A Reassuring Rebuild: The Freiburg Parallel

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, March 1st, 2011 - 26 comments
Categories: culture, heritage - Tags:

In planning its rebuilding, we need to remember that Christchurch has long been the nerve centre of New Zealand’s tourism industry.

And I would suggest that it is so, not only because of its location in the scenic South Island, but also because its cosy Old World appearance, complete with tram, seems reassuring to European and Asian tourists far from home and about to embark on a slightly scary wilderness adventure.

This makes it a natural base, in the manner of the Chateau Tongariro and the Rotorua Bath House. And this quality of reassuring solidity, of cosiness, is simply going to become all the more important after the quake.

Christchurch needs to be rebuilt in a style that retains or even amplifies as much of its formerly cosy, reassuring character as possible, for the sake of the tourism industry. Not necessarily as a ‘museum city’, but in the same spirit.

If Christchurch is rebuilt in a bland, alienating American corporate style, resembling Albany, let’s say (the nerve centre of the Hollow Men) then it will lose this quality of reassurance.

I think we can then say goodbye to a certain proportion of our tourist industry if that happens. The combination of negative publicity about the earthquakes, spooky wilderness and an uninviting future Christchurch will scare them away.

A ‘reassuring rebuild’ needs to be done for the well-being of the people of Christchurch, as well. For the people of Christchurch need a city that will soothe and reassure them in the future.

And even more than that, we need to do so because Christchurch is of cultural importance.

The Anglo-German architectural guru Nikolaus Pevsner once called Chstchurch and Dunedin both “examples … in some ways, of Victorian planning at its most remarkable.” (‘The ingratiating chaos’, Listener (UK) 20 November 1958). We can’t simply throw that away.

It is the city of Rutherford, among other noteworthies.

There is a close parallel to what needs to be done, in the history of a German town called Freiburg-im-Breisgau, gateway to the touristy Black Forest.

Not just a tourism gateway, Freiburg was also once the home of cartographer Martin Waldseemüller, who coined the term ‘America’. Erasmus lived there, as did Edith Stein.

Unfortunately all this was, literally, history after a couple of nights in World War II.

Many other German cities were modernised in the course of rebuilding. But, perhaps because of its cultural and tourism importance, Freiburg was rebuilt in a deliberately old-fashioned and eccentric style. Nearly everything you see today is a post-1945 reconstruction.

Christchurch, I would argue, needs to be thought of as the Freiburg-im-Breisgau of New Zealand in the forthcoming reconstruction. We can’t risk an Albany. It has to be like the pre-quake city, only better.

Food for thought. Though I fear that those who need to think these thoughts, won’t.

– ChrisH

26 comments on “A Reassuring Rebuild: The Freiburg Parallel”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Interview with Jim Anderton and Garry Moore (previous Mayor) on National Radio this morning. Jim Anderton was proposing the city be rebuilt using wood, which can allow for buildings up to 6 stories high. It would keep it from being a tilt-slab nightmare, as well as help reduce costs and support a New Zealand industry.

    He also suggested that Roger Sutton from Orion be appointed as a chairperson in charge of a committee for rebuilding CHCH, as he has certainly shown his capability in this area.

  2. swordfish 2

    Freiburg’s also just about the only city in southern Germany that consistently votes Social Democrat – a little spot of red in a sea of deep, deep blue.

    I tend to agree with your general argument, Chris H (which contrasts quite starkly with other media / blogosphere arguments on this topic).

  3. weka 3

    Any discussion about the Chch rebuild and tourism has to be done within the context of peak oil and climate change. What makes us think that the mass/crass tourism industry we are currently chasing is going to survive peak oil and climate change?

    I also think that much of the tourism industry in the SI can bypass Chch if it has to. Sorry, but as long as there is an airport and land inland to build hotels on, Chch isn’t quite so essential.

    The heritage/cultural issues are much more important, and if combined with sustainability design could provide not only a city that works well for its inhabitants, but also attracts what’s left of the tourism industry.

    I’d much rather see our future staked on sustainability design rather than a tourism industry that will most not likely survive in its present form.

  4. Kevin Welsh 4

    Seems like Gerry the Hutt has already made up his mind on the future architectural direction of Christchurch.

    Can’t have those old ‘dungers’ getting in the way of bland concrete and glass.

    • weka 4.1

      “Old stuff, if it’s got any damage at all, needs to be got down and got out, because it’s dangerous and we don’t need it.” Brownlee

      Is he a structural engineer? A building inspector?

      I would have thought the issue was did some of the historic/iconic buildings that were refused demolition consent last time kill people this time?

      • kriswgtn 4.1.1

        Hell No he is a ex woodwork teacher and will show us how its done

        hahha this anti spam word is hawt as—INABILITYS

        rather sums Da Hutt to a T

    • Zorr 4.2

      I would be very careful to keep a watch on this one. With all the buildings being pulled down it is going to free up a lot of empty land for reinvestment. Those that have lost their business or property won’t necessarily be well reimbursed and it will open the market up again for the likes of Dave Henderson.

      Add in to this the fact that Brownlee is Commander and Chief in Christchurch, it will inevitably lead to poor “decisions” (read here, corruption).

  5. Bored 5

    There is absolutely no reason why Christchurch cannot be reconstructed in a manner that is sympathetic to that which has gone. Facades can be mimicked easily.

    The real opportunity that this disaster has presented should not be allowed to be wasted. What is required is a long term understanding of, and an agreement upon what the centre of the city is to be. We have reached the end of the age of cheap energy, and massed distribution systems that have given rise to the strip mall. Further the profligate use of steel glass and concrete which was energy “cheap” is at a tipping point where it will become energy “expensive”.

    To anticipate the trend and build to match, with visual reference to the past will make Christchurch a model example of a city that encompasses past present and future. No “Albanys” can ever do this; the people of Christchurch need this to be a spiritual lift. Build it and the people will come.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Steel, glass and concrete are still cheap now.

      They are materials which should be used extensively in the rebuild, but in ways which will last easily and be easily maintained for the next 250 years.

      However, the rebuild certainly needs to take into account minimising future operating/maintenance costs in a peak oil environment.

      Basically any NZ infrastructure which we need to upgrade and maintain now e.g. our rail, should be done before escalating peak oil costs make it unaffordable. And be done in a way which will last.

      At the unaffordable stage all we will have will be our existing infrastructure assets to gradually use and run down over time.

      • neoleftie 5.1.1

        CV – that would be the 21st century building plan that our good man bob parker is talking about.

      • Bored 5.1.2

        CV, light steel frames and wood will not entomb people on the next big shake, and they can easily last 200 years. I go past the Old Parliament buildings every day, probably 140 years old (dunno) and look great. Steel and concrete and glass, forget it.

        On the rail infrastructure etc I totally agree with you.

    • Kevin Welsh 5.2

      Exactly Bored. You do not have to look very far on Google to find examples of old buildings given a 21st Century makeover. My personal belief is that come hell or high water, there is no way the present government is going to make changes to tax rates or cancel other pet projects to free up capital that will enable a rebuild in Canterbury that will have a direct reference to the past.

      Good bye Press building, old university etc. Hello concrete and glass. Its a tragedy of a different kind that will turn Christchurch into “just another city”. All the charm and appeal that I love about the place will be gone and an opportunity wasted forever.

  6. wild.colonial.boy 6

    Yeah. Let’s see you build a big brick or stone house in the swamp Christchurch was built in – and wait for the next big one. That is the simple – and fundamental – point. You would be better off using laminated timber in a more geologically stable location. It is that sort of fuzzy sentimentality which destroys lives and gets people killed.

    • neoleftie 6.1

      most coastal cities the world over are built on swamps.
      What is needed is a reassessment of building standards. Take the chch art gallery as an example of a very modern building designed to minimise risk or damage.
      The entire CBD area is now a blank canvas.

      • Bored 6.1.1

        Neo, your blank canvas comment is entirely appropriate and is at the core of the opportunity. Things will change quickly during the next 20 years and it would be great to see the old city transform into the future city. One of the things that steel and glass cannot do easily is be transformed fit for changing circumstance, and circumstances are changing.

        At the same time preserving the character of the old town should be a primary concern, I grew up with it and the best bits need to be restored for future enjoyment by those who have yet to be born. It would give them a sense of place and belonging in a way soulless glass boxes never could.

        • pollywog 6.1.1.1

          Blank canvas eh ?

          Instead of waiting around for inner city buildings to come down and rebuilding in the same spot. How about start building a new planned and architecturally cohesive CBD in Hagley park from scratch, then turn most of the current CBD into a park and move the university into the rest of it ?

          Revitalise the inner city with students and student housing. While giving the new CBD easier access to rail via Addington and the airport via Memorial ave. Build more residential sub divisions out Halswell way and link it all up with an overhead monorail that extends all the way to Brighton then to Sumner, along the Port Hills to Hillsborough following the foothills of Cashmere and straight down Colombo to Moorhouse ave and back to the new CBD.

          Then for old times sake, in designing the street access of a new CBD, allow for a motor racing circuit replete with concert/sporting/trade fair arena and easy viewing for the public.

          Finally name it after John Britten…Brittendon.

  7. Rich 7

    As someone who first came to NZ as a tourist, can I point something out: tourists don’t come to NZ for the cities. We may have come to love them, but there are hundreds of more interesting, historic and even “cozy” cities before one treks all the way to NZ.

    People visit NZ for the rural beauty, adventure and sporting activities. The cities are just logistical stopovers.

    If we rebuilt Christchurch after the model of Basingstoke, I doubt it would make any difference to overall tourist numbers.

    • Rosy 7.1

      I agree. This seems to be something that tourism ‘specialists’ don’t get – people don’t come th NZ for the cities. However, a resident might want to have a bit of pride in saying they live in Christchurch – I don’t think Basingstoke residents have that 😉

      I also think they should abandon the square. The regeneration that has been going on down the road Gloucester Street? (where the art gallery is) is so much better than they grey desert that was in the middle. When I was living there in the ’80s they decided on the revitalisation of the square – to pave it it grey and not take out the road. That decision to 15 years!! There’s way too much politics tied up in the idea of the square and who it is for, so in the end it’s for no-one – where nobody lives and no residents go. Time to build for the residents and the tourists will still come, as long as it remains the gateway to where they really want to go.

    • prism 7.2

      There are interesting future designs with different energy approaches that get mentioned in the media – like buildings that have hanging gardens on the outside walls utilising sunlight and also green roofs with plantings that moderate seasonal effects. I wonder if there can be some input at that level as our iconic approach for the 21st century.

      • prism 7.2.1

        Further on that thought around Christchurch being a garden city! It would fit in with the theme and be future oriented as well. The Hanging Gardens of Christchurch on the outside of buildings would be a feature people would come to see, not every visitor is just using the airport as a jumping-off place to get to wild-eyed adventure sports.

  8. Drakula 8

    I first came to Christchurch in 1976 and one of the reasons I settled there was it’s charm; it’s old worldly charm.

    Although I don’t live there now but in the ninties I had a studio in the Arts Center, in the Old Chemistry (probably stuffed) and that part of the city was very rich in culture, science and history.

    The Arts Center was the old university that not only groomed Rutherford but also cultivated the likes of Baxter for a while; Not to mention Ngao Marsh and the painter Bill Sutton.

    You just can’t replace that with tarr and cement and I am afraid that people like Brownlee and co will only know the price of everything and the value of nothing!!!!!

  9. jingyang 9

    An excellent idea. Other parallels to Freiburg are the reconstructions of historic Warsaw and Krakow aftre WWII. The Japanese too, in an equally earthquake prone country as NZ have also reconstructed many of their historic buildings, some of them several times…
    There is ample precedent for a rebuild of central Christchurch that could keep its mostly 19C character but use 21st century technology and building standards. As other posters have commented, the arrival of peak oil means this could the last hurrah of modern infrastructure spending, best NZ makes a good job of it then.

  10. Oncelivedthere 10

    Christchurch was munted years ago by allowing large malls to surround the city so that National’s mates could grab both the rent and a share of the retail profits in the bland and hideous boxes they produced. That is Brownlies idea of the future. A city without character or a centre

  11. radar 11

    Portsmouth is a good example of a city flattened and re-built in a short period of time without the slightest amount of imagination applied to the task or any sense of its former history (such as is now most likely for Chch given the quality of the decision-makers in charge). While Freiburg is sort-of a replica of its former self (along many other re-constructed Euro-cities), it has charm and visual character in bucketloads. I think Napier is a better example than Freiburg, showing how a city can be reinvented without falling back on the way it was previously and with considerable architectural and visual quality, and as it goes is a wondrous local precedent.

    However, unless the higher-ups take interest, and soon, these vital qualities will certainly be entirely absent from the sort of cheap-as-chips rapid-fire development in the bland-architectural-idiom-of-the-day that will prevail if the market is left to its own devices; in the current circumstances a re-built Christchurch has every possibility of becoming the dullest city in the country, if not in the whole of Australasia – Portsmouth of the South Seas…

    (Sorry to anyone who actually likes Portsmouth)

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 hour ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 hours ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 hours ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 hours ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    19 hours ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 day ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    4 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    5 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.