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Deserted cities

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, December 13th, 2009 - 38 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, Environment - Tags:

I think it is a pity that the currently dominant country / culture in the world, America, has had such a short history. Pakeha history in New Zealand suffers from the same limitation. All of our history has been about expansion and growth. “Progress”. It seems to us to be the natural state of affairs.

In many other countries people grow up in the shadow of a much longer history. Sometimes literally amidst the ruins of once great cities and empires. I visited a few many years ago. Vijayanagar, for example, was the seat of a South Indian empire from 1336 to 1646. The ruins of the city today are spread over 26 sq km. Temples, palaces, stables, tanks, siphons and pipework, chariots, markets – much of it still well preserved, much of it fading back into the harsh, red, rocky landscape.

Vijayanagar

Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of a Mughal empire, founded in 1570. It is a smaller site, and so perfect that it might have been abandoned just yesterday. This city was never sacked by war, it was simply evacuated by its people, abandoned just 15 years after it was built when the water supply failed. No water no people, just an empty city.

Fatehpur-Sikri

Such places impressed on me, in a way that growing up in NZ never had, that our civilisations and their works are both fragile and temporary. And I think the fact that too many people in the world today are missing this gut level understanding is one of the things that makes it so hard for us to address the global challenge of climate change. Too many people simply can’t believe, can’t even imagine, that the world that they see around them could suddenly and catastrophically change. It seems ludicrous, impossible, so those who say it is going to happen simply must be wrong. Because I have never broken my leg, my leg is unbreakable!

Well. Just rambling on a Sunday. But I wish that folk who can’t or won’t believe in the threat of global warming could spend time wandering in some of the ruined cities of the world. Or perhaps even just read Collapse (by Jared Diamond). I can’t help but wonder sometimes (when I am in a city) whether 500 years from now the people will be exploring our ruins. And if so, what they will think of us.

38 comments on “Deserted cities”

  1. Andrei 1

    They quite possibly be amazed that we threw our civilization away on the basis of the basis superstition, AGW.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      It’s the deniers such as yourself that are delusional. The evidence is quite clear but you’re going around denying it. In 500 years I suspect that they’ll be asking why we took so long to do anything (we knew we had to do something back in the early 1970s) and then they’ll come across posts like yours and wonder why the rest of us were held to ransom by people who were obviously mentally ill.

      • bill 1.1.1

        Be fair DTB. We must all be mad buggers or else we would never have been arriving at this situation in the first place.

        On the action/inaction front. What’s the name of the guy who did the ‘Right Authoritarian’ studies? From memory, he shows that voters (authoritarian followers) vote in representatives (authoritarians) and that authoritarians are the worst possible person type with regards getting it together with others to sort shit out. The second worst are authoritarian followers (wishy washy can’t decide when and how to take action types….must be told what to do)

        And in 500 years I doubt if there would have been people around to wander through ruins at liesure regardless of climate change.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          When presented with the wrong information we tend to make the wrong decisions which is why we’re where we are today. Wrong information such as the Catholic Church’s condemnation of contraception and peoples belief that they can have as many children as they like. Both of these fallacies and a few others have been pushed onto us by politics, business and church’s. Now, and for a few decades, we’ve been slowly realising through the help of science that these are complete BS and making changes.

          Now the CCDs are pushing another fallacy upon us against all the evidence and, unfortunately, our political leaders are either listening to them or actually are them.

          • Bill 1.1.1.1.1

            It might surprise you ( I suspect it will), But it was not just the Catholics who espoused the idea of out breading competitors.

            Some notable anarchists did too.

            See. There was a time when the orthodoxy maintained that genes (or bloodlines) were determinant factors.

            So the Catholics were not unusual or peculiar when seen in contemporaneous context.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Still doesn’t make it anything less than false information and no, it doesn’t surprise me. Many cultures still have the concept of having many children to prove yourself a man etc.

          • Andrei 1.1.1.1.2

            It is actually an individuals responsibility to raise the next generation.

            You are supposed to have children and bring them up and if people don’t they die out. This is not rocket science

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.2.1

              There’s a difference between ensuring the next generation and over population. The world is now over populated by some 6 billion people. As you say, it’s not rocket science but you still don’t get it.

    • QoT 1.2

      Threw our civilisation away? If your idea of our “civilisation” is one based on burning fossil fuels and pillaging the planet’s natural resources, I have no problem with binning it and starting over.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Haven’t read Collapse yet but I’m presently reading <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Tainter"Joseph Tainter's Collapse of Complex Societies

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Gah, spam blocked

  4. Olwyn 4

    I couldn’t agree more rOb; and would add to that weak sense of history (History is bunk – Henry Ford), the idea of infinite resource. While we no longer think that resources are infinite, much of our thinking follows from a time in which it seemed that way.

  5. Marty G 5

    fantastic post, r0b.

  6. outofbed 6

    500 years ? won’t the “rapture” have happened by then ?

  7. andy 7

    Detroit is a living example of an abandoned industrial city, Johannesburg SA next. IMO.

  8. rainman 8

    It’s going to be interesting to see just how rapidly our suburban infill de-skilled car culture declines, as oil becomes scarce. Won’t have to wait 500 years for that either – it’s likely to be fairly soon.

    Be nice if we had some real political leadership around here, to drive along some central mitigation activities. Sigh.

    You’re spot on about the lack of history, btw.

  9. Rob 9

    The thing that always strikes me most about books like Collapse is when the cultures collapsed. Always only a few years after their peak. Building their greatest structures, having the greatest feasts and showing off their wealth. That in its turn was what killed them. It seems to me this is what we are constantly trying to do now. Build the tallest buildings, the fastest planes the greatest of everything possible with our current technology ignoring the effects of it. How many abandoned construction programs have there been around the world now leaving the people surrounding them desolate?

    We need to concentrate on living as best we can not merely showing as best as we can. Maybe then we can make some progress on issues like climate change and poverty.

    • Olwyn 9.1

      rainman & Rob: One has to look at how many of these dependencies were inflicted upon people by vested interests, rather than welcomed with open arms. I have been told that in the early days of universalising the car, firms such as Ford bought up public transport systems in American towns and destroyed them, so that the people would be pressed into buying cars. And here in NZ there are areas in West Auckland and Manukau that were not built to be communities, but car dependent outposts. It often makes me angry when I hear petrol-head West Auckland jokes – they have had no bloody choice in the matter. I agree with you entirely Rob, that we would be better changing our focus for progress in the manner you prescribe, and with you too rainman, that this requires political leadership.

  10. outofbed 10

    I see that there are so many denier groups out there
    that an umbrella group has been formed
    It called ESCHEWED
    which I am reliably informed stands for
    Empirical SCience, Holocaust,Engineers,Warming,Evolution Deniers

    One group to bind them and in the darkness.blind them is the motto

  11. Zaphod Beeblebrox 11

    Diamond also points out that after the fall, some societies reach an equilibrium point where they learn to live in a way that allows their consumption to equal what nature can create itself over a period of time. This is invariably a much lower standard of living than at their peak.

    So its probable that our grandchildren will have to live with a much diminished GDP and quality of life. This is similar to what happened to Maori who wiped out most of their food supply (easy to hunt giant birds) and were forced to survive on scavenging shellfish and cannabilism by the Seventeenth Century. Who knows what would have happened to Maori if they remained isolated until the present day.

    The greatest survivors were the Australian Aboriginals who managed to survive in equilibrium in probably one of the harshest environments imaginable for 30,000 years.

  12. Jenny 12

    Rob, I agree with your point that what people thought was permanent could actually be pretty impermanent. The thing about these society’s collapses was that without the benefit of modern science they never saw it coming.

    Whereas apart from the wilful deniers, and the genuinely ignorant, we are aware of what will occur if we don’t change our ways.

    (Those I term wilful deniers are those in the pay of those with a vested interest in polluting who out of self interest, choose to ignore the predictive power of the scientific studies, or even claim as they recently have, that these studies were forged as part of some liberal conspiracy).

    Unlike previously failed civilisations, we still have a chance to protect and preserve the best of existing human development for future generations, rather than suffer the total apocalyptic infrastructural collapse, and a new savage dark age.

    Tha is if we act now.

    For the leaders in Copenhagen to decide on anything less than the maximum needed to prevent the coming calamity would be irresponsible. And in my opinion would disqualify them from leading.

    Rob I can’t help but wonder if the people of those ancient societies that you mention, could have taken the necessary actions to prevent the calamity that was about to befall them, would have taken those actions, if they had had the benefit of the pre warnings similar to the ones that we have had. I suspect they would have.

    What do you think?

    • r0b 12.1

      Hi Jenny. My guess is it varied. Those at Pompeii had no idea a volcano was going to wipe them out. Those on Easter Island knew very well they were cutting down the last of the trees (but they did it anyway). And surely many endings were foreseen and averted, as civilisations lasted for centuries.

      As to the future, seems to me the same possibilities apply. If the Earth ever gets hit by a big enough asteroid that’s just game over. Global warming on, the other hand, can be averted. In theory. I’m not so confident that it will be averted in practice…

      • Bill 12.1.1

        Oh ffs

        The privileged didn’t want to give up their position of privilege. This goes for any culture or any society past and present and it’s really fucking naive to lump everyone together in to (say) Easter Islanders or whatever. I mean, who the fuck do you think was left behind. More to the point. Who the fuck do you think got places in those last ocean going canoes?

        And when do you think they left?

        At any point before the last conceivable moment ( ie when their position of privilege was patently unsustainable)?

        And if there was nowhere to go do you think that that last conceivable moment would have shifted in time? Or would events have simply continued to evolve/devolve/degenerate?

        And since we are handing over a possible departure to our accepted or habitual ways of living to a privileged few ( our elected and materially rewarded representatives…..who serve not our interests but the interests of business elites ie market imperatives.) do you honestly believe that they will abandon their privileged status any sooner than the escaping elites of Easter Island?

        And since our elites and privileged can’t just paddle their way out of this (this really is a collective shit creek with no paddle!) , what chance you say for any modicum of modernity being preserved?

  13. Lanthanide 13

    The tagline of the final episode of Six Feet Under: Everything. Everyone. Everywhere. Ends.

    I like to do a thought experiment and try to imagine things around us ending. Try and imagine how your house comes to its end – is it a house fire in 2 years time, a tsunami in 22 years time, knocked down to build a new commercial complex in 29 years time, or scavenged by people looking for scrap material in 38 years time? How will your computer desk end? How will a company like Microsoft or Google end? How will the company you work at end?

    • Jenny 13.1

      We should all do as much we humanly can to prevent to it.

      But as an interesting thought experiment everyone should look in their hearts and ask themselves where would they go if the world was about to end?

      The answer will tell you why we should fight so hard to prevent it.

  14. Kezia 14

    By ‘America’ I assume you mean the United States. America, as in the American continent, has quite a long and distinguished history. And while the presence of ruins are not and shouldn’t be prerequisites for ‘civilisation’ status, I think you’ll find the American continent has many.

    I get what you’re trying to express with this post, but the way you’ve framed it is a bit offensive. We, in New Zealand, are growing up in the shadow of a long history. Just because there aren’t ruins everywhere doesn’t make that untrue.

    • r0b 14.1

      Beg your pardon Kezia, no intention to offend. I did try to be clear that it is Pakeha history in NZ that is short. Of course there is a longer history here, but Pakeha mostly have very little knowledge of it.

      • vto 14.1.1

        Pakeha history is relatively short in NZ but it is not short. Maori history in NZ is also relatively short.

        • Galeandra 14.1.1.1

          ‘History’ in a narrow nationalistic sense is an artifact. Surely by now it’s possible for us all to ‘own’ a sense of the deep past and our genetic & cultural place within it?
          If we do foment that sense of value, we may be willing to work harder to hold ALL of modern civilisation intact.

          Then the glibness of all the Andreis out there: “They quite possibly be amazed that we threw our civilization away on the basis of the basis superstition, AGW.” will find its answer.

          They, whoever they might be, will certainly notice the lack of water and other life resources, the vanished species, the slow holocaust of millions upon millions of people as human habitat shrank. The article in today’s Sunday Star Times “Following The River Of Sorrow” ( about current glacial melt in Nepal and sedimentation of cropland etc) is an article to read and to weep.
          The smart arsery of the Andreis is sociopathically sick in the light of the flow of information about the current manifestation of climate issues.
          A thoughtful post, rOb.
          Well done.

      • Deus In Machina 14.1.2

        well, technically maori history is exactly as long as pakeha history. History is by definition recorded, before that it was Maori pre-history which relies mainly on archeology and study of culture.

  15. Like its 1999

    captcha – unwanted

  16. Jenny 16

    Hear, hear.

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    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago