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The many and varied problems with the Ruataniwha Dam proposal

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, October 6th, 2013 - 26 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, water - Tags: ,

Ruataniwha dam

The saga of the Ruataniwha Dam raises a number of interesting issues.

The Nick Smith appointed Board of Inquiry includes ex National MP Alec Neill who also served as the chair of Environmental Canterbury before the board was sacked by the Government.  As said by Marty G in the Standard 4 years ago the cause of the coup was that the organisation was too “science led” and the staff were too “green”, by that I presume they meant that the staff were concerned about the environment.  The failure of the Government to restore regional democracy in the area still rankles.

Neill is eminently qualified and his sacking as a ECAN Councillor belies the lack of justification for that decision but his presence has raised eyebrows.  The rest of the board include an Environmental retired High Court Judge, two lawyers and a Dam Engineer.  There is no one with environmental credentials on the Board and this is of concern.

I have posted on DOC’s processing of the original draft submission previously.  Smith was told about the draft at a usual briefing, that evening the manager involved emails senior managers and says that Smith wanted to see “the submission”.  Then two days later a revised submission is shown.  A 34 page submission expressing concern that nitrate levels in the Tukituki River may become toxic by the proposed changes is replaced by a two paragraph submission that is neutral.

A staff member involved in preparation of the original submission has since resigned, pretty obviously in disgust at what has happened.

This is scarcely believable.  The original briefing note said that “a submission should be lodged to the plan change in the name of the Director-General requesting that the Board requests further information by way of an independent peer review of the proposed approach to nutrient management and the potential effect of the proposed nutrient limits and targets on the freshwater values in the Tukituki coachmen.”

The final submission said that the department had considered “the robustness of the nutrient modelling, the strength of the regulatory process proposed and the conservation values at risk within the specified catchment” but it was only going to submit on resource consent issues relating to the Makaroto dam structure.  Between Monday and Wednesday DOC had changed its mind from requesting that there be an independent peer review of the proposed approach to nutriment management and the possible effect on freshwater values to just worrying about RMA issues relating to the dam itself.

The Department had decided not to submit on the one nutrient management approach “as the conservation values of the Tukituki catchment do not justify the resource investment required”.

I am finding this increasingly difficult to understand.  The draft submission had been prepared.  All that was required was someone to go along and speak to it.  The issues were important ones to raise, the one nutrient management approach was risky, there were doubts about the modelling and further analysis was needed.  The draft submission asked the board to seek further information in relation to the risks and to seek an independent peer review in relation to the nutrient management approach.  These were costs that the Hawkes Bay Regional Council would logically have to meet.  There is something wrong with the claim that the resource investment required meant that these important questions should not have been asked.

Other more recent events also raise concerns.

The Hawkes Bay Regional Council has complained about the Radio New Zealand reporting on the issue, specifically the claim the scheme could kill the river.  From the article involved it would appear that this particular comment was an interpretation of the submission rather than a quote from the submission but the way I read it the original comment is fair.  After all allowing for significant increases in Nitrate levels to “toxic levels” can fairly be equated to killing the river.  And you have to wonder at the utility of a public entity taking another public entity to a third public entity to sort out where the truth of the matter lies.  The HBRC would be better advised explaining to the public why the concern is not justified.

EDS and Forest and Bird are complaining that their experts are unable to visit the dam site until October 10 but their evidence is due by October 8.  The landowner is, for his own reasons, refusing to allow access.  There is a simple solution, extend the time for the filing of evidence but to date this has not happened and you have to wonder why not.

Forest and Bird is also concerned because NIWA’s modelling is not available for analysis.  NIWA is claiming that it is intellectual property.  Its position if endorsed will mean that an assessment system will be approved without the public being allowed to understand how and if it will work.  We live in a strange world where commercial sensitivities prevent us from checking to make sure that theoretical models that control the future of the health of our rivers are fit for purpose.

And finally it has been disclosed that GNS Science had its contract to provide advice to the Hawkes Bay Regional Council cut short.  It had been contracted to perform four pieces of work for the Council but completed only three.  Russell Norman made a number of startling claims by way of questions in Parliament including the following:

  • The GNS Science scientists working on the project were pressured by the regional council into completing a report on the dam, despite their objecting strenuously to the accuracy of the information they were supplied to work with by the regional council.
  • The scientists insisted on recording their concerns about the inaccuracy of the council’s groundwater model in their updated report and at that stage the contract was terminated by the council.
  • GNS Science wanted to insert a disclaimer in its updated report, which was that it took no responsibility for the accuracy of the work because the model that the council provided to it was not fit for purpose.
  • An early report in August 2012 provided by GNS Science to the council was used by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council in its application around the dam, rather than using the February 2013 amended report, which highlighted the GNS Science scientists’ concerns that the report was not accurate.

So we have a Minister chosen Board of Inquiry without scientific expertise, a magically disappearing draft DOC submission, submitters who cannot complete expert evidence because they cannot access the site, a modelling system that is untested and no one is allowed to analyse, and a highly respected Scientific Crown Institute whose involvement in the project was terminated because its scientists objected to the accuracy of the data that it was being supplied.

There is something wrong with the Ruataniwha dam proposal.

UPDATE:  In comments A Thompson has pointed out that Justice Chisholm was previously a High Court Judge not Environment Court Judge and that one of the other lawyers, Mathew Lawson, has a science degree, as well as his LLB, and has been involved as the chairman of the Hawkes Bay ECOED Trust at the Lake Opuahi.

26 comments on “The many and varied problems with the Ruataniwha Dam proposal”

  1. tc 1

    ‘This is scarcely believable.’….this is very much the MO of the nats and exactly why the weasel smith was brought back to push as much of this through as he can.

    what else are the bastards up to while the focus is on nicks dodgy dam is where opposition need to focus, a raft of issues is required as they are good at spinning a single issue.

    build up the narrative there is plenty of material.

  2. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2

    Nzers appear to be expected to foot the bill for the benefit of private industries’ profits, they are then expected to pay for the environmental damage that these industries create and then they are charged premium prices for the produce of these industries, where in some sectors the best produce is shipped overseas.

    I thought governments were supposed to work for the ‘general good’, not the private interests of a few sectors? Governments would function more effectively if they stuck to the aim they exist to meet.

    Tasman District Council are being questioned re the transparency of their accounting with regard to a contentious dam proposed for the Tasman district.

    How do people make good decisions for their district [or country] when information they are being presented with is being manipulated and not open and transparent?

    • fambo 2.1

      Sadly, it’s a bit of a myth that governments automatically work for the good of the people. Some governments do, but by no means all of them. Having regular elections is the one chance for the population to try and get representatives who will work on their behalf, as opposed to having no chance at all when there is no vote. For that reason, it is important to vote for a party that you are certain is working in your interests.

  3. Ad 3

    Looks like a great case for judicial review proceedings to the High Court once the Commissioners have done with it.

    While personally I don’t think NZ will survive climate change without more dams, the procedural mess over this one feels more and more like Clyde Dam 1982. An intent of the RMA was to stop people being railroaded by development projects like Think Big.

    See you in court Minister Smith.

    • TLAM 3.1

      This whole project has nothing to do with climate change. People were told within the RC to “manage the perception of the greenies” from early-mid 2010. You have a plan. You select the science to support it, you marginalise the science that doesn’t, you dismiss strategic debate about water strategy, you coerce and spin.

      Ad, this dam will do more to increase climate change with terrestrial carbon loss, NOx and CO2 emissions. It will irrigate between 17 and 24 thousand Ha of flats. Hawke’s Bay has 1.42 million ha in total. The real drought and flood concern relates to the hills and particularly how well they hold and slow water (floods and drought implications).

      Their claims that it will alleviate drought is just more spin. And spin is so pervasive that even the non-engaged are smelling a rat.

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    Thank You for this comprehensive (to date) article mickeysavage

    • tc 4.1

      here here MS, all those annoying facts and legal points of view based on NZ law and how it’s meant to operate. Top work keep it up, more sunlight to expunge this vampire gov’t and its backers.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    There is something wrong with the Ruataniwha dam proposal.

    Sounds like the whole process is corrupt and that quite a few elected representatives need to be going to going to jail.

  6. MrSmith 6

    Niwa was seen as a hostile organization by National from the beginning and now it seems it has been bullied into line, the sacking of Jim Salinger was a turning point.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10568596

    Speck up and you get fired.

  7. Not much hope of the dam bringing clean, fresh water to the area when it already stinks of so much sh*t.

  8. Ennui 8

    Yesterday I was kneeling beside the Ruamahanga, tying on a fly when I noticed directly in front of me a koura, a large one at that. Later in the day I espied a shag dive through a pool to eat a fish. These are wonderful things, beyond any transaction that turns oil into people (industrial agriculture supermarketism)…..may some of this survive the depredations of the National Party.

  9. Red Rosa 9

    If this isn’t corruption, what is?

    No one doubts the benefits from irrigation, Canterbury no doubt the best example. But a number of schemes there have been consented quite recently, without massive government subsidies and this level of brutal intervention. The 40k ha Hunter Downs scheme springs to mind, and Central Plains well down the track.

    Trouble is, the easy stuff has been done. The new schemes cost mega bucks. And the old schemes are showing up real troubles downstream, which are only now being properly assessed.

    If ever there was a bunch of hypocrites, it has to be the Nats’ Blue Greens. Unless they mean Blue Politics, Green Rivers?

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/10/06/goodbye-nikki-kaye-will-national-greens-face-a-party-vote-backlash-in-auckland/#sthash.NlHRksg4.dpuf

    ECan was sacked so Canterbury irrigation could go ahead. If Cantabrians think this a great idea, why aren’t they now being allowed to vote on it?

  10. foreign waka 10

    Considering that Ngati Kahungunu has traditionally made a strong stance for its people and the environment, I am somewhat surprised that not one person has said anything. What is the story here and why the silence? If there is an issue with the quality of the water surely there must be some concern about the sustainability of all resulting dependent life.

  11. vto 11

    Good shit mickysavage

    The questions must be answered. What do they expect? That the questions wont be asked?

    This is the caricature of this government in its death throes

  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    Citizens Left Out Of The Water Equation

    THE SHUTTING DOWN of democracy in the Canterbury Regional Council, and the more recent suppression of a Department of Conservation draft report on the sustainability of the Ruataniwha Dam, represent the working out in political terms of Conor English’s heads-up warning of five years ago.

    New Zealand’s dairy farmers, and the enormous economic interests they represent, have decided to privatise the nation’s water resources – and the government is helping them do it.

    Dr William Rolleston has even enlisted the reality of Global Warming to advance Federated Farmers’ cause: While New Zealand has plenty of water, he says, it’s not always in the right place at the right time.

    But, presumably, it will soon be in the right hands.

    The corruption runs deep and all the way to the top. Of course, at the top of a hierarchy is where the corruption always starts.

  13. Saarbo 14

    Because of the way National handle things they are fucking this up, by closing down an honest assessment of the situation we see how this Party created the $11 billion dollar leaky home crisis, by pushing through an initiative without thorough investigation in their “born to rule, we know best” way.

    I reckon that if this dam was used as a prototype to deal with all of the downstream (excuse the pun) issues in an open honest way then it may well provide a prototype on how we can grow/protect dairy production and protect the environment at the same time. Obviously if the beneficiaries of this dam stock their farms at up to 4 to 5 cows per hectare and produce up to 2000 kg milk solids per hectare then it will only be a matter of time before the Tukituki becomes a massive drain of effluent run-off and Urea/Nitrogen as are most rivers in areas of intensive dairying, not to mention the complications around who is going to pay for the dam and how the benefits are managed/owned.

    But there are alternatives that should be investigated including Herd Homes which will take the stock off the pasture and allows farmers to deal with the effluent so that it doesn’t harm the waterways, stocking levels, biological fertilisers, could Land Corp play a part.

    This project probably has potential but all issues have to be investigated and dealt with. But National are dealing with this issue the way the do, they are hopeless and they will fuck it up.

  14. Win 15

    Dairy farming should be in places where there is easy access to water not in a place where there is limited rainfall and limited access to water. I live beside the Tukituki river and it really is un-useable now – and this is before the dam being built. Years ago we could swim in it but now water in a side pool, during summer, killed a dog who drank from it. So i guess the question is do we go with economic development and become like China or do we try and present a clean green image WITH integrity. NZ is so smug about this so called image but that is so far from the truth. Ngati Kahungunu have come out against the dam. So have orchardists. Orchardists are blaming the Regional District Council but I think “others” are pulling the strings and being avid Nat supporters I think many of them can’t “handle the truth.”

  15. A Thompson 16

    Just to clarify slightly, the judge, Justice Chisholm, is ex-High court, rather than Environment Court, and previously worked in the area of RMA law. One of the other lawyers, Mathew Lawson, has a science degree, as well as his LLB, and has been involved as the chairman of the Hawkes Bay ECOED Trust at the Lake Opuahi, (See : http://www.ecoed.org.nz ), so the claim that “There is no-one with environmental credentials on the Board…” is a little harsh.

    [Thanks for your comments. I have added this information into the article – ms]

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  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and one with some real business. First, there's the second reading of Sue Moroney's Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave and Work Contact Hours) Amendment Bill, which will hopefully either pass, force… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    frogblogBy Metiria Turei
    2 days ago
  • Forcing transparency on Ministerial transport
    One of the perks of being a government Minister is the Ministerial limo - a chauffeur-driven car you can take anywhere. These vehicles are publicly funded and used for public business, so we should be able to see who uses… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Wicklow 2 win unconditional bail
    From éirígí: Great result today as éirígí’s Sean Doyle and Citizens Against Privatisation stalwart Eamonn McGrath were released from Cloverhill prison on unconditional bail. The unexpected outcome came virtue of a “technicality” in committal warrants as papers that were due… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • We shouldn’t just forgive, but pay back odious debt
    Over 9,000 people have signed Action Station's petition calling on the government to forgive odious emergency housing debt. The government's response? Nope:Wiping the debt of people who have been staying in motels for emergency accommodation would not be fair to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Opening up NLTF to all modes
    The Green Party released a new freight policy yesterday. They’re looking at ways to invest to increase safety and reduce carbon emissions: The Safer, Cleaner Freight policy sets a target for moving half of freight on rail… ...
    2 days ago
  • The American Black Movement in the Sixties: Victories and Lost Opportunities
    The Black Power slogan of the 1960s was replaced with empowerment for the black American middle class and burgeoning capitalist layers The reign of the first black president in the United States is coming to an end.  Obama, or O’Bomber… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Three Dreams
    I have three dreams. One is characteristic, one is recurring and one is singular.The characteristic one is simple in concept: it's me and my friends going places and doing things. In the last one I can recall, there was a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Did you know this about tigers?
    Next in our series, we turn to the king (and queen) of the jungle - the tiger. Here are 10 incredible tiger facts from forests campaigner Richard George:10. Tigers have better short-term memories than humansTigers’ have one of the best… ...
    2 days ago
  • How well do you know the Polar Bear?
    Since the very beginning of Greenpeace, our movement has been fighting to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable animals. And over the years, we’ve learnt some truly incredible things about the magnificent creatures we share this planet with. So… ...
    2 days ago
  • How well do you know the orangutan?
    Next in the series, forests campaigner Richard George shares his 10 favourite facts about one of of our closest living relatives - the orangutan:10. Orangutans are ticklishThere are two kinds of ticklish. There’s the gentle kind that feels itchy and… ...
    2 days ago
  • Income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time
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    Closing the GapBy Ben Smith
    2 days ago
  • Dying For Latvia?
    Preparing For War: Nato forces in the former Soviet republic of Latvia as part of the 2014 "Silver Arrow" military exercises in the Baltic states. Such naked demonstrations of Nato's extended reach - right up to the borders of the… ...
    2 days ago
  • How much do you really know about turtles?
    I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.Over the years I’ve had the privilege of watching turtles from the bow of Greenpeace ships, and many of my colleagues have encountered these peaceful ocean wanderers far out at sea… ...
    2 days ago
  • How much do you know about whales?
    I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.Over the years I’ve had the privilege of seeing lots of whales, both from the deck of Greenpeace ships, and also on whale-watching trips. I’ve been lucky enough to see massive… ...
    2 days ago
  • Are noisy oceans to blame for beached whales?
    Noise is the most invisible of all the man-made threats to the ocean, but to whales who ‘see’ by hearing, they simply cannot escape it.Water is an excellent medium for relaying sound, enabling some species of whale to communicate across… ...
    2 days ago
  • Sylvia Park growth plans
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    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    2 days ago
  • PrintNZ Forum Speakers Enlighten Delegates
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Nick Smith: There is NO crisis
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    3 days ago
  • Tracking the 2°C Limit – April 2016
    April is starting to come down off the shockingly high anomalies of the first couple of months of this year. GISS is clocking in a still strong warm anomaly of 1.11°C. This is by far the hottest April in the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    3 days ago

  • Budget offers no hope of fixing housing crisis
    The Budget’s underwhelming housing measures will give New Zealanders no hope that National is capable of fixing the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “There isn’t a scrap of an idea to help desperate young Kiwi families into… ...
    2 hours ago
  • How the budget fails new New Zealanders
    Greens co-leader James Shaw was absolutely correct to say the 2016 budget is just papering over the cracks. There’s nothing in this budget to increase wages, address inequal pay for carers or deal with the shocking pay rates and employment… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    14 hours ago
  • Parents will pay more as school budgets frozen
    Parents will pay more for their kids’ education as a result of this year’s Budget after the Government froze operational funding for schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This means schools are effectively going backwards. They will need to… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Sticking Plaster Budget fails the test
    Bill English’s penultimate Budget fails to tackle the structural challenges facing the economy – a housing crisis, rising unemployment, underfunded health and creaking infrastructure, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This Budget applies a sticking plaster to a compound fracture.… ...
    17 hours ago
  • John Key fails middle New Zealand with no fix for housing crisis, more underfunding of health
    Middle New Zealand has again missed out in this year’s Budget with not a single fix for the housing crisis, and health and education woefully underfunded again, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This Budget is just a patchwork… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Labour Bill would back Kiwi jobs
    The Government’s $40 billion of buying power would go towards backing Kiwi businesses and jobs under a Labour Member’s Bill which will be debated by Parliament, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “My Bill – which was pulled from… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Julie Anne Genter: My Budget 2016 wish is fairness
    When my parents first visited me in Auckland ten years ago, they remarked on how there were no homeless people on the streets. Coming from Los Angeles, they were used to seeing the impacts of horrendous inequality and a lack… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    21 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    22 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    22 hours ago
  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    2 days ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    2 days ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 days ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    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… ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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… ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    5 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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… ...
    7 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… ...
    7 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… ...
    7 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
    7 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… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week ago

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