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3D Manufacturing

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, April 13th, 2013 - 125 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags: , , ,

Heard of this one a few weeks ago:

Tomas Rousek, Katarina Eriksson and Dr. Ondrej Doule are collaborating with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on plans for a modular architectural structure at the lunar south pole. Each module would be printed using a NASA robotic system, which would produce a ceramic-like material by microwave-sintering lunar soil, also known as regolith. There would be no need for glue, as the particles would naturally bond themselves together when heated to the right temperature by the robots.

And this one came across the Twitter feed:

A three-dimensional (3D) printer powered by sunlight has been developed with the aim of turning desert sand into glass. Now, experts are recognising the device as a promising first step towards a future large-scale industry.

It seems that 3D Printing is really starting to mature. Such printers are becoming smaller, cheaper and more capable. The first article I linked to shows that it’s only a matter of time before builders become obsolete. Both articles show that a lot can be done with the diffuse energy of the sun.

Although it has a ways to go 3D printing is, IMO, the next level in manufacturing. It produces less waste than traditional forms and is far more flexible. Parts could be made on site from local raw resources rather than being mass produced in a dedicated factory based on the old manufacturing model and then being shipped around the world. There is some doubt that 3D printing capability of reaching the same speed that traditional manufacturing can but I believe that will be addressed in time.

The first major effect of 3D printing though will be the fact that even small communities will be able to afford 3D manufacturing facilities. As I said, they’re small and cheap compared to traditional factories which means that trade will become less and less of an option – especially international trade. No more exporting ourselves to wealth (not that that was ever going to work).

The neo-liberals will get the perfect competition that they’ve dreamed of and it will be their nightmare. When everyone can manufacture whatever they need and designs can easily be shared across the internet then the artificial restrictions (Think patents and copyright) that the capitalists have been building up for the last few centuries will break. Profits will crash, jobs will disappear and poverty will be rampant. At that point we will have to make a choice – to work together or to try to keep capitalism going and the latter isn’t an option.

Draco T Bastard

125 comments on “3D Manufacturing”

  1. infused 1

    I really cannot wait for this technology to explode. We just ordered a simple 3D printer for our office. Simple, but still cost $1k. Hopefully the costs will come down.

    This is really going to change so many industries and create even more.

    Good vid for those who don’t know about it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5AZzOw7FwA

    However, I think major 3d manufacturing will not hit for sometime.

  2. ianmac 2

    Bluddy marvellous. Now I can 3D my meals. Fish’nchips? Pheasant stew? Crayfish cocktail? Whiskey and soda? The only limit is my imagination. And no washing up!

  3. Jackal 3

    You’ll be pleased to know Draco that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EEF) has been challenging patents that are slowing this technology down. Although it’s interesting, I don’t think 3D printing is much of a threat to the capitalist system though. You can be sure that they’ll find a way to exploit it and take their cut.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      You can be sure that they’ll find a way to exploit it and take their cut.

      I think they’ll try, I don’t think that they will succeed as someone working in their garage and sharing their own designs globally is going to be impossible to stop and damn near impossible to sue.

      Apples patent of a square with rounded corners shows the extreme lengths that they’re going to now and people are seeing through such actions and the laws that allow them as nothing more than a money grabbing device. At some point it’s possible that patents had a place but, IMO, it’s becoming more and more obvious that they’re restricting innovation rather than helping it now.

      Education is exploding across the globe and, IMO, it’s peoples experience and education that leads to ideas. The education is becoming fairly uniform and so you’ll have more and more people having the same idea with slight differences due to their experiences. Now, if two people have the same idea at the same time independent of each other and spend the time and money to develop that idea who should have the patent? IMO, giving it to one and preventing the other from utilising their own knowledge and work is an injustice. It fact I’d go so far as to call it Thought Crime as the patent system is quite literally preventing people from developing their own ideas.

      People will rebel against this in time and 3d printing will give them the power to do so.

      • Jackal 3.1.1

        Draco

        It fact I’d go so far as to call it Thought Crime as the patent system is quite literally preventing people from developing their own ideas.

        Have to agree with you there Draco, but for different reasons… Patenting is hugely expensive, meaning that if you don’t have the money to protect your ideas past the initial patent, they will simply be stolen. In this way many inventions aren’t developed, because there’s nothing in it for inventors who don’t have extensive financial backing to protect their ideas. Unfortunately the current patent system is designed to give advantage to corporations.

        With the advent of patent trolls, there’s no doubt that the entire patent system is broken.

    • Mary 3.2

      The irony is that the more technology improves the more right-wing governments do everything they can to maintain employment as the all important centre of the way we do things. Even when technology has the potential to make everybody’s lives so much better right-wing governments continue to hammer people without work with benefit sanctions. Technology gets better but values don’t change. Right-wing rich pricks.

  4. terryg 4

    makerbot recently released a $500 3D scanner….

    http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/04/new-443-3d-scanner-on-sale-looks-awesome-shoots-lasers/

    there was a paper in a recent IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics that described using a MiG welder & an XYZ table to to build a 3D “printer” that builds metal objects. now thats cool.

  5. Plan B 5

    it is the young teenage kids that get their hands on these machines now that will shape the future- I have no doubt about that. This stuff is perfect for New Zealand and New Zealanders

    • Paul Campbell 5.1

      we already have them in the community – we have kids coming in to our Makerspace to use the printers – to the point where we’re printing a few more. We print in PLA – it’s a non-oil based plastic, made in NZ from whey – something that would otherwise have been landfilled

      NZ company Ponoko.com is already a big player in this field – you can get stuff printed for yourself now without owning a printer (or if you live in Dunedin come into the local Makerspace, we’ll let you use ours for free, or print you parts for your own, provided you promise to print 2 copies for others)

      Medium term they’re part of our solution to peak-oil – every city will have an Ikea-in-a-box – design something on line, it will get manufactured down the road from local materials (none of this shipping logs to China and getting tables back) at a robot factory, some bits 3-d printed, others built as needed and will appear kit packed, or assembled on your door step a few days later

      Long term they’re eventually going to be a massive game changer, very very disruptive, when the time comes to build that home machine that can assemble atoms (maybe 50 years from now) we’ll only need to build the one, and it may well be the last machine we’ll ever need to build, after that we’ll shut down all the factories, all those jobs that involve making stuff (from food to chairs) will go away – we’ll all have what we need provided we have enough energy and feed stock (we’ll start mining the garbage dumps and toxic waste pits, and recycling the things we don’t want at home to make new things) – money wont means anything, first because we’ll all be able to forge it to out heart’s content and secondly because we’ll all be able to make what we need at home. We had better be able to get away from that whole work ethic thing because we’re all going to be unemployed and looking for ways to fill our days. The 1% will be screwed because no one will care about their money as everyone can make the same things they have in their homes. As I said it’s a potentially wildly disruptive utopian/dystopian future.

      Oh yeah and Maurice Williamson is full of shit – he just realises that if we can make everything ourselves there’s no real point in having a Dept of Customs – and besides a bit of righteous moral fervour against new technologies that threaten the rich plays to the home crowd

      • Polish Pride 5.1.1

        This is the most accurate post on what our future will look like that I have seen and personally I can’t wait. I can already envisage govts trying to outlaw or restrict them using the printing of guns and drugs as the reason given where the real fear that they have will be the collapse of the economic systems i.e. ‘The System’ as we know it and they will be desperate to do anything they can to hang onto it including trying to take more of peoples freedoms away. I believe the technology will prevail and will move too fast for them to stop it. Personally I can’t wait.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          I can already envisage govts trying to outlaw or restrict them using the printing of guns

          In NZ you just need the appropriate firearms license and to meet the required firearms handling and storage standards. No problem.

          By the way, firearms chambers need to deal with over 10,000 PSI max and I can see no evidence that anything available in the consumer space will cope with that.

          • Polish Pride 5.1.1.1.1

            For the moment yes, but it is early days and hen you think of the very first computers or printers and compare them with what we have today, I don’t think that its out of the question in 20 or so years

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I wouldn’t conflate our ability to manipulate electrons at faster and faster speeds as being related to how quickly we can improve performance in the physical macro world. CPUs are a thousand times faster now than 30 years ago; but planes trains and cars are barely any quicker.

              BTW todays large professional office printers can almost match the quality output of 50 year old lithographic presses.

              So that’s not all that impressive. When will 3D printing be able to match the quality output of a 50 year old steel mill or aluminium foundry?

              • Draco T Bastard

                BTW todays large professional office printers can almost match the quality output of 50 year old lithographic presses.

                But which is cheaper both to make and to run?

                When will 3D printing be able to match the quality output of a 50 year old steel mill or aluminium foundry?

                What, you think NASA will make rockets out of sub-par parts?

  6. RedLogix 6

    While I fully appreciate the enormous ability to create almost unlimited shapes, I’m still very sceptical about the limited range of materials that 3-D printing might be able to handle.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      3d Printing
      It may be limited ATM but development is taking place. In fact, even now it seems that the restrictions are more a case of getting the process right than the materials used.

      • RedLogix 6.1.1

        Umm yes. But when I cast my mind around the last dozen or so purchases I’ve made, privately and professionally, I really struggle to see how low-cost 3-D printing will ever get there. How about a hi-performance down sleeping bag for instance?

        During my engineering degree days I do recall how apparent it was that virtually all of the significant commercial advances in technology have their essential roots in advances in material technology. For instance the automotive disk brake was first devised in the 1890’s but it was not until the mid-1960’s that advances in pad materials made widespread commercialisation practical.

        How for example do we think something as commonplace as a bicycle might be rendered using low-cost 3-D?

        If 3-D printing is ever to have a real impact I’m thinking that, as you suggest, the entire design, nature and process will need re-thinking. Practical 3-D devices are probably not going to be simple analogs of their traditionally manufactured pre-cursors.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1

          How about a hi-performance down sleeping bag for instance?

          Well, there’s just some things that 3d printing won’t do.

          How for example do we think something as commonplace as a bicycle might be rendered using low-cost 3-D?

          3d Printing – 3d Cloning A Bicycle
          Baby steps but it’s getting there. That one was made using nylon but it would be possible to use a similar process or a slightly different one to make it out of, say, titanium.

          Practical 3-D devices are probably not going to be simple analogs of their traditionally manufactured pre-cursors.

          No, but I believe that the process of printing can make them better. Take 3d transistors for starters. Difficult to do with the normal lithographic process but inherent with 3d printing.

          • Paul Campbell 6.1.1.1.1

            (puts on chip designer’s hat) I think that these “3D” transistors are just minor changes to the 2D way we’ve made transistors – they’re just turning them on end so they have a smalled 2D footprint not stacking them millions deep.

            I’m looking forward to being able to print bulk semiconductor materials – I want to be able to print transistors into an object I’m making, creating CPUs that are integral to objects – we can use much larger feature sizes and still get the same densities (we do need to figure out how to get the heat out of the middle though)

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1.1

              The first article I read on the 3d transistors said that they’re better as well and not just smaller. Something about the current flowing through them better.

              • Paul Campbell

                right but they’re still being laid out in 2D (with a slight jump into 3D in metal for wiring) – using photo lithography for fabbing them leaves you in the 2D world

        • KJT 6.1.1.2

          Too true. i think materials science will have to come up with a whole lot of new materials to make it viable.

          Not impossible though. Just a matter of time.

          Like the Romans knew the principle of a rocket engine, but couldn’t do it with the materials on hand.

      • RedLogix 6.2.1

        I’ve read all of those links joe … thanks. While the SLM technique looks very promising, it’s really only useful for very thin components otherwise the amount of laser energy required to keep the active layer molten becomes very large. And lasers are not very energy efficient. Great for highly specialised, super expensive things like rocket fuel manifolds … not so much for mass production I’d think.

        The plastic bicycle is pretty much exactly what I expected it to be, clever, but nylon (or any known plastic for that matter) just doesn’t cut mustard. Too weak, too heavy, too prone to UV degradation … too plastic. There’s a reason why every real bicycle frame worth riding is made of either a chromoly steel, titanium, aluminium alloy, or carbon fibre. There is a whole art form to designing and building a frame that rides well.

        http://www.brightspoke.com/c/understanding/bike-frame-materials.html

        All the other links are interesting and well worth the read, but … well there’s always a but. I’d think that 3-D printing will eventually expand and enhance the scope of manufacturing, opening up some niche areas that are currently either too expensive or unsuited to the current mass production supply chains. I like the suggestion about printing out for instance a replacement for a cracked tail-light cover. Perfect application. And it will revolutionise R&D and prototyping.

        I’ll concede that there remains a lot of potential for innovation, but for the time being I remain unconvinced that it’s the fundamental sea-change some people want it to be.

        • Paul Campbell 6.2.1.1

          want that cracked tail light printed out? Vic at diamondage.co.nz has transparent red PLA (and amber) buy some, take it to your local makerspace along with a 3d model of the tail light and print it out ….

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.2

          The plastic bicycle is pretty much exactly what I expected it to be, clever, but nylon (or any known plastic for that matter) just doesn’t cut mustard.

          Which is why I said that the same process could have been used to produce it in titanium. The article on SLM showed that to be true.

          And lasers are not very energy efficient.

          True but is the use of an inefficient laser more efficient than the vast waste and thus recycling produced by traditional manufacturing? I suspect that it is.

          I’ll concede that there remains a lot of potential for innovation, but for the time being I remain unconvinced that it’s the fundamental sea-change some people want it to be.

          Fair enough, don’t say we didn’t warn you :twisted:

          • terryg 6.2.1.2.1

            laser diodes are now 50% efficient; 20-100W optical power laser diodes are commonplace. and can be stacked. it is now essentially trivial to generate laser pulses on the order of tens to hundreds of kW optical power. so much so that a large slab of PN material and a 10kW laser pulse make a nifty switch that can switch hundreds of kA and withstand megaVolts.

            yay semiconductor optics

  7. Ennui 7

    Is’nt technology wonderful? I looked around me, saw plenty and wondered just what I really needed, or did not already have? Still thinking….what can I print???? Consumption sated, I sleep.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    There’s lot of talk about having 3d printers in every household etc, but IMO it seems this is overblown.

    The simple fact of the matter is, most people won’t have the skills or even interest to design their own shapes/objects/products/whatever, but they’d be happy to use other people’s designs.

    The other issue really is just materials: there are a variety of plastics that can be done at the moment, but when it gets to metals, not all that much. Pick up 10 random pens and you’ll find multiple parts made of metal that simply can’t be replicated by 3d printers. Electronics and circuit boards are another very tough nut to crack.

    What seems more likely is 3D printing becoming available in your community. At the moment we go to the Warehouse and buy stuff that was made in China and shipped around the world. In the future we’re likely to buy stuff that was made at the store itself, or somewhere within the same city, by industrial high-precision, high-speed 3d printing technologies that simply can’t be affordably replicated in peoples homes. If done on-site, this could lead to made-to-order products, cutting down the need for warehouse space and distribution significantly.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1

      The simple fact of the matter is, most people won’t have the skills or even interest

      That’s like saying there won’t be a printer in every home because the majority aren’t graphic designers. They go ahead and create their headache-inducing clip-art birthday cards skills or no skills.

      Look for a rash of home-printed uncomfortable chairs.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.1

        True, but it depends how cheap this stuff really becomes.

        You can go buy a printer for $50 and get cheap off-brand ink for say $10 in order to do your crappy stuff.

        But if a 3D printer costs say $300, and 1kg of plastic costs say $30, then it’s a lot less feasible to do that.

        Also I’m not sure how many people go out and buy a printer with the idea of being a graphical designer; more likely they’d buy a printer for other purposes and then dabble on the side before they get bored.

        The fact is, most people are consumers, not creators.

        • Polish Pride 8.1.1.1

          and those consumers will be able to both pay and get free open source files they can download from the web.

        • felix 8.1.1.2

          “But if a 3D printer costs say $300, and 1kg of plastic costs say $30, then it’s a lot less feasible to do that.”

          Well it was only a few years ago printers were $300 and it didn’t seem to stop everyone from buying them.

          “Also I’m not sure how many people go out and buy a printer with the idea of being a graphical designer”

          Yeah that’s kinda the point.

          Having said that, I don’t find any of this very exciting. Cory Doctorow might think it’s wildly innovative to fill the world with plastic trinkets but I don’t.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.3

          The fact is, most people are consumers, not creators.

          I believe that, given the tools and resources to be creative people will become more creative. 3D Printing gives them that which our present system actively prevents. It’s going to be a societal change and one for the better.

      • Rogue Trooper 8.1.2

        lol OTH

    • Rich 8.2

      I’d imagine the killer app will be car and other parts.

      I scrapped a van a while back largely because of a cracked indicator glass that would cost several hundred dollars to replace. With cheap manufacturing techniques you’ll be able to either download a design file or scan the broken part and “fix” it in CAD. Probably plastic first and eventually things like casings, but maybe not things like pistons that need annealing and stuff.

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        Spot on. For many items, the specific manufacturing process itself creates the characteristics useful in the item. Directional strength, temperature resistance, conductivity etc.

    • infused 8.3

      You download the shapes. Google even has a program that can print them for you. It’s pretty much idiot proof.

      There is a whole ‘app’ like ecosystem for it.

    • Colonial Viper 8.4

      I’m with Lanth here. Until the technology can create say a Nokia 1100 (or complete parts thereof), or hairdryer (or complete parts thereof), it’s reality is relegated to making novelty items.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_1100

  9. TheContrarian 9

    VHS was going to end the movie industry also.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      That was basic stupidity – of course VHS wouldn’t have killed the movie industry. It wouldn’t even have touched the corporations as the costs of the means for making movies was still too expensive. Now that digital cameras and the software used to make movies is commonly available and quite cheap we will probably see a move away from the major studios. Won’t happen over night you understand.

      The same applies to 3d printing and manufacturing.

      • Colonial Weka 9.1.1

        VHS was meant to kill cinemas, not the movie industry. Like computers were meant to enable us to use less paper or ebooks will kill libraries. I think it’s fair to say that technological predictions that revolve around human behaviour are fairly unreliable. I’m still waiting for the internet to kill tv, but I fear it’s a vain hope.

  10. Rich 10

    We’ve had CNC milling machines for 40+ years. I’m not sure how a 3D printer is that different except that it adds rather than removes material, and you don’t need a skilled operator (though that’s largely a function of how CNC gear is used, and that the materials are usually hard to cut metal – you could CNC suitable plastic a lot more easily than steel).

    OTOH, you can’t print sheets of ecstacy with a CNC mill.

  11. KJT 11

    Please don’t tell that f wit Williamson we can already make working guns in a home or school workshop. He will try and ban them too.

  12. DH 12

    There is still a long way to go. The cheap printers use melted plastic to build up layers and that technology has physical limitations. To get high quality you need to reduce the size of the nozzle and do thinner layers. That slows down the production of the model, a commercial grade $30k FDM printer can take up to a day to create a large model in the quality required for commercial sale. The mid-range priced models are excellent for design and prototyping but manufacturing… not so much. I’m not so sure those limitations can be overcome with that technology.

    The 3D scanners seem to have similar limitations. I looked at a $4k laser 3D scanner and it just wouldn’t do the quality scanning required for commercial use.

    Yeah they’re great machines but the good ones still cost a fortune.

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    Yeah great, more advances to a future economy without jobs and which does not need workers.

    I suppose everyone who lost their jobs through the decline of “bricks and mortar” industries will upskill and become well paid web designers. LOL like that happened.

    • infused 13.1

      Well it shouldn’t be surprising. It was said around 50 years ago that the future there would be very few employed. Those employed would be in very skilled jobs.

      Problem is, no one thinks past tomorrow.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Sure, but in the 70’s that reality was talked about as a 4 day working week, and what were people going to do with all their spare time and money gained from all that extra productivity from technology.

        • RedLogix 13.1.1.1

          Yes. We’ve already seen the consequences of the bankers breaking the relationship between finance and the real economy. What happens when the traditional relationship between workers and business owner is then subverted by automation?

          Some people have argued that the techno-industrial model has no future and will collapse when it exhausts the resources it demands for infinite growth.

          Others argue that it will collapse when the inequality arising from the financial sector concentrating ever more intensely wealth into fewer and fewer hands finally unleashes the chaos of social breakdown.

          Others pin their faith in the religion of progress, believing that ‘something will turn up’, that human ingenuity will always solve all problems. Yet right now if we were to discover for instance, the perfectly non-polluting, unlimited source of energy … capitalism would destroy the planet within a generation or less.

          History is usually a pretty good predictor of the future… or maybe we’ll be blind-sided by something unexpected and that the future turns out nothing like what we even could have imagined?

          • Paul Campbell 13.1.1.1.1

            Well I commented on this above – I see these technologies as eventually (50-100 years from now) being highly disruptive in that they potentially do away with most work – if everyone can make the necessities of life at home then why work at all. Money and wealth will becomes things of the past, no one will care if you’re one of the 1% because your bank account is just a bunch of bits that no one cares about any more.

            We’ll have to get past that protestant work ethic thing and learn to entertain ourselves, find reasons to live and grow – people will still work but for other reasons, status, interest, fun. Performers, artists, designers will be our new stars rather than bankers. Real estate and energy will be the real wealth.

            • weka 13.1.1.1.1.1

              The necessities of my life are food, clothing, shelter, heating, clean water, my car, good company. Not really printable stuff eh? Someone is still going to have to work. Plus I want things that won’t damage the place I live in, so the whole plastic house/life thing doesn’t really appeal. Until someone can address the materials issue (including Peak Everything, and cradle to grave resource use) in this thread, then 3D printers remain interesting tech but not the save all being presented here.

              I do agree with you about getting past the Protestant work ethic. The reasons we have to work so hard are cultural and economic. Technology can’t solve that, although it can be a useful aid once those things are solved.

            • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1.2

              being highly disruptive in that they potentially do away with most work

              Automation and PCs also did away with a lot of work. How is that working out for the 90%?

              • Colonial Viper

                Also, an extremely large portion of western economies nowadays are in the service industry. Waiters delivering meals, therapists giving massages, builders fitting new bathrooms.

          • Rogue Trooper 13.1.1.1.2

            yeRP

      • Colonial Weka 13.1.2

        infused, did you just make the argument that 3D printers = high unemployment rates? How does that work economically?

      • Adele 13.1.3

        Kiaora Infused

        But there is also predictions that civilisation may, in fact, go the other way – low tech. The degradation of the built environment over the natural environment; Over population conflated with diminishing resources; and Technology having adverse consequences.

        Technology, while slick with marketing, is generally a simple tool to create and build profit.

        Will Technology improve lives – most definitely. Will it improve civilisation – the evidence to date suggests not.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      Yeah great, more advances to a future economy without jobs and which does not need workers.

      I’ve been saying for awhile that economics isn’t about work any more but about distribution. The problem is, IMO, that we keep hanging on to the idea that people need to work for an income.

      Even now proper use of technology should be dropping us down to about 10 hours of work each per week because that’s all that’s needed to maintain a reasonable living standard for everyone. Instead we have a system that takes all that’s produced and gives it to a few while requiring ever more work from the many.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        Even now proper use of technology should be dropping us down to about 10 hours of work each per week because that’s all that’s needed to maintain a reasonable living standard for everyone.

        10 hours of paid work, another 20-30 hours of unpaid work for community and family causes, hobbies and interests.

        Instead we have a system that takes all that’s produced and gives it to a few while requiring ever more work from the many.

        Not that many. Those people whose labour is not needed to make money for the owners are put on the scrap heap.

          • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1.1

            Ahh, thank you.

          • karol 13.2.1.1.2

            Thanks, DTB. A very interesting and informative read.

            I like the idea of community-based co-operatives, rather than worker-based ones. If the working time of people diminishes, that would make any social organistion based on “workers” a bit obsolete.

            Also, community was more the basis of life prior to industrialisation.

            As for technologies: I see the future as being a mix of sophisticated new technologies, and very old basic low-tech ways of doing things. he whole 3-D manufacturing thing doesn’t particularly excite me. However, I think it could be a useful part of future life – just not necessarily a central one.

            Low tech ways of doing things, often bring people together.

            • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1.2.1

              Low tech ways of doing things, often bring people together.

              Spot on. Nothing beats building a camp fire, freshly caught fish, a guitar and (two) dozen beers.

          • ghostrider888 13.2.1.1.3

            Beautifully Advanced Timing Red

      • weka 13.2.2

        “Even now proper use of technology should be dropping us down to about 10 hours of work each per week because that’s all that’s needed to maintain a reasonable living standard for everyone.”

        Do you have a credible analysis of the detail? I’m thinking of all the jobs that cannot be automated without losing quality: cleaning, cooking, healthcare, growing food, parenting and childcare….

        • Draco T Bastard 13.2.2.1

          Zeitgeist: Moving Forward mentions it. They do have research to back that up as well. It’s mentioned in the film but as I’m near my cap I can’t go download it again to find where that research is. I did read it when I first watched the movie.

          But my first advent into this was a thought experiment where I asked: Does NZ really need a $200b per year economy? The answer is No, we don’t. If we define $10,000 per person per year as being reasonable then all we need is about $50b per year. One quarter of what we presently produce.

          And, yes, that’s using the very fallible GDP measure which misses out a lot of what you mention and so I just don’t have enough information to work with on those. That said, I’m sure that automatics could do a lot of that just as well as humans – it’ll take just a bit more development. As an example there’s the self-drive car. The best use of that wouldn’t be driving personal cars but driving public transport – buses and taxis.

          One other aspect of using automation as much as possible is the huge shift in what people would do. There’s nothing wrong with all those taxi and bus drivers that would be out of a job doing the stuff that the automatics can’t do.

          • TheContrarian 13.2.2.1.1

            The Zeitgeist movies? Really? Jesus man, learn to learn.

          • Colonial Viper 13.2.2.1.2

            Does NZ really need a $200b per year economy? The answer is No, we don’t. If we define $10,000 per person per year as being reasonable then all we need is about $50b per year. One quarter of what we presently produce.

            Not every dollar in GDP economic activity can be considered as finally ending up as a dollar of someone’s personal income.

      • TheContrarian 13.2.3

        ” 10 hours of work each per week because that’s all that’s needed to maintain a reasonable living standard for everyone.”

        Citation needed.

        • Bill 13.2.3.1

          Not a citatation, but I and others who lived/worked in a housing/workers’ collective only needed to do about 8 hours of renumerative work per week to maintain a perfectly decent lifestyle. But that wasn’t technology that did away with the need to earn over the span of 40 + hours per week; just smart organisational structures.

  14. millsy 14

    So what would be examples of things that could be made by using this technology?

    • joe90 14.1

      Machines that a few years ago cost hundreds of thousands of dollars are now available for tens of thousands and eventually they’ll replace foundry pattern makers and die-cast tool makers. And I’ve no doubt they’ll replace rotary moulding techniques soon enough.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        I don’t think any of this will make any difference whatsoever to China remaining the manufacturing centre of the world.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1

          The economics definitely will and possibly the social connection as well.

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1

            No, china can always run larger volume more specialised printers than we can, and operate them at less labour costs and lower environmental standards.

            • kiwi_prometheus 14.1.1.1.1.1

              All this 3D printing and robotics leaves Marxist Leftist analysis looking way behind the play.

              China labour costs are moving up fast as they demand a more buogeios middle class society and values eg riots about pollution -> “cancer villages”

              .

              Plus their work force is rapidly aging and will plummet soon enough.

              • Colonial Viper

                Wake me up when 3D printing can build a 2003 Nokia 1100.

                PS robotics have been a major feature of industry since the mid 1970’s. Old tech.

                China labour costs are moving up fast

                Correct. Pretty soon they will reach 1/4 of the average NZ wage.

                • kiwi_prometheus

                  “Pretty soon they will reach 1/4 of the average NZ wage.”

                  And soon after that… and then soon after that…?

                  “PS robotics…Old tech.”

                  As you confess you are somambulant.

                  The Scientists and Futursists are telling us big changes happening right now.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    The scientists and the futurists live in a dream world.

                    Won’t someone please tell me when 3D printing can produce a 2003 Nokia 1100??? Think of the children!

                    • Clockie

                      In case you hadn’t noticed, most of the techo doo-dads we take for granted now were literally science fiction thirty years ago. ie. A twinkle in the eye of scientists and “futurists”. Dreaming that something might be possible is the first step on the path to making it happen.

                    • kiwi_prometheus

                      And when will they going to hurry up and give us time travel and eternal youth, havent we waited long enough?!!

                      Science is SUCH a let down!

                      Why do they even bother teaching science anymore in schools?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      3-D printing is revolutionizing product development

                      While low-cost 3-D printing by consumers and small businesses looks like a market now poised for takeoff, large businesses have already embraced advanced versions of the technology. The result has been a significant improvement in the product-development process across a wide range of industries, including the manufacturing of cars, consumer electronics, safety equipment and medical devices.

                    • lprent []

                      I can testify to that. We got the case prototypes for our new products printed. Lot faster and infinitely cheaper than the alternatives. We could test stuffing the screens and boards into the box and find out some basics; like do the boards overheat when fully enclosed in a water proof case.

            • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1.1.2

              No, china can always run larger volume more specialised printers than we can, and operate them at less labour costs and lower environmental standards.

              No, actually, they can’t. Modern factories run at close to the same level of efficiency no matter the size so economies of scale no longer apply and that’s without the benefit of 3D printing which reduces the need for specialisation at the factory itself. People need the same amount of looking after no matter where they are in the world which means that labour costs are the same – it’s only the delusion created by the money system that makes it seem otherwise. And China is at least making all the right noises about cleaning up their act as far as the environment goes (it’s too soon to say what they’re actually going to do).

              Then there’s the fact that the idea of comparative advantage which international trade is based upon is also bunk. In fact, it seems that it makes the world worse off.

              All of that means that we can, and should, produce as much as we can here. And that';s just the economics. The social side where everyone works together rather than competing against each other is another aspect of the change that will help bring about a shift to manufacturing here.

    • DH 14.2

      “So what would be examples of things that could be made by using this technology?”

      It’s technologies millsy. Plural. 3D printers can build pretty much anything, limited largely by the mechanical strength of the build material each different technology uses. The cheap printers all use the same technology; they extrude molten plastic through a heated element to build a model layer by layer. This picture is a sample from a Bits for Bytes 3D printer which is one of the better printers in the cheaper $2-4k range.

      https://static.zoovy.com/img/rapiddirection/-/bits/3dtouchggears.jpg

      It has a layer thickness of 0.125mm, you can see the layers in the picture. That’s 80 layers per centimetre & you might imagine how long it takes to build a complex model of any reasonable size. The print head aperture varies between 0.2-0.4mm diameter and XY tolerance 0.2mm so, adding that to the layer thickness, you might also picture the basic mechanical problem in improving the build quality while keeping the price low

      It’s interesting and useful stuff with a promising future but it is being overhyped. People keep creating a link between the cheap printers and the high quality products that more expensive printers can build using different technology. That link isn’t there (yet)

      This is the kind of quality & speed etc I want, problem is this technology costs about $90k & upwards.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QP73uTJApw

      • Colonial Viper 14.2.1

        So it can print a polymer model of a camcorder or voltmeter or vehicle suspension spring. But not an actual camcorder or voltmeter or vehicle suspension spring.

        That says a lot.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.1

          This link from joe90 above is about NASA building rocket engines with them. Seems that they’ve passed the point of just building models.

          • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1.1

            They are gaining the tech to build very specific components. The breakthrough will be when they can print something like a 2003 Nokia 1100. I personally don’t think that they will do it inside of 25 years.

        • millsy 14.2.1.2

          Yeah, that is what I was thinking as well.

      • weka 14.2.2

        Thanks DH. Can you be more specific about the actual things that can be printed now? What is the thing in the picture used for?

        The big limitation (apart from the economics) seems to be materials. Are 3D printers largely aimed at printing with plastics? Can you print with different kinds of plastics from the same printer? How? Are the things printed recyclable?

        • DH 14.2.2.1

          They’re constantly evolving, doing a lot of work with polymers & other compounds that can be used in a powder format and with a suitable binding agent give very good mechanical strength. This is a another technology I was looking at that looks good and prices out at about $30k, main problem is the consumables are expensive so the cost per model is high…

          http://www.javelin-tech.com/main/products/objet24_desktop_3d_printer.htm

          It’s quite bewildering just how many different technologies & types there are, all with their own quirks & catches. The inkjet style are popular because they’re fast, can spray a jet much quicker than extruding a melted compound. It’s probably where the cheap home printers will come from eventually, it’s a development of existing inkjets

          The cheap printers are moving to different plastics, mostly using ABS at the moment but there are some other types around. You can get models with multiple printheads and each head can use a different colour or type of plastic.

        • DH 14.2.2.2

          “Can you be more specific about the actual things that can be printed now?”

          Anything made of plastic now can be built on a 3D printer. Anything not made of plastic but which can be made of plastic can also be built. Main issue is you need to either design the model yourself with a CAD program or scan it with a 3D scanner. Good 3D scanners don’t come cheap and CAD ain’t much fun. They open source community are building up a library of CAD files to share but there’s literally millions of things you can make so chances are the file doesn’t exist yet for the things you want to build.

          The commercial printers usually have an extra print head or similar for support material, it’s a water soluble compound that you can print & then wash away leaving a complex shape with overhangs & thin walls. Can build bearings, moving wheels on axles… you name it.

          Other issue is size. Printers generally have a build size up to 200 x 200 x 200mm with many half that or increments between. Doesn’t let you create very large objects and the bigger they are the longer they take.

          • weka 14.2.2.2.1

            Many of the things I have that are made of plastic, are also made of other materials too. How does that work?

            Still waiting for a list of things that 3D printers can print already.

  15. WaihekeLad 15

    Whats really exciting is when those plans for large 3D printers that can print out a completed house from a plan get introduced here (with attendant spaces left for the plumbing and electrics to be inserted). That will be the a real game changer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehnzfGP6sq4

    • kiwi_prometheus 15.1

      Well the nay sayer colonial viper doesn’t believe its going to happen so his advice is that you should just forget about it and go back to sleep.

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        By the way, futurists of the 1960’s were sure that we would have personal flying cars by now.

        • kiwi_prometheus 15.1.1.1

          What were they saying about cell phones like Nokias?

          • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1.1

            Hand held walkie talkies and walkmans were commonplace, but mobile electronic technology was like mobile phones were conceptualised by very few.

            The Motorola Dynatac dated from 1983/1984.

            • Clockie 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Star Trek. Hand held communicators. And I’m sure that’s not the earliest example but I can’t be bothered trawling through my ancient collection of sci fi at this time of night. Sci Fi writers are often the predictors of future technology even before scientists are. As I said before it’s all about imagination. From Jules Verne onward.

              “Were conceptualised by very few”. Something only needs to be conceptualised by one person..

              • weka

                From Mary Shelly on ;-)

                • Clockie

                  I’m a fan but I don’t count her work as Sci Fi. Of course there are others earlier than Jules Verne who can be nominated as proto-sci fi authors, (Cyrano de Bergerac??) but most would agree that Verne began the modern genre.

                  • weka

                    Although I probably disagree about Shelly and SF, I was more getting at the evils of science theme in this thread ;-)

                    • Clockie

                      The reason I mentioned Verne of course, is that he’s acknowledged to have been the inspiration for many scientific and technical achievements of the twentieth century. Submarines, helicopters, rockets and a dozen and one other things. Shelley predicted nothing that I can think of. But she’s a good read. :)

    • weka 15.2

      I can’t watch that vid, but had to look up 3D house printing.

      Their answer is ProtoHouse (a model of which is pictured above), which they’ve described on their website as such: “The Softkill house moves away from heavy, compression based 3D-printing of on-site buildings, instead proposing lightweight, high resolution, optimized structures which, at life scale, are manageable truck-sized pieces that can be printed off site and later assembled on site.”

      The construction would come in seven giant chunks of laser-sintered plastic that would take three weeks to print, at which point they’d be trucked to the site and put together in just a day without the need for nuts, screws, nails or adhesive of any kind, thanks to an ingenious cantilevered design.

      The process of 3D printing a house is wildly innovative, though not exactly economical. Ruijssenaars’s house is estimated to cost upwards of $5 million, and Fast Company author Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan is the first to admit that erecting a similar structure out of poured concrete would be both cheaper and stronger.

      Then there’s the aesthetic of the ProtoHouse, which utilizes “long, fibrous threads of plastic” to achieve a look akin to living inside the deformed, hideous skull of one of Ridley Scott’s famed (and terrifying) Aliens.

      http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2013/02/25/the-worlds-first-3d-printed-house-could-be-innovative-disruptive-downright-terrifying/

      Sorry, but it’s very hard not to be sarcastic when I read something like that.

  16. ghostrider888 16

    ALL PLEX
    The 4Ds

  17. joe90 17

    Having a look around the interwebby thing and I’m surprised at what’s going on in the 3-d printing hobby world – lots.

    http://hackedgadgets.com/2011/12/09/printrbot-3d-printer/

    http://www.printrbottalk.com/forum/

    http://www.reprap.org/wiki/Printrbot

  18. vto 18

    Will we still be able to buy 2D printers?

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    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
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  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
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  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
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  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
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  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
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  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
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  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
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  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
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  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
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  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
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  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
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  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
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  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
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  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
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  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
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  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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