Devil in the detail

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, September 1st, 2009 - 31 comments
Categories: climate change - Tags:

I’ve had a further read of the select committee report on the Emissions Trading Scheme, and found a huge problem – National, United Future, and ACT want to get rid of the cap on emissions.

The normal emissions trading scheme is called cap and trade. A cap on the total number of carbon credits is set and polluters either get a free allocation or buy credits in an auction (or a blend of both). Polluters who find it economic to do so reduce their emissions while others who find it economic to do so increase theirs buying the right to do so from polluters with surplus credits. The least-cost reductions to emissions get made and emissions are limited. Over time, the cap is lowered and the goal of this whole exercise is achieved – greenhouse emissions go down.

There’s another approach called ‘benchmark and trade’, which the Greenhouse Policy Coalition – the major greenhouse polluters’ lobby group – has been after all along, for the very sound reason that it’ll cost their employers less to pollute. Under benchmark and trade, polluters get an allocation based on how much they pollute as a ratio of output. If you increase your output, you get more credits, more right to pollute. So, a polluter can increase their pollution without having to buy more credits, as long as they don’t become more carbon-intense (ie more pollution per output) which is easy because carbon intensity tends to fall anyway with technological advances.

The EU has something like this and, while it’s not as good as cap and trade – it’s not so bad because they still have an overcall cap on emissions and that cap falls. The EU system is delivering on the important thing less greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere. But National, United Future, and ACT don’t want our system to have an overall cap.

Think about what that means: polluters get free rights to pollute, and they can get more rights to pollute simply by producing more. There will be no meaningful price on emissions because you can just get more credits for free and there will be heaps of surplus credits as businesses naturally become less carbon-intense, meaning even a company that wants to become dirtier will be able to buy more credits cheaply. No meaningful price on carbon = no incentive to reduce emissions.

The select committee report admits as much, citing these cons for the plan (p59):

  • May well be more fiscally expensive than other options for a given level of subsidy per unit of output.
  • Weak signal to reduce emissions, as output related subsidy.
  • National emissions may increase relative to other options.
  • Administratively complex with respect to defining intensity base.

I’m sorry, but any climate change policy that is a ‘Weak signal to reduce emissions’ and under which ’emissions may increase’ is no policy at all. It is a thieves’ charter, an unlimited licence to pollute.

As the situation stands today, the Emissions Trading Scheme (working on cap and trade) that Labour passed with the Greens last term is still in effect and more sectors will come into it over the next four years. John Key and Nick Smith have said they want to replace it with their gutless ersatz ETS and have threatend to repeal the ETS altogether if they don’t get their way, which shows where their hearts really lie. Labour, the Greens, and Maori Party have pledged not to vote for a gutting of the ETS. ACT will only back scrapping the ETS altogether.

So, the Government has the numbers to keep the ETS or to scrap it but not to gut it. Surely, they won’t go so far as to throw out the only policy we have that can start making a serious dent in our greenhouse gas pollution.

If they care at all about our future, they should just let the ETS we have stand. Anything less will do nothing to fight climate change.

31 comments on “Devil in the detail ”

  1. ghostwhowalks 1

    Notice Key doesnt want to meet with Goff on the future ETS.
    Too complicated for Key to understand.
    So now its time for bipartisanship ? Hello Last year he could have been bi- partisan

  2. snoozer 2

    Rod Oram made a similiar general argument this morning on Nine to Noon, didn’t get into this detail though.

    Basically, he says it beggars belief that National wants to convert the ETS into a meaningless exercise that migght actually result in emissions going up, we’ll be laughed out of the room at Cogenhagen. Worth a listen http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20090901-1110-Business-048.mp3

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Surely, they won’t go so far as to throw out the only policy we have that can start making a serious dent in our greenhouse gas pollution.

    That’s exactly what I expect them to do.

    If they care at all about our future,

    They don’t. They only care about their and their mates profits.

    • Gordon Shumway 3.1

      Say what you like about the ETS policies, but what makes you assume that any savings from NOT introducing ETS will instead go to “their mates pockets”? That’s pure bollox, isn’t it?

      Will you at least concede it’s just possible the money will be used for new hospitals, servicing public debt, more police, paying for a recent investment in trains…?

      (Sorry I forgot, all politicians who disagree with you eat babies and/or are only interested in personal financial gain.)

      • ghostwhowalks 3.1.1

        Since when has national had any principles that arent related to to private gain.

        Kiwisaver ? Working for families ? Foreshore & Seabed ?
        They cant even stick to what they opposed in oppostion , but be it money for their funders they become limpets

        • Gordon Shumway 3.1.1.1

          And eating babies… Don’t forget that they eat babies.

          Just so stupid it’s not funny.

          • Zetetic 3.1.1.1.1

            poor bro. is that going to be your response every time your hero is criticised ‘whaa! whaa! you’re calling him a baby eater, whaa!’

            legitimate criticisms and you’ve got no answer.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2

          Roading forum donates money to NACT, they get in, more roads. And do remember that they’ve still got those tax cut promises hanging over them which be where any savings they make (which are highly unlikely) will go.

          Gordon, you’re holding on to the delusion that NACT actually believes in the good of the community and it doesn’t. That’s why it wants to subsidise their mates polluting from taxpayer money rather introduce a decent cap and reduction on emissions.

  4. Andrei 4

    Carbon Dioxide isn’t a pollutant, it is a natural component of the atmosphere and
    essential to life as we know it

    Did you sleep through your science lessons at school?

    • Izzy 4.1

      Iron is a mineral that our bodies need. People die of iron poisoning. You are a git.

      • Andrei 4.1.1

        A git I maybe but a superstitious scientific illiterate I am not.

        And I know from history that morons who believe utter dribble fed to them by politicians end up going over the cliff.

        For goodness sakes wake up. ETS schemes are just snake oil designed to put control of the worlds wealth into the hands of the elite who do not have your interests at heart.

        • lprent 4.1.1.1

          Bullshit – the dribblers are morons like you who are apparently incapable of understanding basic physics.

        • outofbed 4.1.1.2

          ETS schemes are just snake oil designed to put control of the worlds wealth into the hands of the elite who do not have your interests at heart

          Much like now then

        • Izzy 4.1.1.3

          Fair enough, I probably am scientifically illiterate. I’m an imperfect person, and can’t boast that I possess all the knowledge there is in the world. But hey, the first thing they teach you in year eleven economics (that’s fifth form for you old farts) is that we gain from specialisation and trade. And the people who I trust to specialise in science are saying that we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid runaway climate change in the pretty near future.

          If you can tell me why ‘ETS schemes are just snake oil designed to put control of the worlds wealth into the hands of the elite who do not have my interests at heart’ and back it up with facts (or even propose an alternative?) I may be willing to listen. Unless you try to tell me climate change isn’t an issue. That ship has so sailed…

        • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.4

          Carbon Dioxide isn’t a pollutant, it is a natural component of the atmosphere and essential to life as we know it

          What’s stopping it being both a pollutant and a natural component of the atmosphere, essential to life as we know it?

          ..a superstitious scientific illiterate I am not.

          So you’re not the Andrei that used to blog at wishart’s place then?

          • ghostwhowalks 4.1.1.4.1

            When oxygen in the atmosphere first appeared it killed off all life nearly 2.5 billion years ago.
            While ozone in the high atmosphere protects us from ultraviolet radiation near the surface it is harmfull.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.5

          The worlds rich already have control of the worlds resources.

        • mickysavage 4.1.1.6

          Sorry Andrei but you are a superstitious scientific illiterate. Can’t you construct a more coherent argument?

          It is like arguing with a 5 year old that (as Lynne puts it) the earth is actually round.

          Rather than waste precious bandwidth perhaps you could come up with a real argument.

      • Gooner 4.1.2

        So is too much carbon a pollutant then Izzy?

        That argument rests on the fact that if too much Co2 is released and the greenhouse effect is pronounced as a result then we’ll fry – like the planet Venus. That’s the argument that was made here:

        http://www.wunderground.com/education/cei.asp

        But that argument is not justified. Venus only rotates on it’s axis once a year so the Sun slowly roasts it. Venus also doesn’t have plate tectonics: instead of volcanoes releasing pressure, every 500 million years or so, the continents on Venus simply tip up and slide into the molten core, producing huge amounts of heat.

        So Co2 is not a pollutant to be worried about and therefore you’re hysteria is unnecessary.

        • NickS 4.1.2.1

          Back in my day we bothered reading all the comments in a thread before posting
          /old-man-fist-shake

          You know, because I’ve got a post not that far bellow detailing why increasing CO2 is not a good thing…

          Also, Massive. Science. Fail..

          Why? Because unless the atmosphere absorbed that heat, it would bleed off into space quite (geologically) quickly via infrared radiation emission, since the sulphur cloud coverage is far less than 100%. Guess what gas makes up most of the atmosphere of Venus? That’s right it’s CO2, which is known via both experimental and observational evidence to absorb heat. Which also means that without CO2 to act as a store which can be transported via strong winds the night side should be far, far colder than is it. Not to forget either, that I’d bet that a energy budget of Venus’s atmosphere would show that the vast majority of thermal energy stored in it is from solar inputs, rather than volcanic means.

          anti-spam: upset.
          Heh.

        • Izzy 4.1.2.2

          What NickS said 🙂

        • lprent 4.1.2.3

          You are a scientific idiot. By your spurious reasoning (if I understand your convoluted statements correctly) the night side of Venus would be as cold as the night side of Mercury instead of the balmy hundreds of degrees that it actually is. The weather does a heat transfer from dayside to nightside in the 580 odd terrestrial days that make up its day.

          Sure it doesn’t appear to currently have plate tectonics, but like Mars it is likely to have done so in the past when it had liquid oceans. Subduction needs lubricants.

          Unlike Mars there appears to be a really active molten core that helps resurface and wipe any evidence of fossil rifts. There are pretty big calderas clearly visible on the radar scans. No-one knows if there are bigger resurfacing events. Although there has been some speculation about it because of the lack of expected lava shields like the Deccan flats. However heat from such an event would dissipate within decades purely by radiating.

          In any case, we’re unlikely to find out until a machine goes down and survives there.

          Umm I just looked at wikipedia and I see where you misinterpreted your sources from. Very fanciful…

          However it has nothing to do with CO2 levels on earth because we’re talking totally different levels of the relevant gases and insolation. Venus is an example of a runaway greenhouse effect of a wholly different magnitude to anything we’re likely to get here. Well at least until the sun starts doing the red giant trick in a relatively few billion years. Earth has an active biosphere (ie not the desert of Venus) that reacts badly to big climate changes of less than 10 degrees. It causes mass extinction events especially at the top of the food-chain – which is where we happen to be.

          Please learn to wank with more skill. It is boring to all who observe your minuscule mental ejaculations…

    • NickS 4.2

      ugh…

      Science says not exactly to clearly negative effects, particularly when one starts including rising temperatures and changes in precipitation (warning, all links are .pdfs);

      Science 6 December 2002:
      Vol. 298. no. 5600, pp. 1987 – 1990
      DOI: 10.1126/science.1075312

      Reports

      Grassland Responses to Global Environmental Changes Suppressed by Elevated CO2

      M. Rebecca Shaw, Erika S. Zavaleta, Nona R. Chiariello, Elsa E. Cleland, Harold A. Mooney, Christopher B. Field

      Simulated global changes, including warming, increased precipitation, and nitrogen deposition, alone and in concert, increased net primary production (NPP) in the third year of ecosystem-scale manipulations in a California annual grassland. Elevated carbon dioxide also increased NPP, but only as a single-factor treatment. Across all multifactor manipulations, elevated carbon dioxide suppressed root allocation, decreasing the positive effects of increased temperature, precipitation, and nitrogen deposition on NPP. The NPP responses to interacting global changes differed greatly from simple combinations of single-factor responses. These findings indicate the importance of a multifactor experimental approach to understanding ecosystem responses to global change.

      And;

      Science 9 January 2009:
      Vol. 323. no. 5911, pp. 240 – 244
      DOI: 10.1126/science.1164363

      Prev | Table of Contents | Next
      Reports
      Historical Warnings of Future Food Insecurity with Unprecedented Seasonal Heat
      David. S. Battisti and Rosamond L. Naylor

      Higher growing season temperatures can have dramatic impacts on agricultural productivity, farm incomes, and food security. We used observational data and output from 23 global climate models to show a high probability (>90%) that growing season temperatures in the tropics and subtropics by the end of the 21st century will exceed the most extreme seasonal temperatures recorded from 1900 to 2006. In temperate regions, the hottest seasons on record will represent the future norm in many locations. We used historical examples to illustrate the magnitude of damage to food systems caused by extreme seasonal heat and show that these short-run events could become long-term trends without sufficient investments in adaptation.

      Haven’t had the time to dig further into the research on this, but I assume you’re fully capable of using google scholar’s citation results for both papers to educate yourself further /smug

      Adding onto Izzy’s comment, also, there are many “nutrients” that can become pollutants when concentrations are increased/”high”. e.g. quite a few enzymes use some transition metal ions as co-factors key to enzyme activity, but if concentrations are too high, they can negatively impact on the organism, unless it’s adapted via evolution to deal with that environment. Though my memory doesn’t serve me quite well here for specifics, except for some murky references to iron, and copper soil concentrations and soil acidity. Anyhow, generally most compounds and atomic elements have concentration dependent effects on biological systems (r.e. LD50 data), so going “CO2 = nutrient, therefore = not bad” is a false analogy.

      Oh yeah, the two papers where via Peter Sinclair’s youtube channel

  5. More to the point, if they care about winning a second term they will not throw away the ETS.

  6. Tom Semmens 6

    The trouble with paranoid conspiracy theorists like Andrei is they are not even able to read history. The world has already acted on an immediate threat to our planet from industrial pollution. I would hate to think what denial cultists like Andrei would have made of ozone depletion; Or of the Vienna Convention or of the subsequent Montreal Protocol. The sad thing about global warming is as a species we’ve already acted collectively once. Whilst this problem is bigger, we have the model. Actually, I KNOW what fools like Andrei would have made of these things, since his chief claim to fame appears to be that he plays the part of Martin Borman to that paranoid dingbat Ian Wishart. Had fools like these two been around in the 1980’s they would have screamed one of their tiresome conspiracy theories, which are all just a variant on “it’s a communist plot” anyway. Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, before the internet gave voice to fringe merchant loons like Andrei, science observed, science conferred, science concluded, governments acted. Nowadays, big business has discovered that via the internet they have a willing army of the paranoid forever living in the dark alleyways off the mainstreet of sanity, ever ready and ever willing to believe anything that plugs into their fanciful and fearful assumptions.

    Personally, I think the time has come for sites like this one to simply delete posts by climate denial cultists. No website would tolerate being constantly derailed by the robotic repeating of scientologist talking points every time they tried to discuss that cult; Why should they tolerate the denier cultists? Time to simply ignore and delete them, and return them to the their proper place in the debate – nowhere.

  7. Gooner 7

    Aaahhh, good old Tom S, resorts to banning opinions he doesn’t like nor agree with. Just like the time he advocated regulating the media. You almost got your wish Tom with the EFA; shame National repealed it aye?

    • BLiP 7.1

      More lies. The EFA wasn’t about regulating the media, it was about regulating advertisers. There wasn’t a single provision of the EFA that dictated what the media could publish itself.

  8. RedLogix 8

    resorts to banning opinions

    Opinions are like arseholes; everyone has one. Your perfectly welcome to expose yours here just like everyone else, and as much as it’s tempting to sympathise with Tom, he knows as well as the rest of us that it would be counterproductive.

    So we’ll just have to put up with your opinions until even you are embarrassed by them.

  9. gomango 9

    Snoozer says

    Basically, he says it beggars belief that National wants to convert the ETS into a meaningless exercise that migght actually result in emissions going up, we’ll be laughed out of the room at Cogenhagen.

    Would that be the Americans, the Chinese, the Indians, the Russians, the East European countries, the Canadians (oil shale production!), the French or the Germans laughing at us?

    All of whom have exactly zero moral high ground when it comes to ETS. The only way to moderate the behaviour of carbon emitters is by a tax on carbon emissions – cap and trade won’t work because everyone – even the most fervent proponents(except NZ) – will rort the system. Who doesnt believe Russia isn’t capable of creating credits out of thin air with dodgy stats gathering? I can see how it works now – the EU accuses the Russians of fudging their data, the Russians say “bullsht, back down or we’ll turn the gas supplies off.” EU backs down and says “sorry we were wrong to doubt your integrity around economic statistics gathering”.

    Germany and France negotiated all manner of exemptions for their heavy industry on the back of “employment considerations”. Why was the baseline year chosen — because it was the most favourable point in time for Europe and recently emerging from communism eastern europe. The scheme is a farce, but will rebuild investment banking profits quite nicely, as a shareholder I’m all for that.

    How about some realpolitik here around ETS – why should we commit to a flawed scheme just because it helps us feel good that we are doing something (anything) about global warming, even if that course of action demonstrably won’t have the intended impact. And as to the cries of “we need to be a beacon for the world” – again I can see how that plays out – NZ publicly gets fulsome praise about our “strong and principled stand on reducing emissions blah blah blah” while the French etc privately laugh and rub their hands with glee at the negative subsidy on agricultural exports from NZ.

  10. Tom Semmens 10

    Just because you have an opinion doesn’t give you an automatic right to have aired exhaustively. The denial cultists have had more than a fair hearing – so it isn’t a free speech issue.

    I liken it to acting like the person who edits the “letters to the editor” section of the paper. Nutters who write to the paper every second day about some bizarre conspiracy theory to poison us all with something in the water supply don’t get into the paper just because they wrote a letter, put a stamp on the envelope and posted it.

    Their letters just end up in the bin, unread.

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    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
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