Author Archives: cjkperley

Getting Politics (and Life!) off the Titanic

William Ophuls has written some very thoughtful books about our political age. Plato’s Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology is one of them.  He challenges our world, not just at the level of tinkering with deck chairs (e.g. biofuels … Continue reading

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Seeing Rightly

I watched, last night, the animated film of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. And I stopped the recording with this quote … and replayed it. Because it is the truth that we have, perhaps, forgotten in our increasingly technocratic … Continue reading

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Reimagining our Insane Policy Worldview

The Saturday morning ponderings after reading with coffee amongst the finches in the basil seeds. Yesterday I read a quite beautiful Guardian article – a summary of a Neil Gaiman lecture – about reading and the necessity to dream and … Continue reading

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Choice: A Bigger Machine, or Democracy & Culture

The issue of local council culture and the failures of the Treasury-inspired corporatisation of organisational structures is reentering the policy dialogue. This new government has obviously helped. The public sector is in trouble and something needs to be done. More … Continue reading

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Victorian Fire

Years ago I drove up the Hume highway through the aftermath of the Victorian fires of 2009.  All the epicormic shoots had burst forth, empty branches with bottle brush stems.  At least, here, the eucalypts could demonstrate their resilience and … Continue reading

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Shredded words

A flower gifted is like a poem written on a paper scrap, recited, then torn to tiny shreds, cast to the wind and the worlds beyond where it will live forever for someone else to, some day, call it forth.

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Looking After Local Enterprise and Life (Part I)

Now we have a new government, perhaps they might consider that all those well-dressed corporate executives that come calling might not have the answers to regional development, our community wellbeing, or our environmental health. Let’s start talking around the smoko … Continue reading

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Changing the Culture of Our Councils

We have had debacle after debacle within our councils.  Hawke’s Bay is only the start of it.  We keep promoting the most pedantic and amoral train schedulers who have no idea about where those cattle wagons filled with people are … Continue reading

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The Trans-Pacific ‘Partnership’ and Our Environment

Given that the CTPPA is once again in the news, I thought this was worth reblogging. I think we need to make a very clear differentiation between small & medium enterprise commerce – the local variety – and large C … Continue reading

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Solving New Zealand’s Problems of “Underachievement”

Ran out of coffee this morning.  I know.  Disaster.  Heading for a café – Hawthorne’s – the best.  Pondering our PM Jacinda’s desire to help solve problems of incarceration and educational non-achievement.  Admirable intentions.  But …… Sigh.  I can just … Continue reading

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Land Degradation – One Insidious Step at a Time

“Once again, the principal villains across Greece, Southern Italy, Southern France, and Spain, were fires, goats, and timber felling. … Able to thrive anywhere, goats often create an environment in which little but goats will survive.” Ronald Wright. A Short … Continue reading

Posted in Land Use, Neoliberalism & Corporatism, Reimagining, Thought Pieces | 7 Comments

Shelter from the Storm

It is hard to remember during the sunny days of summer that we had some freak snow storms back in August, and a few wintry blasts in early October.  The television news ran lamb death stories, as they did the … Continue reading

Posted in Land Use, Thought Pieces | 3 Comments

Corporates Behaving Badly: What to Do?

Is it extreme to suggest that corporates of a certain size and motivation (demonstrated by behaviour) should not be tolerated anymore?  I’m curious.  What do people think. Seriously.  No knee jerk hate. Reflect on the feudal lords of the past, … Continue reading

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There is Goodness in our World

There is goodness in our world.  Never let those who seek a measured ‘objective truth’ tell you otherwise. You can recognise it – and its opposite – when you feel it in your soul. The better artists can emphasise that … Continue reading

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Review – The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young

Rosamund Young’s The Secret Life of Cows gives far more than a simple description of animal personality, behaviour and communication.  It speaks also to and of humanity.  What animals eat impacts on their health and the quality and taste of their … Continue reading

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Returning our World back to the Grace that is The Golden Rule

Aldous Huxley’s Perennial Philosophy emphasises the point that the Golden Rule transcends cultures.  This is deep wisdom.  Do unto others.  The thinkers of the Ages have come to the same conclusions.  Living with hubris and selfish ego has no future. … Continue reading

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Watch cricket, and save the world

Reading Thich Nhat Hanh and watching the test cricket. It’s a Zen thing. Have always loved the beauty, the quiet and changing pace of cricket. You can listen to the birds, marvel at the grace, determination or skill of a … Continue reading

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Fed Farmers Need to Flush in some new Thinking

If the speech summary of Federated Farmers President Katie Milne is anything to go by, the farming lobby group needs a bit of radical thinking. Ms Milne effectively laid down a challenge to the government to allow land use to … Continue reading

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Shifting to the Enlightened Age

I’m trying to be zen about yet more reveals of what is a deeply corrupt world dominated by large corporates.  Those who can pay to place their lackeys into political power, all the better to erode our democracy.  All the … Continue reading

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The Art of Flying ….. and Life

I am a sucker for murmurations, that greatest and most beautiful metaphor on life. They are so representative of the new (and old) way of seeing the world, of the fundamental metaphysics underlying life. Watch this amazing two minute excerpt … Continue reading

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The Economics of Poverty, and the Poverty of Economics

A few years ago, a couple of local politicians made an extraordinary offer.  Come to Hawke’s Bay and invest, they said, for we have low wages and conditions. This thinking imagines that economic success comes, not from the creative dynamism … Continue reading

Posted in Building Regional Economies, Neoliberalism & Corporatism, Thought Pieces | 6 Comments

Leibniz, a Library, and Neoliberalism

Random thoughts you need to write down.  A discussion on three things.  First, Leibniz’s concept of Monads – a single view of a complex whole, say London looking West from the Tower of London. Leibniz’s Monad concept is about seeing … Continue reading

Posted in Neoliberalism & Corporatism, Thought Pieces | 1 Comment

Are Lower Wages Better for Business? Will they Shift us to a Creative Society?

Morning rant after listening to Steven Joyce et al. on Morning Report (25th October 2017) claim to be the friend of business.  Tosh.  Increasing wages are linked to building economies through building *both* social capital and demand.  Yet we’re already … Continue reading

Posted in Building Regional Economies, Neoliberalism & Corporatism, Thought Pieces | 1 Comment

Jacinda, can we please have the Goodnight Kiwi back!

Jacinda, can we please have the Goodnight Kiwi back. And while you’re at it, can we have our once superb, public service, independent questioning broadcaster back. Load it again with bags of satire and documentaries where the face of the … Continue reading

Posted in Neoliberalism & Corporatism, Thought Pieces | 2 Comments

Instead of Dam Thinking from the 50s, Look to the Landscape

Reblogging with edits away from the previous focus on just the Ruataniwha Dam. ———— Rethinking, reimagining land, community & economy. Unless we fundamentally change away from the dominant ideas expressed by Treasury, the current public service model, the right wing … Continue reading

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I want to write about ….

I want to write about how we cannot afford poverty, how stupid it is, how it degrades our economy and our spirit. I want to write about the trends in our New Zealand economy to a power-crazed, corporatist, extractive, one-dollar-one-vote … Continue reading

Posted in Neoliberalism & Corporatism, Thought Pieces | 5 Comments

Neoliberalism and Rawls’ Theory of Justice

How would you structure the justice in our society today?  One method is to look at a blank canvass of what might become a moral society from an “original position” behind what John Rawls described as “A veil of ignorance” … Continue reading

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The Joy of a Moment

I need to say something.  We all need strength at times, and it’s nature and people that give us that.  They feed the soul.  They provide meaning. Our world seems strangely to treat these blessings – people and nature – … Continue reading

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Is This our Neoliberal Meritocracy?

More on the theme of Neoliberalism, and what enormous damage it has done to the very culture of New Zealand society and our organisations. We are far less encouraging of talent, wisdom and thought. Our country is less a meritocracy … Continue reading

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The Housing Crisis and Neoliberalism

The housing crisis – Crisis? What crisis? – is still with us after years of denial by the National Government. I wrote this a year ago when they were claiming there was no crisis – denial being the mantra de … Continue reading

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Neoliberalism and the Bullying of the Poor & Dispossessed

The National Party’s latest bullying of the poor and the punitive threats to those without hope needs more than just our outrage for their ignorance and immorality.  It also deserves a critique of what the hell is going on in their … Continue reading

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The UN Declaration of Human Rights: We need this Moral Compass back.

The UN Declaration of Human Rights was ratified in 1948.  It is a measure of any government.  Just how well are our people doing?  It is a measure for any commercial behaviour as well.  Are you a contributor to this … Continue reading

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The Future of Belonging in This Place

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Beneath all the politics, increasingly shrouded in the mist that hide both truth and meaning, there lies the bedrock upon which our landscapes, our peoples, and our economy depend. They are philosophical. Everything depends on a philosophical base – yes, … Continue reading

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The Myth of New Zealand’s Strong Economy

I keep hearing the repeated emptiness that New Zealand has a ‘strong economy’. It has become a cliché, a soundbite that has become unthinkingly repeated, a lie that is now absorbed into the national psyche. I was writing something on … Continue reading

Posted in Building Regional Economies, Thought Pieces | 7 Comments

Governance for the Many or Expedience for the Few

I’ve always been interested in the distinction between short-term expedience and long-term governance – between the technocratic narrowness that focuses on the quantitative and the broader strategic wisdom of knowing that culture and nature cannot be known through numbers alone. … Continue reading

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Alternatives to Conventional Economic Development: And the Philosophy of Not Realising our Potential

Reblogged because we need this debate. We are mining our legacies to make the numbers look good. “Real economic development requires first a rethink of these underlying conceptual metaphors they frame our debates.  We need a deeper discussion about the … Continue reading

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The Commodisation of Water and Life Itself

The commoditisation of life – humans as ‘work units’, as mere ‘things’, land as capital, produce as lifeless ‘pork units’ etc.  All the meaning reduced to the most basic measure; weight or volume or cost, at its worst undifferentiated by … Continue reading

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The Legalisation of Corruption – Bring back the Brown Bag Swap in the Park!

Why can’t we have the good old days back of honest corruption.  You know, brown paper envelopes filled with cash shifted between suspicious looking guys in trench coats, wearing sunnies.  Clever slights of hand in the kid’s playground at the … Continue reading

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Reimagining Landscapes I: Rejecting the Machine

How do you separate the personal from the professional?  We are taught to deal in the ‘objective’, in measured things.  But the whole idea of reimagining how we look at landscapes – our so-called ‘working lands’ of farms and forests … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Vision, Land Use, Land use strategy, Landscape function, Reimagining, Thought Pieces, Ways of Seeing | Leave a comment

Trust … in our Economy

The current government is claiming a rockstar economy – never mind that most of the activity is a bubble (immigration, earthquake rebuilds & house price rises raising aggregate demand, while we still aim for 3rd world production systems producing cheap … Continue reading

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The Wisdom & Sanity of Indigenous Thinking

I read this line from a multicultural anthology of how we relate to the places within which we live.   “… helping us move toward a new sanity and an old wisdom in our relationship with nature.”  Barnhill, D.L. (ed) … Continue reading

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Listening to the Discordant Harmonies of Land

I have stood on hilltops in the south and felt the bone-biting blast of Antarctic winds. I have felt the difference between that and the relief you get when you shift to a space three to four tree heights out … Continue reading

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Instead of Dam Thinking from the 50s, Look to the Landscape

Reblogging because this article is far less about the Ruataniwha Dam than it is about shifting our gaze away from the idea that we cannot change the paradigm of land use, and so we demand more dams, more fertiliser, more … Continue reading

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Confessions of an ex-Public Servant: Watching the slow death of the Public Sector

Remember Geoffrey Palmer suggesting we need an inquiry into the public service in 2014?  Low morale and the fear culture which gets in the way of “free and frank advice without fear or favour” were some of the issues.  There … Continue reading

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Reimagining the Potential of Landscape I: Start with the Deeper Story

This is a paper in two parts, or perhaps three.  This first part looks to some of the mechanical assumptions within New Zealand’s colonial land management, and a glimpse at the potential by shifting that view.  There is so much … Continue reading

Posted in Land Use, Thought Pieces | 2 Comments

Elation and the Wharves of Home

What is it to belong? This came back to me last night in a conversation about the world and its future. We are taught to distance ourselves, as if that is some virtue. I no longer believe that any more. … Continue reading

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The Wisdom of Intimacy

This gallery contains 8 photos.

I’m reposting this old post The Wisdom of Intimacy because I am working on something about the shifting of perspective from one place to another.  We move from the intimacy of the field to the office and make our decisions there. … Continue reading

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Ruataniwha Dam will Transform the Region

Regional Councillor Debbie Hewitt is quite right that should the Ruataniwha Dam go ahead it will be “absolutely transformational” (quoted in Hawke’s Bay Today April 2017).  You need only look to Mid-West rural America, whose communities were also sold the … Continue reading

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Who is Chris Perley?

Source: Who is Chris Perley?

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Hitchhiker’s Guide to Homo sapiens

Historical Footnote: Homo sapiens Once, on the ex-planet Earth, there was a species Homo sapiens – who were ironically not very sapiens (wise) at all.  They became extinct after about 80,000 years in existence, which is pretty dumb.  Homo erectus … Continue reading

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