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Cancun: No will to save ourselves

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, November 27th, 2010 - 51 comments
Categories: climate change, International, leadership - Tags: , ,

The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference — the Copenhagen Summit — was one year ago. Great things were expected. There was a sustained media build up, including a carefully timed and completely spurious attack on climate science. There was debate and activism. World leaders were in attendance and great things were expected. And then it all ended in pretty miserable failure. Whatever hope remained for a workable agreement on action to combat climate change was punted to the future, to this year, to Cancun.

On Monday the 2010 conference — the Cancun Summit — begins in Mexico. Did you know? Have you seen the media build up? Is there the same sense of urgency and hope that preceded Copenhagen? No. Cancun is flying almost below the radar:

Twelve months ago, world leaders were preparing to converge on Copenhagen to hopefully put the finishing touches to a global agreement on climate change. The whole thing fizzed.

Next Monday, negotiators head to Cancun in Mexico to try again. This time, expectations are much lower.

Parties have been meeting on and off all year, going over the same ground time and time again. Realistically, the best that can be expected at Cancun is for last year’s Copenhagen Accord to be brought into the official negotiating text and for progress in important areas, such as financing climate change work in third world countries

Expectations are “much lower”. “Realistically” all that can be expected is tweaking round with last year’s inadequate and ineffectual non-binding agreement. This is beyond pathetic.

There will be no global agreement at Cancun and there is unlikely to be one in December next year in South Africa. As the pressure goes on to reach an agreement, one can only hope that common sense prevails and New Zealand does not sign up to something, either global or bilateral, that damages our economy more than our competitors’.

And that is beyond stupid. Does it really need saying again? Without the environment there is no fucking economy. Not for us, not for anyone. Even on purely economic terms it makes much more sense to incur some costs now to reduce climate change, because the costs to the economy if we don’t are going to be overwhelming (see Stern Review). But look beyond economic terms, climate change is going to be a catastrophe.

Future historians, if any, will I think look back on Copenhagen as the moment that we failed. Seems like it’s going to be down hill from here. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that we lack the will to save ourselves.

51 comments on “Cancun: No will to save ourselves”

  1. vto 1

    r0b, did you use the ‘f’ word in your post? That’s a bit naughty. Thought that’s just what us naughty kids did..

    Re the post, imo only a fool will rely on politicians to save the world. While trying to reverse / prevent suchclimate change we should at the same time prepare to live with the changes to come.

  2. At least now Key and Smith can go over and smugly tell them how we’re single handedly saving the planet with our world leading Emissions Trading Scheme….PFFFFFT

    • RedLogix 2.1

      Yeah right… so you’re going to wait for someone else to do it for you. …PFFFFTTT yourself.

      • pollywog 2.1.1

        do what ?.. create another tradeable bubble of fake assets for fatcats to get richer off the poor by ?

        i say party like there’s no tomorrow and go for broke if you want to cos it’s not gonna make one bit of difference how many trees we plant, plastic bottles we recycle or how much shit a cow produces

        the damage is done and all hope now rests with an energy source some can only just begin to think about.

        think global act local nah fuck that, think local act local…FUCK THE WORLD !!!

        save yourself and your family if you can…by any means neccessary

        • Bill 2.1.1.1

          Would “any means necessary” involve a revolution that targets, not the authorities that preside over us, but the market economy they protect and promote and that is the cause of all this?

          I’d hope so. And I’m realistic enough to realise that in the first instance people would probably merely replace the market with a command economy. And although that might be a good enough mechanism for making sure that destructive economic activities cease and cease quickly, it will provide us with the booby prize of a political dictatorship…which will require that we engage in a further revolution.

          • pollywog 2.1.1.1.1

            Would “any means necessary” involve a revolution that targets, not the authorities that preside over us, but the market economy they protect and promote and that is the cause of all this?

            uhhh…does this count ?

            http://dissensus.com/showthread.php?10019-Lets-revolt-!!!

            :)

            • Bill 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, nah.
              That revolution happened in about 1982 for me. Still waiting for all youze all to catch up.

              • Colonial Viper

                You are legendary. Have a Speights on me.

                • Bill

                  Legendary? Dunno ’bout that. No decapitalising option from about ’82 onwards…

                  As for Speights? Piss poor doesn’t require being piss tasteless to boot now, does it?

              • pollywog

                it’d still be interesting to see if one can create a concerted global social media campaign to force a run on the banks.

                collapse the banks, collapse the market, collapse the gov’ts, collapse the system…then what ?

                what’s gonna fill the vaccuum ?

                • Bill

                  I put up a post about that the other day So Sport and Politics Should be Kept Separate. Admittedly it wasn’t too clear that was what it was about unless you clicked through the link to the youtube video of Eric Cantona’s interview.

                  December 8th this year is apparently the ‘big day’.

                  I put the post up more because it struck me as unusual that one of the world’s most famous footballers should be speaking out on political matters and advocating revolution than for any other reason.

                  I mean, how do you run down to the bank and withdraw your overdraft?

                  • pollywog

                    looks like Cantona and them froggy bastiches have been jacking my shit :)

                    the key to playing it out is to build momentum over a longer period and play the numbers game by picking an auspicious date and tapping into a wider cultural vein

                    20/12/2012…the end of the age of motion and the dawn of the age of light in line with the mayan calender and to celebrate a galactic equinox might tip the balance and give it the critical mass protests need to force real change.

                    I mean, how do you run down to the bank and withdraw your overdraft?

                    you don’t…you run to the bank and withdraw someone elses flush account instead but if you could do it online…then hmmmm :)

  3. oscar 3

    Im sticking to my principles on this, in that the leading ‘authority’ the IPCC being government funded is seen as the most credible source. In fact, the only reason why we’re all chicken little-ing ourselves is that for time in recorded history humans are watching a balancing act of sorts take place within nature.
    I see from todays dompost that England is already experience unusual snowfall this early into Winter. Whos to bet that this Winter will be their hardest in more than 30 years? Last year was their hardest in 30, will this be their hardest in 50 years?
    I personally reckon that the arctic will freeze again, but not for another 100 or so years, at least not until the current ice has all melted.
    Conversely, Antarctica is experiencing increased ice cover, and colder summer temperatures.
    Like I keep saying, the science isn’t proven, and it’s all based on hypotheses. Not proven results. Even the historical records point to ‘something’ happening, but it’s unclear just what exactly.
    On the upside, at least this new ‘faith based religion’ is certainly encouraging us to be more sustainable in terms of what we produce and consume, which I’m all for.
    And fwiw, I’m not a denier. I accept that the climate is changing, I just don’t accept this new religion we’re all being asked to believe in.
    Faith: that CO2 is the leading cause of global warming and cutting emissions will save us all.
    Fear: hell on earth. Boiling seas, drowned cities etc
    Saviour: Ourselves.
    All hallmarks of a new religion. Christianity out. Climatica In.

    • Bill 3.1

      oscar. You write : “Like I keep saying, the science isn’t proven, and it’s all based on hypotheses. Not proven results. Even the historical records point to ‘something’ happening, but it’s unclear just what exactly.”

      Every major scientific academy in the world, and all the peer-reviewed literature, says global warming denialism is a pseudo-science,on a par with Intelligent Design, homeopathy, or the claim that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. One email from one lousy scientist among tens of thousands doesn’t dent that. No: the debate is between the scientists who say the damage we are doing is a disaster, and the scientists who say it is catastrophe.

      And besides, seems to me the post is about the politics of climate collapse, not the science of it.

      • oscar 3.1.1

        Yet the science itself is psuedo science based largely on hypothetical notions.
        If we’re talking about the politics of what to do, then it seems to me that there needs to be a real and frank discussion, from all sides of the political spectrum instead of just leaping blindly into the latest faith based ‘science’
        What will we say if in 20 years it turns out that oops, the banning of CFCs did more to combat the cause of global warming, and as such, the political will surrounding CO2 is less able to come to a consensus as after all, it is one of the most natural gases in our atmosphere, making up less than 1% of the atmospheric layer surrounding earth. I have stated before that CO2 levels do affect plant life and biodiversity as CO2 is a major building block for all life. Of course my horticulture degree probably means jack now given that we were led to believe that in a controlled greenhouse environment, a reduction in CO2 led to a reduction in leaf growth.
        Captcha: increase. How apt given we should probably be increasing CO2 levels, not less. The current 391ppm level is still well below what has been previously experienced, particularly when ice sheets started retreating some 10k years ago.

        • lprent 3.1.1.1

          What exactly do you proper to do to make the science non ‘hypothetical’? Wait for it to play out s you can write a paper explaining that it was out on the fifth decimal place?

          You’re a bit of a science dingbat aren’t you – by your definition all science and engineering is ‘hypothetical’. According to you it appears that science is only ‘real’ is when it is history. Science is about predicting events but according to you it is seems to be all about documenting disasters..

        • lprent 3.1.1.2

          Plants aren’t constrained by a lack of CO2. They are constrained by nutrients, water, and tempatures. Why bother mentioning something so irrelevant?

        • Bill 3.1.1.3

          Science is evidence based. First a hypothesis is proposed and then empirical evidence either backs up the hypothesis or doesn’t.

          The hypothesis was that CO2 emissions among others hanging around in the atmosphere would lead to general warming which would threaten the rhythm of seasons, result in extreme weather events and cause die back in various eco systems.

          The empirical evidence is that there is general warming, more extreme weather events (both in frequency and extent) and a rise in the rate of extinctions.

          But you seriously advocate more CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere?

        • Jeremy Harris 3.1.1.4

          making up less than 1% of the atmospheric layer surrounding earth.

          It’s is 0.039%… It’s the effect not the quantity that’s important, I think that is what the debate is all about – the effect of this amount…

        • Ari 3.1.1.5

          The definition of pseudoscience is theories that aren’t accepted by the scientific community or basis in the scientific method, so you’re dead wrong on both counts.

          If we end up being wrong about CFCs or global warming in 20 years, the scientists will be the first ones telling us. Why? Because they care about being right more than they care about being consistent. Almost all scientists have an amazingly high degree of integrity and frankly, I trust that research was conducted with good intentions when it’s done by peer-reviewed scientists, even if they make mistakes. We’re not talking about politicians here- most research that’s spin is conducted by political think-tanks or activist organisations, so don’t go trying to pass off climate science in that category. It’s not.

      • lprent 3.1.2

        Good point Bill. I should read the post rather then responding to such a daft denier sprouting all of the same worn out disproven lines from watts up

    • lprent 3.2

      Climate change means exactly that. There are shifts in climate patterns.

      In the case of the arctic it means that is a lot warmer, but that also means climate shift is is pushing more cold air into more temperate zones. That is what happened weather wise last year – the tempature anomaly maps were quite clear.

      Antarticia has a different set of climate shifts going on. It a continent, so the different effects showing in different places. Some parts of the east are having more snow fall indicating more water vapour (bad sign), whereas the all important WAIS appears to have mass wasting. But the climate changes are happening there as well.

      Stopping co2 emissions won’t stop the climate changes already running. What it will do is to reduce the likelihood that they trigger a runaway event like the release of methyl hydrates or a shift in something like gulf stream or WAIS breaking up.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Your problem, oscar, is that the science is pretty much settled (better than 95% proved). Has been for quite some time now. Humans are causing global climate change through our unregulated use of fossil fuels and destruction of the environment.

      • Ari 3.3.1

        That’s really a horrible way of putting it. Science doesn’t settle, it just becomes increasingly unlikely that a new theory that doesn’t incorporate the old one in some way will pop up. (Relativity, for instance, was a great theory because it needed to be encompassed in subsequent descriptions of physics) We could be wrong about climate science- in fact, the revision of the possible consequences suggests we’re not exactly “right” yet.

        The important part is that there isn’t a truly competing theory that has passed peer review, which effectively means all the climate change deniers have been laughed out of town because their ideas were so full of holes. If someone can come up with a competing theory that explains the data better, I’m willing to hear it and climate scientists will be, too. The problem is that nobody’s got any serious ideas.

  4. anarcho 4

    Copenhagen also marked the failure of summit-hopping activism. After 20 minutes of pushing at fences thend crowds sat down on the road for a ‘popular assembly’ where they applauded each others speeches.

    Time to reject their authority (of both camps), decentralise, diversify and DIY.

    • Bill 4.1

      Agree with your sentiments anarcho, but prefer DIO ( ie Do It Ourselves…in concert, together, unfragmented) over DIY ( isolated, fragmented and ultimately inadequately)

  5. Bill 5

    Very good piece on Cancun by Johann Hari There Won’t Be A Bailout For The Earth

    The link provided in the post suggests that there is an expectation for “progress in important areas, such as financing climate change work in third world countries.”

    On the same matter, Hari writes that “everybody is backing off from one of the few concrete agreements at Copenhagen: to give the worst-affected countries $100bn from 2020. Privately, they say this isn’t the time..”

    And besides when Bangladesh, the 7th most heavily populated and the most densely populated country on earth has a carbon footprint equal to the Island of Manhatten. And when you consider that it’s fast sinking into the rivers and sea, questions arise over the whole notion of providing them with green technology. The poor are not the problem. Bangladesh and other ‘third world’ countries are not the problem. We are; the wealthy living in the ‘developed’ countries.

    On claims of inaction, I believe that Hari is closer to the mark when he writes that ; …”leaders are sometimes described as “doing nothing about global warming.” No doubt that form of words will fill the reporting from Cancun too. But it’s false. They’re not “doing nothing” – they are allowing their countries’ emissions of climate-trashing gases to massively increase. That’s not failure to act. It’s deciding to act in an incredibly destructive way.”

    I’d go further and contest that they complicit in the largest crime against humanity that humanity has ever seen.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      I’d go further and contest that they complicit in the largest crime against humanity that humanity has ever seen.

      and all at the behest of the psychopathic capitalists/corporations.

      • Bill 5.1.1

        I think it’s a wee bit more subtle than that. Capitalists or who-ever don’t have to make urgent demands of them. Market structures insist that certain types of action are defended and pursued.

        Beyond that, or because of that, you and I and ‘everyone’ else should be assuming a degree of responsibility too. The market also demands certain types of actions from us, and we comply.

        At the moment it seems to me that there are growing numbers of people not altogether comfortable or are becoming more aware of the intricacies of this mess we’re in. Trouble is, most people feel hopelessly entangled and either can’t figure a way out, or lack the motivation to find a way out, that would preserve their well being.

        It might compare to a war situation where, instead of refusing to sign up or risk the consequences of going AWOL, most of us are on the battle field where a growing sizeable minority are firing their guns but refusing to take aim or deliberately mis-aiming. Problem is that, that tactic is not enough to end the bloodshed. Our mere presence continues to lend credence to what is happening, or at best does nothing to stop what is happening.

        We need to be conscientious objectors. The market, like a war cannot continue if no-body is taking part.

        A very, very hard, but necessary row to hoe.

    • KJT 5.2

      Right on. It is not the third world who need to reduce their carbon foot print. It is us.

      Then we need to leave the third world room to improve their standard of living!

  6. Bill 6

    Got a little time to kill, so…

    1 million 600 thousand people live in Manhattan.

    162 million 220 thousand people live in Bangladesh.

    And the total carbon footprint of Bangladesh is comparable to that of Manhattan.

    Meanwhile, 4 million 388 thousand people live in New Zealand.

    In 2007 emissions were:

    7.72 metric tonnes of CO2 per person per year in NZ

    19.34 metric tonnes of CO2 per person per year in the US (Manhattan)

    0.28 metric tonnes of CO2 per person per year in Bangladesh.

    Lost me calculator, so on the back of an envelope…

    It takes 29 Bangladeshi’s to produce the CO2 emissions of 1 New Zealander. Or put another way, our combined CO2 emission is equivalent to that produced by over 40% of the seventh most populated and most densely populated country on earth.

    So, next time somebody claims that there is no point in NZ doing too much about CO2 cause we are so insignificant…?

    • burt 6.1

      So we should live like Bangladeshi’s then ? OMG, NZ is almost twice the land area of Bangladesh so we would need to cram 324 million 440 thousand people into NZ.

      • clandestino 6.1.1

        Haha yeah, you’ve got to laugh. Are you saying we cut back to Bangladeshi levels, so we can both live in equally depressing poverty?

        • KJT 6.1.1.1

          No. Just that we waste a lot less, so the Bangladeshi’s can live better.

          • burt 6.1.1.1.1

            Diminishing returns and unintended consequences. We have less so Bangladeshi’s living conditions improve and their CO2 footprint escalates. Imagine the CO2 impact of lifting the Bangladeshi’s living standards to NZ levels. I’m not saying we shouldn’t donate to poorer nations and improve their living standards, just doing that will probably increase global CO2 emissions.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m not saying we shouldn’t donate to poorer nations and improve their living standards, just doing that will probably increase global CO2 emissions.

              So the question is – are western countries willing to cut back on their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in order to let the people in developing countries have a fairer slice of the world’s resource pie? Well the short answer is, off course not, don’t be stupid.

              • KJT

                The sad thing is,, if the will was there we could probably still live at a good standard while reducing our emissions enough to raise the standard of living in Bangladesh, without increasing overall emissions.

                Have to give up the Beamer, but the bach is still possible, because that comes from sustainable resources.

            • Bill 6.1.1.1.1.2

              It’s not about ‘more’ and ‘less’, it’s about fundamentally different. The yardstick of comparative difference based on material consumption needs to be smashed up and thrown away. Which means – just to spell it out – that we need to stop measuring our lives on how much we consume as though that was a measure of meaningful wealth or well being.

              Or maybe you’d rather settle for the comparative advantage of that gin and tonic…

        • Bill 6.1.1.2

          Haha yeah, you’ve got to laugh. Are you saying we carry on being proliferate wasters of resources and guzzlers of bullshit so that we go down with a gin and tonic while Bangladeshi’s go down with a cup of chai? Way to prove supremacy.

      • Bill 6.1.2

        Nope. I think my point was pretty obvious. We are told time and again that NZ is just a wee country and so what we do doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things. Patently false.

        • pollywog 6.1.2.1

          yeah but…we don’t seem to collectively give a shit about alleviating poverty and inequality in our own country or addressing the causes for it from a Pasifikan perspective, so to expect us to give a shit about a billion sub continental Asians living in squalor and a shitload more starving and diseased Africans is a bit rich.

          29 people dying in a mine to support fossil fuelled big business is a tragedy, 40 000 kids dying a day from malnutrition is a statistic.

          you only have to look at Haiti and it’s cholera outbreak to see how much we care now.

          http://pollywannacracka.blogspot.com/2010/01/counterfactualising-colonial-racism.html

          where’s Mike McRoberts saving the world one little girl at a time now ?…pining on some street corner in Greymouth looking sombre as. I can just hear him now. “Right, camera’s off, who’s shout is it ?”

          Maybe he should do a follow up story on that little girl and see if the broken arm he saved her from has ended in her dying miserably from cholera ?

          • Bill 6.1.2.1.1

            Who is the ‘we’ who don’t give a shit?

            Is it the manufactured ‘we’ that is presented to us by media etc that, funnily enough, coincides with the sentiments of elites? Is it the fabricated consensus of ‘we’ that serves to excuse the deleterious effects of capitalist systems? Is it the deliberate smokescreen to perception of ‘we’ that encourages inaction on the grounds that the cause of various horrors are somehow natural, or as the result of specific ethnic or historical ‘fucked uppedness’ and so have nothing whatsoever to do with the dynamics of Capitalism?

            Or is it the real we; us and our neighbours, friends and workmates and the tiny spark deep inside that constitutes the fundamental human sentiment and feeling we hold in spite of the endless propaganda that seeks to nullify us and have us rendered hopeless?

            • pollywog 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Who is the ‘we’ who don’t give a shit?

              ‘we’ as in the majority of registered voters who voted in these clowns and look set to vote them in again next year for lack of a viable alternative…

              if ‘we’ give these pricks another mandate to pull the wool over our eyes again then ‘we’ deserve everything we get shafted with afterwards

              look, it’s one thing to give a shit and another to be fucked doing anything about and it’s not that i don’t give a fuck, it’s that i give too much of one :)

    • burt 6.2

      Oh by the way, If everyone buys 3 ha of farm land and lets it return to native bush the NZ people would be soaking up -1.28 metric tonnes of CO2 per year. Then we would each carry enough carbon credit for about 5 Bangladeshi’s.

      Source: http://www.ebex21.co.nz/faq.asp

      How much carbon dioxide is sequestered by a hectare of regenerating native forest?

      This has been estimated for a range of regenerating forest types in New Zealand and also varies with local conditions such as species mixture, temperature and rainfall. On average, across many mixtures and a range of localities, the PFSI uses a default sequestration rate of 3 tonnes CO2e/ha/yr to set the level of AAU allocation.

  7. MrSmith 7

    Lets face it the name less, face less, conscious-less corporations that are running the world plus throw in the deluded religious and the US militarily, this lot don’t like change or loss of profits, I don’t expect any change till it is to late but this time we won’t be able to undo the damage, I am an optimist normally but people mostly want instant gratification or thats what the consumer driven capitalist society would have us believe, we can’t even save for our retirement let alone deal with this. Someone suggested to me stock up on guns and ammunition, I hope it doesn’t come to that, but unless we have a revolution I see little hope for future generations. Bring on the revolution

  8. belladonna 8

    The biggest impact on climate change is caused by livestock – save the plant, go vegan.

  9. MrSmith 9

    Here is a little gem a friend sent me. ‘Corporate sustainability is like teenage sex. Everybody talks about it. Nobody does it very much. And when they do, the don’t do it very well.’ (Joel Makower)

    • pollywog 9.1

      ‘Corporate sustainability is like teenage sex. every old man in his right mind wants to do it but it can cost more than its worth to try’

  10. john 10

    British scientists at Cancun warn that up to a billion people could lose their homes to climate change by the end of this century, refer link:

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/11/28

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  • That was Then, This is Now #24 – Key challenges Cunliffe – then doesn...
    .     . This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 16 April 2014.   Previous related blogpost That was Then, This is Now #23 – Bolger breaks election promise AND predicts the future! References TVNZ News: Key...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-04
  • Herald confirms our electric trains are quiet
    The Herald yesterday ran a story on just how quiet the new electric trains are. In a polar opposite there was a lot of noise on twitter about how the article was initially presented but after getting past that it...
    Transport Blog | 22-04
  • ‘I told ya so’ of the day, Shane Jones edition
    I got a bit of stick during the Labour leadership contest for my criticism of Shane Jones, so I have to indulge myself a little here. Now that we know this contender for the leadership of the Labour Party was...
    DimPost | 22-04
  • Warning to Labour; the heretic hunters are driving people away
    And Labour cannot keep Shane Jones and the people who support him unless it looks like a party capable of winning, and that means a party that is inclusive, focused on jobs, better pay, and on celebrating opportunities for all...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • Coalitionally speaking – a look at scenarios on the right
    Back on my previous post, Alex Coleman asked me to stop looking at potential government variants on the left and look at what a National-led government would look like, especially (at least this is what I took him to mean)...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • Here we may see what Men for Stealth and Robbing must endure …
    It seems a bit odd to be devoting a post to a policy proposal coming from a party with just 0.5% support in the opinion polls - a bit like taking seriously United Future's crowing over the victory it has just...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • Keeping up with the Joneses pretty damn hard actually
    28/3/2014: Editorial: can Shane Jones save the Labour Party? 13 hours ago: Nat man co-funded Jones’ Labour bid 6 hours ago: Shane Jones’ loyalties questioned 19s: Shane Jones quitting – National creating role for him ‘Pacific Economic Ambassador’ Seriously, the...
    The little pakeha | 22-04
  • John Key Aspires to Mediocrity
    The Prime Ministers of New Zealand who have had lasting respect are the ones who have stood up on the global stage on points of principle. While we may be a small country and almost insignificant in a population sense,...
    Local Bodies | 22-04
  • Photo of the day: Problem not a lack of roads
    This photo from Lennart Nout on Twitter today of the morning peak shows that the problem with traffic in Auckland isn’t a lack of roads. During the off peak and during times like school holidays there is more than enough capacity available...
    Transport Blog | 22-04
  • Climate dollars and sense – preventing global warming is the cheap option
    The IPCC has now released all three of the reports that comprise its 2014 Fifth Assessment of climate science. The first report tackled the physical changes in the global climate, while the second addressed climate impacts and adaptation, and the...
    Skeptical Science | 22-04
  • What ACT’s Jamie Whyte could learn from Albert Einstein
      stuff.co.nz   In a remarkable coincidence two Essex district court judges are arrested on the same night for riding their bicycles without lights. On the following morning they turn up at court to answer the charges. “Well, this is...
    Brian Edwards | 22-04
  • Australia’s lawless gulag
    When a reugee was murdered at its Manus Island gulag in February, the Australian government tried to blame the victims and pretend that its prisoners were responsible for the violence. Since then, we've learned that the opposite was the case,...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • John Key hates transparency
    Over the weekend, the Greens proposed greater Ministerial transparency, with quarterly public declarations of meetings, overseas travel, gifts and hospitality. Its a great idea, which would help restore confidence in our system of government. So naturally, John Key opposes it:Prime...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Access: Who Are Disabled New Zealanders?
    Disabled people are part of every community and grouping in New Zealand. However, most surveys do not ask about us, and we’re poorly understood for various reasons. Let’s start fixing that together.How manyOfficial Census results every five years or so...
    Public Address | 22-04
  • The GCSB has a credibility problem
    Last month, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden gave evidence to the European Parliament, in which he revealed that the NSA were "advising" their "partners" on how to interpret mass-surveillance-enabling "loopholes" into their spy-laws. New Zealand was specifically mentioned as having received...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Green bonds set to help finance green economy
    Twenty-five of the world’s largest banks – including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley – recently released the governance framework for a green bond market which is seeing billions of dollars...
    frogblog | 22-04
  • Mahurangi Matters on the Puhoi Warkworth Board of Inquiry
    To date there has been limited media coverage on the Puhoi Warkworth Board of Inquiry. Fortunately Karyn Scherer, from the local Warkworth newspaper Mahurangi Matters, is one of the few reporters attending the BoI.  She writes in her opinion piece:...
    Transport Blog | 22-04
  • Porn and Politics in the US of A
    What is with Kansas? My former colleague at UCLA Seth Masket, writing at The Mischeifs of Faction, has published a graph he made which compares per-capita usage of online porn to vote shares in the last Presidential election. Because... why...
    Polity | 22-04
  • New Fisk
    Another ‘sham’ election is over, so what now for Algeria?The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money...
    No Right Turn | 21-04
  • Shane Jones confirms everyone’s suspicions
    So, it turns out that Shane Jones' campaign for the Labour leadership was funded by a Nat. Which is hardly surprising - the loudest voices talking up Jones' ability and "leadership potential" have always been on the right. But actually...
    No Right Turn | 21-04
  • Nerdy praise for The Nation
    A lot of the attention heaped on our current affairs shows is all about the interviews. But the investigative reports on TV3's The Nation are making really good moves to bring more actual evidence to New Zealand's discussion of current...
    Polity | 21-04
  • The Greens Stand Alone
    Earth's Last Champion: The history of the twenty-first century will be shaped by an increasingly bitter struggle between the two great remaining “metanarratives” – Neoliberalism and Ecologism. If the Greens did not exist as a political option we would have...
    Bowalley Road | 21-04
  • The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change
    The combination of a recently acquired desktop video magnifier and a kindle has for the time being restored some ease to my reading. Hence this review. I was drawn by the title The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change: Values,...
    Hot Topic | 21-04
  • Fluoridation: putting chemical contamination in context
    Anti-fluoridation activists often claim fluoridating chemicals used for water treatment are contaminated with heavy metals and radionuclides. I have written about this before in Fluoridation – are we dumping toxic metals into our water supplies?, Water treatment chemicals – why pick on fluoride? and Hamilton –...
    Open Parachute | 21-04
  • Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs
    That we have a trade in synthetic cannabinomimetics is not, as most of the country currently seems to believe, a consequence of the Psychoactive Substances Act passing last July. That business existed before July and, indeed, was substantially larger and looser....
    Public Address | 21-04
  • Boyd-Wilson
    Don’t get raped. That’s essentially what the message has been, the last few days. The Boyd-Wilson path is pretty notorious in Wellington and it’s in the news again with two attacks committed there in as many days. The police response...
    The little pakeha | 21-04
  • I am still holding out for a three-way
    David, Winston, and the Greens up a tree. G O V E R N I N G. Some of the commentary over Easter has focused on a supposed strategic conundrum for the Greens. If Peters is in a position to...
    Polity | 21-04
  • How rail was saved in Auckland
    Next Monday will be a historic day for transport in Auckland as for the first time the city will have electric trains carrying fare paying passengers. Electrifying the rail network is something that has been talked about for 90 years,...
    Transport Blog | 21-04
  • What makes a national day? Not the Anzacs
    There will be much talk on Friday of “national identity”. Just one year short of the original baptism of the Anzacs, jingoism will be in fashion. Some will say, and many will think, it is our real national day. The...
    Colin James | 21-04
  • Another report won’t help the East Coast
    The Government has a critical role to play in regional development on the East Coast says Gisborne-based Labour MP Moana Mackey “The release of the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study highlights a number of areas of strength and weakness...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Another interest rate hike will punish mortgage holders
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says another interest rate hike on Thursday will cost home owners an extra $25 a month on a $250,000 mortgage, on top of the $25 dollars a month from the previous rates rise, and she...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Green Party launches Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill
    The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand's first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party.Members of the public will be invited to shape the proposed law, which will protect ten basic rights and...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Sanil Kumar has to leave New Zealand tomorrow
    The Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye’s decision not to intervene means kidney transplant patient Sanil Kumar must leave New Zealand by tomorrow, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad. “Kumar, a plumber and sheet metal worker, was on a work visa...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Time to do the right thing for our veterans
    A Labour government will adopt the Law Commission’s recommendation to ensure all war veterans are eligible for a Veteran’s Pension, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Veterans are only eligible for the pension if they are considered ‘significantly’ disabled, or more...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Public servant is owed an apology
    Nigel Fyfe is owed an apology from the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “The former MFAT official has now been restored to a position in the Ministry...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Laws for enforcing not trading off
    The idea that a Government department can give a nod and a wink to traders that it won’t enforce shop trading laws and for a Government MP to then claim it as grounds for a review of the law is...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Opportunity for new blood in Māori politics
    Labour MP Shane Jones’ news of retirement from Parliament yesterday got some korero happening alright. From his staunch loyal supporters ardently praising his skills to those in fervent opposition and refusing to let his hour of glory go without a...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • We need to protect our rights online
    New Zealanders deserve the right to a thriving, open Internet which supports economic development, innovation and free speech. The Internet over the last twenty five years has changed everything; from how we communicate, how we buy and sell products and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • Turning Shane: How Murray McCully deprived Labour of Mr Jones
    THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF TRAITOR. The first is the person who betrays his country for a higher cause. The second betrays his country for money. The third betrays his country for the wrongs it has done him. By far...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • Why NZ needs a Digital Bill of Rights
    I’m glad the Greens have taken on board some of my suggestions for a NZ Digital Bill of Rights. October last year I blogged… what should a NZ Digital Bill of Rights look like? -freedom of online expression -freedom of...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • The blue collar cred smoko room mythology of Shane Jones as told by the msm
    So apparently, Shane Jones leaving is the end of the Labour Party. Yawn. Vernon Small screams, “Disarray. There is no other word to describe the mess the Labour Party plunged into last night” while John Armstrong predicts “resignation couldn’t have...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Flockton Floods Again
    Last week the Flockton Basin flooded again – the second time in six weeks.  And not just roads and land, but homes and garages.  Some people have been flooded multiple times since the earthquakes.  One couple, after the March flood...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The PI vote and political stunts
    The mainstream media got quite excited a couple of weeks ago when a number of Pasifika church leaders were photographed at the Manurewa markets wearing blue, Key-people t-shirts. The clergy pictured in those articles said that they had changed allegiance...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • EDUCANZ / EDUCAN’T
    Oh hello, select committee … sorry to interrupt your tea and bickies, but I have something on my mind that I really need to talk to you about. You see, word on the street is that you are planning to...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Why Waiariki and Epsom are so important this election
    Two of the lynchpin electorates that need to go the Opposition’s way if there is any chance of a Labour led Government are Waiariki and Epsom. Epsom is the only lifeline for ACT and if the 6000 progressive voters in...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • TV Review: Seven Sharp: third strike lucky
     More prophetic than anyone could imagine – Jesse in a coffin  Jesse Mulligan was the last of the original ill-fated trio to be dumped from Seven Sharp.  This happened last week with little notice given and less notice paid.  His removal was more inevitable than the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The Liberal Agenda 23rd-27th April
    The week is dominated by the launch of the NZ International Comedy Festival – our picks for the week are… WEDNESDAY 23rdSunrise Yoga on Queens Wharf 7am-8.15am Queens Wharf, 89 Quay Street (bottom of Queen Street) Free ********************************************************************* THURSDAY 24th5...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Shane Jones caption contest
    Shane Jones caption contest...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Helping Simon Bridges find the forest he lost
    Helping Simon Bridges find the forest he lost...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • On climate change denial
    On climate change denial...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Labour on manufacturing
    Labour on manufacturing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • When your National Party mates claim National are a better economic manager...
    When your National Party mates claim National are a better economic manager, show them this graph...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Introverts Unite (separately)
    Introverts Unite (separately)...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The problem with food
    The problem with food...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Why queues outside synthetic cannabis shop is proof regulation is working
    Latest moral panic on synthetic cannabis is that there were queues waiting for a store to open over Easter. Yawn. Before the Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA), there were up to 6000 venders and hundreds of different brands. Since regulation via the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Shane Jones resignation: Labour dodge a bullet & the Greens smile
    Best Friends Forever now Thank God Shane Jones is selling out and taking a job for National… Shane Jones to leave Labour, set to work with Murray McCully Shane Jones is quitting Parliament and the Labour Party, and there is...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The only one happy with ACTs new ’3 strikes’ for burglary will be priva...
    The great scholarly Grand Cleric of the libertarian right, Jamie Whyte, has come down from the mount with two stone tablets and sadly all he has is 3 strikes, not 10 commandments… Jail burglars after third offence, says Act Party...
    The Daily Blog | 21-04
  • Trade and Investment Agreements: Human Rights For Sale
    On March 29, many New Zealanders took to the streets in defense of democratic rights by opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). A week earlier, delegates from dairy unions from around the world (including the NZ Dairy Workers Union...
    The Daily Blog | 21-04
  • Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting polic...
    Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting police racism and injustice you were undefeated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Maori Party wine and dine invite
    Maori Party wine and dine invite...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget
    For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Never forget the GCSB lies
    Never forget the GCSB lies...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • The Empire strikes back
    The Empire strikes back...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • God bless capitalism
    God bless capitalism...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Drone killings erode social constraint on using violence
    The drone killing of an (unnamed) New Zealander in Yemen should prompt us to look at the ethics of this practice. We’re told from birth that murder is wrong. Yet drone killings (as conducted by the Obama administration) convey the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Labour’s first 100 days – where the messaging needs to be
    ‘The first 100 days’, an expression coined by President Roosevelt in 1933, is generally used to describe the successes and accomplishments of a government at the time when their power is greatest. During the 2008 election campaign, John Key issued...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Pharrell: a new brand of feminism?
    I think most people heard about how the song Blurred Lines featuring and co-written by Pharrell and performed by Robin Thicke (who has adeptly just been named “Sexist of the Year”) really pissed a lot of people off last year. ...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Total figures for campaign against alcohol fuelled violence
    The final total figures for the eighth police led Operation Unite: a Blitz on Drunken Violence was announced today by Jon White, CEO of the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA)....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • ACT’s proposal to further three-strikes policy short-sighted
    JustSpeak is calling out the ACT Party’s extension of the three-strikes policy as knee-jerk punitivism, political populism and based on a culture of fear, rather than evidence....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • InternetNZ pleased Green Party taking issues seriously
    InternetNZ is pleased to see the Green Party join Labour in having a serious discussion about online rights....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Age Concern calls for building accessibility for elderly
    Age Concern has made a submission strongly opposing the clause within the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill that exempts building owners from providing or improving building accessibility. The current Building Act 2004 clearly acknowledges...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Internet Rights & Principles Coalition: Internet Rights Bill
    The Internet Rights and Principles Coalition (IRP Coalition) of the UN Internet Governance Forum applaud the release of the NZ Green Party’s Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill for public consultation. The IRF Bill is a pioneering project for the internet...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Gender quotas should be a last resort
    The Institute of Directors in New Zealand (IoD), says introducing gender quotas is not the best solution to increase the number of women directors on New Zealand boards....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Taika Waititi lends support to #BeefWithBullies campaign
    Even if Chardonnay doesn’t like your Michael Jackson dance moves, that’s no reason for you to be made fun of. Renowned Kiwi director, Taika Waititi has pledged his support to the Mad Butcher’s anti-bullying campaign #BeefWithBullies. With...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Commissioner proposes limit on credit reporting charges
    The Privacy Commissioner, John Edwards, is proposing an amendment to the Credit Reporting Privacy Code that would limit what credit reporters can charge individuals wanting immediate access to their credit information....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Does ACC system provide access to justice asks UN
    The United Nations Committee responsible for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ("CRPD") has formally raised access to justice and other issues with the New Zealand Government. The Committee considered a report submitted...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Iwi concerned over future of country’s oldest wharenui
    An East Coast iwi says they are concerned the Crown has not made good on its promise to return their wharenui – the oldest meeting house in the country. “The Government promised to return our wharenui, now they are reneging,”...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • NZDF-Supported Anzac Day Commemorations in France, Belgium
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will be increasing its support for official and locally-run Anzac Day commemorations in France and Belgium this year with a 10 person contingent, including a Māori cultural element, from New Zealand as well...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Third National Māori Housing Conference set to take place
    Success stories in Māori Housing developments from around Aotearoa will be shared at a National Māori Housing Conference, to be held in Whanganui from May 1-3. Conference hosts the Whanganui Iwi Housing Forum and national umbrella organization Te Matapihi...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Partnership targets visitor safety on New Zealand roads
    Partnership targets visitor safety on New Zealand roads Tourism New Zealand, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Air New Zealand have joined forces to target Chinese tourists with important road safety messages before they get behind the wheel. A...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Renewable energy in the Pacific under EU-NZ Partnership
    European Commissioner Piebalgs and New Zealand Foreign Minister McCully depart on 23-27 April on a joint mission to the Pacific to see EU-NZ renewable energy and energy efficiency projects....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Disabled Community Further Marginalised by Proposed Bill
    Disabled Community Further Marginalised by Proposed Building Amendment Bill for Earthquake Prone Buildings to the Building Act....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Home loan affordability worsens by most in 12 years
    Home loan affordability worsens by most in 12 years as interest rates and house prices rise...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • ACT should abandon Three Strikes
    Rethinking Crime and Punishment is urging right wing politicians to do their homework before coming up with one-off “tough on crime – high on vengeance’ sentencing policies for which there is no evidence of success. He was responding to the...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Noho Hewa’: Visit of Native Hawaiian filmmaker
    Native Hawaiian filmmaker, Anne Keala Kelly, will be in Aotearoa New Zealand for two screenings of the award winning documentary 'Noho Hewa: the wrongful occupation of Hawai'i', a powerful portrayal of the multiple links between militarisation and...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Rural Contractors NZ hits the road during May
    Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) will be updating its members on the latest changes in health and safety, transport and employment laws – as well as other topics – in a series of roadshows being held around the country during...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill
    Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill Landlords and tenants should be alarmed at Labour MP Phil Twyford’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill that would immediately impose stringent requirements upon rental properties without defining those requirements,...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • US/New Zealand relationship best in thirty years
    US/New Zealand relationship best in thirty years. NZ well qualified for UN Security Council seat...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oxford University study says large dams are uneconomical
    Just in time for this week’s ASEAN Renewable Energy Week, new scientific results have questioned the economic viability of large dams. Calculations by the Bruno Manser Fund show that the Malaysian Bakun Dam scores even worse than the average large...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • ACT Speech: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail
    Last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries. According to the Treasury, for every 10 reported burglaries, there are another 12 that go unreported. This means there were more than 120,000 burglaries last year – or over 2000 a...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Derek Leask: Media Advisory Re: Nigel Fyfe MOJ Appointment
    Derek Leask yesterday 20 April 2014 made the following observations in response to a media enquiry about the recently announced appointment of Mr Nigel Fyfe, currently Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Justice (Legal and Operational Services and Legal...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oceans In The Spotlight At Election Year Oceans Forum
    The marine environment will be in the spotlight at an ‘Election Year Oceans Forum’ at Kelly Tarlton’s SEALIFE Aquarium on April 27 from 10.30-12.30. A panel of non-governmental advocates and scientists will outline challenges facing our seas, and MPs from...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
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