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Myth busting – reducing agricultural emissions

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, August 8th, 2011 - 60 comments
Categories: ETS, farming - Tags:

Here was Agriculture Minister David Carter on Q+A yesterday on whether National would bring agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme:

CARTER  We’ve signalled that we’re doing it in 2015. We’ve signalled we’ll do a review prior to that to make sure that there are feasible technologies available for farmers to manage to bring agricultural gases into an emissions trading scheme, and you’ve got the Labour Party campaigning on bringing it in in 2013, with or without solutions.

GUYON         Well, isn’t that fair enough? Why should the rest of us subsidise the farmers? Cos someone has to pay, and at the moment we’re subsidising the farmers. Why is that fair?

MR CARTER  Because New Zealand relies on agriculture for our very survival, so what we need to do is work hard, both here in New Zealand with science and internationally to find solutions.

GUYON         Aren’t you asking a lot, though, Minister? Because you’re saying that farming and farmers are such a big part of the economy, therefore we have to accept that we pay higher prices for milk and cheese at home – oh, and also we have to subsidise them when it comes to the emissions trading scheme. I mean, isn’t there a point where other New Zealanders are going to say, “Well, come on, you should pay your fair share”?

MR CARTER  Yes, they should, and that’s when there are solutions available. So at the moment, as Andrew Ferrier just mentioned, Fonterra, through its processing, is under the emissions trading scheme. Every farmer purchasing energy, purchasing fuel is in an emissions trading scheme. What you’re talking about is making the farmer pay for methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Now, let science find some solutions, and when those solutions are available so that we can still carry on producing agricultural products to export to the world, then is the time to make the farmers pay.

Despite saying ‘yes, we are planning to bring agriculture in’, it’s clear that National is setting up a line of ‘we want to bring them in but there’s no way for them to reduce emissions, so it’s not fair to charge them’. Carter repeatedly states that there’s no scientific solutions to reducing farm emissions. But it’s just not true. Indeed, agriculture is already reducing its emissions, especially when you look at the comparison between economic output and greenhouse pollution. (sources: MFE and Stats)

So, there you have it. Agriculture already can reduce its emissions while increasing economic output. An ETS will further incentivise that, and mean the rest of us aren’t subsidising farmers as much.

If National doesn’t want to make farmers partially pay their own way, it needs a more credible excuse.

– Bright Red

60 comments on “Myth busting – reducing agricultural emissions”

  1. vto 1

    Well, it must just about be the case that the farmers of NZ are net receivers of taxpayers largesse.

    It was recently revealed that they don’t pay much tax and that the working classes in the cities pay the most per head and thus pay for the rural roads, the rural schools and the rural medical services.

    Add these subsidies and voila, it may well be that they receive more than they pay.

    What were the benfits to NZ of the rural sector again?

  2. cowbell 2

    Why would ‘science’ come up with solutions when there is no demand (created by the ETS) for them?

    • mik e 2.1

      Just in case someone pretends theirs no problem. Dung. Most farmers will be better of if they managed their farms better.Most farms I’ve been on thats lot of farms, are very poorly managed. The have poorly trained staff under paid and over worked because there is a shortage of farm workers and even less skilled workers. Farmers when they get these workers isolated in the country ,treat there workers like bonded labour.Dairy farmers are the worst. they treat animals just the same. so for those reasons listed it would not take much to lift farm productivity in the dairy sector very much at all.Making sure staff are trained properly looked after properly will ensure productivity is improved. Don’t hold your breath though these farmers Don’t care. Don’t see these problems.

  3. Andrei 3

    The ETS is moronic enough but bringing Agriculture intro is just insanity.

    Listen: Virtually everything you eat is produced by farmers – no farmers => empty bellys

    The overseas funds that are used to pay for your IPhones and other yuppie toys are earned for the most part by FARMERS and FARMING.

    Do you really want to transfer rewards of their enterprise and work into the pockets of parasites?

    Wake up

    • vto 3.1

      Stuid line #1: “Listen: Virtually everything you eat is produced by farmers – no farmers => empty bellys”

      Oh no, all the farmers disappear and we will starve to death! Ignoramus. Here’s a couple of similar ones for you Andrei;

      Listen: Virtually every house a farmer lives in is built by a builder – no builders => no house and death by hypothermia.

      Listen: Virtually every farmer’s health is suported by the health system – no health system => ill health and early death = no farmers.

      Listen: Virtually every farmer was taught to read and write by a teacher – no teacher => no ability to sell in todays modern world.

      Stupid line #2: “The overseas funds that are used to pay for your IPhones and other yuppie toys are earned for the most part by FARMERS and FARMING.”

      No they are not. Provide some proof to show how farming paid for my non-existant iphone.

      You live in Federated Farmers dreamland.

      • Andrei 3.1.1

        Listen: Virtually every house a farmer lives in is built by a builder – no builders => no house and death by hypothermia.

        If you live in the Kalahari desert you spend virtually all your waking hours finding enough food to feed yourself and those who depend on you. There is nothing left over to trade for something else.

        Hence no way of paying a builder to build you a house and no way of paying a school teacher to to teach your children etc. Thus life for those people is impoverished and short.

        However if you produce more food than you need then you can exchange the surplus for things you don’t have and others do e.g. Bricks to build your house and the skills and labour to build it.

        Or someone to educate your kids etc.

        Our whole civiliztion is based upon the fact that agriculture produces many fold times the food required by the people who produce it and thus can support other people to do other valuable things in addition to a parasite class – Guyon Espiner being an example of such as well as clueless

        • vto 3.1.1.1

          You just don’t get it do you. Agriculture has not provided those advances – each entire society has. Go read some history on how different societies have advanced at different rates and why those differences came about. It has virtually nothing to do with the person on the plough and virtually everything to do with society’s macro settings, which are set in the city. Wake up.

          • Lets be rational 3.1.1.1.1

            Side comment; I suggest you read Guns, Germas and Steel by Jared Diamond. Sure its only one point of view but he essentially reproves a well known point that society and civilization only developed after farming allowed such advances to take place.

            • Puddleglum 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Well, ‘yes’, but have a read of ‘Cities’ by John Reader and notice that there’s a theory that the first ‘city’ did not develop from agricultural surplus but from hunting and gathering surplus (e.g., from wild wheat) – which then allowed farming to happen after settlement.

              Farming, that is, resulted from ‘urbanisation’ and the advantages of that (e.g., having a local market big enough to make farming for a surplus worthwhile). Urban society, in that scenario, came first.
               

          • Andrei 3.1.1.1.2

            Where did the weetbix you had for breakfast come from? How did it get to your table?

            And the milk you put on it along with the sugar.

            And the butter you put on your toast and the coffee you washed it down with.

            All products of agriculture chum and if they stop coming how long would you last?

            A month maybe, not even that perhaps.

            Our focus on agriculture should be producing more and more cheaply at that – not on nonsense about “emissions”.

            Its not as though everybody gets enough to eat even in these enlightened times

            • vto 3.1.1.1.2.1

              Grow up fool. Again …

              How long would you last if you didn’t have a roof to sleep under tonight?

              dumb comment

              • Andrei

                Again having a roof over my head is predicated upon the fact that the people who built my house, myself in part, have enough to eat and are freed from the task of gathering, hunting, growing food etc for themselves.

                And are therefore able to do other and fundamentally useful things with their lives.

                Same goes for the people who make the electricity that keep it warm, the people who maintain the wires that deliver that electricity and so forth.

                And if the farmers cannot produce enough food to feed this whole army of people who keep the wheels of our world turning – well they stop turning and we end up back in the stone age – well the very few of us who haven’t starved to death do.

                • vto

                  you will die from hypothermia before i die from starvation so nyah nyah nyah

                  ffs

                  • terryg

                    Hey, I can play this stupid game. Andrei, you are missing the point entirely. we are only here because the strong nuclear force is not 2% stronger than its actual value. if it were, hydrogen would fuse into diprotons instead of deuterium and helium. This would prevent the formation of stars as we know them, thereby precluding the universe as we know it.

                    beat that :D

                    • Andrei

                      Beyond silly – If you don’t eat you die – that is not speculation on what the Universe might look like if Plank’s constant took on a different value but a fact.

                      One that is self evident and sadly on display right now in East Africa

                    • vto

                      If you don’t shit you die. If you don’t sleep under a roof you die. If you don’t get medical help in an emergency you die. If you don’t breathe you die. If you don’t have modern medical help at birth you more often die.

                      If you can’t read or write you can’t sell shit. If you can’t drive a ship or plane you can’t export. If you don’t have two hands you can’t drive a tractor. If you don’t have lawyers you can’t sell properly. If you don’t have oil imports you can’t grow your particular types of food to sell. If the city taxpayers don’t pay for your roads you can’t export. If you have don’t have laws and enforcers you don’t have society and can’t sell.

                      Really Andrei, what is your point, cause I aint seen one yet.

                • John D

                  ETS on agriculture is insane because:
                  (a) NZ the only country in the world doing it
                  (b) Methane levels not increasing much, if at all, globally.
                  (c) Methane from cattle etc part of the natural carbon cycle
                  (d) The following are also big natural emitters of methane – termites, rice paddy fields, the Amazonian rainforest. All much bigger than NZ agriculture
                  (e) We are getting screwed on the ETS because crown forests are not included. If they were, we would be a net carbon sink.

                  If NZ introduces this, it will cripple its primary industry, make food expensive for every NZer, and line the pockets of rich corporates.

                  Anyone who thinks this is a good idea is either a moron, a thief, or both.

                  • millsy

                    Do you like swimming in shitty rivers then?

                    • John D

                      Water polution completely separate issue. I agree that this is a problem, but the ETS is not the solution to this.

                      Actually, some better farm management would be a better idea – e.g fences around rivers so cows don’t crap in streams.

                      Deal with this, not the non-issue of ruminant methane

                    • Andrei

                      The ETS has nothing to do with the cleanliness or otherwise of rivers.

                      And if you want to see shitty rivers go to Africa where the hippos shit in them

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey Andrei, which countries in Africa have a million cows…I mean hippos, shitting in rivers?

                  • (c) Methane from cattle etc part of the natural carbon cycle
                    (d) The following are also big natural emitters of methane – termites, rice paddy fields, the Amazonian rainforest. All much bigger than NZ agriculture

                    Don’t these two points actually miss the point? That climate change is happening (now) because of the recent use of fossil fuels and intensive agricultural practices is, so far as I’m aware, conclusively shown by current research. That means that it is those activities over which we have control that have been responsible (not the Amazon doing what it’s always done, termites doing what they’ve always done, etc.). Rice paddy fields (if you’re correct), intensive dairying, the tendency to farm ruminants in general, are all practices which we have the ability to alter by changing the economic processes of production. Surely that’s sensible?

                    I’m no expert on an ETS vs. a carbon tax vs. some other measure to reduce carbon emissions, but it seems to me that any means by which we can alter human behaviour and practices in this regard should be encouraged to limit carbon emissions. 

                    Your point about methane being part of the natural carbon cycle is no doubt true but, once again, it’s the extra amounts that arise from our modern way of farming that we can control. I don’t think anyone has plans to plug every volcano, kill every antelope and wildebeest on the serengetti or pave over the amazon to limit ‘natural’ carbon and methane emissions just to preserve our industrial and agricultural practices – or are they?

                  • drum

                    Finally someone with some facts and sense.
                    NZ is a primal producing country that has to play in the world market to settle its debts.
                    All the ETS will do is force up our prices nationally and internationally.
                    We are not going to be followed up this path by developing nations who are our future competitors or by any other nation that has the need to export at the level we do.
                    By adding this cost onto our primary production it will filter right through our entire economy as we are consumers .
                    When we want to be smart and produce products that are good for the environment (say packaging) it to will have an added ETS component so when NZ business’s driven by economics look for the cheapest option they more than likely will go to asian markets for the product to package with to export (remember what pays the bills so we can have social services, health, eduction, etc etc)
                    Asian producers are not ETS and since we are heading more and more into relying on their trade for survival we need to be able to compete in their back yard as well.
                    Today the consumer is feed by price, China is the largest consumer on the planet followed very quickly behind by the USA and India chasing up behind. None of these countries have looked at ETS as an option.
                    It’s not a case of wake up but more about catching a dose of reality.

            • millsy 3.1.1.1.2.2

              So you think that farmers should be able to just pour what they want into our rivers, and pollute pollute pollute then? Intergenerational thieves, the lot of them.

              • felix

                Yes, because if it weren’t for the farmers we’d all be living in the Kalahari desert. Andrei the midget told me that.

                This “thank you farmers for our daily bread” line is so much bullshit. It presupposes that the people currently making massive amounts of money from intensive dairying are the only people who could possibly produce food from the land.

                It’s the same as the landlord’s argument that “If I didn’t own all the houses, you’d have nowhere to live”.

                Pure bullshit.

                • RedLogix

                  It’s the same as the landlord’s argument that “If I didn’t own all the houses, you’d have nowhere to live”.

                  Heh felix… bastard landlord I may be… but that’s priceless :-)

                  Well before the industrial revolution around 90% of any population was pretty much directly engaged in primary production… in effect we were all farmers. It’s only the intensification that cheap carbon fuels and technology have brought which has brought about the enormous transition of people from the rural to the urban workforce.

                  Yes agriculture is an essential and important activity, but that only argues in favour of ensuring that we insist on the highest standards and the most sustainable approaches to it.

                  It’s absolutely no use making a quick buck this week, it the price of it is disaster the next.

    • bbfloyd 3.2

      wake up yourself andrei the alien…. i can’t imagine you will last long on this site with that kind of obvious hatred for humanity….which is why i’m assuming no-one here has bothered to show you the error of your ways… and neither will i waste my time overloading an all ready overburdoned intellect with reality…

      so just fuck off back to your cave..

  4. tc 4

    Country calendar piece saturday where a dairy farmer recycles all his waste and effectively stated any farmer who loses soil and nutrients is simply missing the point and wasting their most valuable resource.

    Farmers get it, especially generational ones who look around and see the damage of over intensive use….the nat’s don’t care as long as fed farmers etc keep writing out the cheques and carter has vested interests in farming so it’s another biased perspective from a govt ministser…surprise surprise.

    • John D 4.1

      How does that relate to pinging farmers to pay for rich corporate forestry owners?

  5. Lets be rational 5

    “that they don’t pay much tax”

    Only 30% of earners pay tax, the long list of benfits has many tax positive. The fact that they pay tax at all has them in front of many. Also, let me remind you to compare the weekly effort the average urban worker puts in each week compared to the average farmer… I think you’ll find that farmers will be working 30hours more per week. They would be NZ’s hardest working, and its not at all surprising that most NZers refuse to acknowledge that. They do a service to NZ.

    Secondly, the graph is completely misleading, try give it a bit more context. The price that farmers are receiving for their exports has been rising with the commodities boom over the past two years. Their emmisions have unlikely been falling.

    It is a well known fact that NZ is under taking an export lead recovery, why then are we trying to crucify the people leading the charge? National is not saying there is no way to do it, they are simply admitting that farmers would need time to implement, no to mention time for science & tech to develop the means. Lets be rational here!

    • vto 5.1

      Oh yes, all hail the great farmer. Bow down.

      Honestly, you lot live in bloody dreamland. You have no idea of the place farming takes in moderns society, or its historical context. You don’t even understand how an economy works. You have just got big heads and you need to stop believing the sort of dumbo shit that past president of Fed Farmers Don Nicholson spouts.

      • Lets be rational 5.1.1

        So lets say I accept your premise of; “lets tax more from the farmers cos they’re just bastards” – the enduring result is that this would make farming a less attractive prospect. The farmers in NZ see that it is slightly less financially viable and for many its simply no longer an option. This leaves a a hole in the market and guess who fills it?? Foreign investors! But i’m sure your categorically against that as well. So in short, you dont want our farmers making money, but you cant have the chinese making a go of it either.

        Options left are few and far between.. Why are you against the prospect of giving time to resolve issues in a manner that does not financial disturb many?

        • vto 5.1.1.1

          “So lets say I accept your premise of; “lets tax more from the farmers cos they’re just bastards”

          I didn’t say that and don’t think that. Silly assumptions don’t help.

          As for foreign investment, I just so happened to post on that this morning, copied below. Foreign investment is ok, foreign ownership of land is a completely different thing and is just dumb…

          “I see Agriculture Minister David Carter is still getting away with equating foreign investment with foreign land ownership.

          The two things are entirely different. Foreign investment can still flow into all manner of business, including farming, without having to own the land beneath. The land beneath must only be owned by the people who live on it. This applies right across the entire globe and has nothing to do with race. In fact David Carter should take note of how the Chinese deal with this issue …. go on Carter, show some intellectual honesty and tell the public why the Chinese don’t let foreigners own their land.”

          The main problem with the farming sector is their lack of honesty over various issues. Pretending that farming hasn’t stuffed our waterways. Pretending that farmers pay a lot of tax to support wider society. Pretending that they are the true heroes of NZ. The sector will get nowhere until it stands up like a man and squarely faces its issues.

        • felix 5.1.1.2

          “So lets say I accept your premise of; “lets tax more from the farmers cos they’re just bastards””

          Jeez, if that’s the depth of your comprehensive abilities you need to pick a new handle.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.3

          And, due to the damage that farming is doing to the environment, we should be making it less attractive. We should produce enough food to feed ourselves and no more.

          It’s called being rational which you aren’t.

    • bbfloyd 5.2

      recovery? what recovery? things are getting really scary when the tories are using fantasy as a debating tool.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        They’ve always used fantasy as a debating tool. What’s changed is that it’s becoming more and more apparent is that everything they say is a fantasy.

  6. grumpy 6

    Maybe we should import some of those high tech cows that they have in China that do not have any emissions (at least not taxable ones). We could also bring in some of their magic chimneys, trucks, boats and factories which also do not produce taxable emissions.

    I know, let’s not make anything in NZ and bring it all in from China – oh wait…………………………..

  7. insider 7

    Bright Red

    Interesting numbers but nothing on the underlying mechanisms. The one that springs to mind instantly is ‘intensification’. Are you calling for more of that?

  8. gareth 8

    We really missed the boat with the useless cycle way, that money should have been spent fencing and then planting a riparian zone down every waterway possible in dairy counrty.

    It would have provided heaps of jobs, plant growing, planters, fencers, weed clearance and at the end we will have done something of significant benefit to our water quality, native bird/fish life, enhanced our clean green image. It would benefit farmers through less erosion and kept our harbours and lakes clean through reduced run off.

    All all the muppets in charge could come up with was a useless as f**k cycleway…..

  9. Macro 9

    Back on the subject…..
    This post relates well to the current tour by Jim Salinger, Rod Oram, and Carol Saunders.
    For those who have take the time to attend, and it is well worth the effort, they will learn that there are real opportunities to be had in farming by moving towards more sustainable practices and farming with an eye to Carbon footprints. Europe in particular is particularly conscious of the effects of AGW, and our products are at risk should we fail to recognise this fact. But just as important is the simple good business practice of managing a business that cuts external costs as well as managing internal costs. Farmers are no different from any other business in this regard.
    We hear constantly from the right the cry that regulation stifles business and is simply an extra cost. Business as Usual however is not a stimulus for innovation and improvement of practice – on the contrary where a deregulated market exists the market will tend towards the least common denominator, the least (internal) cost alternative as the competitors strive towards maximizing profit. Regulation – vis California’s Clean Air Act results in innovation, improved practices, and without losses of production or profit.

  10. Afewknowthetruth 10

    The entire industrialised agricultural system is predicated on the consumption of huge quatities of fossil fuels and forced over-production via the application of imported fertilisers, and in many cases the use of irrigation. None of it is by any stretch of the imagination sustainable.

    Once depletion reaches a critical point -probably around 2015- the whole system is going to collapse.

    • Macro 10.1

      I tend to agree with your analysis as a whole Afktt. I’m firmly of the opinion that unless drastic efforts are made to reduce CO2 to 350ppm in the immediate future we are toast. We (I mean the human race here) have a strictly limited budget if you like of FF left – and we need to spend it wisely. Unfortunately I doubt that as a species we have the collective will or intelligence to do that. As a species humans are too self-indulgent for their own good. There is hope that the possible collapse of the free markets and a wide-spread Depression will give time for reflection and a reversal of current economic thinking – but like you I doubt it.

  11. Afewknowthetruth 11

    On the matter of emissions, MED (which drives all government policy) is trying to pull a scam connected with methane.

    Methane is not the major problem. Methane is oxised to carbon dioxide in the atmpshere, and the higher the level of methane in the air, the faster to rate of conversion to CO2. Besides which, the quanty of methane emitted by cattle etc,. is miniscule compared to the quuanty released by the oil industry and via the melting of the permafrost etc. The methane/CO2 emitted by cattle is directly equivalent to the quantity removed from the air via photosynthesis.

    The REAL problem is CO2 released when fossil fuels are burned, when iron ore is reduced and when lime is made from limestone.

    • lprent 11.1

      The residence time of methane is quite short in geological terms compared to the thousands of years of CO2, but it is still measured in decades. It also has an greenhouse effect that is something like 70x that of CO2. So small amounts of methane are very significant over this century.

      The issue with methane is that it has been increasing rapidly, and as far as I’m aware you’re incorrect about it oxidising faster as the concentration rises – at least in atmospheric concentrations. Reducing it is actually easier than for CO2 because it is just a by-product of other processes rather than an intrinsic result of the process when burning hydrocarbons. Reducing it may keep us from hitting a feedback tipping point before we find it the hard way.

      So it is worth while. And in NZ terms, I suspect that reducing methane will actually make us more efficient in the industries that produce it.

      • Afewknowthetruth 11.1.1

        I only have a BSc Honour in Chemistry and have written four books on the topic, so what would I know.

        If you do the research you will see that the level of methane in the atmopshere has been levelling off. However, the amount that COULD be released if we trigger further meltdown of permafrost is humungous and the amount that could be released from methane ice clathrates would aguably raise the temperature of the Earth by several degrees and render the Earth largely uninhabitable in a matter of decades.

        Methane has approximately 20 times as the global warming effect of CO2, not the 70 times you suggest.

        The world is awash with misiniformation.

        I still maintain that CO2 is THE problem -especially since CO2 is [chemically] causing the death of the oceans (something methane is not capable of doing), another matter of course, but one which is being almost u niversally ignored.

        • lprent 11.1.1.1

          Just shows why chemists aren’t that good at looking at complex systems.

          Methane has approximately 20 times as the global warming effect of CO2, not the 70 times you suggest.

          It is – but only if you look at the longer term, ie centuries. The effect within the decades of its atmospheric ‘lifetime’ is about 70x that of carbon dioxide. Umm looking up a basic summary on wikipedia

          Atmospheric lifetime and GWP relative to CO2 at different time horizon for various greenhouse gases.
          Gas name Chemical
          formula
          Lifetime
          (years)
          Global warming potential (GWP) for given time horizon
          20-yr 100-yr 500-yr
          Carbon dioxide CO2 See above 1 1 1
          Methane CH4 12 72 25 7.6
          Nitrous oxide N2O 114 289 298 153
          CFC-12 CCl2F2 100 11 000 10 900 5 200
          HCFC-22 CHClF2 12 5 160 1 810 549
          Tetrafluoromethane CF4 50 000 5 210 7 390 11 200
          Hexafluoroethane C2F6 10 000 8 630 12 200 18 200
          Sulphur hexafluoride SF6 3 200 16 300 22 800 32 600
          Nitrogen trifluoride NF3 740 12 300 17 200 20 700

          Furthermore methane is a lot easier to release as evidenced by out ability to raise and get large quantities into the atmosphere faster – even pre-industrial. From pre industrial times it has more than doubled while CO2 has increased a lot less.

          Gas Preindustrial level Current level Increase since 1750 Radiative forcing(W/m2)
          Carbon dioxide 280 ppm  388 ppm 108 ppm 1.46
          Methane 700 ppb 1745 ppb 1045 ppb 0.48
          Nitrous oxide 270 ppb  314 ppb  44 ppb 0.15
          CFC-12 0  533 ppt 533 ppt 0.17

          As you point out, methane is stored in cold systems and is likely to cause rapid pulses when it releases. We’re on course to get to those types of required tempature levels in the oceans and permafrost regions to cause methane releases sooner rather than later this century regardless of what is done to curb CO2.

          If we have dropped the atmospheric methane levels down closer to pre-industrial levels then there is more buffering in the climate system to handle the inevitable pulse releases of methane. That is something that can be done with methane and HCFC-22, and with virtually no other major greenhouse gases because of their low residence times.

          The effect of reducing atmospheric methane over decades will be markedly increase the atmospheres ability to handle methane pulses in the short term mostly caused by CO2.

          That is why a reduction in CH4 is highly advantageous, not just because of the effect on climate over the long term. But also because it frees atmospheric buffers and allows the climate system to adjust more slowly to the steady rise in temperatures that will happen over the coming centuries. The last thing that would be wanted is (for instance) to get a release of methane from the permafrost followed by a rapid rise in temperatures cause the deep and rapid oxidation of the carbon stored in those regions.

          Oh, and my first degree was a BSc in earth sciences.

          The world is awash with misiniformation.

          There have been a number of good discussions over at Real Climate on the effects of CH4, CO2 and other greenhouse gases and the relative benefits about which to prioritize on. I’d suggest that you hunt them down.

      • John D 11.1.2

        but it is still measured in decades

        8-12 years I believe

        • lprent 11.1.2.1

          Yeah.

          For some reason I keep thinking of the 72x CO2 over 20 years, rather than the more values of the lifetime formulation. But the persistence is more like a radioactive half life – it is there forever – just less of an effect over time. 

  12. Andrei 12

    I still maintain that CO2 is THE problem -especially since CO2 is [chemically] causing the death of the oceans

    I wouldn’t worry about the death of the oceans if I were you. At the time of the Cambrian explosion the atmospheric levels of CO2 was about 4500ppm (as opposed to 380ppm today) and life in the oceans just thrived – it took off in fact, hence the name Cambrian explosion

    • RedLogix 12.1

      Yeah and sea levels were around 90m higher than now. There’s little point in making comparisons with era’s over 500m years ago, for a start the continents were in totally different locations, for another there was little to no life on land.

      And certainly none of the higher mammals.

      The planet will certainly survive our depradations, that was always apparent and never in contention. The question always was, would we?

    • Puddleglum 12.2

      Which species that took part in the ‘Cambrian explosion’ are still around in todays rather less CO2 rich oceans?

      While many of today’s marine phyla originated in the Cambrian, you won’t find many species around that were here in the Cambrian. As the link puts it:

      This does not mean that life in the Cambrian seas would have been perfectly familiar to a modern-day scuba diver! Although almost all of the living marine phyla were present, most were represented by classes that have since gone extinct or faded in importance.

      And,

      A few localities around the world that preserve soft-bodied fossils of the Cambrian show that the “Cambrian radiation” generated many unusual forms not easily comparable with anything today.

       

      • vto 12.2.1

        “Which species that took part in the ‘Cambrian explosion’ are still around … ?”

        Don Brash?

        • Puddleglum 12.2.1.1

          :)

          Edit: It’s bit worrying then if CO2 levels are once again rising … an explosion of Brashes is imminent.

          • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1.1

            A single implosion of Brash would be satisfactory actually :)

            • McFlock 12.2.1.1.1.1

              I dunno – the precursor would probably be a massive release of bullshit into the environment that will take us irreversibly beyond a carbon tipping point, followed by a sudden collapse into a non-maorified whitey hole.

    • Afewknowthetruth 12.3

      At the time of the Cambrian ‘explosion of life ‘ there was no life to speak of on land, and the oceans were populated with invertebrates.

      If you are happy to return the Earth to those kinds of conditions via the burning of fossil fuels I would personally categorise you as severely mentally ill if not completely insane.

  13. Reality Bytes 13

    “Because New Zealand relies on agriculture for our very survival…”

    ^ this might be a problem.

    Perhaps we should try and not rely so much on a single skill-set ‘for our very survival’.

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    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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