A year on From Gabrielle: are we any further on?

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, April 1st, 2024 - 26 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, nature - Tags: , , , ,

Cross posted from CANA. Originally published at Coal Action Network Aotearoa 13/2/24. Post by Cindy Baxter.

Cindy Baxter is a long time climate campaigner and communications consultant, working on environmental issues for over 30 years. 

One year ago today, on the afternoon of February 13 2023, the rain was getting more intense, the wind was getting up. I had batteries charged, water containers full – I was as ready as I could be for what I knew would be possibly the biggest storm to hit Aotearoa since Cyclone Bola in the 80’s.

Piha’s Marawhara stream the morning after Gabrielle. It went right through the campground, narrowly missing a house.


Gabrielle lived up to her forecasts. She slammed into our little west coast communities of Piha, Karekare, Bethells and Muriwai later in the afternoon of 13 February 2023 and changed our lives forever, for some more than others.  She went on to slam into Hawkes Bay, the Bay of Plenty and Tairāwhiti with renewed force and the government declared a national emergency.

Over the next 12 hours my Piha back yard rain gauge recorded upwards of 450 mm of rain.  I wrote about it here.  People lost their houses. My street had no power for the next 11 days. And while tragically, two volunteer firefighters at Muriwai lost their lives, somehow miraculously everyone else in these small communities survived, albeit with some very, very close calls.

Fast forward to today and where are we? Most of the people in the yellow or red stickered households haven’t got a final decision from the council:  they’re still in limbo.  One couple has lived in eight different rentals over the course of the last year.

Some of my close friends have moved out, left the community entirely. I miss them.

The traffic lights at the top of the hill on the one-way system past the slumped road near the (now closed) Elevation restaurant now cause half hour waits on sunny summer days as Aucklanders head home from the beach. Scenic Drive to Titirangi is still closed after an enormous slip in the Anniversary Weekend rain.

A few forest walking tracks have been restored, but the rest of them remain inaccessible. 

But the bigger questions on the longer term issues of resilience, adaptation and climate action have yet to be resolved: in many cases they’re going backwards.

Auckland Council’s still approving resource consents on floodplains. Indeed everybody is, it seems: the media’s full of stories about people across Hawkes Bay  “determined to rebuild”.  But why would you even want that?  Who would want to rebuild a house knowing it could be swept away in another ginormous flood? 

But then again who has a choice? Insurance companies pay out more for a rebuild than for a straight payout. But will they insure those houses on floodplains again?  That’s also super unclear right now.  

There’s also calls for a National Policy Statement on Natural Hazards to get councils to limit consents on land vulnerable to floods, to give that national guidance. An article in Newsroom today sets out the difficulties of getting prepared for the future. 

Because those huge floods will come again. Maybe not in the same place: we might not get the specific situation where that huge blocking high to the east, that Weatherwatch described as a “brick wall” sent Gabrielle barrelling down the country, but we know we’ll get more rainfall in a warming world.

Meanwhile the petro-state-hosted COP28 in Dubai last year blocked a phase-out of fossil fuels, something even the conservative International Energy Agency is backing.

And after Labour’s climate policy bonfire ahead of the elections, and the new government’s even bigger climate policy bonfire since the election (amid promises of just getting started, wait until we get the fast-track to Shane Jones’s promised coal mining resurgence), the future in terms of climate action here in Aotearoa is bleak.

The Ministry for the Environment has been working on an adaptation plan, and spent the last year consulting widely on it, but nobody’s quite sure what the new Climate Change minister Simon Watts wants to do. Oh, except keep agriculture from paying for its emissions. And NOT fix the ETS to separate out forests so that we keep (ridiculously and counter-productively) planting our way to net zero and not cutting actual emissions.

I mean you’d think our wider business community would want some certainty and guidance from government around future extreme weather (flooding, drought, storm) events, sea level rise, and how to deal with an insurance industry that’s either going to withdraw its insurance altogether, or price it out of range.

Because as we saw with Gabrielle, climate change has an absolutely massive impact on the economy: it sent fruit and vegetable prices through the roof as a major “food basket” region was sent under 1.5m of silt. There were no comms, no transport routes, no workers, nothing. 

June 2023 government announcement set out some of the post-cyclone package with eye-watering sums being spent: $1 billion, $6 billion, $74 million, plus loan and finance packages.

Just yesterday Christopher Luxon was on the ground with Emergency Minister Mark Mitchell  announcing another (relatively tiny) tranche of cash ($63 million) for Hawkes Bay and Tairāwhiti clean-up (they didn’t mention climate change though). This isn’t going to stop any time soon. 

While the North Island farmers are still trying to clear slash and silt from their farms, others are facing ongoing droughts and fires under this year’s super-strength El Niño, for which they will no doubt be asking for handouts from the government.

Climate change is relentless: it’s not going away, without action it’s only going to get worse, and the bills will continue to mount.  

Back home in Piha we have the beginnings of a resilience plan that mostly focuses on where to go on the night if there’s a big event. Longer-term thinking about how we’d cope if the big slips on the hill really did cut us off for a while simply hasn’t taken place. 

Tonight, the community gathers locally to remember that terrible night a year ago.  There will be karakia, kai and kindness, tears and love. That’s how our community rolls. 

But the bigger thinking has barely begun.

26 comments on “A year on From Gabrielle: are we any further on? ”

  1. Belladonna 1

    The biggest problem in terms of resilience – is that no one wants to do it if they are disadvantaged.
    Big picture thinking would have been that Piha, etc. wasn't an environmentally sustainable location for homes.
    And that, therefore – the sustainable thing to do would be to relocate the communities (probably only around 1,000 homes), close the road (i.e. plant over it), and leave it as walking-track only accessible.

    By, 'relocate', I mean build a new subdivision off SH16 – on currently rural land. Houses that can be relocated are. Those that aren't, get whatever rebuild they have in their insurance contract (insurers are required to pay out on this). Those who don't want to live there, are perfectly free to sell up (on the open market), and move on. Yep, some people will take a hit on their home value (since they no longer have the highly-prized sea view) – but it's surely better to have a safe home – and they're in it for the long term.

    But, none of the community living there want this as a solution…. They want a magic wand waved, and be back to BAU. And, if they do have to leave, they want their new home to have the same 'Piha' magic (i.e. beach views, hills, bush, small community); and are unwilling to accept that any such location is going to have the same issues.

    I don't have direct knowledge of the Hawkes Bay – but I suspect it's much the same scenario – no one wants the relocation to be 'them'.

  2. georgecom 2

    any further along? no and perhaps even taking a step or 2 backward with National/ACT?Winston First govt. A year ago agriculture was going to have costs applied to CHGs, how it's been kicked down the road at least 5 years. So rather than making a start on reducing agriculture CHGs under financial incentives people will just continue doing nothing or making their own reductions based on their own commonsense. Climate change funds have been reallocated to tax cuts, a balanced approach to transport has been tipped toward simple simeons fixation with roads. so no, no further ahead, probably gone backward under this present government.

  3. Ad 3

    Several roads in Titirangi still down to one lane where half of the road has just fallen away. OMG AT.

    Also multiple Titirangi houses have just accepted the buyout cheque and are now on their way elsewhere.

    The tough coincidence for many in flood-affected Auckland is that there is now a glut of houses on the market – caused less by Gabrielle and more by mortgage rate rollovers which are far higher than they were. Few are making money from house sales, when they need a good sale to start again.

    The Waitakere Ranges Heritage legislation certainly slowed and stalled development of the forested coasts, but Gabrielle is reversing the retreat.

    How viable is Piha, Little Huia, Muriwai, Bethells, and even lowland Ranui?

    At what point do the insurance companies make that decision for us? It must be close.

    • Belladonna 3.1

      I have been expecting the insurance companies to become much harder nosed about insurance premiums in a wide range of areas of NZ – effectively making houses in high-risk areas uninsurable (or at least the premiums unaffordable for most people). But it doesn't seem to have eventuated so far. Insurance companies appear to be raising premiums across the board – averaging out the risk.

      Surely once one decides to assign cost-to-risk appropriately – they'll make a fortune from all of the low-risk properties switching to them for the lower premiums….

      As I said above, I don't feel that any of the Auckland West Coast coastal villages are viable in the current climate-change environment. The problem is that no one wants to bite the bullet and enact a solution.

      • weka 3.1.1

        this is true. But also true is that we can shift inland and there will still be huge resiliency problems. We appear to just be really bad at assessing future risks. We've know about climate change for a long time and many houses have been built in stupid places in that time. We're still doing it.

      • Ad 3.1.2

        The last time we saw a whole suburb red-stickered was when Christchurch'ss Brooklands, Avonside, New Brighton and Bexley were pretty written off.

        Piha is over 1,000 residents with average house value about $1.2million.

        It wouldn't be cheap or poltically easy.

        • Belladonna 3.1.2.1

          Not proposing to buy out the houses at the current valuation. But to relocate them to a new suburb. You get the same land area size you currently have.
          Yes. People will on paper lose value (no longer will they have the sea view adding an extra 200K to the price tag). But they will have a place to live.

          Relocatable houses can be shifted (insurance cost); un-relocatable houses can be replaced (whatever agreement you have in your insurance).
          Government comes to the party for uninsured with un-relocatable houses – and they get a minimum size/spec state house on their plot. They own the land, the government owns the house.

          Banks required to retain the current mortgage limits for those houses, until they are sold (so you could still have a $1 million mortgage on a 700K house – without the bank forcing you into foreclosure)

          I'd say that Piha might have around 400 or so actual houses. And, the government could acquire farmland for considerably less than the Piha land value – just off SH16. Prioritize in the utilities – and they could be shifting houses by the end of the year.

          So, not cheap. But do-able.

          The biggest issues (apart from the unhappiness of the residents) would be legislating to ensure that banks had to retain current mortgage limits and that insurance companies were required to pay out on undamaged houses on red-stickered land.

          The problem is that I'm willing to bet not a single Piha resident would accept this solution – unless forced to do so. Hence the political risk associated – although I doubt there are too many right-wing voters in Piha.

          The last government shied away from this issue. And, I don't expect better things from this one. It's always easier to pass the political hot potato on….

          And, that's the biggest problem with any option that you can come up with. The people who are most affected, aren't willing to buy into the change. NIMBY with a vengeance.

          Setting this up as a standard relocation model – would save a lot of grief, for the next time this happens. And there are plenty of candidates….

          • Ad 3.1.2.1.1

            In 2018 there were 400 occupied dwellings and a further 300 unoccupied. So in reality Piha's about 1,000 houses now.

            What you are looking at doing is forming a new version of CERA. CERA crossed with Kainga Ora. An entity with its own powers to value properties and write cheques and build new suburbs with water and roads and libraries and police stations, and overrule the Council.

            Now, under what form of government would that legislation pass?

            If you want to see what the last government did with masterplanning whole new communities, you can check out Mt Albert, Mangere, Pt England or Northcote. And for that effort, Kainga Ora are in a world of financial pain that makes the Kiwirail bailout look like pocket money.

            Every community is different. But Piha is chocka with multimillionaires with great lawyers. Especially environmental and property lawyers. They are the kind of activists who will protest the felling of a Pohutukawa branch rather than let emergency services in. And see you in the High Court about it.

            Piha sure ain't Westport. And even Westport just preferred more stop-banks.

            • Belladonna 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Well, those multi-millionaires better be prepared with deep pockets for the next disaster. Because I don't think that either the government or the Council are going to bail them out twice.

            • Belladonna 3.1.2.1.1.2

              It's clear that you find there are lots of potential problems with my proffered solution.

              Do you have an alternative?

              Or do we just sit here paralysed by the fear of multi-millionaires with lawyers – and a strong case of NIMBY syndrome.

              Because – no matter if we switched to climate-friendly policies today (and yes, I do see that sounder of pigs flying past) – the reality is that the ongoing impacts on our country and climate will be escalating for decades to come.

              If there are no plans, then we just ricochet from crisis to crisis.

              • Ad

                Honestly for a bunch of rich entitled white grumpies in Piha, I would do a couple of slightly harsh things without going PWA on their asses.

                1. Don't protest when insurers walk away from Piha. And don't underwrite them. Or bail them out when re-stickered. And of course if you're not insured you get no EQC. Fully on your own.

                2. Don't provide Piha with a centralised wastewater plant.

                3. Don't do anything except absolute minimum of road maintenance, and no footpaths. Let it degrade.

                4. A minor District Plan change to widen the area affected by natural hazards: cliff falls, unstable geotech, tsunami surge expansion, floodplain expansion, biosecurity and bioiversity footprint expansion, no budget for stop-banks, etc

                Essentially a great big sign at the start of Piha saying: Buy or Rent Here At Your Own Risk

                • Sheesh, you're certainly one for a gross generalisation aren't you!
                  The Piha community – the one that actually lives here (not the bach owners) is not what you think it is.
                  If I look at my own street, my neighbours include a couple of builders, a delivery driver, a plumber, unemployed, a union worker, a self-employed caterer, a single mum who cleans locally… a womens refugee worker, a film industry art dept worker…
                  Interspersed are some rich white grumpies but they're certainly not representative of the community. Maybe check your generalisations before writing off an entire community?

          • Cindy Baxter 3.1.2.1.2

            haha you're right about most people here not wanting to move! I don't think objecting to being moved from a beautiful black sand beach surrounded by bush to a housing development off SH16 could be labelled "Nimby" – that's a bit harsh! The precedent would be more than any council could bear, financially, anyway.

            I couldn't see the council buying out the entire community, nor moving us. I can see that happening in parts of the Hawkes Bay community – or Esk Valley, where the floods took out the whole valley. That didn't happen here. The vast majority of homes here are fine, including mine. Karekare, though, with the incredibly steep cutting or Lone Kauri Road where there were massive slips all down both roads, is possibly a different story. I'm all for resilience, and getting rooftop solar is my next move: we mostly all have our own water supplies already.

            The voting booth here usually registers National or Green, with a bit of Labour.. (in a normal year). Plenty of right wingers in town.

            • Belladonna 3.1.2.1.2.1

              So what's your solution for the Auckland West Coast coastal communities?

              Because I absolutely guarantee that Auckland ratepayers aren't going to bail them out a second time. Nor do I see why taxpayers should, if sensible managed retreat options aren't followed.

              I note that the NIMBYism is alive and well — not my community – but pick on Karekare or Lone Kauri Rd.

              This isn't about water supply, or solar panels. It's about a long and vulnerable single road access. About houses perched on hillsides – which have been demonstrated to be unstable. And (also relevant) about houses in a narrow shelf between the beach and the hills (sea level rise).

              If the West Coast communities are happy to take all of those risks, in order to go on living on their 'beautiful black sand beach' – then have at it. Risk is on your heads. No government, or local government bail out required if/when it all goes to custard. Good luck with getting insurance.

              And, a prime example of why none of the managed retreat options work. The people affected simply don't want to shift….

              • weka

                didn't Cindy already differentiate between the parts of that area that are relatively stable and those that aren't?

                • Belladonna

                  Road in/out (there is only one) is subject to landslips. All properties are affected by this risk.

                  Any claims that 'some' properties are unaffected by risk is highly suspect. The properties which aren't perched on hillsides are at sea-level (pick your climate-change impact)

                  Cindy didn't claim anything other than her property (and others) haven't been hit by this disaster. Nothing about ongoing risk assessment.

        • Sanctuary 3.1.2.2

          Remind me not to show the place we are looking at in Piha….

          • Belladonna 3.1.2.2.1

            I don't have a problem with you buying – just not prepared to fund your escape from a bad bargain.

          • Ad 3.1.2.2.2

            Don't buy coastal in west Auckland either clifftop or valley or close to the beach. Either coast the geotech is shit.

            Don't buy coastal in Northland because actually the Brynderwyns are unwinding into Weetbix and not even the new SH1 to Warkworth holds up in a good flood. And it is poverty-choked.

            Don't buy coastal in Tauranga firstly because a good White Island earthquake will liquiefy everything around the Mount, and tsunamis and sea level rise gets the first 10 metres of everything else … and it's a hole.

            Don't buy costal in Taupo due to massive and high seismic risk.

            Don't buy coastal in Hawke's Bay, because you will have seen the Napier Earthquake return cycle, Hikurangi Subduction, and the entire Gabrielle floodplain footprint, plus sea level rise.

            Of the whole of the North Island my lowest risk bet would be Taranaki.

            Then the South Island from Christchurch all the way north is a seismic hair trigger.

            And the South Island west coast from Jackson Bay to Nelson is on another hair trigger.

            This is the latest view from our insurers re climate change risk:

            https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/511165/nz-insurance-council-conference-mulls-risks-of-climate-change

            • Hunter Thompson II 3.1.2.2.2.1

              The other day, Stats NZ provided this report on erosion-prone land across the country: https://stats.govt.nz/news/more-than-half-of-highly-erodible-land-located-in-the-north-island-in-2022/#:~:text=Island%20in%202022-,More%20than%20half%20of%20highly%20erodible%20land,the%20North%20Isl

              A map of landslide risk zones shows Auckland as a "hot spot".

              It's definitely time for some big-picture planning on how we build houses and where we build them.

              • Belladonna

                We see this on the North Shore, every time there's a storm, bits of the heavily-developed clifftop properties drop away onto the beach.

                In the 'old days' of small houses and bachs – there was a decent set back from the cliff-edge to the house. Now, with infill housing, and mega-mansions complete with infinity pools and landscaping, the developed area is right up to the cliff edge (and sometimes cantilevered over it).

                Disaster waiting to happen.

                A sensible risk mitigation strategy would be to require removal of all decks and other infrastructure to a reasonable set back from the cliff; and ban any house development activity which extends the footprint towards the cliff edge.

                Try that, and watch the millionaires scream, lawyer-up and take the Council to the Environment Court.

                The only way to cut the Gordian knot is through legislation. And I strongly doubt that any government has the guts to do it…..

            • KJT 3.1.2.2.2.2

              Don't buy land in NZ……………………..

              Pick a nice stable bit of desert in central Australia.

      • weka 3.1.3

        what specifically is it about Piha that makes it high risk?

  4. gsays 4

    Well said, it is an option albeit, as you point out, that no one will favour.

    I figure capitalism got us into "This mess we're in". It's not till the insurance/banksters and their shareholders are ready will change come from them.

    Because it's Easter, P.J. Harvey and Thom Yorke.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BTrGowDPjBk&pp=ygUndGhpcyBtZXNzIHdlJ3JlIGluIHBqIGhhcnZleSB0aG9tIHlvcmtl

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  • Vroom vroom go the big red trucks
    The absolute brass neck of this guy.We want more medical doctors, not more spin doctors, Luxon was saying a couple of weeks ago, and now we’re told the guy has seven salaried adults on TikTok duty. Sorry, doing social media. The absolute brass neck of it. The irony that the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    19 hours ago
  • Jones finds $410,000 to help the government muscle in on a spat project
    Buzz from the Beehive Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones relishes spatting and eagerly takes issue with environmentalists who criticise his enthusiasm for resource development. He relishes helping the fishing industry too. And so today, while the media are making much of the latest culling in the public service to ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    20 hours ago
  • Again, hate crimes are not necessarily terrorism.
    Having written, taught and worked for the US government on issues involving unconventional warfare and terrorism for 30-odd years, two things irritate me the most when the subject is discussed in public. The first is the Johnny-come-lately academics-turned-media commentators who … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    22 hours ago
  • Despair – construction consenting edition
    Eric Crampton writes – Kainga Ora is the government’s house building agency. It’s been building a lot of social housing. Kainga Ora has its own (but independent) consenting authority, Consentium. It’s a neat idea. Rather than have to deal with building consents across each different territorial authority, Kainga Ora ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    23 hours ago
  • Coalition promises – will the Govt keep the commitment to keep Kiwis equal before the law?
    Muriel Newman writes – The Coalition Government says it is moving with speed to deliver campaign promises and reverse the damage done by Labour. One of their key commitments is to “defend the principle that New Zealanders are equal before the law.” To achieve this, they have pledged they “will not advance ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    23 hours ago
  • An impermanent public service is a guarantee of very little else but failure
    Chris Trotter writes –  The absence of anything resembling a fightback from the public servants currently losing their jobs is interesting. State-sector workers’ collective fatalism in the face of Coalition cutbacks indicates a surprisingly broad acceptance of impermanence in the workplace. Fifty years ago, lay-offs in the thousands ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • What happens after the war – Mariupol
    Mariupol, on the Azov Sea coast, was one of the first cities to suffer almost complete destruction after the start of the Ukraine War started in late February 2022. We remember the scenes of absolute destruction of the houses and city structures. The deaths of innocent civilians – many of ...
    1 day ago
  • Babies and benefits – no good news
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – Ten years ago, I wrote the following in a Listener column: Every year around one in five new-born babies will be reliant on their caregivers benefit by Christmas. This pattern has persisted from at least 1993. For Maori the number jumps to over one in three.  ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • Should the RBNZ be looking through climate inflation?
    Climate change is expected to generate more and more extreme events, delivering a sort of structural shock to inflation that central banks will have to react to as if they were short-term cyclical issues. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāMy pick of the six newsey things to know from Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix of the news links
    The top six news links I’ve seen elsewhere in the last 24 hours, as of 9:16 am on Thursday, April 18 are:Housing: Tauranga residents living in boats, vans RNZ Checkpoint Louise TernouthHousing: Waikato councillor says wastewater plant issues could hold up Sleepyhead building a massive company town Waikato Times Stephen ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the public sector carnage, and misogyny as terrorism
    It’s a simple deal. We pay taxes in order to finance the social services we want and need. The carnage now occurring across the public sector though, is breaking that contract. Over 3,000 jobs have been lost so far. Many are in crucial areas like Education where the impact of ...
    1 day ago
  • Meeting the Master Baiters
    Hi,A friend had their 40th over the weekend and decided to theme it after Curb Your Enthusiasm fashion icon Susie Greene. Captured in my tiny kitchen before I left the house, I ending up evoking a mix of old lesbian and Hillary Clinton — both unintentional.Me vs Hillary ClintonIf you’re ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 day ago
  • How extreme was the Earth's temperature in 2023
    This is a re-post from Andrew Dessler at the Climate Brink blog In 2023, the Earth reached temperature levels unprecedented in modern times. Given that, it’s reasonable to ask: What’s going on? There’s been lots of discussions by scientists about whether this is just the normal progression of global warming or if something ...
    1 day ago
  • Backbone, revisited
    The schools are on holiday and the sun is shining in the seaside village and all day long I have been seeing bunches of bikes; Mums, Dads, teens and toddlers chattering, laughing, happy, having a bloody great time together. Cheers, AT, for the bits of lane you’ve added lately around the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Ministers are not above the law
    Today in our National-led authoritarian nightmare: Shane Jones thinks Ministers should be above the law: New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is accusing the Waitangi Tribunal of over-stepping its mandate by subpoenaing a minister for its urgent hearing on the Oranga Tamariki claim. The tribunal is looking into the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What’s the outfit you can hear going down the gurgler? Probably it’s David Parker’s Oceans Sec...
    Buzz from the Beehive Point  of Order first heard of the Oceans Secretariat in June 2021, when David Parker (remember him?) announced a multi-agency approach to protecting New Zealand’s marine ecosystems and fisheries. Parker (holding the Environment, and Oceans and Fisheries portfolios) broke the news at the annual Forest & ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • Will politicians let democracy die in the darkness?
    Bryce Edwards writes  – Politicians across the political spectrum are implicated in the New Zealand media’s failing health. Either through neglect or incompetent interventions, successive governments have failed to regulate, foster, and allow a healthy Fourth Estate that can adequately hold politicians and the powerful to account. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Matt Doocey doubles down on trans “healthcare”
    Citizen Science writes –  Last week saw two significant developments in the debate over the treatment of trans-identifying children and young people – the release in Britain of the final report of Dr Hilary Cass’s review into gender healthcare, and here in New Zealand, the news that the ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • A TikTok Prime Minister.
    One night while sleeping in my bed I had a beautiful dreamThat all the people of the world got together on the same wavelengthAnd began helping one anotherNow in this dream, universal love was the theme of the dayPeace and understanding and it happened this wayAfter such an eventful day ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Texas Lessons
    This is a guest post by Oscar Simms who is a housing activist, volunteer for the Coalition for More Homes, and was the Labour Party candidate for Auckland Central at the last election. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix of the news links at 6:06 am
    The top six news links I’ve seen elsewhere in the last 24 hours as of 6:06 am on Wednesday, April 17 are:Must read: Secrecy shrouds which projects might be fast-tracked RNZ Farah HancockScoop: Revealed: Luxon has seven staffers working on social media content - partly paid for by taxpayer Newshub ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Fighting poverty on the holiday highway
    Turning what Labour called the “holiday highway” into a four-lane expressway from Auckland to Whangarei could bring at least an economic benefit of nearly two billion a year for Northland each year. And it could help bring an end to poverty in one of New Zealand’s most deprived regions. The ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's six-stack of substacks at 6:26 pm
    Tonight’s six-stack includes: launching his substack with a bunch of his previous documentaries, including this 1992 interview with Dame Whina Cooper. and here crew give climate activists plenty to do, including this call to submit against the Fast Track Approvals bill. writes brilliantly here on his substack ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Is the science settled?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    3 days ago
  • Apposite Quotations.
    How Long Is Long Enough? Gaza under Israeli bombardment, July 2014. This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • What’s a life worth now?
    You're in the mall when you hear it: some kind of popping sound in the distance, kids with fireworks, maybe. But then a moment of eerie stillness is followed by more of the fireworks sound and there’s also screaming and shrieking and now here come people running for their lives.Does ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Howling at the Moon
    Karl du Fresne writes –  There’s a crisis in the news media and the media are blaming it on everyone except themselves. Culpability is being deflected elsewhere – mainly to the hapless Minister of Communications, Melissa Lee, and the big social media platforms that are accused of hoovering ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Newshub is Dead.
    I don’t normally send out two newsletters in a day but I figured I’d say something about… the news. If two newsletters is a bit much then maybe just skip one, I don’t want to overload people. Alternatively if you’d be interested in sometimes receiving multiple, smaller updates from me, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Seymour is chuffed about cutting early-learning red tape – but we hear, too, that Jones has loose...
    Buzz from the Beehive David Seymour and Winston Peters today signalled that at least two ministers of the Crown might be in Wellington today. Seymour (as Associate Minister of Education) announced the removal of more red tape, this time to make it easier for new early learning services to be ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Will politicians let democracy die in the darkness?
    Politicians across the political spectrum are implicated in the New Zealand media’s failing health. Either through neglect or incompetent interventions, successive governments have failed to regulate, foster, and allow a healthy Fourth Estate that can adequately hold politicians and the powerful to account. Our political system is suffering from the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Was Hawkesby entirely wrong?
    David Farrar  writes –  The Broadcasting Standards Authority ruled: Comments by radio host Kate Hawkesby suggesting Māori and Pacific patients were being prioritised for surgery due to their ethnicity were misleading and discriminatory, the Broadcasting Standards Authority has found. It is a fact such patients are prioritised. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • PRC shadow looms as the Solomons head for election
    PRC and its proxies in Solomons have been preparing for these elections for a long time. A lot of money, effort and intelligence have gone into ensuring an outcome that won’t compromise Beijing’s plans. Cleo Paskall writes – On April 17th the Solomon Islands, a country of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Criminal ecocide
    We are in the middle of a climate crisis. Last year was (again) the hottest year on record. NOAA has just announced another global coral bleaching event. Floods are threatening UK food security. So naturally, Shane Jones wants to make it easier to mine coal: Resources Minister Shane Jones ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Is saving one minute of a politician's time worth nearly $1 billion?
    Is speeding up the trip to and from Wellington airport by 12 minutes worth spending up more than $10 billion? Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The six news items that stood out to me in the last day to 8:26 am today are:The Lead: Transport Minister Simeon Brown announced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Long Tunnel or Long Con?
    Yesterday it was revealed that Transport Minister had asked Waka Kotahi to look at the options for a long tunnel through Wellington. State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the ...
    3 days ago
  • Smoke And Mirrors.
    You're a fraud, and you know itBut it's too good to throw it all awayAnyone would do the sameYou've got 'em goingAnd you're careful not to show itSometimes you even fool yourself a bitIt's like magicBut it's always been a smoke and mirrors gameAnyone would do the sameForty six billion ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • What is Mexico doing about climate change?
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections The June general election in Mexico could mark a turning point in ensuring that the country’s climate policies better reflect the desire of its citizens to address the climate crisis, with both leading presidential candidates expressing support for renewable energy. Mexico is the ...
    3 days ago
  • State of humanity, 2024
    2024, it feels, keeps presenting us with ever more challenges, ever more dismay.Do you give up yet? It seems to ask.No? How about this? Or this?How about this?When I say 2024 I really mean the state of humanity in 2024.Saturday night, we watched Civil War because that is one terrifying cliff we've ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s Wellington tunnel vision aims to ease the way to the airport (but zealous promoters of cycl...
    Buzz from the Beehive A pet project and governmental tunnel vision jump out from the latest batch of ministerial announcements. The government is keen to assure us of its concern for the wellbeing of our pets. It will be introducing pet bonds in a change to the Residential Tenancies Act ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • The case for cultural connectedness
    A recent report generated from a Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) survey of 1,224 rangatahi Māori aged 11-12 found: Cultural connectedness was associated with fewer depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms and better quality of life. That sounds cut and dry. But further into the report the following appears: Cultural connectedness is ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Useful context on public sector job cuts
    David Farrar writes –    The Herald reports: From the gory details of job-cuts news, you’d think the public service was being eviscerated.   While the media’s view of the cuts is incomplete, it’s also true that departments have been leaking the particulars faster than a Wellington ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On When Racism Comes Disguised As Anti-racism
    Remember the good old days, back when New Zealand had a PM who could think and speak calmly and intelligently in whole sentences without blustering? Even while Iran’s drones and missiles were still being launched, Helen Clark was live on TVNZ expertly summing up the latest crisis in the Middle ...
    4 days ago
  • Govt ignored economic analysis of smokefree reversal
    Costello did not pass on analysis of the benefits of the smokefree reforms to Cabinet, emphasising instead the extra tax revenues of repealing them. Photo: Hagen Hopkins, Getty Images TL;DR: The six news items that stood out to me at 7:26 am today are:The Lead: Casey Costello never passed on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • True Blue.
    True loveYou're the one I'm dreaming ofYour heart fits me like a gloveAnd I'm gonna be true blueBaby, I love youI’ve written about the job cuts in our news media last week. The impact on individuals, and the loss to Aotearoa of voices covering our news from different angles.That by ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Who is running New Zealand’s foreign policy?
    While commentators, including former Prime Minister Helen Clark, are noting a subtle shift in New Zealand’s foreign policy, which now places more emphasis on the United States, many have missed a key element of the shift. What National said before the election is not what the government is doing now. ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #15
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, April 7, 2024 thru Sat, April 13, 2024. Story of the week Our story of the week is about adults in the room setting terms and conditions of ...
    5 days ago
  • Feline Friends and Fragile Fauna The Complexities of Cats in New Zealand’s Conservation Efforts

    Cats, with their independent spirit and beguiling purrs, have captured the hearts of humans for millennia. In New Zealand, felines are no exception, boasting the highest national cat ownership rate globally [definition cat nz cat foundation]. An estimated 1.134 million pet cats grace Kiwi households, compared to 683,000 dogs ...

    5 days ago
  • Or is that just they want us to think?
    Nice guy, that Peter Williams. Amiable, a calm air of no-nonsense capability, a winning smile. Everything you look for in a TV presenter and newsreader.I used to see him sometimes when I went to TVNZ to be a talking head or a panellist and we would yarn. Nice guy, that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Did global warming stop in 1998?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from our Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Did global warming stop in ...
    6 days ago
  • Arguing over a moot point.
    I have been following recent debates in the corporate and social media about whether it is a good idea for NZ to join what is known as “AUKUS Pillar Two.” AUKUS is the Australian-UK-US nuclear submarine building agreement in which … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • No Longer Trusted: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    Turning Point: What has turned me away from the mainstream news media is the very strong message that its been sending out for the last few years.” “And what message might that be?” “That the people who own it, the people who run it, and the people who provide its content, really don’t ...
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates at 10% anyone?
    No – nothing about that in PM Luxon’s nine-point plan to improve the lives of New Zealanders. But beyond our shores Jamie Dimon, the long-serving head of global bank J.P. Morgan Chase, reckons that the chances of a goldilocks soft landing for the economy are “a lot lower” than the ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • Sad tales from the left
    Michael Bassett writes –  Have you noticed the odd way in which the media are handling the government’s crackdown on surplus employees in the Public Service? Very few reporters mention the crazy way in which State Service numbers rocketed ahead by more than 16,000 during Labour’s six years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • In Whose Best Interests?
    On The Spot: The question Q+A host, Jack Tame, put to the Workplace & Safety Minister, Act’s Brooke van Velden, was disarmingly simple: “Are income tax cuts right now in the best interests of lowering inflation?”JACK TAME has tested another MP on his Sunday morning current affairs show, Q+A. Minister for Workplace ...
    6 days ago
  • Don’t Question, Don’t Complain.
    It has to start somewhereIt has to start sometimeWhat better place than here?What better time than now?So it turns out that I owe you all an apology.It seems that all of the terrible things this government is doing, impacting the lives of many, aren’t necessarily ‘bad’ per se. Those things ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago

  • Minister to Europe for OECD meeting, Anzac Day
    Science, Innovation and Technology and Defence Minister Judith Collins will next week attend the OECD Science and Technology Ministerial conference in Paris and Anzac Day commemorations in Belgium. “Science, innovation and technology have a major role to play in rebuilding our economy and achieving better health, environmental and social outcomes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by MP Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino to be elected to a legislature outside the Philippines. During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon and President Marcos Jr discussed opportunities to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
    The Government has announced that $20 million in funding will be made available to Westport to fund much needed flood protection around the town. This measure will significantly improve the resilience of the community, says Local Government Minister Simeon Brown. “The Westport community has already been allocated almost $3 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
    The Government is proud to support the first ever Repco Supercars Championship event in Taupō as up to 70,000 motorsport fans attend the Taupō International Motorsport Park this weekend, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. “Anticipation for the ITM Taupō Super400 is huge, with tickets and accommodation selling out weeks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced an increase to the Rates Rebate Scheme, putting money back into the pockets of low-income homeowners.  “The coalition Government is committed to bringing down the cost of living for New Zealanders. That includes targeted support for those Kiwis who are doing things tough, such ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government backing mussel spat project
    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PMs Luxon and Lee deepen Singapore-NZ ties
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. While in Singapore as part of his visit to South East Asia this week, Prime Minister Luxon also met with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.  During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Antarctica New Zealand Board appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has made further appointments to the Board of Antarctica New Zealand as part of a continued effort to ensure the Scott Base Redevelopment project is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  The Minister has appointed Neville Harris as a new member of the Board. Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister travels to Washington DC
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to the United States on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Five Finance Ministers group, with counterparts from Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  “I am looking forward to meeting with our Five Finance partners on how we can work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pet bonds a win/win for renters and landlords
    The coalition Government has today announced purrfect and pawsitive changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for a rental property, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “Pets are important members of many Kiwi families. It’s estimated that around 64 per cent of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Long Tunnel for SH1 Wellington being considered
    State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the Government has also asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option, Transport Minister Simeon Brown ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Iranian strikes
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have condemned Iran’s shocking and illegal strikes against Israel.    “These attacks are a major challenge to peace and stability in a region already under enormous pressure," Mr Luxon says.    "We are deeply concerned that miscalculation on any side could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
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