Thursday, May 14, 2009

Of Concern

On the subject of Growing Irises in New Zealand, it has transpired that 0.006962970458901531% of the total New Zealand population* are claiming to represent us all.

The New Zealand Iris Society organisation has embarked on a spectacularly unsuccessful campaign from day one to shut this blog down and many web masters who have Links with this blog have been pestered with correspondence from some members of the NZIS executive to have Links with this blog withdrawn and have used a contentious opinion 'that a Link with my blog is a validation of my personal viewpoints', to justify the request.

This behaviour is not what could be reasonably expected from a Iris society or any other society that makes the claim to represent New Zealand a democratic country that believes in the strong defence of a broad right to freedom of speech.

My critical but justifiable points of views that challenge so called published wisdom and the highlighting of factual errors of Iris Nomenclature within the NZIS, that have been featured, and will continue to be posted by this blog could offend individuals or a group of individuals but this should never be the basis on which something is judged, and certainly not the basis on which facts or the free exchange of ideas are censured.
That would make the rest of us – the majority – beholden to the sensitivities of a small group of over-sensitive souls.
All of which it seems to me suggests the desirability of a legislative restraint on people purporting to act officially on behalf of New Zealand in any capacity.
No individual or group should be denied the right to pursue private interests but to assert that they represent us all is a privilege that properly ought to be sanctioned on our behalf by the government and not be an automatic right that anyone can assume.

The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

*The generous figure of 300 members of the NZIS is calculated as 0.006962970458901531% of the total New Zealand population of 4,308,506.



  1. I, for one, very much enjoy your blog. Beautiful pictures.

  2. I wonder just who you think you represent...certainly not the majority. Your attacks on the New Zealand organization, must surely make your attempt at a blog suspect.
    If a blog is just copying catalogues and adding some of your pictures with an occasional comment from you, it really has no meaning or value.

  3. To the Author
    Thanks for your Comments they are appreciated

  4. To Anonymous
    Definition of a blog, its a journal or diary that is posted on the Internet these are my personal opinions and I claim to represent nobody but myself.
    You are entitled to your opinion just as I am entitled to mine.The difference is I am not grey and anonymous.
    You can ask me anything and I will tell it like it is.
    To suggest that 300 people represent all of New Zealand in matters to do with Irises is completely wrong and misleading.
    But thanks for your thoughts anyway, that's democracy at work.

  5. [quote]If a blog is just copying catalogues and adding some of your pictures with an occasional comment from you, it really has no meaning or value.[/quote]

    I feel I must state my opposition to this statement, specifically because it invalidates the work I have done for HIPS for years! We feature nothing but photos of irises along with catalog descriptions and, occasionally, personal commentary on them. I think that is extremely valuable!

    Catalogs had one goal - the selling of irises. They are suspect to that end by the claims they make and those claims are beholden to the actual experience of gardeners growing stated varieties, and they certainly are not infallible. A catalog description, while aiming for accuracy, is written to generate sales. It is (hopefully) an accurate description of one gardens experience with a variety at a single location for a set amount of time. It cannot accurately reflect the experience or results of all gardens and conditions everywhere. All observations of actual growing experiences with any plant are valuable and have merit - but they are just that - a single experience, finite to time and location.


    [quote]Your attacks on the New Zealand organization, must surely make your attempt at a blog suspect.[/quote]

    How does [i]one[/i] person's opinion on one subject (i.e. the effectiveness of an organization in achieving it's stated goals) make suspect all other opinions on the accuracy or relevance of garden plants presented for public viewing?? I for one welcome inquiry into accuracy - especially in matters concerning a supposedly authoritative 'collection'. Disagree with methods, procedures or findings all you like, but the intent for accuracy is noble. For an authoritative body of any sort to promote inaccuracy or popular opinion, unquestioned, as fact goes against the stated goal.

    Got a problem with it? Start a blog of your own and deconstruct and elucidate the percevied errors and let the readers form their own opinion. But just to state that disagreement equals suspicion of motive is a cop out.

  6. Thanks Mike comments appreciated

  7. This is one of the few iris sites with a NZ origin that adds value to my interest in the iris.

    But then I believe politics should stay out of sport and gardening........



©2008 - 2016 HERITAGE IRISES. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying or storage of this website's content is prohibited without prior written permission. Terry Johnson in association with The Iris Hunter,What Have You Productions and 15 out of 7 Design.