1600 Dead Again

Written By: - Date published: 1:52 pm, May 17th, 2009 - 34 comments
Categories: greens, health, housing - Tags:

Each year and every year, around 1600 New Zealanders die prematurely because we live in cold damp houses. This “excess winter death rate” is four times higher than the road toll. They die, most especially the young, unwell, disabled and elderly, of respiratory illnesses, strokes and heart attacks because far too much of our housing stock is cheap, crappily built rubbish. By contrast, really cold countries like Russia have almost zero excess winter deaths.

Our welfare state is a miserly one. Our total social housing stock is only 5%, a very low provision by OECD standards, and much of it is old and in dire need of upgrading. Worse still the building regulations around heating, insulation and efficiency are effectively a sick-making joke. No form of heating is actually required, other than a 3-pin plug on a wall somewhere. Even the latest new building codes with marginally improved insulation and double glazing measures, are a feeble catch-up on world standards, and apply to new houses only. They do nothing for the 99% of houses people actually live in.

The whole commercial building industry is totally geared to place almost ZERO value on the real costs, both direct and indirect, of owning and living the houses they build. The industry only cares about making a profit today, while the buildings they create are in use for 90 years or more.

The market creates huge disconnects. Tenants typically pay for all their energy costs, while the capital burden of any improvements falls onto the owner, meaning that the landlord has very little incentive to spend the typical $15-25k needed to bring a home up to a reasonable standard. Worse still even if that money is spent, the valuation of the home is likely to only improve a small fraction of that, say $2-5k, making it very difficult to fund the improvements from the bank. With many, many rentals running cash-flow negative, the money has to come directly out of the landlord’s own pocket if it is to happen. Given that most landlords are just ordinary working people themselves, and even with good intentions, there remains a big hurdle to leap over.

As for HNZ, I’m not sure what excuse they have.

It all stands as a terrible indictment of the so called ‘market system’ and a total failure of political will. The ‘Green New Deal’ document addresses this issue directly, and is a very pointed challenge to this government. Housing in this country is a massive market failure by almost every measure of social equity, human health, environmental sustainability, and plain old commonsense. And this winter; we can count on another 1600 New Zealanders dying quite unnecessarily, because it would appear that their lives don’t really matter that much.

34 comments on “1600 Dead Again ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    while the buildings they create are in use for 90 years or more.

    No they won’t be because the standards of the building materials just aren’t good enough and neither are the building standards themselves. My nephew’s a builder and he puts more faith in his 30 year old, cheaply built house, than in any building that he works on today. His two biggest gripes are that the materials are crap and the standards that he’s forced to build to are worse. He predicts that most buildings built today will have leaky building syndrome in about 10 years time.

  2. bilbo 2

    Your conclusions are at variance from the clinical study you link to …. their conclusion is

    “EWM in NZ is substantial and at the upper end of the range observed internationally. Interventions to reduce EWM are important, but the surprising lack of variation in EWM by ethnicity, region and deprivation, provides little guidance for how such mortality can be reduced.”

  3. andrei 3

    Maybe there’s flawed logic at work here.

    Mortality goes up during weather extremes both during heat waves and cold. snaps

    Given NZ doesn’t have many heat waves compared to cold snaps the answer could be that.

    I don’t think there is any political mileage to be gained out of this, and it is certainly not an indictment of the ‘market system’. as it stands

    • felix 3.1

      Proper insulation mitigates the extremes of both heat AND cold.

      It’s exactly the same issue.

  4. charlie 4

    Meanwhile the refurbishing of existing state house stocks looks to be all talk and no doing, from an initial 30 or so state house upgrades that were announced here in Whanganui only 5 have been completed and 7 have contracts in place. The other 20+ seem to have offed themselves into the ether with no contracts on the horizon and PAE are staying mum.

    btw, anyone who is thinking about winning contracts for this work think again because PAE is a shit of an outfit to deal with. .

  5. Nick 5

    I just came back from the supermarket in Newtown in Wellington, where the houses are 100 year old workers cottages shoe horned onto postage stamp sections. These structures were not built to last as long as they have and are generally wood from the wholesale cutting down of our native forests. They are not fit in my mind for human habitation even when refurbed BUT in todays housing market these inner city properties still attract a huge premium. IMHO they should all be bulldozed….but we are still stuck with a false concept of the market value and worth of these dog boxes.

    The physical problem we have is that the earthquake environment we live in restricts how we build and with what materials. I would advocate that we rethink the economics and utility of housing, have a really good think about sustainability and the social implications of housing. Its an area where neither the market nor government have exclusivity of answers. We have however done this before, it was the State housing project. We now know enough to make the resulting buildings healthier, it just requires a government with the vision to initiate.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    The article states that 1600 more die in winter than in summer. From that simple statistic the authors of the study seem to be basing their conclusion that poor housing quality is increasing mortality.

    To put all that difference down to housing quality is illogical. People are exposed to colder temperatures when they go out of their houses in winter regardless of the quality of their houses. I suspect there probably are more driving accidents due to more hazardous road conditions over this period too. There is a greater spread of viruses due for the tendency for people to congregate together indoors during winter, thus more people getting sick and dying. In this case, better quality housing may actually INCREASE the likelihood of death due to the fact that people would prefer to congregate together in warmer surroundings than colder ones, thus increasing the spread of disease in warmer homes.

    When the multitude of confounding variables (such as those above) have been partialled out, I suspect only a handful if any of the 1600 deaths could be attributed to housing quality. Thus the study seems to be launching wildly into the realms of speculation.

    On the face of it a stupid and speculative study.

    • bilbo 6.1

      “The article states that 1600 more die in winter than in summer. From that simple statistic the authors of the study seem to be basing their conclusion that poor housing quality is increasing mortality.”

      They have done no such thing … they state that…

      “EWM in NZ is substantial and at the upper end of the range observed internationally. Interventions to reduce EWM are important, but the surprising lack of variation in EWM by ethnicity, region and deprivation, provides little guidance for how such mortality can be reduced.’

      It’s Redlogix who has drawn rather dubious conclusions.

    • Anthony Karinski 6.2

      If you look at the study you will find it addresses relevant issues such as the methods employed, discussion of relevant research from other studies, and areas of uncertainty requiring further research. They do for instance discuss the flu and model causes of death (cardiovascular, respiratory etc.). They don’t however attribute the 1600 deaths to poor housing. This is one of the areas they suggest further research on.

    • RedLogix 6.3

      Prof. Philippa Howden-Chapman at DL last week made it clear that the authors of the study (close colleagues) and herself, believed that the large majority of the EWM is attributable to poor quality housing.

      Moreover she went on to outline some of the very direct political reasons WHY so much of our housing stock is so bad. But that is the stuff of another post.

      • bilbo 6.3.1

        I pretty sure a proportion of the EWM is attributable to poor housing and a proportion is due to high power prices etc …. just that one cannot conclusively make those claims on the back of the study you quote.

  7. tsmithfield, clearly not all 1600 additional deaths are attributable to poor housing, but certainly a decent chunk of them would be.

    I remember in 7th form my calculus teacher was from Russia – Siberia even (Novosibirsk I think). Yet she said that she’s never been as cold as she got in Auckland. This was simply because we live in denial that it gets cold in winter and build rubbish houses.

    I am stuck in a nasty situation at the moment myself. I live in a nice half-villa (rented). Yet it’s bloody freezing at night, with our heaters having somewhat little impact at all. What incentive is there for my landlord to insulate this house though? Very little I would think as it doesn’t save their power bill.

    Someone suggested a while back that the level of insulation should be included in a house’s LIM report. In a similar way to how cars for sale now need to show their fuel efficiency and how much an average person driving that car would spend on fuel a year, something similar should be done for houses and their power bills.

    Regarding state housing, I think for so many reasons it is essential for Housing New Zealand to build like crazy over the next few years. For a start, it would create a huge number of jobs (28,000 jobs for each 6000 houses built according to the Greens). Secondly, the increased supply of housing would bring housing prices down to a more affordable level for first home buyers (as not all HNZC houses built would need to be kept for subsidised housing). Thirdly, land development is clearly a profitable business so it wouldn’t necessarily impose a particularly high cost on government to undertake such a programme of massive HNZC land development.

    Housing New Zealand own something like 26,000 houses in Auckland. Often these are on unnecessarily large sections and would be very suitable for some level of intensification. Many of the houses are reaching the end of their economic lifespan. Recent HNZC developments (such as Talbot Park in Glen Innes) have been huge successes and have been built to a really high standard. There is enormous potential for additional stock to be built.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      I remember in 7th form my calculus teacher was from Russia – Siberia even (Novosibirsk I think). Yet she said that she’s never been as cold as she got in Auckland.

      Absolutely. I have heard exactly the same story from a woman who hailed from a small village in the Altai Mountains area (sort of near Novosirbirsk) where the snow was often meters deep all winter.

    • George D 7.2

      I’ve lived in houses where a glass of water would freeze overnight.

      It shouldn’t be in the LIM report. Fuck that “informed consumer choice” neoliberal crap. That’s a half-hearted intervention that in any other country would being suggested by parties to the right of National (eg. ACT). No disrespect to you Jarbury, you’re hardly alone with this suggestion.

      Regulate. Insulate, within the next five years, or you lose the privilege of selling your house.

      Policy in NZ is complete rubbish because Labour are chicken-shit, and the Greens water things down to peasant soup in order to get them by that bunch of neoliberals. Labour are scared of doing what’s right (and will be popular) because they don’t want to have to fight the reactionaries, the capitalists, and the idiots. They win by default.

  8. I’m interested in the conclusion of the study:

    “EWM in NZ is substantial and at the upper end of the range observed internationally. Interventions to reduce EWM are important, but the surprising lack of variation in EWM by ethnicity, region and deprivation, provides little guidance for how such mortality can be reduced.”

    So on the basis of the study why are you blaming housing? If it really is just about housing and weather won’t Auckland have a lower death rate then Southland? But there are no regional differences.

    • I should have added that if there are no differences relating to “deprivation” and therefore the wealthy, who should have better housing, suffer just as much as those who are poorer then, again, why do you blame housing?

    • RedLogix 8.2

      It is not unreasonable to suggest that the standard of housing and heating does generally improves the further south one goes, so that overall not a lot of regional variability remains.

      It’s worth noting that WHO recommends a minimum overnight temp of 16degC to maintain good health; temperatures lower than that would be common enough across the whole country.

      • Paul Walker 8.2.1

        On what basis do you say housing improves as you go south? The weather also gets worse as you go south, so I would have thought some regional variation would occur if it is about housing.

  9. Paul, it’s the same story (to a lesser extent) as what RedLogix and I are talking about with regards to Siberia.

    In the South Island people realise that winter is cold, and therefore houses are generally built with better insulation. Meanwhile, in Auckland our winters may not seem that cold but because they’re horribly damp and often windy the cold gets to chill the bones all the same.

    • At least in Christchurch I have not noticed any large amounts of insulation in older homes. In fact this is often commented on by the overseas people I work with.

    • George D 9.2

      It often gets down near or below zero in an Auckland winter. With no insulation, you’re likely to get sick, and certain to suffer.

      Why did people vote Labour out? Because they felt like their lives weren’t improving. They still don’t seem to realise that. Living in cold damp houses does not make for a happy electorate.

      • RedLogix 9.2.1

        Yeah so they voted in a NACT govt whose first act was to toss out the Greens $1billion home insulation scheme.

        You’re not serious are you GD?

        • George D 9.2.1.1

          Well, none of the scheme had come on-line at that stage (because Labour fought actively against the policy for years). Was a single house insulated under this in late 2008? No.

          People don’t realise things until they happen, generally – they don’t follow politics like you and I. And to the extent they did realise, that nice man Mr Key said he’d keep business as usual, and the media parroted his lines at face value. How were they to know?

          So yes, I am serious.

  10. RedLogix 10

    On what basis do you say housing improves as you go south?

    In general (and I accept it is a generalisation) the further south one goes, the more consideration is given to low winter temps. More heating, smaller windows, and a minimum install of insulation is an entirely reasonable thing to suggest… even if the nett result is still not really adequate.

    In particular many NZ homes are only heated in one room; the bedrooms, hallways and bathrooms remain unheated.

    Another factor is likely to be an almost complete absence of decent ventilation, particularly a problem when temperatures are in the 0 – 10 degC range, due to moisture build up encouraging mould.

    From memory I also recall that the 16degC minimum temp has a distinct threshold effect, ie any temp below that is detrimental.

    • As I said above, in Christchurch a least, I haven’t noticed a great amount of insulation in older homes. In addition I would assume those who are wealthier would have better insulation and homes in general but the study fines no difference from socioeconomic status. Even if homes do get better as you move south, for there to be no regional variation the effects of improved homes would have to exactly offset the negative effects of worse weather. How likely is this?

  11. RedLogix 11

    Paul,

    Turn it around. If inadequate housing is NOT the cause of our high EWM, what would be? If very cold countries like Russia (and others in Northern Europe such as Sweden) can manage a zero EWM, what is it that we are doing wrong?

    As I said above, the authors of the study believe an inadequate standard of heating and ventilation (and this can be true of a house in a posh suburb as much as a poorer one) is the dominant cause… and they are not alone in suggesting this.

    If not, what do you suggest IS the reason?

    • bilbo 11.1

      Fascinating …..

      “One study of Yakutsk—one of the most bitterly chilly cities in eastern Siberia, and thus the world, where the average temperatures between October and March sink to a positively unbalmy minus 16 degrees Fahrenheit—concluded that lower temperatures did not cause any significant increase in mortality. The frosty denizens of Yakutsk exercised the seemingly obvious safety measures of wearing layers (more than four, on average), staying where it’s warm, and keeping the heat cranked up. A small increase in mortality stemming from respiratory disease due to breathing cold air was offset by a decrease in death from accidents—presumably because during chilly spells cold enough to freeze bone marrow, few people go anywhere or do much at all, significantly reducing the opportunities for accidents.

      Falling icicles, which each winter skewer roughly 100 Russians who happen to be under the wrong building eave at the wrong time, haven’t—yet—been the subject of extensive demographic research. .he

      In Russia, summertime mortality soars for the demographic groups prone to combine imbibing copious amounts of alcohol with a dip in the local swimming hole; seasonal diving teams make a sport of dredging for the bodies of the drowned after every weekend. Mortality among the sober, but unsupervised, children of drunk-drowners also escalates. This notwithstanding, overall, excess deaths of young people in the summertime are far outnumbered by those of the elderly in the wintertime.”

      “One of the few silver linings of the seasonality of mortality is the impact of global warming on wintertime deaths. One study suggests that an increase in temperature of roughly 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by the middle of this century would boost total heat-related deaths in the United Kingdom more than threefold, to just under 3,000, but the number of cold-related deaths would drop by 25 percent, or 20,000, to 60,000.”

      http://www.slate.com/id/2088323/

  12. The authors of the study suggest:

    “More targeted research is needed to explore a number of other possible factors that could be contributing to EWM, including the role of climate, influenza, behaviour, crowding in winter, levels of home heating & thermal performance of houses.”

    Looks like a good place to begin.

  13. mike 13

    “have found that 1600 more people die over the winter months than summer”

    Long bow RL to claim it’s because of ‘cold damp houses’ makes you sound alarmist and lack credibility I’m afraid

    • felix 13.1

      Don’t be afraid, just explain why you think he’s wrong and offer some less alarming explanation.

  14. outofbed 14

    having lived in England, a number of years I can safely say I’ve never been so cold at home inside till I lived in Christchurch,
    most homes in England have central heating
    in CHCH I think it’s the difference between night and day time temperatures which can be 15° in winter in the UK it’s only three or four .

    In the UK there has been subsidies for insulating homes for 40 years I think the Greens are on the right track with their Greens new deal

  15. JT 15

    Interesting discussion.
    Regardless of the exact number of deaths due to poor house insulation, perhaps Philip Alpers should know about this issue.
    Sorry, I’m being off topic. I just really hope Mr Alpers takes note of this issue.
    Cheers
    JT

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    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    6 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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