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O Canada!

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 pm, December 13th, 2011 - 89 comments
Categories: climate change, International - Tags: , ,

Canada is to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, making it one of 2 nations in the world (along with the US) to be formally outside it1.

The reason?

The protocol “does not represent a way forward for Canada” – as it faces $NZ17.4 billion in fines because its Greenhouse Gas Emissions have risen by one third.

Their current government is blaming the previous administration for signing up.  The real fault is that the current Canadian government has done absolutely nothing to fight Climate Change – it hasn’t taken its international responsibilities seriously.

We will all suffer in the brave new world we’re creating, and if everyone doesn’t pull their weight we all suffer more.

Our own government has not been too clean, green and clever in its approach either.  Rather than taking and enhancing our environmental reputation – growing a green economy while they’re at it – they’ve been more about pushing out environmental standards, watering down the ETS and subsidising polluters.

With the likes of keeping agriculture2 out of the ETS and handing out carbon credits willy-nilly to keep our carbon price artificially and ridiculously low, we, the tax-payers, get to pick up the cost in large Kyoto fines.

In theory this government wants us to be fast followers (because that will help our 100% Pure image…) – but what if those fines get too big?  We now have a precedent, and this government is all about short-term balancing the budget regardless of long-term cost (see: Asset Sales).  They’re also about looking after the environment when the economy can afford it3.

As it’s doing little-to-nothing to stop those fines, will it suddenly decide to leave the Kyoto Protocol to avoid them like Canada?

And what would that do to 100% Pure Branding?

And for the world and its people?

1 Taiwan, Afghanistan, Palestine, Western Sahara, Andorra and The Vatican have yet to formally ratify it.  Somalia has managed.

2 Agriculture makes up 49% of our emissions.

3 As I was told repeatedly by “blue-green” Maggie Barry in debates – forgetting entirely that there is no economy without an environment…

89 comments on “O Canada!”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    As it’s doing little-to-nothing to stop those fines, will it suddenly decide to leave the Kyoto Protocol to avoid them like Canada?

    I woldn’r be surprised – they’ve gutted the ETS in such a way that the fines will land on the taxpayers. At the same time they’ve gutted the governments revenue by cutting taxes for the rich and they won’t reverse those. The financial economy (local and global) is collapsing and so revenues will continue to fall. Eventually they’ll have to get to a point admitting that they can no longer afford the tax cuts and giving away carbon credits and so they’ll reach for the only ideological solution that they’re comfortable with – dropping out of the Kyoto Protocol.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Canada is now a petrostate, and masses of oil money lubricates its politics and corporate life.

  3. Ari 3

    Indeed, Viper.

    Honestly, at what point will the world wake up and realise that we need to sanction countries that won’t even try to address climate change? The US and Canada have made their contempt for the rest of the world clear.

    (Although sadly the government still has some of that same contempt given that they supported delaying past the window to prevent disaster)

    • queenstfarmer 3.1

      at what point will the world wake up and realise that we need to sanction countries…

      Who is “we” Ari? The UN – which is HQ’d in New York, to which the US is the single largest funder, and over which the US holds a veto?

  4. clandestino 4

    I can’t see them doing anything but dropping out. Can’t see it being too popular handing over wads of cash in fines for something most NZers seem to not care much about, if polls I’ve seen are anything to go by.

    People need to consume less. That’s the bottom line. It all doesn’t mean anything unless the masses stop driving so often, stop eating too much meat and stop with the plastic throwaway culture. But these are human rights, apparently, so there’ll be riots in the streets before it happens.

  5. Grumpy 5

    what are these fines and who are they paid to?

    Sounds dodgy to me.

    Maybe USA and Canada have made the right choice?

  6. felix 6

    Why do I keep feeling that the whole idea of trading in emissions is a giant scam being played out?

    • rosy 6.1

      I’ve thought that for a long time.

    • RedLogix 6.2

      It was always a complicated mechanism designed to be played. Simple mechanisms, like a straightforward blanket carbon tax, are hard to fiddle.

      Anyone paying attention back when Kyoto was introduced would have been aware that many, many of us ‘warmists’ regarded these forms of ETS’s as very much a second or third best effort to a carbon tax.

      There are after all only four ways governments can implement change:

      1. Regulate. Make a law against something.. Useful in stopping bad things happening, like murder, but less useful in promoting things you would like to happen, like people being nice to each other.

      2. Tax it. Works well if there is an obvious cash flow associated with the activity. For instance it’s why we shifted towards GST tax on consumption, while lowering PAYE tax on earning. Not so good at stopping murder.

      3. Set up an artificial market mechanism. This is what we did with electricity and carbon. Turns out these things can be easily gamed by insiders with privileges. As we can see in so-called ‘free markets’ everywhere, unless they are tightly regulated they simply turn into ‘free to do whatever you please’.

      4. Invest directly in the change you want. This is why governments built railways, ports, schools, hospitals and power systems…. because left to it’s own devices the private sector wasn’t interested in taking on that much risk.

      The solution for climate change possibly involves all four such mechanisms. For instance;

      1. Regulate against new un-sustainable carbon fueled power plant. Set fuel-efficiency and carbon-footprint targets.

      2. A blanket carbon tax starting low, but scheduled to ramp up steeply over a decade.

      3. A market trading in carbon capture eg Soil Carbon (A good link about the limitations of Kyoto as well.)

      4. Directly investing in start-up green tech companies or mitigation methods (eg around agricultural methane)

      ALL of these mechanisms are part of the solution. Getting ideologically locked into just one of them is wrong.

    • queenstfarmer 6.3

      Couldn’t agree more, and the number one promoter of the corrupt scheme is Al Gore.

      • thatguynz 6.3.1

        Perhaps my view is overly simplistic but at the end of the day – follow the money.. Who owns and administers the “exchange” on which carbon credits are traded and thus makes money off every transaction? Irrespective of ones view on global warming, in this particular instance the hype is being subverted to create a new market – in much the same vein as any other exchange traded financial product in existence today.

        • Colonial Viper 6.3.1.1

          unfortunately the bankers will be taking a big fat cut out of this system, and using it to create new generations of financial derivative products. It is one reason why a trading system is far less desirable than a tax and tarriff system.

          • thatguynz 6.3.1.1.1

            Precisely CV. In fact I would posit that the bankers created the system – not simply are taking a big fat cut of it :)

        • queenstfarmer 6.3.1.2

          Follow the money indeed:

          Al Gore, the former US vice president, could become the world’s first carbon billionaire after investing heavily in green energy companies… Few people have been as vocal about the urgency of global warming and the need to reinvent the way the world produces and consumes energy as Mr Gore. And few have put as much money behind their advocacy and are as well positioned to profit from this green transformation, if and when it comes.

  7. Jenny 7

    Te Whanau a Apanui might have something to say about deep sea oil drilling off the East Coast of the North Island.

    And the rest of us might have something to say about the destruction of the Deniston Plateau for open cast coal mining. Not to mention dangerous and polluting fracking in Taranaki.

    The Nats may be buying a fight they can’t win if they persist in backing the polluters.

    To save our world and defeat the Nats the Labour Party will have play a big roll in leading these protests.

    • Galeandra 7.1

      ‘the Labour Party will have to play a big roll in leading these protests.’ – I can only assume you meant a big role in supporting the Greens in leading these protests, if Labour’s history as a governing party is anything to go by…….

    • grumpy 7.2

      The Denniston Plateau is hardly pristine. Have you been there????

      • insider 7.2.1

        unlikely. But it’s not about accuracy, it’s about hitting all the right buzz words. She won buzz word bingo in about five lines.

      • John D 7.2.2

        @grumpy. Yes I have been to Denniston. It is a fairly barren place, but has its own beauty. There are lots of great mountain bike tracks up there.The area that Bathhurst are proposing to mine is relatively small. You can’t see much of the open cast operations when you are up there.

        I think the greater impact on the locals will be the trucks rolling through Westport, though no doubt there will be more jobs too.

        • grumpy 7.2.2.1

          Denniston is an area of worked out mines. …..and yes, certainly the Stockton Mine has created huge employment.

          Don’t think there will be many trucks – the coal goes by rail thereby helping keep the rail link open to the coast.

          as for vehicle traffic in Westport – every second vehicle is a Stockton Mine one, must have bought up large at Toyota – the largest selection of brand new Prados anywhere.

  8. One Anonymous Bloke 8

    Felix is right about the elephant in the corner.
    The ETS is a con, pure and simple. Scrap it and tax carbon emissions directly.

    Canada has joined the race to the bottom. I wonder how many lives it will cost.

  9. You have 2 choices Ben

    Stay in Kyoto and try to reduce carbon emission (a joke)
    OR
    Invest in Kiwi Saver and continue to destroy the human friendly environment.

    We can not live on a finite planet and continue to grow enough for retirement scams to pay out.

    Labour proposing to make the scam compulsory shows your friends prefer the latter ….. fuck the future generations.

  10. nadis 10

    Everything about ETS and Kyoto is illogical.

    Firstly – follow the money. Who are the driving forces behind the establishment of carbon credits as a commodity and ETS schemes? That answer won’t sit well with anyone who has misgivings about the role of investment banks. Carbon trading is nw a $100 billion market – guess who controls trading?

    Why choose 1990 as the base year? Pretty much the most fvourable baseline year ever possible for UK, Germany and the rest of Europe.

    Why should Canada be exposed to $15 billion of costs but Saudi Arabia is a net gainer?

    Why give emissions credits to the heaviest polluters? They are not incentivised to reduce emissions unless the price of carbon rises significantly. And if it does Kyoto allows countries to issue more credits to those polluters so they aren’t disadvantaged.

    Who really truly vouches for the provenances of cross border credits – Russia and Eastern Europe countries have been officially cheating let alone individual rogues having a go. By some estimates up to 30% of credits circulating in the European ETS are bogus.

    Look at the price of carbon credits – in a constrained market where demand (vs 1990) is hugely higher we are witnessing an epic crash in the price of carbon.

    Comment above says only 2 countries arent in Kyoto now. Technically that may be true but I would wager there are more than a hundred who have no constraints on what they do in terms of emissions. Look at the top ten list of emitters:

    China
    USA
    European Union
    Indonesia
    India
    Russia
    Brazil
    Japan
    Canada
    Mexico

    How many in that list have either:
    a) reduced total emissions over the last decade?
    b) reduced emissions per capita over the last decade?
    c) are actually subject to real emissions constraints?

    By my count not one of those top 10 countries is an honest player.

    There’d be a lot more buy in to pollution control if we ditched ETS and taxed pollution.

    • John D 10.1

      USA and EU emissions have decreased in the last few years, but China’s have skyrocketed

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        The USA and EU have outsourced their industrial emissions to China. So what?

        • John D 10.1.1.1

          I was commenting on the previous commenters statement about whether emissions had decreased or not.
          However, you raise an interesting point. Carbon taxes, ETS systems, etc, merely move manufacturing industries offshore.
          Unless everyone is onboard with a global treaty (which looks increasingly unlikely), this will always be the case.

    • mik e 10.2

      Get your facts right more than half the states in the US have an ETS as well as a pollution reduction target !

  11. queenstfarmer 11

    This was not unexpected at all, and is a sensible choice for Canada given that it’s only – and much bigger – neighbour was not in the protocol, nor will be any time soon.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      You mean it was sensible for Canada because the US is buying billions in tar sand oils from them every week.

      • queenstfarmer 11.1.1

        What difference would that make? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that simply selling fossil fuels to another country has any Kyoto implications for the seller (putting aside extraction).

  12. John D 12

    Canada has decided to opt out of this flawed system (Kyoto did nothing to deduce emissions) and avoid transferring wealth to other nations.

    Sounds like a good move to me.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      And they’ve decided to replace this “flawed system” with which more effective system to reduce emissions? Oh, that’s right they haven’t, and they have no intentions to.

      Smart mate.

      • John D 12.1.1

        So you think that transferring wealth from the poor people of developed nations to the rich people of developing nations (which is what Kyoto does) is a good idea?

        Amazing how many of the so-called left support these hair-brained schemes.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          you appear to have no idea of what Kyoto does. A country could easily choose to penalise its wealthy industrialists and emissions generators if it wished to. Or like National, could choose to lump the cost on the general populace and get them to subsidise polluters – something that you like no doubt.

          • John D 12.1.1.1.1

            something that you like no doubt.
            What do you know what I like?

            Kyoto doesn’t work. What’s the point of continuing with a process that isn’t working?

            Besides, if we penalize these evil corporations, then they will pass the costs onto the public

            It truly astounds me that anyone would think anything different.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.1

              1) You don’t continue to work with something which is failing, you improve it and go to something better. All you’re saying is ditch Kyoto (which is an extemely elegant and well thought out system) and carry on business as usual.

              2) Don’t worry about corporations passing costs on to the public, just tax the money back from the corpoprations and use the revenues to provide social services to the public, and also to nationalise the corporations or build up public alternatives (like Kiwibank).

              You really are unimaginative, just like most right wingers.

              • John D

                You really are unimaginative, just like most right wingers.

                A predictable response; I shall ignore the ad hominem and resist the temptation to resort to troll-esque statements.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Oh that’s noble of you.

                  You were astounded that anyone could think differently to you – and that is the reason why I said you lacked imagination.

                  • John D

                    You were astounded that anyone could think differently to you – and that is the reason why I said you lacked imagination.

                    A previous post I gave quite a long and detailed post on why I thought Thorium was a viable technology.

                    Someone – you I believe – told me that there was “no time” to develop this carbon-neutral technology that could potentially solve all our energy problems.

                    No one, NOT ONE PERSON, came back to me on any of the points I made on Thorium.

                    Who is lacking imagination?

                    • RedLogix

                      The point about thorium JD is that it’s been around for a few decades now. If it was ever going to be a runner the industry would have a solid well-funded prototype program in place, and be well on the well on the way to having a licensed production reactor on the books.

                      But they don’t.

                      And the reason why they don’t is that the nuclear power industry and the nuclear weapons industry have been twinned together from birth. Thorium is useless to the weapons people, therefore it’s of no real interest to the power generation people.

                      I’m not arguing the elegance and technical attractions of thorium… but the simple reality is that unless a major government makes a bold political committment to making thorium work, soon and on a massive scale… it will never contribute anything significant to the solution.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Technofantasists aren’t going to solve the impending energy crunch the global world economy is facing.

                      Unlike a bad Star Trek episode, there is no ‘dilithium’ to be discovered in the nick of time.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Until the first 100MW thorium plant is up and running and operating as part of a national grid, it remains a technofantasy.

                    • John D

                      These global grid ideas are all jolly interesting ( and expand on our existing grid systems) but they do rather assume that the energy from “renewables” is worth distributing and not piss-weak low energy density that requires thousands of hectares of land to be devoted to them.

                    • RedLogix

                      not piss-weak low energy density that requires thousands of hectares of land to be devoted to them.

                      Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant near Sarnia, Ontario in Canada, is as of September 2010 the world’s largest photovoltaic plant with 80 MWp.[1]

                      In 2009, Ontario introduced a Feed-in tariff renewable energy payments program paying up to CDN 44.3 cents per kW·h for large ground arrays such as the Sarnia plant.[2] This makes Ontario’s one of the top feed in tariff programs in the world.

                      Phase I (20 MWp) was completed in December 2009[3] and Phase II (60 MWp) in September 2010.[4][5] The project is developed by Enbridge.[6]

                      First Solar developed, engineered, and constructed the facility, and it will operate the Sarnia Solar Project for Enbridge under a long-term contract. Enbridge will sell the power output of the facility to the Ontario Power Authority pursuant to 20-year power purchase agreements under the terms of the Ontario government’s Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program.

                      The plant covers 950 acres (380 ha) and contains about 966,000 square metres (96.6 ha), which is about 1.3 million thin film panels. The expected annual energy yield is about 120,000 MW·h, which if produced in a coal-fired plant would require emission of 39,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarnia_Photovoltaic_Power_Plant

                      Here and now with existing technology in a high latitude country. The ideal areas of the world in the tropics and deserts are even more favourable from a production point of view.

                      As for costs: http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/11/07/362705/krugman-solar-power/

                    • grumpy

                      Amazing!! It’s bad enough when a NZ river or valley gets dammed for power for other parts of the country – but here we are talking about potentially damming up one country to power up another?

                      A use for Afghanistan after all!

                    • RedLogix

                      Australia has vast areas of outback that are ideal for solar arrays. The world’s entire peak power production could likely be produced in an array covering a smallish corner of Aussie that you’d fly over in a 747 inside a few minutes.

                      Consider the Sahara, the deserts in China, New Mexico and so on… all vast areas of desert and only a tiny fraction of which would ever need using.

                      Wind power will likely eventually migrate offshore.

                      Wave/tidal power remains in it’s infancy, but will likely be a useful component.

                      Hydro by contrast is a mature technology that has had the best opportunities already tapped out. I don’t see a lot more installed base.

                      And none of this techno-fix stuff changes the need to the world to simply use less energy…

                    • John D

                      Draco D Bastard

                      Of course, I think your problem is that you think it would look ugly and so you’re just being a NIMBY.

                      A well-titled moniker I must say.

                      Do you realise how much opposition to wind farms there is in Europe?
                      Do you realise how much of the countryside is being chopped up by rent-seeking profiteers who are making short term gains via subsidies, with no consideration for the locals?

                      Great scam, by the way. A reverse Robin Hood tax in effect.

                      Do you realise that there are serious health problems occurring as a result of wind farm placement near to properties? e.g elevated blood pressures, lack of sleep etc.

                      How would you like it if someone built 150m high turbines 800m from your house, so that your house was worthless, and your life a misery?

                      People are being forced from their properties because they cannot live there anymore. Their properties are worthless, and they receive no compensation, and they have to rent somewhere else.

                      Vast tracts of Scotland are being despoiled by these things. Parts of Scotland known for their rugged beauty, littered with concrete and pylons. Killing protected species such as Golden Eagles, Sea Eagles and Kites

                      Just imagine your favorite Craig Potton calendar. Now imagine it where every picture has been industrialised. Funny how you bitch and moan about mining, but when it comes to industrial wind turbines, no one complains. Mining is a short term thing. Wind turbines chop up the landscape for 25+ years.

                      This issue is now reaching breaking point in Europe. Offshore wind is about 20 times more expensive than thermal generation.

                      If “progressives” can think they can wreck the countryside and call anyone who disagrees with them a “NIMBY” then I suggest you have a very big shock in for you.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Do you realise how much opposition to wind farms there is in Europe?

                      They’ve got a choice – no electricity or wind farms. I’m sure they’ll complain more about the no electricity.

                      Do you realise how much of the countryside is being chopped up by rent-seeking profiteers who are making short term gains via subsidies, with no consideration for the locals?

                      Regulation made by the bought and paid for politicians that benefit those who own them – what a surprise.

                      Do you realise that there are serious health problems occurring as a result of wind farm placement near to properties?

                      Got link?

                      Mining is a short term thing. Wind turbines chop up the landscape for 25+ years.

                      IIRC, the open cast mine in the Deniston Plateau is going to be operating for 30+ years, totally remove all the rugged beauty that you suddenly seem to be concerned with, poisoning the air and water and, when the coals gone, we’ll be looking to do the same damage somewhere else.

                      Offshore wind is about 20 times more expensive than thermal generation.

                      But does have the advantage that it’s not going to run out.

                    • RedLogix

                      All of this diatribe against wind power John, not all of it invalid, more or less makes a perfect case for an HVDC super-grid so that these renewable generators, wind , solar whatever… can be located in places where people are affected far less.

                    • insider

                      offshore wind is unneccessary in NZ. Too expensive when there are heaps of opportunities on land.

                  • RedLogix

                    Or more to the point, arguing Kyoto’s limitation is all very well … but precisely what are you arguing for in it’s place?

                    Because you JohnD, are silent on that point. I’d have to assume from your previous position that you would say, “Nothing”.

                    • John D

                      Countries should be free to pursue whatever mechanisms they chose to adopt. Canada is doing this, or at least they say they are.

                      However, I don’t really see why I need to make a statement about an “alternative”.

                      We are discussing Kyoto here.

                    • John D

                      I’m not arguing the elegance and technical attractions of thorium… but the simple reality is that unless a major government makes a bold political committment to making thorium work, soon and on a massive scale… it will never contribute anything significant to the solution.

                      So this would be the same kind of “bold commitment” that is required to “tackle climate change” then? We can “tackle climate change” but not create a technological solution?
                      Hmm let me think about that.

                      BTW, I think China are going to do a pilot Thorium plant soon.

                    • RedLogix

                      It’s the exact parallel of arguing against 1080. Sure you are welcome to make a case against it. But you cannot morally demand it’s use be discontinued, without being willing to propose and support an equally effective alternative.

                      I agree Kyoto, despite a decade or more of development, still has it’s inherent limitations. In particular the 1990 date locked far too many un-developed nations into absurdly low targets… no wonder China and India have refused to play ball.

                      But simply saying “Kyoto is not good enough nor working well” is not an excuse for simply ditching it and doing nothing.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah mate of course nationans can choose the nations that they would like, they chose Kyoto, you can tell because of all the signatures of world leaders on the bottom of the bit of paper.

                      Yes we are discussing Kyoto but don’t be disingenuous by leaving the rest of the debate as a black hole, what options are you suggesting after Kyoto?

                      BTW pilot maybe in the next 10 years, but China has no hope of commercially deploying a grid ready thorium plant of any size within the next 20 years.

                    • RedLogix

                      BTW, I think China are going to do a pilot Thorium plant soon.

                      One miserable pilot plant.. decades too late. You completely misunderstand the sheer scale on which new plants have to brought online in order to make any difference to coal consumption anytime within decades.

                      I don’t have a linky at hand, but I’d guess to have any impact at all on carbon emmissions we should be building hundreds on new gigawatt scale plants per year right now.

                      It will take at least a decade, if not longer, for the IAEA to fully approve and license a new thorium design. One miserable maybe pilot plant in China simply doesn’t cut mustard.

                    • John D

                      RL – Re: your “one miserable pilot plant” comment; I could use exactly the same argument in regard to the Cloncurry solar plant in Australia.

                      Pielke Jr has done the numbers on how many of these will have to be deployed for Australia to meet its renewable targets.

                      So, you are right, it takes a huge commitment to undertake these energy paradigm shifts, and it’s the countries with deep pockets that can do it.

                      The question is, which ones will they back?

                      In response to the alternatives to Kyoto – I don’t really buy into the idea that transnational agreements can work. I propose that technological fixes are what we should be striving for, pretty much on the lines of Lomborg, but look where that got him.

                    • RedLogix

                      The crucial point is not that thorium is a bad idea. It’s just that it’s large-scale implementation is too far off to be useful. If we had started a thorium pilot program 20 years ago we would be having a quite different discussion right now… but as with so many aspects of the carbon debate… real action has been delayed to the point where many technological fixes that might have worked if we had stared on them in time, are now too late to make any real impact.

                      Solar power by contrast, can and has been scaled up very quickly. There simply are not the inherent radiation and engineering issues that make nuclear so very problematic and time consuming. In fact solar power is already more or less break-even on a cost basis with gas. Which of course doesn’t mean that solar is a magic wand either, it too has the inherent storage problem.. what do you do at night-time?

                      What is do-able in a decently short time frame is a global HVDC grid. The idea has been around for decades, but like most good ideas got totally ignored. What we already do know is that solar, wind and wave power renewables are far more reliable than we imagined IF they are spatially diverse. Europe already does very well with wind power simply because they have a grid large enough to connect diverse generation elements across an entire continent. So do the North Americans.

                      A global HVDC grid simply and powerfully extends the concept everywhere… and almost entirely solves the renewables storage problem. And can be done tommorrow with proven technology we already have.

                      I don’t really buy into the idea that transnational agreements can work.

                      They have to. Otherwise you will always get some nation willing to cheat.

                    • John D

                      “A global HVDC”

                      Are you serious? You want to connect a gigantic electric cable from NZ to the rest of the world?

                      How much energy loss, if it were even feasible, would this incur?

                      You, on one hand, claim that Thorium is not possible, and on the other hand claim that wind and solar are “effective” (no references needed, I know it is complete and utter BS) and you want to cable up the entire world.

                      Never mind that every last piece of countryside will be littered with solar panels, industrial wind turbines, and pylons,

                      Holy crap, we are doomed!

                      I hope David Shearer is a bit more realistic about these issues

                    • lprent []

                      For those interested http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current

                      The advantage of HVDC is the ability to transmit large amounts of power over long distances with lower capital costs and with lower losses than AC. Depending on voltage level and construction details, losses are quoted as about 3% per 1,000 km.[14] High-voltage direct current transmission allows efficient use of energy sources, remote from load centers.

                      Which is why you see this for Europe with the planned (blue dashed) lines starting to get very long as the shorter lines prove themselves.

                      The various generations of ‘room tempature’ superconductors required for very long cable stretches have been tested. They look promising for the future, but HVDC is available now at loss rates that are quite acceptable given that we are talking about renewable power that requires high capital costs and low production costs.

                    • RedLogix

                      Oddly enough NZ is perhaps the one and only country in the world that doesn’t need to be connected. Besides NZ is also one of the few nations that already has better than 60% renewables.

                      You are right, spanning the Tasman with an HVDC cable simply doesn’t make economic sense now or any time soon.

                      But the rest of the world is surprisingly doable.

                      You, on one hand, claim that Thorium is not possible, and on the other hand claim that wind and solar are “effective” (no references needed, I know it is complete and utter BS) and you want to cable up the entire world.

                      I never claimed thorium reactors were not possible, just not available in a useful timeframe.

                      Do your own homework.. the net is littered with references to the rapidly dropping installed price of various forms of solar power, both pv and thermal.

                      As for cabling up the whole world? What kind of festooning fantasy nightmare have you created for yourself there? The relatively small HVDC link we have in this country is no more intrusive than a standard AC line.

                      A global HVDC supergrid (google it) is very straightforward and acheivable with systems we have right now… not in 20 or 30 years time.

                    • John D

                      Why does that diagram that lprent just put up remind me of the intro to Dad’s Army?

                      Or maybe it’s a diagram showing debt flow?

                    • RedLogix

                      Do you want a grown-up discussion or not?

                    • insider

                      There’s talk about regional HVDC grids out of North Africa to Europe (and Lynn’s diagram supports that) and south to exploit the Sahara’s solar potential- not sure he truly means a ‘global’ grid. But it is only a potential, there is no grand scale solar and we are a long way off having technology and investment of the scale that would support a DC link.

                      And it certainly doesn’t solve the storage problem with renewables. Most renewables will be relatively small scale generation and diverse. You are better using them locally than trying to aggregate them and sending them trans continental via HVDC. The cost and losses with the latter will likely outweigh advantages.

                      There’s been talk here of extending the HVDC grid north to Auckland to more efficiently link the SI hydro system in but it is very expensive as it would have to duplicate the AC system because building conversion stations all along the route to link to local networks would be hugely expensive. DC is mainly good for point to point transmission rather than a networked system as a result.

                    • lprent []

                      DC is mainly good for point to point transmission rather than a networked system as a result.

                      I think that is the point. It is best used as a long distance transmission system rather than a network system.

                      Massive outlay of capital cost, but once it is in place the cost is largely in the maintaining rectifiers at either end – which isn’t that bad. If it allows you to transport unwanted power long distances from one place to another where it is wanted than you’re getting the effect that has been happening in Texas and the southern US and with the windfarms in the Baltic with southern Germany – cheaper power.

                      Ummm simple and probably unrealistic example with a renewable. A HVDC line between Auckland and Sydney would be something like 2200kms. Say that loses 10%. The tidal time difference between the two cities is about an hour. That means that their dead time from tidal is different in both countries. So ship power at the appropriate times and you need less other power to cover the dead hole. Of course the aussies can do the same with their west coast as well. Effectively what is being networked is the gravitational power of the moon.

                      Same kinds of things with wind power, solar power, or whatever. The current problems with renewables is that of unpredictability and storage. That is less of a problem when you widen scope between where the power is generated and where it is consumed. The total amount of renewable power from solar or wind or tidal worldwide is pretty much a constant and cheap generation hour by hour. The problem is to build large enough power grids to transport renewable cheap power from where it is currently being generated to where it is being consumed. Losing 50% of the power doesn’t matter much when you were going to lose 100% anyway (and the pricing models with renewable power have been fascinating examples of that in Texas and Denmark).

                      The renewable sources there aren’t exactly small sources either. They are pretty damn big in aggregate.

                      It isn’t even an engineering problem. It is less of a problem than dropping fibre into the ocean with the short segments that requires.

                    • RedLogix

                      The point is that the current generations of HVDC technology… quite unlike the first generation of mercury arc rectifier based systems… are exceedingly reliable, remarkably efficient and increasingly cost-effective.

                      The crucial advantage of such a super-grid is that is would span multiple time zones, allowing diverse forms of solar, wind and wave energy to be linked into a single reliable supply.

                      We have the technology….now.

                      The investement to implement a global scale super-grid within say a decade is large, but still only a tiny fraction of global GDP. The only limitation is political….as usual.

                      DC is mainly good for point to point transmission rather than a networked system as a result.

                      Agreed absolutely. But that is exactly how the global HVDC supergrid would work. It would essentially act as another grid layer over and above the existing national AC grids.

                      In fact that’s how it works in this country right now, linking two separate AC grids in the NI and SI.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      But it is only a potential, there is no grand scale solar and we are a long way off having technology and investment of the scale that would support a DC link.

                      Its 99% existing and proven technology, and it could be built for a tiny fraction of the 500B euro bailout fund they were trying to put together a week ago.

                      Far more achievable than thorium reactors.

                    • insider

                      @ red

                      I question if it would be that simple in reality. What you are saying is you have distributed renewable generation which almost by definition will be at fairly low MW linked by an AC network into DC hubs for interregional/intercontinental distribution of excess generation (and that excess is a big assumption). Seems highly complex and so more prone to unreliability with the intermittency and AC/DC changes, as well as very very expensive. We don’t have anything like that grid complexity now let alone the underlying renewable generation capacity, so to say we could do it now seems a bit like CV’s dilithium analogy.

                      It could be quite inefficient – it may be better using excess generation locally rather than aggregating over a large area in order to get enough for a DC connection. I can’t see say tidal power generating the scale of current needed to make a truly long range DC cable worthwhile any time soon (given there is no real proven reliable and scaleable tidal power in existence).

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      In fact solar power is already more or less break-even on a cost basis with gas.

                      Solar Electricity Costs

                      In 2013, solar residential prices without incentives are expected to reach “parity” with conventional utility prices.

                      And when you consider that fossil fuelled power will be going up in price moving to solar is getting better and better.

                      Which of course doesn’t mean that solar is a magic wand either, it too has the inherent storage problem.. what do you do at night-time?

                      It’s being worked on. Like the idea of the global HVDC grid as well. Done properly it would mean that all voltages around the world would become standardised making things even cheaper.

                      Never mind that every last piece of countryside will be littered with solar panels, industrial wind turbines, and pylons,

                      Nope. Best place for wind turbines is actually out at sea as the wind isn’t as turbulent as what you get over land – just takes a bit more R&D. Also, the land under wind turbines can still be used for things like farming. Pylons are actually a bad idea and they’re only used because an underground network is more expensive to install.

                      Of course, I think your problem is that you think it would look ugly and so you’re just being a NIMBY.

                      There’s been talk here of extending the HVDC grid north to Auckland to more efficiently link the SI hydro system in but it is very expensive as it would have to duplicate the AC system…

                      Why do we maintain AC into the home? Last time I looked most of the appliances in the home used DC and had an inbuilt Wheatstone bridge and regulator. IMO, the only reason why we aren’t shifting to a full DC grid is because the politicians are too scared about the backlash from having to change those last few appliances to DC.

                      We don’t have anything like that grid complexity now…

                      Actually, the US and the EU already do.

                    • RedLogix

                      @insider

                      It could be quite inefficient

                      No that’s the whole point of HVDC… it’s highly efficient because:

                      1. Typically they run at about 500kV, or more. That means the currents are relatively low and the resistive losses (proportional to the square of the current) are much lower.

                      2. The DC voltage means no capacitive AC coupled currents to ground. This eliminates a large part the reactive (or non-power carrying) component of current that is always present on an AC system. These currents create losses of their own in an AC system, entirely absent in a DC one.

                      3. For similar, but rather more complex to explain reasons, DC systems are much more stable to operate and can be run a lot closer to their thermal capacity than an equivalently rated AC system.

                      We don’t have anything like that grid complexity now let alone the underlying renewable generation capacity,

                      No-one invests in enormous amounts of peak renewable energy right now… mainly because right now carbon based electricity still undercuts it.

                      But IF carbon was properly priced for its full climate change externality (which is what the deniers have been striving against all along…follow the money) then the next hurdle would be the storage problem.

                      As DtB points out there are a number of promising approaches to this problem, but all of them are easier to solve if you spread the generation/demand profiles widely enough. All distributed generation schemes work much better with a grid tie-in.

                      Put this another way. Your argument about complexity and unnecessary cost can equally be applied to the existing continental wide grid systems… if we have applied your logic we would never have built them either.

                      And DtB makes a valid point. If we were to build an entire new power system from scratch today, with the technology we now have… we might well go with DC.

                    • insider

                      re DC to the home – that war was fought and lost years ago. Changing local networks would be very expensive compared to the gain.

                      But we aer really talking about long distance HVDC. The issue there is it needs large MW sources to be worthwhile because you don’t want lots of nodes that you’d get with DG. I don’t agree we have the generation technologies that make that doable and reliable in the near term. Some places will be able to do huge solar arrays with high hundreds to thousands of MW that will make thousands of km DC links viable. But not yet.

                      The efficiency issue is not in DC transmission, it is the gathering of small distributed generation MW via the local AC grid into large enough quantities to support the DC interconnects. That’s as much an economic efficiency issue as electrical. We see that problem in NZ where pricing and policy settings encourage generation some distance from load when it may be ‘better’ to have it closer.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Changing local networks would be very expensive compared to the gain.

                      Considering the extra unnecessary losses that are inherent in AC grids I think that we’ll be looking at changing in the next few years anyway. We’ll need the extra efficiency. Yes, it’ll be expensive but we’ll still need to do it.

                      The efficiency issue is not in DC transmission, it is the gathering of small distributed generation MW via the local AC grid into large enough quantities to support the DC interconnects.

                      The distributed generation would, I suspect, be connected via a DC grid and not across the AC grid. Which actually makes shifting to a total DC grid even more viable.

                    • insider

                      Draco

                      I think you need to discount local network DC and grids as the DC losses benefit is at very high voltages. At low voltages DC is much worse, which is one reason for AC being chosen 130 years ago. Nothing has changed AFAIK. Also a note on terminology, I tend to think of grids as serving a nation or large region with HV power from power stations, local networks as being city/suburban and fed by ‘the grid’ – like highways vs local suburban roads. I think we are talking past each other slightly by using slightly different terminology.

                      The reason you give of most things being DC in the home is not relevant because you’d still have to step down voltages just as you do now and that is apparantly much easier to do with AC – your laptop won’t run on direct fed 110V DC. Also the network has to work for a range of applications – some customers want higher voltages than others. AC can deal with that variety much better through use of transformers.

                      Long distance DC is cheap in wiring terms but expensive in converter stations so it is not the best way to run a local grid with lots of connection points. The tipping point is in the low hundreds of km, so no good for supplying a citywide network but fine for trunking large volumes. Similar to the trains v cars argument.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      At low voltages DC is much worse, which is one reason for AC being chosen 130 years ago.

                      Actually, it’s exactly the same. The reason why AC was chosen was because, at the technological level at the time, it was easier to step AC down from high values to low values. This no longer applies as the transformer has been replaced by the transistor.

                      …your laptop won’t run on direct fed 110V DC.

                      No but you could plug the 110v DC into the laptops PSU – possibly the same one that presently takes 110v AC. I haven’t seen a transformer based PSU for a long time.

                      And why we’d want to go to full DC is because of transmission losses that do not occur with direct current.

                    • insider

                      When has the transformer been replaced by the transistor? Do you mean thyristor? Even if you did it still doesn’t make sense as they haven’t.

                      Transmission losses benefits for DC refer to long distance high voltage lines, whcih I don’t dispute. But DC will not be practical for local distribution to the home. The limited ability to step down DC current with something simple like a transformer means everything has to run at the same voltage or you have multiple plugs through your house. That seems overcomplicated.

                      Note You missed the following quote in your link “However, total losses in systems using high-voltage transmission and transformers to reduce the voltage [ie AC] are very much lower than DC transmission at working voltage.”

                    • RedLogix

                      The perils of blogging when your not sure what technical page everyone is on. Just for the record I do have a degree in Electrical Engineering and once upon a time designed switched mode power supplies for a living… although I’ve moved more into process and software design the last 25 yrs. So I’m way rusty and not claiming up to date expertise.

                      But in essence both of you make valid points. AC distribution became the norm mainly because the AC transformer was such a low-cost and hugely reliable way of changing voltages… and unless you can step-up and step-down the voltage at the required locations the grid systems as we know it today would be impossibly lossy. So yes AC did have a very real and valid reason for being the original choice. And no-one is in any rush to change from it in the immediate future. Far too much sunk cost to consider abandoning it.

                      However in the last two decades power electronics has advanced rapidly, and continues to advance. What was impossibly expensive or unreliable 30 years ago is now a commonplace. Just last week I commissioned a 1 MW drive for a large pumpset… easy-peasy and done by lunchtime. When I was a boy that was unthinkable.

                      The argument DtB is making is that if the envelop of what is possible in power electronics continues to advance as it has been, then quite soon the balance may well tip in favour of DC.

                      You may also want to consider that already many homes that have their own Off the Grid solar/wind systems are often wired for low voltage DC, usually 24 or 48v DC. There are many advantages in doing so. They only use AC if there is a grid-tie inverter involved.

                      But all this is a distraction from the original point; which is that there are many existing technology solutions that can mitigate the climate/carbon challenge we face. No single one of them is a magic wand. Ultimately we also have to Power Down and transition to Permaculture; in that our recently banned AFKTT is still correct.

                      My final thought is this. We have solutions, we already know some of the most important things we should and already could be doing to wean ourselves off carbon. The real problem is not quibbling over technology… leave that to the real experts (not me either).

                      The real problem is purely political… because despite all our knowledge… we have obdurately refused to act.

                      Gargh.. this thread has gotten way too deep to keep track of the reply point!!!

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      When has the transformer been replaced by the transistor?

                      In an AC system you would use transformers. In a DC system you would use transistors.

                      The limited ability to step down DC current with something…

                      That’s just it – it’s not limited. Not as simple as a transformer but probably more efficient and possibly cheaper.

                      Note You missed the following quote in your link “However, total losses in systems using high-voltage transmission and transformers to reduce the voltage [ie AC] are very much lower than DC transmission at working voltage.”

                      And you’re missing the point. The main transmission would still be at high voltage and then use semi-conductor based regulators to step down to the working voltage. Current losses on the line would be the same but the added losses of AC would be removed.

  13. insider 13

    Exactly who was going to fine Canada and how were those fines going to be collected and under what authority?

  14. ChrisH 14

    Ah well. Germany’s Kyoto response is quite different, namely “Smart Technology Forcing,” see this presentation here from a top official who is, of course, a Prof. Dr. as well: http://www.bridgingthegap.si/pdf/Sustainable%20consumption%20and%20production/Martin%20Janicke%20THE%20POLICY%20DESIGN%20OF%20ENVIRONMENTAL%20INNOVATION%20AND%20SUSTAINABLE%20PRODUCTION.pdf . See, further, http://www.polsoz.fu-berlin.de/en/polwiss/forschung/systeme/ffu/bst/veranstaltungsarchiv/berlinsustainabilitytalk3.html . The plan is that by pushing ahead with such technology while others argue about decimal points, Germany will leave the “dinosaurs” behind and thus lock in a new generation of high-technology capital-good exports. Vorsprung durch technik, anyone?

  15. prism 15

    3 As I was told repeatedly by “blue-green” Maggie Barry in debates – forgetting entirely that there is no economy without an environment…

    It is interesting to see the trend to the right from radionz personnel yet Radionz are always being accused by the RWNJ of a left bias. Maggie Barry and Richard Griffin for two.

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    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
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  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
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  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
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  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
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  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
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  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
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  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
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  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
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  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
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  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
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  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
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  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
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  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
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  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
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  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
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  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
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  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
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  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
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  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
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  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
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  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
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  • Charity Wins in the High Court
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