The Gibbs Farm

February 23rd, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Had a stunning day on Friday at the Gibbs Farm by Kaipara Harbour.

It was organised by the Wellington Sculpture Trust, and around 120 – 150 people flew up from Wellington for it. I doubt anyone regretted it. The farm is outstanding in three ways.

  • The views
  • The animals
  • The sculptures

Together they create an experience that people literally travel to New Zealand to see. The Farm has an open day once a month. I highly recommend you try and attend at some stage. Allow a good three hours to get around everything.

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This stag had a cry like a foghorn. You could hear him on the other side of the farm.

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There is a statue of a giraffe but also three actual giraffes on the farm. I prefers giraffes not to be in captivity but they have such a large space to roam around in they seemed pretty happy.

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This is a close up of A Fold in the Field with a mower making its way up over one of the folds.
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This is called 88.50 ARCx8. The yaks at the bottom give you an idea of how large it is.

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The Green and White Fence runs for 3.2 kms.

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This is me inside the iconic Dismemberment, Site 1.
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And Jordan W sliding out the far end.

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The end is 25 metres tall.

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Horizons

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Red Cloud confrontation in Landscape

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Another view of Dismemberment. The people by it give you some idea of its size. It is 85 metres long.

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The central lake and fountain.

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The Mermaid. Just next to it is a water polo lake

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As we were driving out, we encountered this ostrich happily sitting down on the road blocking it. He wouldn’t move even with the bus in front of him. Someone had to get out and lead him away.

The animals are all very tame, and basically treat the farm as belonging to them, and are very nonplussed by the visitors.

Again a great day. Big thanks to Alan Gibbs for his generosity in making it available to the public, and for his talk to us. Also to the Wellington Sculpture Trust for organizing the day.

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ACT Conference

February 27th, 2010 at 9:54 am by David Farrar

I’m attending the ACT conference as media. First speaker this morning is Alan Gibbs.

Gibbs, like many on the right, started life as a dedicated socialist, and was active in Wolfgang Rosenberg’s New Left Club. He saw the light after visits to Yugoslavia and East Germany.

Gibbs talked about how the liberal market solution is often counter-intuitive. That instinctively people want to block Chinese imports to protect New Zealand manufacturers, even though almost everyone knows logically free trade is better.

He whacked at National for refusing to sell Kiwirail, and indeed refusing to sell any state assets at all. That got more resonance than his next statement about how the assets that most need to be sold are the public hospitals.

Overall a very interesting, if some what disjointed, speech about liberalism, markets and democracy. Gibbs also made a plus for more direct rather than representative democracy, through Internet voting on bills proposed by MPs.

In an aside Gibbs also said he thinks countries should go back to the gold standard. Hopefully someone will ask Don Brash what he thinks of that.

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Gibbs donates $100,000 to ACT

April 28th, 2008 at 10:52 am by David Farrar

ACT have announced today that they have received a $100,000 donation from Alan Gibbs.

This is one of the few laudable aspects of the Electoral Finance Act, that significant donors are identified. It helps removes the suspicion around political financing. Transparency is a good thing.

However it is worth remembering this is not why the Electoral Finance Bill was introduced to Parliament. Helen Clark stripped the draft bill of almost any provisions changing the law around donations. It was only after there was a public outcry that such provisions were put in, and even then the law was written to protect Labour’s anonymous donors by still allowing $240,000 of anonymous donations per election.

I was one of those who submitted to Parliament in favour of not allowing anonymous donations over $10,000. Labour’s law still allow anonymous donations of $36,000 at a time and a combination of anonymous and undisclosed donations allows someone to donate $66,000 in an electoral cycle and not be identified publicly.

So it is good to see some greater transparency due to the EFA, but that is despite Labour not because of them. They had no such provisions if the EFB which Cabinet signed off on.

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