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Auckland’s tornados again

Written By: - Date published: 5:30 pm, December 6th, 2012 - 37 comments
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Auckland has been hit by tornado’s again (last time was in May 2011). Several people are dead.

NZ Herald reports Storm brings death and destruction

Three people have been killed and seven injured during a storm, including a tornado, that hit Auckland today, with another tornado hitting near Rotorua later this afternoon.

Police have confirmed the deaths and injuries. Two of those affected were believed to be involved in the construction of a school at Hobsonville Point and killed by a falling concrete slab, while another victim was reportedly hit by a tree.

It seems to me that the frequency of these extreme weather events is increasing.

37 comments on “Auckland’s tornados again”

  1. Bill 1

    It’s only shit weather. And since we’ll be getting plenty more along similar lines it won’t even seem that shit or unusual in retrospect.

    Point is, we really should be looking on all of this as an opportunity to adapt ( just as that – was he an ‘oil fella’? – claimed will be the case.) And failing that then, hey – we’ve got the technology to deal with this kind of stuff. Right?

    I mean, that’s what I keep hearing….techno-fixes, adaptation…everything going to be A-OK.

    Of course, if weather can well and truly ‘fix’ our technology instead of the other way around and if adaptation comes to mean something along the lines of dying…

    • lprent 1.1

      We’ve always had a few of these smallish tornados here.

      I can remember one coming up a valley at the parents farm and literally exploding a hut up in the late 70’s in the ridge between the upper Waiwera valley Puhio. But that was decades ago. Now we have them over a couple of years?

      It was also the last time the old man ever made one of his structures quite that weather proof. The reason we thought that it literally exploded wasn’t the wind so much as the difference in air pressure.

  2. karol 2

    Having lived out in West Auckland for over a decade, we do seem to have had more severe weather events in the last 2-3 years.

    I’m told there was flooding bubbled up from underground in the car park at the Henderson mall.

    Tornadoes seem to be  more frequent towards the edge of the west and in the Albany area.

  3. Anne 3

    Yes karol. When these storms move in from the Tasman, they hit the Waitakeres, the warm, saturated air rises in the lee of the ranges and bang… it’s all on.

    We had torrential rain on the Shore which continued without abatement for about 3 hours. That’s one hell of a lot of water, and guess who spent 120 bucks this morning having her house washed down. Everybody else in Auckland just got it done free of charge!

    • karol 3.1

      Yours probably still got a better wash, Anne.  I see there’s a report of a tornado in Rotorua now.

          • Jenny 3.1.1.1.1

            More on cyclone Bopha

            “We have suffered enough”

            Cyclone Bopha: The biggest Super Storm to ever strike Mindanao hits.

            “We have suffered enough,” Felicitas Cabusao said, clutching a Holy Rosary beside her crying 12-year-old daughter.

            Cabusao said her daughter survived Typhoon Washi, almost exactly a year ago, after she was washed out to sea when flash floods swept away entire coastal villages…. stuff.co.nz

            Mindanao rarely gets hit by typhoons, since the island is too close to the Equator, and the infrastructure of Mindanao is not prepared to handle heavy typhoon rains as well as the more typhoon-prone northern islands. Bopha is potentially a catastrophic storm for Mindanao. The typhoon is following a similar track to last year’s Tropical Storm Washi, which hit Mindanao on December 16, 2011 with 60 mph winds and torrential rains. Washi triggered devastating flooding that killed 1268 people. Washi was merely a tropical storm, and Bopha is likely to hit at Category 4 or 5 strength, making it the strongest typhoon ever recorded in Mindanao. Super Storm Bopha

            …..Typhoon Bopha, with wind gusts of up to 195 kph, made landfall at dawn, uprooting trees and tearing off roofs.

            About 40 people were killed or missing in flash floods and landslides near a mining area on Mindanao, ABS-CBN television reported, saying waters and soil had swept through an army post.

            A television reporter said she saw numerous bodies lined up near the army base. A military spokesman earlier said about 20 people, including six soldiers, were missing.

            Disaster official Liza Mazo, said more casualties were expected to be discovered as search and rescue teams fanned out.

            Media said dozens of people were injured by flying debris, falling trees and swept away by swollen rivers and flash floods.

            But the relatively low death toll was due in part to an early evacuation. More than 155,000 people were in shelters late on Tuesday. stuff.co.nz

            Bopha: the 2nd most southerly typhoon on record
            Bopha became a tropical depression unusually close to the Equator, at 3.6°N latitude. Tropical cyclones rarely form so close to the Equator, because they cannot leverage the Earth’s rotation to get themselves spinning. According to hurricane expert Dr. Paul Roundy of SUNY Albany, Bopha got its spin from a large-scale atmospheric wave called a mixed Rossby gravity wave. Because of the lack of atmospheric spin so close to the Equator, it took Bopha over four days to intensify into a typhoon, and it stayed a relatively small storm. Bopha became the 2nd most southerly typhoon ever recorded in the Western Pacific at 06 GMT on November 30, when the storm was at 3.8°N latitude. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center lists Typhoon Vamei of 2001 as the most southerly typhoon on record, at 1.5°N. However, other meteorological agencies do not credit Vamei with reaching typhoon strength, so this record is disputed. The previous most southerly typhoon was Typhoon Kate of 14 – 25 October 1970, which reached typhoon intensity at 4.3°N, 137.4°E.

            Bopha “Unusual”

            My question is this: Will we have to wait for a Superstorm to devastate Auckland or Wellington before our political leaders stop ignoring and start addressing climate change.

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1.1

              No. It will take three or four.

            • Nick K 3.1.1.1.1.2

              It’s got nothing to do with climate change.

              • RedLogix

                Weather having nothing to do with climate Nick?

              • One Tāne Huna

                Nonsense, Nick. You can argue ’til the cows come home that tornadoes are nothing unusual. It’s a red herring:

                The atmosphere’s water vapor content has increased by about 0.4 kilograms per square meter per decade since 1988…

                You think that doesn’t affect the weather? Dreams are free.

            • jaymam 3.1.1.1.1.3

              Tornadoes have nothng to do with climate change. The number of tornadoes in NZ is not increasing.
              Read this press release from NIWA, who have records for 200 years. They are the people paid to investigate weather and climate. I believe NIWA has a lot of scientists – why doesn’t everybody listen to them and stop scaremongering.

              http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1212/S00013/tornadoes-how-frequently-do-they-hit-new-zealand.htm

              Thursday, 6 December 2012, 5:05 pm
              Press Release: NIWA

              Tornadoes, like the one that hit Auckland’s western suburbs today, are relatively rare events in New Zealand.

              On average there are around seven moderate to strong tornado events reported in New Zealand each year.

              “Auckland is hit by a tornado on average less than once per year, but there is considerable variability from year to year with some years getting none,” says Dr Turner.

              New Zealand tornadoes are neither as common nor as destructive as those that occur over the plains of the United States, but even small scale tornadoes, like today’s event can cause damage, injury and even deaths. The west coast of the South Island and the North Island coast from Taranaki to Northland have been particularly affected by tornadoes in the past.

              NIWA maintains a catalogue of major weather events in New Zealand over the last 200 years called the New Zealand Historic Weather Events Catalogue.

  4. JonL 4

    We lived on a farm in Oteha Valley Rd in Albany in the 50’s /early 60’s – can recall seeing a small twister come over the top of the hill one day during a storm…
    There seems to be a “tornado alley”..from around Henderson/Hobsonville, across Greenhithe and sweeping up to Albany…..
    It’s not new, but the frequency seems to be increasing and, with the increased population in these areas, which used to be virtually all open/farmland, I guess the opportunity for fatalities will also increase.Not nice, but……..there you go.

  5. frank_db 5

    I got caught up in some of the really heavy stuff in Glenfield, soaked to the bone as I tried to gather up the tools, trees down and roads closed, all very exciting.

  6. Jenny 6

    It seems to me that the frequency of these extreme weather events is increasing.

    lprent

    In my opinion a parliamentary inquiry needs to launched to find out.

    Superstorm Sandy killed 85 in New York and got wall to wall coverage in the media.

    Then this week an unprecedented superstorm struck the Philippines leaving more than 300 dead and a similar number missing. (Though less media attention).

    If the Green Party with Labour can launch a parliamentary inquiry into the crisis in manufacturing. In the wake of all the recent extreme weather disasters and loss of life, could the Green Party call an all party inquiry into climate change?

    The Labour, Green, New Zealand First and Mana political parties together launched the Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing, in response to what they said was a national crisis.OTD Sat, 17 Nov 2012

    Will the Green Party take action?

    Will the Green Party call an all party inquiry into Climate Change, similar to the one they called with Labour over manufacturing?

    • Jenny 6.1

      Superstorm Sandy that struck New York which killed 125, got massive wall to wall coverage in the media here and around the world.

      In comparison the Superstorm that struck the Philippines earlier this week, with 418 killed and hundreds missing, barely got a mention. Why?

      Are the death of Americans in a Superstorm more newsworthy than those of Filipinos?

      Are the lives of Fillpinos seen as, of less worth?

      Is there something else other than callous Western centric racism, that stops Superstorm Bopha getting the same sort of media treatment as Superstorm Sandy?

      Or would the same sort of media attention if given to the Philippines Superstorm raise some questions that society would rather not face.

      The cause of the Superstorm that hit New York is ambiguous, it could have been caused or exacerbated by climate change. It may not have been. The same could be said for the tornadoes that struck in West Auckland and Rotorua. Maybe they were caused, or made worse by climate change. Maybe not.

      But the causes of the Superstorm that struck Mindanao is far less ambiguous.

      Cyclonic storms like this are pretty unknown this close to equator. The reason? The twisting forces away from the poles caused by the Earth’s rotation, (known as the coriolis effect), are most weakest at the equator. So cyclonic storms are virtually unknown. However with more energy in the system it does not need as much initial impetus to create a hurricane, or Superstorm.

      The Philipines is a long drawn out country in the Western North Pacific, with it’s southern most major island Mindanao near the equater. A Philipino expat I talked to before writing this article told me that he is convinced that Superstorm Bopha was caused by climate change. In the North he said the people are used to hurricanes and there, their houses have very thick walls to resist high winds, in the South this is not the case at all, and because hurricanes rarely strike there people’s houses are not as strongly built.
      Because of this there was a potential for devastation and loss of life on a massive scale. But thanks to good weather forecasts and to the preparation of the government, 155,000 people were evacuated to shelters, before the storm struck.

      Let’s face up to this problem.

      I am of the opinion that the Greens need to give a lead, and call an all Party Inquiry into climate change, inviting all the best experts and commentators to give testimony. They can do it for the crisis in manufacturing. Why can’t they do it for the climate crisis. If even the Green Party won’t face up to the climate crisis. Then New Zealand could wind up less prepared than the Philippines. If a climate change induced Superstorm hit New Zealand we could be even less prepared than we were in Christchurch during the earthquake. In that case the blood of every needless death would be on the hands of the Climate Change Apologists of National and the Climate Change Ignorers of Labour and the Greens.

      We desperately need an all party inquiry into the crisis of climate change.

      All it takes is leadership. Will the Greens give it? Or will they continue to tail behind National and Labour and like them push this issue onto the back burner?

  7. higherstandard 7

    It’s sunny outside my house, seems to me the frequency of sunnyness outside my house is increasing.

    • Jenny 7.1

      Funny that, in Papakura the roads are partially flooded. (Though not badly enough to gain media attention)

      I also heard that a protest planned in Rotorua by Maori against a private boat ramp on Maori owned lake shore and lakebed had to be cancelled due to all the access roads being flooded.

  8. Jenny 8

    Hi Lynne, I find it very hard to notice small errors in putting in commands. And only notice them, after they are up on the site.

    An example; In my comment here at 6, I forgot to put in the forward slash.

    There used to be a small window where I could edit out such mistakes.

    Whatever happened to that edit function?

    Is there anyway to access that function again.

  9. karol 9

    This scientist says, “no” the tornadoes are not any more frequent than they used to be in Auckland.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10852412

  10. Nick K 10

    But he’s wrong. Anonymous commentators know it’s climate change. It’s settled. End of.

    Meanwhile…….La Nina is upon us. It could just be that. You know, that weird thing called “weather”.

    • One Tāne Huna 10.1

      This is inevitable: Hansen and Sato in Perception of climate change :

      Practical effects of the increasingly loaded climate dice are likely to occur via amplification of extremes of the water cycle. Higher temperatures exacerbate hot dry conditions, but higher temperatures also increase the amount of water vapor that the atmosphere can hold. Increased water vapor leads to heavier rainfall and floods as well as the potential for stronger storms driven by latent heat including thunderstorms, tornadoes and tropical storms….

      The greatest barrier to public recognition of human-made climate change is probably the natural variability of climate. How can a person discern long-term climate change, given the notorious variability of local weather and climate from day to day and year to year?

      It was suggested decades ago that by the early 21st century the informed public should be able to recognize that the frequency of unusually warm seasons had increased, because the “climate dice,” describing the probability of unusually warm or unusually cool seasons, would be sufficiently loaded (biased) as to be discernible to the public.

      Warmer air holds more moisture. This affects 100% of the weather we get.

    • karol 10.2

      Nick, are you referring to the article I linked to above?

      It’s interesting that the article headlinesand focuses on the view of Peter Griffin, who says that there are not more tornadoes in the Auckland area and there are not more extreme weather events worldwide.  Yet down at the bottom of the article, they give a small mention of another scientist who disagrees:

       However, some scientists, such as climate expert and kiwi expat Dr Kevin Trenberth, suggest global warming is exacerbating the effects of extreme weather events. He said this of Sandy

      “Global climate change has contributed to the higher sea surface and ocean temperatures, and a warmer and moister atmosphere, and its effects are in the range of 5 to 10%. Natural variability and weather has provided the perhaps optimal conditions of a hurricane running into extra-tropical conditions to make for a huge intense storm, enhanced by global warming influences”.

       
      Back in New Zealand last year, Dr Trenberth, who is based in Colorado, participated in a Science Media Centre briefing on extreme weather, which you can listen to here

      And that’s how the MSM often exercises balance, providing 2 different/opposing views, while giving one view higher status, & hence making them seem the more credible view.

      • Poission 10.2.1

        Extreme events are one of the most difficult areas of study, due to the inability to correctly model time ( the required length of observations ) and its recurrence or return path by frequency or probabilistic methods.

        Kantz 2005 defined Extreme Events as

        Extreme events (i) are rare, (ii) they occur irregularly, (iii) they exhibit
        an observable that takes on an extreme value, and (iv)they are inherent to the system under study, rather than being due to external shocks.

        This was also the definition used by Ghil 2011 and the comprehensive review on EE and the underlying problems.

        That there is perceptions in that the frequency of say EE to have increased is more psychological then statistical and is unhelpful at best.

        Ghil 2011 is an important paper,

        http://www.nonlin-processes-geophys.net/18/295/2011/npg-18-295-2011.html

      • kiwicommie 10.2.2

        Watch as the government uses this event as it did the Christchurch Earthquake, and as it does just as little for the people of Auckland as it did for the people of Christchurch. The MSM will claim that John Key is a hero and saved city x, when in reality he does very little if anything at all as John Key hates Keynesian economics with a vengeance; just like other Chicago Boy acolytes.

  11. Jenny 11

    The iceberg has struck and the Labour Party and the Green Party are keeping themselves busy by advocating for the rights of the stokers and engineers aboard NZS Titanic. So busy in fact that they have forgotten to do anything about the looming disaster about to entomb every section of shipboard society.

    When will the Green Party take action?

    Why won’t the Green Party call an all party inquiry into Climate Change similar to the one they called with Labour over manufacturing?

  12. Steve Wrathall 12

    Bodies not even cold but already the climate vultures are out, trying to use this tragedy to push their command-and-control economic fetishes.

    “It seems to me that the frequency of these extreme weather events is increasing.”

    “It seems to me..” is no substitute for scientific analisis which shows no such trend. All that is happening is we’re all getting older. Everything seems to happen more frequently: birthdays, elections, the Olympics…

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    ‘Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19410723-34-27’ Hi y’all and welcome to Sunday Reading. Here’s a collection of stuff I found interesting over the week. Please add your links in the comments below. Whoops, we forgot to build housing. During ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    2 days ago
  • Sunday reading 28 August 2016
    ‘Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19410723-34-27’ Hi y’all and welcome to Sunday Reading. Here’s a collection of stuff I found interesting over the week. Please add your links in the comments below. Whoops, we forgot to build housing. During ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    2 days ago
  • 2016 SkS Weekly News Roundup #35
    A chronological listing of the news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. Sun Aug 21, 2016 91,000 Electric Cars Sold In Europe In 1st Half Of 2016 by James Ayre, Clean Technica, Aug ...
    3 days ago
  • Guest Post: Rail Safety Week – A HSEQ Perspective
    This is a guest post from Harriet.  Recently we have had Rail Safety Week, the aim was to increase awareness of level crossings and their danger. Unfortunately we have had many deaths and injuries, with countless more near misses over ...
    Transport BlogBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • A wheely suitcase in Europe #6: San Sebastian to Gijon
    After four nights in San Sebastian, Basque we journeyed further west to Gijon, Asturias. Again we decided to use BlaBlaCar, mainly because the alternative rail and bus journeys were slower and more expensive respectively. The route we took is illustrated below, which as you ...
    Transport BlogBy Stu Donovan
    3 days ago
  • PFLP statement on Bilal Kayed hunger strike victory
    Support from the Palestinian people and international solidarity were key to this victory The following statement was released by the PFLP on Wednesday: The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine announced the suspension of the hunger strike of Comrade ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Report Shows Whopping $8.8 Trillion Climate Tab Being Left for Next Generation
    This is a re-post from Common Dreams by Lauren McCauley "We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children," is an oft-quoted proverb, frequently used to explain the importance of environmental preservation. Unsaid, however, is ...
    4 days ago
  • Glasgow Celtic fans defy UEFA, step up support for Palestinians
    Taken from The Electronic Intifada (see our links section): Glasgow Celtic fans have launched a fundraiser to match any fine that Europe’s ruling football body, UEFA, will give the Scottish club for an expression of Palestine solidarity at a recent ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    frogblogBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: It’s Carter/Docherty Day; or three short – and wholly unrelated – things
    I’m big on making sure voters know how to make the best use of their votes at elections, so last week I went along to the Transparency International Mayoral Forum.After short-opening statements, the candidates were asked about governance, and avoiding ...
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Just because it’s been done before doesn’t make it right
    Back in March I wrote this post in which I expressed scepticism about Auckland Transport's rationale for having a by-law that prohibits the display of election advertising anywhere that is visible from a road, except for the 9 weeks before an ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • National Poetry Day
    I discussed this celebration with friends at lunch and somehow none of them had heard of 19th Century Scottish poet William Topaz McGongall, widely celebrated as the worst poet of all time: he seems roughly cognate to Tommy Wiseau. Here ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    4 days ago
  • National Poetry Day
    I discussed this celebration with friends at lunch and somehow none of them had heard of 19th Century Scottish poet William Topaz McGongall, widely celebrated as the worst poet of all time: he seems roughly cognate to Tommy Wiseau. Here ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    4 days ago
  • Sailing to the Arctic with the people who call it home
    The courageous Inuit community of Clyde River is standing up to protect their Arctic home from devastating seismic blasting.The circumpolar Arctic is home to four million people representing a diversity of cultures. As northerners, they share many connections, but in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why fixing your phone is one of the most empowering things you can do
    Like most people, I don’t go anywhere without my phone. In the morning, its shrill alarm rouses me from sleep. During the day it bobs between my ear, my hand, and my pocket. At night, I hunt for Pokémon before ...
    4 days ago
  • Microbeads: How did companies respond?
    Remember THIS video?Back in July, Greenpeace East Asia ranked 30 global companies to see how they measured in terms of their commitment to phasing out microbeads – the tiny terrors that are often found in shower gels and facial scrubs, ...
    4 days ago
  • Does your cafeteria serve ocean destruction?
    Every time you eat in a restaurant, hospital, airport, a university cafeteria, or at even at a rock concert, it is likely that you are eating food provided by a large foodservice company. Sea of Distress, a brand new Greenpeace ...
    4 days ago
  • My Arctic Home
    I live in Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River) in the Canadian Arctic. Most people have never heard of my town. It's 450km north of the Arctic Circle with a population of roughly 1,000. We are isolated from much of the world, but ...
    4 days ago
  • Up Front: I Swear, It’s True
    There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary.Fuck that noise.Research shows what people I would choose ...
    4 days ago
  • Up Front: I Swear, It’s True
    There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary.Fuck that noise.Research shows what people I would choose ...
    4 days ago
  • One less objection to Skypath
    Some great news yesterday that the main objector to Skypath, the Northcote Residents Association (NRA), has withdrawn their appeal against the project. That leaves just the Northcote Point Historic Preservation Society (NPHPS) – made up of many of the same people ...
    4 days ago
  • A Political King.
    Birds Of A Feather: If Edward VIII had been a less enamoured sex-slave to Wallis Simpson and a more convinced fascist, it is entirely possible that he could have completely upended the British constitution. Royal words, and deeds, still matter ...
    4 days ago
  • Polity: Key peddles cynical “interest rate avenger” fantasy
    This week in Parliament, John Key repeated one of the lines that looks to be central to its election campaign in 2017. As we’ll see, that word “lines” probably has one too many n’s in it. Anyway, here it is:Rt ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: The Gaffer Departs
    My friend Simon Grigg this week announced something I've known for a while – that he's stepping down from his role as creative director at Audioculture. It is, literally, to spend more time with his family: Simon and his wife ...
    4 days ago
  • Places to go, people to be
    Nothing from me today - I'm off to Christchurch for Phoenix, their annual larp convention. Normal bloggage will resume Monday, once I've caught up. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Is There Something Wrong With Aussie Sport?
    Is There Something Wrong with Aussie Sport? The news that Australian Olympians returning from Rio have been given a hard time by the Australian media and public for the alleged paucity of their medal haul will, sadly, have come as ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Pencilsword: I can’t draw horses
    ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand – we’re in the sh*t
    . . “…We should always measure a Government’s environmental rhetoric against its environmental record.” – John Key, 7 September 2008 . . ref . In September 2008, one month before the general election, National’s leader addressed the party’s “Bluegreen* Forum“, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago

  • Disability sector is in a ‘slow burning crisis’
    Disability advocates say the sector is in crisis and broken, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “A roundtable at Parliament organised by the Labour Party, heard today how National has left disability services chronically underfunded. ...
    18 hours ago
  • NZ fisheries depend on the environment – they should protect it
    The attitude of the fishing industry and the National Government to our oceans, and the life within it, still amazes me. Like many New Zealanders, I find it perplexing that an industry which depends entirely on the long-term health of ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    19 hours ago
  • Bigger is not always better with local government reform
    I have written previously about the overwhelming opposition expressed by local councils and community members to the latest Local Government reforms.  The Select Committee heard more submissions this week, specifically about some of the unintended consequences that may arise from ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    2 days ago
  • Government must review state sector retirement investment
    The State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme has no business investing in companies which manufacture cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines and nuclear weapons, Labour MP and Parliamentarians for Global Action executive member Su’a William Sio says. “I endorse the call made by the ...
    3 days ago
  • Councils shouldn’t rush into Easter Trading
    City and district councils must ensure they don’t rush into trading on Easter Sunday ahead of local body elections next month, Labour’s Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “This decision must be taken seriously and only after extensive ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister can’t wash hands of illegal KiwiSaver investments
    The Minister responsible for appointing default KiwiSaver providers should take responsibility for ensuring they act legally, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The National Government has now had confirmed what they were told more than a week ago – that ...
    3 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Government railroading Maori Land Bill through
    Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell seems determined to railroad his Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill through despite the large number of submitters in opposition to the bill, says MP Meka Whaitiri, whose Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate contains nearly 30 per cent ...
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Government turns a blind eye to struggling sole parents
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Anne Tolley is seriously ...
    4 days ago
  • Time has come for state apology on abuse
    Labour is today calling on the Government to issue an apology for historic abuse in state institutions. Speaking after the launch of Elizabeth Stanley’s book “The Road to Hell; state violence against Children in Post-war New Zealand”, Labour’s Justice spokesperson ...
    4 days ago
  • It’s OK to have a few slaves, just not too many? Minimum wage loophole hasn’t gone away
    New Zealand still needs legislation to ensure adult New Zealanders are not exploited by being taken on as contractors for less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, says Labour list MP David Parker.  “My Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment ...
    4 days ago
  • Lessons from the Future of Work Commission: Building Wealth from the Ground Up
    Good morning, and thank you for attending today’s Future of Work Seminar here in Wellington. I want to particularly acknowledge Beth Houston who has spent many hours pulling together the programme for today’s event, and to Olivier and the staff ...
    4 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    5 days ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    5 days ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    5 days ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    5 days ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    6 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    6 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    6 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    7 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    7 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    1 week ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    2 weeks ago

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