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NRT: Climate change: War, disease, and famine

Written By: - Date published: 6:01 pm, March 18th, 2014 - 38 comments
Categories: climate change, food, global warming, health, science - Tags: ,

no-right-turn-256The original of this post is at No Right Turn.

What will climate change do to human civilisation? According to the IPCC, war, disease, and famine:

Climate change will displace hundreds of millions of people by the end of this century, increasing the risk of violent conflict and wiping trillions of dollars off the global economy, a forthcoming UN report will warn.

The second of three publications by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due to be made public at the end of this month, is the most comprehensive investigation into the impact of climate change ever undertaken. A draft of the final version seen by The Independent says the warming climate will place the world under enormous strain, forcing mass migration, especially in Asia, and increasing the risk of violent conflict.

Based on thousands of peer-reviewed studies and put together by hundreds of respected scientists, the report predicts that climate change will reduce median crop yields by 2 per cent per decade for the rest of the century – at a time of rapidly growing demand for food. This will in turn push up malnutrition in children by about a fifth, it predicts.

The report also forecasts that the warming climate will take its toll on human health, pushing up the number of intense heatwaves and fires and increasing the risk from food and water-borne diseases.

We can still stop this – but that would require radically decarbonising the global economy, bursting the carbon bubble and destroying the wealth of the global rich. And it appears that they’d rather destroy the world and be king of the ashes than see that happen.

38 comments on “NRT: Climate change: War, disease, and famine”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    I suggest we look at ways to strengthen the political and legal case for massive asset confiscation of the scum who’ve been profiting from the tsunami of lies on the subject.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      I suggest looking to the French Revolution for lessons that can be learned there. Most specifically, we want to prevent the re-emergence of the scum.

  2. lprent 2

    I was talking with an engineer about why I thought that climate change was likely to be an issue a few years ago. He was definitely sceptical, not so much about the science (anyone with half a brain for science knows what the causation is), but about the probable impacts.

    He was thinking mainly about sealevel rise and in particular the IPCC anticipated less than 1 metre rise over this century. I think that they’re conservative (as does every person I have ever read who has done any study in earth sciences or geology) but it is unlikely to be more than 5 metres. But what made him to start to rethink his views was the effect on food production.

    Most people don’t seem to realize just how reliant we are on the agricultural technology we have developed over ten thousand years. As the saying goes, there is no city that is more than a week from rioting, because that is how much food is held in any city. All of that technology is at its base highly reliant on the relatively stable climate we have had during that time. And the rest of our civilisation is precariously balanced on top of that.

    Engineers and scientists get that essential fragility. They’re accustomed to thinking about points of failure in any system. And we’re destroying the best asset our civilisation ever got – a stable climate for farming in. It isn’t something that has been common over the 3 million years or so that humans have been scuttling around looking for food.

    • Macro 2.1

      Perhaps you might refer him to this
      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/17/3411561/sea-levels-greenland-ice-loss/
      the current projections are now increasing to at least 1m possibly 2m by the end of the Century.
      And if the Greenland Ice sheet goes as looks increasingly likely we can expect even more sooner rather than later.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        There are some areas that the sealevel rise is going to make a hell of an impact on. The low country of western europe, Bangladesh, Florida, and even the Canterbury and Southland plains. But the numbers of people directly killed will be pretty low.

        The numbers who die of the loss of those agricultural areas from salinity incursions of ground water into the fertile plains will be quite a lot more.

        Besides, I’m picking something closer to 5 metres at mid-late century. The Greenland icesheets are pretty clearly melting bottom upwards from meltwater – essentially mass-wasting from density loss. I suspect that the West Antarctic ice sheet will go the same way because so much of it is below sealevel. It just takes some slighhtly warmer water to get in there. That melt pattern would certainly explain the rather abrupt changes in the geological record for the WAIS where it appears that that whole side of the continent went relatively ice free in a few hundred years.

        • Macro 2.1.1.1

          The hauraki plains here is also very vulnerable and is also an intensive dairy area .
          Chch is definitely under threat – some areas we lowered by around 30 cm following the earthquakes. One wonders at whether it wouldn’t be better to move the city at this stage. But not easy.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    A draft of the final version seen by The Independent says the warming climate will place the world under enormous strain, forcing mass migration, especially in Asia, and increasing the risk of violent conflict.

    Worked that one out years ago which is why I’ve been saying for years that NZ will be closing it’s borders and backing that up the sinking of any ship that tries to come here. We cannot support much more people than we already have here.

    • I bloody hate that attitude – you are just siding with the elite to save your own arse. The revolution idea is much better – how long before humanity realises that the scum holding our heads under water can be beaten and overturned – but there is fuck all time left. Some want this country to be a lifeboat for their bloated lifestyles and fictional righteousness – they need to understand the scenario described above has no lifeboats – just those who die early (dark and poor) and those that die later (everyone else) unless we change everything. Yep everything – start with yourself.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        I bloody hate that attitude – you are just siding with the elite to save your own arse.

        Nope. Just simple practical reality.

        Some want this country to be a lifeboat for their bloated lifestyles and fictional righteousness

        Nope. I don’t think anyone would be able to call my lifestyle bloated and I’m certainly not righteous.

        they need to understand the scenario described above has no lifeboats

        Pretty sure I was making that point. NZ can support the people here already – it can’t support the 100 million plus that we’d rapidly get if we allowed uncontrolled immigration once the climate makes living close the equator impossible.

        • Chooky 3.1.1.1

          +100

        • marty mars 3.1.1.2

          fuck your practical reality

          wasn’t just talking about you re your bloated lifestyle and fictional righteousness but what are you going to do? Stand on the headland and shoot refugees or get someone to do it for you?

          edit – same question to any of you like chooky – ready to kill eh mate? If not why not.

          100 million plus? What a fantasy, I’m sure you polish your weapon vigorously thinking about that scenario.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2.1

            fuck your practical reality

            That’s certainly the easiest way to ensure we die out – as this article shows. It really is denial of reality that is the problem and you’re going hard at it.

            100 million plus? What a fantasy

            There’s 200+ million just in the OECD Pacific which is a subset of Asia. Then there’s Melanesia and the other Pacific islands. Not all of them will come here but Australia, as we’ve already seen, is going to be having problems themselves. 100 million coming here may be on the high side but is within the realm of possibility.

            • marty mars 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Aussie are getting drones to patrol – are you for that? I know you want increased defense spending – have you actually thought it through? Are you sure they won’t decide that you and your whānau aren’t rich enough or the right colour or religion. Wake up – your logical conclusion will not work. And the fact is the attitude displayed is part of the reason we have fucked up this planet in the first place – “this is mine keep away or I’ll kill you”. You talk about everyone together one big beige family yet you advocate locking the gates and telling others to fuck off – what about if you were on the other side of the gate? I say again – wake up!

              • Draco T Bastard

                It really is denial of reality that is the problem and you’re going hard at it.

                • Wake up quick the drones are here quick hide the kids oh know watch out watch out that dude on the hill has a lazer pointer on us…

          • RedLogix 3.1.1.2.2

            Well yes marty I agree100m seems like a bit over the top, but say 10,000 ships each carrying 10,000 desperate people is in the realms of the physically realisable.

            Not all at once, but over the period of a decade or so. Not too dissimilar to the hordes of Scots, Irish and poor English who made far more dangerous, desperate journeys in tiny wooden ships from the very far side of the planet during the 1840-60’s.

            If I recall right there was this paper treaty these refugees signed up to, and then promptly ignored. Later there were some minor rebellions and skirmishes in which the grass-skirted natives got thoroughly smashed up.

            • marty mars 3.1.1.2.2.1

              Oh dear red really? You and your whānau have created lives and loves in this place but no one else is allowed to. That mate is the height of hypocrisy. And you and I have been around this one before but tell me – how has your attitude changed (if it has) by being over in Oz. Do you think you’ll be allowed back in here if the gates were closed?

              • RedLogix

                You and your whānau have created lives and loves in this place but no one else is allowed to. That mate is the height of hypocrisy.

                I could be mean and challenge you on the hypocrisy of Maori characterising colonisation as a ‘holocaust’ or even having the temerity to grumble about their dispossession of their land and assets. But I’ll leave that as a hypothetical.

                On the one hand there is the right of a people to define their culture and their relationship to their land. This is an age-old human instinct.

                And there is the age-old custom of hospitality.

                And then there is just plain old invasion, marginalisation and ethnic extinction.

                Somehow we need to have a sane conversation about what all this means and how we should respond. Because I do understand what you are saying. But equally I’m certain that unrestrained migration to our shores would change this place, once again, beyond all recognition. And probably not for the better environmentally or socially.

                Or to put it another way, we’re still healing the wounds of the first several major waves of human colonisation to this land. How many more should we invite?

                • Chooky

                  +100

                • Yes be mean as you like I’ve heard it all before usually because someone cannot front up to their own hypocrisy.

                  Your sane conversation is based upon your values, your parameters and your conclusions – this is common of course especially for those who want everything to stay the same (the way they like it) guess what red? Some and even quite a few don’t like the green and pleasant bullshit land that has been created.

                  It is straight out xenophobia imo because it is based on the old ‘hordes from asia’ lines which have been used since europeans first arrived. If they were ‘like us’ would you really have as much of an issue?

                  Edit: Thanks for the answer below – it really answers the questions within this comment.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    But you’re not having a sane conversation because you refuse to accept reality – NZ will not be able to support all the people who will try to make it here once climate change bites hard. You refuse to accept the limitations that our environment dictates.

                    We have to define how many people we can support at a reasonable living standard and prevent any increase in population over that.

                    Nothing to do with xenophobia (really, you’re starting to sound like a National supporter) and everything to do with basic physics.

                    • No draco it is you who cannot see the truth as you are in fear.

                      Firstly – the scenario above is entitled war, disease and famine. That is the world these millions will be in and do you think they’ll have the fuel, resources to hire/steal ocean liners to get to this place?
                      Secondly – you are assuming that it is all okay here anyway – it won’t be.
                      Thirdly – once you start deciding who will live or die as in ‘the lifeboat’ game (have you ever done that – Jim is a doctor we’ll need a doctor but he’s also a person who is cruel and divisive and a sociopath – hmm shall we keep him or chuck him overboard?) you are taking on a role that has no winners only losers. And whilst losing, your humanity or all the things that make you a decent human wash away as desperation and self preservation come to the fore.
                      Fourthly – you are assuming you will have a choice and not be one of the chosen. It will be extreme nasty people that will make decisions to keep the tiny battered groups arriving here offshore and out of sight so they can die quietly (very neo-lib) – you may be part of those groups but they may not want you to be.

                      Our privilege makes us think it will be other people that suffer not us, that we will decide who lives or dies and that we will be okay. This country can support as many people as need be and it will change as the world crumbles around – dreaming of maintaining everything the same is severe conservatism. So I’m not going to call you right-wing but I am saying you are a conservative – for what that is reread JMG.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That is the world these millions will be in and do you think they’ll have the fuel, resources to hire/steal ocean liners to get to this place?

                      They’ll use container ships not ocean liners and yes, desperate people will try and find ten or twenty thousand litres of diesel in the hope that it will get them here.

                      Thirdly – once you start deciding who will live or die as in ‘the lifeboat’ game

                      Unless you believe that NZ will lose its democracy, I believe that political parties which advocate tight controls and enforcement on attempted illegal immigration may indeed become very popular.

                      dreaming of maintaining everything the same is severe conservatism. So I’m not going to call you right-wing but I am saying you are a conservative – for what that is reread JMG.

                      NZers are by in large a conservative people. I suspect you already realise that. And each of those conservative minded individuals gets a vote on E-day for the party whose policies and leader they like the most.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That is the world these millions will be in and do you think they’ll have the fuel, resources to hire/steal ocean liners to get to this place?

                      More than likely.

                      Secondly – you are assuming that it is all okay here anyway – it won’t be.
                      Thirdly – once you start deciding who will live or die

                      If it won’t be alright here then why are advocating making it worse?
                      As I said, you’re not talking sanely.

                      Fourthly – you are assuming you will have a choice and not be one of the chosen.

                      Actually, I’m assuming that we’ll be democratic about it and make decisions based upon those facts.

                      Our privilege makes us think it will be other people that suffer not us

                      Got nothing to do with privilege – just basic physical facts that we can’t change.

                      This country can support as many people as need be

                      No it can’t. It can only support however many that it can support. We don’t know what number is because we’ve never asked the question. Instead we’ve only ever assumed that it can always hold more which is delusional.

                      So I’m not going to call you right-wing but I am saying you are a conservative

                      If you think that then you’ve never understood what I’ve written.

              • RedLogix

                I should answer your questions.

                And you and I have been around this one before but tell me – how has your attitude changed (if it has) by being over in Oz.

                It’s plain from the ‘boat people’ issue in the NT that this kind of challenge has no good solutions. There is doubt that the human trafficking that is at the root of this is an evil trade. No country wants to be part of that.

                And after spending an entire election campaign where they couldn’t shut-up about the boat people issue, now they are in power they’ve treating it with intense secrecy – on the principle of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. So far it’s working for Abbot. Not so great for the refugees and the violence and abuse that is going on out of sight.

                Where I am in Ballarat is still mostly white. People like it that way, the place is generally very friendly, laid-back and a lot less ‘stressed’ than living in NZ in some ways. We’ve found it remarkably easier to make friends and ‘fit in’. In a candidly selfish fashion it’s made for a pleasant change of atmosphere. No doubt as you do when you spend a week on a marae in your own cultural space.

                But that isn’t true of Australia as a whole.

                There remains an evolving relationship with the ‘traditional owners’. While there will always be the overt and noxiously racist underbelly in other ways the Aboriginal people as a whole seem to get more respect than Maori do in New Zealand. But then again I’ve been too busy to have anything other than the most superficial impression.

                And as far as I know Melbourne has become a deeply divided city, with distinct ethnic ghettos. There is no question that many Australians are still grappling with the very rapid rate of ethnic change that has occurred in recent decades.

                Do you think you’ll be allowed back in here if the gates were closed?

                In practical terms we’ll be back before that is likely. But you raise a good question. There are some 620,000 kiwi guest workers over here and eventually most of them have to return to NZ. How that’s going to play out is anyone’s guess.

                Having that many ‘stateless’ kiwis stranded on the wrong side of the Tasman would be ugly to say the least.

    • Murray Olsen 3.2

      If it gets as bad as you say, we’ll be invaded anyway, possibly by the Americans. Aotearoa will be set up as a climate refuge for Wall St bankers and other assorted scum. They might let you live to empty the night soil cart, although they’re more likely to give those esteemed positions to people they know they can trust, like mid level NAct cabinet ministers. They’ll bring in their own people for security, probably whatever Blackwater will be calling itself by then.

      As much as you and Chooky offer your services scanning the horizon with binoculars, you’ll be surplus to requirements. Sorry about that.

      • Chooky 3.2.2

        @ Murray Olsen….ha ha…hadnt thought of that! ….must go out and buy some binoculars!..i guess i need to make some sort of reply here:

        1)….i do think we have a duty of care to Pacific Islanders whose islands sink…( but then a lot of NZ will also sink)

        2)….i dont have much sympathy for mass immigration from huge overpopulated countries in this day and age of contraception….because it usually means the women are oppressed …no education or self-determination ( NZ has a proud culture and record of womens’ rights…and we are half the population , remember !…China has an excess of 20 million males?)

        3)….i dont have much sympathy for countries which have trashed their own environments through exploitation, pollution, contamination , exhaustion through overpopulation…( New Zealand Maori have a proud tradition of cherishing and conserving their environment….and although NACT and Neolib politics have undermined it in recent years …it still remains a NZ cultural eco-value and spirituality principle …which would be violated by mass immigration)

        4.)… i know old idealistic Trotskyists used to advocate completely open immigration as a precursor to a one world revolution ….but frankly i dont think it is a vote winner…( just as Roger Douglas’s completely open marketplace was not a winner)….nor is it the best solution to mass would be immigration due to global warming…far better to tackle the reasons for mass would be immigration problems at source and in the countries of source

        5)…ie the world has to tackle global poverty , imperialist/capitalist exploitation of poorer countries ….and especially global warming smartly, especially the wealthy countries…then there will be no need for mass immigration and disruption

        6)…. needless to add…i dont favour mass immigration of American bankers …or other Americans who are seeking to escape the problems THEY have created in their own country

        ( now i really must go and do some work!)

  4. Philj 4

    Xox
    “Climate refuge for Wall Street bankers? ”
    It has already become that. Lots of wealthy Americans have moved to shit Creek.

  5. vto 5

    humanity through history had little to do with humanity

    more with survival

    why would this change now?

    expect the worst

    history

  6. ExKiwiforces 6

    Get your hands on this wee gem of a book called:

    Out of the Mountains, The coming of age of the Urban Guerrilla. By David Kilcullen.

    Mentions a lot of the stuff that NRT has already mention plus a lot more stuff like so free trade agreement’s etc . I hate to be a small country like New Zealand when TPP kicks in because the big counties are going to rule and along with their the big end of town is going to screw everyone incl the so called NZ elite.

    BTW Marty Mars, the ADF does not have any ARMED UAV’s in service!
    The only ones that are service or about to enter service are:
    Triton BAMS, going to used by RAAF’s 92 Wing
    Heron, in service with 5 Flight, RAAF
    Skylark, in service with the Army
    Scan Eagle, was used by the Army in the Gan and looks like it will used by the RAN or Customs.

    I was reading today that the Senior Service aka Royal New Zealand Navy is looking at putting UAVs on to its Otago Class OPV’s (The one’s that Labour brought and are 200 tons over weight). The systems they are looking are the Kahu made in good old New Zealand or an overseas built UAV like Scan Eagle.

    • Chooky 6.1

      I would love to get hold of and read that book….but the GCSB might get on to me

      Paranoid Chooky

  7. ExKiwiforces 7

    My dear Chooky, you should be safe from the green slime as I picked up my copy from Dymocks in Darwin. I did see the book at the following Bookshops in NZ last week at Page & Blackmore in Nelson and at Scorpio Books in Christchurch.

  8. Chooky 8

    Oh Thankyou….Scorpio Books does need another visit…..i really am a would be writer ( a failed Chooky-lit romance writer )… I think war books and thrillers are more me……. (and I would love to be a soldier in my next incarnation….but I think maybe one that works with dynamite and is a guerrilla fighter…i dont fancy the front lines ….but the future looks like all drones and computers …which is not at all heroic!….so I may have to reincarnate backwards rather than forwards…?) ….

  9. exkiwiforces 9

    Chooky,

    Yes warfare in the future is going to be all about robots, drones and computers etc. But scary thing is the advancement cyber warfare and the future use of chemical and biological warfare by State nations and more importantly Non State organizations. But you over come this type of warfare by training in good old fashion basic soldier skills sets, which todays modern soldier finds hard to do today when you have the gadgets/ widgets etc to the job at hand. I train my group the old fashion way and use the technology as an aid to get the job done because you don’t aways technology with you even in the Gan I still relied on my human senses and old school soldiering is very important for peacekeeping duties.

    You may find David kilcullens other books to be a good read as well.
    The Accidental Guerrilla, Fighting small wars in the midst of a big one.
    Counterinsurgency.

    • Chooky 9.1

      Thankyou yes!….I will look out for them and maybe give them to my son as a present ( after I have read them myself) … he is a bit of a military historian…and once thought of joining the army…..now he wants to be a writer

      • ExKiwiforces 9.1.1

        No worries Chooky, I’m glad to be of some help to you. Your son should have a look at the joining the Army Reserves/ TF whatever they call themselves now.

  10. I read a fantastic article the other day about being able to be environmentally friendly while living off the grid. With your own storage for energy and water, untapped by the capitalist companies… Seems like there are some conspiracy theories going on about why we can’t get away from this – “And it appears that they’d rather destroy the world and be king of the ashes than see that happen.”

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    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    17 hours ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    18 hours ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    20 hours ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    20 hours ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    1 day ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    1 day ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    9 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    9 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    10 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    12 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    13 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    15 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    1 day ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    1 day ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    3 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    1 week ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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