Adapting to the end of cheap oil

Written By: - Date published: 11:01 pm, August 24th, 2008 - 30 comments
Categories: election 2008, greens, labour, national, transport - Tags:

On August 1, Transit NZ and Land Transport NZ were merged into the NZ Transport Authority. The new organisation’s first major publication shows a welcome shift in thinking and an acknowledgment that the age of cheap oil is over. Managing Transport Challenges When Oil Prices Rise contains a model built on the consensus of a number of international models that has oil averaging US$110 a barrel this year, rising to $150 over the next two years before falling back to current levels. It does not predict peak oil and is conservative but, unlike Treasury forecasts, it faces the reality that oil is not returning to the prices of the past cheap oil is over and we need to adapt our transport planning to suit that.

The study finds that even at the average model prices, public transport will provide the best cost-to-benefit ratio. It predicts petrol will hit $2.50-$2.80 in the next five years.

In light of these realities, it recommends a number of actions more public transport, more rail, urban forming to reduce transport needs, more efficient traffic management, and more fuel efficient vehicles, along with parking management and transport pricing to encourage people into public transport. Total private vehicle use would fall despite the growing population.

All up, the study estimates that, without radical action, oil use per person could be reduced 21% from 1000 litres today to 790 litres in 2028. Personally, I doubt there will be that much to go around but it’s good to see the Government seriously looking steps that will make big cuts in oil consumption; it’s a step in the right direction.

And it will make us better off less money spent on oil, less congestion, less pollution, lower oil imports improving the current account deficit, less subsidisation of economically inefficient transport all up that’s projected to be worth $15 billion (present value) over the next 20 years.

Good to see a government agency taking a realistic view of the future and coming is with sensible solutions. Of course, one can’t help but notice how much like the Greens’ transport policy NZTA’s recommendations look. Will Labour have the courage to follow with a similar, ambitious plan to deal with the transport future after cheap oil? And will National ever begin to wake up? Probably now while Maurice Williamson is promising to borrow for more motorways.

30 comments on “Adapting to the end of cheap oil”

  1. It’s very interesting that the report concludes that per capita motorspirits consumption in 2018 will be the same as it was in 1976 despite twice as many kilometres travelled by private vehicles. It’ll be interesting to see how two-income households cope with that. Assuming we have 10% more preople in ten years time then all that’s needed to acheive that reduction in per capita fuel use is a 10% decrease in km per capita and a 10% reduction in litres per 100 km. MOT household travel survey results suggest that half those improvements can be expected to come solely from the ageing population.

  2. monkey boy 2

    Its more than just the price of petrol. It’s the whole lifestyle, and the damaging impact of car-usage on our culture. When you look at the way NZ has concentrated its shopping facilities into areas only accessible by car, and how the small towns are beholden to private car-usage because there is not enough public transport. You have to ask what will happen to the aging population as petrol rises and if there is still no public trnsport available? So, given the present cultural reliance on private transport, it is safe to assume that as the poulation ages, especially if there is no public transport, fuel use will decline as the elderly die of starvation becaue they can’t get to the Mall or the Warehouse in their spendidly isolated pedestrian-dangerous theme-parks.

    Of course, there will be the pesky issue of those carbon emmissions from the hearses that carry them to the ‘great shopping Mall in the sky’ after they die of starvation and lonliness, but that’s another story.
    I personally would love to see massive investment and incentives for public transport to be provided at practically zero-cost to the user, regardless of age or employment. Everywhere in the country. The costs to the government would be less than the benefits to the people and the economy. It would impact on congestion, and revitalise local commerce, leading to a renaissance of ‘buy local’ diversity in our towns and villages.

  3. Monkey boy,

    You almost sound like a greeny there.

    Were I live we are discovering the commons as a local resource to our village. We are starting communal veggie gardens. Call each other to pool necessary shopping so only one car has to drive into town.
    we help each other to start orchards and veggie gardens in working bees. And we started a cooperative for organic food supplies trying to source them as close to were we live as possible.

    Coming from a big city were everybody was out for their own I really enjoy the wealth and community this creates. I haven’t seen a supermarket for yonks. It is actually quite empowering.

    In the mean time my husband commutes into Hamilton with his hydrogen on demand fuel cell and get three extra days out of a tank of petrol.

    We are laughing all the way to the bank. LOL

  4. monkey boy 4

    well trav that is my endgame too, hopefully in the next year or so. I will go further, and assert that supermarkets are evil entities, and that mod NZ is stuck in an ‘america in the fifties’ mindset about shops and cars.
    As remarked to me once ‘NZ’s clean and green image is just that – an image.’

  5. outofbed 5

    Monkey boy, go here and join the movement

  6. monkey boy 6

    I can’t outof because I hate Labour

  7. monkey boy 7

    It’s a flippant response I know, but i just think that the Green Party is propping up a morally questionable situation, and probably will again post-election if it gets the chance. I dont have answers, perhaps the answers lie in a rejection of centralised government ofr localised, i really dunno.

  8. Monkey boy,

    You’ll find that inflation stops the moment you start growing your own food and bartering (No, I’m not suggesting that we go back in time, I love my second hand dish washer I got for free from the freecycle group for example but as a local support system nothing beats bartering) Enough free milk for my free range eggs to make my own French and Dutch cheese (It’s in the genes I think. LOL). My “once a week’ day free labour for all the potatoes and veggies we can wish for all year round. It’s awesome. For the first time in my life we can actually save on a one person income.

    And frankly I agree with you about supermarkets they are “evil” corporate entities monopolising (only 5 Corporations control the worlds food supply, how scary is that) our food supply and making us dependent on international rather than cheap local food, keeping us from food self sustainability. Which I think NZ was only a few decades ago.

    Good on you for going of the grid but make it sooner rather than later because it’s going to collapse faster than most people think.

    In the next few months but possibly weeks the two biggest mortgage giants in the US Fannie mae and Freddy mac are going to go under and with it the entire Western financial system.
    GM and Ford have just applied for a $ 50 billion emergency bail out or they are gone too and that is only just the beginning.
    Banks are collapsing in the US like you wouldn’t believe.

    Come to think of it we might yet get cheaper oil for a while as the Americans can’t afford it any more. LOL

  9. MB are you talking about Global warming?

  10. Good post. Compare this with National’s policy sort of disclosed by Maurice Williamson this morning in the Herald. Their remedy is roads, more roads and more roads. Williamson does not even understand that traffic flows are extraordinarily likely to go down, not up, and that our current roading system may be more than sufficient. The new roads will all apparently be constructed through PPPs and funded by tolls. I bet that there are no takers from the private sector as the business risks are far too high.

    The paper makes a compelling case for the cancellation of the Waterview project and Transmission Gully and putting this money into the rail system, particularly the proposed tunnel up Queen Street.

  11. Savage 11

    Alarmist claptrap. I just looked outside and everything seems to be ticking along just fine. Supermarkets are evil? Give me a break.
    Centralised government is bad? Okay lets all go tribal and grow mung beans in our communal gardens.

    I’d join the Greens if they weren’t a complete non-event. The Greens lack the three P’s – Personality (simply hearing Jeanette Fitzsimons’
    voice makes me sleepy), Policy, and Purpose (no direction, could get a lot more votes if they knew how to play the game.)

    Sure one day the petrol will stop flowing and the trucks that take the food to the supermarkets will stop doing just that and the people who live in urban areas will get all hungry and grumpy from a distinct lack of food but until then I will continue to exist in a state of semi-informed bliss.

  12. Gustavo Trellis 12

    Every party is dropping the ball on this one. Public transport has been neglected by all, and there is no alternatives for many many commuters. The price of petrol is unfortunate, and it’s a shame Labour has chosen to implement a regional tax on users who have paid for a transport system many times that they never got.

    Tolls are equally retarded and should be shelved immediately. We’ve got a number of very experimental replacements for carbon-based fuels, but we seem to be picking the most sensationalist ones. Bio fuels are a disaster, but there are cellulosic fuels that can be made of any plant matter, not just food crops. Still, we don’t hear much about those.

    We’ll see what happens with fuel. I don’t think it’s going to be the end of private transport, more likely it is just the end of the world of fossil fuels. There are plenty of others lining up to take their place.

  13. Draco TB 13

    For the first time in my life we can actually save on a one person income.

    Reviving the Household Economy – Part 1 Part 2

    We’ll see what happens with fuel. I don’t think it’s going to be the end of private transport, more likely it is just the end of the world of fossil fuels. There are plenty of others lining up to take their place.

    That, though, is the problem. There isn’t any fuels lining up that can fully replace fossil fuels in transport. What we’re getting has a much lower EROEI than what oil or even coal has.

  14. Rimu 14

    Sure, there are a lot of things central government can do to help our society to adapt to peak oil, but in the end it’s up to communities to take responsibility for making their own changes. Without grass-roots support, government can’t do much.

    Fortunately, towns and cities all over New Zealand are doing just that! 🙂

  15. Gustavo Trellis 15

    Draco – I didn’t say they’re ready – I said they’re lining up. It’s gonna be a while; put it this way, I’m not holding my breath.

  16. Draco TB,

    Thanks for the links.

    Rimu I agree. We’ve recently started a transition town project.

  17. bill brown 17

    No Maurice, that’s not the Secret Agenda!

  18. Also worth checking out is TheOilDrum:ANZ, for some pretty engaging discussion about our local energy future.

  19. roger nome 19

    I wonder if the NZ Transport Authority has read any of the work by the peak-oil modelers. The following is an abstract of a Swedish PHD (that’s why the English isn’t the most eloquent), in which the modeler predicts peak oil occurring between now and 2018. It’s been around for a couple of years now, but so far I haven’t seen any critique of it. If the argument of this thesis turns out to be correct petrol prices could be much, much higher than $2 per liter within the next 5-10 years.

    Since the 1950s, oil has been the dominant source of energy in the world. The cheap supply of oil has been the engine for economic growth in the western world. Since future oil demand is expected to increase, the question to what extent future production will be available is important.

    The belief in a soon peak production of oil is fueled by increasing oil prices. However, the reliability of the oil price as a single parameter can be questioned, as earlier times of high prices have occurred without having anything to do with a lack of oil. Instead, giant oil fields, the largest oil fields in the world, can be used as a parameter.

    A giant oil field contains at least 500 million barrels of recoverable oil. Only 507, or 1 % of the total number of fields, are giants. Their contribution is striking: over 60 % of the 2005 production and about 65 % of the global ultimate recoverable reserve (URR).

    However, giant fields are something of the past since a majority of the largest giant fields are over 50 years old and the discovery trend of less giant fields with smaller volumes is clear. A large number of the largest giant fields are found in the countries surrounding the Persian Gulf.

    The domination of giant fields in global oil production confirms a concept where they govern future production. A model, based on past annual production and URR, has been developed to forecast future production from giant fields. The results, in combination with forecasts on new field developments, heavy oil and oil sand, are used to predict future oil production.

    In all scenarios, peak oil occurs at about the same time as the giant fields peak. The worst-case scenario sees a peak in 2008 and the best-case scenario, following a 1.4 % demand growth, peaks in 2018.

    You can read the whole thing at the following URL:

    http://publications.uu.se/theses/abstract.xsql?dbid=7625

  20. roger nome, It is important that petrol prices keep rising in the run up to peak oil to ensure that the energy efficiency rebound effect is minimised and to ensure that consumer desire remains for car companies to implement the incremental improvements to fuel efficiency that the car companies have developed but which car buyers were previously unwilling to pay for. As businesses and governments are major purchasers of new cars high fuel prices are needed to keep the accountants satisfied that a few hundred dollars extra on the purchase price will be recovered in fuel savings over the normal three year company car lifetime. For the rest of us who buy those cars second hand we can cope with peak oils approach simply by utilising the seating capacity that we have traditionally regarded as surplus to requirements for daily commuting.

    Impacts of Fuel Price Changes on New Zealand Transport
    http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/research/reports/331.pdf
    found that
    The preferred model implies that a 10% (real) rise in the price of petrol will affect petrol consumption as follows:
    • Petrol consumption will decrease by 1.5% within a year;
    • Petrol consumption will decrease by 2% after two years;
    Further modelling indicated that the short-run elasticity (the impact of prices on petrol consumption over the first year) is expected to be constant over time. This elasticity showed no indication of increasing or decreasing with time.

    The study covered the period since 1970, but the highest real price in that period was just shy of $3. I wouldn’t be too surprised if the elasticity is non-linear at prices above $3 or if the relationship is actually with percent of household income rather than price alone.

    If Chine and India stop subsidising fuel prices it could take the heat out of demand growth and ensure a sufficiently ling plateau to allow adaptation without dislocation. I believe that town planning over the lasr 50 years is at the heart of the problem and unless preparations for peak oil correctly account for the transport impacts of the modern urban form we will find ourselves with horrendously expensive half built rail systems that meet few of the travel needs of modern city life. My preference is to spend the money converting diesel buses to PHEV using existing trolley bus infrastructure on arterial roads. As commuters respond to peak oil by car pooling they will free up enough lane capacity for buses to achieve speeds comparable with dedicated rights-of-way. But it will cost a whole lot less, and with Trolley and hybrid buses already being manufactured in Ashburton the balance of payments can be protected as well.

  21. Steve, The $15bn saving didn’t take into account “less subsidisation of economically inefficient transport”. 80% of the saving is for fuel and vehicle operating expenses, the remainder is reduced external or social costs of private transport. The study doesn’t delve into subsidisation of economically inefficient transport. I presume you mean that as people switch to PT fare revenues will increase allowing less subsidisation. If that doesn’t happen, or happens only on a per rider basis, and subsidisation of economically inefficient transport continues at current rates for the next twenty years it will cost road “consumers” $6bn, or half the reduction in fuel and vehicle operating expenses, even though most of that saving won’t even come from switching to PT. There is nothing in the study on the cost of higher parking charges or congestion charges etc, but as these are intended to pay for road maintenence I am assuming these costs will be offset by reduced rates.

  22. Iprent, Is there a response from me to roger stuck in your filter system? Or did I just hit a wrong button somewhere somehow?

    [lprent: Probably – I didn’t free it, but it looks like it’d get stuck in the spam trap. Naked links are one of the things that the spam trap goes for. They usually get freed when one of us happens over it. After you get caught a few times you learn what not to do. But it literally stops thousands of junk getting through per week. ]

  23. Bob 23

    Well this makes interesting reading on Helens new ETS scheme. You have to wonder if we should shut the country down now if she gets it through. Still will raise her profile at the UN thats all that is important I guess

    http://www.nzier.org.nz/Site/Publications/Emissions_Trading.aspx

  24. Matthew Pilott 24

    That you Rob the putting one sentence infront of another not using full stops makes it obvious using the word “interesting” is a giveaway I thought you were banned interesting you are still commenting I see the avatar is the same welcome back Rob at least this is vaguely on topic but not really you should try some analysis yourself link the document to the thread somehow.

  25. lprent 25

    It is going to be interesting seeing what the greens do today on the ETS in their caucus.

    It will say as much about their ability to adapt as anything else.

    Do they go for something that they consider is flawed (but may be upgradeable), or for hoping for a better deal after a Lab victory, or for the uncertainties if the Nat’s manage to cobble together a coalition.

    I have no idea.

  26. Bob 26

    The real problem with the ETS which Helen is trying push through the house today was clearly illustrated by a Farmer today. He cant get $25 per tonne for carbon. If he puts his whole farm into trees will make $250 k a year selling Carbon. So why not give up farming and grow trees none of us can eat carbon. What will happen to our primary industries? What will happen to World Food stocks? What will happen to World Food Prices. At the end of the day if they are pushed in a direction by the Government then that is the direction they will take. Watch our standard of living rapidly decline as this transition takes hold.

  27. Bob, Smart dairy farmers have already found a way to make the ETS a money spinner.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/thepress/4672469a6531.html

    ReCaptcha: sunk germs (pretty much sums up this tech)

  28. Iprent, How do we put links in so they don’t get caught by the spam filter? I haven’t needed to learn this technique for frogblog or gblog.

    [lprent: Try Linking. I don’t think either of those blogs get quite the number of spam that gets sent here. Slightly over half of all comments are spam. We ran out of time to clean up the ones that get past the recaptcha, so I had put in akismet. ]

  29. Anita 29

    Kevyn,

    Try this link.

  30. Anita, Thanks. Just basic HTML. But I always like to flick through the instruction manual before resorting to the “by guess or by god” method. Especially when something belongs to somebody else. Consequence of having an old fashion upbringing – respect for other poeple and their property.

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    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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