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Clean rivers

Written By: - Date published: 11:31 am, August 7th, 2014 - 84 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, sustainability, water - Tags:

 

John Key water billboard

Labour has announced its water policy.  It can be accused of being aspirational, as if that is a bad thing, but they are goals which most people would support. The headlines are that a Labour Government will:

  • ensure that all our rivers and lakes are swimmable, fishable and suitable for food gathering,
  • implement a resource rental on large water takes for irrigation, and set the rental at a fair and affordable price, and
  • not allow privatisation of drinking water infrastructure or supply.

The details are set out in the discussion document.  Freshwater is correctly described as a common good and a precious and finite public resource.  Clean fresh water is said to underpin much of our economic activity, and is a critical part of the clean, green brand that distinguishes us in our international markets.

The current situation is criticised.

Current systems of water allocation and management often do not encourage its best use. Labour’s will be informed by the three reports of the widely-representative Land and Water Forum from 2010 to 2012. The Forum suggested the water resource should be quantified, and the flows needed for ecological, environmental and recreational purposes determined and secured. The Forum acknowledged that iwi have rights and interests in freshwater, the nature of which need to be resolved with the Crown.

The allocation and management of our freshwater must be overseen by publicly-elected, accountable representatives. Labour will retain decision-making at local government level with central government playing a leadership role. Iwi and hapu, the public and water users must be involved in these processes.

A fair price, in the form of a resource rental, should be applied to large takes for irrigation, which comprises the largest allocated consumptive use of freshwater. This would encourage best use of water. Revenue from the resource rental would fund the likes of water management, safe rural drinking water supplies, the restoration of degraded waterways and wetlands, and new storage and irrigation schemes that are environmentally and economically sustainable.

This statement is not radical.  Quantifying and determining necessary flows and respecting iwi interests in freshwater is mainstream thinking.  And using market forces to determine a fair price for freshwater irrigation so that degraded waterways and wetlands can be improved and the safety of rural drinking water can be maintained are hardly revolutionary.

But Amy Adams thinks that it is a thinly veiled attack by Labour on rural New Zealand and the values they hold dear.   She thinks that the policy is not fair and Labour is trying to make rural New Zealand pay taxes that no other New Zealanders will have to pay.  As said by James Macbeth Dann it would be strange if toxic water was a value that Rural New Zealand holds clear.

Labour proposes that dirty rivers should be cleaned up over a generation.  This is obviously aspirational but the sort of aspiration it is hard to be grumpy about.  But Ian McKenzie from Federated Farmers managed to do this.  He is quoted as saying:

Their view of what is fair and affordable, and our view, is highly likely to be different.

“The concept that in fact we’re an untapped resource of tax is extraordinary, I don’t think anybody within the Labour caucus probably understands what they’re doing.”

Mr Mackenzie said it is simply impossible to have all freshwater at a safe, swimmable level within a generation.

It is funny how a Government who thinks that pure market forces should apply to workers should not apply to farmers.  And why attempting to clean up our waterways should be regarded as an attack on farmers and something that is unfair.

Updated:  a very cleverly digitally altered image by Chris Reid inserted.  No billboard was harmed in the making of this image …

84 comments on “Clean rivers”

  1. ianmac 1

    A mighty policy Labour. There are thousands if not millions who will support this. Nick Smith must be fuming!! Expect the Labour Party to get a good telling off. Tut tut.

  2. k j ross 2

    their policy of having rivers at a level safe enough to wade through should be promoted widely as I do not think that average New Zealanders even are aware of this and they would be horrified at these revelations that our water has turned to sh-t.The only type of policy’s that should be aspirational are this type of thing that people would widely support in theory and in practice (re implementation of policy over time). Not economic wish lists like 150000 new jobs just around the corner.
    Fed up Kiwi.

  3. Papa Tuanuku 3

    The smiling photo for this story reminds me of this post on how capitalist media do the same:

  4. Ad 4

    Labour’s spokesperson on this whoever it is better be up for it, because Amy is a fierce competitor for that no. 6 cabinet ranking and there is all to play for in that game.
    Strap your gear on Labour this won’t be The Expendables III.

  5. fisiani 5

    Labour’s claim that every drainage ditch and storm water runoff must be be of swimming pool quality is so ridiculous that no one takes it seriously. Amy Adams is quite correct in stating that it is grossly unfair to penalise the rural sector for issuse that are both rural and urban. Labour hates the rural sector and does not understand it. This is just a pathetic and desperate attempt to try to grab a few headlines from the Greens and Internet Mana as they jostle for the minor places.
    Why spend 25 billion dollars on that and not on paying better wages? Focus on the things that actually matter.

    • Zorr 5.1

      Ever hear the saying “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”? This is true of the cleanness of our lakes and rivers. Everything contributes to the overall pollution level of the water and effects upstream can combine to cause catastrophe further downstream.

      The rural sector is being “penalized” because currently they are getting to privatize the profit but socialize the losses (in the form of environmental effects). This lemon capitalism needs to go!

      If we don’t clean up our act, there goes our entire tourism industry. Probably worth more to this country than 25 billion dollars.

      I think it is highly disingenuous of you to claim that we (the left) should be focusing on paying better wages when you have always been a very obvious RWNJ troll voting for the side that doesn’t want full employment and has fought back against making the minimum wage reach a living wage level.

      Go jump in a lake. Please.

      • Halfcrown 5.1.1

        “Go jump in a lake. Please.”

        A very good suggestion. Preferably Lake Waikare, the red dead lake in the Waikato.

      • Chooky 5.1.2

        +100 Zorr…”If we don’t clean up our act, there goes our entire tourism industry. Probably worth more to this country than 25 billion dollars.”

        …..overseas visitors are watching us and they don’t miss anything, particularly the Europeans and ecologically minded Americans…. and they can be very critical of what they see!

        ….and once this reaches a threshold …there goes our ‘Clean Green’ ‘New Zealand Pure’ reputation and brand as well!

        ….what economist has put a long term dollar value on this ?

    • McFlock 5.2

      Labour’s claim that every drainage ditch and storm water runoff must be be of swimming pool quality

      cf:

      ensure that all our rivers and lakes are swimmable, fishable and suitable for food gathering

      A drainage ditch is not a river (unless you let polluters run rampant).
      You’re beneath contempt.

      • Tracey 5.2.1

        I think Fisiani means the rivers he sees look like drainage ditches. His post was satirical. You can tell cos he suggested wage increases.

    • Wonderpup 5.3

      I’m a little suprised at you Fisiani: normally you can at least paraphrase the talking points that are emailed to you from HQ. These sound exactly like the same things Amy Adams was reading from this morning. (Thank goodness for radio, you can keep the talking points in front of you, and reel off numbers like you actually know what they mean!)

      Why spend money on remediating our environment? Because, after our labour, its all we have.

    • tricledrown 5.4

      Fishy Anil sucking sh*t again swimming around in the National fish bowl to long.City Councils have much higher standards than rural councils because rural councils are loaded with farmers who want to minimise costs to farmers!

    • Armchair Critic 5.5

      Who, apart from you fisiani, is talking about “swimming pool quality”?
      The policy talks about suitability for swimming and food gathering. Swimming pools are not suitable for food gathering. Your overblown exaggeration is completely ridiculous.

    • Ron Shaw 5.6

      Oh please, fisiani, this is not what is being claimed. Dairy farmers, particularly in Canterbury, are getting a massive subsidy for water use. It’s time they paid for the input they get well below market price.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.7

      Focus on the things that actually matter.

      We are focussing on the things that matter – good environment, good health and a good living standard for all. You and National, on the other hand, are only focussing on more money for rich people.

    • thatguynz 5.8

      🙄

  6. Ad 6

    Bollocks Fisiani. City councils should be held responsible for Stormwater and stream quality within any urban catchment. In Auckland’s case and in any other unitary authority, they will be doubly accountable as operator and asset manager, and as regulator.

  7. philj 7

    Ecologist Mike Joy questions the real ‘profitability’ of dairy farming when the cost of cleaning up the rivers is properly costed in to the environmental balance sheet. Ignoring this reality only worsens the future cost. Yet another example of government short termism and pass the problem onto the next generation.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      +1

      It’s amazing how upset the capitalists get when you put the costs of what they do upon them.

      • weka 7.1.1

        True, and let’s put the true costs of tourism out there too (nods upwards to Zorr).

  8. Herodotus 8

    Problem with AC is that watercare is a law to itself allowing contractors to dump untested waste into waterways and the harbours.
    Many new developments have consent conditions places on them that storm water runoff must be treated before the water enters live waterways ( that is why there are numerous off line detention ponds) infill housing and houae developed pre 2000 would have storm water entering in its raw state into the system and the outlets feeding into streams or the harbour. Not sure how this policy will deal with the urban deterioration of our waterways. Sure current farming practices have a lot to answer for but there can be fingers pouted to large tracts of urban catchments.

    • John Redwood 8.1

      Hi Herodotus,
      I assume your first sentence relates to this story from yesterday’s Waikato Times http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/10354135/Desperate-need-for-trade-dumping-site
      which actually refers to the actions of an Auckland Council contractor and is nothing to do with Watercare’s activities. Over the past 12 months, Watercare has again met or exceeded all our performance targets relating to the performance of our wastewater network and to compliance with the Resource Management Act and the various consents governing our operations. We have an excellent record of which we are very proud, and much of our current and future capital investment is targeted at initiatives that will continue to enhance the quality of Auckland’s estuaries, harbours, and waterways.

  9. outofbed 9

    Great stuff Labour
    That should get the Greens over 15% woo hoo

  10. karol 10

    So,, how does Labour’s policy differ from the Green Party clean rivers policy announced a couple of weeks ago?

  11. Hayden 11

    As an aside, that has to be one of the least sincere smiles I’ve ever seen – he looks like he’s smelling a particularly rank fart. Amy, on the other hand, is grinning like someone who’s just given their boss a nice air biscuit – I like to see a bit of humour in people.

  12. Chauncey Gardiner 12

    Framing, Tainted Love, Mothers Milk, More Babies, Marketing, and Foreign Ownership

    Once again, National is using any criticism of farming to bolster support for its own agenda (keep votes, rather looking to the long view). It’s approach is childlike and one dimensional. It paints a picture that any left leaning party is anti farming, does not know the economic realities etc. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We are a small country, if we are to hold our own internationally, we as a diverse group of people have to work together not as individuals or isolated sectors. As one waxes another wanes.

    Is it any wonder John Keys party slogan is Team Key and not Team New Zealand (yes I know that one is taken). It appears to be influenced by a tiny group of wealthy individuals with vested interests in certain sectors of the economy. An analysis of who will benefit from farm sales, the changing markets etc will tell you. Do they really have an allegiance to the grass roots farmers of New Zealand or are they just skimming cream, like any true trader operating on the margins?

    As we progress through this year, particularly, the diary industry is now under the spotlight. Falling prices, foreign ownership, pollution, tainted milk seem to collide together making a metaphor for a rather less than 100% clean green rock star economy. Any criticism is not allowed, just today, National was framing the left as “attacking” the farmers by wanting to clean up the water ways? Admittedly not the best time to announcing such policy, however, there is honesty to it. National framed the debate by using words such as “attack”. Do the “Left” really want to attack one of the very foundations of our economy, or do you think they want to strengthen farming by having it part of a diversified economy that is resilient to international price wars or tainted milk?

    How do you tease apart the issues, identify the problems and come up with positive solutions that will help New Zealand move forward, after all we are all in it together, aren’t we? It’s not by pretending problems don’t exist. Unfortunately we may live in a culture of “shooting the messenger”. Again National use it to effect by saying the left are attacking the farming sector. How odd that they attack the messenger, the left.

    Note, “Attacking the messenger” is a subdivision of the ad hominem logical fallacy (i.e. National are trying to run from the problem). It’s odd how they are seen as “Hard Men & Woman”, yet run a mile if votes are not forth coming.

    So what are some of the potential problems?

    Is it a problem of tainted love? It’s no secret that the tainted dairy scandal in China has lead to increased market share for foreign companies importing into China. Almost the reverse happened recently, just even a hint of contamination or price fixing, reduced the amount of exports from certain foreign companies. This highlights how sensitive the market is in such an industry. It maybe an argument for the 5 eyes and surveillance? A hair trigger economy maybe?

    As a result of this toing and froing, China has understandably looked to improving safety not only in domestic production but imports as well. How do they achieve this? They do it via new importation standards, purchase of foreign dairy companies/farms, bulk buying foreign safe products, improving safety etc. A subtle game maybe of marketing, a jumping on tainted milk or price fixing scandals by foreign firms to re-orientate the Chinese market to buying domestic production? Good on them, culture is thousands of years old, they’re intelligent, an economic power house and deserve a healthy respect. Wouldn’t we do the same? Big respect China, well done.

    Aside, Chinese woman are being ‘aggressively’ marketed to, in order to buy powder milk formula. (creating more demand), while in the West we are trending in the opposite direction. It harks back to the days of marketing guru Torches of Freedom campaign, Edward Bernays, where he convinced woman in the 1920-30’s it was good to smoke. You could imagine the TV ads in China, they might begin “Mothers, save yourself from the suckling oppressors, buy freedom milk powder today”. Is this some perverse form of Tainted Love? Not saying that the use of infant formula does not have its place.

    With increased incomes, marketing, the relaxation of the one child policy combined with a mixing of Western and Eastern tastes its no wonder dairy is on the up in China. Why wouldn’t China want a piece of this pie, I would, particularly if it was on my own Turf? How would they go about it and who are the other international players using similar strategies………Nestle ring any bells?

    Wouldn’t you, improve efficiency, quality, safety and technology by acquiring foreign firms or investing in overseas companies/technology? Wouldn’t you send QA delegations from China to ensure that safe practices were in place (coincidentally learning all the processes and systems that have been developed). Would you allow firms to own land in China or influence the relaxing of environmental legislation (aka water, land, pollution?) in foreign lands so your companies could do better?

    Wouldn’t you consolidate? As Forbes magazine has recently highlighted, the Chinese are consolidating their industry: http://www.forbes.com/sites/simonmontlake/2013/09/26/creamy-top-for-chinas-dairy-champions-sour-milk-for-the-rest/

    “five selected domestic firms would be showered with preferential loans and tax breaks, worth as much as $4.9 billion. The idea is to create national champions that can compete with foreign infant-formula producers. As the Financial Times notes, this represents another step towards top-down industry consolidation in the wake of a 2008 scandal over melamine-tainted milk that killed six infants and turned parents off domestic formula brands”
    End

    Has NZ got a share in the ‘National Champions’, they do have investments in firms there, however, is that just giving up the IP? So do the New Zealanders who facilitate this, do they just skim off the top like any fx trader? Coincidentally will exchange rate be affected with dropping dairy prices?

    Evidence for consolidation is shown by the Chinese push for better supervising a 128 domestic domestic producers. They want to promote quality products from these companies and rebuild consumers’ trust in the domestic market.

    Take note of the consolidation process, it flows to farms as well, not just distribution and factory production. Why the recent purchases of large farms in NZ, they are more efficient. Will China be doing the same?
    A paper by Ma, Hengyun et. al. might highlight this http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/6725

    “As the number of backyard farms has dramatically declined, the share of dairy cows from backyard farms has decreased by 22.4% from 2003 to 2008. However, the herd numbers of larger dairy farms have increased. In particular, the share of dairy cows has risen by 18.8% on small farms, by 22.2% on medium farms, and by 80.8% on large farms over the same period.”

    Also note that in the UK, farm numbers are decreasing.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1292011/The-truth-mega-farms-Chemical-fumes-distressed-animals-poisoned-locals.html
    Many dairy farmers believe the drive towards larger dairies- and the economies of scale they bring -is inevitable as supermarkets try to force prices down. In 1998, there were 31,753 dairy farmers in the UK.

    By 2008, this had shrunk to just 17,060, with many going into liquidation claiming that it cost more to produce milk than they could sell it for – recently as little as 25p per litre. A further 9 per cent are expected to leave the industry within the next two years

    So in Chinas case, with particularly a large number of small holdings, it maybe only a matter of time before we see increased efficiency, safety, and quality (for NZ this means greater comptetion). This maybe on a greater scale than that of the1801 United Kingdoom Inclosure (Consolidation) Act that concentrated the land into the hands of a few wealthy individuals? Is it time to say goodbye to hand down of farms through generations within New Zealand families.

    A perfect metaphor for the concentration of wealth in a few individuals who facilitate the markets?

    Many people traders, bankers and executive management benefit from changes in socio political power/economics. They ride the highs and lows, making money from the magnitude of the change without much concern for ‘grass roots’ people. They can inhabit the left and ride side of the political spectrum, putting the farmer’s against the greenies, or the dairy producer against the pig farmer etc. They hide problems and show only success. They are if you like the perfect personification of what one person defined as marketing gurus (i.e. people who reduce resistance to sales). Skimming as they go?

    You can’t tell me traders, bankers couldn’t see this price reduction coming? Ebb and flow, make money as you go ehh?

    So do I believe in Team Key, a team that is too scared or arrogant to acknowledge problems and continually frames the debate through use of big money and corporate media?
    No

    I believe in Team Aotearoa, or as Muhammad Ali so succinctly put it:

    ME WE

    Refs in no particular order (just some good background reading):

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/simonmontlake/2013/09/26/creamy-top-for-chinas-dairy-champions-sour-milk-for-the-rest/
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8efdb336-20d4-11e3-b8c6-00144feab7de.html
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/06/business/international/china-tightens-rules-for-foreign-made-milk-powders.html?_r=0
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/business/global/08iht-milk08.html
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-08/06/content_16875460.htm
    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/838886.shtml
    http://www.china.org.cn/business/2014-05/06/content_32311916.htm
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/analysis-forecast-report-pasteurised-milk-154600563.html
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2014-03/13/content_17343269.htm
    http://www.thebullvine.com/category/latest-news/page/3/
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503458&objectid=11301925 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1292011/The-truth-mega-farms-Chemical-fumes-distressed-animals-poisoned-locals.html
    http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/6725

    To all those Rock Stars out there:

    Sometimes I feel I’ve got to
    Run away I’ve got to
    Get away
    From the pain that you drive into the heart of me
    The love we share
    Seems to go nowhere
    And I’ve lost my light
    For I toss and turn I can’t sleep at night

    (chorus)
    Once I ran to you (I ran)
    Now I’ll run from you
    This tainted love you’ve given
    I give you all a boy could give you
    Take my tears and that’s not nearly all
    Oh…tainted love
    Tainted love

    Now I know I’ve got to
    Run away I’ve got to
    Get away
    You don’t really want IT any more from me
    To make things right
    You need someone to hold you tight
    And you’LL think love is to pray
    But I’m sorry I don’t pray that way

    (chorus…)

    Don’t touch me please
    I cannot stand the way you tease
    I love you though you hurt me so
    Now I’m going to pack my things and go
    Tainted love, tainted love (x2)
    Touch me baby, tainted love (x2)
    Tainted love (x3)

    source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/

    • NZJester 12.1

      We have had the Hard Sell from National for to long.
      It is time for a Soft S(C)ell ;-p

  13. Lanthanide 13

    I have to say, Amy Adams really is good at spin and deflection of these things.

    Numerous times I’ve heard interviews with her on RNZ about different environmental things, in the last few months it’s generally been about rivers and water quality.

    Now, I’m not an expert on this sort of area by a long shot, but when AA is interviewed, to my ear she always makes a compelling case about how what National is doing is actually above reproach, they’re doing a better job than Labour ever did and her opponents are quibbling about minor things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

    She can convince me of these things in ways that no other national minister has managed in these sorts of interviews.

    Probably this is largely a result of me not being up-with-the-play when it comes to these conservation issues. Some of it could also be the interviewers not asking the right questions or skewering her deflections, in a way that they can skewer other minister’s answers. But I suspect a good dollop of it is her skill at this sort of misdirection.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      How do you know a National minster is lying: Their lips are moving.

      National’s water standards will have it so that if you go swimming you will get sick.

  14. vto 14

    Fed Farmers complaining about having to pay to clean up their own shit is pure selfish greed and they deserve no respect for their position.

    They seem to think that WE should pay to clean up their shit….. what frikkin’ planet are they on?

  15. Dialey 15

    It’s quite simple really, my kids could swim in our local rivers, my granddaughter can’t. One generation to ruin it, one to clean it up. Aspirational, yes; doable, maybe; should we try, definitely. Well done Labour and the Greens for put up policies that want to go further than just protecting the status quo

  16. vto 16

    I m actually gobsmacked at Federated Farmers approach.

    This policy is to get rivers clean again, so us and our families can swim in them, drink from them, and fish from them.

    Federated Farmers want the rivers to get worse. They want the rivers to be their sewer to such an extent that they are unsafe to swim in, cannot be drunk from, and no fish or plant life survives.

    I cannot believe their calls… it is simply staggering and they are turning into the funny farm people.

    Ian McKenzie, from the Funny Farmers reckons this … “The concept that in fact we’re an untapped resource of tax is extraordinary, I don’t think anybody within the Labour caucus probably understands what they’re doing.”

    That he considers it a tax is just bloody out there. Out there like loony tunes stuff.

    It is to bloody clean up their shit. It is nobody else’s shit. It is their shit.

    If their business cannot withstand looking after its pollution and rubbish then it is clearly not a viable business. Time to wake up and smell the roses Funny Farmers.

    And then you get people like srylands crying about rudeness around here. For fucks sake, this shit is the rudeness. Farmers are rude in this regard.

    • mickysavage 16.1

      Yep when you think that farms depend on fresh water you would think that they should be protective of it …

  17. vto 17

    I have a whole pile of stinky rubbish that I have to take to the dump / eco transfer station this weekend. And pay for at a rate that is more expensive than buying potatoes, would you believe..

    But will be in the countryside tomorrow……

    … I might just follow the farmers lead and dump it out in the countryside tomorrow.

    keep an eye out for soiled tissue, tin cans, scraps of fish, rotting meat, plastic, all chewed by the local roaming dog first, flyng around in the wind. Look for it especially in those pristine green grass paddocks. Maybe it is time the roles were reversed.

    Now that would be rude wouldn’t it?

  18. Graham 18

    I know facts get in the way of your stories BUT the most polluted streams are urban.
    It would be a brave or stupid person to swim in the leith or the Avon or any other urban stream
    Our storm water systems are designed to pump excess rainwater into streams and harbours combine that with the tar makeup of our roads it’s a rena disaster every time it rains
    The greens know this they should ask the green mayor of Wellington
    You would have to be nuts to eat anything from the Avon

    • vto 18.1

      and this is applicable to the issue and policy how?

      Urbanites have considerably cleaned up their waterways compared to the past. Rural waterways have deteriorated since the past, are deteriorating right now, and National wants them to be allowed to deteriorate even further – to an extent that fish can’t live in them….. you know there are trout and whitebait in the Avon yes? You know that people catch and eat them yes? And you know that this year salmon were found spawning way up the headwater of the Avon for the first time, yes?

      Do you know these things Graham? They are facts Graham. Something which you lack, despite some claim to them. What are your facts again Graham?

      Or do you just throw around useless one-liners mistaking them for some kind of thought process?

      Fail Graham

      edit: oh this too Graham. “Our storm water systems are designed to pump excess rainwater into streams and harbours combine that with the tar makeup of our roads it’s a rena disaster every time it rains” is complete and utter bollocks…. if you knew the facts about modern stormwater systems Graham.

      double edit: here is a link to get you started http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact

    • millsy 18.2

      And that gives you a right to foul our rural water ways?

      Guess what mate. If I see you fouling our waterways, I will physically intervene to stop you. Clean water is more important than your profit.

      I would rather see your stock die, and you go to the wall before you pollute our waterways,

    • weka 18.3

      I have swum in the Leith. Beautiful river. Although admittedly I swim upstream from the Gardens, don’t know what it is like further down and it wouldn’t surprise me that the further it gets through town the more polluted it is. Which suggests that the issue isn’t just about storm water, but intensification as you travel downstream.

      Brian Turner has lamented the loss of the Leith fishery, not sure how bad it is now, I’ve not seen adult live fish in it, but I often miss those things. Nor can I remember why he thought it was in decline, whether pollution or other ecosystem disruption. The point here Graham is that those of us upset about the pollution of farm catchment rivers have also been upset about urban ones. It’s a false dichotomy to split urban and rural waters as if water is contained in such a way. The Leith comes from rural land before it comes from urban.

      It’s worth noting too that environmentalists have long been attempting to get urban waters cleaned up.

      Try phoning your local regional council and ask exactly what water quality monitoring goes on in the rivers and streams in your area. Most people will be surprised at how little actually happens. This is why with dairying the default position has been to wait until the pollution occurs and is obvious and then start discussing what if anything to do about it. We should all be ashamed.

      • karol 18.3.1

        Project Twin Streams – a community-based project in the Henderson area of Auckland. Started during Waitakere City Councils period of governance and is now supported by Auckland Council, local Iwi and other community groups.

        I understand that some parts of local streams are privately owned. So it must depend on getting co-operation from the owners to keep their part of the stream clean. Part of the project is to encourage sustainable households.

        • mickysavage 18.3.1.1

          It is a wonderful project. I have had something to do with it since 2001 …

          The goal is to have clean Opanuku and Oratia streams that will have fish life in them down through Henderson. A very simple proposal. I often walk past the Oratia stream most days and sometimes it looks murky and sometimes it looks muddy. Private owners do not seem to have a problem with the project. Everyone just wants the quality of the streams to be improved …

          • minarch 18.3.1.1.1

            I have planted a metric s#$t tonne of trees along that stream over the years, Ive even fallen in a couple of times !

            • karol 18.3.1.1.1.1

              Excellent service!

              The Rewarewa near New Lynn could do with a bit of a clean up – abandoned shopping trolley, etc when I last looked.

      • vto 18.3.2

        I don’t know the history weka, but I understand there is quite a decent fishery there today. Relatively.

    • mickysavage 18.4

      I think that all of our rivers should be healthy and that we should be able to eat fish caught from them even in the middle of cities. Why should we expect less?

  19. That billboard is fantastic although it needs a few more poo floating around.

    • vto 19.1

      yep, got a giggle. Is it s real one or photoshopped?

      If its not real then it should be, it is spot on.

      • mickysavage 19.1.1

        Photoshop job but all the better for it. No billboard was defaced in the making of this image …

  20. SPC 20

    Because we allow foreign companies to own farmland, TPP rules would mean that if we introduced restraint on stocking etc for water quality reasons we would have to pay farmers compensation. We would not be able to afford this.

    TPP might be incompatible with water quality, if so what would Labour’s position on TPP be?

  21. john 21

    So the Labour policy is urban polluters won’t have to pay a cent.

    Because people who don’t pollute, but do irrigate, will be taxed to pay for that urban pollution.

    It sounds like something that’s been thought up in a lunatic asylum.

    • weka 21.1

      I take it you haven’t read the actual policy then, that’s probably why what you said doesn’t make any sense.

      • john 21.1.1

        You mean the policy that attacks farmers and charges them for using water but everyone else – towns and cities, power generators, factories etc – pay nothing.

        • McFlock 21.1.1.1

          So you care about farmers paying if they use excessive amounts of water because their land use is unsustainable, fair enough.

          How do you feel about poor children who are hospitalised with recurring infections because they can’t wash properly because their water supply has been put on a limiter because of unpaid water bills?

          • john 21.1.1.1.1

            McFlock – You get a prize for finding the weakest ever link between a pollution charge on irrigators and poverty.

            You’re clutching at straws.

            And you’re doing it blindfolded wearing baseball mitts from the other side of the road from the hay barn.

            • ropata 21.1.1.1.1.1

              @john, ever heard of water rates? settling ponds? algal bloom? beach closures?
              cities are way more careful with their muck than filthy polluting dairy farmers

            • McFlock 21.1.1.1.1.2

              So that would be that you care about farmers maybe losing profits if they’re charged for the water they use, but don’t care about poor people who don’t have enough water to live like human beings.

              Quite a few rural analogies ffor a JAFA, too.

              • vto

                McFlock, the farmers are not being charge for the water they use, they are being charged to clean up their own shit that they have dumped on the public.

                This is being done by way of a charge on irrigation. Labour should really frame it as a charge on pollution and a charge to pay for cleaning up the rivers.

                Call it a clean-up charge.

                • weka

                  Vto, I think there are two separate issues. Irrigation is independent of pollution, because there are people irrigating who aren’t dairy farmers. The water take is far too high, and in capitalism we control that, set limits, by putting a market price on the water. Myself, I don’t think that is the best way to do this, but it’s better than nothing. I haven’t read all the detail in the Labour policy yet, but it looks like they are aiming for the high end commercial users.

                  John, afaik currently water use on rural land is monitored voluntarily ie there might be meters and daily water limits but not authority is keeping track of what is actually being taken. Farmers (not just dairy), have demonstrated that they are not capable of working within limits and are taking too much, so we will now have regulations to do that. Otherwise we will end up in situations like overseas where water tables are dropping and rivers no longer run to the sea (actually I think that already is happening in Canty). If you have a better way of setting and maintaining limits than using the market price of water, then by all means tell us what it is.

                  • vto

                    Agreed weka, and that was kinda my point.

                    Labour have been in a bit rough in how this has been drafted and presented. Bit of a blunt hammer.

                    Perhaps they need to go back and fine-tune it and re-frame it so it conveys and achieves what is intended, namely cleaning up the rivers.

                    edit: “Otherwise we will end up in situations like overseas where water tables are dropping and rivers no longer run to the sea (actually I think that already is happening in Canty). ” this is most definitely already happening. Witness Rakaia Huts being flooded more as the gravel is not flushed out at the mouth due to lower river flows and more mouth blocks, so it builds up and floods surrounding land.

                    • weka

                      I still think the irrigation charge is not a defacto tax on pollution. It’s a cost in its own right. Haven’t been watching the MSM, so not sure how Labour has come across, but the policy PDF is interesting. I don’t consider it to be extreme of course. If I had my way there would be a moratorium on all new dairy farms until the existing ones got their shit together so to speak 😈 And no new big irrigation schemes, which are by definition unsustainable. There are other ways to provide farmers with water for sustainable practice.

              • dave

                farmers want the poor people to pay for there pollution vto is correct labour wants the polluter to pay which is only fair .

              • minarch

                “Quite a few rural analogies ffor a JAFA, too.”

                you really are running on empty aren’t you ?

                next itll be “get offa my land you stinking townies”

                Jafa lol…… 🙂

                • McFlock

                  it fucks me off a bit that he’s full of apparent concern for southern issues like bridges and farms when he patently doesn’t care about the effects of user-pays water in his back yard.

    • disturbed 21.2

      Is this John Key again?

      Someone else said “john”is John Key, and what he said here sounds jst like him, overstating the case and twisting the facts to suit his agenda.

      The other day he returns from China to the Flare-up called Lochinvar, and when he was asked for his response to deep pubic upset he said “it’s ridiculous such a small bit of land” ????

      Has he ever seen it or even read about it? “a small piece of land” phooey!

      “It is one of the largest most significantly productive holdings in the North Island.” and a model of our collective achievement so read on.

      That was stated by MSM the same day but maybe john doesn’t read the news.

      If you studied Lochinvar as we did as we watched it grow into a highly successful farm it was assisted by massive public funding to make the land productive as a scientific project when DSIR spent millions testing combinations of additives into the soil to make things grow rapidly.

      So Kiwis like us, spent millions to get the land productive and you come along and say “its good for us to sell to overseas investors”.

      Sorry john move on now your time has come as you promised if we get negative you’ll just pack up and go, well we will help move your stuff to get you away as fast as we can to help save what you haven’t destroyed of this once proud, strong, free society our fighting men fought to save that you have set about to destroy, you are beneath contempt.

      • dave 21.2.1

        we will even escort you to the plane and wish you well in exile in Hawaii just don’t come back.

  22. john 22

    Why should NZ have two $70 million businesses when we could just have one?

    Such is the logic behind trying to stop foreign investment in NZ.

    You’d prefer to kill off $95m spend on jobs, goods and services, in NZ, if it stops a foreign company earning $5m.

    Such simplistic thinking would kill off 25% of all jobs in NZ if we stopped foreign investment.

    • ropata 22.1

      might stop aussie banks from sucking 5 billion out of the economy every year
      and foreign-owned power co.s sucking out even more
      and foreign-owned telcos sucking out even more

      and the usa-owned national govt from selling out even more

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.2

      It’s a good thing no-one has proposed we stop foreign investment then. The proposal simply tightens restrictions on the sale of land. It’s a pity you had to rely on charity to learn that when the facts are so readily available.

      • vto 22.2.1

        Exactly OAB.

        This issue is about foreign ownership of land. Foreign investment is a different beast altogether (though some overlap).

        A tenant community is generally always a weaker community than an owned community. This is why people like John Key always own assets like property.

        In fact, the far right always go on about how breaking the Commons so that individual people have been able to own their own land has been at the forefront of recent centuries advancements. People take more responsibility, people take more pride, work harder, reap the benefit of the efforts etc. Yet this very principle, at the core of the belief systems of people like John, is completely ignored when it comes to foreign ownership of land in Aotearoa.

        If the principles at the core of John’s belief systems are correct about the benefits of individual ownership of land then they must apply equally to the issue of New Zealand ownership of land.

        … apologies to the righties if that is too much to follow ….

    • millsy 22.3

      Youre not very patriotic are you?

      You want 100% of NZ sold overseas.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.4

      You’d prefer to kill off $95m spend on jobs, goods and services, in NZ, if it stops a foreign company earning $5m.

      We could spend that $95m without selling ourselves to the highest bidder.

      Why do all you RWNJs want to turn us into the serfs and slaves of foreign corporations?

  23. dave 23

    water is valuable public resource it is not infinite should treated with respect and cared for. no group has the right to game huge profits at the expense of the environment future generations load costs on to tax payers struggling former middle class,since farmers don’t pay tax ( capital gain on there farms like any land lord)but use all services the rest of us pay for .so the farmers want a free ride tax payer funded existence to destroy pollute and game the system wow what values they have per-fact nation party voter.

  24. Sable 24

    Its amazing that anyone really expects much from NZ’s MSM. They have shown again and again that they are supporters of a right wing world view and really little more than scribes for corporate interests. Objectivity and fairness are not concepts they embrace so its no surprise they do not value the environment but instead see it as something to be exploited and pillaged.

    This is why good marketing is so important from the left in election years and also in general. And yet its sadly lacking whilst the right do seem to understand how to sell themselves. Certainly they are bolstered up by our dirty MSM but they still seem to have more savvy in this respect.

    Time to beat them at their own game or face another three years of corporatisation and Americanization of New Zealand.

    • aerobubble 24.1

      Its worse than that. Financial wealth is based in value, that companies have some means of extracting wealth. Now we know that there is great growing wealth inequality, that is coming from somewhere. So what aspect of our lives have changed over the last thirty years that this value has been extracted from. Well it must have something to do with computers and finance, but at the heart of it all is we ‘the people’ are still the economy. I believe its the growing information imbalance that is core of ability of big finance to trade in trillions of dollars. Take going shopping, its easier now to track your behavior, to track your preferences, and so trade on the information imbalance.
      Take our rivers. Cutting back government means rivers could be polluted, had we know earlier we’d have launched into stopping dairy. But the information imbalance meant banks could loan more money to farmers to build dairy up. Our ignorance was their opportunity, that opportunity led to high land prices, high amounts of debt and high levels of pollution. And it will continue to get worse. Our wealth inequality means a few have huge money power to manipulate media, to distract, to misinform, to malign the debate, and create extraction of wealth from those imbalances. Take our rivers again, the pollution is now value since it represents real exports of real dairy products and is traded thanks to Fonterra trading scheme as yet another financial product.

      That’s to say, bad forms of capitalism require imbalances of nature, of information, energy in order to create financial wealth. That the massive growing wealth inequality is directly linked to the deregulation and under resourcing of government, that first starts with creating obscene extraction of wealth and then moves onto more direct problems like the Pike River Mine disaster.

      We now live on the boundary between eating our environment and watching our environment collapse, all to sustain the massive virtual wealth imbalance built around at its core information asymmetry.

      Three things happened, thirty years ago. Huge surpluses of cheap high energy liquid non-renewable fuels came on the market, a oxymoronic conservative revolution began to muddle any independent criticism, and big media under the likes of Murdoch started up the propaganda.

      We had the classic, fuel, heat and oxygen necessary to eat the Earth multiple times over.

      And its not going to stop anytime soon. Information asymmetry is now normalized business.
      From apps, to operation systems, to copyright… ..the list goes on, only specialists even understand how to fix the system, let only be able to explain why its so bad for us all.

      • Sable 24.1.1

        Agreed. I believe there is a need for independent sites like this one but also conventional media that are willing to tell the truth. The challenge is putting this in place and sustaining it.

        • aerobubble 24.1.1.1

          I disagree. Waiting for someone else won’t do it. Don’t use store cards, use cash, avoid contracts, avoid value added. Remember when your bank offers you all these features, you are not only paying for them but the adverts, the pay of the PR, the time it takes to understand, and the lawyers who write the fine print. They do not make a profit until the costs are first recouped.

          Its pretty simple what we all need to do, endevour to minimize our exposure to bad capitalism.
          Media, society, will change when enough people have changed their behaviour because the corporates NEED mass consumption of their services to create and sustain the information asymmetry

  25. reason 25

    From a link I read here yesterday …….

    /Foreign investors are not great for employment – they only employ 17% of the workforce, despite owning a large proportion of the economy. Foreign ownership does not guarantee more jobs. In fact, it quite often adds to unemployment. TNCs have made tens of thousands jobles. —-Business demography statistics: Major industry by overseas equity (ANZSIC 06) 2000 -13, Statistics New Zealand

    /Foreign ownership does nothing to improve New Zealand’s foreign debt problem. In 1984, total private and public foreign debt stood at $16 billion, equivalent to less than half New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product, and worth $50 billion in March 2013 dollars. As of March 2013, it was $251 billion, equivalent to well over 100% of New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product, despite all of the asset sales and takeovers. ———-International Investment Position, National Accounts —— Statisti

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1401/S00011/who-owns-nz-foreign-control-key-facts-updated.htm

    national stand for more shit …………

  26. Ennui 26

    I really like the policy announcement re water quality and setting a fair price for use of the resource, about time.

    I would as a fisherman also like Labour, the Greens or any left party to reverse the privatization of our waterways by stealth. We inland anglers, and many sea anglers have found deliberate obstruction to public access and denial of any access to rivers and beaches, effectively privatizing fisheries. This is often done in conjunction with “tourist’ operators such as guides, exclusive lodges etc. We pay a license fee for the upkeep of our whole fishery, to be denied the best parts of it is wrong.

    Stand up for free access to water, and legislate for that access to water, and you get my vote.

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    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    7 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    7 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    7 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago