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25 years nuke free

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 am, June 10th, 2012 - 46 comments
Categories: activism, defence, Environment, International - Tags:

I have never been prouder of NZ than I was when we went Nuclear Free. We put principle ahead of profit, we stood up to some heavy diplomatic pressure, and we spoke our piece to the world. Lange in the Oxford Union debate – magnificent (a redeeming star amidst all of the other damage that that government wrought).

Hard to believe it was 25 years ago.

Things are looking good for the future too. I don’t think that even the Nats will mess with Nuclear free now – it remains iconic for too many people if the recent (unscientific, right-leaning) Herald poll is anything to go by.

It’s not all roses however, from The Herald on Friday:

Activist takes N-free battle overseas

New Zealand marks 25 years of being legally nuclear-free today – but a Kiwi who has made nuclear disarmament his life’s mission is leaving the country because of a lack of local support.

Tauranga-born Alyn Ware, who set up a global network of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament in 2002, will speak at a concert in Auckland’s Aotea Square tomorrow marking the 25th anniversary of the anti-nuclear law.

But the Wellington office from which he has co-ordinated the global network for 10 years has closed because of cuts to NZ Peace Foundation funding.

Next month, he will take up an offer of office space at the University of Basel in Switzerland, with support from Basel council. “The countries that are picking up the disarmament ball are no longer down here. New Zealand is no longer a big player in this,” he said.

That’s a sad way to mark an important anniversary.

46 comments on “25 years nuke free”

  1. Rupert the Beer 1

    Little worried that 29% said that it should effectively be scraped, while another 15% said it wasn’t important…

    • r0b 1.1

      It’s a Herald poll, with all that implies.

    • Foreign Waka 1.2

      Education is the key, but then again physics prerequisite is the understanding of mathematics. Well, with the national sport of raising a whole generation with no deeper knowledge it should not come as a surprise that in 20 years time all that was fought for will be lost.

  2. Rusty Shackleford 2

    Turning your back on an entire technology, especially one of the safest, “greenest” energy sources in existence, was and is utterly misguided. “Nuclear weapons free”?, sounds pretty good. But, if NZ had started investing in nuclear energy 25 years ago, we would probably have much lower energy prices today.

    Especially if we had invested in thorium. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle

    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      Or cars that run on water etc eh Rusty. Current human society can’t even get around to kicking the capitalists arses and feeding everyone 60 years after the foundation of the UN, so certainly shouldn’t be trusted with more nuclear energy just yet.

      Kiwis showed the way all those years ago when cruise missiles and SS20s were deployed by the thousand. House by house, suburb by suburb NZ went nuke free, it was and remains a beautiful thing.
      Hilarious that some whacko US developer is turning ‘retired’ mid west missile silos into apartments that double as self contained shelters for their wealthy owners in the event of societal meltdown.

    • r0b 2.2

      Safest and greenest. Mmmmm. Off course we’d be fine here, because we never have earthquakes, right?

      • Pete 2.2.1

        I used to be marginally in favour of nuclear power. I thought it was a better alternative to coal and the damage done to river systems by dams. New techniques of sequestering waste in glass and, in turn, ceramic vessels looked promising to me. Fukushima ruled that out entirely for me. New Zealand is not stable enough for such a plant and we don’t have the resources to deal with an accident if we have one.

        • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1

          I’m in favour of new nuclear plants, with 100% fail-safe design. Ones that produce less waste or use up existing waste are also a big plus.

          The problem with fukushima is both with the inherently unsafe reactor design and also the corner cutting and fudging that the Japanese companies that ran that plant (and others in the country) got away with for decades.

          Unfortunately due to the public spectacle of the fukushima disaster, there will now be considerably less investment in nuclear energy worldwide, which in turn will mean less investment into safer and better reactor designs.

          • Uturn 2.2.1.1.1

            “the public spectacle”

            I guess I have a couple of choices. 1) cry 2) laugh 3) find new blog to read 4) bash my face repeatedly on the monitor.

    • joe90 2.3

      Yeah Rusty, 25 years later and nuclear power is still a financial nightmare.

      Time is money, they say, and the new nuclear power plant being built by EDF at Flamanville in France is now at least four years behind time and €2.7bn over budget. EDF blamed the delay on two fatal construction accidents and dealing with safety analyses prompted by the Fukushima disaster.

      […]

      The only other new nuclear plant being built in Europe is at Olkiluoto in Finland. Areva, like EDF a state-controlled French company, told me this will be connected to the grid no sooner than 2013 and costs are now estimated at €5.6bn. That is four years late and €2.6bn over budget.

    • Foreign Waka 2.4

      Please, please investigate what you write about. It is not necessary the use but the waste that is the problem with this source of energy. At the moment all the waste is being dumped underground and in the sea. So far no solution has been found for the highly poisonous side product of nuclear plants.
      It is well known in Europe that this will pose one of the biggest problems for the next 100 years as the concrete filled drums used to keep the waste encased and buried will show signs of deterioration. So what then? Seems to me a case of who cares since no money can be made from it.

    • Lanthanide 2.5

      Are you suggesting that NZ is of sufficient size to warrant a nuclear plant? Most of the country is at risk from big earthquakes, which makes it quite problematic.

      Now if you’re suggesting the government could have been ‘investing’ money in nuclear energy companies around the world or our own in NZ, then sure, I could agree with that proposition. But to think that NZ is of the size to make nuclear energy a sensible option, given our vast wealth of renewable sources such as rivers, geothermal hot spots, windy hills and ocean currents (cook straight has some of the strongest in the world) is rather naive.

  3. Pete 3

    Wasn’t there a ministerial portfolio for disarmament? Where did that go?

  4. Foreign Waka 4

    Congrats to NZ for its shining example of banning nuclear material.
    The world over waste is dumped into the sea, buried under the soil and countless accidents have not been reported.
    The latest disaster in Japan just shows how unsafe it is to use nuclear energy in and around the pacific rim plate, despite all the technological advances – and Japan is light-years ahead of NZ.
    Chernobyl still shows its aftermath in miscarriages, malformation, infertility in humans and animals alike. A vast area is uninhabitable for hundreds of years – but of cause this is not worth any headline anymore.
    So again – Great that NZ has stood up and declared itself Nuclear free.

    • Fortran 4.1

      What about the Nuclear material used in our Hospitals.

      It helps save and prolong life.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        Exactly correct. NZ is nuclear reactor/weapon free, not nuclear material free.

      • millsy 4.1.2

        Used in very small amounts, and not that dangerous compared to a nuclear reactor.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.3

        There’s a bit of a difference between the small amounts of radioactive material used to conduct medical procedures, and the tonnes used and produced by a nuclear powerplant. Or the thousands of tonnes of radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion.

      • pmofnz 4.1.4

        Or the nuke material in your smoke alarm sensor detectors.

        Unfortunately we’ve just wasted 25 years burying our heads in the sand. Go nuke!

        • bbfloyd 4.1.4.1

          So, because a few grammes here and there of a naturally occurring substance can be used safely justifies creating thousands of tonnes of highly radioactive material that will stay lethally toxic for tens of thousands of years??

          Is it national stupid day or what? does a single proponent of our collective death wish even come close to grasping how long that really is? the idea that this material can lie untouched, and safe for longer than our recorded history to date doesn’t give pause for thought?

          So how much of a guarantee do the future generations have that the location of all of the toxic deposits will be known in say, 300 years? try 700, 1000, 1500 years from now….. because those deposits will still be deadly for much longer than that….

          Making a virtue of stupidity is just that…stupid..

          • RedLogix 4.1.4.1.1

            What’s really interesting is that pmofnz isn’t in the slightest bit fazed by his stupidity… on this or any one of dozens of other topics he’ll be wrong about too.

            Now I’ve no problem with people holding differing opinions. Especially if they can back them up with evidence and a reasoned argument. Even more so if they can change that opinion when it’s shown to be in conflict with reality. Now these are not difficult requirements; the average person who attended school in this country and with a normal range IQ should be able to achieve these things.

            So it’s intriguing to see how so often even this elementary hurdle remains unleapt. It’s not stupidity at work here; at least not in the normal sense we use the word. (Although of course it frequently masquerades as stupid.)

            The problem is that when presented with events or evidence that is in conflict with the inner model a person is using to decode reality… the most common response is to simply filter it out. The conscious brain isn’t even aware this is happening. So when we explain in detail why nuclear power is a BAD idea… people who truly believe it is a GOOD thing simply hear “blah, blah, blah”. Their mind simply cannot register anything BAD about nuclear power because the inner model they are using has no place for the concept.

            Whenever you see someone refusing the engage with facts, or evidence or logic and instead merely repeat unthinking slogans or soundbites you know this is what is going on.

            • pmofnz 4.1.4.1.1.1

              And you wonder why I hear “blah, blah, blah”? Once again the standard response from the left is to instantly play the man.

              • RedLogix

                You are the one who conflated the risk associated with micrograms of isotope in a smoke detector with the thousands of tonnes of high level material in all the nuclear power reactors. And then concluded with the slogan …”Go Nuke”.

                Besides the point I was making is not that you are ‘stupid’ are such… rather it is your brain filtering out information that is incongruent with your inner model of reality.

                If you were engaging with evidence or reason… as distinct from repeating slogans or tired flabby old soundbites … then we would be having a proper discussion. But I can’t do this on my own.

                You have to join in. Unfortunately until you are willing to get past the fear of having your inner assumptions and models challenged that’s not going to happen.

                • pmofnz

                  I notice that none of your commentators who also specified that we are not nuke free, in whatever quantity did not get jumped on as being stupid.

                  I still stand by my original statement of ‘we’ve just wasted 25 years burying our heads in the sand’ and that we should be utilising nuclear for power.

                  • RedLogix

                    “Nuclear free” clearly means the absence of nuclear weapons and power-scale reactors.

                    The presence of isotopes for medical, industrial and sundry other purposes is utterly irrelevant to the discussion. It’s akin to claiming that “there is a beach in my living room” if I found a single grain of sand embedded in the carpet somewhere.

                    Now why was it that you believe nuclear power is a good idea again?

                    • pmofnz

                      Much better now you’ve got away from slagging off the man.

                      As you’ve probably gathered, I happen to strongly disagree with the absence of power-scale reactors. And forever we’ll probably agree to disagree on that matter.

                      I’d also daresay that operators of nuke power stations, have in the wake of incidents such as Fukushima and the Ohio plant, employed the best engineering brains to fix backup cooling systems. Unfortunately for New Zealand, we produce PE teachers in copious quantities, not nuclear engineers.

                      Finally, to paraphrase:

                      Now why was it that you believe nuclear power is a not good idea again?

                      Goodnight.

                    • RedLogix

                      Actually we have already employed the ‘best-brains’ to design all our existing reactors. They have already done what they thought was their best. Yet reality continues to bite them in the bum. At the rate of about one massive core melt-down per decade.

                      I’ve made a point of reading up as much as I can about Chernobyl, Three-Mile Island and Fukushima. I’ve a fairly good idea what the root causes were, what the cascade of events were… and just how remarkably lucky we have been that none of these events (and others) did not escalate into catastrophes far worse.

                      At the current rate of one meltdown per decade (and near misses far more often)… our luck will run out one day. That is why I do not believe nuclear power is a good idea.

                      Nor do most Japanese these days…..

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I still stand by my original statement of ‘we’ve just wasted 25 years burying our heads in the sand’ and that we should be utilising nuclear for power.

                    The only way to make nuclear power profitable is to ignore the massive costs associated with a potential accident (or make the government shoulder all the risk and cost), and also to run down the plant and equipment with insufficient maintenance and replacement.

                    Fukushima is a classic example. Over-full spent fuel storage pools which overheated rapidly once coolant systems failed.

                    Why were the storage pools over-full?

                    Because it would have cost money to build new storage pools or use long term storage options. “Cheaper” (in the short term) just to keep stacking the hot spent fuel assemblies tighter and tighter together.

          • prism 4.1.4.1.2

            Is it national stupid day or what?
            Every day mate.

      • RedLogix 4.1.5

        Once upon a time I used to work with quite strong nuclear sources, (Kr85 and Ce135 to be exact) in an industrial setting. The Kr85 beta source in particular was strong enough to instantly destroy eyesight and give severe skin burns.

        Needless to say there was a whole bunch of training, regulations and rules around every aspect of transporting, operating and disposing of them. Even so I was always ‘on alert’ whenever anything out of the ordinary needed doing with them.

        But there is an enormous gulf between the amount of material we were using and that used in a typical nuclear reactor site. Many orders of magnitude. Like comparing the amount of rock in a wheelbarrow with the mass of the Tararuras.

        So it’s bizarre and baffling that you absolutely rely on someone (like pmofnz above) to try and derail any discussion around nuclear energy by trying to conflate the exceedingly low risk industrial and medical applications of nuclear isotopes…with the utterly different risk inherent in large scale nuclear power plants.

        So far we have been operating about 450 odd nuclear power reactors on an industrial scale for about 50 years. In that time at least 5 reactors have suffered massive accidents and meltdowns. That is about one per decade. There have also been numerous near-misses and lessor incidents that most people outside the industry are unaware of.

        Worse still we have yet to see the real downside risk of these plants as they increasingly age and are ultimately de-commissioned. There is an immense expense involved in de-fuelling, de-constructing and safely storing huge amounts of radioactive waste material (of varying levels of risk) for not just decades but centuries. And this can ONLY be achieved safely in the context of a politically, economically stable, technically advanced and capable society.

        The danger from nuclear reactors is locked in. Once you start operating one you are committed to a several hundred year process. Failure, technical, economic or political at any point in that huge period is potentially catastrophic. Not just failures we can imagine, but ones we never guessed at … like Fukushima… are the ones that will almost certainly bite us.

        Oh and just for one minute consider what would have happened if the Sendai quake had occurred 12 hrs later. Instead of it happening of a Friday morning when the plants were fully staffed with over 1000 people on site, there would have been a tiny(<30) number of operating staff available at both Fukishima Dai-ichi and Dai-ini. In the middle of the night this handful of staff on both sites would have been overwhelmed, and most others would have been unable to get back in time to prevent an event vastly more catastrophic than what has already happened.

        And if the wind perchance had blown in the wrong direction the death toll would have been in the tens of millions. Madness.

      • joe90 4.1.6

        @ pmofnz

        Louis Slotin and the criticality accident.

        • pmofnz 4.1.6.1

          There’s a big difference between some nutter doing a Darwin fiddling around with critical masses of nuke weapons grade materiel and the hundreds of operational nuke plants safely providing power and propulsion worldwide.

          • RedLogix 4.1.6.1.1

            So you haven’t noticed any nuclear plants that failed to operate safely have you? Just pretending no meltdowns have ever happened? And no close calls either?

            Of course you won’t have read about the incident at a major Ohio nuclear plant during the Northeast power blackout of 2003.

            When the grid tripped out the plant lost load so the six reactors on site all had to be scrammed. Now the eight diesel electric power plants had about 90 seconds to start up in order to handle the substantial amount of residual power still being generated. Immediately after the control rods are inserted there remains about 5% of the rated power still being created. For a typical 1000MW generator that’s still 50MW of power that has to be removed. Ever looked into the guts of a 10MW steam boiler running? It’s a shit-load of heat, and without circulating water to remove that heat the core of the reactors will start to disintegrate within a remarkably short period of time.

            The diesels are essential to power the huge pumps that circulate that cooling water. On the day of this blackout seven of the eight diesels failed to start immediately for one reason or another.

            If the eighth one had failed to start… the USA would no longer exist as a nation. Never made the news, but I’ve personally read the technical report.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.6.1.2

            There’s a big difference between some nutter doing a Darwin fiddling around with critical masses of nuke weapons grade materiel

            You better read up on the two Tokaimura criticality incidents in Japan.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokaimura_nuclear_accident

            • pmofnz 4.1.6.1.2.1

              Actually CV I have looked at the 22 reported criticality incidents and the common theme is
              cause of the accident was said to be “human error and serious breaches of safety principles”.

              A lot of the incidents appear to have occurred in lab situations, during testing, not in industrial scale operations, where operators have done something decidedly dodgy.

          • Foreign Waka 4.1.6.1.3

            “Who does not know the truth, is simply a fool…
            Yet who knows the truth and calls it a lie, is a criminal…..
            B. Brecht: Galileo Galilei

            Interested in some truth?
            http://www.nirs.org/reactorwatch/accidents/chernob_report2011webippnw.pdf

  5. Jenny 5

    I have never been prouder of NZ than I was when we went Nuclear Free. We put principle ahead of profit, we stood up to some heavy diplomatic pressure, and we spoke our piece to the world.

    ANTHONY R0BINS

    We need to feel that pride again. We again need to put principle ahead of profit. We again need to stand up to heavy political, and corporate pressure. We need to speak our piece to the world.

    Kiwis against a Cold War, to Kiwis against a Warming World

    Nuclear War was the greatest threat to humanity and the planet in the 20th Century.

    Despite being far from the probable theatre of any nuclear exchange, and the least in danger of any people on Earth. In 1984 New Zealanders took a stand and we became Nuclear Free.

    New Zealanders stood up to the global superpowers of the time. By stepping out of their dangerous game of global nuclear rivalry and kilatonnes per- humanbeing one-upmanship. We signaled to the world that this state of affairs was not acceptable. We signaled to the world, that a free people needn’t choose to live under the nuclear threat.

    Climate Change is the greatest threat to humanity and the planet in the 21st Century.

    Despite being responsible for only 0.2% global warming. We again need to signal to the world that this state of affairs is not acceptable. The greatest single threat to the climate globally, is the mining and burning of coal. By 2014 New Zealanders need to take a stand and become Coal Free.

    We need to signal to the world that the destruction of the bio-sphere is not something that a free people need to live with.

    • OneTrack 5.1

      ” In 1984 New Zealanders took a stand and we became Nuclear Free.”

      And did that make any difference to anybody else? Nope. So why be so proud of it?

      Global warming, oops I mean climate change? No warming in over ten years means this is becoming a hard argument to sustain. People are losing the faith.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        http://climate.nasa.gov/keyIndicators/

        Still looks like it’s going up to me which would indicate that you’re either lying or just repeating some BS that you heard from somebody who was lying.

      • Jenny 5.1.2

        And did that make any difference to anybody else? Nope. So why be so proud of it?

        OneTrack

        Shamefully, as everyone knows David Lange announced that this policy was not for export.

        Despite this, the policy did start to spread, being especially popular in the island nations of the the Pacific. The Labour government of Fiji under the leadership of Timoti Bavandra was elected in 1987on a policy of increasing trade union rights, instituting a state housing programme, and significantly a declared intention to make Fiji Nuclear Free.

        Like New Zealand this policy did not come out of thin air, the Fiji Anti-Nuclear Group, FANG, was an influential protest and lobby group, with links to the powerful Fijian trade union movement.

        The sea walls of Suva harbour were daubed with large FANG anti-Nuclear graffiti much to the chagrin of the visiting US navy. As the saying goes, the writing was on the wall for the US nuclear navy in Fiji.

        All this was swept away in the military coup led by Colonel Sitveni Rabuka. Union rights were curtailed and union leaders jailed. The state housing programme was canceled. And, the red carpet was again rolled out for US navy nuclear warship visits.

      • Foreign Waka 5.1.3

        OneTrack – Are you aware of the admiration around the world for NZ anti nuclear stance? NZlaenders have every reason to be proud to be most likely the ONLY country in the world where kids can grow up without having their genetic material forever altered by just playing in the sandpit. Are you really aware what it means?

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      Japan ending nuclear power has meant that millions more tonnes of oil and coal is being burnt in their thermal plants.

  6. Steve Wrathall 6

    The fact that after 25 years not a single other country has followed this “leadership” is fair comment on the quality of this policy. Indeed, the eastern European communist dictatorships at the time praised the Lange government’s pre-emptive appeasement. Once their people were free to choose they jumped boots and all into NATO. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russian generals admitted it was the hard-line Reagan/Thatcher policies of containment that accelerated the fall of communism. The fact that NZ deserted the Western Alliance at the 11th hour is nothing to be proud of.

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    I have been stuck at home for several days, and so the build-up to Anzac day has been reduced for me to a series of media impressions. Fragmentary ones at that, as I actively tried to avoid the coverage. The… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    1 day ago
  • US: the state’s systematic violence kills another young black man
    Freddie Gray: brutally murdered by Baltimore cops by The Spark A young man is dead in Baltimore, killed by six murdering cops. In the same week, a murdering cop goes free in Chicago when a prosecutor and a judge tie… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Questions For Oral Answer April 28
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. CHRIS BISHOP to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received about lower than expected inflation in New Zealand? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. CHRIS BISHOP to the Minister of Finance: What… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Hobbling Democracy: TPPA and The Covenant of Secrecy
    Opinion – Binoy Kampmark The TTIP and TPPA, both sounding like ominous injections of political disaster, continue their march towards belittling, and corroding the democratic content of its participating countries. The holder of the needle remains US President Barack Obama,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • The Decline and Fall of the United States | David Swanson
    Opinion – David Swanson After a speech I gave this past weekend, a young woman asked me whether a failure by the United States to properly surround and intimidate China might result in instability. I explained why I thought the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Fearing the loss of Hegemony: The Concept of US Retreat
    Opinion – Binoy Kampmark Nothing upsets those drunk on imperialist virtue than the fact it might end. Such romances with power do have a use-by-date, going off like old fruit. Eventually, the crippling contradictions will win through in the end.… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Strong Support for Clarification of GMO Council Jurisdiction
    Press Release – GE Free NZ On Friday, 24 April GE Free Northland and the Soil & Health Association of NZ with 19 other 274 parties sought clarification in the Environment Court on whether there is jurisdiction in the Resource… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Should Environmentalists Care About Poverty?
    Perhaps heightened by the leadership contest in the Green Party, there appears to be a debate going on about where environmentalism fits into the political spectrum. I am not a member of the Green Party (nor any other, for that… ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Inoculating against science denial
    Science denial has real, societal consequences. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS led to more than 330,000 premature deaths in South Africa. Denial of the link between smoking and cancer has caused millions of premature deaths. Thanks to… ...
    2 days ago
  • A year ago today – Auckland’s first electric trains
    A year ago today transport in Auckland was forever changed as the first electric trains started carrying passengers – although they didn’t start running in normal service till the following day. Electrifying Auckland’s rail network is something that had been… ...
    2 days ago
  • Media Link: Anzac Day panel on future conflicts.
    Commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated assault at Gallipoli prompted Radio New Zealand to convene a special panel on the evolution and future of conflict since those tragic and futile days in 1915. I was invited to participate… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Australian cops shut down Aboriginal Anzac Day march
    The article below deals with the erasing of the Frontier Wars in Australia.  Something similar has happened in relation to the Land Wars in New Zealand.  The wars of conquest and confiscation of Maori land are totally eclipsed by carefully-constructed… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • After World War 1: the horrors of peace at home (Australia)
    The small number of people involved in Redline means we simply don’t have the possibility to cover everything we’d like to.  This includes some very important stuff.  For instance, an article about what NZ soldiers came home to, an equivalent… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Anzac Day II
    I spent a couple of hours at our local RSA on Saturday. It was well past the traditional solemnity of the morning, well into the drinking. The old fellows drank like soldiers and the soldiers, there in their uniforms, with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Pony-tails, panic and PR spin.
    How Crosby-Textor propose to rescue Key from the fall out over his casual Pony-Tail stroking.Rumour has it that the Crosby-Textor spin machine that elevated John Key to the leadership of the National Party and thence to Prime Minister of NZ… ...
    the Irascible CurmudgeonBy Alan Papprill
    2 days ago
  • Poor peer review – and its consequences
    See below for citations used The diagram above displays links between the journal, editors and reviewers in the case of the paper Malin & Till (2015). I discussed these links before in Poor peer-review – a case study  but thought… ...
    2 days ago
  • Capture: April Come She Will
    Over the month of April I've started a number of threads, but not quite found the time or inspiration to reach a critical mass.Looking back though, it was a fairly packed month, as we ease our way into autumn.So here's… ...
    2 days ago
  • Has John Key tugged off more than he realises?
    John Key's pony-tail-gate controversy seems to have divided people into two camps. The vast bulk of New Zealanders (to purloin a Key-ism) can agree on the fact that it's weird... and out of order. But then there are those who… ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Rodney Hide: They’re all after me, man…
    The state apparently has me under covert investigation. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I was followed home by some guy in a long coat and dark glasses. It was 27 degrees and cloudy. My friends have… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • The road to Mike Hosking, vilifier of young women
    Some of us have always seen radio announcer Mike Hosking as a puffed-up little prat. I was there at Broadcasting House when this shortish young guy with a big voice and a very strange manner arrived in the Network Newsroom.… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Hey RaboDirect, if Mike Hosking’s selling you, I’m not buying.
    A nasty side of radio announcer Mike Hosking spilled out into view last week as he ‘bashed’ the victim of John Key’s serial bullying. Hosking, supported by TVNZ’s OneNews, sponsored by RaboDirect, vilified the waitress whom the Prime Minister admits… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Is Auckland boring enough?
    Via Jarrett Walker, I recently ran across a provocative article by Aaron Renn in the Guardian: “In praise of boring cities“. Renn takes his fellow urbanists to task for the narrowness of their vision about what makes a good city:… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago

  • More hype and half-truths from Coleman
    The rising incidence of rheumatic fever has nothing to do with ‘families having a better understanding of the disease’ as the Health Minister wants us to believe but everything to do with his failure to address the root causes of… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Regional air routes must be maintained
    The Government must use its majority shareholding to make sure Air New Zealand cooperates with second tier airlines stepping into the regional routes it has abandoned, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Air New Zealand’s cancellation of its Kaitaia, Whakatane,… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Action needed on decades old arms promise
    Nuclear weapons states must honour the unequivocal promise they made 45 years ago to disarm, says Labour’s Disarmament Spokesperson Phil Goff. Mr Goff is attending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York. ...
    18 hours ago
  • Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond
    Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those… ...
    2 days ago
  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    2 days ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    2 days ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    5 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    6 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    6 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    6 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    6 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    7 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    7 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    7 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    7 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want&hellip; ...
    2 weeks ago

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