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Climate change, weather bombs, and the infrastructure that we need

Written By: - Date published: 10:23 am, March 12th, 2017 - 62 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, global warming, water - Tags: , , , ,

Best wishes to all those coping with the floods up north.

To state the bleeding obvious, events like this fit a classic climate change pattern, and we can expect more of them. Climate change is here, now.

The current floods have showed up real weaknesses in the capacity of Auckland’s fresh water supply system. Despite warnings, Aucklanders are not saving enough water and will probably soon need to boil drinking water. This issue may persist until the “end of the month”. The effects of climate change are here, now.

We should be preparing. As well as doing everything we can to cut emissions, We should be hardening our critical infrastructure. Like – Auckland’s water supply. Instead of building – you know – more roads.

62 comments on “Climate change, weather bombs, and the infrastructure that we need”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Despite warnings, Aucklanders are not saving enough water and will probably soon need to boil drinking water.

    Which Aucklanders?

    Because I can assure you, I’m not using 300 litres a day of water.

    I suspect the real users aren’t doing anything about reducing water use because doing so will cut into their profits. If I’m right then the health of our largest city is being put at risk because of business.

    • How do you feel about those not saving water or using too much? I suspect many doing that either think they’ll buy their way out – of this crisis and CC in general or they just cannot cram the information into their already full heads – and those heads are full of useless information when compared with thinking about what happens when the water is unthinkably undrinkable.

      • dukeofurl 1.1.1

        There is no chance of the water being undrinkable, its just the colour might be a bit darker

        • marty mars 1.1.1.1

          No chance? That is idiotic, you can’t say that or even anything close to it.

          • dukeofurl 1.1.1.1.1

            How is your claim substantiated ? Do you live in such a cotton wool world that you only drink deep spring water untouched by human processes.
            Try getting roof tank water sometimes

            Odd coloured water but drinkable is common in Australia.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1.1

              How is your claim substantiated ?

              Because there’s always a chance even when things are working as expected. Things presently aren’t working as expected.

            • marty mars 1.1.1.1.1.2

              We aren’t in oz mate.

              I drink roof water, tank water, creek water and aquifer water. hell ill even drink townie water sometimes. The colour is just one aspect and city water is vulnerable to all sorts of unwanted issues that could lead up to and include making the water undrinkable – or did I just imagine the Havelock north shit drinking? Do you 100% guarantee that couldn’t happen to a big city? Oh course not – it is impossible to be true saying that.

              I hope the water gets cleaner or at least just stays brown and tastes like ??? and nothing else causes some cascading effect – like additional heavy rain, lack of water saving, breakdown of equipment, accidental or deliberate contamination and so on…

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        How do you feel about those not saving water or using too much?

        That’s going to depend upon who it is. Those businesses, those who are using the most water, not reducing then they really need some comeuppance.

        Personal use should be reduced but health should be maintained as well.

    • Red Hand 1.2

      Bottled water and water based drinks for local consumption and export.
      https://ccamatil.co.nz/
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/79431619/pressure-on-water-bottlers-to-pay

      The consumer is paying for the plastic bottle as well as the drink. Some is put in a wheelie bin out of site and out of mind and a lot ends up on road and track sides and along the shore.
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11444998

      An essential ingredient for life is taken from a source that should belong to all living beings, ourselves included so people can pay for it and drink it from a plastic bottle courtesy of the oil industry.
      https://www.reference.com/home-garden/plastic-come-3280280930838df

      Then the discarded plastic has adverse environmental effects and some plastics damage health in their manufacture and usage.
      http://ecologycenter.org/plastics/ptf/report3/
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3791860/

    • Carolyn_nth 1.3

      When watercare started giving advice on saving water, I laughed. Because all the things they recommended to save water I already do – because cost of water rates.

      Who leaves the tap running while brushing their teeth?

      Although, I’ve never been able to shower in 2 minutes, and I don’t linger. Best can do is 4-5 minutes, especially when washing my hair.

      Not sure how I can save anymore water, unless I stop washing my clothes and sheets.

      But, I also read that Aucklanders already use less water than in other parts of the country.

      So it must be wealthy people who aren’t bothered about paying high water rates who are using all Auckland’s water!

      I always boil drinking water. I have long not liked the taste of Auckland tap water.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1

        So it must be wealthy people who aren’t bothered about paying high water rates who are using all Auckland’s water!

        Yep, that’s pretty much the way I figure it as well. That and businesses that make a profit from the use of water.

        Those of us who have to watch every sent already try to keep water use down.

        IMO, the fact that some people feel that it doesn’t matter how much something costs and that they can simply throw it away because the cost doesn’t matter to them proves that some of us are simply paid too much.

        • marty mars 1.3.1.1

          Is it more some industry processes than personal use? I just can’t imagine a non water caring rich aucklander could use that much water even if they emptied and filled the pool every week. I could be out of touch with that particular societal grouping though ☺

      • Anne 1.3.2

        Who leaves the tap running while brushing their teeth?

        I do. 😳 I try to remember not to but old habits (especially when they’re really old) die hard.

        We don’t have to wash our cars any more. Just leave it outside for half a day in the frequent tropical deluges and hey presto… the car’s shining like a new pin. I did [briefly] consider only showering every other day but thought that would be a bit tough on my fellow Aucklanders.

        • Whispering Kate 1.3.2.1

          The reason the two of us in this household conserve water is not that we can’t afford it – just the fact we resent paying out to the bottomless pit of a Super City who never prioritise the precious hard earned rate money which comes in each year. When they prattle on about sports stadiums ad nauseum and the water treatment plants are failing in bad weather, berms are shoulder high with tall grass ready to go up in flames next time we get drought conditions, street trees which are not kept under control and the crowns kept under control and are ready to topple down, annual rate rises – everything has gone to the dogs since the Super City was born. It’ no wonder we don’t want to give them any more money than we have to. Too many overseas junkets. paying out for contractors and rorting of council funds.

          Yes, we want to help to conserve and we do by catching water off the roof, if we take a bath, we put it on the garden and we manage to keep our watercare bill down to the lower side of a household of one. I pity poor parents of kids who sit in the shower contemplating their navels – here in Auckland it will be bankrupting them with the price of the water coming in and the grey water going out of the household each day.

  2. Tautoko Mangō Mata 2

    Climate change?? Does National Government care? About money, yes. Climate change is for future governments to worry about, it seems.

    1. The New Zealand Petroleum Conference 2017 (21-23 March in New Plymouth will feature the Government’s launch of Block Offer 2017 – the exclusive tender for exploration permits.

    New Zealand’s upstream petroleum industry has the potential to experience strong growth over the coming years. The country is attracting strong international attention with exploration activities underway in a number of the country’s 17 sedimentary basins, with general agreement there is strong potential for hydrocarbon deposits.

    With a supportive regulatory regime, strong economy, and stable political environment, the time is right to learn more about the opportunities that exist in New Zealand’s oil and gas industry.

    http://www.petroleumconference.nz/

    Block Offer annual exploration permit tender process:

    The New Zealand Government allocates petroleum exploration permits in an annual tender called a ‘Block Offer’.

    New Zealand has run annual Block Offers since 2012.

    https://www.nzpam.govt.nz/permits/petroleum/block-offer/

    Naturally, people want to protest against the deliberately irresponsible act of allowing further oil and gas exploration by the government, so……

    Potential protests at a petroleum conference have police worried enough to apply to close part of New Plymouth’s main street for two days.

    The police and the New Plymouth District Council have applied to close roads around the venue of the annual New Zealand Petroleum Conference that is expected to be attended by hundreds of industry delegates from around the world.

    Greenpeace leader Russell Norman said last month the organisation planned to protest outside the conference, which is being held in New Plymouth for the first time from March 21-23.

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/90094214/police-apply-for-road-closure-anticipating-protest-trouble-at-petroleum-conference

    Disappointingly there was no reference to the NZ Govt block offer in the Stuff article. More people need to be made aware of this callous disregard by the National Government for the future of our younger members of the population.

  3. weka 3

    Russell Brown‏ @publicaddress 4m4 minutes ago

    There’s a drinking water crisis in Auckland and Watercare has no social media presence and can’t update its website outside working hours.

    Russell Brown‏ @publicaddress 2m2 minutes ago

    And it’s not as if this absurd shortcoming hasn’t been pointed out to them. #rpt

    • dukeofurl 3.1

      Watercare is a notoriously aloof and distant organisation, and thats with people they have to deal with. The general public ? Who are they

    • Ad 3.2

      Watergate are going to get a caning for their comms. As they should. Hell even AT and NZTA can do weekend updates.

      But it’s Auckland Council itself that should be getting the hammering as they – not Watercare -are directly responsible for stormwater readiness.

      We’ve just had 2 water supply pipes blow here in Titrangi so our water is off until 3.

      • dukeofurl 3.2.1

        Stormwater readiness ?

        Different issue to freshwater supply.

        Stormwater pipes are designed to overflow in heavy rain. Council allows overland flow paths for that very purpose

        Ad you should be worried about about a major tropical storm like that which last hit Auckland in the late 20s -early 30s.
        heavy rain caused landslips will make large areas of Waitakaere ranges unlivable for 6 months or more due to shear volume of slips.
        they will take out power, road, water supply ( a lot of Titirangi is on tap water) and sewerage. rebuilding would be a slow expensive task.

        Its Aucklands ticking time bomb

        • Ad 3.2.1.1

          We have a tropical month every year and have had for nearly a decade. Plus, Titirangi gets about +20% more stormwater than most of suburban Auckland.

          The big problem in central Auckland is sewer and stormwater still joined together. In flood this causes sewerage overflows. V bad.

          So the $1.5b Watercare job in design is Central Interceptor to separate most of them out. Completion 2020, and involves a new tunnel under the Manuka u Harbour.

          • dukeofurl 3.2.1.1.1

            I was thinking of the Cyclone Bola equivalent we had back then. For the last 10 years there has been fewer tropical cyclones passing down this way, and usually we only get remnants from those that do. A full cyclone hit would be severe damage.

            From NIWAs records back then
            December 1926

            Comment Heavy floods occurred in Waitemata county.
            Affected Lifeline In the Waitemata county several bridges were washed away. A bridge on the Swanson-Helensville road was under water and roads were impassable due to flood waters.
            Affected Lifeline A broken water pipeline interrupted the water supply to Auckland city.
            Damage Damage occurred to installations and dams.
            The Waitakere Ranges received an estimated 8.00 in (20.3 cm) of rain in 24 hours on the 25th.
            The 200mm + rain in 24 hrs will the one that forces evacuations of 000’s now, back then there would be very few living there and mostly have roof tanks and own sewage system.

            hwe.niwa.co.nz/event/December_1926_Upper_North_Island_Flooding

            • Ad 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Today we had about 300 properties flooded out west today.

              Great North Road in middle of New Lynn was bisected by flood.

              Plus our area of Titirangi has been without fresh water for 7 hours. Main pipe scoured out and broke.

              • dukeofurl

                Council maps show this particular flooded area is a designated flood prone area.
                Seems the ponded area in images matches the predicted one fairly closely

  4. Antoine 4

    > We should be hardening our critical infrastructure. Like – Auckland’s water supply. Instead of building – you know – more roads.

    Without wanting to nit pick, roads _are_ critical infrastructure

    A.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Not the number that we are building. The holiday highway could have paid for an awful lot of infrastructure.

      • Antoine 4.1.1

        Agreed

      • Ad 4.1.2

        Watercare is funded from local water bills.

        Motorways are paid for largely by petrol and diesel taxes.

        The hypothecation of both provides real focus for both utilities. I wouldn’t change either.

        • dukeofurl 4.1.2.1

          Trouble is it supplies freshwater and then then sewerage disposal.

          The water supply is a very high standard, and the silt in the dams is from a 1 in 100 yr rainfall event in the Clevedon-Hunua area.
          The sewerage overflows into streams and harbours are an every year event and definitely something that needs remedial work.
          I know which should be the priority for Watercare

          • Ad 4.1.2.1.1

            See above.

            I don’t see anything wrong with requiring the Auckland population to respond to major events. Christchurch and Wellington had to. We should.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.2

          Watercare pays huge dividends to ACC every year.

          • dukeofurl 4.1.2.2.1

            Watercare is prohibited by legislation from paying any dividends. Compare with housing NZ !

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.2.1.1

              Probably me recalling this:

              The council has ordered Metrowater to provide a dividend of $280 million in the next 10 years. This has forced Metrowater to increase charges from September by 9.6 per cent.

              Auckland City, in its press release, refers to the increase as “charitable payments”. This implies voluntary giving. Metrowater is more honest, talking of Auckland City’s instructions to “deliver to it an increased return on public investment”.

              • dukeofurl

                That was 10 years ago, 2006 and yes the charitable payment was when the City Vision controlled council were skimming the till at Metrowater – a different body.
                I understand it was robbing Peter to pay Paul, water & sewage (which is billed for) was paying for stormwater upgrades( which arent)

                Current Watercare pays no dividend ( it cant) nor charitable payment- so no huge payments every year.

  5. Keith 5

    We need a government who leads in countering climate change, who articulates sensibly and who is committed to taking real action.

    In fact the exact opposite to Nationals pretence and no substance and of course Nick Smith.

  6. Bill 6

    Infrastructure…what we got?

    Well, from roading to housing to water and power infrastructures, we’ve essentially got Victorian era engineering and design for conditions that we no longer face. We need to upgrade, retrofit or replace the whole damned lot.

    And we need to relocate a pile of it. (sea level rise)

    • mauī 6.1

      Personally I think we should discard or just forget about a lot of that old infrastructure. We can’t maintain it properly and we can’t replace it fast enough to deal with whatever the next weather crises coming at us will be.

      People can install rainwater tanks so they can provide their own drinking water. They could also disconnect their roof downpipes to water their (vegetable/food producing) gardens or direct it to ponds for water storage for dry summers. That would reduce the load on overflowing stormwater drains. Switching to composting toilets that can be of use as a source of manure for a local productive crop is another idea.

      I think we will see more of that in the future, a win for self reliance and managing decaying infrastructure.

      • gsays 6.1.1

        I am of the opinion that every new dwelling and major reno, water storage is part of compliance. Petrol/diesel pump, then there is some resilience.

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          C.C…..the science…petrol/diesel….nah.

          • gsays 6.1.1.1.1

            ok, caravan foot pump.
            tbh, when ‘it’ hits, bugger living on a reticulated water system anyhow.

            • Bill 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I also wouldn’t want to be relying on a reticulated water network…land slips taking out pipes and the need for fossil to pump water to holding tanks in many cases.

              Anyway, I already don’t have reticulated water or sewerage and look on that as being somewhat ahead of the curve.

              Just wish I wasn’t ground by poverty and could afford a couple of solar panels (my average daily use of electricity hovers around 7 or 8 kw)

              • Gsays

                They would want to be bloody big panels to offset 7-8kw.
                Any chance of down sizing yr electric demand?

                • Bill

                  I thought that was already pretty damned low! 🙂

                  But two options would be a wet-back or a passive solar hot water system.

                  I’d guess that would drop usage to about 4 Kw.

                  Beyond that (actually, including that) it’s all financial constraints. Yes, I’d be keen to buy only very energy efficient electrical appliances – eg, fridge, freezer… but what you want and what you can have aren’t always one in the same, aye? 😉

                  • gsays

                    we relocated a whare about 12(!) yrs ago and bit the bullet, and went off-grid- thanks to max bradford and having a couple of mates living off-grid. meaning the initial set-up went on to a mortgage.

                    i have been fortunate to become acquainted to a tame solar h2o installer who did a lot of plumbing work for us. in return for me doing work for him.
                    installed a 1000l marshall hot water cylinder , that does the potable hot water and central heating.

                    with the drop in price of solar panels a couple of years ago, we put more on the roof, now we have an electric jug and toaster. luxury.

                    turn off all appliances that are on standby. that is up to 10% of power consumption.

                    i am off the opinion that if you keep a target or goal in mind, it will come to fruition.

            • weka 6.1.1.1.1.2

              solar pump with a hand/foot pump as back up 🙂

              I live rurally and when there is a power cut I have no water (could probably access the tank if needed drinking water in an emergency). That’s really stupid design.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    This was Henderson just before midday:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bzw1w_mGwiHfSnNySUNuVW5GV2M

  8. ianmac 8

    I read last year that it was about 70 litres per person per day in Auckland. I Bought a 5,000 litre rainwater tank and guessed how long it would last. 300lpppday seems a bit high but I guess it must take in pools gardens etc.

  9. Carolyn_nth 9

    Bloody hell. the centre of New Lynn flooded in the video here!

    I came through there (or rather under there) by train, morning and afternoon today. Didn’t see much water.

    I did see some of the flooding in Henderson around midday.

    • JC 9.1

      Bloody Hell!

      I think your All, (mostly), IGNORING what the Post is about!

      Welcome to the future…

  10. Cinny 10

    Climate Change is here, it’s happening right now, it’s very real, it’s not going away.

    Water conservation is EASY, don’t be greedy, it’s that simple.

    A free resource that some use to make enormous profit from, and the current government allows it to happen. How long will we allow them to do so? No longer I say.

    Our climate has changed and will continue to do so, all life on our planet is dependent on the climate, we need to change the way we do things, we should have already.

    Are we even ready for it? How many more record floods etc do we need to experience until we realise we need to be better prepared for what is coming, for the new weather records. Are our cities ready? Is our country ready?

  11. greywarshark 11

    Shocking pics from New Lynn’s floods. You still around lprent?

    At least someone is thinking intelligently for the future. I saw this piece in one of the reports I was reading.
    Goff said the council needed to urgently look at what could be done to improve the city’s infrastructure for future events.
    He said he believed deforestation was partly to blame for the level of silt in the water supply, and suggested native forest should be replanted in the catchment area.

    • dukeofurl 11.1

      Are they logging in the Hunua catchment area ? I checked the aerial photos and their might be some plantation forest on the northern edges of the Hunuas and the central area. There may be some logging from the way they have been cleared.

  12. greywarshark 12

    Sorry dukeofurl
    Don’t know. I saw the comment and grabbed it as one positive intelligent thing from a politician that I have heard today.

    Why don’t you write to Goff and tell him that you are pleased at his suggestion and ask him about the Hunuas at the same time. You could suggest to him that you could liaison unofficially with him and keep in touch with him about what is happening there! He might be encouraged to take the idea up and not just leave it as a comment. Even better get a group to sign the letter and be a ginger group. You know how these pollies start off on some policy saying that people have been telling me…. and no-one knows who they are, well you could be the ones telling him what he needs to know.

  13. Sorrwerdna 13

    What a load of bollocks – it rained as it has in the past and will in the future -nothing to do with the falsehood that is climate change or is it global warming or is it a funding trough for researchers

    • greywarshark 13.1

      I think our load of bollocks is of higher quality than yours sorry wotsit. We weren’t even focussing on climate change (you seem to have learned some new words lately), but about the well known effect of silting downstream from clear felling further up.

    • ropata 13.3

      Don’t let reality interfere with your igno-rants. Thank God Trump is forcing NOAA and NASA to delete their climate data. Bring back coal!

    • lprent 13.4

      Your statement would have more authority if you’d given up instances of similar events happening in that past.

      Since you haven’t, I consider myself free to call you a lazy lying fuckwit who appears to be too stupid or incompetent to talk on this subject.

      Now prove me wrong – provide evidence for me to specifically dissect (along with your inflated ego) in the way the scientists check their work.

      But you can’t you gormless fuckwit. About aok that you are good for is to clutch your brain and give it a good solid wank.

      😈

      Anyone care to take bets on this fool trying to justify their daft opinion?

      • Sorrwerdna 13.4.1

        I’m picking you used to get punished as a young boy for swearing so now that you are all grown up you feel compelled to overuse it. Very sad.
        Anthropogenic climate change is a crock -the science is not settled.

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    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    14 hours 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
    16 hours 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 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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