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Wise response

Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, March 8th, 2013 - 80 comments
Categories: activism, climate change - Tags: ,

“Wise Response” is an Otago based group set up to advocate for a serious and considered response to climate change – check out their website (and coverage in the ODT).

Wise Response are calling for a “Risk Assessment for NZ in our Deteriorating World”:

Therefore, in the name of all our children and grandchildren we, the undersigned, call on the New Zealand Parliament to face up to this situation now by dispassionately assessing risk levels in the following five areas. Then, if found necessary, and with public input, design coherent, robust cross-party strategies and policies to avert these risks and give future generations the very best chance of security, peace, social justice and opportunity for all.

1. Economic security: the risk of a sudden, deepening, or prolonged financial crisis. Such a crisis could adversely impact upon our society’s ability to provide for the essentials, including local access to resources, reliable supply chains, and a resilient infrastructure.

2. Energy and climate security: the risk of continuing our heavy dependence on fossil fuels. Progressively restricting their extraction, importation and use could promote a switch to genuine renewables and encourage smarter use of existing energy and energy systems while creating better public transportation. Such responses would simultaneously lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

3. Business continuity: the risk exposure of all New Zealand business, including farming, to a lower carbon economy. To mitigate this risk, all businesses could explore both market and job opportunities in reducing the human ecological footprint, finding substitutes for petroleum-based goods and services, increasing efficiencies and reducing waste in food and resources. This would position New Zealand as a market leader in low-carbon technologies and living arrangements.

4. Ecological security: the risks associated with failing to genuinely protect both land-based and marine ecosystems and their natural processes. We believe that such protection is essential for both the maintenance of indigenous biodiversity and ultimately, all human welfare.

5. Genuine well-being: the risk of persisting with a subsidised, debt-based economy, preoccupied with maximising consumption and GDP. An alternative is to measure progress by means of indicators of community sustainability, human well-being, more equitable wealth-sharing and environmental resilience, and to incorporate full-cost pricing of harmful environmental impacts.

The group are holding their launch today at the Otago Museum reserve 1:15 – 3pm. All political parties have been invited (David Clark will be there for Labour, the local Nat sent his apologies).

NZ_Risk_Assessment_Appeal_Launch_Poster

80 comments on “Wise response”

  1. fenderviper 1

    This is a good initiative, I wish it luck and success.

    No suprise National won’t take part, they will need to offer more than apologies by the time they have finished.

  2. Peter 2

    There’s something consistent that I am noticing on the Standard – and that’s that any posts with an environmental topic tend to get very few comments, whereas those with more of a social or economic focus receive far more.

    It’s a bit disappointing to be honest.

    • r0b 2.1

      We have had some very active comment threads on climate change posts – but mostly when these involve “personalities” like Monckton and so on. In general you’re right.

      However, not every post is designed to generate comments (otherwise the blog would look very different indeed). There is room for posts that are just spreading the word.

    • McFlock 2.2

      most of the political posts are controversial. People disagree. Not so much on CC.
      And it’s an unwary CC trool that raises their head hereabouts, because the physical sciences have a bit more evidence than social sciences or the religion of economics.

      • Peter 2.2.1

        Well, yeah, CC in general is pretty irrefutable. However, the assumptions behind the CC scenarios are quite refutable, and there are some big holes in some of these.

        • Murray Olsen 2.2.1.1

          In your view, which assumptions are quite refutable? I thought most of the basic physics was pretty well understood, with the problems coming in at the level of modelling nonlinear systems with feedback mechanisms. Maybe we’re talking about the same thing, but can you clarify?

          • lprent 2.2.1.1.1

            The physics is fine when you’re looking at a black body basis. You can get nice coarse overviews with that (and those are quite accurate).

            The questions have always been about the chaotic mixing inside the interactions or atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere affecting how soon effects become manifest. Just think of the way that the oceans sucking up CO2 and heat have been stabilizing the land over the last couple centuries. Even as recently as the early 90’s we weren’t sure of how much C02 actually went into the cold deep sea currents at the poles.

            There are literally hundreds of such variables that are either not in the models or have best guess ranges. They can shift significant effects that we can see at a human level (ie weather and climate) by decades.

            • Murray Olsen 2.2.1.1.1.1

              We’re talking about the same things. These are what I’d call input parameters. Some of them are measurable, but many are, as you say, just best guesses. If all the details were known, all the climate scientists would be looking for other jobs.

        • lprent 2.2.1.2

          However, the assumptions behind the CC scenarios are quite refutable, and there are some big holes in some of these.

          Yeah. Pretty much define the holes in our knowledge base. Who’d have thought 40 years ago that measuring the unconstrained (ie no sea ice sheets) ice movement rate of glaciers with increased fluid water in Greenland, Iceland, and the Antarctic would have been so important. Why didn’t they start measuring ALL glacier movements then when they first pushing the earth watch sats up?

          That is the problem with science is that you’re never sure when you’re going to need a long base line of data.

          /sarc

          Mostly I’m just impressed at how close they have been hitting. If you go back to the IPCC 1 & 2 and consider that they were done with 80’s science it is amazing that they predicted as closely as they did.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Great initiative, and I’d be all for it if it was 20 years ago. Now we are deadly short of time, and we simply have to get on with the hard work of building and changing for the future.

    • Pete 3.1

      It’s a shame because we are starting to see ozone recovery now since the adoption of the Montral Protocol in the 80s. Which shows that in time such international agreements can work. If only the work around carbon through Kyoto had come earlier and been given longer to demonstrate results. I agree, though. We need to use the remaining fossil fuels to build a resilient infrastructure for a post-carbon world.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Yep. That to my mind is the only responsible and morally allowable use of fossil fuels at this time.

  4. outofworkkiwi 4

    It’s too late.
    It doesn’t matter now what we do the die is cast for a hotter planet. So this initiative is a typical cosy middle class bs effort to give status to the pathetic participants. In a word typical do nothing kiwi rubbish while we get fucked up the arse by key boys and climate change. Enjoy. :-)

    • Colonial Weka 4.1

      You (and we) have no way of knowing if it is too late or not. Such negative defeatism, while tempting, is chicken shit IMO. I’d like you to go find the child in your life you are closest to and explain to them that are not willing to try and save them from extreme suffering later in their life.

      Yeah, Wise Response are a middle class group, a mostly Caucasian middle class group. Good. About time those people made a stand.

  5. Colonial Weka 5

    I liked the one where the woman is saying “it doesn’t feel urgent. But it is”.

    btw, r0b, I didn’t think this is just a CC initiative – looks like it’s covering many bases (Peak Oil/everything, GCF, local political and social issues as well as CC). Which is what we need, looking at the connections between all those things, and how the solutions intersect.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      if we just looked at NZ we already know all the technical and infrastructure answers.

      What no one understands however are what social and cultural answers will be required. Will people accept change, what they might perceive at times as a loss of freedom (eg loss of a personal road vehicle), or what they see as a lowering of the standard and convenience of their lives.

      This social and cultural aspect is what has got the engineers and scientists flumoxed. And it’s not surprising because many of them sincerely believe that if the right evidence and the right technical solutions were presented people would, rationally, accept them as being in their own (and everyone elses) best interests.

      Doesn’t work like that of course. Irrational and unconscious behaviour are far stronger drivers for most people than the rational weighing up of evidence and options.

      • Colonial Weka 5.1.1

        And it doesn’t help that we’ve now had 3 decades of collective socialisation encouraging selfishness.

        “Will people accept change, what they might perceive at times as a loss of freedom (eg loss of a personal road vehicle), or what they see as a lowering of the standard and convenience of their lives.”

        Many people are willing to give up or lessen car use now, if there were alternatives in place. I’ve been noticing how many couples are becoming one car households again (economic factors mostly, but some also for environmental reasons). Biking is on the upswing. I’m in my late 40s so I remember when a household having one or no car was normal. I think we can begin those transitions ok, but we lack the political will around public transport. Chch is classic example of wasted opportunity.

        “Irrational and unconscious behaviour are far stronger drivers for most people than the rational weighing up of evidence and options.”

        I think they are more intertwined than that. Once people are educated about the real situation, fear becomes a potent motivator. The big problem there is that no-one really knows what is going to happen: when and how the shit will hit the fan. But we know that the economic issues are happening to us already, and Chch has taught us the necessity of resilience within nature. Both those things are already potential drivers of change, if we just tap into them in the right way.

      • RedLogix 5.1.2

        The single biggest inhibitor of change is possibly a much simpler thing CV. One word … debt.

        Because so many people are effectively locked into repaying debt, either directly via a mortgage, credit card or HP, or indirectly via rent…. their options around change are become very constrained. You become locked into an economic system in order to maintain the cash flow required to service the debt each week or month.

        If we could show people a safe way forward without debt, I’m certain we would find within a few short years a critical mass of people engaging in the kinds of change we need.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1

          And with a dramatic sorting out of debt loading…a lot of farmers might suddenly become much more amenable to meeting tighter environmental requirements.

          All many of them are doing now are polluting NZ waterways in order to pay Australian bankers.

        • Colonial Weka 5.1.2.2

          Isn’t that a circular argument? If we found a way to alleviate mass debt, people would mobilise. But we need people to mobilise in order to find a way to alleviate mass debt (finding that alleviation via politics is as likely as finding appropriate responses to CC etc).

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.2.1

            Not quite so unlikely. Debt alleviations via politics have happened many many times before in history i.e. debt jubilees.

            • Colonial Weka 5.1.2.2.1.1

              Some NZ examples? How could you see that happening here now, given the state of NACT and Labour? Or do you think it would come from the banks?

              • Colonial Viper

                I should add that debt jubilees can happen politically because they promise an improvement in standard of living for the great majority of people, even business people and middle class home owners. (Not so with most steps to prevent CC).

                Some NZ examples?

                In the late 1890’s and 1900’s the Liberal Government allowed small farmers to refinance debt away from private banks to what eventually became the Rural Bank at very low government provided interest rates.

                While not a debt jubilee per se, it largely avoided the problem of onerous interest bearing debt.

                In the 1930’s the NZ government avoided debt by building thousands of state houses (during an economic depression) using state credit ie govt printed money. While this was also not a debt jubilee per se, it avoided additional bank debt.

                More recently, our bankruptcy laws, ability to write off bad debts and IRD writing off money owed to it are examples of debt jubilees which happen on a regular basis.

                In the US, the pricks in government have made it so that you cannot escape student debt by declaring bankruptcy. IE that shit now follows you to the grave. Pretty soon, I think they’ll make debts intergenerational. Back to the days of indentured servitude.

          • RedLogix 5.1.2.2.2

            Yes I guess that’s right CW; the way I’ve put it is a circular argument. So where is the circuit breaker?

            Why is it that we are locked into a cultural and political system that now seems increasingly incapable of solving any problems?

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.2.2.1

              “Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change a nation. Do you know why?”

              “Yes. Because that is all that ever has.”

            • Colonial Weka 5.1.2.2.2.2

              I think some systems inevitably evolve down dead ends. eg civilisations. Some things just aren’t fixable and eventually break down or fall apart. Our best hope is that enough of us are prepared and awake when the avalanche starts that we can make some use of the momentum to make change.

              IMO, collapse is inevitable, but we still have some choices about how that goes and where we end up. Maybe we don’t have to create debt relief, maybe we wait until the financial system collapses further and in the meantime we build the tools and networks to help people manage in the context of that (rather than trying to think of solutions to an unsolvable situation).

              The mortgage one is interesting. Taking on that kind of debt makes sense if the end of the world isn’t nigh. But in the face of CC, PO, GFC etc, it just doesn’t make sense (unless you can pay it off fast).

              And how much debt exists because people want stuff?

              • Colonial Viper

                mortgages (death contracts) are the main contributor to private debt in this country. And a large chunk of that is farming debt.

                But in the face of CC, PO, GFC etc, it just doesn’t make sense (unless you can pay it off fast).

                Well…a law making it impossible to evict someone from their home just because of an unpaid mortgage sorts that out pretty instantly.

                • Colonial Weka

                  I have to admit I am struggling a bit with ts at the moment because so much of the discussion is around statements like that. We seem very good at the bright ideas, but realistically, is that ever going to happen (such a law change)? I feel like we engage in wishful thinking too much (no offense intended).

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Agreed.

                    I make these statements to point out, perhaps frustratingly, that the solutions are not technically that far out of reach, or even that outlandish.

                    I do tend to go with Greer on these things, from a bigger perspective. Power in politics has become so diffuse and stagnant that it’s now difficult and slow to accomplish anything particularly substantial (for the good or the bad).

                    Mind you kudos to National for being determined and effective in pushing through unpopular shit. They know how to play the game of politics.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      “I make these statements to point out, perhaps frustratingly, that the solutions are not technically that far out of reach, or even that outlandish.”

                      Yes, and that’s a good thing to do. We just also need more focus on things that can actually happen now.

                      Maybe we should be focused on local body politics. I can’t see any hope at the national level unless there is a coup within Labour, or it falls apart.

                  • Grant

                    You absolutely should focus on local body politics most New Zealanders take no interest in their local councils and even less in their regional councils. However if you dissolusioned with Central Government politics local body politics will make you want to go and jump of the bridge. This is where the real waste is going on in New Zealand and this needs a huge shake up but all political parties will need to be onboard for it to be effective

                    • Colonial Weka

                      yep, and in the mean time NACT are gutting the community and environmental focus out of local bodies (such as they were). The next scariest thing about them is that people vote and they have no idea who they are voting for, way worse than national elections.

        • Rogue Trooper 5.1.2.3

          Yep R.L, Debt!

      • Populuxe1 5.1.3

        (1) build tidal barriers.
        (2) Significantly beef up our defense forces, particularly our navy.
        (3) Go from 76% to 100% completely sustainable and renewable energy (and the middle class NIMBYs in the Greens will just have to suck it).
        (4) Renationalise all infrastructure.
        (5) Diversify our agricultural sector so that we can fill all our own needs.
        (6) reactivate the national rail network.
        (7) establish alternative fuel sources like biofuel production or or Fischer–Tropsch synthesis

        That’s all just for starters

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.3.1

          Cripes I agree with everyone of those. Even the much maligned coal to liquids (as a back up).

          • Populuxe1 5.1.3.1.1

            You shouldn’t be THAT surprised. They’re the pragmatic things to do. As Michael Oakeshott observed “reputable political behavior is not dependent upon sound or even coherent philosophy.”

            Basically the only way vulnerable little sea-locked liberal democracies on their own are going to survive is by adopting our own kind of Juche.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.3.1.1.1

              Yep pretty much. I’d also go with local public broadcasting up and down the country as necessary infrastructure as times get tougher.

              • Populuxe1

                Ironically it’s Greens policy that I think would be most disastrous in relation to climate change with all their whining about reducing the navy to a sort of state-run Sea Shepherd with air rifles, and dams ruin rivers and wind turbines kill birds (yes, they do, but there are slightly bigger issues here). The environment is going to have to take a back seat to the survival of some sort of intact technological society. By the way, have you ever read the novel The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi? It’s set in Thailand in exactly the sort of dystopian future we could be facing.

                I don’t support carbon taxes or credits mainly because they don’t actually achieve anything because they’re too easy to get around.

                • Grant

                  If you’ve got nothing to do one day take a real close look at the Green polices and you will find out that they are absolute hypocripts when it comes to the environment. Their name is their biggest asset as they don’t have to talk much about the environment while people think they are all for the environment but they are not really they are just another socialist party. There name is also their achilles heal as once their environmental credentials are busted they are history.

                  You mentioned the birds in the turbine not to mention the bats which they kill without the blades even touching them not really that envrionmentally friendly. The wind turbines were in their election posters last election but they were so anti mining where do minerals come from to make the steal to make the turbines – thin air? They are just using the environment to get votes which would be okay if they would benefit the environment but they won’t this in my view makes them unethical and hypocripts.

                  • Colonial Weka

                    How do you propose that a party gets votes if it says we have to stop using all forms of industrial power given they all damage the environment?

  6. Bill 6

    Went down there. Brief summationof my (obvioously) personal take. Well meaning people. No idea of how to structure stuff and move things on.

    Of the political party presence. Labour’s Clark was a fcking embarassment trying to take cheap shots at ‘no show’ Nats. He got a flat zero response for his efforts from attendees. Greens (can’t remember name of individual) gave a heartfelt and sincere response to ‘the challenge’ laid down. NZ first…know what?…surprisingly streets ahead of the Labour Party response.

    Jist sayin’.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Who represented NZF? An MP?

      • Bill 6.1.1

        Shite with names I am. Recognised his face. From North Shore – ex mayor? Just looked at website – Andrew Williams. Kennedy Graham from the Greens?

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Cheers. This country is in big trouble. Not as big as some others, but big nonetheless.

          Our political class aren’t up for this.

          • Bill 6.1.1.1.1

            I don’t believe it is possible to have an adequate Social Democratic response. Social Democracy could, perhaps, form a part of a response. But there is no way can constitute one. We, the people, have to rediscover politics – we are all there is that could possibly constitute a major component of any necessary reaction/solution – us.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I agree: mild variations of the status quo are not sufficient now. I read something a few days ago which said that major establishment parties have by definition, no interest in doing much else other than continuing the established status quo.

              What we require now is a permanent revolution in how citizens re-engage in politics at every level.

              That is what Chavez has accomplished in Venezuela by the way. IIRC the country’s constitution and it’s importance is taught in every school. Election turn out has increased from the 60-ish% range in the 1990’s to 80% or more now.

              But neither National nor Labour will countenance such a re-engagement. The 50 most influential power players within each party have no wish to see the riff raff gain real effective power in those parties.

              • Bill

                Yeah, I’m not sure what any ‘re-engagement’ (with present political structures) would achieve. Way I see it, we need a new engagement…a political engagement that doesn’t rely on the traditional structures and habits of Social Democracy.

                Like you say, the major establishment parties have no interest in change. That makes sense. But it also (surely) ought to be viewed as utterly unacceptable – and therefore they and their interests rejected, sidelined and consigned to the dustbin of history.

                And that’s going to take engagement- serious political engagement.

    • r0b 6.2

      my (obvioously) personal take.

      Indeed.

      Clark spoke well and was warmly received, as did/were the Green and NZF MPs. The event convener also noted the absence of the Nats at the start, as did (I think) one of the several speakers before Clark, so it wasn’t exactly a “cheap shot”.

      • Bill 6.2.1

        Yeah r0b, sure. But Clark thought he could score points by having a go at National’s absence. He was fishing for ‘audience appreciation’. And in a scenario where the stated objective/challenge was for cross party consensus. Fucking dick witted was all it was.

        • r0b 6.2.1.1

          in a scenario where the stated objective/challenge was for cross party consensus.

          That’s exactly right. The politicians were challenged to achieve consensus and act. Clark was being honest about how difficult achieving consensus was going to be – case in point the Nats can’t even be bothered to show up for this event. It wasn’t an unreasonable point at all.

    • Colonial Weka 6.3

      “No idea of how to structure stuff and move things on”

      Do you mean that they have a Big Idea, but no strategy?

      The thing I liked about it (from the website) is that it will appeal to the classes with excess resources, people who are not going to be moved by the grassroots activists but want to do something. They recognise that something is wrong, but they’re not uncomfortable enough to take action on their own yet.

      • Bill 6.3.1

        What I mean is that, well meaning as it is, it is privileged liberals wringing their hands and it will end with privileged liberals wringing their hands. I know that might sound like a cheap shot, but this is a comment section of the blog, it’s late and I’m tired. That sounds like a cop out, dunnit? But…(sigh) I’ve given it thought – I observed and extrapolated with reference to experience of both failed and successful organisational structures . Their structure – and this is basic stuff, stuff they are blissfully unaware of – is self defeating and they simply will not be capable of achieving one of their principle aims; that of generating any type of mass participation.

        • Colonial Viper 6.3.1.1

          Maybe they just need to present more convincing evidence and data.

          😈

          • Bill 6.3.1.1.1

            Thank fck you put the evil face of mischeviousness at the end there CV. You might have had me worries otherwise :)

        • Colonial Weka 6.3.1.2

          “one of their principle aims; that of generating any type of mass participation.”

          Is that one of their aims? I thought they were a lobby group.

          • Colonial Weka 6.3.1.2.1

            I don’t think the upper middle classes aspire to political mass participation (at least not in the way I am guessing you mean). They want someone else to do the hard yards, and they will write a cheque to support it (or sign an online petition, or repost something on FB, or go out and listen to a speech at one of the Uni’s lecture theatres). So if a group of respected and prominent kiwis can put together a challenge to the govt of the day, and follow that up with some decent lobbying, that will/might get supported. And those supporters will use their influence in different spheres in their lives to promote the Wise Response strategies and recommendations.

            I do agree that it has potential to be a big wank fest that fades into the status quo. But I’ll wait a bit and see what they are planning I think.

            • Colonial Viper 6.3.1.2.1.1

              I don’t think the upper middle classes aspire to political mass participation

              Sure. But they do aspire to mass energy and resources per capita consumption.

              • Colonial Weka

                Stating the obvious. Your point?

                • Colonial Viper

                  The Wise Response appeal is very well put together and demonstrates a lot of understanding of the predicament modern civilisation is in.

                  What it does not demonstrate great understanding of however, is the path to changing our political economy. Who really holds and wields power in this country?

                  Looking to “The New Zealand Parliament” as the focus of power needed to change things is going to largely fail IMO. Why? Because the big parties present in parliament are focussed on the maintenace of the status quo, both their own and the country’s. (and perhaps polishing it up a bit here and there).

                  Those political parties are not about the permanent revolution which would be needed to even modestly achieve the aims of the Wise Response appeal. As we have seen, the political parties are from time to time more than happy to diss and disregard their own membership.

                  To achieve the revolutionary change required in the NZ political economy, you would need to have political parties present willing to represent revolutionary ideas. Labour of 1935 and 1984 was of that mindset.

                  Given the math, Labour of 2031 might be again.

                  • Colonial Weka

                    yes, yes, but the value in Wise Response isn’t that they are trying to get the govt to change. It’s that they can put the issues on the middle class agenda. If all those people start talking about this shit as if it is real and urgent, that will affect their peers and they will have an influence in many spheres, not just with the govt. That influence is far more important than their attempt on govt policy, but they have to focus somewhere.

                    I don’t know why they chose the govt to target – naivety or lack of options or strategy. But it’s still useful. If they get it right, they will at the least be exposing NACT for the bunch of environment and social structure rapists and pillagers that they are.

                    2031, far too late. I’m not waiting for, nor expecting the revolution. Time to be making changes now.

                    I don’t know if WR will be successful at what I have outlined, but naysaying them at the start of the game hardly ups their chances.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      True. When you look back on the history of westminster democracies, positive change has usually required the assent, even grudgingly, of the middle upper, and elite classes.

                      Maybe if they start talking about these issues at dinner parties, in addition to whether or not there are still investment opportunities in Herne Bay, we might have a chance.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      “Maybe if they start talking about these issues at dinner parties, in addition to whether or not there are still investment opportunities in Herne Bay, we might have a chance.”

                      The middle classes deserve to be taken to task for abusing their privileges and refusing to share power, no doubt about it. But in this conversation I don’t think it’s helpful to characterise them solely in such disparaging and belittling terms.

                      Looking at the make up of the WR group I’d say their influence is pretty wide within their peers. That’s influence in many aspects of society not just ‘dinner parties’. The disparagement also renders invisible the middle class people that are working hard to make changes. You only need to get the right people in positions of power to start affecting things at the council level or in the university or workplaces or the many other places that the middle classes have power and/or excess resources and are wanting to make good use of them.

                      We should be looking at how that assists us, how we can make use of it.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      generalisations are both helpful, and unhelpful; it’s all cultural memes anyhoo for the majority.

                  • Pete

                    On a local level, I do like the Transition Towns movement, and remember, in respect of local food New Zealand was a lot more resilient as late as WW2. Market gardeners (generally Chinese New Zealanders who were performing an essential but unappreciated function in NZ society) supplied their local communities with a diverse range of crops. Of course, populations were a lot smaller then and you can only do so much on a local level but NZ has ample rich land to feed the population and then some. The defence of the realm and our fisheries is always going to remain with central government, though.

  7. rosy 7

    Does anyone know if there are any links between wise-response and Pure Advantage? If there’s not, there probably should be. Their focus is different, but there’s plenty of crossover in the objectives of the two groups.

  8. TEA 8

    This group would have been better to promote there ideas in Wellington “The Green City of New Zealand”.
    In Dunedin these type of groupies are normally the 0.005%’ers based out of Otago University, and the rest of the Dunedin City think they are academic dreamers or dropouts from society, mostly grey haired and are a laugh a minute.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      0.005%’er?

      That’s like the richest person out of every 20,000 people?

      Newsflash: you really don’t get paid that much teaching at a university.

    • Murray Olsen 8.2

      Are you saying it’s best not to listen to them because they may actually have studied what they are talking about? Or that they make too much money? They make a hell of a lot less than the leading deniers. I welcome their contribution and don’t care much at all about the colour of their hair. Sometimes I wonder why we even have universities in Aotearoa – is it just so that idiots like Slater can have someone to feel intellectually superior to?

      • felixviper 8.2.1

        Are you saying…

        Oh come now Murray, you know he has absolutely no idea what he’s saying.

  9. TEA 9

    You are dead right only $120,000. Not enough to live on.

  10. Ugly Truth 10

    “Therefore, in the name of all our children and grandchildren”

    You do not speak for my children or grandchildren.

    “we, the undersigned, call on the New Zealand Parliament to face up to this situation now by dispassionately assessing risk levels in the following five areas.”

    Wise Response? True irony.

    If you are looking for meaningful risk assessment, then perhaps you should try asking people who don’t lie to you about the basics.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      You do not speak for my children or grandchildren.

      Why do you promote the resource depleted, extreme climate world, that you are handing to your family?

      There’s no reason to be so ignorant and callous.

      • Ugly Truth 10.1.1

        “Why do you promote the resource depleted, extreme climate world, that you are handing to your family?”

        Please feel free to continue to pull factoids out of your arse. It’s freakin hilarious.

        “There’s no reason to be so ignorant and callous.”

        The ignorance is yours. Parliament lies about the basics of law, specifically common law.

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  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    34 mins ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    3 hours ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    5 hours ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    8 hours ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    23 hours ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    23 hours ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    24 hours ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    24 hours ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    24 hours ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    1 day ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    2 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    2 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    2 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    2 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    4 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    4 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    5 days ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    6 days ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    6 days ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    7 days ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    7 days ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    1 week ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    1 week ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    1 week ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls on all parties to end coat-tailing
    Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway is encouraging all parties to support his Bill to end the coat-tailing provision when it is debated in Parliament this week.  “New Zealanders have sent MPs a clear message. An opinion poll found more than 70… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government social sector reforms
    I’ve written previously about the major shake-up that is happening in the provision of government and community services. Yesterday, the Minister of Social Development spoke publically about what these reforms are likely to look like within MSD. There are major… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • PM must explain Saudi sheep scandal backflips
    John Key’s explanations of the Saudi sheep scandal continue to be riddled with inconsistencies and irreconcilable backflips, Labour’s Trade Spokesperson David Parker says. “Either he has been misled by his Minister Murray McCully or the Prime Minister is deliberately obfuscating… ...
    1 week ago

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