web analytics

Book review: Here on Earth – An Argument for Hope

Written By: - Date published: 10:01 am, May 21st, 2017 - 12 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, International, sustainability - Tags: , , ,

Back in March we had a book club that looked at E. F. Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if people mattered. It reminded me that a few years ago I reviewed a couple of interesting books. Since it’s been a while, perhaps no harm in reposting the first of those reviews again today.


I read a good book over the break. Here on Earth: An Argument for Hope, by Tim Flannery (author of The Weather Makers). I was immediately attracted by the subtitle. Ever since the failure of the Copenhagen summit on climate change I have been less than optimistic about our medium to long term future. So “an argument for hope” was exactly what I was looking for. Come on Tim – sell it to me…

Section 1 covers the basics of evolution, the similarity between genes and mnemes (ideas), social Darwinism (“survival of the fittest” inappropriately applied to society), the energy budget of the Earth, and other basic topics. Like the rest of the book the material is concise, informative, accessible, and presented with a light touch that is easy to read.

Flannery draws a crucial distinction between the Gaian and Medean hypotheses. The Gaia hypothesis (from a Greek goddess of the Earth) at its most abstract sees Earth as a living organism. Flannery prefers to see it as basic science, “Earth Systems Science”, as taught in many universities. The Earth is a self-regulating system, shaped (to the very crust and continents) by the interaction between physical and organic processes, and balanced so as to maintain surface conditions that are favourable towards life. In contrast the Medea hypothesis (from a Greek goddess of destruction) supposes that life is “bloody and self-destructive”, and that “species will, if left unchecked, destroy themselves by exploiting their resources to the point of ecosystem collapse”.

The contrast between the Gaian and Medean world views is a constant theme the book. One path offers hope, the other does not. For me this passage sums up the pervasive Left / Right divide in politics:

It’s often said that there are two fundamental sentiments that decide an election — hope for the future, and fear of it. If hope prevails, we’re likely to elect more generous governments and reach out to the world, but if fear prevails, we elect inward-looking nationalistic ones. Factors determining the successful spread of mnemes are clearly extremely complex, but at the broadest level it does seem that we, collectively and as individuals, gravitate towards one of these two tendencies. If we believe that we live in the dog-eat-dog world where only the fittest survive, we are likely to propagate very different mnemes from those that arise from an understanding of the fundamental interconnectedness of things. In large part, our future as a species will be determined by which these mnemes prevails.

Section 2 of the book covers early human history and the impact of our arrival as we spread out of Africa. Everywhere we went we reshaped our environment, laying waste to forests and eliminating many species of animal life. Flannery finds a few small seeds of hope, pointing to some traditions and cultures that preserved or balanced at least part of their environments. But on the whole the record is bleak.

Section 3 explores the concept of “superorganisms” – species collectives that are capable of far more complex and powerful behaviours than any individual of the species. Ants, termites and other social insects are the classic example, and Flannery asks if evolution is driving us in a similar direction. Both genetic and social factors combine to produce “superorganismic glue” that binds such collectives together. Flannery identifies the birth of agriculture as the catalyst for the human superorganism, and outlines the historical interactions between the five human superorganisms (emerging from the five locations around the globe where agriculture was independently developed).

Section 4 is a profoundly depressing read. It covers the destruction wrought upon the environment by our rapidly developing technology. The effects of oil and coal extraction. Radiation. Pesticides and poisons. PCBs. Heavy metals. The accumulation of toxins in the food chain. Ozone depletion. Some of these were at least somewhat controlled by international action, but only after huge damage was done. This section finishes with an overview of climate change:

One of the most worrying aspects of the new [IPCC] report is confirmation that we had ample warning but did not respond. From the decline in the shell thickness of microscopic plankton in the Arctic Ocean to acidification of the seas, through to a rise in sea level and increasing land and air temperatures observed two 2009, scientists predicted what was going to happen, even if they underestimated the speed of change. And the scientists’ predictions for the future are grim. If we continue as we are for a few more decades, experts such as James Hansen believe that we are likely to trigger a shift to an ice-free earth, which will eventually raise sea levels by tens of metres.

Section 5 turns to “the human superorganism as it exists today”. Mnemes, our beliefs, are very powerful, in some cases trumping genetic factors, leading to for example a decline in population growth in many countries. Flannery identifies an important factor of our psychological makeup, “discounting the future”, the near universal tendency to value short term gain over the (possibly much more significant) long term consequences. Homicide rates, for example, are by far the highest in populations of young men who perceive themselves as having nothing to lose. “Generally, the less security we have, the more we discount our futures”. This leads to some challenging conclusions:

The tendency to discount the future helps explain why people sometimes act to destroy their environment, whether by cutting down rainforests, continuing to pollute the atmosphere , or destroying biodiversity. And people without prospects are created in a number of ways — through grinding poverty, through greatly unequal societies and through war, famine or other misfortunes. If you’re concerned about our future, it’s not just desirable that we eradicate poverty in the developing world, create a more equal societies and never let ourselves fight another war; it’s imperative, for the discount factor tells us that failure to do so may cost us the earth.

It’s clear that the affluent will need to reduce their consumption and and to manage their expectations if they hope to protect their futures. But if raising the standard of living of the poor is challenging, reducing the consumption of resources by the rich is a far more difficult task. One way it might become more achievable is to propagate the right mnemes just as we have propagated the anti-smoking mneme. If we decry excessive consumption wherever we see it, whether in four-wheel drives on city roads or in oversized and energy-hungry houses, we may succeed. But this takes courage and individual action. All too often, when I see such things and want to say something, I remain silent for fear of social embarrassment.

Before anyone writes this off as a Leftie treatise, there is plenty here for the Right to support too. “Markets are essential to society’s prosperity and dynamism”, although Flannery argues that they must be much better regulated. And property rights are seen as the key:

The growth of democracy is vital to a sustainable future. It alone can provide security, and secure rights, such as property rights to the individual, which ensure that most have ‘something to lose’ and so will not steeply discount their futures.

The last three chapters of this section present what seem to be the three pillars of Flannery’s argument for hope. Chapter 20 – “A New Tool Kit” – reviews technologies such as smart power grids, intelligent electric cars, and the impact of technology on agriculture. Chapter 21 – “Governance” – pins its hopes on democracy, but argues for reform to limit the control of the powerful few. We are bad at managing the global commons, and Flannery calls for more individual action (amplified and enabled by the web) such as Greenpeace opposing whaling in the Southern Oceans. Chapter 22 – “Restoring the Life-force” looks at ways of expanding Earth’s biocapacity and halting the inexorable growth of atmospheric carbon. Tropical rain forests are key, and the destruction must be reversed. Sustainable farming techniques and new methods for agricultural carbon capture could also have a significant impact.

The final chapter draws the threads together. For me the following (lengthy) extract captures the essence of the book:

If we take too small a view of what we are, and of our world, we will fail to reach our full potential. Instead we need a holistic, Wallacean understanding of how things are here on Earth, with its illumination of how ecosystems, superorganisms and Gaia itself have been built through mutual interdependency. In this light it is absolutely clear that our future prosperity can be secured only by giving something away. But for the brief moment that is the early twenty-first century we strange forked creatures are perilously suspended between Medean and Gaian fates. Beckoning us towards destruction are our numbers, our dismantling of Earth’s life-support system and especially out inability to unite in action to secure our common wealth.

Yet we should take solace from the fact that, from the very beginning, we have loved one another and lived in company thereby, through giving up much, forging the greatest power on Earth. These simple traits have allowed the weakest of us collectively to triumph, to establish agriculture, businesses and democracy in the face of opposition sometimes so formidable as to make success look impossible. We have hated and fought too, but all the while villages have grown into towns, and towns into mega-cities, until at last a global superorganism has been formed. And today we understand ourselves, our societies and our world far better than ever before, and are uniquely empowered to shape our ends, to rough-hew them as natural selection will.

… [It is possible] that we will use our intelligence to avert catastrophe and secure a sustainable future. We now have most of the tools required to do this and, after ten thousand years of building ever larger political units, we stand just a few steps away from the global cooperation required. But do we have it in us to take those last steps? Between our evolved genes and our social structures, are we constituted so as to cooperate at a global level?

Well, thanks if you hung in there and read all that. Flannery’s book is a challenging and informative read. But in the end, is it a convincing argument for hope? Has it convinced you?

12 comments on “Book review: Here on Earth – An Argument for Hope ”

  1. I’m already convinced. Mr Flannery’s explorations are thorough and intense and quite different from the poetic works that influence me the most, but the tenor of what he finds is akin to my own feelings. I met Tim Flannery a few years ago, in Invercargill outside of a hall in which he was to speak about his then-new book, “The Future Eaters” – we were both a little late, and enjoyed a light-hearted chat about the concept that we humans consume our world. You’ve written a very comprehensive commentary on his latest book, Anthony; your article reads very well and I enjoyed it very much.

  2. Bill 2

    Gaia versus and Medea – five great extinctions and all driven by a Gaia that’s supposedly a self-regulating system, shaped (to the very crust and continents) by the interaction between physical and organic processes, and balanced so as to maintain surface conditions that are favourable towards life

    So no. Certainly not convinced on that front. Not to say I buy into ideas about Medea either. There’s shit. Shit happens. Sometimes good shit. Sometimes bad shit. That’s life. (For the couple of billion years left for life here anyway)

    The left/right divide – we do live in a ‘dog eat dog’ world. And while some hope to be successful in that world, others hope for something different. So is it so far ‘out there’ to suggest that one persons fear is another persons hope? I think not. But just that simple admission tumbles his neat divide.

    Skipping section 2.

    Section 3. Evolution isn’t a thing with a motive (like I say, there’s shit, shit happens…) Holding that evolution can ‘drive’ anything and have some end goal ‘in mind’ as it were , is a straightforward projection of a liberal world view – y’know, the one that gave us colonisation, capitalism and all that other good stuff that paves the road to some nirvana at the end of ‘progress’. (How’s that working out btw?)

    So no, not convinced.

    Section 4. Nothing needs saying.

    Section 5. “Discounting the future” would suggest that a young person committing suicide because they perceive no point in living, would not in fact commit suicide, because their natural inclination would be to ignore the dismal and hopeless long term view they have.

    It also doesn’t explain why people trash environments. Profit motive and a fear of destitution explains that tendency far better. Plenty of cultures did not willfully destroy their environments. But then, it seems Flannery is somewhat keen on the notion of ‘the market’, it being apparently essential to society’s prosperity and dynamism. Bollocks, say I…and probably best if I just say nothing on his view of ‘property rights’. 😉

    Chapter 21. If you have democracy, you’ve already solved the problem of powerful elites. So I’ve no idea what Flannery’s thinks democracy might be – a dog eat dog world of competing interests kept in check by the general dogginess of it all?

    Chapter 22. We want to halt a rise in CO2 levels, then we stop burning fossil. That’s it. That’s all it is. Can’t get much simpler.

    Final chapter. Well, if ever there was a rosy spectacled rant…I actually find it quite disturbing and dishonest. The weakest have not collectively triumphed – look at the world! On ‘business’ I fully support the spirit and legacy of the Luddites – away! with your business and its enslavement – quite happy producing in this small scale and empowering way, thankyou 😉

    And how does globalisation and intense urbanisation (his ‘superorganism’) mean that we understand ourselves, our societies and our world far better than ever before, and are uniquely empowered to shape our ends, to rough-hew them as natural selection will.?

    We understand no better than a cave person did (possibly less) – we’ve lost our power before huge concentrations of power and wealth etc (on the cusp of co-operation my arse!) – and, importantly, if Gaia is a “self regulating system” that’s “favourable towards life”, then what in the name of hell is this nonsense about “shaping our ends”? That makes zero sense given his belief in some benevolent Gaia.

    Back to the trees or grass lands with you Mr Flannery! Take your “intelligent electric car” with you, set a direction and progress away why don’t you?

    It was a good read Anthony, but a very bad story-line. 😉

    • weka 2.1

      Evolution isn’t a thing with a motive (like I say, there’s shit, shit happens…) Holding that evolution can ‘drive’ anything and have some end goal ‘in mind’ as it were , is a straightforward projection of a liberal world view – y’know, the one that gave us colonisation, capitalism and all that other good stuff that paves the road to some nirvana at the end of ‘progress’.

      I don’t think that’s how Flannery is using the concept. Rob said,

      “Ants, termites and other social insects are the classic example, and Flannery asks if evolution is driving us in a similar direction. Both genetic and social factors combine to produce “superorganismic glue” that binds such collectives together.”

      The ‘driving’ there is the ongoing process of evolution. You and I can’t choose to change our eye colour or pass a different eye colour onto subsequent generations. In that sense evolution ‘drives’ those things. It’s not driving in the sense of humans consciously making choices due to motives (e.g. capitalism and ‘progress’), it’s the natural consequence of the way ecology works i.e. survival of those organisms (and traits) that best fit in the environment they are in. The driving is being done by the systems in play that we don’t get to control.

      The problem I have with Flannery’s idea (not having read the book), is that memes are given such high value. They may have that much influence, but I’m not entirely convinced (and look where social Darwinism gets us). I suspect that the underlying glue is still basic survival drives and that humans, having evolved in groups not individuals, are now trying to adapt to some pretty aberrant conditions.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        I don’t think that’s how Flannery is using the concept

        Aye. Fair point. Seems I was still annoyed at the Gaia thing at that point. Should have read it twice. His ‘superorganism’ thing is…yeah, nah.

        Like you say (to paraphrase), we’re essentially social animals given to co-operation, who now find ourselves essentially locked into socio/economic/political environments that atomise us, that favour and reward the interaction of the individual at the systems level – and that comes at the direct expense of enjoying the fruits of co-operation.

        Unless you were meaning the “aberrant conditions’ to be referring to stuff like AGW and the other multiple effects we’ve unleashed (essentially pollutions and destructions) through living by or under those socio/economic/political conditions? 😉

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          No, the first one, by aberrant conditions I meant late stage capitalism etc 🙂 Although I also think that climate change, nuclear winter, etc are problems we aren’t evolutionarily able to deal with well. No societies or tribes have had to deal with the absoluteness and scale of those problems. So in addition to capitalism there is the whole cognitive dissonance thing. Makes it very complex.

          It is interesting to think about it in terms of evolution though. We are social group animals, so what’s the adaptation process going on when the (social) environment is changed so much and this way? Voting strong state-centrist apparently 😉 There I think it is people taken out of the tribe and reflexively operating from survival need. What is the most safe thing, not from an intellectual perspective but from a more primal brain perspective?

          • Bill 2.1.1.1.1

            …so what’s the adaptation process going on when the (social) environment is changed so much and this way?

            For my money, a rising incidence of screwed up behaviours and generally deteriorating states of mental health. That’s our adaptation. It’s a natural reaction, or set of natural reactions to our environments.

            I think it’s worth remembering that we didn’t all just willfully trot along into this state of affairs. It was imposed, often with great levels of violence.

            Maybe if we remembered that and rediscovered our outrage, our right to rebel and say no…

      • Incognito 2.1.2

        Hi weka,

        Jung introduced the concept of the collective unconscious – to him it was more than a concept. Teilhard de Chardin came up with idea of the Noosphere. Bergson introduced élan vital. Others have different names for it but I believe that all these ideas (and faiths) circle around a core truth. As long as we humans have been thinking and verbalising our thoughts the same theme has reoccurred, time after time. So, what is all this telling us?

        I think that consciousness and evolution are inextricably linked; this adds another dimension to our ecological paradigms that are limited to what is sometimes called the Biosphere.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1

          Collective unconscious or genetic memory? This is how it may work.

          It is high time public health researchers took human transgenerational responses seriously.

          Prof. Marcus Pembrey.

  3. weka 3

    I also enjoyed this and am glad you posted it r0b. Very good read.

    For me hope is something that one chooses to engage in oneself. So that even in the darkest hour there is a path of integrity and honour and respect and thus a willingness to do the right thing. But I get that people need external examples to give them hope.

    The other issue reading that brought up is what people consider a disaster. For me mass destruction of ecosystems is the frightening possibility because humans are directly dependent on the environment even where we feel we are separate.

    The end of human civilisation worries me less because we are smart enough and have the resources to do that in a good way *were we to so choose. In that sense I am not convinced by the superorganism thing, or at least about the potential for global governance if that is where Flannery is going. Old hippy that I am, it’s still think global, act local.

    I also appreciated the bit about survival fear amongst the well off. This is something I am thinking through currently and considering that it is the main driving force behind the aware middle classes for not changing re CC. We could take a big drop in standard of living and still be ok, so what is stopping us?

    • r0b 3.1

      Thanks weka, and all.

      Yeah Bill I don’t think Flannery sells hope convincingly either. I was really hoping that someone could convince me that he does…

  4. 808state 4

    The theme of two competing world views – Medea and Gaia/Earth Systems – is interesting and compelling.

    Yes it is a convincing argument for hope, as far as it describes one realistic call to action that ensures our species survival.

    As for the planet system itself, I don’t think we have to worry t o much about it, it will keep chugging along no matter what humans get up to.

    At one point the entire planet turned into an ice ball, once it defrosted, I guess all the plant seeds germinated and evolution kept going.

    Ok its sad from a subjective point of view when all those species start disappearing, but apparently circa 99% of species that have ever existed are now extinct – so nothing is forever anyway.

    Worse case scenario, human civilization collapses, but pockets of it will be ok.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Bringing back the health of Hauraki Gulf
    New marine protection areas and restrictions on fishing are among a raft of changes being put in place to protect the Hauraki Gulf for future generations. The new strategy, Revitalising the Gulf – Government action on the Sea Change Plan, released today, draws on input from mana whenua, local communities, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Speech to AI Forum – Autonomous Weapons Systems
    AI Forum New Zealand, Auckland Good evening and thank you so much for joining me this evening. I’d like to start with a thank you to the AI Forum Executive for getting this event off the ground and for all their work and support to date. The prospect of autonomous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • New Zealand boosts support to Fiji for COVID-19 impact
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing additional support to Fiji to mitigate the effects of the current COVID-19 outbreak on vulnerable households, Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “Recognising the increasingly challenging situation in Fiji, Aotearoa will provide an additional package of assistance to support the Government of Fiji and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Round 2 of successful energy education fund now open
    $1.65 million available in Support for Energy Education in Communities funding round two Insights from SEEC to inform future energy hardship programmes Community organisations that can deliver energy education to households in need are being invited to apply for the second funding round of the Support for Energy Education in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New Ngarimu scholarships to target vocational training
    Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis today announced three new scholarships for students in vocational education and training (VET) are to be added to the suite of prestigious Ngarimu scholarships. “VET learners have less access to study support than university students and this is a way to tautoko their learning dreams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Recognising the volunteers who support our health system
    Nominations have opened today for the 2021 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards, as part of National Volunteer Week. “We know that New Zealanders donate at least 159 million hours of volunteer labour every year,” Minister of Health Andrew Little said in launching this year’s awards in Wellington. “These people play ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Drug Free Sport supported to deal with new doping challenges
    Drug Free Sport New Zealand will receive a funding boost to respond to some of the emerging doping challenges across international sport. The additional $4.3 million over three years comes from the Sport Recovery Fund announced last year. It will help DFSNZ improve athletes’ understanding of the risks of doping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Government support for South Auckland community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to support Auckland communities impacted by the Papatoetoe tornado, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. “My heart goes out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one, and to those who have been injured. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day
    World Refugee Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the proud record New Zealanders have supporting and protecting refugees and acknowledge the contribution these new New Zealanders make to our country, the Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said. “World Refugee Day is also a chance to think about the journey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • First period products delivered to schools
    The first period products funded as part of the Government’s nationwide rollout are being delivered to schools and kura this week, as part of wider efforts to combat child poverty, help increase school attendance, and make a positive impact on children’s wellbeing. “We know that nearly 95,000 9-to-18 year olds ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago