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The green economy

Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, February 11th, 2013 - 89 comments
Categories: climate change, energy, infrastructure, jobs - Tags:

There’s a lot of talk about the benefits of moving to a green, sustainable economy but details on what that looks like in practice in New Zealand are often frustratingly thin. Greenpeace is releasing a reportThe Future is Here – that puts meat on the bones. The main thing is getting us off expensive, polluting, imported oil and on to clean, local energy.

We spend over $8 billion a year – nearly our whole current deficit – importing climate-changing causing fossil fuels. The ever-rising cost of oil means we’re now spending nearly triple the amount on imports that we were a decade ago for the same amount of stuff.

Replacing these with local, clean energy saves the environment, saves us money, and creates jobs here – 27,000 by Greenpeace’s reckoning. It’ll require government investment in the infrastructure – particularly in a low-carbon transport system. But that’s got to be better than National’s ‘plan’, which lost us 30,000jobs in the last year alone.

89 comments on “The green economy”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “We spend over $8 billion a year – nearly our whole current deficit – importing climate-changing causing fossil fuels. The ever-rising cost of oil means we’re now spending nearly triple the amount on imports that we were a decade ago for the same amount of stuff.”

    Take out inflation and the rise of our dollar, and it probably hasn’t gone up very much in real terms.

    Having said that, a lot of the inflation is probably underpinned by the price of oil, so it’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation there.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Take out inflation and the rise of our dollar, and it probably hasn’t gone up very much in real terms.

      Ahhhh but I reckon it has. And as you mentioned, energy price increases are hidden in everything.

      Firstly, the rise in our dollar has protected us from the full effects of oil price rises. If we were still at US$0.60 fuel prices would leap ahead.

      Secondly the only important metric is energy costs per $ of GDP (if you are measuring from the perspective of the country) or per $ of household income (if you are measuring from the standpoint of living costs for households).

      For families a real increase in cost occurs if fuel is eating away into the household budget, as a %. And with a petrol bill of $300/month (or much more) commonplace in Auckland I’d say that it is.

    • Lightly 1.2

      Well, obviously oil prices are part of the inflation index, for starters.

      But the increase in oil prices has been way above the increase in the general price level.

      MED says the price of the oil we import has risen 168% in the past 8 years. CPI less transport fuels is up 21% in the same period.

  2. Tiresias 2

    Stuff’s comment on this:

    “Where the report stumbles is on the financial side, giving no detail on the level of investment required or the economic tradeoffs, making it impossible to judge if the transformation would be worthwhile or simply a pyrrhic environmental victory.”

    Too true. After all, the saving of a world fit for our grand-children to live in isn’t worth spending too much on.

    • Ennui in Requiem 2.1

      Yes, tomorrows children are not worth the paper our money is printed on! We don’t need to leave them a thing, especially not oil!

      On second thought, there wont be any oil to leave them. Or a climate worth living in, apart from the vege patch my grandchildren will tend in the jungle that will be growing at Scott Base.

  3. George D 3

    If Labour was to echo and endorse Greenpeace and Forest and Bird more closely, this would be a way for them to get back some of that soft support they’re bleeding to the Greens, while putting them in a better position to work with them in government. These after all are incredibly popular and well-regarded organisations in NZ.

    It would also be the right thing to do.

  4. Peter 4

    Yep, this is a really positive and timely report.

    Alone of most developed countries, NZ stands a decent chance of a transition to renewables, whilst maintaining something of a “modern” standard of living.

  5. geoff 5

    The leftover income people used to have is now being used to service a big mortgage. Or it’s being used to pay the high rent on a house owned by someone with a big mortgage. This is why there is no economic demand from consumers in NZ and why there won’t be any economic recovery (‘green’ or otherwise) until the cost of accomodation is a much smaller fraction of the average punters pay packet.

    We’re in a real pickle. If we create an oversupply of housing to dramatically drop the average price then most mortgage holders will be fuming that they will still be paying a huge mortgage on a massively overpriced asset. If we don’t drop the price of housing then the economy will never recover.

    He’s my poorly thought through, blue sky (just call me Julius Nicholson) solution. (Please tear to shreds):

    1. The government nationalises all family home mortgage debt.
    2. The goverment ‘prints’ money to cover this debt.
    3. The NZ dollar utterly tanks and NZ’s credit rating drops through the floor and we have to tell the IMF to go fuck itself.
    4. our exporters become incredibly profitable, but…
    5. our imports become impossibly expensive (waaa no iphone for damien) and…
    6. we can’t afford essential things like meds and baked beans (from Australia), so…
    7. We make them ourselves!
    8. Everyone lives happily ever after (except damien grant who is sent by, popular vote, to live as a tour guide on white island).

    Whaddya think?! Pretty flawless eh?

    • higherstandard 5.1

      “Pretty flawless eh?”

      Apart from the mass exodus of population and capital, deaths due to lack of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals and myriad other unintended consequences.

      • fatty 5.1.1

        Yeah…mass exodus of the greedy resource hoggers. How will us ignorant peasants survive…
        No medical supplies…haha, nice attempt at fear mongering. Tax our poisonous foods, eat our veges. If we did this our life expectancy will be the same in 20 years, in comparison to where we are heading.

        • geoff 5.1.1.1

          I shouldn’t have planted the idea in HS’s little head, ie step 6

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1

            Nah, he’s been saying that for a couple of years. Still seems to think that we don’t make pharmaceuticals here in NZ even though I’ve pointed out a couple of times that we do.

            It’s the general willful ignorance that you get from idiots who don’t want to see their ideology challenged.

        • higherstandard 5.1.1.2

          Fantasist

      • geoff 5.1.2

        So how do we get out of this pickle we’re in? Do you accept my premise that the economy is taking because people are having to service too much debt?

        • higherstandard 5.1.2.1

          Perhaps they shouldn’t take on so much ?

          • geoff 5.1.2.1.1

            So you don’t have any answers?

            • higherstandard 5.1.2.1.1.1

              No.

              • Colonial Viper

                Steve Keen suggests a modernised debt jubilee. My modification of it is to print $500 per month gifted to every adult 16 years and over for a period of 2 years.

                That’s $12K per person, spread over 2 years.

                For those who are in debt, the monies automatically go towards servicing that debt, no if’s or buts. For those with no debt – they are rewarded by what is essentially a $500 monthly cash injection.

                At the same time, the Government makes cheap bank and retail credit harder to access, to prevent people getting into the debt hole again.

                • geoff

                  Debt jubilee is a great idea. I wonder how it would effect house prices though. If the only thing that happened was that the debts were wiped then wouldn’t house prices remain excessively high and the unaffordability problem (and high rent problem) would remain? It’s one of those situations where other things would have to be changed at the same time, ie building more state houses, your credit access suggestions, progressive tax increases, GCT, nationalisation of infrastructure, minimum wage increases etc. NZ’s new deal.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Very good point. The other part of Keen’s plan is to limit mortgage lending to prevent property asset prices from inflating. He suggests a limiting ratio of mortgage debt:equivalent annual rental for a property.

                    If a property can be rented out at $20,000 pa, a 15x ratio would limit the maximum mortgage on the property to $300K.

                    Aso as you note a raft of other things would need to be done at the same time. Penalty interest on larger mortgages, stamp duty on investment homes, flooding the market with social housing etc.

                    Yes, a New Deal, and not just to cope with a Depression, but to resolve the steadily building energy and resource crisis.

                    • karol

                      Meanwhile MSM journos are salivating over a new spurt in NZ’s home ownership bubble. Prices dropped in January, but prices have increased since last year and this journo is positive about it being an indicator of a strengthening property market.

                      Won’t somebody in the MSM think about how this impacts on us renters, given the crisis in affordable rental accommodation?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m aware of a large number of people in their 20’s and 30’s who are being screwed to the wall by this “good news”.

                      An MSM which does not tell the stories relevant to the mass of people of the nation, just the stories which appeal to the privileged 25%.

                      And they wonder why more and more people are ignoring them.

                    • karol

                      Yes, CV. This housing situation impacts badly on young people, and those on low incomes.

                    • geoff

                      That’s another of my personal theories: NZ’s population is fairly split down the middle with regards to home ownership. Which means it’s going to be very hard to get consensus on how to solve the problem. Reduce house prices, you piss off the older, home-owning half who see their net worth destroyed. Dont reduce house prices and the younger, non-owning half are condemned to poverty.

                      Obviously the first choice, reduce house prices, is the correct one but it would
                      be very unpopular.

                    • RedLogix

                      Obviously the first choice, reduce house prices, is the correct one but it would be very unpopular.

                      If the government arbitrarily decided to eliminate all the money in your savings account …. how would you feel?

                      There are alternative ways to deal with the problem that are much fairer:

                      Property Income Limited Leverage

                      Some debt is needed to purchase a house, since the cost of building a new house far exceeds the average wage. But debt greater than perhaps 3 times average annual wages drives not house construction, but house price bubbles.
                      Property Income Limited Leverage (“the PILL”) would break this positive feedback loop by basing the maximum that can be lent for a property purchase, not on the income of the borrower, but on a multiple of the income-earning potential of the property itself.

                      With this reform, all would-be purchasers would be on equal footing with respect to their level of debt-financed spending, and the only way to trump another buyer would be to put more non-debt-financed money into purchasing a property.

                      It would still be possible–indeed necessary–to pay more than ten times a property’s annual rental to purchase it. But then the excess of the price over the loan would be genuinely the savings of the buyer, and an increase in the price of a house would mean a fall in leverage, rather than an increase in leverage as now. There would be a negative feedback loop between house prices and leverage. That hopefully would stop house price bubbles developing in the first place, and take dwellings out of the realm of speculation back into the realm of housing, where they belong.

                      http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2012/04/16/inet-presentation-minskian-perspective-on-instability-in-financial-markets/

                      The other method Keen has advocated is a Debt Jubilee.

                    • geoff

                      Interesting stuff, RedLogix.

                      If the government arbitrarily decided to eliminate all the money in your savings account …. how would you feel?

                      Yeah that’s right, it would be unpopular but ultimately it’s about what is the long term equitable solution.
                      You can’t go on having houses costing 6 times the average annual salary, it’s incredibly destructive.
                      Does the PILL system actually reduce house prices?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That’s what death taxes (estate taxes or estate duty) are for.

                      You pass on, and 25% or 35% of your net asset wealth over a certain value is put back into circulation in the economy.

  6. infused 6

    Are there any green projects that haven’t fallen over or bring massively subsidised?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      The couple of hundred wind turbines up and down the country.

      On the other hand, I wonder how our road transport industry would fare without their massive subsidies?

      • Peter 6.1.1

        Yep, almost all wind turbines in NZ have been built without state subsidy. In fact, the cost of new wind and geothermal (including consenting) is so low compared with fossil fuel and even hydroelectric options it’s doubtful we’ll see much else in NZ in the next 50 years, assuming current energy demand patterns.

        However, if we start electrifying transport in a big way, then we’ll need new generation and transmission. Not impossible, and I have a feeling that people may accept new hydro in some places (i.e upper and lower clutha) if the end use of the energy is for transport, and not heated towel rails in Auckland.

      • infused 6.1.2

        Reason I asked is that US global warming scientist has now come out saying Wind Turbines are shit (basically) and the US has stopped subsidising them.

        They are fucking ugly though.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1

          Wind turbines don’t need subsidies, they pay for themselves commercially.

        • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 6.1.2.2

          Wind turbines are not fucking ugly. It is just a matter of preference with many showing unreasonable negativity towards them. It would be nice not to need them but if we do we can think of them as spare, modern sculptures that Len Lye would have enjoyed.

          In other countries the windmills that we now find so quaint and pleasant to view, were once a blot on the landscape to the country people when they were built. Trying to preserve skylines as down in the southern lands is unreasonable when it becomes a total barrier to such effective energy generators.

          • Polish Pride 6.1.2.2.1

            Ugly as in my book. I’d far sooner see the hills returned to their natural state i.e. pre wind turbines. Build more Hydro Dams and landscape the resulting lakes by all means but please no more wind turbines – such an eyesore in my book

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.2.1.1

              Funny how you think millions of cubic metres of concrete in a hydrodam in the middle of the countryside look OK

    • Lefty 6.2

      Are there any New Zealand businesses that haven’t fallen over or being massively subsidised?

    • Colonial Weka 6.3

      Lots of small/med solar businesses too, esp solar hot water.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    Yet more delusional nonsense from people who do not understand EROEI and do not understand the insidious nature of CO2.

    By the way, wind turbines cannot be classified as green, since they require massive inputs of fossil fuels to construct, generate greenhouse emissions, and have a limited life…. the latest reports indicating that replacement is required a lot earlier than previously expected (15 years). The so-called green economy is nothing more than a slight shift away from a black economy. Let’s call it a grey economy.

    Okay, let’s adopt a grey economy strategy: that allows us to carry on looting the planet of resources and carry on emitting greenhouse gases for a few more years before abrupt climate change renders most of the Earth uninhabitable. Better be quick though, oil at above $120 a barrel demolishes most economic systems. And it’s $118.95.

    • infused 7.1

      Well yeah, the Green economy is shit.

    • Colonial Weka 7.2

      Of course the Greens understand EROEI and CO2. They also understand the nature of politics and pragmatics. If they based their policies on the powerdown, they’d not be in parliament. Better to have them shifting to grey, even slightly, than letting NACT and Labour pull us into the abyss even further. The grey moving to green will cut us a bit of slack.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    Better be quick though, oil at above $120 a barrel demolishes most economic systems. And it’s $118.95.

    As incomes deflate, we’ll find that any oil over $100/bb is too much to bear. As it is we are in a near-global depression, in normal times oil would be back down to $40/bb.

    • Jokerman 8.1

      ahhh, The Circle Of Life; some morphic resonance Rupert The Bear? :)

    • TightyRighty 8.2

      Whose income is deflating?

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        The NZ median household income for starters

        And lots of people who used to do work for mainzeal

        • TightyRighty 8.2.1.1

          you are such an idiot. if income is deflating it is because the price of goods and services are dropping in the market relative to income. It’s causes vary.

          Median household income is an extremely useless stat. If it includes beneficiaries and zero income earners, it is irrelevant.

          • Polish Pride 8.2.1.1.1

            Income is deflating because the price of goods and services are dropping……!?!
            Interesting I guess I missed all those people saying hey can I take a pay cut cause thinsg cost less.
            I also love it when people who can’t construct a lucid argument instead resort to verbal attacks as if it makes their arguement more believable.

  9. TightyRighty 9

    It’s no so much a report as a discussion document. Calling it a report when it lacks financial details and it’s subject is the economy is like calling a rough sketch of a house on an envelope architects plans.

    It makes some interesting points however. I particularly liked the one where they claim green energy is cheaper than fossil fuels. the claim about 27,000 local jobs being created seems to be based on a supposition. I mean, is it net of the jobs lost in other industries or gross?

    and how much investment is actually needed to acheive this? oh wait, it doesn’t have that detail. lets just throw unknown billions to save $9 billion. did phil goff write this?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Calling it a report when it lacks financial details and it’s subject is the economy…

      Contrary to what economists, politicians and other idiots think, the financial system is not the economy.

      • TightyRighty 9.1.1

        You are right. But what does that have to do with my comment. Where do I claim the financial system is the economy. Your pithy, albeit fucking retarded, comments are getting worse. Alzheimers knocking on the cranium door there?

  10. Tiresias 10

    Having had a chance now to skim the GreenPeace report I will admit to being disappointed. Something less rosy and more realistic would have a better chance of being accepted.

    As the Report and Peter above say, New Zealand is one the most well-placed countries in the world to do this, particularly with our amazing opportunities in geothermal, ocean energy and wind. Unfortunately hoping we can earn billions by developing and exporting the technology for this is somewhat pie-in-the-sky as there are not that many countries that can adopt geothermal or ocean technology even if they wanted to, and even wind is a much more unreliable source in many places. Too as with the motor industry in the past both developed and developing countries are more likely to set up research and manufacturing facilities to meet their own needs rather than relying on buying it in from outside.

    Too, speaking blythly of ‘hybrid and electric’ cars to replace our existing private vehicle fleet a though it was merely a matter of changing policy settings is unrealistic. For city-dwellers perhaps, but New Zealand is still a strongly rural and exurban country, unsuitable both for public transport and light-weight electric vehicles with a range of 120 km on smooth flat roads with one adult.

    Yes we should be doing all the things the report says, but we should be doing it despite the cost because it makes sense in the larger picture of our relience of a closed, fragile, limited ecosystem. Not because it’s just another investment opportunity, which this report tries to sell it as.

    • Peter 10.1

      Yes, you are correct. I see clean tech, green tech, and all other associated buzz words, as simply that, buzzwords that allow people to think that an unsustainable lifestyle can be maintained indefinitely. Yes, I’m as guilty as all of the other posters here by living that lifestyle…

      Anyway, we should undertake a transformation in transport energy because it future proofs our nation. That is justification in itself. It shouldn’t need any other justification. The interesting thing is that most of that transformation relies on older energy technologies, not anything shiny and new, because largely, we haven’t really come up with new ways of generating large amounts of energy, nor storing them.

      Transportation changes are interesting. For bulk freight, it has to involve rail and sea. For road transport, it can only involve limited range electric vehicles. My personal policy would see a raft of former country petrol stations converted into electric quick charging stations, but that will rely on whatever fleet we adopt to have fast charging batteries. I think fast charging and longevity is far more important than range, and that lends me to zinc-based technology, rather than lithium. I’d prefer not to dig up Bolivia…

      • Tiresias 10.1.1

        “Transportation changes are interesting.” – Peter.

        And by far the most challenging. Storage technology is still the achilles heel here. Despite 50 years of research the lead-acid battery is still the only real contender on the block that doesn’t involve rare-earths or advanced physics – and too many people have known for a long time that a good, cheap battery is a key to the wealth of Midas and still not come up with it for it to be just a solution awaiting discovery.

        I think the answer may lie with hydrogen.

        • bad12 10.1.1.1

          Yep, was just having a good read on the latest research and development on Hydrogen production on the weekend,

          It’s in it’s infancy at the moment but there are 2 things required to make Hydrogen that are basically an inexhaustible free resource,

          Magnifying sunlight onto a processing ‘plant’ which uses materials that are not in short supply to achieve via the energy of the Sun hydrogen split from water which as we all know when burned simply produces the original water as a by product as steam,

          A small scale prototype of one of these plants is currently running and being assessed in California where the water used in the process is taken from a sewerage treatment plant which the process provides the electricity for and also provides the hydrogen to fuel 25 vehicles in their daily use,

          Cheap energy forever, simply takes a big step away from the Neanderthalic way we view the production of money,

          Here’s an equation of how it could work, the Reserve Bank creates X amount of money and loans such to a ministry of energy which causes that ministry to build the necessary plant to produce the necessary quantities of Hydrogen along with the system of distribution,

          As the hydrogen is sold into the economy the ministry of energy pays back the zero interest loan to the reserve bank who essentially cross the amount off the sum of the total money supply…

        • Peter 10.1.1.2

          Unfortunately not. Hydrogen has low energy density naturally, which is why it needs to be compressed to put it in a storage system. In a portable application, this can’t really succeed, but it has merit for fixed installations.That’s why it hasn’t succeeded. Then there are the usual safety concerns. You would be better off looking at thermal depolymerisation or some other conversion of biomass to long chain carbon fuels if you wanted to store renewable energy and make it available in liquid form. Or Fischer-Tropsch on a large scale, using biomass feedstocks.

          The physics of the ideal battery, assuming technology will ever be found to implement the ideal battery, are still about three orders of magnitude below chemical fuels. It’s a round peg, square hole problem, which is why I’m focusing on the quick charge part of the equation, which gets around the overall storage issue.

          • Slartibartfast 10.1.1.2.1

            I remember a while age there was a chap being interviewed on the radio, a kiwi engineer working for the US military no less. He had invented a compact process to turn hydrogen into ammonia which could then be used in a vehicle much like LPG. No new infrastructure and only small engine mods required. The hydrogen could be made locally from off-peak electricity and then converted on the spot. Sound good?

            • Tiresias 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Highlights the problem, tho’. This guy was working for the US military which has a research budget of $billions. The GreenPeace report says:

              “This report reminds us that we are good at renewable energy. We are good at innovation. We are good creating in our garden shed and taking products to the world.” – p.4

              Nothing we’re talking about is garden shed technology. Yet the report says”

              “After many years of working with New Zealand business, innovators, scientists, investors, commentators and local and national politicians, Greenpeace is conident that the nation can rise to the challenge, and in doing so bring a prosperous future to New Zealand.”

              Sorry, I don’t hold with the dream that New Zealanders have some unique intellectual scientific talent that makes us better than anyone else. Developing the technology to replace petrol and diesel is not going to happen in New Zealand. We might have some world-class engineers working abroad but here we don’t have the pure-science infrastructure and we don’t have the money. When it comes to building this future we’re going to be buying the technology – and probably the hardware too – from abroad. What makes me think it ain’t gonna be cheap?

              • Peter

                Well, we can do it, because we once did it, mostly. Up until the 1950s, we largely ran NZ on our own energy supplies, albeit fossil fuels. It was only after WWII that we started importing massive quantities of foreign oil (and then developed some of our own), largely to run cars, and finally, trucks and planes, after we killed off our rail network.

                Replace the fossil fuels with a mixture of biomass and electricity, and we can do so again.

                One saying I’m quite fond of is that energy isn’t technology, and technology isn’t energy. We have the energy, and we have the technology, right now.

                The difference is in the level. We could quite happily run NZ on 1950s transportation technology, for decades or more. Yes, there are some inconveniences, most of which would be quickly forgotten, but they are only inconveniences when compared with what we have today. We were quite happy to hop on an overnight train from Auckland to Wellington and arrive the next morning.

                This future is coming, whether we like it or not, so I’d prefer to take the steps before. My worry remains, that if we don’t take the steps now, we’ll be forced back to a level of transportation technology that we really won’t like, and won’t be able to recover sufficiently.

                I’m just one person though :)

                • Tiresias

                  As Serendipity has these things I’ve just watched “Coast” on Sky’s ‘Choice’ (a tour of the UK’s coastline) which features amongst other things a guy on the Shetland Islands who has built his own hydrogen-power car – which looks like it’s being killed off by the oil companies:

                  http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2008/09/19/what-now-for-hydrogen-car

                  and the Pelamis wave-power machine featured in the GreenPeace Report.

                  So yeah, if the Government were to get behind these types of projects there is much that could be achieved. Unfortunately it will take a Green Government to do it as I don’t have much hope anyone in Labour has the vision, or courage. And if the TPP comes to pass, forget it.

                • Fortran

                  How many cars were there in New Zealand in the 1950s ?
                  It’s all relative, and not truly comparable.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    i suspect the number of cars on the road in 20 years time is going to be heading back to 1950’s levels…

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I suspect that it’s going to be significantly lower. Quite simply, we can’t afford cars.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Indeed. I didn’t want to scare the horses though. There will be quite a few of them on the roads in the latter part of the century.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Developing the technology to replace petrol and diesel is not going to happen in New Zealand. We might have some world-class engineers working abroad but here we don’t have the pure-science infrastructure and we don’t have the money.

                I think you’d be surprised. I know I often am when I see that we’ve developed in NZ a world beating technology. One of those was the ability to manipulate atoms with lasers which has huge potential.

                When it comes to building this future we’re going to be buying the technology – and probably the hardware too – from abroad.

                Only if we keep attitudes like yours that maintain that we can’t do anything.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Technology can’t replace a lack of energy. Technology is not energy.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Good job I always say that we need to decrease what we pull out of the environment down to what we need then.

            • Peter 10.1.1.2.1.2

              I’d be interested to see the distances from the cylinder, as I’d expect them to be far less than your average LPG cylinder, and the system costs of scaling up that energy system to replace the existing infrastructure. It’s that system cost that usually finishes off all alternative proposals to run cars. Hence my focus on 1950s level tech, with heavy emphasis on rail, in nations that are suited to it (i.e. long stringy ones like NZ, with largely linear flows of people and goods).

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      For city-dwellers perhaps, but New Zealand is still a strongly rural and exurban country, unsuitable both for public transport and light-weight electric vehicles with a range of 120 km on smooth flat roads with one adult.

      Although I agree with you about the cars PT is another matter entirely.

      Yes we should be doing all the things the report says, but we should be doing it despite the cost because it makes sense in the larger picture of our relience of a closed, fragile, limited ecosystem.

      Thing is, it’s not actually a cost. It’s a diversion of presently available resources that will allow a better living standard later. As I say, use of money brings about false economics.

  11. ad 11

    Thoroughly looking forward to the full release of this report. Projecting a scenario like this remins me of the Shell Scenarios that have been produced for over a decade now, with several alternative futures for the world.

    Possibly this kind of thinking would be possible here if Labour had its own research unit rather than blowing its budget on focus groups. Anyone remember The Commission for the Future; a kind of leftover utopian backeddy from Think Big?

    Starting from the goal and working backwards usually seems impossible to politicians, but it’s what one does for any serious project, partiuclarly infrastructure ones. One thinks of Israel’s plan for electric cars and their long range arrangement with Renault.

    A New Zealand government prepared to take on that kind of plan – and leading the private sector as well – would be one worth sticking around here for, and working for.

    But masterplan thinking cuts right against the democratising heart of the RMA. Would people really let go of the right to stop things, as they have at, say Lamamoor, Poutu Point, the Rakaia, and every other project killed dead that would have enabled greater energy interdependence. But that’s the political will question. Which is secondary.

    Bring it on.

    • Peter 11.1

      Yeah, agree with the bring it on.

      I agree with the RMA being about democratising decision making and planning, however, there are plenty of existing mechanisms that can be used for nationwide decision making, and plenty more on the way under this government. The issue has been that central governments haven’t used them – both Labour and National.

      A National Policy Statement on Transportation Energy would do the job on the planning side, although any such thing is likely to be a giant whammy. I wouldn’t want to go further on all energy forms, lest one creates another National Development Act in drag.

      But yeah, regulating energy supply isn’t something that central governments have done in the Western world for a very long time, and even then, they haven’t done it outside of war times and emergencies.

      One interesting thing I find about energy is that it’s usually an enabling conversation, once you learn to either leave out or ignore the techno-fantasists who insist that some completely unheard of energy source is waiting just around the corner. This is in stark contrast to climate change conversations, that end in bitterness.

      • Coronial Typer 11.1.1

        I have had a read at the summary report.

        Things I liked:

        – The Green Infrastructure Bank. Helping public and private fund category managers make clearly weighted decisions.
        – Played to strengths New Zealand already has, and has had for 50+ years.
        – Admitted solar, wind, and tidal energy volume will always be unstable, and need shoring up with greater geothermal and hydro base load.
        – Illustrated with countries that are working to a plan, investing, and turning their economy the right way
        – Had a clear leadership role for government, but didn’t expect it to do everything.
        – easy to choose from policy options, nice and broad for interpretation

        Things to improve, and build conversations on:
        – didn’t deal with the continuing domination of Auckland as NZ’s principal energy waster
        – forgot to mention much of the renewable sector is built on dams
        – needed to spell out changing transport fuel that much meant a whole bunch more generation, sited somewhere
        – didn’t really get to inefficiency thermal heat loss in transmission and conversion; waste
        – should have been more up front about what was really possible, and what was very early days. Eg how easy to scale up pine biomass conversion.

        My personal minor fantasy would be a fully electrified rail system, funded by road tolls over every motorway. Ah well.

        On the political front, surely there were other groups that could have been enlisted to build a media cycle about this. Green Advantage. Sustainable Business groups. Mahuia, etc etc. Or launch it at the National Transport Conference next week in Wellington.

        Just amazing to hear anyone remaining so positive and upbeat, right in the midst of John Key and National remaining barely touched in the polls. Very encouraging. Although it still made me want to leave for Denmark.

        • Peter 11.1.1.1

          Yeah, that is excellent.

          Incidentally, the aspect of the Standard I enjoy the most is its ability to have relatively intelligent discussions about energy and resources.

    • Tiresias 12.1

      Don’t worry. New Zealand will stick to the moral high ground by refusing to devalue merely for commercial advantage and shame the rest of the world into following suit, just as we did with nuclear-free.

  12. Mike 13

    “There’s a lot of talk about the benefits of moving to a green, sustainable economy”

    Doesn’t matter what color the economy is, it isn’t sustainable in its current form. Forget about green this and that for a second, the whole monetary and economic system needs to be completely changed if you want sustainable.

    The first law of sustainability:-

    Population growth and / or growth in the consumption of resources cannot be sustained.

    • Polish Pride 13.1

      I agree with the first part of your post

      i.e.
      Doesn’t matter what color the economy is, it isn’t sustainable in its current form. Forget about green this and that for a second, the whole monetary and economic system needs to be completely changed if you want sustainable.

      but Population growth and / or growth in the consumption of resources cannot be sustained

      Both of these can be sustained provided you change the systems from those we currently use today.
      examples
      Population could double or more (and would need to) to make widespread permaculture a replacement alternative for so called modern farming.
      Provided your product design makes maximum use of renewables and you have significant levels of recycling then that too could sustain an increase in the level of resources.

      • Robert Atack 13.1.1

        Sad isn’t it, I think you actually believe what you wrote.
        As soon as you drive a shovel into the earth to get something you need, you cease to be sustainable.
        For example the Ogallala Aquifer
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/8359076/US-farmers-fear-the-return-of-the-Dust-Bowl.html
        ‘The problem,’ he goes on, ‘is that in a brief half-century we have drawn the Ogallala level down from an average of 240ft to about 80.’
        The aquifer was filled 2-6 million years ago, ‘we’ have used over half in about 60 years.
        While the maternity wards keep pumping out mouths to feed and bodies to keep warm and sheltered, nothing good is going to happen.
        One thing we have an unlimited amount of is gullible people, who are incapable of understanding facts. …… another degree or so of warming and that ‘problem’ will be gone.

      • Mike 13.1.2

        You can’t have an ever increasing population who all consume resources. We live in a world of finite resources. No matter how renewable and how much recycling there is, new consumption has to occur if the population increases. There’s no such thing as increasing our resources, only ways to manage them better, but that simply delays the inevitable if population keeps increasing or if we don’t somehow find a way to travel to the stars. (we might, you never know).

        The only possible way for sustainability to occur (assuming 100% recycling, etc) is for population growth to go down to ZERO. Sooner or later, whether we like it or not, our population growth will stop of it’s own accord. Then, of course, resource sustainability is feasible (but unlikely), but the population is not sustainable and we start to die off.

        (sigh…) pessimistic I know. That damn exponential function!

        • Robert Atack 13.1.2.1

          Yeah Mike
          But it isn’t just population growth that is gobbling up finite resources, bringing people out of poverty, and keeping us from going there is doing damage. What we need to do is get rid of people.
          We seem to do it via killing off pore people, blacks, browns, yellows, youth and the old, you know ‘non contributors’. I’m guessing but I recon we will start to see a drop in global population within 5 years. Starting with the above pesky groups.
          Personaly I place the blame at feet of parents, and if they profess to love their children every parent should fuckoff and make room for their offspring/mistakes, who after all did not ask to be born, we non breeders are the innocent victims of our parents ignorance and egos “I want more of me shit” I want my name to live on for ever, I need children to go with my lifestyle.
          ‘Producing’ another human being is the most destructive thing a human can do, not having children is the easiest way to not increasing your environment destroying foot print, and the only way to reduce future suffering.
          But what the fuck, humans are just like cancer and we will keep doing what cancer does until we kill our host.
          We got Kiwi Saver and the Greens yeah …… happy happy joy joy.

  13. millsy 14

    I looked through the report. It looks pretty well intentioned, but where it falls over is the fact that it relies heavily on the private sector to get to a ‘green economy’.

    If we want a cleaner economy, then the government needs to be more hands on than it has been in the past 30 years.

    Yes. I am talking about a green “Think Big” programme.

    For a start, we need to task our universities and CRI’s (as well as SOE’s — this can be done by using the provision in the SOE act where govt can purchase social services from them) to research clean energy applications, and we need to build up some form of expertise in the public sector, even if it is a design bureau for clean energy systems to be used in public sector organisations.

    Fossil fuels are a nessesary evil, but we can quite easily cut down on their use, and we should be looking at ways in which we can do so.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      For a start, we need to task our universities and CRI’s (as well as SOE’s — this can be done by using the provision in the SOE act where govt can purchase social services from them) to research clean energy applications, and we need to build up some form of expertise in the public sector, even if it is a design bureau for clean energy systems to be used in public sector organisations.

      no no no just get on with it. We don’t have the luxury of time.

      We know what needs to be done. Let’s just get it done now.

  14. We are living in a global economy. New Zealand is as dependent on it as much as the states in the CCCP prior to it’s collapse.
    The only ‘green’ economy is no economy, oh sorry you are using the the Green party meaning of green – ie more growth, more manufacturing, more exports, more suburbia … and more fucking children …….. god help you all.

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    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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