charles Gordon Browne (who was born in January 1845, and whose own second name was obviously a…

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Compulsory voting cart before smarter-democracy horse

Big business would be the biggest loser, was a Labour-led government to legislate to prosecute non-voters. Currently, unlike Australians, New Zealanders are legally allowed to abstain from voting. But with global voter turnout in determined decline, New Zealand’s lack…

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Aotearoa might best advance stv by enhancing mmp

Aotearoa is not just the world’s first full democracy because it was first to enfranchise women. Thanks to New Zealand’s geographic isolation and late colonisation, a partnership approach was attempted from the get-go, with greater and lesser success. One uniquely…

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Climate and democracy at the mercy of plutocracy

Epically ironically, salvaging a survivable climate and a free society possibly now depends upon a one plutocrat deposing another plutocrat, turned dictator. Far preferably, Republican Party senators would suspend self-interest for the survival and dignity of their once…

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Low-hanging election-turnout fruit and silver bullets

It is more than semantics. In the thousand-year war to survive anthropogenic global heating, a magazine of silver bullets the size of the 59 000-hectare Hawthorne depot, Nevada, will be needed. However, regardless of the problem, received wisdom would…

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Sunday Sunset Boulevard town-hall matinee idyll

In a former life, J Barry Ferguson, amongst many things, was “the garden curator of Greenacre Park on 51st Street Manhattan, a private ‘vest-pocket’ park, open to everyone and owned by the Rockefeller Greenacre Foundation.” Having been florist and event organiser to New York’s…

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stv-elect first Mayor of Mahurangi

Vote early and often to elect the first mayor of Mahurangi. Of course, only the latest vote an individual casts will count. Because somebody votes early, they shouldn’t later be penalised when some late-breaking information causes them to revise their preferences…

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Holy grails and silver bullets and day-and-half to vote

It’s long since time to jettison the obligatory if-we-don’t-act-on-climate-within-so-many-years exhortation. The truth is that, since 1988, when not only Dr James Hansen but Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher called for climate action, it has never been certain…

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Nominate someone as 2020 Mayor of Mahurangi

Mayors, to be legitimate, need to be elected by preference voting—known as stv in Aotearoa, and as rcv in the United States, where Barry resided until retiring to his country of birth. The need for a useful demonstration of stv to appropriately mark…

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stv-electing first Mayor of Mahurangi

Some dots can take longer to connect. And the more obvious the dot, the longer it seems to take for it to be connected. Since the announcement of the terms of reference of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance, the Mahurangi Magazine has…

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stv bicentennial extraordinary town-hall talk

Ideally, the bicentennial of stv should be held where the Birmingham Society for Literary and Scientific Improvement held the world’s first election with it. But even if that ultimate location was the epicentre of a global celebration, two other, antipodean, countries…

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Crude reminder of royally half-cocked commission

First-past-the-post, 200 years after the first single transferable vote election, deserves to be a very distant memory. But, thanks to the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance stvsingle-transferable-vote-ignoramuses, the region is about to elect its fourth mayor with the…

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Bay where no ships has been 60 years with no name

It was almost certainly a good thing, that 60 years ago the name of the Auckland region’s first European settlement slid unnoticed into the next bay north. Had the bay been known by a descriptive name, such as Spar Station Cove, or by any name…

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hmss Buffalo arrives at Mr Browne’s establishment

His putative youngest brother was Charles Dickens’ friend and illustrator, Hablot Knight Browne, aka Phiz. Putative, because Hablot was in fact the nephew of the founder of the Auckland region’s first European settlement, George Davis Browne…

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Fourth Thursdays 3rd time lucky after 20 June

The clash wasn’t discovered until after 20 June was locked in for the Mahurangi Coastal Trail Taking Shapely town-hall talk. Having cheerfully ceded their second-Wednesdays slot to bpw Warkworth, the town-hall talks have found…

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Mahurangi Coastal Trail taking shapely

Most of the Mahurangi Coastal Trail is already in use, and has been for decades. This, thanks to the entire coastline from Waiwera to the Mahurangi Harbour becoming regional park between 1965 and 1973. Within that time, built by park staff…

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ipcc-understates-threat understatement

Bulletins proclaiming that the ipcc 1.5° report understates climate threat are literally understatements of epochal proportions. Self-reinforcing climate feedbacks already irreversibly underway signal civilization’s ever-growing greenhouse gas…

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