Ambitious for transport

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, August 19th, 2008 - 39 comments
Categories: transport - Tags:

Why are we spending $1 billion on Transmission Gully when by the time it is finished the price of petrol will be up to $10 a litre according to a study by the Australian CSIRO?

Look, we can’t expect better from National, they only just discovering climate change and that NZ isn’t only made up of Paheka males, but where is Labour’s ambitious plan for a more sensible transport future?

Once again, it seems if you want a solution, you have to look to Green policy; all the others are gradually playing catch-up. Now, if only they would stop acting like fruitcakes half the time they are on camera, the Greens might actually win enough votes to get their much-needed policies implemented in time.

39 comments on “Ambitious for transport”

  1. ants 1

    I can guarantee you that there will be a replacement for petrol whether it be bio-fuels, electricity, solar or hyrdrogen, there *will* be a mass market solution.

    The whole world and its major economies need energy to survive and prosper. Whoever gets to market first is going to have untold wealth as a result.

    Do you honestly think everyone’s going to go back to the dark ages and regress?

  2. Steve – yup. Absolutely. Do you have a link to the study?

    ants – I find your faith in the market quite touching.

  3. vto 3

    ha ha SP “NZ isn’t only made up of Paheka males” I’m sure you say half the things you do just to wind up.

    I’m with ants. To suggest that mankind has finally reached its technological zenith ignores history.

    Individual means of transportation will be around for as long as there is demand. And there is an eye-watering demand. The means of propulsion is the issue not the fact of propulsion. Do we really believe there will be no replacement for the combustion engine? As such imo the roads to transport the transporters will be even more necessary.

    It is at these times that an understanding of manwomankind’s development through history can point to the future. Ignore history at your peril.

  4. vto 4

    apparently, back in the late 1800s there was great fear among the luddites that, at the then current rate of growth of horse and cart, the entire surface of the planet would be covered in 6 feet of horse shit within 50 years!

  5. Um vto – history shows us we’ve only had the motor car for about a hundred years and they’ve only been freely available to the bulk of New Zealanders for about fifty years. Come to think of it it’s only been in the last fifty years that individual transport has been freely available to most people in the western world and there’s still a large majority of the world’s population that don’t have it.

    Oh and we’ve been around for what? A hundred thousand years or so?

    Jeez bro – if you’re gonna talk history you should probably understand it…

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    vto, Ever heard of Easter Island?

  7. Stephen 7

    Easter Island didn’t have markets…

  8. Stephen 8

    Also:

    Why are we spending $1 billion on Transmission Gully when by the time it is finished the price of petrol will be up to $10 a litre according to a study by the Australian CSIRO?

    Are you getting ‘will be’ confused with ‘a possible scenario’?

  9. vto 9

    widen your blinkers robinsausage. I’m not talking about just cars silly. Man’s technical advance has been reasonably steady since as far back as written history (and a bit further) goes. 5,000 years or so. examples – transport, warfare, sciences, agriculture, etc. It has continued to advance during this time (with a few speed bumps along the way).

    Actually your micro-history of the car is in complete support of my own point. It is a history of rapid ceaseless advance. Why do you think it is about to stop?

    I think it is just plain dumb to think that the world of humankind is about to stop dead because oil may run out. And ignores all that history before oil.

    Technology since oil has been rocket-boosted of course. Effectively squashing perhaps some number of hundreds of years into about one. But the advance will continue – you would be a keen punter to bet against that.

  10. There are some particularly bad features about Transmission Gully. The supporting study indicated there would be “canibalism” of passenger transport users who would be persuaded back into their cars. This would mean an increased subsidy being required to run the Wellington train system as well as this monstrous pile of ashfelt being built.

    The economics do not add up either even with gas at $2 per liter.

    The trouble is the politics. TG was part of United Future’s supply agreement and Dunne has been a vociferous supporter of the project. If there is a National Government then no doubt he will provide them with support but TG will be his price. And they are that desperate that they would pay it.

    The one bad aspect of MMP is the parish pump politics that some (not the Greens) minor parties engage in.

    VTO I am sure there will be technological developments but there are none on the radar right now that will give us the ease and usability that petrol have provided, not at the current price anyway.

  11. Matthew Pilott 11

    vto, what you are arguing is that we should continue to build roads upon the assumption that future land transport mechanisms will involve large wheeled metal boxes containing a large and inefficient power source.

    If you’re going to play the ‘historical perspective’ card, the most obvious thing would be to question whether an advance will be a paradigm shift, as virtually every previous major advance has entailed.

    A new and sustainable advance in transportation will be unlikely to be a direct equivalent of the Internal Combustion Engine. If this is true, whatever it is won’t necessarily need roads. If it does, not necessarily in the same fashion that they are today.

    Imagine the NZ govt announcing a multi-billion dollar upgrade of our copper network in the late 1980’s – that would be pretty daft now, wouldn’t it…

    Because we have an overwhelming inability to make and accept an accurate assessment of the state of our reliance on ICE, we’re refusing to acknowledge the problem. The longer we defer action the more goop we’ll be in later.

  12. vto 12

    Pascals bookie, yes I have heard of easter island. Great surf there. But seriously, yes. Of course that is the speed bump on the highway of human endeavour and I do not doubt that that scenario is a risk. But it will not stop people travelling that highway, such is the nature of humans.

  13. 08wire 13

    Steve

    I think among the many reasons for continually improving our roading infrastructure – as well as massively upgrading our non-road transport – is that we want people to feel they **want** to switch to the train, not that they **have** to switch. If people feel the government is compelling them to switch by allowing the roads to go to shit, that will breed resentment and make it easier for a reactionary administration to pull the plug on public transport and throw all our eggs into the car (so to speak). If they feel they are choosing the more attractive of two attractive options, it is more likely to stick.

    Among the other reasons, I think “reducing congestion” is particularly important – as idling cars are dreadful GHG emitters. Sure, if there are no cars left because of gas prices, that would reduce congestion, too. But that simply isn’t going to happen – not until we get trains that go to the road-end at Otaki Forks, all the Martinborough vineyards, and the Top of the Bruce.

  14. But it will not stop people travelling that highway, such is the nature of humans.

    Yeah but vto – you’re assuming that humans will continue to travel that highway in personal transport.

  15. vto 15

    Mr Pilott, you are right and perhaps I should have explained further. Posts often short as I’m trying to work as well.

    But I was not arguing that we should build roads to carry v8s, I had in mind some sort of paradigm shift. Porbably a slow shift over a period of time.

    I agree that perhaps building the type of road discussed is not the best, but they will no doubt be useful anyway, in the same way as previous tracks were then used by horse and cart were then used by cars were then used by many many cars.

    I see many many many more vehicles on the road in the future. I see them powered on a sustainable basis probably solar driven battery type power or some such. They will be about the same size or slightly smaller than todays cars (obviously), be incredibly lightweight and go slower. I see the surface they travel on being smooth and flattish (obviously), hence the usefulness of todays roads. I see little demand above today’s for public type transport.

    The big issue is in fact today only the propulsion/pollution aspect of cars and roads. Nothing wrong with moving around tho.

    Putting the crystal ball away now.

  16. insider 16

    Steve

    That is not what the CSIRO study said. It was one possible but extreme scenario.

    “Modelling projected that if international oil supply continues to grow steadily, petrol and diesel prices will experience only a slight rise on present levels. However, if there is a near-term peak in international oil production resulting in declining future oil supplies, petrol prices could increase to between A$2 and as much as A$8 per litre by 2018.”

    A few very big ‘ifs’ in there.

  17. rich 17

    “acting like fruitcakes” = “advocating policies outside the Dom Post / TVNZ / mainstream party” consensus? Like not building a motorway that nobody will be able to afford to drive on?

    On a related topic, I believe that Nandor always wore a suit at Parliament, because that was how one was expected to behave. Where does Rodney Hide get off wearing his canary yellow costume?

  18. vto 18

    I also see cars made of rubber. Lordy know why they are made of crunchy flesh-tearing metal when rubber ones would simply bounce off each other and be both safer and more fun.

  19. Either we’ll have some other options by the time petrol hits $10 a litre (whenever that happens – not by 2018, you can bet), or the question of whether we should have spent a billion on Transmission Gully will be the least of our worries.

    Also: given how long roads have been with us, I’m picking the likelihood of their becoming redundant in the next few decades is not high. So far, no-one’s made a case to suggest otherwise.

    Matthew Pilott: your analogy re investing in copper wire in the late 80s is interesting. I’d say that in the absence of any clearly superior alternative to copper wire, it would be foolish not to continue investing in its upkeep. Further: following Steve Pierson’s line of reasoning, we should have actually discouraged investment in copper wire back in the 80s, so that people would be forced to think up ways to avoid using telecomms gear. As a proposed means of driving technological improvement, that approach has comedy value only.

  20. randal 22

    ants thinks progress is only one way. the sooner the oil runs out the better and who said walking is regressive. only if you too fat and lazy

  21. Matthew Pilott 23

    Psycho Milt – after I wrote that, I realised it looked like I was calling for abandoning copper – that would be daft (because it’s still rather essential).

    I’ll try and explain further. What I was meaning was a huge investment to, say, double or triple the capacity and network of copper, hence ‘multibillions’. Another element is the development of alternatives (internet and fibre just starting to peek over the horizon), and the emerging idea that the network is reaching its potential.

    Steve’s position isn’t that we should have discouraged investment, but merely that maintenance should suffice – expanding the capacity of a network that is being made redundant by external factors dosn’t make sense. In your example, Steve would be advocating that because an evil genius managed to monopolise the market so phone calls were 20c a minute, then 30c, then 80c, then $1.99, then $2.16 (I’m sure you get the drift).

    If there was an alternative to phones, and no sign that our evil genius was going to let up (and increasing signs to the contrary) wouldn’t it be an idea to discourage phone calls?

    Espacially if another external factor was evidencee that phone calls were inherently bad for the planet?

    In spite of all I’m arguing, I am ambivalent. Probably still pro-gully (after all that!) – I think that we still require the network to be viable, and the immediate alternatives (namely public transport) don’t have the ability to negate the necessity for its construction.

    The only thing that gives me pause were the stats during the wee peak we had earlier ($2.16 a litre for ’91 – ‘wee’ peak, because that sure ain’t it, baby) – a 5% reducton in flows over the ngaurange interchange.

    If petrol prices continue to discourage excessive and frivolous travel then TG will indeed be a poor use of resources. it’s very hard to say what the short- to medium-term will bring – will the current roads have sufficient capacity? Would the promtion of alternatives be a better choice?

    Perhaps. I’m not sure. A kick-ass local PT alternative (monorail, light rail, trams) combined with an efficient high density regional/national rail system could do the trick.

  22. Edosan 24

    The green party is fine on camera.

    I often light candles while morris dancing in a frog suit.

    Kiwi dream isn’t it?

  23. Rex Widerstrom 25

    vto suggests:

    I also see cars made of rubber… rubber ones would simply bounce off each other and be both safer and more fun.

    I think there’s a convention somewhere that says rubber cars can only be driven by people willing to wear enormous oversized shoes, tiny hats, plastic flowers that squirt water, and face paint.

    I would have said “only by clowns” but then you may have got confused and thought I meant “only by people who think petrol will cost $10 a litre in 10 years time”. 😀

  24. Daveski 26

    As a work in Wellingon live where the train don’t go, I have a personal stake in this.

    I would argue however that one of the critical issues that TG is trying to address is the likelihood of Wellington being cut off in the event of a major disaster.

    I can readily accept that TG itself won’t be exempt from this but it would seem reasonable to assume that the Centennial Highway is more of a sitting duck, particularly in terms of slips.

    I do agree that improving the train service would actually help but that doesn’t address the issue of a single point of failure northwards out of Wellington.

    I wonder whether the peak oil will end up being the equivalent of how we were every going to spend all out leisure time? In the 1970’s Alvin Toffler and others saw the trend and predicted that we would all work less and have more leisure time as a result yet the opposite has happened.

    I don’t doubt for a moment that petrol/oil will continue to increase in price but nor do I doubt that over time new technologies will replace today’s transport.

  25. outofbed 27

    Fruit cakes at a National level yes I agree that pissed a few people off I can tell you. However at a local grass roots level we, the Greens are working hard and doing well.
    The local Ecofest was held in Nelson last week end and was extremely well attended as was the annual eco debate which was held between between Russel Norman Nick Smith and Marayn Street +(the mayors of Nelson and Tasman).
    Nick Smith and Marayn Street spoke well but with out doubt the winner on the night was Mr Norman.
    Which considering it was an eco debate on energy organised by Transition Towns he bloody well ought to do well.
    The Greens are in strong heart in the provinces and we feel that we will definitely grow our vote this election.
    Not sure about Auckland though 🙂

  26. Tim Ellis 28

    SP I suggest you read the report. It never made the prediction that prices would rise to $10 a litre. It’s a bit sloppy to quote that.

    The Future Fuels report modelled four different scenarios and their impact on price. They specifically did not say which one was most likely. So there was no prediction. They simply conducted four models, based on different sets of conditions. Even the difference using different international market conditions in a peak oil scenario is huge. The models point out that if we’re in a peak oil market (and it doesn’t say that we are), the two variables are how fast oil supplies decline, and how fast the uptake of new technology is.

    In a peak oil, slow decline, fast technology response scenario the report indicates we’d be paying as low as $2 per litre of fuel. In a peak oil, fast decline, slow technology response scenario, we would be paying up to $8 per litre of fuel. At best, you can read into that that the future price range is uncertain. The most you could say about the report’s predictions is that if we are in a peak oil situation, we could be paying anywhere from $2-$8 per litre of fuel, depending on how fast oil stocks decline and how quickly we respond with technology.

  27. Tim. I have read the report. the figures in it are in australian dollars. currently 80 cents aussie to kiwi dollar… AU$8 = NZ$10, hence, up to $10.

    and I said up to.

    I’ve also read the methods used to make those predictions, the current price is at or above the high price scenario model

  28. Tim Ellis 30

    SP, I don’t think that is an accurate reading of the report. The report does not say that prices will be up to $8 a litre. The report simply maps four different scenarios. Saying that something “will be up to” suggests that the report claims that fuel prices will be up around that level. That is demonstrably wrong. The report says that if peak oil exists, and depending on the two variables, of technology uptake and oil decline, then prices will be between $2 and $8 a litre.

    The report doesn’t say that peak oil exists. The report maps prices on a peak oil scenario (which assumes much higher prices are here to stay), and a non-peak oil scenario (which assumes that current high prices substantially above US $60 a barrel are temporary). The fact that current prices are well above $US 60 a barrel doesn’t justify your assertion that peak oil exists. Nor does it justify you claiming that the most extreme price scenario mapped in the report is the likely outcome.

  29. Edosan 31

    Outofbed:

    I hope you’re right. I’ll certainly be doing what I can.

    Still, it’s never a good thing to hand the TV media stock footage like that.

  30. rave 32

    I look forward to parking my car on a railferry that runs from Wellington to Taihape, avoiding boring gullies (I know the limits of my cars transmission) swamps, rolling in it hills, and disembarking to motor through the great expanses of tussock and snowy peaks. I would prefer that to driving backwards through central Otago at avoid looking at windfarms as one of the currents ads suggests. I prefer the Waiouru-Te Kuiti strech where I would reembark on the King Country express to Auckland. If the Greens come up with something like that they have my vote.

  31. Draco TB 33

    Also: given how long roads have been with us, I’m picking the likelihood of their becoming redundant in the next few decades is not high. So far, no-one’s made a case to suggest otherwise.

    Nobody’s said that roads wouldn’t be used in the future – just questioned how much traffic will actually be on them and if this justifies building more and bigger roads.

    Matthew Pilott: your analogy re investing in copper wire in the late 80s is interesting. I’d say that in the absence of any clearly superior alternative to copper wire, it would be foolish not to continue investing in its upkeep.

    We were upgrading to fiber optic cabling in the late 1980s. There were even cabinets that were fed by fiber instead of copper. It’s interesting to note that over the last few years Telecom has actually been removing some of that fiber and replacing it with copper instead of doing to logical thing which would have been to upgrade the cabinet – ie, what they’re actually doing now.

    Maintaining the copper network is one thing – investing heavily in its expansion is another especially when that technology was already being replaced by a far superior one.

  32. damian 34

    to wade in –

    vto, one reading suggestion: ‘Collapse’ by Jared Diamond.

    the history of humankind is a history of one civilisation collapsing after another. technological development hasn’t been a smooth upward curve with a few bumps – it has lurched, up and down. our belief in the advancement of technology is in fact very recent: prior to the Enlightenment the feeling of general folks was that things were gradually sliding into doom and gloom, and life was much better in the past: they knew something of the Roman Empire, which was far more technologically and socially advanced (until it collapsed of course) than most of Europe during the dark ages.

    in fact, if you look right back to the Mesopotamian civilisation, which is the oldest urban-based civilisation we currently know about, emerging about 7000 years ago in what is now the South of Iraq — they based their food production on massive irrigation, which was the peak of their agricultural technology. back then the South of Iraq used to be green and lush, but through over-irrigation they gradually made the soil more and more salty, until they could not longer grow anything there, and they all starved to death, and their civilisation collapsed. the ironic thing about it is that they knew this was happening: there’s evidence that they switched from growing wheat/spelt (i forget which) to growing oats, which is a much more salt-tolerant crop, even as their irrigation schemes, which were caused the saltification, were being expanded.

    sound like familiar behaviour?

  33. roger nome 35

    “I would have said “only by clowns’ but then you may have got confused and thought I meant “only by people who think petrol will cost $10 a litre in 10 years time”

    lol Rex. You may want to educate yourself before acting so cocky however. You can start here.

    Here’s a few choice extracts from that PHD Thesis.

    Almost 40 per cent of the total energy consumption in
    the world stems from oil (BP, 2006).

    The basic idea for this project is to make a survey of data for global oil reserves, production and discoveries.

    In the licentiate thesis Giant Oil Fields and their Importance for Peak Oil (Robelius, 2005) the validity of predicting the peak by the use of giant oil fields was shown. The next step is to construct a model for future production from the giant oil fields.

    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.

    The most mature oil area, i.e. the USA, and the latest big oil region
    discovered, theNorth 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.

    Although the number of giant oil fields is very limited, only 507 out of some 47 500, their contribution is far from limited. About 65 per cent of the global ultimate recoverable reserves (URR) is found in them. Historically, giant fields have been the main contributor to global oil production and in 2005, their share was over 60 per cent. Thus, giant oil fields are and will continue to be important for global oil production. However, the largest giant fields are old and many of them have been producing oil for over 50 years. The greatest number of giant fields were discovered during the 1960s.

    Forecasts, based on field by field analysis, for major new field developments, deepwater oil production, heavy oil from Orinoco in Venezuela and oil sands in Canada have been made since their role in future oil production must be considered.

    The giant oil field model is based on past annual production, URR and
    three different assumed decline rates. The results from the modeling of 333 giant fields are used in combination with the other forecasts in order to predict future oil production. Four different scenarios have been modeled and peak oil governed by the giant oil fields is a common result for the scenarios.

    The worst case scenario shows a peak in 2008, while the best case
    peaks in 2013 although at a higher production level. The production in the best case scenario increases more rapidly than a future demand growth 136 of 1.4 per cent. Therefore the production can be adjusted to follow the demand growth, resulting in a postponed peak oil to 2018. Thus, global peak oil will occur in the ten year span between 2008 and 2018.

  34. Kevyn 37

    Why are we spending $1 billion on Transmission Gully? Unfortunately Wellington does have a bad habit of getting the rest of the country to pay for their land transport. It happened with the Foothills Motorway in the 60s and 70s to the tune of $600m (current dollars) and the major rail improvements from the mid-30s to the mid-50s accounted for the lion’s share of the $2bn in petrol taxes spent on railway improvements nationally during that period. Unfortunately for Auckland this practice of diverting highway funding to railways led to a backlash in the early 50s and the practice was stopped just when the railways dept was finishing it’s Wellington upgrades and getting ready to start with Auckland. Because the backlash was mainly from rural areas the Auckland motorway alternative wasn’t given the same favourable funding that Wellington’s motorways enjoyed although the rate of construction did double from 1 mile a year in the early 50s.

    If we can get a guarantee that Wellingtonians will pay for TG then I don’t have a problem with it, although the climb from McKays crossing appears to be rather steep. Does anybody know what the gradient will be for that climb. I presume it will be less than the one in eight gradient of the Otira Gorge and Viaduct.

  35. vto 38

    damian ta. I was in fact somewhat aware of that and perhaps should take more care with my posts. My sunny dispositional sometimes gets in the way.

  36. Ron 39

    Hi guys, to help solve the problem:

    – roads are made of massive amounts of oil
    – (car) petrol is made of oil
    – oil resources are becoming scarce

    so why invest in long term infrastructures based on unsustainable resources???? it’s that SIMPLE!!!

    cheers guys

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    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    5 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    7 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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