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Christchurch four years on

Written By: - Date published: 12:41 pm, February 22nd, 2015 - 42 comments
Categories: disaster - Tags: ,

It will soon be four years to the minute since the most destructive and deadly Canterbury / Christchurch earthquake. Condolences to the friends and families of the dead. Greetings to all who lived through it and remember.

As far as I know none of The Standard authors live in Christchurch, so instead you get me. I grew up there. We (my family) were there visiting my parents when the first 7.1 quake hit on the morning of Sept 4th 2010. I was not there for the February quake, but my wife and I arrived the next morning with a trailer full of water, roofing and building supplies. We spent the following week at my parents trying to clean up and make the damaged house secure, caring for my mother (who was injured and trapped under fallen furniture), living through the aftershocks, sleeping in the car, and crapping in a hole in the back garden. When we got back to Dunedin the world seemed utterly surreal.

Over the last four years we’ve been vicariously living through my parents’ struggles with insurance and EQC. I could write a very long, very angry post about that – the insanity and inefficiency the process. And yet, within it, a few wonderful individuals who are really trying to help (our thanks to them). My parents are nearing the end of this process, other relatives in Christchurch have yet to begin their repairs. The quakes have changed our lives forever.

There has been plenty written on the madness of the Christchurch rebuild. I follow the blog Rebuilding Christchurch, see for example The best and worst of the Rebuild in 2014:

In the last year, there have been a number of projects which have been celebrated as the “best thing to happen since the quakes”. The cricket oval and the Isaac Theatre Royal are two examples that spring to mind. These are good things, no doubt. But they also speak volumes about who the rebuild is serving. Cricket and opera are two of the most rich, white people pursuits on the face of the planet. Everyone living in Christchurch has had a rough time in the last few years, including the rich white people. If they feel like it’s time to put the rebuild behind them, to enjoy the cricket and the ballet, that’s great. But there’s a danger in forgetting that as the north and west of the city move into a post-rebuild phase, some parts of the city have barely been touched. If you go out to New Brighton, you’d be forgiven for thinking the quakes were 4 weeks ago, not 4 years ago. As we approach the anniversary, prepare for the government to tell us that we’re moving on, that the hard work has been done. Prepare for many, many people to agree with them. But also spare a thought for the people who rarely have a voice, the mute underclass of National’s burgeoning have-nots.

There are many other blogs and resources. Apparently the documentary When a City Falls is on Maori TV tonight at 8.30 (ht trp in comments).

Final word to someone who really was there – ex Press reporter Olivia Carville. The most moving thing I have read on the Christchurch quakes, it brought tears to my eyes. No extracts, go read the whole thing: Christchurch: My first quake anniversary away from home.

42 comments on “Christchurch four years on ”

  1. Visited my mates in Aranui/Shirley/New Brighton in January. Got lost because whole suburbs are missing (Avonside,Burwood) and roads cut off. It’s taken 4 years but finally Pages Road is getting fixed up (the main road to New Brighton).

    I’m glad about the Hagley cricket oval “good news”, but sad about the people left out of National’s glorious plans and left behind by CERA and insurance companies.

    • millsy 1.1

      …not to mention those who have been priced out of rental acommodation in Christchurch.

    • greywarshark 1.2

      I can remember there was some contention in Oz about housing around the 70’s and a spoof spokeswoman was named to be the butt of frustrated criticism by the name of Gloria Somes.

  2. cronezone 2

    It is always so easy to pick when a commentator doesn’t come from ChCh. I live there, I am living through this and we are making steady progress. Many of those still not sorted are the carpers and moaners that are demaanding their old broken down shacks are replaced with million dollar mansions. Our biggest handbrake is Lianne Dalziel. Everything must first go out to her consultant mates in Wellington before any decision is made. Everything has been put on hold since she got the Mayoralty.

    • r0b 2.1

      I am living through this and we are making steady progress.

      So happy for you.

    • Colonial Rawshark 2.2

      I notice that cronezone:

      1) Starts with comment that Christchurch is making “steady progress.”
      2) But follows with the comment – since Dalziel “everything has been put on hold.”
      3) Sidelines everyone else with “Many of those still not sorted are the carpers and moaners”

      In other words, no idea, no empathy and gives the National Government a big pass mark.

    • greywarshark 2.3

      oh cronezone
      That is very good satire. It’s just the sort of thing that some daft bugger talking down the real problems driving many people round the bend would write. That know it all, smug self satisfied tone is well done and so is the curling lip at those who persist on breaking through the safety tape around the bones of contention which are marked move along nothing to see here. If they don’t keep agitating, by the time they are granted an audience with somone who has some authority to expedite it will be their bones there.

      A group of six old women (I’m not being ageist, it is a factual description – for the benefit of Super-sensitive Woman) interviewed in March 2014 agreed that it seemed that EQC were ‘waiting for us to die’. They were all over 80 years and were waiting for something to be done for them hoping it would be soon as they had been assessed three years earlier, and then got advised that their homes would need to be reassessed again.

      It’s that sort of thing and delays that happened because contractors isolated and worked on one aspect of their duties in a block, instead of attempting to have a stream of finalised claims going through, that have stirred and shaken the residents long after the earthquake.


      You’ve got to accentuate the positive (by Johnny Mercer)
      Eliminate the negative
      And latch on to the affirmative
      Don’t mess with Mister In-Between (ie get through to EQC)

      And those bones of contention –

      edited

    • Paul 2.4

      Which part of Christchurch do you live in?
      Do you own rental properties?

      You don’t appear to have a lot of empathy for those whose houses were destroyed or badly damaged or have been waiting for the insurance companies to pay up.

    • Unicus 2.5

      I spent significant time in Christchurch after the quake – I also experienced it . Many letters were published in “The Press” an ugly theme soon developed emanating from writers from affluent western suburbs where damage to property was virtually non-existent . directed at the destroyed communities of their fellow citizens in eastern Christchurch . That correspondence vividly illustrated the repugnant recesses of the tory psyche – prejudice fear bigotry and classicism – the very instincts the National Party relies apron to remain in office

      That theme followed the same sickening drone evident in your post – That somehow the destroyed communities in eastern Christchurch got what they deserved . At the time I believed it was simply people reacting out of distress but it soon became clear that it was a pattern of prejudice widely held among residents west of the city . It was shameful at the time but four years on to express such a view is despicable .

      In the earthquake the people of eastern Christchurch not only lost their homes they lost their world . Work places schools clubs churches friends neighbors everything which provided their sense of belonging was destroyed . To then be the target of vitriol and insult from the self satisfied petty-bourgeoisie of Fendalton was devastating .

      In an almost instant response lightly damaged property west of the city was repaired first .Homes re- painted pools re-tiled and driveways re sealed mostly within two years . There is no doubt CERA – stacked as it is with National Party insiders – prioritised its response to National Party voters .

      When the story of Christchurch is finally told this governments cynical and cruel response to the needs of medium income people after the quake will be recognized as it should be – one of the darkest stains on our country’s history

      • ropata 2.5.1

        +1 very well said

        • greywarshark 2.5.1.1

          I noted that they seemed to be tackling the easier and often unimportant things first in Chch west, and that the hard job of the East proceeded more slowly because there were more complex problems and greater numbers overall. They needed 90$ of the funding and action but may have averaged out at 60% say.

  3. This song captures the positive vibe of people living through the rebuild. A nice counterpoint to the grim memories.
    Christchurch City (My Hometown)

  4. Rob 4

    Crone zone you are not the only person living in Christchurch
    I would say the recovery will take all of 25 or more years
    The forecasts of recovery have been so overrated
    That reality is slowly dawning
    However of $45B that may be spent our govt will collect at least $15B from that
    Think on it.

    • Paul 4.1

      Looks like crone zone was a hit and run commentator.

      • Puddleglum 4.1.1

        I found cronezone’s comment quite bizarre. It doesn’t relate to anything I’ve observed.

        Whiners who want shacks replaced with mansions? This is a very odd claim.

        And the outburst against the current Council is not remotely an objective assessment so far as I can tell.

  5. Thanks for the post Anthony.

    There are so many stories of drawn out hardship that will never be known beyond friends and family. There have been winners – many people I know, for example, have bought up very cheap TC3 houses (which are on the worst land classification) and rented them out at the current ‘market rate’. Those I know who are doing that are young to middle aged, middle class people with the wherewithal to take advantage of the opportunity.

    Others have rented out their existing rentals (e.g., very modest family homes in very ‘modest’ suburbs) to the rebuild workers on a room by room basis for higher rates than they would be able to get from any family. Tradies have done very well but all of those I’ve spoken to have mentioned the epidemic of cowboys doing shoddy work here.

    My sister finally received the EQC decision for her house just before Christmas. She was lucky to have a well known local businessman acting for her in the last year or so. EQC finally said her claim was ‘over cap’ which now means she starts the negotiations from scratch with her insurer. I don’t know how long that will take.

    The central city plan has been fraught with problems. Delays, changing goalposts, disappointing levels of investor interest have dogged it. Much of the centre remains utterly featureless – empty sections and the ubiquitous Wilson’s rough and ready car parks. I have no idea how much longer it will take to see anything approaching a contiguous central city emerging. Maybe a further 5-10 years?

    Roads remain sites of constant upheaval and many are extremely rough even after being dug up numerous times. They haven’t been ‘smoothed’ presumably because more underground work still needs doing.

    It is often said that humans are very adaptive. They are but what is usually not added to that observation is that adaptation to adverse events carries a physical and psychological cost. (There’s no such thing as a ‘free lunch’ even with the much vaunted capacity for ‘resilience’ and adaptability.) Levels of stress and mental ill health since the quakes are now higher than prequake levels.

    I’m not sure what picture of the ‘recovery’ is being presented to other New Zealanders but this has been a hard place to live in the last four years even for someone like me whose 100 year old little workers cottage just shook itself in February 2011 then stopped shaking without seeming to have been damaged. (It’s wooden, sits close to the ground and probably just has paint cans filled with concrete for piles – I can’t see under it .)

    That has meant I’ve had no EQC or insurers to deal with.

    • CERA had way too much power and precious heritage sites (and even boring old buildings) that were part of the fabric of the lovely old city were torn down with indecent haste, essentially looted by demo companies with dollar signs in their eyes. There are so many heart breaking stories of precious things that could have been retrieved with minimal risk. People lost their livelihoods and life’s work with no recourse to even rescue a few dregs. I hope there is an inquiry into CERA’s orgy of destruction that was worse than the original quakes.

      • Once was Tim 5.1.1

        +1
        But you might recall that was always Gerry’s intention (i.e. to completely level and start again)
        I’m not sure why in some instances, damaged structures could not have been taken down to a safe height, and then rebuilt (or not) using at least some of the structure in the rebuilds. (Rome has some attractive ruins – history is retained).
        We all know ChCH will never be the same but it’s no longer a place I can feel is home.

        I’m also still unclear as to why simple land swaps could not have been done . That is council/government land for land deemed unsuitable/unsafe to rebuild with insurance simply picking up the tab for rebuild/relocation of structure.
        All that shit about the inadequate compensation could have been avoided in many cases. Can anyone explain why not to me? (serious question – maybe I’m being naive but it just strikes me that after the Queensland floods, an entire town was relocated without all the insurance buggerisations that have gone on in ChCh)

        • Once was Tim 5.1.1.1

          ….. oh yes, then the missed opportunities – such as incorporating rail closer to the city. There are already corridors out north, south and west that could be made greater use of for the future. I understand some have recognised the potential somewhat belatedly (north to Rangiora, etc.) but it took a while. They should be thinking about City to airport (perhaps a loop); City to Lytteton; City to Rolleston (and beyond); etc.

          • ropata:rorschach 5.1.1.1.1

            After WW2 the Germans rebuilt many important buildings in Dresden back to their original splendour. But Christchurch wasn’t firebombed by a relentless war machine, it was ripped apart from within and King Gerry couldn’t be bothered trying to put it together again.

            • greywarshark 5.1.1.1.1.1

              King Gerry couldn’t be bothered trying to put it together again. Sounds like, looks like Humpty Dumpty.

        • Brendon Harre 5.1.1.2

          Re; “I’m also still unclear as to why simple land swaps could not have been done . That is council/government land for land deemed unsuitable/unsafe to rebuild with insurance simply picking up the tab for rebuild/relocation of structure.
          All that shit about the inadequate compensation could have been avoided in many cases. Can anyone explain why not to me?”

          There is no reason not to do this, the creation of a new urban area is 90% done by local or central government actions. I think the reason Brownlee and co didn’t do this is it would have exposed the neoliberal BS that free markets are the solution and governments are the problem. Also house and rents would not have gone up some much for all those NatZ voters.

        • Unicus 5.1.1.3

          First tenet of disaster capitalism – the big easy money is made cleaning up the mess . In New Orleans demo contractors were paid per sq cube of rubble – or anything else they and their bosses could get their grimy hands on – no room for salvage there .

          Given that Key didn’t have a clue how to deal with this situation its a fairly safe bet the Americans were immediately asked to “advise” on how to manage it . From the first day of military occupation till the last load of dust the Christchurch “clean up ” replicates New Orleans to the letter – including its unprecedented levels of corruption .

      • greywarshark 5.1.2

        @ ropata rorschach
        I feel for people who have lost irreplaceable things that could have been recovered. Houses abandoned because they had insurance payouts, where goods had to be left yet were not going to be used or wanted by anyone. A safety first approach that resulted in immobility being the order of the day, so no-one took charge and was given responsibility to co-ordinate recovery of wanted goods where possible.

        It has been an eye opener watching how corporate-think operates when people lose their autonomy and are just pawns in the maw of a machine that ignores them and looks over their heads to distant plans and opportunities.

    • r0b 5.2

      Cheers Puddleglum. Glad to hear about your place, and best of luck to your sister.

      adaptation to adverse events carries a physical and psychological cost

      Yes, perfectly put. That cost will never be known or acknowledged.

  6. Here’s an article by one “John McCrone” that asserts that CERA and the CCDU should have just forced the Christchurch council to comply with directives from the Beehive. I am guessing he doesn’t pay rates???
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/9805314/Christchurch-rebuild-A-city-stalled

    Some people don’t believe in democracy.

    • Paul 6.1

      Maybe the same ‘crone zone.’

    • I think Mc crone is a good journalist.

      He has done numerous features in the Mainland section of the Weekend Press over the past few years. He always presents a thoughtful analysis that goes beyond the usual reporting on an issue.

      I first came across his writing when I was in the UK in 1997. I read a popular science book by him that laid out the, then, new approach to the mind as a social, neurologically embedded process. He used the work of people like Rom Harre of Oxford University (from Auckland originally and, I think, relative of Laila and Nikki Harre).

      What impressed me was that he seemed to really understand the approach and ‘get’ the inherent sociality of the mind that it assumes.

      I remembered his name from that book and then was surprised to find him writing feature articles in my local newspaper. (And, yes, it’s the same person.)

      While I have no idea what his politics are I’d be very surprised if he was an unreconstructed neoliberal.

  7. Venezia 7

    Have just watched “When a city falls” again on Maori TV. Gerard Smythe who made it, points out that people from the wealthier suburbs who were able to leave the city soon after the 22 February quake did so in large numbers. Those in the hardest hit lower income eastern suburbs did not have that choice and have had to ride it out as best they can. My own observations four years down the track are similar to the points made in this article. There is still significant stress for those who may be called resilient, but have had few choices in the rebuild/repair/ recovery process. If you can afford to engage lawyers to advance your claims, you get the outcome you want. The poorer majority have to wait and hope. The government focus has been on helping the business community to get the CBD back on its feet and the developers of the new housing suburbs to fasttrack their interests. The residential rebuild/repair is far from satisfactory for many, and there will be books written about the antics of the EQC and insurance companies blocking and delaying and denying residents their rightful compensation which they did after all pay for over many years through their insurance. Vested interests have had a field day on the backs of ordinary citizens of Christchurch.

    • Do a search for “disaster capitalism in Christchurch“; there are tons of results.

      Books have already been written; see “The Christchurch Fiasco” by Sarah Miles.

      The slow and confused recovery phase led me to examine the insurance industry, locally and globally. This has revealed a clear pattern of corporate greed at the expense of citizens and has shown that the profit-driven model of private insurance can, and very often does, fail those who have paid-up policies based on “good faith” responses that are their due. This is not a book about idealistic sociological concepts, but a revelation of actual Government administrative failure and financial risk-taking, in concert with corporate malfeasance.

      The opportunistic behaviour of the insurance companies together with the lack of transparency and integrity within these corporations, is compounded by the failure of corporate watch-dogs, such as government, the legal system and regulators, all of whom have failed to protect the public interest after the recent events. In the background, behind closed doors, are the strategic alliances and the networked relationships between Government, corporates, professionals and other major stakeholders with the object of profit.

      Endorsed by Garry Moore, Lianne Dalziel, and other luminaries.

    • Some stories on Christchurch Voices
      https://vimeo.com/55396555 Rev. Mike Coleman on Sarah Miles’ hard-hitting book
      https://vimeo.com/50825539 Garry Moore on CERA
      https://vimeo.com/91353214 Adrian Cowie on cheapo repairs and skinflint insurers

  8. Some excellent blog posts from the quake anniversary:
    http://publicaddress.net/speaker/stuck-inside-the-great-disruption/
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/blogs/chez-cecile/11221639/This-ghost-town-could-be-great

    James Dann is most eloquent in “No City to Love“:

    None of the positive connotations we associate with a metropolis – vibrancy, change, bustle, convenience, choice, innovation – can be found here at the moment. While in the time after the quakes, cities such as Melbourne were frequently mentioned as to what Christchurch could be; those sort of calls aren’t heard any more. Sadly, future Christchurch is more likely to look like a Turbo Timaru or a Hefty Hamilton – a rural service town on steroids. It’s not what the people asked for in Share an Idea, but it’s what we’re getting. While the central city is bogged down with grand government visions (and their nonsensical attempt to prop-up property prices), the suburbs haven’t looked backwards.

    A couple of months after the big quake, there was a daft “Love Christchurch” advertising campaign. Four years on and sadly, there is no city to love. Christchurch is a collection of a mega malls and their feeder suburbs, with a better-than-average rugby team. There is no better symbol for the neglect the government has paid to the central city than their treatment of the Cathedral and the Town Hall – buildings of religious and civic togetherness respectively, which the authorities would happily see wiped off the street maps of any future city. I’d love to see a vibrant, bustling, liveable central city – but after 4 years, it has become clear that that won’t be happening in this city under this government.

  9. Paul 9

    The Herald says we should plug the gap in Insurance…after 4 years
    Better still nationalise the insurance industry
    And deal to the media in this country.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11406133

  10. Dorothy 10

    to @cronezone
    Disingenuous comment.
    Why did you say I live there ? instead of I live here in Christchurch,
    was it a slip up ? I think you are a troll.

  11. exStatic 11

    As a Christchurch resident I have something to say on this……
    “Insurance is a bloody good industry – until there’s a claim!”

  12. Brendon Harre 12

    As someone who fortunately missed the earthquakes but has lived inside the 4 Aves and is currently living in North Canterbury and commutes to work in a Christchurch hospital I would say the mistake that Brownlee, Key, CERA and co made is they have no clear concept of where the public sphere ends and private sphere starts.

    The paucity of neoliberal theory has given them no conceptual idea of how to plan a mixed economy of public and private enterprise. So when the earthquakes destroyed the Christchurch ‘market’ they didn’t know what to do. This resulted in some instinctive authoritarian National party DNA reasserting itself, something that would not be out of place in the 1950s or Muldoon’s period.

    National needed someone like Bertaud (former head planner for the World Bank who did a speaking tour of NZ last year) giving clear advice on the importance of planning without mission creep.

    The government should have concentrated on getting the publicly provided networks up and running -the roads, the public transport systems and the underground horizontal infrastructure -the three waters -sewerage, fresh and storm. Plus repairing or replacing damaged government buildings, maybe assisting in getting a few key historic/cultural buildings repaired like the Cathedral.

    They should have left everything else to the owners and the marketplace. They should have taken their regulatory role between the insurance companies and claimants more seriously. CERA should have been an agency that instead of adding another hurdle between the private sphere getting on with it, should have simplified the regulatory requirements between CCC and the CBD developers.

    All this BS about anchor projects being needed to give confidence and attract business/people back has been proven WRONG.

    Where are the anchor projects in fast growing Addington and Victoria St? These areas are booming because they are outside of CERA’s control and despite lacking government provided convention centres, stadiums… not because of them.

    New Zealand needs to realise that on both sides of our political spectrum we are dominated by conservative authoritarian politicians who instinctively want to take control. What we actually need is humble politicians who know their place, at the end of the day, after they have put in place institutions and rules they need to realise when to hand power over to us -the people.

  13. greywarshark 13

    @ Brendan Harre
    Yep. This bit resonates with me
    New Zealand needs to realise that on both sides of our political spectrum we are dominated by conservative authoritarian politicians who instinctively want to take control. What we actually need is humble politicians who know their place, at the end of the day, after they have put in place institutions and rules they need to realise when to hand power over to us – the people.

  14. greywarshark 14

    Politicians job is to fund things they might like to do. Rekindle is an example of what some of the people can do using their skills when they get fired up with an idea and not greatly tied to external philanthropy.
    http://www.rekindle.org.nz/
    Originally started in Christchurch to use the lovely rimu etc. being piled on rubbish tips, they are still strongly there but have also branched out with an Auckland initiative as well. This is a pop-up shop in a shipping container in auckland near the waterfront on Te Wero Island.

    Initially focused on diverting timber from waste within residential demolition in postearthquake Christchurch, Rekindle’s work has now expanded beyond timber to a much wider scope of undervalued materials, including construction and industrial waste. Rekindle sees design as the tool that unlocks the qualities of resources which are so often ignored when viewed as waste. Rekindle also works to create a market for these products. As a social enterprise the majority of profits are dedicated to furthering development of this work….

    The time has come where the first range of limited edition products we’ve been lovingly making here in Christchurch has sadly come to and end. We’ve found over the last while the supply of material has changed as demolition practices have changed. Working with waste as our supply means we have to be ready to change tack and respond to what is available or needs to be addressed, and so it is time to look at new waste streams, and that means new materials and designs….we’ll be waiting for the new collection of products to appear from the Christchurch workshop, and we’re very excited about that.

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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #47, 2021
    104 articles by 574 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Delayed impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss on Eurasian severe cold winters Jang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2021jd035286 Observations of climate change, effects Divergent responses of terrestrial carbon use efficiency to climate variation from 2000 ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour’s Eyes Wide Shut To “Unruly Tenants”.
    Not Seeing The Problem: They say there are none so blind as those who will not see. And, right now, Kāinga Ora is studiously not looking. It is clear to everyone that the Minister responsible, Poto Williams, has (like so many of her colleagues) been entirely captured by her officials. ...
    3 days ago
  • Is the mob coming for Charles Darwin?
    Richard Dawkins recently noted the giants of the past are being sanctimoniously judged by nonentities of the present whose only qualification is still being alive to do so. How will the future judge our own time when we are not around? Peter Franklin from Unherd examines whether the woke can ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Blowing a Hole in Your Own Wall: Idiotic Tampering with MIQ
    Managed Isolation/Quarantine has been a fact of life for New Zealand for eighteen months. It’s not popular – there are only so many spaces available at any given time, and the process is famously opaque – but it is the key to saving New Zealand from rampant Coronavirus. That, ...
    3 days ago
  • Now Labour wants secret trials
    Today, the government introduced the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to the House. The Bill would allow the government to use classified information in civil or criminal proceedings and keep it secret from the other party. So people suing the government for human rights abuses could lose, and defendants ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The end of a toxic leader
    If there's one thing that Judith Collins is usually good at, it's using scandalous information about other people to her advantage. Not above undermining her own political party, Collins has been known to even leak against her own fellow MPs, particularly those who posed a threat to her as the ...
    4 days ago
  • A transformative government in Germany
    Back in September Germans went to the polls, and handed the politicians a tough job, with no easy majorities for anyone. The Social Democrats, Free Democrats, and Greens agreed to work together in a "traffic light" coalition, but given their political differences (its basicly ACT/Greens/Labour), expectations for real change were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Political Harakiri
    The National party must always have known that they were taking a risk when they elected Judith Collins as leader. There were, after all, good reasons why they repeatedly declined to accept her candidature when she offered herself – as she frequently did. She was always an inappropriate person to ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete
    This is a re-post from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Richard Somerville “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I am sure that nearly all of those reading this article accept the main findings of climate science. Yet many people don’t. Instead, they believe a variety of climate ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the demotion of Simon Bridges
    So Simon Bridges has been bounced from the front bench and stripped of his shadow portfolio responsibilities for the crudely “inappropriate” comments that he allegedly made to a female colleague, Jacqui Dean – and personally apologised for – about five years ago. After years of mocking Labour for its supposed ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 25 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Rosemary Wette, Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, University of Auckland: “I’ve been browsing regularly through NZ Politics Daily for several months now. It gives me access to a range of views on current issues (helpfully organised by topic) that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to look up, or ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • The bizarre case of the Royal Society investigating academics defending science
    The Royal Society has begun a disciplinary investigation against a group of academics. The academics were defending science and in the past would have expected support from the Royal Society. The Free Speech Union has launched a campaign to defend the academics and academic freedom. Māori professor under investigation for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Unionism and nursing in New Zealand
    In the around 35 years I worked for unions (over 30 with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and earlier with the New Zealand Educational Institute) I often cogitated over the distinction between unions and unionism. They are intertwined but not inseparable. I associate unionism with collective consciousness able to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
    They Did Things Differently Then: And we might still be doing things differently, if the world these "Country Lads" were fighting for, and which endured for nearly 30 years after World War II, had not been supplanted by the world we inhabit now. In spite of its reality, New Zealand's ...
    5 days ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
    Feature image by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Wellington   Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak, Ryan Gage* Wellington City Council is currently consulting on a cycle network for Wellington. This is a big deal. WCC are proposing a 147km cycle network around the city, the vast majority of which is new. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
    Over the past few years it has become clear that coal has no future in Aotearoa. Rising carbon prices, a ban on new boilers and a legislated phase-out for existing infrastructure are going to drive it out of the market. To reinforce this, the government signed up for an anti-coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    6 days ago
  • Important People
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
    Last week, Parliament embarked on the process of repealing the so-called “three strikes” provisions in the Sentencing Act 2002. Given that Labour, the Greens and Te Paati Māori all supported this repeal Bill at first reading (and that NZ First no longer is in government to block the move), three strikes’ eventual legislative demise seems ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
    Neale vs The Revolting Farmers: One has to admire the way Capital Government Relations CEO, Neale Jones, covers-off all the bases of the current political zeitgeist. In a masterfully composed tweet, he lambasts the Groundswell protesters as sexists, racists and reactionaries, clinging for dear life to “a purely extractive economic ...
    6 days ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
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    6 days ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
    The National Library of New Zealand has not covered itself in glory in recent times. The decision to axe most of the Overseas Collection (some 600,000 books) in order to make way for more New Zealand items (which it collects already, and which amounts to some 3,000 items ...
    6 days ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
    Over the last decade concerns have been raised about Chinese “influence operations” in NZ and elsewhere. Run by CCP-controlled “United Front” organisations, influence operations are designed to promote PRC interests and pro-PRC views within the economic and political elites of the targeted country as well as Chinese diaspora communities. The ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
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    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 14, 2021 through Sat, November 20, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheeple? A.I. Maps 20 Years of Climate Conspiracies, COP Negotiators Demand Nations ...
    1 week ago
  • The F Words, by Barbara Gregorich
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Scourge of the Aimless Kick
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Delta Rocks Gibraltar: Lessons to be learned from Covid-19’s global resurgence.
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    1 week ago
  • I’ll take the masks and vaccines, thank you
    From Stuff:I don't want to be pedantic, but I'm pretty sure neither masks nor vaccines figure much in the Gospel of Saint John; nor has Jesus shown much efficacy in protecting people from anything. ...
    1 week ago
  • Hell To Pay: The alarming similarities between the Anti-Vaccination Movement and the creators of the...
    Never Let Go: If the violent prejudices of the Jim Crow South, echoing through contemporary struggles, teach us anything, it is that the defence of rationality, science and progressivism must never be allowed to falter. Those pre-modern night-riders, filled with unrelenting hate, are still out there. If the troops of ...
    1 week ago
  • A Peak Out of Auckland? + Other Covid Musings
    At last, we have some cause for optimism out of Auckland’s interminable Covid outbreak. Knowing our luck, it might be a false dawn… but there are some signs that we have seen the peak:
    1 week ago
  • Sing Song about Hard Times
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A good problem to have
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the politics of anger, plus a music playlist
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    1 week ago
  • No, vaccinated people are not ‘just as infectious’ as unvaccinated people if they get COVID
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Electric cars alone won’t save the planet. We’ll need to design cities so people can walk and cy...
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Worn down by bad news? You’re not alone…
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato   Last week’s COVID protest outside parliament served as a warning that New Zealand is not immune to the kinds of anger seen overseas. As Labour Party whip Kieran McAnulty put it, “I think everyone needs to be aware that things are starting to escalate.” ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 19 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Brendon Burns, Marlborough-based communications consultant, former Christchurch MP “Politics Daily is simply the best go-to summary of everything in and around central and local government and much more besides. Compulsory daily reading.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD for free at: https://democracyproject.nz/nz-politics-daily/ Today’s content Govt management of Delta outbreak Michael ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Buying Back The Whenua.
    Dangerous Visionaries: Rex Connor wanted to “buy back the farm” (i.e. nationalise Australia’s mineral wealth) and ended up bringing down the government of Gough Whitlam. Nanaia Mahuta’s Three Waters Project is seen by many as a first step to “buying back the whenua” (repatriating Māori lands and waters). A policy which threatens the longevity of ...
    1 week ago
  • nuremberg, and history
      There’s a lot been said recently about the Nuremberg code. So what is it, and why is it popping up now? As described in this excellent NEJM article, the Code was developed over 80 years ago in August 1947, by judges involved in the “Doctors Trial” at Nuremberg. There were ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #46, 2021
    Housekeeping: New content New Research is primarily focused on reports published in "the academic literature." Thanks to a diversity of publishers, journals, editors, reviewers, researchers and institutional affiliations, such publications are statistically highly successful at approximating and reflecting our best dispassionate understanding of research topics. Any given personal agenda not ...
    1 week ago
  • Another OIA horror-story
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bribing for convictions
    Imagine that you've been arrested and are facing criminal charges. Now imagine that the government tries to bribe your lawyer to encourage you to plead guilty. It's obviously corrupt and a complete mockery of justice. But that's exactly what the New Zealand Government wants to do: The Criminal Process ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How does Labour expect to get away with this?
    Yesterday's decision by the government to open the Auckland border in December was, like all their other recent decisions, immediately panned by public health experts. The polite version, on Stuff, is that Covid will "travel for summer" with Aucklanders, leading to outbreaks. Newsroom's Marc Daalder cuts through the crap and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Chronicles of Kregsmal and Krunch: Volume III
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    2 weeks ago
  • The Good Ship Jacinda Ardern
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate challenges mount for California agriculture
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    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 18 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Kara Tait, External communications manager, Kiwibank “The morning email from Bryce at the Democracy Project is must-read for communication professionals. It provides a comprehensive overview of the issues covered by New Zealand media in an easy to read format. It supplements my media monitoring and ensures I don’t ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago

  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
    Public Health - Lessons from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and opportunities for the future E nga mana, E nga reo,                                          E nga iwi. Tēna koutou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Investment to support maternal mental health
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced an investment to help expand maternal mental health services in five District Health Boards. “Supporting parent’s mental wellbeing during their child’s first 1000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to the long-term emotional, mental and physical wellbeing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Workplace vaccination requirements extended to cover Police and NZ Defence Force
    With the support of the organisations, additional vaccination requirements will cover sworn members, recruits and authorised officers of the New Zealand Police, and all New Zealand Defence Force staff. First doses of the vaccine for workers in these organisations are required by 17 January 2022, and second doses by 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada to pursue greater Indigenous collaboration
    During her visit to Ottawa, the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Māori Development, met with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Canadian Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to further expand and develop the positive relationship ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori vaccination rates reach 80% first dose
    Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare today confirmed that Māori across the motu have now reached 80 percent for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination nationally. “We have seen a huge increase in vaccinations for Māori throughout November, since the beginning of the month the increase for first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Subsequent Children legislation to change
    The Government has today introduced legislation that will reverse provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act as part of a path to rebuild trust and confidence in the organisation. “The Oranga Tamariki Amendment Bill makes a number of changes but by far the most important is the partial repeal of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Shortcomings revealed in power cut investigation
    No household should have had their power disconnected 18 recommendations, mostly EA and Transpower related The EA must strengthen its oversight of the system operator An investigation into power cuts that left more than 34,000 households without electricity on one of the coldest nights of the year has found that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework supported by new testing and contact tracing strategy
    Wider use of rapid antigen testing from 1 December Increasing daily laboratory capacity to 60,000 PCR tests Q1 2022 A new national telehealth case investigation service with 475 investigators A nearly $1 billion investment in testing, contact tracing and case investigation A new national testing strategy will provide better protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting New Zealanders to recover from COVID-19 in the community
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Additional support for people isolating at home
    New regional MSD COVID-19 welfare teams to coordinate social service support for those isolating at home Regional teams working alongside other government agencies, iwi/Māori and community providers for housing, food and income support Government investment of $204.1m into welfare system support for Care in the Community Minister for Social Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax bill provides vital support for families
    A boost to Working for Families tax credits, as part of a package of financial support that will see 346,000 families better off, has been passed into law late last night.  Revenue Minister David Parker said the measures would lift the incomes of those receiving the Family Tax Credit, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New text service to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations
    Efforts to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations go from strength-to-strength with the launch of a new text service, Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The service, run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa on behalf of the Ministry of Health, is in response to feedback from the disability community and is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Proactive Calendar Release – October 2021
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific community reach vaccination milestone
    Pacific communities across the nation have rolled up their sleeves and played their part to reach a major vaccination milestone, 90 percent  have now had their first vaccination, Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health said. “Reaching this milestone reflects the work Pacific Health Providers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Reconnecting New Zealand – the next steps
    Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from Australia without staying in MIQ from 11.59pm Sunday, 16 January 2022 Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from all other countries from 11.59pm Sunday, 13 February 2022 All fully vaccinated individuals will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shot in the arm for Canterbury tourism
    A brand new tourism attraction launched in the Canterbury high country is designed to transform the regional economy from seasonal peaks and troughs of past visitor trends. Regional Economic Development and Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the Ōpuke Pools at Methven, which received government backing from the Provincial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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