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NRT: Dirty dairying and moral culpability

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, January 16th, 2014 - 30 comments
Categories: Economy, Environment, farming, sustainability - Tags:

no-right-turn-256No Right Turn put this post up yesterday. There seems to be a divide in kiwi farming at present. On one side those just after a quick buck based on dirtying the cheap resource of water held in common. On the other generational family farmers. The result is a classic tragedy of the commons problem that we will be paying to clean up for many generations.

Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons have a piece on dirty dairying in the Herald today. The first of two parts, it looks at the economic reasons why farmers are destroying our rivers. And this boils down to two things: no taxation on capital gains, which encourages dairy conversions so farmers can profit from the increase in land prices, and a whopping externality around pollution, which sees farmers able to pump shit into our rivers without paying a cent. Combined, these mean massive effective subsidies for environmental destruction. So much for our “subsidy-free” dairy industry.

But then there’s this bit:

Let’s be clear up front; we aren’t blaming the farmers. Like the bankers in the GFC they are just responding to the incentives the market presents them.

Sorry, but “responding to market incentives” is not a moral free pass. If I offer you $100 to kill someone, you’re still a murderer if you take it, no matter how much you plead about “market incentives’. And the same is true of bankers and farmers. Obviously we should fix the incentive structure, so that it discourages selfish, immoral behaviour – but that doesn’t make people who follow the incentives any less selfish or immoral. If farmers get rich by taking taxpayer subsidies to pollute our rivers and destroy our environment, they fully deserve our moral opprobrium and condemnation.

30 comments on “NRT: Dirty dairying and moral culpability”

  1. vto 1

    I think it has become quite embarrassing for them

  2. Saarbo 2

    Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons have done some brilliant work here, their writing is both courageous and accurate. Government action is needed or our rivers will be ruined.

    Then there is this from Amy Adams

    “Environment Minister Amy Adams supports the partnership. She says farmers can’t grow and intensify without thinking much more carefully about what they do.

    The approach the Government has taken is not, like most places overseas, to tell farmers what to do with their land, but to mitigate the effects of what they do. “That supports much more innovation. To get that to function, a partnership like this is crucial.”

    From this:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/9608378/Ngai-Tahu-leads-way-in-sustainable-dairying

    Clearly National are not interested in cleaning up our rivers, the fact that it has been allowed to go this far is a real indictment on our nations environmental record…100% pure, we currently would struggle to be 50%…

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1

      Those farmers who practice more sustainable agriculture are a slap in the face to those wingnuts who claims that Greens want to shut down our dairy industry.

      Examples abound.

    • Ad 2.2

      Great post and really good link.
      Much appreciated.
      Check out also Jackie Blue’s Accord coming up in Parliament this year re north Otago, South Canterbury and the Southern Alps foothills.

  3. CnrJoe 3

    once again – the sums I did last year for an artwork I made

    1 dairy cow produces the same quantity of excreta as 17 – 20 adult humans
    \
    1.26 million dairy cows in Waikato = excreta equivalent of 17 million persons

    2012 – N.Z Dairy herd – 6.5 million cows = 1.3 billion persons worth of urine, shit, methane etc.

    1.3 billion

    • RJL 3.1

      CnrJoe,

      Using your numbers shouldn’t that be 6.5 million cows == 110-130 million persons?

      Another fun number: the average dairy cow produces about 50 times the milk volume as the typical human mum.

      So, farming cows for milk is unfortunately more than twice as efficient (in terms of minimising shit produced) as farming milk maids would be.

      • CnrJoe 3.1.1

        ah
        I’ll wait a couple of years and then my misplaced zero will fit

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        Another fun number: the average dairy cow produces about 50 times the milk volume as the typical human mum.

        And what has that got to do with the shit that the cows produce?

        So, farming cows for milk is unfortunately more than twice as efficient

        And how much more efficient is it to produce soy milk?

        • RJL 3.1.2.1

          And what has that got to do with the shit that the cows produce?

          To demonstrate that you can make any number of facile comparisons.

          And how much more efficient is it to produce soy milk?

          See what I mean?

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.1

            To demonstrate that you can make any number of facile comparisons.

            The problem you have, of course, is that CnrJoe wasn’t making facile comparisons.

            See what I mean?

            And that just proves your willful ignorance as you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about and didn’t bother to read the linked article to find out.

            • RJL 3.1.2.1.1.1

              It doesn’t matter how many people’s worth of shit 6.5M dairy cows is equivalent to or not. 130M people is not equivalent to 6.5M cows: unless you are proposing to actually use those 130M people as input into a dairy industry. In which case, from a milk production vs shit criteria (which is the comparison that CnrJoe is inviting) then you are better off farming the cows instead, even before taking into account any additional environmental problems that 130M people will cause.

              What matters is whether or not the shit from 6.5M dairy cows is environmentally sustainable, in and of itself. It apparently isn’t. End of story.

              As for growing soy instead: if you think that swapping one poorly regulated agricultural monoculture for another lower value one is a solution to NZs environmental problems, then you haven’t thought very far.

              • HI RJL,

                I didn’t take CnrJoe’s comparison as anything to do with dairy production. I took it as a means of understanding the effect of untreated excrement leaching into the waterways. Sometimes it’s hard for people to grasp the reality of large numbers without an example ‘closer to home’.

                That is, your talk of dairy production seems, to me, quite beside the point.

                The comparison with 130m people I took as a means of conceptualising/ visualising excrement load, not “input into a dairy industry“. (i.e., I don’t think CnrJoe’s figures ‘invited’ the comparison with milk maids at all – it wasn’t about producing milk; it was about producing excrement).

                So, we could replace the dairy industry with 130m people, provide no sewerage treatment and still have no worse effect on the waterways from excrement. (In fact, given that we probably wouldn’t massively irrigate the land that people toileted on, the leaching might not be as rapid.)

                None of this means that I’m advocating a New Zealand population of 134m, of course – and I don’t think CnrJoe’s comparison implies that as an alternative economic strategy although, arguably, 130m people could provide more economic benefits than 6.5m cows, even with commodity prices at current levels.

              • Draco T Bastard

                What matters is whether or not the shit from 6.5M dairy cows is environmentally sustainable, in and of itself.

                And thus, neither is having 110 to 130 million people. There are limits and, even now, we’ve surpassed them.

                As for growing soy instead: if you think that swapping one poorly regulated agricultural monoculture for another lower value one is a solution to NZs environmental problems, then you haven’t thought very far.

                I didn’t say it was a solution but, going on the figures in the article I linked to, it would garner more income for less input and would be less environmentally damaging.

    • Macro 3.2

      Each herdof 200+ is the equivalent of a small town – and that doesn’t count the excess fertilisers that are constantly poured on pastures, nitrates and phosphates being the worst offenders. Of course we will be informed by some here that farmers do not use excess fertilisers, but that is to coin a word – pure bullshit. There is plenty of evidence to show our aquifiers becoming polluted with the leaching of these compounds being constantly added.
      http://www.nrc.govt.nz/for-schools/school-information-packs/water-quality/
      Intensifying dairying means adding more and more towns to the countryside. As you drive through the country (living in a rural town I do at least once a week) and notice a small town (herd) followed by another 500m down the road, and then another, and another and on and on you realise that our countryside is very much under stress. It looks nice and green (at the moment there has been a wet summer), and then you drive over the new Kopu bridge and you think – there is really no need for this bridge – you can practically drive your car over the water – it is so full of shit. DoC says it is one of the most polluted in the country. I see the effects from my window every morning – a brown streak of mud flowing out into the Firth.
      Previously it was the foresters cutting the Kauri and then the miners dumping their waste that filled the Firth with mud. You traveled to Thames by ferry in the1890’s. Now the mud stretches out for about a kilometre. The emergent mangroves will protect the town from sea surge and to some extent from tsunami should that unfortunate natural disaster occur and provides a habitat for the numerous coastal wetland birds – but try telling that to the “drill baby drill” brigade. The Firth is also one of the main breeding grounds for our favourite fish – Snapper. But the high levels of nitrogen and phosphate fertilisers pouring into the sea here is having a debilitating effect. Not just over fishing will see the demise of this fish from our menus.
      http://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/Environment/Environmental-information/Environmental-indicators/Coasts/Coastal-water-quality/co12a-report/
      http://www.doc.govt.nz/documents/getting-involved/consultations/current-consultations/nzcps/evidence/211-nzcps-exhibit-2-2.pdf

  4. Chooky 4

    +100 …good post

    the rivers and waterways belong to us all and future generations of New Zelanders

  5. Philj 5

    Xox
    Finally Dr Mike Joy, river quality scientist, from Massey University, is beginning to be heard. Now if we can only get a cost to the damage done to the environment…. (sigh)

  6. Melb 6

    Have you looked at the urban harbours into which stormwater drains after heavy rain? Absolutely disgusting. It’s not water, it’s rubbish, oil and a whole lot of other chemicals washed off the streets. I don’t think the urban population is paying their fair share for water use/rights either. Unless they have a right to pollute.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      And that is something else that needs to be addressed but it in no way detracts from the fact that farmers are polluting our water ways.

      • farmboy 6.1.1

        and so are you fuckstick

        • Murray Olsen 6.1.1.1

          John Key has called on one of his scientists, by the look of things. Well written report, farmboy. You shot that other hippy bastard down in flames.

      • Melb 6.1.2

        Both are incredibly important and need changing. But I never see blog posts drawing attention to the waste that is flushed out from city stormwater.

        • vto 6.1.2.1

          Well you should read more blog posts.

          I can’t dump the shit and rubbish from my business in the public estate so why do you?

          What is your answer? Why do you dump your shit in the street? The street where we get our water, btw? Nobody else does this with their business waste? Everybody else has to take it to the dump. Why don’t you? Why do you dump your shit in the street?

          What is your answer?

        • wtl 6.1.2.2

          That’s because you didn’t write any.

    • Ad 6.2

      Unlike dairy farms, cities have water treatment entities devoted to cleaning water up.
      About time dairy farmers and dairy companies did the same as cities did, if not better.

      • Melb 6.2.1

        I’m talking stormwater, which doesn’t go through treatment plants, but should.

        • Ad 6.2.1.1

          Applies far more so to farmers, then, who generally do a whole lot less to separate stormwater from sewerage (ie effluent) than cities do. Your pointing at cities is simply wrongheaded. Our streams and waterways would be a whole lot cleaner if the great amjority of dairy farms took runoff as seriously as cities do.

  7. Brokenback 7

    We need some clarity on this issue which is a clear & present danger to the long term survival of our community.
    Dairying practices have changed markedly in a generation.
    “profitability ” has increased & will continue to increase with rising demand from a more affluent middle class in China /India/ South America.
    Business unit /Farm Herd sizes are larger – 120 in 1981 , 480 in 2011.
    Farm /herd/Business unit ownership is capital intensive and producer unit ownership has changed from the “Family Farm” to mostly Private corporate operations.

    Day to day presence on the farm , in the race , in the shed of the owner/farmer has diminished.

    The training /education/technical expertise of the Farm management/Operation personnel has decreased dramatically and the inability to attract Kiwis to the industry has seen an influx of foreign nationals onto particularly the larger units.

    Farm/Business unit management philosophy is increasingly accountant/consultant driven and not based on land/animal care best practices.

    The fertility management practices are barbaric at best and have become the norm with little public scrutiny.
    Pasture [mis]management is in dire need of rigorous scrutiny , the practice of applying Urea to boost dry matter production is destroying soil biota at criminal rates and turning our waterways into eutrophic /toxic timebombs that will inevitably destroy our one true diamond in this fucked up world – our marine ecosytem.

    Then there’s the shit………

  8. BEATINGTHEBOKS 8

    Fully support a system of enviromental regulation for dairy farms. Their bussines is profitable and could easily afford to meet compliance costs. Most of them have been irresponsible for years. I can’t see a justifiable reason not to impose a set of better standards.

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    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    1 day ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    1 day ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    1 day ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    1 day ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 day ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    2 days ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    2 days ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    2 days ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago

  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    43 mins ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    48 mins ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 hours ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    23 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago

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