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The many and varied problems with the Ruataniwha Dam proposal

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, October 6th, 2013 - 26 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, water - Tags: ,

Ruataniwha dam

The saga of the Ruataniwha Dam raises a number of interesting issues.

The Nick Smith appointed Board of Inquiry includes ex National MP Alec Neill who also served as the chair of Environmental Canterbury before the board was sacked by the Government.  As said by Marty G in the Standard 4 years ago the cause of the coup was that the organisation was too “science led” and the staff were too “green”, by that I presume they meant that the staff were concerned about the environment.  The failure of the Government to restore regional democracy in the area still rankles.

Neill is eminently qualified and his sacking as a ECAN Councillor belies the lack of justification for that decision but his presence has raised eyebrows.  The rest of the board include an Environmental retired High Court Judge, two lawyers and a Dam Engineer.  There is no one with environmental credentials on the Board and this is of concern.

I have posted on DOC’s processing of the original draft submission previously.  Smith was told about the draft at a usual briefing, that evening the manager involved emails senior managers and says that Smith wanted to see “the submission”.  Then two days later a revised submission is shown.  A 34 page submission expressing concern that nitrate levels in the Tukituki River may become toxic by the proposed changes is replaced by a two paragraph submission that is neutral.

A staff member involved in preparation of the original submission has since resigned, pretty obviously in disgust at what has happened.

This is scarcely believable.  The original briefing note said that “a submission should be lodged to the plan change in the name of the Director-General requesting that the Board requests further information by way of an independent peer review of the proposed approach to nutrient management and the potential effect of the proposed nutrient limits and targets on the freshwater values in the Tukituki coachmen.”

The final submission said that the department had considered “the robustness of the nutrient modelling, the strength of the regulatory process proposed and the conservation values at risk within the specified catchment” but it was only going to submit on resource consent issues relating to the Makaroto dam structure.  Between Monday and Wednesday DOC had changed its mind from requesting that there be an independent peer review of the proposed approach to nutriment management and the possible effect on freshwater values to just worrying about RMA issues relating to the dam itself.

The Department had decided not to submit on the one nutrient management approach “as the conservation values of the Tukituki catchment do not justify the resource investment required”.

I am finding this increasingly difficult to understand.  The draft submission had been prepared.  All that was required was someone to go along and speak to it.  The issues were important ones to raise, the one nutrient management approach was risky, there were doubts about the modelling and further analysis was needed.  The draft submission asked the board to seek further information in relation to the risks and to seek an independent peer review in relation to the nutrient management approach.  These were costs that the Hawkes Bay Regional Council would logically have to meet.  There is something wrong with the claim that the resource investment required meant that these important questions should not have been asked.

Other more recent events also raise concerns.

The Hawkes Bay Regional Council has complained about the Radio New Zealand reporting on the issue, specifically the claim the scheme could kill the river.  From the article involved it would appear that this particular comment was an interpretation of the submission rather than a quote from the submission but the way I read it the original comment is fair.  After all allowing for significant increases in Nitrate levels to “toxic levels” can fairly be equated to killing the river.  And you have to wonder at the utility of a public entity taking another public entity to a third public entity to sort out where the truth of the matter lies.  The HBRC would be better advised explaining to the public why the concern is not justified.

EDS and Forest and Bird are complaining that their experts are unable to visit the dam site until October 10 but their evidence is due by October 8.  The landowner is, for his own reasons, refusing to allow access.  There is a simple solution, extend the time for the filing of evidence but to date this has not happened and you have to wonder why not.

Forest and Bird is also concerned because NIWA’s modelling is not available for analysis.  NIWA is claiming that it is intellectual property.  Its position if endorsed will mean that an assessment system will be approved without the public being allowed to understand how and if it will work.  We live in a strange world where commercial sensitivities prevent us from checking to make sure that theoretical models that control the future of the health of our rivers are fit for purpose.

And finally it has been disclosed that GNS Science had its contract to provide advice to the Hawkes Bay Regional Council cut short.  It had been contracted to perform four pieces of work for the Council but completed only three.  Russell Norman made a number of startling claims by way of questions in Parliament including the following:

  • The GNS Science scientists working on the project were pressured by the regional council into completing a report on the dam, despite their objecting strenuously to the accuracy of the information they were supplied to work with by the regional council.
  • The scientists insisted on recording their concerns about the inaccuracy of the council’s groundwater model in their updated report and at that stage the contract was terminated by the council.
  • GNS Science wanted to insert a disclaimer in its updated report, which was that it took no responsibility for the accuracy of the work because the model that the council provided to it was not fit for purpose.
  • An early report in August 2012 provided by GNS Science to the council was used by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council in its application around the dam, rather than using the February 2013 amended report, which highlighted the GNS Science scientists’ concerns that the report was not accurate.

So we have a Minister chosen Board of Inquiry without scientific expertise, a magically disappearing draft DOC submission, submitters who cannot complete expert evidence because they cannot access the site, a modelling system that is untested and no one is allowed to analyse, and a highly respected Scientific Crown Institute whose involvement in the project was terminated because its scientists objected to the accuracy of the data that it was being supplied.

There is something wrong with the Ruataniwha dam proposal.

UPDATE:  In comments A Thompson has pointed out that Justice Chisholm was previously a High Court Judge not Environment Court Judge and that one of the other lawyers, Mathew Lawson, has a science degree, as well as his LLB, and has been involved as the chairman of the Hawkes Bay ECOED Trust at the Lake Opuahi.

26 comments on “The many and varied problems with the Ruataniwha Dam proposal”

  1. tc 1

    ‘This is scarcely believable.’….this is very much the MO of the nats and exactly why the weasel smith was brought back to push as much of this through as he can.

    what else are the bastards up to while the focus is on nicks dodgy dam is where opposition need to focus, a raft of issues is required as they are good at spinning a single issue.

    build up the narrative there is plenty of material.

  2. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2

    Nzers appear to be expected to foot the bill for the benefit of private industries’ profits, they are then expected to pay for the environmental damage that these industries create and then they are charged premium prices for the produce of these industries, where in some sectors the best produce is shipped overseas.

    I thought governments were supposed to work for the ‘general good’, not the private interests of a few sectors? Governments would function more effectively if they stuck to the aim they exist to meet.

    Tasman District Council are being questioned re the transparency of their accounting with regard to a contentious dam proposed for the Tasman district.

    How do people make good decisions for their district [or country] when information they are being presented with is being manipulated and not open and transparent?

    • fambo 2.1

      Sadly, it’s a bit of a myth that governments automatically work for the good of the people. Some governments do, but by no means all of them. Having regular elections is the one chance for the population to try and get representatives who will work on their behalf, as opposed to having no chance at all when there is no vote. For that reason, it is important to vote for a party that you are certain is working in your interests.

  3. Ad 3

    Looks like a great case for judicial review proceedings to the High Court once the Commissioners have done with it.

    While personally I don’t think NZ will survive climate change without more dams, the procedural mess over this one feels more and more like Clyde Dam 1982. An intent of the RMA was to stop people being railroaded by development projects like Think Big.

    See you in court Minister Smith.

    • TLAM 3.1

      This whole project has nothing to do with climate change. People were told within the RC to “manage the perception of the greenies” from early-mid 2010. You have a plan. You select the science to support it, you marginalise the science that doesn’t, you dismiss strategic debate about water strategy, you coerce and spin.

      Ad, this dam will do more to increase climate change with terrestrial carbon loss, NOx and CO2 emissions. It will irrigate between 17 and 24 thousand Ha of flats. Hawke’s Bay has 1.42 million ha in total. The real drought and flood concern relates to the hills and particularly how well they hold and slow water (floods and drought implications).

      Their claims that it will alleviate drought is just more spin. And spin is so pervasive that even the non-engaged are smelling a rat.

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    Thank You for this comprehensive (to date) article mickeysavage

    • tc 4.1

      here here MS, all those annoying facts and legal points of view based on NZ law and how it’s meant to operate. Top work keep it up, more sunlight to expunge this vampire gov’t and its backers.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    There is something wrong with the Ruataniwha dam proposal.

    Sounds like the whole process is corrupt and that quite a few elected representatives need to be going to going to jail.

  6. MrSmith 6

    Niwa was seen as a hostile organization by National from the beginning and now it seems it has been bullied into line, the sacking of Jim Salinger was a turning point.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10568596

    Speck up and you get fired.

  7. Not much hope of the dam bringing clean, fresh water to the area when it already stinks of so much sh*t.

  8. Ennui 8

    Yesterday I was kneeling beside the Ruamahanga, tying on a fly when I noticed directly in front of me a koura, a large one at that. Later in the day I espied a shag dive through a pool to eat a fish. These are wonderful things, beyond any transaction that turns oil into people (industrial agriculture supermarketism)…..may some of this survive the depredations of the National Party.

  9. Red Rosa 9

    If this isn’t corruption, what is?

    No one doubts the benefits from irrigation, Canterbury no doubt the best example. But a number of schemes there have been consented quite recently, without massive government subsidies and this level of brutal intervention. The 40k ha Hunter Downs scheme springs to mind, and Central Plains well down the track.

    Trouble is, the easy stuff has been done. The new schemes cost mega bucks. And the old schemes are showing up real troubles downstream, which are only now being properly assessed.

    If ever there was a bunch of hypocrites, it has to be the Nats’ Blue Greens. Unless they mean Blue Politics, Green Rivers?

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/10/06/goodbye-nikki-kaye-will-national-greens-face-a-party-vote-backlash-in-auckland/#sthash.NlHRksg4.dpuf

    ECan was sacked so Canterbury irrigation could go ahead. If Cantabrians think this a great idea, why aren’t they now being allowed to vote on it?

  10. foreign waka 10

    Considering that Ngati Kahungunu has traditionally made a strong stance for its people and the environment, I am somewhat surprised that not one person has said anything. What is the story here and why the silence? If there is an issue with the quality of the water surely there must be some concern about the sustainability of all resulting dependent life.

  11. vto 11

    Good shit mickysavage

    The questions must be answered. What do they expect? That the questions wont be asked?

    This is the caricature of this government in its death throes

  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    Citizens Left Out Of The Water Equation

    THE SHUTTING DOWN of democracy in the Canterbury Regional Council, and the more recent suppression of a Department of Conservation draft report on the sustainability of the Ruataniwha Dam, represent the working out in political terms of Conor English’s heads-up warning of five years ago.

    New Zealand’s dairy farmers, and the enormous economic interests they represent, have decided to privatise the nation’s water resources – and the government is helping them do it.

    Dr William Rolleston has even enlisted the reality of Global Warming to advance Federated Farmers’ cause: While New Zealand has plenty of water, he says, it’s not always in the right place at the right time.

    But, presumably, it will soon be in the right hands.

    The corruption runs deep and all the way to the top. Of course, at the top of a hierarchy is where the corruption always starts.

  13. Saarbo 14

    Because of the way National handle things they are fucking this up, by closing down an honest assessment of the situation we see how this Party created the $11 billion dollar leaky home crisis, by pushing through an initiative without thorough investigation in their “born to rule, we know best” way.

    I reckon that if this dam was used as a prototype to deal with all of the downstream (excuse the pun) issues in an open honest way then it may well provide a prototype on how we can grow/protect dairy production and protect the environment at the same time. Obviously if the beneficiaries of this dam stock their farms at up to 4 to 5 cows per hectare and produce up to 2000 kg milk solids per hectare then it will only be a matter of time before the Tukituki becomes a massive drain of effluent run-off and Urea/Nitrogen as are most rivers in areas of intensive dairying, not to mention the complications around who is going to pay for the dam and how the benefits are managed/owned.

    But there are alternatives that should be investigated including Herd Homes which will take the stock off the pasture and allows farmers to deal with the effluent so that it doesn’t harm the waterways, stocking levels, biological fertilisers, could Land Corp play a part.

    This project probably has potential but all issues have to be investigated and dealt with. But National are dealing with this issue the way the do, they are hopeless and they will fuck it up.

  14. Win 15

    Dairy farming should be in places where there is easy access to water not in a place where there is limited rainfall and limited access to water. I live beside the Tukituki river and it really is un-useable now – and this is before the dam being built. Years ago we could swim in it but now water in a side pool, during summer, killed a dog who drank from it. So i guess the question is do we go with economic development and become like China or do we try and present a clean green image WITH integrity. NZ is so smug about this so called image but that is so far from the truth. Ngati Kahungunu have come out against the dam. So have orchardists. Orchardists are blaming the Regional District Council but I think “others” are pulling the strings and being avid Nat supporters I think many of them can’t “handle the truth.”

  15. A Thompson 16

    Just to clarify slightly, the judge, Justice Chisholm, is ex-High court, rather than Environment Court, and previously worked in the area of RMA law. One of the other lawyers, Mathew Lawson, has a science degree, as well as his LLB, and has been involved as the chairman of the Hawkes Bay ECOED Trust at the Lake Opuahi, (See : http://www.ecoed.org.nz ), so the claim that “There is no-one with environmental credentials on the Board…” is a little harsh.

    [Thanks for your comments. I have added this information into the article – ms]

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  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago