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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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    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    7 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    7 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago