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Blind to the facts on Auckland rail

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, July 28th, 2017 - 59 comments
Categories: national, transport - Tags: , , , , , ,

As usual the Nats ignore data that doesn’t fit their prejudices. Ben Ross at The Spinoff:

Finally revealed: report shows rail destroys roading for Auckland freight

Back in June, KiwiRail refused to release the full business case for building the “Third Main” – a rail track from Otahuhu to Wiri beside the existing two tracks. Instead, it released a heavily redacted version. Now the unredacted version has been released – and its contents are a shocking indictment of government policy.

The purpose of the proposed Third Main is to allow freight trains to have a dedicated track separating them from passenger services on the most congested part of the Auckland rail corridor. For a cost of $65 million, KiwiRail would be able to run six extra freight trains a day and Auckland Transport would be able to move towards getting frequencies for passenger services up to every 10-15 minutes all day. The Third Main would, in theory, also enable better express passenger services between Pukekohe and Britomart once the City Rail Link becomes operable.

The heavily redacted business case was analysed by The Spinoff, The Nation, Greater Auckland and my own site Talking Southern Auckland.

The unredacted business case was released on Tuesday in response to pressure from Harriet Gale of Greater Auckland.

Building a Third and Fourth Main together (P8 in the table), with a price tag of $200 million, came out first along all criteria lines. Building the Third Main on its own (P9), at a cost of $65 million, was second. Both were well ahead of any other options. Shifting more freight by road (P3 in the table), which would require upgrading the Southern Motorway, came out worst.

In fact, if you look back at the Multi Criteria Analysis, the gulf between the Third and Fourth Mains and all other options is enormous. The new mains have double digit positive scores. All other options have negative scores.

So, two questions.

1. Why was the business case redacted – especially for the Fourth Main?

The answer is surely politics. It seems to come down to an attempt to protect the position taken by the government.

The redacted material wasn’t commercially sensitive and nor would its publication have harmed the free and frank debate between officials and the minister. Instead, it contains a clear-cut case to build the Third and Fourth Mains as quickly as possible, and definitely before the CRL opens (2023 on current estimates).

2. Why does the government persist with the option of more roads for more road freight?

This question has been asked repeatedly by all the media organisations and many analysts following the issue, including politicians at central and local level representing nearly all non-government parties. The report discussed here was jointly prepared for the government by the NZ Transport Agency, KiwiRail and Auckland Transport. It recommends – that is, they all recommend – that the extra rail line or lines be built as quickly as possible.

The government’s continued support of the road freight industry in preference to expanding the role of rail, in the face of the data in this report, makes a complete mockery of its claim to prudent economic management. It makes, instead, a pretty good case for incompetence, or cronyism, or both.

Instead of the best kind of rail, we’re currently on track to get this: the worst kind of road. And it’s going to cost around 10 times as much as the Third and Fourth Mains.

Read the full piece, with plenty more and the source documents, at The Spinoff. Excellent work.

59 comments on “Blind to the facts on Auckland rail”

  1. lprent 1

    This is typical for National. Rather than thinking about basic economic facts they prefer to think with their lobbys.

    The geography of the Auckland isthmus is a narrow corridor in the most densely populated area in NZ. One where each new motorway has very limited areas to fit into and enormous price tags – and fills with trucks immediately on completion.

    It is far better suited for the whole region from northland to the waikato to be serviced by rail freight.

    • halfcrown 1.1

      +100%

    • Carolyn_nth 1.2

      Exactly. Was talking to someone in a small town up north yesterday (a family connection up there). Basically, freight rail goes north from the Auckland region to the Whangarei region about 3 times in every24 hours. The rail condition is declining. Trucks on SH1 are slowing down car travel considerably across that area.

      And, curious bit of info. SH1 in the Brynderwyn valley is built on peat. So, particularly with the large amount of trucks on the road, SH1 there is constantly moving up and down in a kind of slow undulating motion.

    • adam 1.3

      Hear, hear.

    • NZJester 1.4

      It would be far better suited also to have a complete circular rail system going right around the entire North Island of New Zealand from Auckland to Wellington going both along the East and West coasts. You then put near major population areas some places to offload and onload the goods onto trucks to ship short distances to and from the cities and towns. The main roads will become safer with fewer heavy trucks on them and road maintenance costs will drop significantly with lower wear and tear from the reduction in trucks also. The maintenance costs and the amount of pollution produced by goods transported by rail per KG would be a fraction of that currently incurred by the heavy trucks currently going up and down the Island every day. Transport by truck is also something that is currently being heavily subsidised by the average motorist as they are paying the most in road maintenance costs but do only a fraction of the damage that trucks who pay the least do in wear and tear to our roads.

  2. Hanswurst 2

    So it would seem that the National government is telling lies of omission in order to defraud the taxpayer to the tune of millions of dollars in order to feed it’s favourite baby, the road transport lobby.

  3. gsays 3

    So would the building of the third and fourth main be unpopular with Auckland voters?
    Is it just the trucking lobbyists that are agin the rail proposal?

    Here we go labour greens, announce building of these two rail projects, $200M isn’t too much and reiterate a difference between yourselves and the current mob.

    • lprent 3.1

      Aucklanders simply eouldn’t care about freight rail unless you told them that it’d get some of the trucks off the road or free up rail for more commuter traffic.

      But they want something done INSIDE Auckland about the traffic. They know that building daft motorways in the boondocks north and south won’t do it. They just fill up with cars and trucks.

      That is why you get irritation with the massive disruption of the CRL works, but a lot of resignation that there is nothing else that could be done. They are irritated with the do nothing fuckwits in Wellington for delaying the CRL. And I am quoting a taxi driver there…

    • So would the building of the third and fourth main be unpopular with Auckland voters?

      Hell no, we’ve been crying out for better rail for decades.

      Is it just the trucking lobbyists that are agin the rail proposal?

      No, I’m pretty sure that the car lobbyists, the road builder lobbyists, and the oil industry are also more in favour of more roads as they all make a direct profit from them. None of them will make a profit from trains.

      That decreased profit will also show a decreased GDP as well.

      Essentially, we’re seeing poor economics done due to the drive for profit.

      Here we go labour greens, announce building of these two rail projects, $200M isn’t too much and reiterate a difference between yourselves and the current mob.

      QFT

  4. Ad 4

    I would be interested to hear what Labour, the Greens, or of likely more political relevance New Zealand First prefer as a new structure for Kiwirail. The government is clearly holding the report back until after the election.

    Kiwirail are a fat pain in the ass to any Minister because all they do is lose money.
    Perhaps they’re designed to.

    Or perhaps their procurement record over the last decade is so shit that no Minister has any faith in them any more to come up with fat ideas.

    Or just maybe no local or regional government other than Auckland Council (and Dunedin’s little tour trains) is prepared to so much as lift a finger to help.

    Maybe they want to merge them into NZTA.

    Kiwirail have to do better and start delivering results, no matter how good the case is.

    • gsays 4.1

      In respect to results: I think the ‘economic paradigm’ kiwirail operate in is part of the problem.
      E.g. when looking at locos, the nz made locos were 25% more expensive than the Chinese ones that kiwirail went with.
      There is no room on kiwirail’s books for the work created in Dunedin, the gst, the materials sourced within nz and the general boost locally and nationally.

      Perhaps more cynically, rail needs better lobbyists.

    • KJT 4.2

      Actually it is trucking that is losing money. it is just that the costs are paid by tax payers, rate payers and the environment.

      If trucks had to pay their full costs, shipping and rai; would quickly become competitive.

      Even with rail losing money it is still considerably cheaper than not having it.

    • Or perhaps their procurement record over the last decade is so shit that no Minister has any faith in them any more to come up with fat ideas.

      Kiwirail seems to have been doing exactly what National wanted them to do.

    • Trewindle 4.4

      Ad, it was my understanding that Kiwi rail actually does turn a profit from an operations standpoint, the issue is how they’re funded, with a continuing need to be lender capital from the government coffers to cover maintenance and upgrading of infrastructure. Toll gave us back a system totally run down and uncared for, which is still not totally up to standard, but is the reason for the apparent loss. Personally I’d rather see the continued investment to the point passenger trains can run on the southern main trunk again and then some.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    Given that both the UK and France are now pledged to get rid of the internal combustion engine by 2040, and that will only snowball, rail is the obvious replacement – and we need to start building that capacity NOW. The sneered at (by the right) ” 19th century” technology will get the last laugh, I suspect. Also, things like high speed (150-200 KPH on narrow gauge) rail to Hamilton and on to Rotorua and Tauranga should be fast tracked.

    • Norfolk Traveller 5.1

      “The sneered at (by the right) ” 19th century” technology will get the last laugh, I suspect. ”

      HEV’s (Heavy Electric Vehicles) are already in production, capable of hauling 40 foot containers, and some.

      • Carolyn_nth 5.1.1

        HEVs on roads? that’ll do a lot of expensive damage to the roads.

        • Norfolk Traveller 5.1.1.1

          Seems not to be an issue, and they’ve been around for a while. Pick-up’s, semis, tractors, milk trucks etc etc. One of the most advanced in terms of commercial use is rubbish trucks. Here’s an article about what’s happening in California, including road haulage vehicles. http://zevnz.com/index.php/2017/04/10/the-emissions-free-state/.
          All taking massive government subsidies, of course.

          • Carolyn_nth 5.1.1.1.1

            That article just says it’s a proposal for freight in California. So, they haven’t been in operation for any length of time to see the damage to roads.

            • Norfolk Traveller 5.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s just one article explaining what is happening. Nissan have produced an electric truck since 2012. Electric milk trucks have been used in the UK for at least a decade. Electric rubbish trucks were deployed in Beijing from 2008, France since 2011. The HEV’s are in use in many countries, including some very big rigs.

  6. Wayne 6

    It is not one or the other but both.
    There is an excellent case for a third/fourth track in large part to separate freight and passengers. This will become more important as passenger trains increase, especially with the CRL being completed.

    But not all frieght can go by train, probably not even the majority. Roads also service cars. The proposed East/west link is part of the motorway puzzle just as the Waterview tunnel is (and yes it has made an obvious difference).

    It looks like this is going to become another left/right fight, so the outcome might be largely determined by the election result.

    But as for roading north (as well as rail), well if Winston goes left, he will insist on it as part of the deal. The Greens will just have to accept that as part of a NZF/Labour/Green deal.

    • Ad 6.1

      You need a good sit down with Daniel Braid.

    • KJT 6.2

      Road/rail to Northland makes sense, just as it did for Tauranga.

      But more heavily subsidised roads for trucks, through Auckland, doesn’t make sense.

      The cost off having rail is infinitely less than the cost of not having it.

      However National, are incapable of reading a ledger which has total costs.

    • lprent 6.3

      But not all frieght can go by train, probably not even the majority.

      Nope. But the vast majority of freight getting sent to and from Auckland Port and Airport or transiting the Isthmus sure as hell can. They can do that from railheads outside of the isthmus.

      All we really have to do is to put a hefty truck congestion charge on trucks. That should clear about 20-30% of the space on the road and about 90% of the maintenance. It isn’t like Auckland benefits from those monster long haul trucks. We seldom see more than a small fraction of the revenues we get from the cars.

      The much light trucks used for city deliveries are much less of an issue. Then the collected and saved revenue can be used for doing some real work.

      Like getting rid of the ritualistic jam at Greenlane that has been there since I started driving 42 years ago.

      It looks like this is going to become another left/right fight, so the outcome might be largely determined by the election result.

      More of a crony fools vs realists. FFS Wayne – you haven’t even attempted to make any kind of case for increasing road transport over rail freight. Just like National can’t bear to release any economic analysis for their religious faith based belief that roads are better. What is it with National – are they that dependent on Road Transport funding?

      • What is it with National – are they that dependent on Road Transport funding?

        They’re dependent upon the higher profits that cars and trucks show to increase GDP and thus make it look like they’re growing the economy.

        Of course, what they’re actually doing is making the economy less efficient and thus less economic.

    • It is not one or the other but both.

      Nope. There is no business case that supports more roads.

      There is an excellent case for a third/fourth track in large part to separate freight and passengers. This will become more important as passenger trains increase, especially with the CRL being completed.

      Yes, we know. National seems to have ignored it on purpose and gone for more roads against all logic and economics.

      But not all frieght can go by train, probably not even the majority.

      Yes it can.

      Roads also service cars.

      Cars are highly inefficient and uneconomic as well. Actually, that’s a large part of what makes roads inefficient and uneconomic.

      • Wayne 6.4.1

        Cars are incredibly useful. They allow personal choice and multiple flexible trips. That is why just about every adult in NZ has one.
        And yes I also use public transport, mostly the Bayswater ferry.
        The car will be be ubiquitous for at least another 50 or more years, though electric and autonomous. In fact I would say another 100 years. 50 years ago in 1967, post the first Mustangs! The reason why Trump was elected. He was recalling for millions of Americans a time when young people could by a new Mustang, clearly the best working persons car in the world in the 1960’s!

        • Draco T Bastard 6.4.1.1

          Cars are incredibly useful.

          Personal cars sit still doing nothing for 96% of the time. There’s no way that can be considered useful.

          They allow personal choice and multiple flexible trips.

          And they do so uneconomically.

          That is why just about every adult in NZ has one.

          No, the reason why we have cars is because the government built for cars. If the government had built for PT we wouldn’t need cars.

          The car will be be ubiquitous for at least another 50 or more years, though electric and autonomous.

          No they won’t as they’re uneconomic and can’t be supported. This is what the facts tell us. Like the report that this post is all about that shows cars having a negative BCR.

          He was recalling for millions of Americans a time when young people could by a new Mustang

          I doubt that there were very many young people, even in the US, who could afford to buy a new Mustang no matter what you saw on Happy Days.

          • jcuknz 6.4.1.1.1

            I was an member of the Wellington Milk-bar cowboys in the fifties. Loosely around fifty young guys with six or seven owning motorbikes…. Council in their ‘wisdom’ wanted us to change from Courtney Place [?] to out on the coast beyond the current airport … miles from the nearest public transport …. such is the thinking of our leaders …. URRRGH!
            The ‘picnic’ has been going on for years … GHU.

          • alwyn 6.4.1.1.2

            You are talking about the current cars when you make the statement that
            “Personal cars sit still doing nothing for 96% of the time”.
            That is today. By the time any railway line can be built in Auckland we will have electric, autonomous vehicles on the roads. They will carry people from door to door and when released will simply carry out another trip.
            They will not need to be idle for 96% of the time as the current ones do.

            The cars the report were talking about were todays level 0 or 1 machines. In 10 years we will have the first level 5 models and they will be well-nigh universal by 2035.
            For the definitions see
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_car#Classification

            As for the Mustang. The current Mustang is nothing like the original one. It was a cheap, low-performance model that looked sporty but was based on the Ford Falcon of the time.
            It was intended for men who had been in WW2, come home, married and raised a family and now had, for the first time, a little bit of spare money and a family who were leaving home and off to college. It really wasn’t meant for the average young person. It was meant for men in their mid to late 40’s who had never really had a carefree youth.

            • Wayne 6.4.1.1.2.1

              alwyn,

              Actually the Mustang was aimed at people younger than your WW2 vet. But not as young as the Happy Days crowd, who were school kids.

              Mind you I was 17 when I bought my first car, a blue Ford Prefect with gold painted wheels, which I bought with the money from picking up hay for a summer. Now that was a dam hard job, picking up hay on a truck (a TK Bedford) and stacking it in hay barns. Up to 2,500 bales a day, though at that level it was a 16 hour day. Pay was by the number of bales picked and stacked. Thistles were the enemy. Prickles were still festering and coming out of my legs 3 months later.

              The Mustang came out in 1963/64. As you note it was (at least compared to today’s car) quite basic. But it had auto trans, 289 V8 (or a six) and electric windows, front seats were buckets. Overall quite sporty.

              The prime market was younger people, say 22 to 30 with a job, which was pretty much everyone. So single people and young families. The Ford ownership plans (real cheap credit) made them affordable for just about every working person. The equivalent car in the UK was a Mini, in Germany a VW, and in Italy a Fiat Bambina. And they are not affordable for everyone. So clearly the Mustang was the best car in the world in comparison the European options. And all working Americans could buy them.

              It was the epitome of America being great, in the 1960’s the richest country in the world (per capita) by a huge margin. Which is why it is a parable for Trump’s win. And look where he won. In the very states that built these cars, or the components for them.

              The current Mustang is intended to look like that 1964 Mustang. Hence Trump’s slogan, “Make America great again”. Trump was 22 when the Mustang first came out. He would have felt the vibe. The Mustang transcended class and wealth barriers.

              Anyway that is my pop physcology reason why Trump won.

              • alwyn

                I really don’t think that the original Mustang was intended for a family, even if the kids were small.
                There were only 2 doors and the legroom in the back was terrible.
                I based my explanation on what Iacocca had to say about the car and its target market.
                They were cheap though. The list price in 1964 was about $2,400 (US).

            • Draco T Bastard 6.4.1.1.2.2

              By the time any railway line can be built in Auckland we will have electric, autonomous vehicles on the roads.

              1. BS. It really doesn’t take that long to lay tracks. I wouldn’t be surprised if it took longer to lay a road.
              2. Even with electric autonomous vehicles the economics is against cars – they still use too far much scarce resources

              3. I really couldn’t careless about the Mustang except that it wasn’t young people going out to buy lots of brand new ones as Wayne implied

            • Carolyn_nth 6.4.1.1.2.3

              I don’t get the whole autonomous car promo, that’s being pushed by some media and pollies.

              I’d rather just have extensive mass transit, and my own car (that I drive) or use of taxis.

              The focus on autonomous cars is a major red herring in this resource-shrinking, climate-emergency world.

              And this whole thing of guys using cars as some sort of identity signifier, just passes me by.

              • alwyn

                “my own car (that I drive) or use of taxis.”.
                The problem with your own car is that it will sit idle nearly all the time. If you drive it somewhere you will also have to find parking for it.

                The advantage of an autonomous car over a taxi is that it won’t need a driver. It should also be a great deal smaller than a taxi and much cheaper to operate. A huge part of the cost of a taxi is paying to have a driver who actually spends a lot of his time sitting round waiting for a fare at the airport. Taxis cost you about $3.00/km in NZ, The IRD rate for running your own car is, I think 74 cents. The difference really comes down to having to pay the driver.
                Autonomous cars should be significantly cheaper as they will be in use for much more of the day than your personal vehicle. There really won’t be any need to own a car. Just call one when you need it. When they aren’t n use they can simply line themselves up and charge the batteries.
                They will also be much more convenient than public transport. Wouldn’t you rather have a car that comes to your door and takes you right to the place you want to get to than have to walk to a bus stop, or railway station, perhaps take a bus to the railway station, travel by train, get another bus, or if you are lucky be able to walk, to get to your final destination

                When they become common, and I think it will be much sooner than people think, you may not even be allowed to drive a car on the public roads. Autonomous vehicles should be safer than a human driver.

                “guys using cars as some sort of identity signifier”.
                I find that woman are just the same. Mind you, the desire to own a car seems to be much reduced among younger people. They may want to have one available but they don’t seem to want to own one nearly as much as did my compatriots.

                • Carolyn_nth

                  I like the community feel of mass transit. I like being able to walk to and from public transport.

                  I’d be happy to give up my car for good. I mainly use it for safety at night, going out of Auckland (inter-city mass transit is very poor), and on occasions carrying heavy loads.

                  A taxi would do just fine.

                  I would prefer a taxi with a driver. Their cars will be sitting around unused no longer than your fantasy autonomous cars. They’ll also probably be electric.

                  I actually like the idea of driver driven mini-buses for shorter distances, away from, or linking to, mass transit systems.

                  What’s with the desire to isolate yourself and others so much from others in the community?

                  • alwyn

                    ” Their cars will be sitting around unused no longer than your fantasy autonomous cars”
                    Maybe, maybe not.
                    They certainly won’t be sitting round as much as a private car.
                    The difference is that there will be no driver to be paid. If they aren’t carrying anyone they aren’t costing very much other than a bit of depreciation from weather deterioration.
                    And don’t be so silly as to call them “fantasy” cars. They will be here much sooner than you think. I suppose you thought that the telephone in his shoe that Maxwell Sharp had in the TV series “Get Smart” was fantasy. Had a look at mobile phone lately?

                    “What’s with the desire to isolate yourself and others so much from others in the community?”.
                    What on earth are you talking about. Trying to pretend you are a psychologist are you? Pretending you are “superior” because you associate with the “common people”.
                    Does it make you feel superior because you can order people to drive you wherever you wish to travel.

                • It should also be a great deal smaller than a taxi and much cheaper to operate.

                  And thus eliminating most of the economic advantages that it may have (removal of the driver still remains an advantage) as part of a mass transit system.

                  And at the end of the day everyone’s going to be going to/from work all at the same time meaning that we’ll still get traffic jams.

                  And they can’t carry freight at all.

                  Like all RWNJs you’re delusional in your effort to hold on to the past.

                  • alwyn

                    “Like all RWNJs you’re delusional in your effort to hold on to the past”
                    Don’t be so silly. It is you who are being delusional.

                    As for freight. This is just a sample but have a look at these.
                    https://qz.com/656104/a-fleet-of-trucks-just-drove-themselves-across-europe/
                    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/features/autonomous-vehicles-how-safe-are-trucks-without-human-drivers-9047546.html
                    They are just samples I picked out at random.

                    A small car can carry all the freight someone usually carries. You can’t lug much freight on and off a bus can you?

                    I’m not that worried about being in a traffic jam in an autonomous vehicle. I can read a book or watch TV. I won’t have to worry about road rage from my driver will I? Autonomous vehicles can also travel much closer together than the 2 seconds separation recommended for human drivers so you can fit more on the road.

                    • They are just samples I picked out at random.

                      And which were completely meaningless to the point. Economics proves that trucks cost more.

                      A small car can carry all the freight someone usually carries. You can’t lug much freight on and off a bus can you?

                      People can, and do, carry the same on buses as they do in cars. I’ve done it myself.

                      Autonomous vehicles can also travel much closer together than the 2 seconds separation recommended for human drivers so you can fit more on the road.

                      But still nowhere near what you can do with a bus or a train.

                      I’m not that worried about being in a traffic jam in an autonomous vehicle. I can read a book or watch TV.

                      Being in a traffic jam is a waste of resources. It’s a waste of the resources to produce the car, it’s a waste of the land the road is on and a waste of the resources used to seal it. And, on top of all that, it’s a waste of your time.

                      You’re ignoring the economics to maintain your delusional belief that the future will be the same as the past when all of the evidence shows otherwise.

                • Andre

                  What’s probably the biggest obstacle to autonomous cars: when people feel anonymous, a lot of them become jerks.

                  http://spectrum.ieee.org/transportation/self-driving/the-big-problem-with-selfdriving-cars-is-people

                  • Carolyn_nth

                    yep. I drove back to Auckland yesterday, through the Dome Valley in torrential rain.

                    How would one autonomous vehicle, let alone several on the road at the same time, handle such conditions? Winding road, poor visibility, signs saying there’s lots of crashes in that area, and indicating the roads are slippery when wet – up and down hills, etc.

                    • Andre

                      To me, the engineering required to let an autonomous vehicle cope with difficult road conditions doesn’t look like the difficult part of the problem. Sensors that can “see” in infrared and microwave can help an autonomous vehicle get better at predicting road grip etc than humans.

                      That’s still sometime in the future of course, not yet. But in the noughties DARPA ran autonomous vehicle challenges in desert areas giving the vehicles just very crude maps and GPS points to go to, and there were some vehicles that were able to find the correct roads, negotiate obstacles, avoid soft sand, and generally perform better than averagely skilled humans in difficult conditions.

                      The difficult part is picking up on the subtleties of how humans are behaving to predict what they are about to do. Things like predicting that the driver just in front is about to change lanes. Humans can pick subtle cues like changes in car positioning, glimpses of driver head movements, but it’s much harder to train a machine to do the same.

                    • alwyn

                      For Carolyn
                      I hope you travelled at a safe speed. From the description you give that would be about 5kph. Don’t kid yourself that you are a better driver than the autonomous vehicles will be in a very, very few years.

                      For Andre.
                      “it’s much harder to train a machine to do the same”
                      Yes and no. The gains in AI would seem to argue against that claim. You also have the fact that once one car learns the method all the others can know it too.
                      Look at the computer that basically taught itself to play Go. That was supposedly impossible but it wasn’t.

        • gnomic 6.4.1.2

          Are you shooting for dorklord of the entire universe? This may be the greatest twaddle of all time. Why expose yourself to ridicule by spouting this pathetic drivel? Have you heard that predictions, especially about the future, are very difficult? As to the past are these the same Mustangs that blew up in flames when rear-ended? Clownhat.

    • ropata 6.5

      It’s not a left/right issue FFS. It is an artificial problem caused by National Party ideology and obsession with motorways. The CRL could have been built decades ago were it not for your Wellington pals and their determination to choke the life out of Auckland

      • greywarshark 6.5.1

        ropata
        and their determination to chokesqueeze every drop of profit and life out of Auckland by directing Auckland’s civic needs to fall into their cronies’ hands.

  7. KJT 7

    “incompetence, or cronyism, or both.”

    Of Course.

    Look where ex National MP’s get Directorships.

  8. It makes, instead, a pretty good case for incompetence, or cronyism, or both.

    I was tending towards “cronyism,” given National’s relationship with the Road Transport Association, but on reflection there’s a genuine ideological antagonism to rail transport as well, so I think you’d have to call it “both.”

  9. Marcus Morris 9

    The National Government has been in the pocket of the Road Transport lobby for decades, going back as far as the days J B Gordon. More recently another former Minister of Transport retired from Parliament to take up the position of chairman of the said lobby. It doesn’t get much more cosy than that. The situation is appalling.

  10. Brigid 10

    What is the point of elections when lobbyists control the government?

    • Stuart Munro 10.1

      To delay the building of guillotines until the current troughers retire.

    • Marcus Morris 10.2

      Have just been watching this Sundays edition of Q and A. AU academic Dr Raymond Millar has just reinforced my earlier point. The Road Transport Lobby, since its inception, has been led by a series of former Transport Ministers. He also went on to point out that the biggest transport group such as Main Freight and Toll are not members because they are companies that are integrated with rail and accept its importance. This information needs to broadcast loud and clear to all of New Zealand.

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    The pandemic has shown us how effective our public service is. They've pulled together a massive policy response, from a lockdown to economic support to healthcare to planning how to keep everything running when this is over, and done it in next to no time. They are heroes, who have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • Halfway there (maybe)
    New Zealand is now officially halfway through its first 4-week lockdown period. The good news is that it seems to be working - people staying at home has reduced the potential for the virus to spread, and we've had steadily decreasing numbers of new cases over the last few days ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • A pandemic Peter Principle.
    In 1968 Canadian sociologist Laurence Peter coined the phrase “Peter Principle” as a contribution to the sociology of organisations. It explains that in complex organizations people rise to the level of their own incompetence. That is, they get promoted so long as they meet or exceed the specified criteria for ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    17 hours ago
  • Hard News: Music is coming home
    The practice and business of music has been one of the sectors most gravely impacted by the virus sweeping the world. The emphatic nature of our government's response, necessary as it was, has slammed the industry and the people who work in it.There are New Zealand artists – Nadia Reid, ...
    18 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 14
    . . April 8: Day 14 of living in lock-down… The good news first: the downward trajectory of new cases appears to be a real thing. In the last four days, since Sunday, new infections have been dropping: Sunday: 89 new cases Monday: 67 Tuesday: 54 Today (Wednesday): 50 The ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    20 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 5: Don’t censor yourself
    The anti-fluoride movement wants to restrict your reading to “just four studies.” They actively ignore or attempt to discredit other relevant studies. Image credit: Censorship in media. For earlier articles in this series see: ...
    24 hours ago
  • “Lord, give us Democratic Socialism – but not yet!”
    Not Now, Not Ever, Never! The problem with Labour's leading activists is that there is never a good time for democratic socialism. Never. They are like Saint Augustine who prayed to the Almighty: “Lord, give me chastity and self-control – but not yet.” In the case of Labour "junior officers", however, ...
    1 day ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #14, 2020
    1 day ago
  • The Few are on the run, again, it still won’t stop reality catching up…
    We are seeing what has been termed “a greater challenge than the crash of 2008” by a growing number of economists and more rational, sane commentators, because whilst that was a shocking exposure of the levels to which hubris had sunk, right down to the blank cheque given those who ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Locked down in Jersey City
    I am a Kiwi living in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jersey City is the second-largest city in the state and is located directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan. Locals call it New York’s sixth borough. More than 350,000 New Jersey citizens, including myself, commute to New York daily ...
    2 days ago
  • Expanding houses
    It’s  a beautiful autumn afternoon, we need to get out of the house, and so our bubble sets off on a bike ride around our local neighbourhood, Cambridge Park. The bikes come out of the garage, and, being really certain we have a front door key, close the garage door ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 13
    . . April 7: Day 13 of living in lock-down… and unlucky for those who are superstitious. A day when there was a ray of sunshine from an otherwise bleak day of worrying signs. Today, as RNZ reported; Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield reported 54 new confirmed and probable cases ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A UBI in Spain
    So far, universal basic income policies, which see people given a regular income without any conditions, have been trailed only on a small scale. But now, Spain is introducing one nationwide as a response to the pandemic: Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    2 days ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The irreversible emissions of a permafrost ‘tipping point’
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr Christina Schädel Across vast swaths of the northern hemisphere’s higher reaches, frozen ground holds billions of tonnes of carbon.  As global temperatures rise, this “permafrost” land is at increasing risk of thawing out, potentially releasing its long-held carbon into the atmosphere. Abrupt permafrost ...
    2 days ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    3 days ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    3 days ago
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    3 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    4 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    4 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    6 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    1 week ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs 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 unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago