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Climate Commission Hope Versus NLTP Reality

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 19th, 2021 - 19 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, science, transport - Tags:

At the end of May the government will announce its policy responses to the Climate Change Commission recommendations. But the very hardest climate challenge we have is in transport, and it’s here that the National Land Transport Plan is pretty much like the wind being resisted by the Climate Commission air conditioning unit. Time to face our reality not our words.

The Big Giant transport Government Policy Statement kicks in on July 1st, and it’s going to get some reality fast.

The most civic-minded New Zealanders have now completed their submissions to Regional Land Transport Plans. Those plans are the great motorway onramps of transport funding prioritisation. You can see how the raw (RLTP) regional beef is turned into NLTP mince here.

Here’s the disconnect: there is a massive realisation growing that while climate change gases in New Zealand are 47% generated by car and truck combustion engines, there’s near-zero sign that we are getting out of our cars any time soon as a percentage of trips taken.

This Massey University report on what we are really doing is a typical example.

And here’s a summary of 25 years of our transport mode choice reality.

The gap between the ideology that climate activists and media activist commentariat spout, and the actual actions people make every day with the EFTPOS cards in their wallets, is getting more stark by the year.

This makes it incredibly difficult to make any useful submission to the democratic processes we are given.

On the evidence of our long and sustained behaviour, we are going to have to follow, not lead. Here’s how. There are four areas in the world that show the extent of what we are going to have to do to keep up, let alone lead:

1 Regulation

CO2 regulations in all major regions except us, Australia and the U.S. are becoming more rigorous, thereby accelerating the shift from Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs) to electric vehicles (EVs). Europe is leading the way with an emission limit of 95 g/km by 2020 and further reduction of 37.5 percent by 2030, resulting in a limit of 59 g/km. To meet the CO2 target in Europe and avoid penalties, vehicle manufacturers will have to sell 2.2 million EVs (assuming 50 percent PHEVs and 50 percent BEVs) in 2021. In 2018 EV sales in Europe amounted to 0.2 million. In comparison, China’s regulation targets are set at 117 g/km and 93 g/km, and North America’s current targets are set at over 50 mpg following passenger-vehicle Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards (equivalent to 99 g/km) for 2025. Possibly the closest we will get to that is in Auckland where our bus fleet is going to change out of diesel faster than anticipated. Two years ago in Wellington they did precisely the reverse and stripped the electric fleet out.

Further emission regulations (e.g., nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulates), access regulations (e.g., local diesel bans, license plate regulations), and potential ICE bans will influence adoption on a regional and city level. Globally, several countries have announced targeted end dates for ICEs (e.g., Norway by 2025; Israel, India, and Denmark by 2030; Canada, the UK, and China by 2040). So far there’s no ICE ban on our own horizon

2. Infrastructure

A cumulative investment of approximately US$50 billion will be needed in charging infrastructure by 2030, not including necessary grid upgrades. (The number of public and private charging stations needed by 2030 would be 15 million in Europe, 14 million in China, and 13 million in North America). Public grid upgrade will be a key enabler for driving EV adoption rates in China and Europe, while about 50 to 70 percent of the charging in North America will likely take place at home. This is confirmed by the fact that range and the ability to charge a vehicle remain the strongest concerns in Europe and the US, and the second strongest in China. We’re struggling to deal with any honesty about Tiwai Point let alone any grid upgrade that anticipates an electrification transformation, or indeed upgrading our home garage to the right charging points.

The currently strong investment momentum in China and Europe (supported by public subsidies) and awareness are cause for optimism that insufficient EV infrastructure may only be a bottleneck for a few markets like us and Australia. In addition to the charging station buildout, grid operators will have to respond to locally increasing peak loads (e.g., in residential areas with many early adopters) by upgrading transformers or incentivizing consumers to shift charging load (smart charging). New Zealand has a handful popping up, but none of the major fuel chains have them other than one or two per city.

3. Technology

Innovation in battery technology and production have made EVs competitive with conventional combustion engine vehicles. Batteries constitute a major cost item in EVs, and their cost has decreased significantly thanks to technology advancement, production process optimization, and economies of scale. Since 2010, the cost in USD/kWh has dropped by approximately 85 percent, thereby opening the market for EVs further. If I’m lucky I’m going to be able to afford a second-hand Toyota with a solid state battery that can soon get me to Wellington on a single charge, when I’m 60.

With regulatory forces, technology improvements, and infrastructure rollout all in favor of EVs, the question remains, how likely are consumers to adopt? Pretty well but from a very low base is the answer if you are in Germany, Scandinavia, Norway, and China. Not here. We’ve seen some of the big taxi fleets change to hybrids, but the rental car fleets are not yet moving despite chucking out most of their stock last year. Outside of China, the EU, and the US, combustion engine traffic will dominate for many many years to come and that includes us.

For the above commentary, the IEA has the relevant citations on uptake here.

And yet ……..

We know, with ashen left-melancholy, what an alternative society’s transport would look like, because during last year’s lockdown some good people did the data in the Big Backyard Bike Count.

It found that over 250 locations across Auckland, neighbourhood travel mode share was on average 19% people biking and scooting, 42% people on feet, and 39% using private vehicles. It was vivid proof that New Zealanders will happily slam their car doors and walk away, the minute they can.

Yet here we are in 2021 and the crisis is rather that so little has changed. One of our deepest national lows has not been turned into a catalyst for an improved society. It has taken Auckland Transport 10 years to generate a cycleway of 2 kilometres from New Lynn to Avondale, and the whole region is sprawling like wildfire. Wellington transport has yet to reach its Greater aspirations, Tauranga transport planning is one of the least coherent in the country, and Christchurch has been rebuilt with little attention to challenging the dominance of the car. The comparison between the heroic riders of the Hamilton-Papakura train (which started as a trial last week) and the beautiful, sculptural, glistening new 110km/h motorway network from Auckland’s CBD to Cambridge in 1.5 hours off peak could not be more stark.

But if you do still have the will to engage and try your best, GreaterAuckland gave some useful pointers on how to submit effectively and against climate change.

I believe it’s time to do away with New Zealand rhetoric in our transport planning documents about climate transformation, and be more straightforward and clear about how little has changed, how hard change really is, how deep the New Zealand reliance is on the internal combustion engine, and how long it will be to alter this course.

Without a truthful 2021 reconciliation of our transport direction to our climate change aspirations, our real-time behaviour shows we are actually meekly waiting for the global transport mode tide to gently rise around us rather than acting ourselves. We need to stop lying to ourselves, and government should stop it as well.

19 comments on “Climate Commission Hope Versus NLTP Reality ”

  1. "…..New Zealanders will happily slam their car doors and walk away, the minute they can."
    I agree.

    Yet,

    "….there’s near-zero sign that we are getting out of our cars any time soon as a percentage of trips taken."

    In the face of low uptake, the newly innaugerated Huia express train from Auckland to Papakura is dying on its feet, and looks likely to become an expensive white elephant.

    All around the world there is only one sure fire proven way to get the public out of their ICE vehicles en-mass.

    In municipalities and cities that have trialed it, the one strategy that has proved to be a runaway success, is the introduction of single payer fare free public transport.

    A great resource on how this can be done in Aotearoa, (and should be), is Fare Free NZ

    https://farefreenz.blogspot.com/p/moving-our-city-with-free-public.html

    We need to make a start.

    To keep it going and keep cars off the badly congested Southern corridor to Auckland, the Huia rail connection is the first obvious piece of failing public infrastructure that needs to trial waiving all fares for commuters.

    • lprent 1.1

      To keep it going and keep cars off the badly congested Southern corridor to Auckland, the Huia rail connection is the first obvious piece of failing public infrastructure that needs to trial waiving all fares for commuters.

      I had a look at the Te Huia. The adult fare price is $12.20 with a Bee card between Franklin and Papakura. Apparently takes about 98 minutes. Obviously heavily subsidised. Costs less than a taxi fare from home in Grey Lynn to Mt Eden when my bike is off the road.

      The first link that came up when I was looking for the fare was this.

      'Standing room only': Te Huia 'jam-packed' on first Saturday service, would-be passengers left behind

      The price doesn't look to me to be a problem. The basic problem is that that it is designed as a commuter train that runs in one direction. Two morning trains from Hamilton early in the morning, and two evening trains early in the evening. Takes at least 4 hours out of your day unless you live in Franklin and work in Papakura.

      Currently I don't know of any people who live in Hamilton and commute to South Auckland every morning. There are may be a few in Huntly. It is something that isn't feasible when driving a car.

      The people at Pokeno – the suburb with no facilities, useless roads and not even a supermarket, charmingly dumped by the old Franklin district and now in Waikato on the borders of Auckland leave really early at about 0530 to get to central Auckland before 0800 by car. They then leave either about 1530 or thye leave at 1830. Too much time out of the day.

      It will take time for commuter traffic to rise. The number of services to increase. And the number of stops in places like Pokeno for a true commuter system to arise. People have their existing houses and jobs, and they aren't going to shift in a week.

      That is why the project has been funded for 5 years. It is like the bike tracks. You have to build them first before people like me will start cycling to safely years later. Even public transport needs to have reasonable times to travel if you're use them.

      These days I won't take jobs where I can't cycle or get reasonable public transport to. In other words no jobs in no Albany – an hour each way by public transport if you're lucky and that is is you have stops right next to home and work. Nothing would convince me to do a daily commute to South Auckland. Out west is feasible – they is the bike track along the North Eastern.

      But I would consider going to Hamilton for longer trips by train. Working for a week in Hamilton out of a motel or hotel is preferable to doing the same thing in Singapore. I can carry my bike on a train, whereas it is barely feasible on the Intercity buses. You'd need a bike in Hamilton – the bus routes are even worse than when I was at university there 40 years ago.

      Otherwise I could use a car. Or simply not go – the latter is my current default.

      The key problem isn't price – it is having a viable transport route at all. Currently with our periodic bouts of the disease of National transport policies, we only have roads and cars. That needs to change.

      • Ad 1.1.1

        GreaterAuckland provides some suggestions on how the Hamilton-Papakura service could be improved here:

        https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/

        Given that diesel trains are no longer allowed into Britomart, Puhinui is about as far as this train could go. Also Britomart is tight as the upcoming service increase from CRL is going to use up pretty much every slot it has. Usefully Puhinui station has been recently upgraded, and there's now a electric bus servicing the link from there to the airport – if one were dedicated to catching a flight without a car. I sure hope that this hasn't been set up to fail once the novelty value wears off.

      • Jenny How to get there 1.1.2

        "The people at Pokeno – the suburb with no facilities, useless roads and not even a supermarket."

        Pokeno has a supermarket.

        Countdown Pokeno – Google Maps

        But the point is made.
        What Pokeno really needs is a train station. (and a commuter train to stop there).

        I do not know the number of commuters that leave this burgeoning satellite 'burb every morning, but witnessing the rush hour traffic jam morning and night between Bombay and Manukau it must be quite a few.

        Would a Huia train stop be enough to get Pokeno commuters out of their cars?

        Probably not.

        The reason being the Huia commuter rail service stops not far past Pokeno at Papakura. Bringing the Huia commuter train as far as Puhinui as suggested by Ad might be a bit more of an incentive. But what is really needed is a totally electrified commuter rail service all the way into the inner city. If Britomart is getting too congested, (as also noted by Ad). Maybe the closed train station on Beach Road could be re-repurposed.

        What's the alternative?

        Spending many more $billions adding even more lanes to the Southern motorway?

        As for fare free. I can understand that for people of means this is not an issue, but for people of lesser means squeezed out of the Auckland housing market, a single payer commuter train service from Kirikiriroa to their factory jobs in South (and even West), Auckland might be very attractive indeed.

        • lprent 1.1.2.1

          Yep they now have a Countdown, it opened 9th Feb 2021.

          Pōkeno had a population of 2,517 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 1,917 people (319.5%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 1,947 people (341.6%) since the 2006 census.

          Estimate at June 2020 was estimated at 3320.

          "Pokeno's resilience pays off as population set to triple in coming decades" – article in stuff in 2018

          "According to the Waikato District Council, Pokeno had a population of around 2000 people in 2013. That number is set to increase to 7000 within the next 10 years."

          As for fare free. I can understand that for people of means this is not an issue, but for people of lesser means squeezed out of the Auckland housing market, a single payer commuter train service from Kirikiriroa to their factory jobs in South (and even West), Auckland might be very attractive indeed.

          The main problem is that this is 98 minutes from Kirikiriroa (aka Hamilton) to Papakura for 100+ kms. That doesn't make it particularly attractive as a commuter line.

          For someone using it to work, then it is just another cost to be factored in. The minimum wage is $20 per hour. $24.40 return seems like a bargain for at least 200km. About $125 for a working week.

          But someone requiring really low costs, then they should probably look at Huntly. Much lower house cost or rent, and a lower fare.

  2. satty 2

    Another issue when looking into the EV charging infrastructure is the percentage of cars not parked in a garage at home, which is the case in many suburbs in bigger NZ cities. The reason is either there’s no garage with the home, the garage is old and too small for the large cars NZers buy nowadays or they are simply used for “collecting lots of shit” never to be used again.

    In my street with lots of on-street parking and very few places with garages the Wellington council replaced / resurfaced all the footpaths recently. They didn’t install a single recharge station nor any cables for future use. Can’t see how anyone in the neighbourhood would ever consider an EV.

    • RedBaronCV 2.1

      Some of the non plug in hybrids (Toyota has some under $30K) plus some provision for street level or outside garage secure plug in points (run off solar?) or "coin operated" for longer charging times based on ordinary electricity output not fast charging as those are much more expensive infrastructure to set up look like the way forward where there is no off street parking. I'm busy converting the neighbours and it doesn't take much talking. All the councils need to do is set some infrastructure rules around the provision of them.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        There are other issues around EV charging.

        For instance I'm in a 1998 apartment block in Auckland CBD outskirts, We have a dual garage with two car parks per each of our 60 apartments. Probably about 80 cars at any one time.

        It would seem like a prime candidate to put a multiple EV charge points in – right?

        But there aren't any power plugs in the garage. The carparks are owned by each apartment under strata law. There isn't room for additional carparks in the communal carpark areas. We do have some communal power for common lights and garage doors. But apartment power is paid by apartment apartment tenants or owner-occupiers.

        That means we'd have to get at a bare minimum a majority vote of all apartments to even consider installing EV power as it would effectively require communal funds to run the power out across the communal power trays. There are sure to be people without a car let alone a EV who wouldn't be interested in paying for it. Landlords won't see the point unless it gets them a better return on their investment.

        And there aren't (as far as I am aware) a single EV or PHEV in the building yet. I am pretty sure that I have the only e-bike. I carry the battery for that upstairs to charge that, or I charge it at work.

        There are a lot of issues ahead for widespread adoption of EVs. Charging points is one of them.

        Another is cost and the increased tendency for many people to not commute. We brought a replacement car last year. Our 1993 Toyota Corona with close to 300k found a pole while backing and failed a WoF. The 1998 Toyota Caldina with 250k had a abrupt oil leak and a seized engine (turned out the oil sensor was a bit buggered).

        We looked at EVs, PHEV, and hybrids. But for our average annual driving of less than 10k, the cost-benefit simply didn't make sense – all electric vehicles are too expensive apart from e-bikes. The car is there to transport shopping and to do longer trips to see family. We either work from home or use a ebike or scooter to commute.

        Brought a 2005 Caldina with 120k for $4k from a relative. Spent some money on the paint job. Takes us 6-7 weeks on average to empty the tank. Costs more in 3rd party insurance, maintenance. WoF, and registration than it does in petrol. It will last us a while.

  3. Foreign Waka 3

    The infrastructure in NZ does not allow for public transport in an efficient manner. The routes are known where the traffic flows but any bus, train stops some 3km from your home if they even come "near". Try this with bags of groceries in a hauling southerly. Quite often, just when it is bucketing down and one might start on an early shift, the news come through that the trains are cancelled but no one knows whether buses are going. No wonder no one is interested in this unreliable patchwork of what they call public transport.

    The problem as I see it is the sprawl of houses and the per capita route cost. Not to mention the roads that are in poor state and so narrow that the current buses have difficulties manoeuvring. A least in my neighborhood.

    Many major cities as well as countries are served by a network that was – low and behold such surprise! – thought through and most of the time one does not need a car at all. I have relatives living in a major city, travelling the world and never owed a car. Absolutely no need if a city is being designed for people an how they are going to move.

    The poor planning is visible by allowing push bikes on motorways and major traffic routes (!).

    There needs to be a regional transport plan put together with some serious thought how any form of train and bus route will connect coherently. No interference from the city councils, we have seen what they do with the waste water pipes, not to mention to have diesel buses introduced – good lord have mercy – we don't need a repeat.

  4. roy cartland 4

    Newsroom has a good case for reopening the Overnight Rail line WLG-AKL, with some good graphs of the inefficiency of short-haul flights:

    The distance, 682 km, is ideal for a sleeper service, as suggested by the New York Times in an article on the rebound of Europe’s night trains (paywalled).

    Fifty-seven percent of New Zealand’s population lives along the route. (42% in Auckland and Wellington, 15% in between.) It also spans five universities, home to many thousands of frequent flyers: for example, Massey University’s 3000-plus staff flew an average of 18,000 km each in 2019…

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/climate-emergency/a-night-train-to-break-air-travel-addiction

    • Ad 4.1

      This is exactly what I am talking about.

      The media focus on the least useful or timely customer proposal and ignore the far more likely one: completing the existing State Highways to Tauranga and Whangarei would eliminate the need for flights to Tauranga, Hamilton, Whangarei and Taupo (other than in occasional non-Auckland flights). Rail wouldn't.

      Instead they focus on a 9-hour train service which has been long since discredited in the minds of the consumer, and put that in the same conversation as a European train network. We are never going to have a comparable rail system to Europe, or China, or Taiwan, or Britain.

      The media who talk about rail prefer to talk about something other than the mode that has a 50-year headstart on rail and will do so for the foreseeable future. We need to reconcile our ideology with the reality of what is there.

      • lprent 4.1.1

        I don't think that many people do fly to Tauranga, Hamilton, Whangarei and Taupo now. I know that I don't.

        I tried doing a couple of flights to Rotorua a few years ago. There was a major disincentive in that there it took under three hours to get to Rotorua by car, and about the same by plane once you added the time to get to and from the airports, costs of bus or taxi or parking. Not to mention that I missed a non-refundable flight.

        Flying to local destinations is just a pain from Auckland. But the problem is that it is pointless doing the roads as well. All that every improvement since the 1970s has done has been to move the congestion further along the state highways. Make the roads easier and they just fill up with what appears to be pointless travel.

        If you look at SH2 from Auckland for instance, my bet is that most of the increase of trips along there are simply people going to and from holiday homes on the coast. Why would I want to pay for that?

        The NZTA should just install a tolls along many of the state highways and make them user pays based on actual usage. I’m pretty sure that will relieve congestion and make the roads better for those who need to use them. NZ population isn’t exactly large enough to require the congestion we currently see.

        • greywarshark 4.1.1.1

          Tolls I think that is the idea. Christchurch has gone towards working on travellers a bit with a special lane for those with two or more in car. Some innovations are needed to get us off the roads.

        • Ad 4.1.1.2

          Since I'm working in Palmerston North on a wind farm at the moment, I hang a bit at the regional terminal and those flights still seem reasonably popular during the week. I'm sure there's be hell to pay as per Shane Jones last term giving AirNZ grief if there were unjustified regional flight cancellations.

          I'm hoping to see some strong moves in the Climate Commission responses that would make it worth companies accruing and internally costing the carbon they expend by RUC. Still plenty the government could do across its own Departments in this area as well.

          • lprent 4.1.1.2.1

            Talking Palmerston North is like comparing pears with oranges…

            I was talking about the nearly half of the North Island population who live in Auckland, and who flood the roads to Tauranga, Hamilton, Whangarei, and even Taupo.

            Rational Aucklanders would kill to have the kind of rail transport that the Wellington Region does. I could get a regularly scheduled train from Wellington almost all of the way to Otaki on Xmas eve. The only reason I couldn’t bet one to Otaki itself was because that was a commuter service that didn’t suit my flights from Auckland.

            Flying Palmerston North to Tauranga, Hamilton, Whangarei is reasonable from Palmerston North. You're looking at 5+ hour drives. That kind of time makes it worthwhile to go by plane. It is like me flying to Wellington from Auckland (~7 hours by car vs 2.5 hours (counting drive and park)).

            Palmerston North to Taupo? Maybe – from memory it is about 3 hours (google maps says 3h 11m). You don't have the drive and park issues that you do in Auckland. So probably 1.5-2 hours.

            But basically the problem up this end is that Auckland is about 1.6 million population out of a North Island population 3.7 million in the North Island.

            Almost all of the driving on state highways up here is short haul – within a 3 hour drive of Auckland. Not to mention that Hamilton, Tauranga, Whangarei and even Rotorua are considerable population towns in their own right – and the primary destination of most of the upper north island traffic.

            Rather than putting more roads in to simply be filled up by trucks and cars, we'd be better off doing the basic straightening and safety issues, and concentrating on putting in double track electric trains. Leave the roads to people and trucks going to the low density population areas.

            It'd be way way cheaper than putting in more motorways, and much more economic as well.

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    While cycling is valuable I do think we have to be careful not to overcook or indulge in pious hopes about a means of transport that cannot be useful to all. As it stands it looks like fair weather transport for a group that is largely male with discretionary time on their hands.

    Christchurch is cycling's most terrain friendly city and I saw somewhere that it is looking at spending $341m of tax and ratepayer money on cycleways for about 13,000 cyclists. Even if this went to 30,000 cyclists 10% of the population of the city it is still very expensive on a per head basis. And $341 million would buy a lot of housing and health care.

  6. RedBaronCV 6

    I think the most valuable thing we could do is to keep the population stable not keep increasing it. As far as actual transport goes free or largely free public transport in densely populated areas plus facilitating hybrid and electric car purchases. For individuals and companies there are real running cost gains for these vehicles particularly if they can avoid fast charging . Putting in an expensive fast charge network is likely to be overtaken by events as newer batteries appear that have much greater range.

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    This is a re-post from the Thinking is Power website maintained by Melanie Trecek-King where she regularly writes about many aspects of critical thinking in an effort to provide accessible and engaging critical thinking information to the general public. Please see this overview to find links to other reposts from Thinking is Power. ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Abandoning ambition
    When Labour was first elected to power in 2017, they promised us "[an] ambitious plan to take real action on climate change". Four years and a lot of foot-dragging later, they've finally released that plan. And its not what was promised. Where to begin? Firstly, they've taken the Climate Change ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Young adults worldwide have blunt message for governments: ‘We don’t trust you.’
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Elizabeth Marks describes herself as “a psychologist who works on difficult problems.” Her past research aimed at helping people cope with challenging health conditions, apt training, it appears, for taking on climate change issues. A few years ago, she altered ...
    3 days ago
  • Making ‘Second Age’ Hobbits Work: Amazon Series Speculation
    Time for a good old-fashioned fandom furore. The Tolkien fandom hasn’t had a proper one of those since the Great Nudity Scandal of October 2020… so it clearly must be time to pontificate from on-high about a television series we still know vanishingly little about. This time the subject ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 13 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Lara Greaves, Political scientist, University of Auckland: “I love the NZ Politics Daily emails as they help me to keep on top of current events. It’s incredibly easy to skim through and follow the links. I really appreciate these as it means that I am exposed to a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • The Data and Statistics Bill and the OIA
    The government introduced a new Data and Statistics Bill today to modernise and replace the 45-year old Statistics Act. Part of the Bill re-enacts the existing confidentiality regime (with one exception), which while a secrecy clause isn't an especially controversial one. Another part is aimed at removing "outdated" (inconvenient) limits ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The debate over the $55 million media fund erupts again
    RNZ’s Mediawatch and a video clip viewed 42,000 times keep the topic of the Public Interest Journalism Fund fizzing. Graham Adams reports.   A week ago, the NZ Taxpayers’ Union posted a short video clip of the exchange in Parliament between Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins in which the National ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Multiple sclerosis: the link with earlier infection just got stronger – new study
    Scott Montgomery, UCL For most of the time since the first description of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1868, the causes of this disabling disease have remained uncertain. Genes have been identified as important, which is why having other family members with MS is associated with a greater risk of developing ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Covid and free speech
    by Don Franks Some commentators have likened the struggle against Covid 19 to the world war experience. To those of us not alive in those times, that comparison can only be academic. What the anti virus battle reminds me of much more is an industrial strike. In my twenties and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Angry Blowhards”
    In today’s Herald, their excellent columnist, Simon Wilson, takes to task those “shouty” people whom he further describes as “angry blowhards”. They are those whose prime reaction to the pandemic is anger – an anger they seamlessly (and perhaps unwittingly) transfer from the virus to the government. The basis for ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Looking Forward To 2022.
    Future Tense? Okay, so that’s where we are in 2022. Living in a New Zealand where all the usual rules of politics once again apply. And, guess what? Jacinda’s government, once again, isn’t doing very well – not very well at all.LET’S PLAY A GAME. Let’s pretend we’re half-way through ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Covid mandates, and the Covid pill
    The cliché about “living with Covid” will not mean life as we’ve known it, Jim. Vaccination is fast becoming a condition of employment, and also a requirement to participate in aspects of social life, such as travel, attending bars, cafes, and concerts etc. These protective measures enjoy a high level ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 12 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Prof Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington; Chair of the Infrastructure Commission: “NZ Politics Daily” provides a great public service – a quick and unbiased way to check policy announcements and analysis every morning.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: A submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2)
    I have made a submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2).In preparing it, I looked at the Hansard for the first reading debate, and got name-dropped as someone likely to make a submission. So, of course I did. I focus on a small bit of the ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: More tales from the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme
    You may have read last week that two years after the publication of regulations for medicinal cannabis – and three years after the enabling legislation – two local products from a local manufacturer have finally met the minimum quality standards for prescription. You may also be interested to know that ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
    Over the weekend someone pointed me at a journal article on "The Poverty of Theory: Public Problems, Instrument Choice, and the Climate Emergency". Its a US law journal article, so is a) very long; and b) half footnotes (different disciplines have different norms), but the core idea is that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
    Last month the US and EU announced they would push an agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% (from 2020 levels) by 2030 at the upcoming climate change conference in Glasgow. The good news is that New Zealand is looking at joining it. The bad news is that that won't ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
    Classic Shot: Are the Prime Minister’s formidable communication skills equal to the task of getting her government’s anti-Covid campaign back on track?IF JACINDA ARDERN thought last week was bad, the week ahead promises to be even worse. Sixty community cases of Covid-19, one of the highest daily totals so far ...
    5 days ago
  • Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools
    Dr Rachel Webb, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Pip Anderson, Dr Emma Best, Dr Alison Leversha and Dr Subha Rajanaidu* In this blog we describe the range of urgent measures that are needed to facilitate a safe return to schools in Auckland and other regions of the country where there is ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
    Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
    Claire Breen, University of Waikato; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato; Robert Joseph, University of Waikato, and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato   Our names are a critical part of our identity. They are a personal and social anchor tying us to our families, our culture, our history and place in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
    On Tuesday 5 October the New Zealand Government announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be a requirement to attend large events this summer.It took a few days for event owners to absorb the information and understand the implications. By the end of the working week, most of the big ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jim Hubbard, Cartoonist “NZ Politics daily is a go to for cartoonists, or should be.  Political reporting enmasse like this gives cartoonists and political junkies a smorgasbord to get their teeth into. Essential and I daresay vital reading for those who care about the future of NZ.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 3, 2021 through Sat, October 9, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: VFX Artist Reveals how Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World, Will you fall ...
    6 days ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
    A bit of good news on the writing front. My 3900-word short story, The Night of Parmenides, has been accepted by SpecFicNZ for their upcoming Aftermath anthology, to be published in early 2022. This is my first published short story to be explicitly set in my home-town of ...
    6 days ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
    . . . . . References Newshub Nation: Gang leader Harry Tam denies Winston Peters’ claims he helped infected woman breach COVID boundary, sparking Northland lockdown Te Ao News: ‘Apologise!’ Mob leader slams Peters’ Covid, Northland allegations Stuff media: Covid-19 – Search for contact of Northland case ‘extraordinarily frustrating’ CNBC: ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
    Last week was probably a high point for many armchair “experts”, fresh from their high after some deep inhaling of the various musings and fumings, of an actually very smug, and very insualted John “Things all work for me…” Key, former Prime Minister and FOREX trader, had blitzed the ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Bollocks
    It would appear we have an unwelcome presence in town.Positive wastewater results had been detected in Hamilton and Palmerston North on October 6 and 7. There are 26 cases in hospital, seven of these are in ICU or high dependency units (HDU).One of the people in hospital is in Palmerston ...
    7 days ago
  • World-leading?
    So, the Herald has found someone, as we can see from today’s issue, who is able to explain why we should not claim to have been “world-leading” in our response to the covid epidemic. It seems that we have been kidding ourselves when we celebrated our low total number of ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
    Force Multiplier: Why are Ardern and her ministers so loathe to put a bit of stick about? The “emergency” legislation eventually enacted to authorise the measures needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic failed to confer upon the New Zealand Government the unequivocal authority that subsequent events showed to be so ...
    1 week ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker* The NZ Government appears to have drifted into an unclear strategic approach to Covid-19 control. In this blog we outline one potential way forward: a regional strategic approach that considers “regional suppression” and “regional elimination”. To maximise the success of this ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
    Long-time Tolkien geeks – or those bemused enough to run across a certain internet phenomenon – might know that ‘Sauron’ is not actually the real name of the Lord of the Ring. ‘Sauron’ is just an abusive Elvish nickname, meaning ‘the Abhorred.’ Sauron’s actual name, at least originally, ...
    1 week ago
  • Forced Re-entry
    The elimination of Covid strategy is not so much defeated but changing circumstances means that policy has to evolve. Our elimination stance was never sustainable or at least it would not be until the rest of the world also eliminated Covid-19. Elimination of the virus was a strategy we adopted ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
    Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on National's unjust "three strikes" law, and found that the sentence it required was (in the case in question) so disproportionate as to "shock the conscience" and violate the Bill of Rights Act ban on disproportionately severe treatment or punishment: The Supreme Court has ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
    The Christchurch City Council has published new "coastal hazards" data, indicating which places are under threat from sea-level rise. And its not good news: Parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are likely to become unhabitable [sic] as the city council figures out how to adapt to sea level ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
    I wonder if Mike Hosking ever reads the paper in which he appears so regularly? If he does, he might have noticed a report in today’s Herald about the problem that could face churches in Auckland if a vaccine passport becomes mandatory for those wishing to attend church services. The ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Bill Ralston, Media consultant and columnist: “NZ Politics Daily provides an invaluable service for journalists, politicians, businesspeople, decision makers and the public at large by providing an easily accessible, exhaustive, link to every significant political story in the country’s media that day. It’s a gem of a service ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al
    . . Congratulations,  Mr Barnett, Ms White, and your business colleagues. It appears that we will end up having to “live” (ie, get sick, end up in hospital, perhaps in ICU, intubated on ventilators, and possibly dying as our lungs fail) with covid19. But at least businesses will open up. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Introducing Mr Stick.
    MR STICK: You media types think the people of this country have changed, but you’re wrong. We’re the same tough bastards we’ve always been. Put a bit of stick about – and listen to us cheer!JOSEPHINE MUCH-ADOO: Kia ora, everyone, and welcome to “Introducing”. Today we are very pleased to ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #40, 2021
    "Old" research There's little point in trying to best this excellent article describing the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics by Ars Technica authors Jennifer Ouelette and John Timmer, each having a gift for concisely on-target, accessible science journalism. Here at New Research we'll punt and quote the The Royal Swedish Academy of ...
    1 week ago
  • Standing on one leg is a sign of good health – and practising is good for you too
    Dawn Skelton, Glasgow Caledonian University Research shows that people’s ability to stand on one leg is an indicator of health and that getting better at standing on one leg can add to fitness and potentially lifespan. Being able to stand on one leg is linked to increased levels of physical ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: More dishonesty over the CCR
    Last month the Emissions Trading Scheme turned into a farce, when the government flooded the market with credits in a failed and wasteful attempt to Keep Carbon Prices Low. When I asked about the background of this policy Climate Change Minister James Shaw sent me one of the most egregious ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Schrödinger’s Wraith: The Status of the Witch-King of Angmar, 15th-25th March, T.A. 3019.
    My recent re-read of The Lord of the Rings reminded me of one of the vaguer head-scratchers in Tolkien. The status of the Witch-King of Angmar between his death at the Battle of Pelennor Fields and the Destruction of the One Ring ten days later… was he, in the ...
    1 week ago
  • How rainbow colour maps can distort data and be misleading
    Philip Heron, University of Toronto; Fabio Crameri, University of Oslo, and Grace Shephard, University of Oslo   The choice of colour to represent information in scientific images is a fundamental part of communicating findings. However, a number of colour palettes that are widely used to display critical scientific results are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Korea’s march to global cultural domination, plus a K-pop playlist
    So far, South Korea’s culture industries seem to be pandemic proof. They’re also winning huge global audiences, and not merely large domestic ones. In recent years, South Korea’s TV series (Squid Game, Descendants of The Sun) and movies ( Parasite, Oldboy, The Handmaiden) have become global hits. However, it has ...
    1 week ago
  • In a lockdown, where does work end and parenting begin? Welcome to the brave new world of ‘zigzag...
    Candice Harris, Auckland University of Technology and Jarrod Haar, Auckland University of Technology   All parents work. The difference lies in the breakdown between their paid and unpaid workloads. That equation is influenced by many things, including education, qualifications, age, ethnicity, financial status, number and age of dependants, gendered and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Using Rapid Antigen Tests to Improve COVID-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Figure 1: Rapid Antigen Test kit given out freely from the NHS in the UK Dr Jennifer Summers, Assoc Prof James Ussher, Assoc Prof Nikki Moreland, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker* Most COVID-19 testing aims to identify infected people. To date, Aotearoa NZ has relied almost ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 7 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Liz Gordon, Former MP, researcher and blogger I just hate NZ Politics Daily. I get settled in to do a good day’s work and ZAP, it arrives in my inbox like a little shiny gift.  I try to ignore it but my cursor creeps inexorably towards the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Will electoral and political finance law reform succeed this ti...
    It’s welcome news that the Government has announced this week that they intend to improve how elections work in this country, including fixing the political finance rules. Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has announced that major reforms will be investigated in the areas of political donation rules, promising changes that will ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Will Jacinda Stand? Or, Has She Already Fallen?
    Free Falling? New Zealanders needed to hear Jacinda take a firm line on vaccination, issuing stern warnings to those who declared their intention to refuse. Kiwis just weren’t in the mood to let lockdown evaders and anti-vaxxers free ride on their good citizenship. Google’s IT wizards confirmed that Kiwis were, overwhelmingly, ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The CCR was a huge waste of money II
    Last month, in the wake of the September carbon auction, I talked about how the government's policy of flooding the market with a "cost containment reserve" of an extra 7 million tons of pollution in an effort to keep carbon costs low was a huge waste of money. Ministry for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Celebrating Women in Space
    Beautiful, Inspiring, Mysterious!  How do you describe space?  What do you think when you look up at the stars?  The United Nations General Assembly certainly knew how beautiful, inspiring, mysterious, and important space is when they designated a week to be World Space Week.  That’s this week, and the theme for this year is ...
    SciBlogsBy John Pickering
    1 week ago
  • COVID Clusterfuck
    Well it has been fun living in the safest country in the world for a year and a half, but a combination of cynical politics from the right, and dithering incompetence from the left, and selfish sociopathy or ignorance on the part of the population , means New Zealand is ...
    1 week ago
  • Unsurprising
    Former rugby league star Manu Vatuvei has admitted importing methamphetamine. The Warriors icon was charged in December 2019 with possessing methamphetamine for supply and importing the Class A drug. He previously denied the charges and earlier this year said he would “fight for his innocence” after he outed himself as the sportsman ...
    1 week ago
  • Bond, Wokeness and Representations in Cinema
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh The latest James Bond film has come out.  It is apparently to be Daniel Craig’s last incarnation as the Spy Who Loved Me, or raped me as some have pointed out.  There has been much discussion about how woke the new James Bond is and how ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, the Bubble, and the Trap
    . . . . . References National Party: Open the Trans Tasman Bubble Now (archived) Twitter: National Party – Sign the Trans Tasman bubble petition Twitter: Judith Collins – Sign the Trans Tasman bubble petition RNZ: Tourism New Zealand forecasting billion-dollar economy boost if trans-Tasman bubble opens Stuff media: Crack ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Not keeping their promises
    One of the big steps forward in climate change policy was when cabinet started demanding climate change assessments of policy, so when they built that road or changed energy or farm policy, they'd know what they were doing and be able to make an informed decision (and if not, one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A useful ruling
    As readers may be aware, I (and everyone else) have been having a growing problem with OIA extensions for "consultations". They're being used by agencies to juke the stats, scam extra time, and cover up administrative failure. So I've taken up complaining about them. And last night, I got a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
    The Government is supporting a Whakatōhea-led project undertaking landscape scale restoration in forests and around vulnerable rivers within the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “The Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao project will employ four people to undertake pest and weed control, ecosystem restoration and monitoring over three ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3 for a few more days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1. “Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
    The Government is moving ahead with new courthouses in Tauranga and Whanganui, which the Justice Minister says provide an opportunity to redesign court facilities that help put victims at the heart of the justice system. “These courthouses are part of the 10-year infrastructure investment plan to restore and modernise Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te ata. Earlier this month Save the Children wrote to me with their most up to date analysis on the impact of climate change. What they said was that children born in Aotearoa today will experience up to five times as many heatwaves and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today. The Emissions Reduction Plan will set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
    The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The law received 65.1 per cent support in a public referendum held alongside last year’s general ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Taking a lead in threat to curious kea
    Reducing lead poisoning of kea, the world’s only alpine parrot and one-time New Zealand bird of the year winner, is the goal of a two year project being backed by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.  “Lead poisoning is a serious threat to this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government provides certainty to working holiday and seasonal visa holders and employers for summer
    The Government will extend Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas for six months to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders over the coming summer period, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. “This offers employers and visa holders the certainty they’ve been asking for going ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Lower card fees good for businesses, consumers
    The Bill to help lower the cost of the fees retailers get charged for offering contactless and debit payment options is another step closer to becoming law, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark said today. “COVID-19 has changed the way we spend our money, with online and contactless ...
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    5 days ago
  • Mandatory vaccination for two workforces
    High-risk workers in the health and disability sector to be fully vaccinated by 1 December, 2021, and to receive their first dose by 30 October School and early learning staff and support people who have contact with children and students to be fully vaccinated by 1 January, 2022, and to ...
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    5 days ago
  • Fund allows more Pacific community led vaccinations
    The Government has made $1.1 million available through ‘The Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund’ to directly support Pacific community-led initiatives towards increasing vaccinations, said Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio. “The best way to protect our communities from COVID-19 is through vaccination. “We need to explore every avenue to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Small business at heart of economic recovery across APEC region
    The Minister for Small Business says support for small and medium enterprises will remain ongoing as the Asia-Pacific region moves through response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuart Nash today chaired a virtual summit from Wellington for the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM). “APEC Ministers responsible ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Restrictions on abortion medication lifted for health practitioners
    Abortion services can now be provided in primary care, meaning people can access this care from someone like their trusted GP and in a familiar setting, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “By lifting some restrictions on the funded medications used for early medical abortions, more health ...
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    1 week ago
  • Record day for Māori vaccinations
    More than 10,000 vaccinations were administered to Māori yesterday, the highest number in the vaccine campaign so far, Associate Minister of Health (Maori Health) Peeni Henare announced. There were 10,145 doses administered across the motu yesterday this is almost equivalent to the population of Hāwera. The doses are made up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on Joint Cooperation in Agriculture between Ireland and New Zealand
    8 October 2021 - Dublin, Ireland Agriculture plays an important role in the economic, social, environmental, and cultural wellbeing of Ireland and New Zealand. We are focused on increasing the productivity, inclusivity, and resilience of our respective primary sectors. As agri-food exporting nations, we also share a commitment to a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Northland to move to Alert Level 3 tonight
    Northland will move to Alert Level 3 restrictions from 11:59pm tonight following recent information on the risk presented by the positive case initially tested in Whangarei earlier this week and confirmed in Auckland yesterday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. The person is now in an Auckland Managed Isolation Quarantine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister's Christmas Card Competition
    It’s that time of year again! If you’d like to help design the Prime Minister’s official Christmas card, here’s how to take part: Draw, paint, sketch or craft an image you’d like to see on the front of this year’s Christmas card. It can be anything you want – a traditional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech : Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ruapehu social housing pilot, providing value for generations to come
    Housing Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods today announced the development of six social housing units funded by the Government’s Covid response infrastructure fund, to help work toward resolving Ruapehu's lack of social housing. “The Crown’s investment of $2.1 million in this project will provide value to the community for generations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Children’s Commissioner Appointed
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced  Judge Frances Eivers’ appointment as the new Children’s Commissioner. Judge Eivers, who is currently a District Court Judge in Manukau, will take up the role on 1 November 2021. She has been appointed for two years. The Children’s Commissioner is an ...
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    1 week ago
  • More support for business available from today
    The third round of the Resurgence Support Payment opened for applications this morning. “The RSP helps businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. It provides cashflow to businesses and supports them to pay their bills while the country is at Alert Level 2 or above,” Grant Robertson said. “The ...
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    1 week ago
  • Compelling case made for modernising local government
    Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the interim report on the Future for Local Government Review.  “Our system of local democracy and governance needs to evolve to be fit for the future. New Zealand is changing and growing, and there are some significant challenges presenting not only now with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Judge and Associate Judge of High Court appointed
    Christchurch Queen’s Counsel Jonathan Eaton has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, and Auckland Barrister and Solicitor Clive Taylor has been appointed an Associate Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Eaton graduated with an LLB from the University of Canterbury in 1986, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Firearms licence extensions granted to those affected by COVID-19 delays
    New Arms Act amendments enacted today gives extensions to existing firearms licence holders whose renewals have been delayed by this year’s COVID-19 lockdown, says Minister of Police Poto Williams. “This is a necessary regulation that supports firearms licence holders caught out by COVID-19 Alert Level changes and unable to progress ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extension of Alert Level 3 boundary in Waikato
    Following public health advice, the Government has agreed to extend the Waikato Alert Level 3 boundary to the south, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Although today’s news has been encouraging, with new cases in Waikato being linked to previously identified cases, this is a prudent step to take,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago