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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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  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    13 hours ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    14 hours ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    14 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    15 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    15 hours ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    15 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    15 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    16 hours ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    16 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    17 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    17 hours ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    17 hours ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    18 hours ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    24 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).&hellip; ...
    2 days ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
    Science says otherwise.  “People often perceive themselves as more attractive and likable than others [perceive them to be].” This is the cutting conclusion from a new study that has found you're probably not as great as you think you… ...
    2 days ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago
  • March Against Monsanto
    Press Release – TPP Action Waikato March Against Monsanto (MAM)is a global form of action aimed at informing the public, calling into question the long term health risks of genetically modified foods and Roundup ready crops.Today Waikato people rally, at… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    8 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    9 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    9 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    13 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    15 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    15 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    15 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    16 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    2 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    4 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    4 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness&hellip; ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    5 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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