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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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    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
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    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
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    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    6 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
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    1 hour ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
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    4 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
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    9 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
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    1 day ago
  • Making progress for our kids
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    1 day ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
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    1 day ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
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    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
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    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
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    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
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    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
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    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
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  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
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    4 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
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    5 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
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    5 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
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    6 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
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    6 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    7 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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    1 week ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
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    1 week ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
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    1 week ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
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