web analytics

Adapting to the oil endgame

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 am, March 14th, 2008 - 52 comments
Categories: economy, election 2008 - Tags: ,

Today oil broke US$111 a barrel. Two weeks ago the record price was $101. Just six months ago the price broke $80 for the first time. Oil prices are rising at an accelerating pace. That flows into New Zealand fuel prices, predicted to top $2 a litre this year.

220What can the Government do to lessen the effect of international oil prices on New Zealanders?

Calls to reduce petrol tax would increase demand when supply is already tight, leave a billion dollar hole in the roading budget (if that is covered from general taxation that is just a transfer of wealth from those who drive little to those who drive a lot), and, as with all tax cuts, provide only temporary relief leaving the underlying problem unaddressed (cf. the wage gap with Australia). Queensland has been subsidising petrol for the last few years: it hasn’t stopped prices rising and has put the burden on to taxpayers rather than heavy users of petrol.

The Government needs to invest heavily in alternatives to oil-intensive transport. It needs to buy back the rail stock from Toll and invest in much better rail infrastructure to get freight and passengers off the roads and into more fuel efficient trains. It also needs to realise that spending a billion dollars a year on motorways when petrol is getting unaffordable is not a sensible policy. Money should be diverted from these uber-expensive motorway plans into building comprehensive and affordable public transport networks in our major cities. Over the last five years rail passenger numbers in Auckland have tripled. Demand is there, capacity isn’t. Good progress is being made, but the motorway budget still dwarfs the public transport budget. That needs to change.

Labour has shown it is open to public transport but has been too timid as the crisis builds. National, well who knows what National’s transport policy is? But given its head in the ground attitude to sustainability there is little hope they will be willing to take the leadership needed to help New Zealanders avoid the crushing cost of petrol price increases. Only the Greens seem to have the vision to give New Zealanders less oil-intense options. Their challenge is to articulate an inspiring programme for the election, containing enough new spending to really confront the problem.

52 comments on “Adapting to the oil endgame”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Steve

    I live on Auckland’s North Shore can you tell me where my nearest train is ?

  2. r0b 2

    Speaking as an active member of the Labour Party, I think you are dead right on all points here Steve.

  3. Steve Pierson 3

    higherstandard.

    yes, there is too little commuter rail service, you could take the bus, of course. But, that’s the entire point of the post – more investment needs to be made so that you have choices other than driving to work.

    but in reply to your question. we’re a political blog, not a train timetable service.

  4. higherstandard 4

    Steve

    I think you misinterpreted I agree with you on this issue

    Nth Shore and LTSA and ARC have dropped millions into a bus lane which is carrying very few paasengers not to have put in light rail at the same time or instead of this seems like an opportunity lost

    As an aside from 42 years ago !!

    Forty years ago Auckland missed the chance to build ‘Robbie’s Rapid Rail’. In 1976 the Muldoon government vetoed the Auckland Regional Authority’s plans to build a modern rail network. Aucklanders have been paying for those missed opportunities ever since.

    (In 1976 dollars this would have been well payed for by now)

  5. andy 5

    HS,

    They should have built a train/monorail system with feeder buses instead of that silly bus way!

    Bring on the onehunga spur and a line to the art I say!

  6. andy 6

    DOH: art should read airport, better alternatives than more roads.

    More roads = more congestion…

  7. Steve Pierson 7

    higherstandard. sorry for misreading you. we do fall into these traps of assuming the worst.

    I haven’t seen any figures about the buslane’s usage but I heard it was going well. I’ll have to check it out with my transit source.

  8. Ari 8

    Gosh, that graph looks almost like peak oil projections… I wonder why? 😉

  9. gobsmacked 9

    Don’t expect any principled, long-term policy from National.

    Remember their breathtaking flip-flop just days before the last election:

    “Don Brash, the fiscal Presbyterian who ruled out a cut in GST on petrol on 25 August as prices were rising almost daily at the pump, suddenly metamorphosed into a value-free campaigner with a promise to do just that on 12 September.” (Colin James)

  10. Eddie 10

    Note to Cullen. Thinking of buying back Rail? Now’s good.

  11. Policy Parrot 11

    It seems now that the era of the internal combustion automobile is on approach to its nadir.

    Practical (and economic) alternatives exist to fossil fuels in almost all sectors.

    Now is the time to front up with the one-off cost of changing to renewables.

    This should include subsidies for hybrid/electric private cars so that more are introduced to the market and therefore become afforable to all drivers more quickly.

    Moving transportation to rail wherever possible – this must include government renationalisation of all rail assets. Perhaps further development of new rail links where feasible/likely to be economic when oil at US$200 per barrel.

  12. Tane 12

    Eddie, you’re still alive!

  13. Phil 13

    Your headline is misleading. Oil is not approaching an “endgame” by any stretch of the imagination. What we’re seeing in the price movements now is a combination of demand from new international players like China, and speculative trading – no different to aspects of the housing market ‘getting a mind of its own’.

    I personally don’t see crude oil prices going too much higher in the short term, especially with the N.Hemisphere approaching summer and a probable US recession. There are also old wells being re-opened in Texas, now that the price is sufficiently high enough to generate a profit from them.

  14. r0b 14

    Eddie, you’re still alive!

    Cue motorcycle bursting from the vault, cue saxophone solo…

  15. lprent 15

    “Nth Shore and LTSA and ARC have dropped millions into a bus lane which is carrying very few paasengers not to have put in light rail at the same time or instead of this seems like an opportunity lost”

    I have no idea about how many passengers it is carrying. But there are a lot of buses moving up it in the afternoon peak traffic. I notice it when I’m going home from Albany to town every evening.

    Typically in the 10-15 mins it takes to get to the bridge at about 6pm (I’m going against the traffic), I see at least 10 buses heading to the shore very fast. Meanwhile the other side of the moterway is crawling. It must have cut considerable time off the trip.

    I’ve been considering using it myself, but I’ll have to look at the bus routes from Ponsonby road to Albany and vice versa. No point if I have to drive to town to park, or spend more time on the link than the trip to Albany.

    It isn’t a full solution, but at least it is a start (which as you say, should have been done 30 years agao).

  16. HS – that was thirty years ago, not forty.

  17. Steve Pierson 17

    Phil. a US recession would have negible effect, it’s oil demand is falling anyway, all the growth is in Asia and that shows no signs of abating. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23577888/

    With the point approaching where demand strongly exceeds supply, I”m happy with my title. we’re hoping to have a guest column from a peak oil researcher next week who write on the issue more fully.

  18. Santi 18

    Steve Pierson, not only Professor of English but Prophet of Doom as well.

    Even if the world’s oil reservers fall (nobody know exactly how much is left, despite claims of the peak oil conspirators), human inventiveness will come up with a new development and capitalism will make it happen.

    I look forward to the expert’s column next week.

  19. Steve Pierson 19

    When you say ‘conspirators’ do you think there’s a conspiracy? If so, who is involved? to what ends? and do they have a secret handshake?

    I happen to be a bit of a techo-optimist myself, hence why the post talks about moving to less fuel intense alternatives, rather than abandoning our current socio-industrial paradigm altogether in a luddite fashion.

  20. ghostwhowalks 20

    Well look who is laughing in Norway.
    When oil was discovered in the North Sea, Norway did not just sell exploration licenses for a one off gain( plus some royalties) they continued to own all oil produced as they used Statoil, a government owned company to extract and sell the oil.

    This from 2005 the Aftenposten
    Oil revenues spark surplus
    Norway looks set to log another huge state budget surplus this year amounting to NOK 270 billion (about USD 38 billion). The windfall, fuelled by high oil prices, marks another record and further pumps up the country’s oil fund, which acts like a national savings account

    I imagine that 2008 oil revenues will exceed the cumulative value of the Oil fund in 2005

    THis is an approach Nz should use.

  21. Santi – when it come to energy density fossil fuels are very hard to get past. Biofuels probably can’t be produced in quantities anywhere near those needed to meet current energy demand and hydrogen is a storage system not a fuel system and only delivers 40 – 60% of the energy back that it takes to produce. The truth is the answer is going to have to be reduction in demand.

  22. Steve Pierson 22

    I agree ghostwhowalks, we need to keep better control over our oil reserves.

    That US$38 billion surplus is US$8000 per person in Norway. Imagine that in your kiwisaver.

  23. insider 23

    Two things,

    1) History is littered with the wrong predictions of oil prices and reserves. Just make sure your proclaimed ‘expert’ actually is, and critically review his track record in predictions or the track record of those he quotes.

    2) The Crown gets 20-25% of the value of oil sales by doing absolutely nothing. It just sits and rakes in the money (you might prefer to call it asset stripping). So it is great if you want to take the risk to get 100% of the profit, but 25% for doing and spending nothing is not too bad either. It’s an interesting choice.

  24. Uroskin 24

    Regards Northern Busway patronage:
    ARTA’s Chief Executive, Fergus Gammie, says, “Early busway patronage figures show February 2008 was a record month for the popular Northern Express service, which carried 82,373 passengers, which is 66% ahead of last year and 38% ahead of the 2008 forecast. Albany and Constellation Station feeder services on the North Shore were 40% ahead of 2007 figures, these are very pleasing results”.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK0803/S00144.htm

  25. Certainly reducing petrol taxes isn’t the answer. In the next 5 years we need to be well on our way to adapting to a world with ever increasing oil prices. This means becoming less, not more dependant on it. Any how, we already the 5th lowest fuel tax rate in the OECD (27 countries).

    see the 4th graph on the following link..

    http://www.med.govt.nz/templates/ContentTopicSummary____20094.aspx

  26. Phil:

    “What we’re seeing in the price movements now is a combination of demand from new international players like China, and speculative trading – no different to aspects of the housing market ‘getting a mind of its own’.”

    You forget that there’s almost zero spare capacity left in non-OPEC countries, and a lack of political will in OPEC countries to increase production. That’s what we’re seeing here, and as production flattens off in non-OPEC countries (as the International Energy Agency is predicting), suddenly OPEC (read dictators) is put into a very powerful position. This puts our energy security in a very tenuous situation, and leaves us wide open to economic shocks, resulting from the whims of petty dictators. The less reliant we are on foreign oil, the more energy security, and therefore economic stability on oil. Presently we use much more oil, per unit of GDP than all other OECD countries (excluding the US and Australia). Consequently we are one of the most vulnerable economies in the world as far as oil shocks are concerned.

  27. Sorry about the poor writing by the way – got a bad cold.

  28. r0b 28

    Sorry to hear it nome. Be careful in that sunny Dunedin weather!

  29. Vic 29

    Looking at the whole thread here, something that isn’t necessarily being taken into consideration is the influence of oil on the cost of living and well, nearly everything we do. Almost everything we eat, wear, build and use has involved a contribution of fossil energy, whether its the petrol in the header used to harvest the wheat in your bread, to the petrochemicals in your cheap-ass polyester hoodie transported from China in a container ship. While considerations of increased public transport and the economic impact of scarcity are relevant now, there are times when I wonder if we’ll all end up having to eat each other before science can deliver a viable alternative to oil. And to any free-marketeers out there who have faith that this will happen, all I can say is, it won’t happen till there’s a demand, but who can say if by then it’s just going to be too late – these things take time. Now seems like a reasonable time to invest in some R&D on alternatives for a whole lot of reasons.

  30. djp 30

    that is a meaningless graph considering the US dollar is tanking (the fed seems to print currency 24/7 these days).. you might as well quote the oil price in Zimbabwean dollars (or whatever currency they have)

    I would like to see oil graphed against gold or a mixed basket of (stable) currencys

  31. Cheers r0b. Yep sunny old Dunedin is a beautiful place to live, but sure does have its draw backs.

  32. r0b 33

    Vic, djp, some relevant stuff in these articles, including passing reference to moves to move oil trading away from the dollar:

    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/031108I.shtml

    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/112007R.shtml

  33. screwed up the captcha – can’t be bothered re-writing the post. Have a look at the PhD theses any how – makes for rather bleak reading.

  34. Steve Pierson 35

    djp. Are you seriosuly arguing the price of oil isn’t rising?

    I did address the falling dollar aspect in a paragraph I cut for space but basically, it’s only a tiny part of the reason for the increase in $US.

    And it would be utterly ridiculous to graph oil vs gold as if gold is a steady measure. ideally you would have a basic of currencies measure – but i was unable to find one becuase oil is still traded nearly exclusively in us dollars.

  35. Thanks for the link rob. In case you miss it DJP – the price of oil is now at at an all time inflation-adjusted high. Equal to when the world was thrown into depression and stagflation.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/04/business/worldbusiness/04oil.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    This doesn’t mean that the current price will do the same thing though. i.e. we are richer now, so can afford more expensive oil, and we have more flexible economies which adapt to external shocks better.

    Still though if it gets much higher, (say $20 a barrel) and stays there for a while it’s going to really start to hurt.

  36. The NZ government’s plan to deal with peak oil. What do you all think?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4233171a13.html

  37. Insider:

    “Two things,

    1) History is littered with the wrong predictions of oil prices and reserves. Just make sure your proclaimed ‘expert’ actually is, and critically review his track record in predictions or the track record of those he quotes.”

    Ok -let’s have a look at that PhD thesis then hey?

    The frequent mentions and debates over peak oil suggests that it is a fairly new topic. On the contrary, it is pretty old. The topic of a future global peak production of oil was first discussed in 1949 by M. King Hubbert, a geophysicist employed by Shell Oil (Hubbert, 1949). He developed a method, based on a bell curve, that he used to model the annual production and ultimate recovery of oil and gas in the world and the USA. His method is usually referred to as the Hubbert model and the Hubbert curve, respectively. In 1956, Hubbert predicted, using the bell curve and two different estimates
    of ultimate recovery of oil in the USA, that the oil production of the lower 48 states of the USA would have a peak between 1965 and 1972 (Hubbert,1956). This prediction turned out to be true, since oil production in the USA peaked in 1970. Modified versions of his theory have been used by Campbell and Laherrère (1998), Ivanhoe (1996) and Deffeyes (2001) to name a few. However, the Hubbert model is heavily debated, see for example Lynch (2003).

    The most mature oil area, i.e. the USA, and the latest big oil region
    discovered, the North Sea, are both in decline and have passed their respective peak. The conclusion is that all oil regions, mature as well as newer ones, will peak and then decline. For both regions, this has taken place despite a strong demand for oil and a high oil price. Thus, high production rates were motivated but apparently not possible.

    So everywhere the hubbert methodology has been applied thus far it has been accurate. What makes you think it won’t be this time?

  38. lprent 39

    February 2008 was a record month for the popular Northern Express service, which carried 82,373 passengers, which is 66% ahead of last year and 38% ahead of the 2008 forecast. Albany and Constellation Station feeder services on the North Shore were 40% ahead of 2007 figures, these are very pleasing results’.

    Excellent. I thought that they looked pretty busy. There is a lot of spare capacity in those bus lanes. Just need to boot cars off a lane on the bridge (or build another crossing). But they also need to build much bigger parking spaces at the terminals.

  39. higherstandard 40

    Iprent

    On the face of it I’d hardly call an average of 2840 passangers a day excellent – if as the release suggests these results are pleasing they must be aiming very low indeed I would think they should be aiming for several times this uptake.

    Agreed there is copious spare capacity in the bus lanes and the parking space issue at the terminals which fill up to capacity very quickly.

  40. Ari 41

    Just a note on peak oil- if you’re unfamiliar with the term, it basically says that demand for oil doesn’t drop anywhere near as easily as demand for other goods as the price goes up, so oil demand doesn’t taper off as supply tapers off- rather demand exceeds supply rather badly, driving prices up ridiculously and leading to over-dependence on oil when it begins to run out, as oil use essentially keeps on growing with minimal regard to its price.

    The issue isn’t even necessarily when oil will peak so much as the fact that we will need to interfere before then to switch over to less oil-intensive transport if we want the switch to be in any way comfortable.

  41. lprent 42

    Sure I’d agree. They are starting from a really low base. After all using public transport to and from the North Shore used to be an exercise in futility. Just like the cars you got stuck in slow crawl traffic, and then get from the terminal to home. But it was the percentage increase that was pleasing.

    The same thing happened when they double tracked the western railway. Started from a low low base, but now has a steady increase in passengers.

    I don’t have the material accessible, but look at mass-transit systems that were setup in other cities around the world in the past. You usually find it takes between 10 and 20 years before they can be considered to be fully functional. A large chunk of that is because you have to slowly fix the feeder systems, park and ride, buses going direct moving to trains and so on. Takes quite while to get all of the infrastructure in place.

    But I just looked at http://www.maxx.co.nz. If I leave at 07:50 from home, I can now get to Albany in 1 hour and 12 minutes, taking 3 buses for $7.50. Last time I looked at the start of last year, I’d have to leave at 0700 to get to work about 0900. In either case that is unacceptable – takes too long.

    But the problem is that the first bus goes from Newton to town and wastes 30 mins doing that. But I’m right next to the motorways. If they did what I do driving, they’d hop directly on the motorway just down the road from here. Assuming that happened, the trip would take about 45 minutes and 2 buses ($5.90), or 1 bus at 30 minutes and a 10 minute walk at the far end ($4.30).

    Remember that the traffic is nowhere as bad in my direction as it is in the other. But if I leave at 8:20, I take about 35 minutes to get to work, and a car is lot more expensive – once you factor all of the costs in.

    It will take time to get the routes adjusted to getting people where they need to go rather than just running in and out of town.

  42. RedLogix 43

    “It will take time to get the routes adjusted to getting people where they need to go rather than just running in and out of town.”

    No public service, neither train nor bus, can expect to emulate the private motor car. The relationships go like this:

    Car: Low density; high diversity.

    Bus/Light Rail: Medium density; medium diversity.

    Train: High density; low diversity.

    As Auckland grew around a “car only” model, people adopted a high diversity travel mode, ie they lived, worked and entertained wherever they pleased. This worked as long as cars remained at a low traffic density, and fuel was cheap. In order to transition to using buses or trains, that work best at higher traffic densities and fuel costs, the inevitable trade off is a lower diversity of efficient routes.

    In other words, it will take time for people to get adjusted using the available effective public transport, rather than just running all over town.

  43. lprent 44

    “As Auckland grew around a “car only’ model, people adopted a high diversity travel mode”

    Buses in Auckland currently use the central city as the transport hub for mainly historical reasons. It is the worst possible place to have it. It has massive congestion problems at peak hours, and for that matter, through most of the day. The bus hub’s are away from the motorway systems which are outside the city centre. Because of that hub to town, any journey has an extra 1/2 hour added to it if you are not going to town.

    There isn’t much in the central city apart from corporate services and retail. The number of people employed there is minor compared to the industrial and export industry areas. Most of the industrial areas are clustered close to the motorway systems. This is both for shipping goods, and also for employees.

    These days the area just outside of central Auckland is high density residential, with an increasing number of people going out from the outer central city to their work. If you look at the newer bus hubs, you’ll find that they are right next to the motorway systems, and are park and ride – except of course for the city. They need to locate the central bus hub outside the central city, on the motorway, and as a park and ride.

  44. RedLogix 45

    lprent,

    I’m not disagreeing with your observations, but my point it that Auckland had been BUILT around motor cars, and it is no longer an easy matter to change this. There is far more to it that just plonking in a whole lot of new public transport infrastructure, because no matter how much of it you provide, if people’s travel/living/working patterns are still locked into “low density/high diversity” private car mode, then it will never feel or work right.

    By contrast if you’ve lived in a city that was historically built around subways and good bus routes, then it “works”. You can live in these places for years and never feel the need to own a car. Public transport works just fine in the right context, but for decades Aucklanders have refused to examine their increasingly locked in commitment to a now dysfunctional car only legacy.

    I grew up in Auckland in the 60’s and 70’s. I will always remain fond of those memories, but my visits to the city nowadays are tinged with sadness and anger at how a lack of civic vision and leadership has given free reign for the motor cars to ravish the land.

  45. ghostwhowalks 46

    80,000 passengers a month for the busway.??

    Well a single tram line in Melbourne ( the busiest) gets 35,000 A DAY

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/tram-96-travels-tracks-to-glory/2008/03/07/1204780065938.html

  46. randal 47

    buy a sword and start taking archery lessons…watch out for rugged individuals!

  47. ghostwhowalks 48

    Just expanding on the Queensland fuel ‘subsidy’. It seems it was indroduced as a rebate on Federal Government tax charges.
    http://www.racq.com.au/images/documents/Policy_Qld_Fuel_subsidy.pdf

    But the subsidy of around 8.3 cents a litre may have meant the oil companies have been charging higher wholesale prices

  48. randal 49

    just an aside but all this whining about a cent here and a cent there and bagging the oil companies takes no notice of how much they have to spend to get the stuff out of the ground and then what the idiotconsumers do with it when they have got it is basically a pain in the bum. some people should just go for A WALK! For the rest it is just a drug…wake up.

  49. lprent 50

    I grew up in Auckland in the 60’s and 70’s. I will always remain fond of those memories, but my visits to the city nowadays are tinged with sadness and anger at how a lack of civic vision and leadership has given free reign for the motor cars to ravish the land.

    I know exactly how you feel. Those short-sighted git’s who turned down Dove-Meyers proposals in the 60’s….. If they’d put it in and let it grow with the city, it would have been so much easier.

    I have lived in various cities with good public transport – makes life a lot simplier. It is going to be an uphill battle to get the public transport running effectively in Auckland.

    For the first time since the 50’s or 60’s it is actually being worked on. But it will probably take 20 years to get working well. At present they’re working on getting the bulk-feeder routes operational again. The stuff I’m looking at won’t be feasible for at least 5 years – sigh.

  50. “Over the last five years rail passenger numbers in Auckland have tripled. Demand is there, capacity isn’t.”

    The demand wouldn’t be there if rail passengers had to pay the full cost of running the trains of course, but then you can ignore all other factors of production if all you are worried about is oil.

    Worshipping the rail fetish – even though unlike road transport, it needs heavy subsidies to survive. Even with record oil price, the must touted fuel efficiency of rail doesn’t offset the cost of triple handling, the cost of maintaining underutilised duplicate infrastructure and inflexible assets.

    Ignoring also that coastal shipping is typically much more fuel efficient than rail, and can carry trucks from one destination to another – but when you catch the rail fetish, who cares about facts!

    Also ignoring that rail in Auckland can, at best, service less than 10% of commuter trips, as only 7% of commuters terminate trips in the CBD, and the remaining 3% corresponds to those who live and work within reasonable access of rail.

    The idea that expensive petrol will kill off private motoring is laughable – it will shift fuels.

  51. RedLogix 52

    LibertyScott,

    We have crossed swords before on this.

    You repeatedly get it wrong and I’ve proven it before. Try and tell jam packed commuters on the Wgtn commuter rail network that it doesn’t work and that they should be using their cars. Yeah but if they did that you would be hitting them for “congestion charges” or road tolls, to ensure they were not taking advantage of any subsidy of the motorways they would have to be using. You cannot have it both ways.

    Roads only survive because the taxpayer pays for them to be built. Buses only survive because the ratepayers subsidise them. Train only survive, because the govt owns and maintains the rails.

    Get the picture? ALL forms of transport only work because the public sector provides for the essential infrastructure. It has ALWAYS been like this since Roman times and always will be. Your libertarian ideal that somehow it can be done privately is a fantasical nonsense.

    “Also ignoring that rail in Auckland can, at best, service less than 10% of commuter trips,as only 7% of commuters terminate trips in the CBD, ”

    And that is simply because Auckland has never had a decent rail system, the city has been BUILT without a proper CBD. Instead it is a patchwork collection of small towns exclusively designed around car use.

    Small towns only need cars because the traffic density is low. As most normal cities grow they become more dense. City leaders with some basic vision and understanding, realise that in order for the small town to become a small city they need to provide public transport modes (buses and trains) that will work effectively in the denser environment. In the late 1950’s Auckland, in love with it’s newly affordable motor cars, made the conscious decision to build lots of new motorways and to kill off it’s existing trams, trolleys and trains by not spending any money on them.

    It was a monumental failure. As a result Auckland has simply sprawled outward, popping up small town centers like Manakau, Newmarket, Albany, etc, while the CBD was allowed to atrophy. As a result commuter trips terminate all over the place… because they had NO CHOICE.

    All my adult life I’ve listened to Aucklander’s making weasel excuses as to why public transport wouldn’t work in Auckland, and at the same time you also get to listen to the same people whining about the traffic grid lock. Sometimes in the same sentence. And they don’t even realise how stupid they sound.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Milestones marked with 2,000+ new cops
    A milestone has been reached with the graduation of more than 2,000 new Police officers since the Coalition Government took office in October 2017. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation today of Wing 335 marks a surge of 2,023 new officers, and coincides with some significant breakthroughs against organised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • New diploma helps counter cyber security threats
    Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, have welcomed a new cyber security qualification as a step towards countering cyber threats and keeping New Zealanders safe. Attending the launch of the new Level 6 Diploma of Cyber Security at Auckland’s Unitec Institute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Celebrating 20 years of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park
    Government Ministers today celebrated 20 years of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park/ Ko te Pataka kai o Tikapa Moana/ Te Moananui a Toi, and recognise there is much to celebrate and so much more to do to give nature a helping hand.   Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said “New Zealanders care deeply about nature.I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • NZ economy in strong position to respond to coronavirus
    Prepared remarks on coronavirus by Finance Minister Grant Robertson to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and Massey University. Good morning ladies and gentlemen, The topic of this speech is the Budget 2020 priorities. But, given the considerable interest that I imagine is in the room about COVID-19 coronavirus, I do ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Speech at opening of Nadi Women’s Crisis Centre
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira ma. Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa. Ni sa bula vinaka. Namaste Thank you Shamima, Hon. Minister Vuniwaqa, community leaders and Women’s Crisis Centre staff for your warm welcome. It’s an honour and privilege to officially ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Govt acts on fuel market competition
    The Government has released a comprehensive response to ensuring New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump. This follows the Commerce Commission fuel market study which found motorists were paying more than they should for petrol and includes: Fuel Market Bill drafting, to pass mid-year Industry consultation in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Speech at Lautoka Mosque
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira ma Tēnā koutou katoa Ni sa bula vinaka As-salaam alaikum It is a privilege to be here today. Thank you for welcoming us to your house of prayer. Thank you for your warmth. Thank you for greeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Taupō Airport upgrade takes off
    Taupō Airport is to be upgraded and expanded through a $5.9 million Government funding boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Taupō Airport is the gateway to the Central North Island. It is essential for both keeping local people and businesses connected, but also to bring more people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Place-based assessment confirmed for Rotorua
    The Minister of Housing Megan Woods has confirmed the Government is working with Rotorua Lakes District Council and Te Arawa for the second place-based assessment to better understand the housing and urban issues affecting the city. “Every New Zealander has a right to a warm, safe and secure place to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • More houses opened for New Zealanders
    19 new community homes (in addition to 14 opened in December) delivered in Takanini, Auckland 500 people housed by CORT Housing Trust by end of March 2,290 new public housing homes delivered in Auckland (November 2017 – December 2019). Another nineteen new public housing homes are being delivered in Auckland, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New Zealand and India to strengthen ties
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker met today with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to discuss ways to strengthen ties between New Zealand and India.   “India is a priority relationship for New Zealand. We share common democratic traditions, growing two-way trade, extensive people-to-people links, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • The Indo-Pacific: from principles to partnerships
    Speech to the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) Delhi, India Wednesday 26 February 2020 [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] The Indo-Pacific: from principles to partnerships Distinguished guests, good afternoon and thank you for your invitation.  It is good to be here at a time where New Zealand needs less of an introduction than ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to University of the South Pacific students
    Tihei mauri ora Te Whare e tu nei Te Papa e takoto Tēnā korua  No reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa Ni sa bula Vinaka It is a real pleasure to be here today, and to have the honour of addressing you all. If you’ll indulge me I’m ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Proposed new measures to improve Aotearoa’s air quality
      Improved air quality to support better health and environmental wellbeing is the focus of proposed amendments to air quality regulations, says the Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  “Although our air quality is good in most places, during winter certain places have spikes in air pollution, mainly from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Water investment in Raukokore
    The remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokere will receive a Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $10.6 million for a water storage facility, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “This is great news for the rural community. The landowner, Te Whānau a Maruhaeremuri Hapū Trust, will use ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Lake Ōkaro lakebed transferred to Te Arawa as final piece of Settlement Act
    The Lake Ōkaro lakebed has transferred to Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis joined Te Arawa at Te Papaiōuru Marae in Rotorua to celebrate the reinstatement of Te Arawa Lakes Trust as a key decision maker over the bed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better protection against late payments
    New legislation is being proposed which aims to reduce the stress and financial hardship caused by late payments to small businesses. The Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash is considering stricter rules around payment practices between businesses. “Late payments from large organisations to smaller suppliers can be crippling for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police partnership programme with Fiji launched
    A new partnership programme between the New Zealand Police and Fiji Police will focus on combatting transnational organised crime and enhancing investigative skills, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on the first day of her visit to Fiji. The programme will see: ·       New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint statement from Prime Minister Ardern and Prime Minister Bainimarama
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama met today in Suva, and renewed their commitment to continue to strengthen Fiji-New Zealand relations on a foundation of shared values and equal partnership. The Prime Ministers acknowledged the kinship between Fijians and New Zealanders, one that has endured over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $19.9 million from PGF for Kawerau
    A $19.9 million investment from the Provincial Growth Fund will help develop essential infrastructure for an industrial hub in the Bay of Plenty town of Kawerau, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “The funding will go to three projects to further develop the Putauaki Trust Industrial Hub, an industrial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF funds Mahia roading package
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $8.3 million on a roading package for Mahia that will lead to greater and wider economic benefits for the region and beyond, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced at an event in Mahia today. The $8.3 million announced consists of: $7 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 18,400 children lifted out of poverty
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed new reporting showing the Coalition Government is on track to meet its child poverty targets, with 18,400 children lifted out of poverty as a result of the Families Package.   Stats NZ has released the first set of comprehensive child poverty statistics since the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 20,000 more Kiwi kids on bikes
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today announced that Bikes in Schools facilities have been rolled out to 20,000 more kiwi kids under this Government. She made the announcement at the opening of a new bike track at Henderson North School in Auckland. “Bikes in Schools facilities give kids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April
    Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April   Main benefits will increase by over 3 percent, instead of 1.66 percent, on 1 April with the Government’s decision to annually adjust benefit rates to increases in the average wage. The Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, said ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign and Trade Ministers to lead business delegation to India
    Strengthening New Zealand’s political and business ties with India will be the focus of Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters’ and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker’s visit to India this week. The Ministers are co-leading a high level business delegation to India to support increased people and economic engagement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister champions more Pacific in STEM – Toloa Awards
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio continues to champion for greater Pacific participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers with the announcement of the Toloa Awards, with 8 recipients of the Toloa Community Fund and 13 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships. “The Toloa Programme encourages more Pacific peoples ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Submission period for whitebait consultation extended
    Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has extended the date for people to have their say on proposed changes to improve management of whitebait across New Zealand.   Submissions were due to close on 2 March 2020 but will now remain open until 9am on Monday 16 March 2020.   “I have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New international protection for frequent fliers
    The endangered toroa/Antipodean albatross has new international protection for its 100,000km annual migration, thanks to collaborative efforts led by New Zealand, Australia and Chile.   Today, 130 countries agreed to strictly protect Antipodean albatross at the Conference of Parties on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to regulate vaping
      No sales to under-18-year-olds No advertising and sponsorship of vaping products and e-cigarettes No vaping or smokeless tobacco in smokefree areas Regulates vaping product safety comprehensively, - including devices, flavours and ingredients Ensure vaping products are available for those who want to quit smoking   Vaping regulation that balances ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Justice Minister represents New Zealand at Berlin nuclear disarmament summit
    Justice Minister Andrew Little will travel to Berlin tomorrow to represent New Zealand at a high-level summit on nuclear disarmament. This year, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) celebrates 50 years since it entered into force. “New Zealand’s proud record and leadership on nuclear disarmament is unwavering, so it’s important we are present ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister to visit Fiji and Australia
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit two of New Zealand’s most important Pacific partners, Fiji and Australia, next week. The visit to Fiji will be the first by a New Zealand Prime Minister in four years and comes during the 50th anniversary of Fijian independence and diplomatic relations between our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Next steps in Criminal Cases Review Commission announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little and New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball, have today announced the appointment of the Chief Commissioner of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the location, and the membership of the Establishment Advisory Group. Colin Carruthers QC has been appointed Chief Commissioner of the CCRC for an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Horticultural Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists announced
    Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Hon Damien O’Connor co-announced the first horticultural finalists for the Ahuwhenua Trophy celebrating excellence in the Māori agricultural sector.  The three finalists are Ngai Tukairangi Trust from Mt Maunganui, Otama Marere Trust from Tauranga, and Hineora Orchard Te Kaha 15B Ahuwhenua ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New support for students with dyslexia
    A new kete of resources to strengthen support for students with dyslexia will provide extra tools for the new Learning Support Coordinators (LSCs) as they start in schools, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Minister launched the kete in Wellington this morning, at the first of three induction ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Rental reforms progress to select committee stage
    The Government continues to make progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the First Reading of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill and its referral to the Social Services and Community Select Committee.  “Now is the opportunity for landlords, tenants and others who want ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Papua New Guinea Prime Minister to visit New Zealand
    Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Hon James Marape will visit New Zealand from 21-25 February, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have a warm and friendly relationship. I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Marape here and strengthening the relationship between our two countries,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Free school lunches served up to thousands
    Thousands of children have begun receiving a free lunch on every day of the school week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. The Government’s free and healthy school lunch programme is under way for 7,000 students at 31 schools in Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti and Bay of Plenty / Waiariki, extending ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Social Wellbeing Agency replaces Social Investment Agency with new approach
    The Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni today announced a new approach that continues to broaden the Government’s social sector focus from a narrow, investment approach to one centred on people and wellbeing. Minister Sepuloni said redefining the previous approach to social investment by combining science, data and lived experience ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to strengthen protections for whistleblowers
    The Government is strengthening the Protected Disclosures Act to provide better protection for whistle blowers, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. “The Protected Disclosures Act is meant to encourage people to speak up about serious wrongdoing in the workplace and protect them from losing their jobs or being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM speech at Parliamentary Chinese New Year celebration 2020
    Nǐn hǎo (Hello in Mandarin). Xīn Nián Kuài Lè (Happy New Year in Mandarin) Néi Hóu (Hello in Cantonese). Sun Nin Fai Lok (Happy New Year in Cantonese) Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you for your invitation to attend this celebration today. I would like to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago