A Sugar Coated World

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, October 24th, 2017 - 42 comments
Categories: capitalism, disaster, Economy, Environment, farming, farming, food, global warming, science, sustainability - Tags: , ,

According to this study carried out over a 27 year period on nature reserves in Germany, the volume of flying insects in summer has plummeted by about 80%.

Quite a few articles of late have made the observation that the days of the car windscreen being ‘bug splat city’ of a summer evening’s drive seem to be thing of the past. And I think many would say the same about the congregations of flitting moths that used to dance around outside lights left on at night.

According to this study  by the US Dept of Agriculture, we can sensibly suggest that the nutritional content of plants has dropped by about 30% since the beginning of the industrial revolution  (ie, since 1840 or thereabouts).

Off the back of insect numbers taking a dive, bird numbers are taking a dive too. So for example, starling numbers are down by about 80% across the UK since the mid 1970s,  and they are now on the endangered list (red listed). You can go through google keying in various birds and the change in their population if depression is your fancy.

Various media commentators have been putting these crashes in bird and insect populations down to farming practices and our use of agri-chemicals. Now, not to put too fine a point on it, but that argument’s bullshit. Yes, mono-culture and the use of insecticides most definitely affect insect and bird populations. But the declines are global and not limited to heavily farmed areas, or countries employing modern, chemical reliant modes of agriculture.

From this article (Yale University) – “According to global monitoring data for 452 species, there has been a 45 percent decline in invertebrate populations over the past 40 years. DIRZO, “Defaunation in the Anthropocene” – SCIENCE (2014)”

The common global factor affecting insect numbers, isn’t mono-culture or chemical use, but atmospheric levels of CO2. High CO2 levels induce plants to accumulate more sugars at the expense of protein. And we know what happens in that scenario. We know that increased sugar levels and diminished protein levels equates to increasing degrees of malnutrition and death. We could flip over to various sustainable farming practices tomorrow morning, do it across the entire world, and insect numbers would keep dropping.

Table (a) and (b) below show the shift in the carbon /nitrogen ratio (essentially the sugar/protein mix) of goldenrod samples from 1840 onwards in response to CO2 levels, and  the resultant drop in the plant’s protein levels.

Since the more recent drop in nutritional content of goldenrod tracks the drop in other studied crops/plants from the past 40 years, it would seem safe enough to assume those other plants/crops (that we have no historical samples extending back to the 1840s for ) would show a similar long term decrease in nutritional content as that exhibited by goldenrod. That being the case, insects that rely on plants as a food source are pretty well screwed. And as a consequence, any plants that rely on insects for pollination are pretty well screwed. And anything that relies on insects as a principle food source is likewise screwed. Not only that, but the poor of our own species whose main source of protein is from plants, yup, you got it – they’re screwed.

So yeah. Maybe sugar coating the world by sparking up every bit of fossil we can lay our hands on isn’t such a good idea after all. Not that you’d pick that up from any government policy in any part of the world that’s supposedly designed to head off global warming.

Policies proclaiming no new internal combustion engines for sale by 2025, ’35 or whenever; net zero emissions by 2050 by way of trade or tax or whatnot; and any other damned thing I’ve come across by way of government action on global warming are so far wide and so far short of the mark, that the policy makers and the politicians behind them ought to be, at the very least dragged through the streets to stocks where they can be pelted and buried under whatever increasingly useless starchy fruit and vegetable we can lay our hands on – at least while we have enough insect pollinators around to provide us with ever more starchy fruit and vegetables.

But you know that what we do now is what we’ve always done before and will probably do in the future.

We’ll continue to be party to a general culture of encouragement that claps and yelps for the brave foresight of stupid politicians and idiotic policy makers whose policies explicitly and primarily promote this economic and cultural shebang before all else. And we’ll continue to snatch at the false hopes that high-ride on the magical thinking behind the latest “techno-fix“. And we’ll do that because we’d much rather entertain notions of human indomitability and of ‘progress’ than open our eyes to the yawning chasm of physics that sits between us and the future.

It’s called “stupid”: Doesn’t end well.

42 comments on “A Sugar Coated World”

  1. esoteric pineapples 1

    I noticed that starlings were nesting in the eaves of the semi-derelict house I bought so when I fixed the house up, I cut round holes in the new eaves so they could continue to do so and made it so it is very hard for rats to get to the nests.

    I only have a quarter acre section but have some goats (fed with food from off the property) and chickens and ducks, plus I put lots of tiger worms in the soil and planted lots of trees and let the grass grow long so I’m pretty lucky to have heaps of birds around. Plus lizards as I made some “lizard hotels” of stones and bricks they can be safe in.

    We need to get away from seeing nature as something to be dominated. All properties, big and and small, need to leave at least 10 percent of their land wild – much like the Bible idea of a 10 percent tithe to give to God.

    • Bill 1.1

      Don’t get me wrong esoteric. What you’ve outlined and what you suggest are both laudable. (The ‘jungle’ around my place used to be a garden too 😉 )

      But build all the safe places and encourage all the wild flowers or what-not that you might wish for – and living things are going to continue to die, and probably at an increasing rate and across an ever broadening range of species, simply because we burn fossil fuels that raise environmental CO2 levels that are turning what were once valuable food sources into carbohydrate rich “junk food”.

  2. weka 2

    Can’t fault the conclusions there Bill.

    The only thing I would say is that I see it as a both/and situation. Climate change affects the food chain globally and insects are a linchpin part of that. Agriculture also affects insects (and microbia) which has a local effect but because of the scale will also be having a global effect.

    The reason I’m looking at it that way is because the solutions need to be systems thinking based. At the moment we are still largely basing our responses to climate change on mechanistic thinking. Green tech or CCS etc, it’s all fiddling with this thing and that will reduce that thing over there. What we need is to radically change our whole systems, and that includes standards of living supported by fossil fuels and industrial agriculture.

    The headline on Monbiot’s article is stupid. But industrial farming is so utterly damaging to the ecosystem and is now so widespread and growing* that I’m happy enough to put it up there with climate change. Not in a ‘which is worse?’ competition, but in a ‘this is a concurrent problem that urgently needs our attention’ way.

    We can’t separate climate change from food production, because they are having interrelated effects, but also because the thinking that underlies both is the thing that is killing us and everything else.

    (as an aside, I think you are comparing all insects globally and flying insects in German reserves. The numbers are different, and the reasons are going to be complex and interrelated).

    *there’s that gnarly population issue again.

    • Bill 2.1

      Ban the use of all insecticides and whatever other chemicals today and insect numbers will continue to plummet because we’ve completely fucked their food source by spewing too much CO2 into the environment.

      Introduce the most holistic agricultural practices world-wide today, and insect numbers will continue to plummet because we’ve fucked their food source by spewing too much CO2 into the environment.

      Stop burning fossil today and common industrial agriculture – besides much else – falls over or becomes impossible (so there’s the change) and CO2 levels might then drop at a rate that averts or halts what’s being increasingly referred to as ‘the sixth great extinction’ – that we’ve brought into being.

      So (unfortunate analogy) not sparking any more fossil kills many birds with one stone, while simply changing common agricultural practices achieves nothing beyond a change in agricultural practices that leaves the effects of global warming to be the broom that clears up the mess we’ve made.

      On insect numbers, I’m not comparing but just providing the stats for flying insects (Germany) and the 452 species of invertebrates studied on a global level by Dirzo et al.

      And population has got nothing whatsoever to do with any target for less than 2 degrees C of warming. Concentrations of wealth on the other hand play a major role – the very richest among us (according to the studies that have been done) are responsible for about 50% of our global CO2 emissions.

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        Bill – what surprises me is that insects haven’t adapted at the same rate CO2 has increased; insect populations are capable of rapid assimilation and change in response to external factors, so why this hasn’t happened in this instance puzzles me. My understanding is that many insects feed on sugars for energy then on protein for reproduction, but still, the figures provided seem … curious to me. I hope insects don’t start looking around for other sources of protein 🙂
        I wonder if in fact the loss of habitat to agriculture and city, coupled with the saturation of all niches with synthetic chemicals, standard and nano, isn’t contributing more to the phenomenon than is shown in the article. Rambling thoughts, I know, but I’m not convinced…

        • Bill 2.1.1.1

          I admit that I’m struggling to imagine an adaptation that might ameliorate malnutrition.

          There was a throw-away line by Carla Tanson (fashion designer) the other week commenting that wool quality had dropped since the 70s. It’s stuck in my mind because I wondered if it was possibly an early effect of poor nutrition. I mean, there’s only so much a sheep can eat in a day, and if all their food is denuded…

          I’d be curious to know a bit about current levels of supplementary feed for the likes of beef cattle compared to the past, and how it measures up against meat quality. (ie, is more feeding out required now to produce the same quality and quantity of meat as say 30 or 40 years ago?) Probably far too many contributory factors and variations to arrive at any firm conclusions. But still…

          • weka 2.1.1.1.1

            If species couldn’t adapt to changes in nutrition availability they wouldn’t have survived. I don’t know if the timeframe is adequate, although it’s a given that species are already adapting to CC in various ways.

            Things that might affect sheep and thus wool would be (in no particular order) – CC, degradation of soil over time (that’s new), increases in artificial fertiliser use, changes in pharmaceutical use, different breeding, changes to pasture, changes to stocking rates… I’m sure there are others. Trying to look at one and not the others leads to less effective solutions.

            • Robert Guyton 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Modern pasture grasses are bred to produce much higher sugar levels than past varieties. Modern pastures are practically monocultures, where in the past, there was a mix of species. Our poor beasts live for a briefer time than previously, in part because of these things. If the sugaring-up described in the article is real, all herbivores, including insects, perhaps, though they aren’t mammals and have different needs, could suffer a similar fate. Could we, should we be (desperately) breeding species of plants that have lower sugar levels, despite higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere? A race against time!

            • Bill 2.1.1.1.1.2

              If species couldn’t adapt to changes in nutrition availability they wouldn’t have survived.

              Yup. And if you read the post and the supporting literature through the links, you’ll read more than enough by way of rigorous study and observation supporting that scenario – ie, increasing rates of non-survival.

              There’s nothing at all wrong with teasing things apart btw. It’s called focus and has nothing to with ‘discounting’ or ‘ignoring’ other dynamics or contributory factors around any given problem.

              It’s especially worthwhile if some common determining factor is suspected to be at play. And sure, given the nature of the world and things, it’s not always possible to isolate and study a single dynamic or factor. But that’s why Ziska’s work on goldenrod pollen is, I’d say, quite exceptional and important.

              And it dovetails (as per the linked Politico piece) with other study and research done on accelerated growth rates, the impact that has on nutrient levels (ie, light and CO2 concentrations) and the knock on effects for other components of a food chain/web.

              • weka

                I’ll just state that I don’t disagree with you on the significance of insect decline or probably even cause. I just think that ag is a huge issue along side CC in this and can’t be separated out. Yes, we can tease out different factors to look at them as well.

                There’s some work being done on increasing nutrient in food density via regenag (using that term broadly, Robert will hate it but he can come up with a better cover phrase). Basically work with nature and use natural cycles increases nutritional value.

                That doesn’t mean it overrides the CC effect, nor that we keep using FFs, it means when/as we stop the FF we have tools for restoring some of the damage. That restoration is critical for both lessening the impact of CC/preventing worsening, and for adaptation around what is already locked in. I don’t see why it can’t used in wider nature not just food crops.

                Handily, those processes and the underlying thinking are also where the solutions to CC lie as well.

                • Bill

                  I’d be interested to know if whatever work you’re referring to has factored in the effect of elevated CO2 levels. (Given the date of the Ziska study, the history behind such research and the fact the results seem to have caught the scientific community unawares, I’d have my doubts.)

                  And it’s important, because the healthiest seed stock could be planted in healthiest soil, watered to perfection or whatever, and the effects of elevated CO2 levels on the process of photosynthesis (at least for C3 plants – ie, 85% of all plants) means the resultant plant/crop will have diminished nutrient levels because of inhibited uptake of nitrogen as well as the effects of dilution.

        • adam 2.1.1.2

          Robert the fastest mutating life form on the the Planet bacteria, took how long to adapt to trees? Insects are substantially slower at adaptation, plus it’s only been 50 years.

          We are at the stop or die place.

          Ware are not going to stop, so we are going to die.

          The Plant will be fine by the way. Just the greater extinction of many life forms – including us.

          • weka 2.1.1.2.1

            Not sure why people think the planet will be fine when the planet is made up in part of life forms.

            I’m pretty sure that insects will already be adapting to CC. It’s more whether any species or life form can adapt in the given time for the specific issue.

            This is why I think looking at CC and excluding agriculture doesn’t make sense. We need to do both to give the optimal chance for life.

            I agree we have to stop the FF now though.

          • Robert Guyton 2.1.1.2.2

            I believe the planet won’t be “fine” and like any living system, ails when members of its community die off: an ocean with only two species if fish swimming in it, isn’t “fine”, it’s buggered and knows it. Any intelligence a complex natural system might have would surely be in crisis mode as it’s components disappear. I reckon the planet is in crisis mode now and isn’t uncaring, unresponsive, unaware of its dire state. I believe humans are one of those organisms the planet doesn’t want to lose. I reckon we should apply all of our energies to retaining every living thing, or at least, those that remain, for the planet’s sake (I don’t separate “planet” from any individual organism, including humans. The planet is the whole living, writhing mass of life, not a wet rock spinning through space upon which things live. 🙂

            • weka 2.1.1.2.2.1

              thank-you.

            • Bill 2.1.1.2.2.2

              Gaia or Medea? Hmm.

            • marty mars 2.1.1.2.2.3

              + 1

              Yep Papatūānuku is our mother – we are born from her, love, live and die with her. There is never a seperation apart from the contrived, arrogant and silly mental one some people construct.

              • Robert Guyton

                Yes, Marty – sadly though, we are caught in a thinking-trap that began long ago and is proving difficult to extricate ourselves from; when you develop a brain like the one we humans lug around inside of our fragile and over-sized skulls, it’ll come up with ideas that can destroy the lugee. We’re facing the most critical test a sentient being can face right now; change fundamentally or die. I reckon we’ll do it but I recognise that there’s no guarantee we will; that and tidying-up the mess we’ve already created won’t be easy, but hey, whatayagunnado?

      • weka 2.1.2

        I wasn’t suggesting doing one and not the other. In fact I specifically said both need to be done and for specific reasons.

        However since you put it that way, ban fossil fuels today, and a myriad of other serious as fuck problems will continue, for the reasons stated. People by and large have a world view that engenders ecological collapse. Even in the best case scenario with CC, we will still need to change our other practices in addition to FF use, for both mitigation and adaptation reasons.

        I totally don’t underestimate the potential of the death cult to continue doing seriously fucked up things even if they no longer have access to FF. And a big drop in FF use won’t stop industrial agriculture although it may slow its ability to damage. Ploughing for instance is a pre-industrial revolution technique. It worked in the past because of the smaller scale (see, population again), and because the soils were relatively intact, and because we didn’t have CC.

        But now we have disturbed soils on a much larger scale, we’re at Peak Soil, and CC demands we stop ploughing because it damages soil and releases carbon and prevents sequestration. None of that is dependent upon FF.

        Again, we need to address both issues at the same time because they are part of the same problem.

        “And population has got nothing whatsoever to do with any target for less than 2 degrees C of warming.”

        It does have a lot to do with the carrying capacity to of nature though. If the insect population has dropped as much as claimed then we will need every tool available to prevent the worst case scenarios, and just banning FF won’t be enough. We need to actively work with nature, not treat it as a machine.

        • Robert Guyton 2.1.2.1

          Thornbury, Southland is hosting this years national ploughing competitions, celebrating the men and machines that have enabled farming in New Zealand since way back when – hooray!

          • weka 2.1.2.1.1

            I’m surprised they’re not laying concrete in Thornbury by now to get all those dairy cows off the mucky paddocks.

        • Bill 2.1.2.2

          Other practices would change or adapt (or vanish) by way of necessity if we stopped sparking fossil and took the further absolutely necessary step of using only carbon free energy – unless I’m completely over-looking some practice that has a huge planetary impact that could possibly continue regardless of access to energy…

          Note. I’m not saying let everything else be. Ban the nicotinoids today and shift whatever agriculture and industrial practice as can be shifted. But in a market economy that’s spewing very twisted incentives, I won’t be holding my breath waiting for worthwhile levels of change. Those changes come when the perverse incentives of the market are gone. And the market’s gone as soon as we dump fossil.

  3. McFlock 3

    Interesting point about plant sugars and CO2. Hadn’t seen that before.

  4. Patricia Bremner 4

    We need to change to no fossil fuels, sadly that isn’t happening anytime soon.

    We fly we drive we burn fuel. Bill it feels hopeless.

    Have they checked whether it is reversible?

  5. Richard Christie 6

    we can sensibly suggest that the nutritional content of plants has dropped by about 30% since the beginning of the industrial revolution (ie, since 1840 or thereabouts).

    How do you justify the 30% figure. “Sensibly suggest” doesn’t amount to an explanation.

    Serious and genuine question.

    • Bill 6.1

      The 30% figure comes from this article on Ziska’s work (Ziska’s work being the US Dept of Agriculture study linked to in the post).

      They found that the protein content of goldenrod pollen has declined by a third since the industrial revolution—and the change closely tracks with the rise in CO2.

      And since all plants (all C3 plants if you want to be persnickety) have exhibited similar drop in protein or nutrition levels over the past 40 years or so, and since all show similar drops in in relation to one another in field trials that subject crops to elevated CO2 levels….

      The “sensibly suggest” is an extrapolation, a joining of the dots if you will – not an explanation.

      • Richard Christie 6.1.1

        Thanks, the Politico article is a good read. All the same I remain wary of untested extrapolations. This may change.

        Thanks for bringing this topic to my attention.

  6. Tony Veitch (not etc) 7

    Bill, totally agree – the inherent stupidity of the human race will doom us all to extinction – it’s just a question of ‘how soon’!

    As an example, how about this in today’s Press – grazing dairy cows in the Red Zone of Christchurch!

    As if we haven’t got enough dairy cows!

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/98131105/cow-fodder-highest-and-best-use-of-cleared-suburban-christchurch-land

  7. In Vino 8

    I know I am not a scientist, but the decline in insect numbers I have noticed in my region I had linked with something completely different – the arrival of two new insect species: the Asian Paper Wasp, and the South African Praying Mantis.

    Neither of these two particular species are declining in numbers around here. The wasps are already around in high numbers, and there are plenty of fresh mantis egg-cases about to hatch out after a cracker season for them late last summer. I suspect that these two species have greatly reduced the numbers of all other insects.

    They are voracious. The wasps land in long grass, climb down into the undergrowth, and not emerge for ages unless they have had a quick find and kill. They take whatever form they can track down of whatever species. I have seen a queen paper wasp chase down, attack and decapitate an almost-grown male mantis in medium grass.

    Monarch Butterflies and caterpillars used to be protected from earlier predators here because, as they eat milkweed, they were poisonous to them. Unfortunately, this poison does not protect them from the new predators: both paper wasps and SA mantids will happily chop up and consume both caterpillars and butterflies straight off the swan plant.

    At about the time these new predators arrived we were warned of impending insect plagues because of warmer winters. Instead we got big numbers of the new predators, and the numbers of all butterflies (especially the pesky white one), moths, beetles, etc seemed to shrink.

    Throw in the Varoa mite wiping out all wild beehives, and it seems to me that there is much more at play here than the just the rise of CO2 levels.
    In areas where the German wasp is a pest, it is still very much present, being safe while growing in colonies, protected from paper wasps and mantids .

    I am not trying to deny climate change – just saying that I had thought that the fall in insect numbers was explained by newly-arrived predatory insects.

    If the predatory insects themselves were also in decline I would then give great credence to CO2 levels affecting NZ. But the predators are thriving and healthy.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      Ditto in Nelson. Praying mantis cases absent or raided – SA white ones all over the place. Start friends of the blue ear anyone?

    • Robert Guyton 8.2

      The predators will do well, dining on the weakened herbivores, for a while, anyway; they’re getting their protein 2nd-hand and in any case, they’ll be bolder and more visible as they invade spaces humans frequent. We’re still free of many insect predators down South and that’s one of the reasons for choosing to live here – my apples don’t even get codlin moth, nor do my bees suffer varroa, we don’t have ant issues, nor South African mantis.
      Yet.

  8. Sparky 9

    An excellent article. Various herbicides have been linked to the decline in insect numbers too.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/monarch-butterflies-under-threat-from-rising-herbicide-use/

    China is making moves to transition to electric cars across the country and moving from coal to nuclear (yes I know that’s not ideal but its still an improvement). All in an effort to improve their environment and cut down on emissions.

    Meanwhile here in Luddite NZ we are doing jack shit aside from talking about signing sketchy “so called” trade deals (TPP11 and others) that “chill” environmental policy by letting big business govt. Yay…..

  9. spikeyboy 10

    Very interesting article and link to Loladze s research. I’m planting a lot of old American Indian corns at the moment because of the high protein levels in them. You can start by getting some from Koanga website and then just save some seed. These are C4 plants which Loladze says hasnt yet been studied though the assumption is that they will be affected the same. Heres hoping not. Of course the only real fix is to stop burning fossil fuels but since thats unlikely possible ways of survival are also of interest.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Measles: the quackery that is homeopathic “vaccination”
    A few days ago, a friend sent me a link to a health-related FB page that had published a post from a homeopathist, offering homeopathic “vaccination”¹ against measles (using something called a “Morbillinum nosode” at a “potency” of 200C, which I’ll explain shortly). I followed the link, left a comment ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    57 mins ago
  • Colombia: 20th anniversary of La Gabarra massacre
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh This year marks the 20th anniversary of the La Gabarra massacre. The community organised an event to remember the most well-known of the horrendous heart-breaking events that befell the communities of this area of the municipality of Tibú: the massacre carried out on August 21st 1999. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 hour ago
  • A prediction
    There was another police chase in Christchurch this morning, resulting in a crash which killed one person and injured five more. Because someone died, the chase is being investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority. And based on previous reports by the IPCA, we know how it will go: the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • Climate Change: The Zero Carbon Bill
    Just a month ago we saw the biggest protest in a generation as people marched to demand stronger action on climate change. A core demand of the protesters was to strengthen the Zero Carbon Bill's target to net-zero by 2040. So what is the government's response? Judging by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • Zombie ants, updated
    Back in 2010, I wrote about the strange tale of the zombie ants, which do the bidding of their fungal overlords. (They’re not an isolated example; a range of parasites change their hosts’ behaviour. See here and here for example – though as you’ll find, the toxoplasmosis story may be ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    9 hours ago
  • Paying For Our Pakeha “Guilt” And “Privilege”.
    Shouldn't That Be: "Wrong White Crowd"? Rather than apportion guilt, would it not have been wiser for the makers of Land Of The Long White Cloud to accept that the Pakeha of 2019 are not – and never will be – “Europeans”? Just as contemporary Maori are not – and ...
    11 hours ago
  • A Bodyguard of Truths.
    One, Two, Many Truths: With the collapse of “actually existing socialism” in 1991, the universities of the West found themselves saddled with a new mission. With their ideological competitors now soundly defeated they were no longer required to demonstrate the superiority of capitalist values. Their job now was to cement ...
    12 hours ago
  • A call to unionists
    by the Council of Disobedient Women   We call on the Council of Trade Unions to show some fortitude and take a stand with your sisters. Unionists know that there is a material world, otherwise workers could simply identify out of poverty. They could declare themselves Well Paid. Why stop ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Sophistry and bullshit
    I spent some time reading the Regulatory Impact Statement and Bill of Rights Act advice for the government's odious control order scheme today. I am not impressed with either of them. Starting with the RIS, it is built on some pretty questionable assumptions. For example:Unless individuals have been convicted of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • I’m so fly, I’m #NoFly!
    #NoFly: Walking the talk on climate change, by Shaun Hendy. BWB Texts, 2019. Reviewed by Robert McLachlan In June 2018, Swede Maja Rosén founded We stay on the ground with a pledge not to fly in 2019, and a goal of persuading 100,000 other Swedes to join her. In August, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Punishing the young
    We all know that NZ First is a party of and for old people who hate the young. But they've topped their previous pedophobia with a proposal that all young people be forced to do 100 hours community work:NZ First wants all young people to do 100 hours of community ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Journalism, clickbait, & ideas of classical beauty – but not science
    A couple days ago the NZ Herald published a story with the headline, “Science says Bella Hadid is world’s most beautiful woman“, and followed up with the ridiculous statement that Supermodel Bella Hadid has been declared as the world’s most beautiful woman following a scientific study into what constitutes as ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 day ago
  • Is Simon’s Smile Sustainable?
    A Sustainable Proposition: With as much as 18 percent of the electorate declaring itself “undecided” about who to vote for, there is obviously plenty of space for a party like former Green Party member, Vernon Tava's, about-to-be-launched "Sustainable NZ Party" to move into. The most hospitable political territory for such ...
    1 day ago
  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    3 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    4 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    4 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    5 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    5 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    5 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    6 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    6 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago