web analytics

Author Archive

The Tinkers

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, January 3rd, 2021 - No comments

My all time favourite sci-fi author Vernor Vinge depicted in his Peace War Trilogy a counter culture that had adapted to unique set of circumstances to produce a high tech/low energy society. The back story involves the discovery of a new weapon. Vinge being a computer scientist himself (he taught in the field at San […]

Is Progress Real?

Written By: - Date published: 2:41 pm, December 31st, 2020 - 65 comments

It’s hard to overstate the extraordinary merging of events in Europe that led to the Industrial Revolution exploding in the mid-1800’s. There was of course at least 200 years of prior scene setting, across the sciences, philosophy and political arena’s. In say the year 1600 the so-called Renaissance was really the project of barely a […]

The Malthusian Spectre

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 am, December 20th, 2020 - 46 comments

Population has always been a critical driver of events and prior to the Industrial Revolution we lived in a zero sum world, with energy and resources effectively limited to that which could be harvested from photosynthesis, one person’s gain was at the limit, always someone else’s loss. Very low density hunter gather populations could thrive […]

State Zero

Written By: - Date published: 10:38 am, December 17th, 2020 - 21 comments

This short post reprises a comment on Kaya’s Identity a few weeks back. Kaya identity is expressed in the form: F = P . G/P . E/G . F/E Where: F is excess global CO2 emissions from human sources P is global population G is world GDP E is global energy consumption And: G/P is […]

Energy’s Iron Triangle.

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, December 11th, 2020 - 62 comments

For those who don’t trawl through all the comments; a little personal background. I’ve been fortunate enough to have just finished up a 40 year career in technology and automation, most of it in heavy industry. Looking back it’s been one hell of an adventure, tough at times, but I’ve been one of those lucky […]

Domestic Fire Sprinklers

Written By: - Date published: 12:44 pm, June 18th, 2017 - 14 comments

For almost two decades there have been a number of perfectly acceptable domestic fire sprinkler solutions available in the NZ market. When building new I always wear the modest extra cost of installing them; our first ones during 2002. For most units it amounts to something under $4,000 which frankly is peanuts in the wider […]

A Constitution

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, September 26th, 2016 - 31 comments

Absolute h/t to Ovid who linked to proposals for a written Consitution for Sir Geoffrey Palmer this morning in Open Mike. The SpinOff 1. New Zealand should become a republic. 2. The Head of State should reflect New Zealand’s national 
identity, culture and heritage, and should be appointed for a term of five years on […]

In Defense of Tony Veitch.

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 pm, May 8th, 2016 - 174 comments

I was asked by trp to respond to his post earlier today separately. I’ll start by re-quoting a comment from Anne: I can vouch for the truth of that statement. That is not to degrade the ever present ‘intimate’ violence perpetrated by men against women and children. However women are just as capable of performing […]

Aussies may be bastards, but they believe in themselves.

Written By: - Date published: 1:41 pm, March 26th, 2016 - 31 comments

Here in Ballarat, Victoria we are having a mini-boom in manufacturing. Yes you read that right. We’re having trouble retaining good people because of the demand. Yes you read that right. This is because Ballarat has actively invested in providing core capacities like: We were lucky to get an early NBN rollout in FTTP. Some […]

Guest Post … Build Mass Movements continued.

Written By: - Date published: 12:09 pm, January 24th, 2016 - 63 comments

This is a repost of a comment from Incognito on the Building Mass Movements post, with some editing. It’s also linked to one of my points on the Fisiani Gets it Right post yesterday; how does the left with it’s vital and diverse components achieve a unity of purpose, while sustaining the integrity of it’s […]

Fisiani Gets it Right

Written By: - Date published: 6:41 pm, January 23rd, 2016 - 211 comments

Let’s get this straight. Fisiani’s on-going sycophantic love-in with John Key may be nauseatingly embarrassing to read, but this does not make him necessarily wrong. Unforeseeable circumstances aside, John Key will see out five or six terms in office. He will then likely hand over to his carefully anointed National party successor. National will govern […]

DoC Staff Striking during Conservation Week

Written By: - Date published: 11:48 am, November 3rd, 2015 - 30 comments

How far removed from a ‘cloth-capped mob of union-stirrers and industrial saboteurs’ would the staff of the Department of Conservation be? These people would have to be among the most valued and generally respected public sector workers in the country. And now they are reduced to this. DOC staff to take industrial action as Conservation […]

Where to the nation?

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 am, December 23rd, 2014 - 143 comments

Left wing politics in New Zealand bends most of its attention and energy inwards onto the nation state. This is of course understandable because traditionally Parliament has been the prime locus of power.  But no longer; two quite distinct forces are at work to change this picture. The first is globalisation. We are in its second […]

All Antennae – No Compass

Written By: - Date published: 7:16 am, August 27th, 2014 - 51 comments

Duncan Garner lets it all out of the bag.  Part of the problem is that under any normal circumstances Cabinet Minister Judith Collins would have been sacked for trading dirty secrets with Cameron Slater, the low-life blogger WhaleOil. But none of this is normal. Because the prime minister, and others in his office, have been […]

Forty Christmases

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 pm, December 25th, 2013 - 49 comments

Exactly 40 years ago to the day I was having a white Christmas – on the summit of Mr Fyfe overlooking Kaikoura. Today I celebrate another Christmas, high on another mountain, in another part of the world – with a light dusting of very dry, very icy snow drifting on the wind. The decades in […]

More BS Numbers from the Right

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 am, March 24th, 2013 - 27 comments

Today we again have the Herald’s resident ignoramus Damien Grant sounds off about something he knows nothing about. As usual just looking at numbers without understanding what they represent and leaps to wrong conclusions. For a start he tries to compare the $8000  Watercare charge for a new water supply connection with the much smaller […]

The Human Cost

Written By: - Date published: 5:26 pm, March 23rd, 2013 - 57 comments

The funeral was a very full house and hard. You may have even seen it on Campbell Live;  The Herald gave it front page this morning.  Now comes the hard part, surviving the aftermath, the years with a hole in your heart, the family with a missing part. We never really had a cycling culture […]

The Stealth Dismantling of Environmental Protection

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, March 6th, 2013 - 27 comments

To a first approximation the protection of the environment in this country is managed by two distinct entities; inside the Conservation estate it falls to DoC and outside of that it falls onto the Regional Councils. Under this government both are being slowly dismantled. Over the last month I’ve had the opportunity to talk extensively with DoC […]

Five Broken Things.

Written By: - Date published: 7:56 am, February 16th, 2013 - 81 comments

Universal Basic Income UBI

Yesterday I rather shamelessly threadjacked one of Irish’s posts on a Colin Espiner column in the direction of the Universal Basic Income idea. In this post I want to also shamelessly filch from Gareth Morgan’s book The Big Kahuna, specifically Ch.5 “The Five Big Issues” and wrap it into a quick read. (At some points […]

Media Medicine

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, November 28th, 2012 - 45 comments

The relationship between media and politicians in this country has become incestuous and toxic. For much of the time they confine themselves to merely slanting the game with spin and framing language. We’ve learnt to live with that. But increasingly we are witnessing instances where a pack mentality dominates the story, placing journalists themselves as […]

Treachery

Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, January 28th, 2012 - 703 comments

Fran O’Sullivan is an enemy of the people. Her article in this morning’s Herald will forever brand her as a traitor to this country. She will be shunned and reviled by people who understand what a disgusting sell-out she has become. There is no coming back from this. The Crafar decision is a victory for […]

Two Left Feet, or a Kick Ass Combo?

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 pm, January 20th, 2012 - 26 comments

“We believed in ourselves”

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, December 13th, 2011 - 48 comments

Read this and weep: New rolling stock (carriages) for South Island scenic rail journeys are as good as, or better than anything I have experienced anywhere else. They rival equipment used on Switzerland’s premier scenic rail journeys, including the famed Zermatt to St Moritz Glacier Express. And, best of all, the new rail vehicles, classified […]

Creating Jobs for the Young…and not how you’d expect.

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 pm, August 20th, 2011 - 48 comments

So we can safely predict this National govt will score it’s usual epic fail around youth unemployment. And we all know the reasons why this is such a critical issue, so I’m not going to re-hash them either. It’s just that both sides in this debate keep missing the crux of the matter… what is […]

The Heart of Utoya

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, July 31st, 2011 - 46 comments

So Breivik has given us an eyes wide open gaze into the abyss. Chilling isn’t it? Much has been written in the last week about the political atrocity he committed, yet this article in the Sunday Star Times today is equally wrong. Here is why. Many years ago I recall listening to a BBC correspondent […]

How to tell you have a Tory govt

Written By: - Date published: 5:01 pm, April 16th, 2011 - 7 comments

Brian Fallow is one of the Heralds more understated columnists. Brian and I probably vote differently, but I find his articles usually worth the read. But there is understatement, and then there is deliberate obfuscation. His column today starts out workmanlike enough, repeating the PM’s case how average wages/salaries have increased in real terms around […]

Universal Income Revisited

Written By: - Date published: 11:44 pm, February 28th, 2011 - 96 comments

The tax system we currently have is a relic of the pre-IT age. In the days of manual clerk-handled accounts, it was impractical to reconcile tax accounts more than once a year. The introduction of PAYE in 1958 was welcomed as it eliminated the need for ordinary people to find the cash for a large […]

John “30-sec” Key…. smile and walk away.

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 pm, January 3rd, 2011 - 103 comments

The two significant things from the Herald interview: #1 The signalling by John Key of his willingness to step down. #2 The view of John Key that “essentially there is no money”. “There won’t be money for us and there won’t be money for Labour,” John Key. The significant thing about the first statement is, […]

I Owe My Soul….to the Company Store

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, July 23rd, 2010 - 66 comments

The words of this old song date back to the 1800’s when dominant and rapacious employers in small company towns would require their employees to purchase essentials from a ‘company store’. And because the employee was so badly paid, inevitably they would run up steep tab simply to keep their family fed and clothed. In […]

Free Market Failure

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, February 27th, 2010 - 56 comments

It’s time for the National Party to issue an abject apology to the nation… for the 1992 Building Regulations that directly led to the astounding public crisis we now face. Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson told the Weekend Herald the official $11 billion figure – which experts believe is half the true cost – […]

The Great Giveaway

Written By: - Date published: 11:23 am, January 31st, 2010 - 83 comments

From where I’m sitting the Left will never be back in power, not because they will never win elections, but because the power game is over. The nation state as we know it is being slowly dismembered before our eyes, the leviathan of globalisation has one flank firmly grasped, while rapidly discohering communities of self-interest […]

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago