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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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  • Pasifika Education Centre doomed
    The Pasifika Education Centre appears doomed to close down this December, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio  “In a written question I asked the Minister whether he would put a bid in for more money. His answer ...
    22 hours ago
  • Onetai Station review a shameful whitewash
    A report released today on the Overseas Investment Office’s (OIO) good character test is a whitewash that does nothing to improve New Zealand’s overseas investment regime, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “The review of the good character test ...
    23 hours ago
  • We need a national strategy to end homelessness now
    Long before I entered Parliament, housing and homelessness were issues dear to my heart. I know from personal experience just how hard it is to find an affordable home in Auckland. In my maiden speech, I talked about how when ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • Capital feels a chill economic wind
      Wellington is on the cusp of recession with a sharp fall in economic confidence in the latest Westpac McDermott Miller confidence survey, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark.  “Economic confidence amongst Wellingtonians has dropped 12% in the past ...
    1 day ago
  • Dive school rort took six years to dredge up
    News that yet another private training establishment (PTE) has rorted the Government’s tertiary funding system since 2009 shows that Steven Joyce has no control of the sector, says Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Like Agribusiness Training and Taratahi, ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s housing crisis hitting renters hard
    National’s ongoing housing crisis is causing massive rental increases, with Auckland renters being hit the hardest, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Government holds Northland back
    New information shows Northland remains the most economically depressed region in New Zealand, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest Westpac McDermott Miller regional survey found that more Northlanders believe their local economy will deteriorate this year than ...
    2 days ago
  • Rebstock report into MFAT leaks a disgrace
    An Ombudsman’s report on the Paul Rebstock investigation into MFAT leaks shows the two diplomats at the centre of the case were treated disgracefully, says Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi.  “The Ombudsman says one of the diplomats Derek Leask ...
    2 days ago
  • More families forced to turn to food banks for meals
    Increasing numbers of families are having to go to food banks just to put a meal on the table, according to a new report that should shame the Government into action, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    2 days ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    3 days ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    3 days ago
  • Aussie reforms signal trouble ahead for school funding plan
    Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The signaled return to bulk funding is ...
    3 days ago
  • Toxic Sites – the down low on the go slow
    In  2011, I negotiated an agreement with the National Government to advance work on cleaning up contaminated sites across the country. This included establishing a National Register of the ten worst sites where the creators of the problem could not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 days ago
  • Aucklanders face new motorway tax of up to $2500 a year
    The Government wants to tax Aucklanders thousands of dollars a year just to use the motorway network, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Officials estimate the average city commute is 11.8km. This means for the average Aucklander commuting five ...
    3 days ago
  • 15 corrupt bank managers identified in student fraud
    New information show 15 bank managers in India have been identified by Immigration New Zealand as presenting fraudulent documents on behalf of foreign students studying here, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information ...
    3 days ago
  • National leaves Kiwi savers the most vulnerable in OECD
    News last week that Israel’s Finance Minister will insure savers’ bank deposits means New Zealand will be left as the only country in the OECD that has no deposit insurance to protect savers’ funds should a bank fail. Most Kiwis ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    4 days ago
  • Comprehensive plan for future of work needed
    A Massey University study showing many New Zealanders are unaware of the increasing role of automation in their workplace, highlights the need for a comprehensive plan for the future of work, says Grant Robertson, Chair of Labour’s Future of Work ...
    4 days ago
  • Another National Government failure: 90 day work trials
    On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Iraq mission extension case not made
    The Prime Minister has not made the case for extending the Iraq deployment another 18 months nor the expansion of their mission, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “Labour originally opposed the deployment because the Iraqi Army’s track record was poor, ...
    5 days ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Melanoma deaths could be avoided by an early access scheme
      The tragic death of Dunedin’s Graeme Dore from advanced Melanoma underlines the cruelty of this Government in promising a treatment but delaying for months, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “Graeme was diagnosed with Melanoma last year. He used ...
    5 days ago
  • Assessing the Defence White Paper
    The Government’s recently released Defence White Paper has raised questions again about New Zealand’s defence priorities, and in particular the level and nature of public funding on defensive capabilities. The Green Party has a longstanding belief that priority must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis’ confidence drops again: Economy needs a boost
    Westpac’s consumer confidence survey has fallen for the seventh time in nine quarters, with middle income households ‘increasingly worried about where the economy is heading over the next few years’, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This survey is a ...
    5 days ago
  • Relocation grant simply kicks can down the road
    The response by state house tenants and social agencies to the Government’s rushed plan to shift families out of Auckland tells us what we already knew – this is no answer to the chronic housing shortage, Opposition Leader Andrew Little ...
    5 days ago
  • Peace hīkoi to Parihaka
    On Friday a Green crew walked with the peace hīkoi from Ōkato to Parihaka. Some of us were from Parliament and some were party members from Taranaki and further afield. It was a cloudy but gentle day and at one ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Children’s Commissioner right to worry about CYF transition
    The Government must listen to the Children’s Commissioner’s concerns that young people under CYF care could be ‘negatively impacted’ as the new agency’s reforms become reality, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. “Dr Russell Wills has used the second annual ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English exaggerates PPL costs to justify veto
    The Finance Minister has used trumped-up costings to justify a financial veto against parents having 26 weeks paid parental leave, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Bill English’s assertion on RNZ yesterday that the measure would cost an extra $280 million ...
    1 week ago
  • Government must refund overcharged motorists
    Labour is calling on the Government to refund motor registration fees to three-quarters of a million Kiwi motorists whose vehicles were wrongly classified under National’s shambolic ACC motor vehicle risk rating system, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says.“Minister Kaye’s ridiculous ...
    1 week ago
  • 90-day work trials an unfair failure which must change
    A new Treasury report shows the Government’s 90-day trials haven’t helped businesses and are inherently unfair, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Motu report found that 90-day trial periods had no impact on overall employment and did not ...
    1 week ago
  • Massey East houses a start but Nick Smith should think bigger
    The Massey East 196-home development is a start but the Government must think bigger if it is to end the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “It is great the Government is finally realising it needs to build ...
    1 week ago
  • More changes needed to ensure fewer cases like Teina Pora’s
    Teina Pora spent 21 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, shafted by a Police investigation that prioritised an investigator’s hunch over the pursuit of credible evidence. Yesterday’s announcement that the government is to pay him $2.5m in ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Labour sends condolences to UK
    The New Zealand Labour Party is sickened and saddened by the murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Ms Cox was killed in cold blood while simply doing her job as a constituent MP. She ...
    1 week ago
  • Shameful refugee quota increase still leaves NZ at the bottom of the list
    Minister for Immigration Michael Woodhouse announced this week that the government will put off increasing the refugee quota by 1000 places until 2018.  It’s a shameful decision that undermines the Government’s claim that it takes its international humanitarian obligations seriously, ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Paula Bennett as a victim hard to swallow
    The National Party spin machine has gone into overdrive to try and present Paula Bennett as the victim in the Te Puea Marae smear saga, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Bill English in Parliament today tried valiantly to paint ...
    1 week ago
  • Voters to have the final veto on paid parental leave
    New Zealanders will have the final right of veto on a Government that has ignored democracy and is out of touch with the pressures and demands on families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Today’s decision by National to veto 26 ...
    1 week ago
  • Collins should put Kiwis’ money where her mouth is
    Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash is calling on anyone who has received a speeding ticket for going up to 5km/h over the 100km/hr open road speed limit to write to him and he will take it up on their behalf ...
    1 week ago
  • Where is the leadership on equal pay for work of equal value?
    The gender pay gap in the public service is worse than in the private sector. I’ve always found this particularly galling because I expect our Government to provide an example to the private sector on things like human rights, rather ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis’ real disposable income goes nowhere for the year
    New Zealanders’ hard work for the last year resulted in no increase in real disposable income, showing Kiwis aren’t getting ahead under National, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Today’s GDP figures reveal that real gross national disposable income per ...
    1 week ago
  • Pora case a case to learn from
    Conformation that Teina Pora will receive $2.5million from the Crown for more than 20 years of wrongful imprisonment does not fix the flaws in our system that led to this miscarriage of justice, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “The ...
    1 week ago
  • Government needs to start again with RMA changes
    The National Government’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act have attracted more than 800 submissions, many of them critical of key aspects of the Resource Legislation Bill. There has been much criticism of the new regulation making powers given ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Bennett’s briefing completely unacceptable
    It is completely unacceptable that Paula Bennett briefed her political staff on the police investigation into Hurimoana Dennis after her meeting with him, despite it having nothing to do with her social housing portfolio, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Green Building Council
    Building smarter, greener cities It will be clear to anyone who has been watching the public debate on the housing crisis that housing in New Zealand is sadly far from being economically sustainable when Auckland has the fourth most unaffordable ...
    1 week ago
  • Paula Bennett has more questions to answer
    It is unthinkable that Paula Bennett’s press secretary went rogue and tried to smear the reputation of someone involved in helping the homeless, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Political staff would not take such serious unilateral action without the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech on Notice of Motion on Orlando
    Mr Speaker, The Labour Party joins with the government in expressing our horror at this atrocity and our love and sympathy are with the victims and their families. Our thoughts are with the people of Orlando and of the United ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiakina Ngā Wai – Swimmable Rivers Report June 2016
    The campaign to clean up our rivers was launched at the Green Conference at Queens Birthday weekend. However, the work prior to the launch goes back a number of years. Russel Norman and Eugenie Sage deserve full credit for the ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • We can do more: Refugee quota should be doubled
    New Zealand is a better country than National’s miserable increase in the refugee quota that ignores our obligations to the international community and people in need, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. “It is a sad day when the Government can’t ...
    2 weeks ago

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