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Ecocide

Written By: - Date published: 7:26 am, September 9th, 2011 - 64 comments
Categories: climate change, law, sustainability - Tags: , ,

Visiting lawyer, activist and author Polly Higgins has caused quite a stir:

Eco-crimes are crimes against humanity – author

A visiting author is calling for crimes against nature, or “ecocide”, to be recognised as the fifth crime against humanity.

British environmental lawyer and writer Polly Higgins said current environmental laws are not fit for purpose and corporations which do serious, lasting damage to ecosystems should be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court (ICC), similarly to genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression. … If ecocide were adopted by the Hague, she proposed three categories for criminal charges.

Individuals, such as chief executives and energy ministers, could be charged with unintentional ecocide, ecoslaughter, or ecocide. Their sentences would be equivalent to death caused by dangerous driving, manslaughter and murder.

The definition of ecocide she proposed was the mass “damage, destruction or loss of ecosystems of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished”. …

Higgins suggested lignite mining in Southland and proposed deepwater drilling in the Great South Basin could qualify as New Zealand examples of ecocide because they would create enormous greenhouse gas emissions.

Her proposed legislation has gained significant interest since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill last year, the United States’ worst environmental disaster. …

Her seminar cited United Nations research from 2008 which showed that the world’s top 3000 corporations caused $2.2 trillion of damage to the global environment each year. If serious environmental damaged was outlawed, she said, this money would flow into innovation. …

Asked after her speech if her proposals were too radical to gain traction, Higgins said: “Something is always radical when it is innovative. The origin of the word radical means to pull out from the roots. I’m not anti-profit, but this is what I’m suggesting to turn around this sinking ship very fast.” …

Higgins said the idea that non-human nature had rights was also already ingrained in Buddhist culture – 750 million people worldwide – and there was a strong appetite for it in indigenous cultures, including Maori.

“It is the developed world that has the disconnect,” she said.

Check out the resources on Polly’s web site.

If a corporation can have the legal rights of a person, I can’t see why the environment can’t have the legal protections of a person, can you?

64 comments on “Ecocide ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Good. We need to accept that destroying the environment is not acceptable. That the financial economy is not more important.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      I think its all very well repeating what has been said for countless decades, I’m sure
      centuries about the abusive nature of industrialisation on the ecology. And I can
      see how the less informed would see the need to start from ignorance to build
      a environmental movement. But bureauarcy and appeals to the rulers, have never worked
      in all that time. Sure when under extreme pressure, and the costs risks are weighted
      up then governments have move some way. But if you had been listening to the Green
      movement, when you can get access to their more radical views, you would know
      that its too late when you have to debate, e.g ants don’t have debates, they just do the
      minimum necessary to fit their niche. Bureaucracy, debates, laws, take time, and
      serve a number of systemic power interests whos need to be in the loop, to be
      on the page, with veto rights, will always mean that the minimum efficient path
      is missed. Now oil will be gone, so will coal, so will, natural gas, (yes even nuclear)
      all the non-renewable forms of energy will not available for Humans and our niche.
      So its madness to grow off the backs of non-renewables to swarm proportions,
      we must always live within the capacity of the planet and the sustainable technology
      of the times. Oil is an extra, a luxury, a one time gift, it is not the basis for our
      way of life, and until government stop growing people by distorting them to have
      large families. Whether via religion, or by exploitation, remembering that people
      only had large numbers of children when they HAVE to, most women were
      not that fertile, most people did not live long after their 40s, through recent
      history. People will lower their birth rate if well educated, entertained, and
      confident of stable futures. Exploitation and stress causes all species to
      have more children. We seen this in most third world countries, if you
      want to lower the population ban the Paul Henries of the world and find
      ways to bottle the rage conservatism that plays on emotions.

      As I keep saying why FOX news exists there will be no change, we
      will have the massive collapse of the swarm Human plague.

    • insider 1.2

      Defne ‘destroy’

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        Tear it up until it’s dead – just like we’ve been doing for the last 200+ years. the pollution in our lakes, streams and rivers from farming is proof of the destruction that we’ve been participating in.

      • bbfloyd 1.2.2

        insider… do you know what a dictionary is? if so, then i suggest you consult one… then you could stop wasting space asking silly and irrelevant questions…

        • insider 1.2.2.1

          So could I be done for ripping up my front garden, destroying the ecosystem to build a drive, or a garage or a home? Could a farmer be done for knocking down a stand of pines to put in a pasture? What about if the govt bulldozed a road through an environment, or a power company builds a nice renewable energy dam? All cause some form of destruction of an environment. Where are you going to draw the line and why?

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2.1.1

            Typical RWNJ reply – straight to the most extreme interpretation possible without taking into account the qualifier.

            Yes, what we do impacts the environment but it doesn’t have to kill it as we have been and still are doing. NZ needs enough farms to feed 4.5m people and no more – we have enough to feed 10s of millions (and yet we still have starvation in NZ) and those farms have replaced the ecosystems that renewed the land so that nothing could live on it without artificial fertiliser that runs into the rivers killing them and the ocean where they flow into it. We need enough industry to supply us with what we need but no more. Some mining for raw materials, recycling of items that are worn beyond use and, most importantly, we need to stop the expansion of our population.

            The capitalist paradigm that is killing us and the world demands that we produce more, more, more without consideration for where it will lead us.

            PS, private cars should be outlawed immediately as they are completely unsustainable, ergo, you don’t need a driveway.

    • AAMC 1.3

      Perhaps we could learn from Bolivia.

      “Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.”

      http://www.shamanswell.org/shaman/proposed-un-paper-give-mother-earth-rights-bolivian-amaryan-indian-minister-leading-charge

  2. Nick K 2

    It must be April Fools Day, because that last sentence of the post is very funny.

    • Do you think a tree should get the DPB if it seeds a small tree?
      If I prune a tree should I be done for grievous boughily harm?
      If a tree falls in a forest should other trees be told by sign language because they can’t hear?

      • r0b 2.1.1

        That makes as much sense as asking if a corporation should get DPB if it spawns a new corporation.

      • prism 2.1.2

        What a bunch of airheads come out from under rocks when something vitally important to us all is put up for discussion. Like complex environmental law and why it would be of value based on knowledge of human behaviour under different types of control, with duress or without using self-regulation, whether the duress is human or enforced by nature.) The depth of analysis leading to understanding is beyond many with our traditional level of education with lack of coaching in critical thinking. (I should think this will be accelerated by National Standards limitations.)

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1

          The depth of analysis leading to understanding is beyond many with our traditional level of education with lack of coaching in critical thinking. (I should think this will be accelerated by National Standards limitations.)

          Yes, in fact, IMO, that seems to be the point of National Standards – to prevent people from thinking critically about our society and how it only benefits a few.

    • r0b 2.2

      Is it any funnier than a corporation having the legal rights of a person?  If so, why?

      • James Stephenson 2.2.1

        How does a corporation have the legal rights of a person? I don’t see anyone pursuing action against Google for damn near killing Yahoo.

        • MrSmith 2.2.1.1

          Having had dealings with Google and Yahoo, the latter just couldn’t compete on the advertising front anyway, so Google got my money and I guess a lot of people felt the same way, evolve or die unless you have a monopoly which in Googles case they virtually do now, so really they (Google) need to be broken up and the market regulated to allow competition, as they are getting greedy and lazy, as you do when you have a virtual monopoly.

          On a side: Corporations are already trying to have written in law the right to pursue compensation for changes in governments policy that affect there profit, and profit is all that drives these faceless, headless, beasts.

  3. Jim Nald 3

    There are a number of very compelling threads in Polly’s arguments regarding the initiative for a crime of ecocide. Just quickly and briefly for now …

    1. The approach taken by the law is largely in terms of property rights with the accompanying burden of proof that is often impractical to achieve (eg evidentiary grounds, and datasets needed to have been tracked and collated from way back), has no real practical outcome or would not be timely (the damage has already been done) and provides only limited remedies. The ‘property right’ approach tends to fall short and not reach out far enough to hold specific persons accountable (retrospectively) and, just as or more importantly, to shift the mindset and to encourage change in the behaviour of companies and nation states to do things differently for the better (prospectively).

    2. The proposal being advanced by Polly is to advocate for the use of another approach available to the law – going after the ‘natural’ person and not just the corporate entity (after all a company, as a legal construct, is really only a piece of paper, ie its articles of incorporation). Current laws in the area are typically of the nature of ‘catch me if you can’ that aid and abet in letting living and breathing persons off the hook, ie company board directors and CEOs.

    3. A trusteeship model (or you can say guardianship, stewardship, custodianship model .. or even kaitiakitanga at the international and highest level!) that the law already recognises in many areas can provide effective remedies, and also incentives, that would be a step up in terms of making a difference.

    4. Given the elusiveness of nailing down liability these days (eg of corporate behaviour), thanks to globalisation, Polly has pointed to existing international bodies and tools that can be used more effectively: eg the United Nations Trusteeship Council. In Polly’s words:

    “Some existing mechanisms that have been lying defunct such as the United Nations Trusteeship Council can be dusted down, taken out of abeyance and put to good use once again. We can do all of this and so much more. …”

    5. To help businesses, nation states and peoples make conscious and concerted effort to shift their thinking and behaviour would be about not just criminalising past behaviour (not just punitive), but also about transforming current normative behaviour by – when a crime of ecocide is recognised – introducing a specifically defined ‘moratorium’ period or amnesty to allow and encourage them to ‘get their house in order’.

    6. Corporates need not fear about the crime of ecocide. It is an opportunity to position themselves for more opportunities and more jobs … more opportunities and more jobs under a new legal, social and environmental climate and ‘greener order’.

    New Zealand can help champion this. We can help ourselves, together with similarly minded countries with our Pacific neighbours and nation states in further oceans, to shift to healthier economies. We will be able to deservedly earn and more authentically declare and celebrate our countries as Pure New Zealand.

    Have fun reading the book and thinking. The quickest and cheapest source for the book seems to be http://www.bookdepository.co.uk (and, no, I do not get a commission).

    Podcast at

    • Jim Nald 3.1

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/20110905
      (right-click the appropriate link to save the file)

      or stream directly:

      [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20110905-0925-polly_higgins_-_eradicating_ecocide-048.mp3" /]

      • Jim Nald 3.1.1

        Hmm .. lost the right to edit when I lost connection and came back ..

        Please excuse the typos, eg was editing some of the above part way and then disconnected. A line above should read: We will be able to deservedly earn and more authentically declare and celebrate our country as Pure New Zealand.

        • Jim Nald 3.1.1.1

          BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill – ecocide.

          Planet before profits.
          Change the flow of money.

          Hope can be just around the corner. Polly Higgins elaborates more on the initiative that is being taken to the UN. Listen to interview on Melbourne 3CR Community Radio 855AM.

          About 1min 45 secs into the file that can be streamed at:
          [audio src="http://pod.3cr.org.au/pod/3CRCast-2011-09-07-15556.mp3" /]

          To save the file on your hard drive, go to
          http://www.3cr.org.au/podcast (Renegade Economists)

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      The quickest and cheapest source for the book seems to be…

      Actually, that seems to be Amazon ATM (and I’m still disgusted by how much they charge for e-books).

  4. Creating rights for nature has been on the agenda in Bolivia in April

    “Indigenous and campesino (small-scale farmer) movements in the Andean nation of Bolivia are on the verge of pushing through one of the most radical environmental bills in global history. The “Mother Earth” law under debate in Bolivia’s legislature…”

    “As the law states, “Mother Earth is a living dynamic system made up of the undivided community of all living beings, who are all interconnected, interdependent and complementary, sharing a common destiny.””

    “The law would give nature legal rights, specifically the rights to life and regeneration, biodiversity, water, clean air, balance, and restoration. Bolivia’s law mandates a fundamental ecological reorientation of Bolivia’s economy and society, requiring all existing and future laws to adapt to the Mother Earth law and accept the ecological limits set by nature. It calls for public policy to be guided by Sumaj Kawsay or Vivir Bien (an indigenous concept meaning “living well,” or living in harmony with nature and people), rather than the current focus on producing more goods and stimulating consumption.”

    http://climate-connections.org/2011/04/22/the-law-of-mother-earth-behind-bolivias-historic-bill/

    I need to get an update on where this is at but if you enjoy reading about indigenous empowerment then check out this site – http://intercontinentalcry.org/

    • Jim Nald 4.1

      Cheers.

      I was going to buy a second laptop battery to leave it at work so I don’t have to ferry it when I bike. Convenience, I thought. But then I came across Polly’s initiative and read the following about Bolivia and lithium mining:

      “We Should Look to Bolivia for Inspiration”

      “Bolivia needs to industrialise – it can’t go on importing everything forever. Hydrocarbon and mineral deposits (like lithium) are its ticket out of poverty, and they need to be developed and sold abroad. So there are inevitable contradictions and hypocrisies between government rhetoric and political reality.

      “But there is no doubt that Bolivia is seeking a development model based on equality and environmental sustainability, of the kind other governments occasionally mention in speeches but never try seriously to enact.

      “The Morales administration’s policies are similar to some traditionally leftwing positions, but this ecological focus, emanating from deep cultural values, makes it unique and worthy of serious attention.”

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/apr/19/bolivia-inspiration-development-model-evo-morales

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        Hydrocarbon and mineral deposits (like lithium) are its ticket out of poverty, and they need to be developed and sold abroad.

        No they don’t. They need to be developed with the resources used locally and sustainably. Sell them overseas and Bolivia will then have no resources left to support their own country. The same is true for NZ and every other country.

        • Jim Nald 4.1.1.1

          Agree with you on that;
          disagree with Jonathan Glennie, the author for that piece on Bolivia.

        • insider 4.1.1.2

          So if they have the capacity to produce n lithium for 50 years but their ability to absorb lithium is 0.1n, you are saying keep it all just in case for a rainy day? What if they were able to afford a big umbrella by selling some of that lithium?

          • aerobubble 4.1.1.2.1

            Scrap metal is recycled. Sustainability means globally we dig up resources
            and continually recycle them. So Boliva should open up its resources
            to mining, then demand that the world recycle its lithum, thus extending
            the life of their resources. The Arabs sell oil too cheap, they should be
            demanding that the west end the cult of the personal private petrol engine.

            • AAMC 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Why aren’t we mining landfill rather than chopping the top off mountains, we’ve dug it up already, then buried it and should dig it up again, from the place WE buried it.

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    It is excellent that such a topic is given prominence. We just have to ignore the idiotic comments made by ‘Orcs’ and Trolls who think that destroying the planet we live on is ‘amusing’.

    Dr James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute and arguably the world’s leading climatilogist, participated in the demonstration against the constuction of a pipeline to take oil extracted from tar sands in Alberta to refineries in the US. I believe he was arrested, along with dozens of others who wish humanity to have a future.

    The ’empire’ that corporations have constructed puts them above the law because corporations have been writing the laws for decades. The laws, especially those of the United States, are primarily designed to facilitate the looting and despoiling of the planet we live on for short term profit.

    We are now witnessing the ultimate tragedy of the commons, as the economic system progressively destroys all the natural systems that make the Earth habitable. What is particularly sickening is that uninformed fools have been so brainwashed by the propaganda put out by corporations that they endorse the system which is destroying them.

    Much of it is clearly expalined in this book:

    http://www.publishme.co.nz/shop/theeasyway-p-684.html

    People (and entire societies) will either learn the easy way or learn the hard way. There is much evidence they will learn the hard way.

  6. queenstfarmer 6

    Who is surprised that a lawyer such as Ms Higgins would say this? This would be the biggest money-making opportunity imaginable for Higgins and her colleagues, just like Al Gore’s shameless vested interest in hyping carbon trading schemes.

    • Jim Nald 6.1

      Politics of envy from you?
      Touche.

      • queenstfarmer 6.1.1

        Envy? No, because it won’t happen. You can’t blame her for trying though.

        (btw I don’t think you are conceding to my point, in which case you aren’t using touche correctly. I will return your touche for you to use on another occasion :-))

      • bbfloyd 6.1.2

        atually jim, queeny is simply indulging in transferrence… he hasn’t the depth to understand that not everyone is motivated by mindless greed….

        we should pity those like him, “for they know not what they do”…

    • prism 6.2

      qstf – You would know about the self-centred attitudes that are labelled shameless. I would say you are an expert.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      Ah, the normal it’s all about the money cry from the right – just as expected. They really are so stupid as to think that the only reason for someone doing something is for the money. They really have no capability to think that that person is doing something because it is morally right to do it.

      • queenstfarmer 6.3.1

        Who says it’s all about money? That seems to be your suggestion. I have no idea about her other motives. But it is highly relevant that Polly Higgins would appear to have (and in Al Gore’s case, definitely does have) a direct financial interest in what they are promoting.

        Just look at how the “green dollar” has grown, with big multi-nationals using purported environmentalism primarily as a marketing ploy, with only a token-at-best environmental impact. The same scrutiny applies here.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1.1

          But you didn’t apply any scrutiny – you just accused her of doing it only for the money.

          • queenstfarmer 6.3.1.1.1

            You are wrong. Look at what I said – “This would be the biggest money-making opportunity imaginable”. Nothing about doing it “only for the money”. As I said above, I have no idea what her other motives may be, but it is perfectly relevant to note the apparent financial interests.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1.1.1.1

              Only if it was the main motive which it is unlikely to be. In fact, it’s probably not a motive at all and that’s what I’m getting at. All you RWNJs accuse every one else of only doing things for money which is complete bollocks. The only people who do things for money is psychopaths.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    By the way, the system is not just ecocidal, it is omnicidal and suicidal.

    Anyone who is not an environmentalist has a death wish, either for themsleves or for the next generation (or both), depending on their age.

    • aerobubble 7.1

      Everyone needs to stop using petrol cars that cares about the planet.
      They cost lots of money to keep on the road, there are lots of people
      who make money selling and repairing them.
      if enough people stop using them then it becomes much more costly
      to those with them.
      Demand your local councils put on more public transport,
      car pool, cycle, etc. Hell buy a moped.

    • Bored 7.2

      So true, well put. I need a few more of us to plant things where they should not be as a sort of symbolic counter offensive.

  8. randal 8

    Hey look you guys. If I want a 500 acre upstate estate in the Hamptons with a roll up drive and crystal chandeleirs and a ten car garage and a chopper to take me to New York in the mornings to go to work then the only way to get this stuff is to tear the world apart and that is the way of the world and/or kill anyone who gets in the way. It doesnt look like it is going to stop any time soon. i.e. until it is all gone!

  9. MrSmith 9

    When we had started pursuing the executives here in New Zealand through the commerce commission, along comes National, here.

    “Proceedings have been dropped against six Air New Zealand executives by the Commerce Commission” 
    “Commission general counsel of enforcement, Mary-Anne Borrowdale, said: “Discontinuing against these parties is part of the commission’s overall strategy to streamline and focus the case on those airlines with large turnover in New Zealand markets.”
    An analogy of the current situation would be ‘we are still taking the car to court instead of the drunk driver’. 

    How many cars have we crushed by the way? 

  10. alex 10

    Only the Greens would stand up to big business over the environment. Labour would fudge their position to the point where it was meaningless, but the Greens would be very firm on this. If you want to stop big business trampling on our environment, theres only one place to put your vote.

  11. Stuart Baker 11

    I think one of the most powerful bits of her argument is that ecocide is actually already illegal, DURING wartime. Yet in peacetime, it’s acceptable. And obviously there would be limits in place if it was made law. I think the three points she had were something like the ecosystem is not damaged for more than 3 months, is over a certain area, and something else – which is the same wording of the wartime version which came about because of vietnam

  12. AAMC 12

    “What if solar energy received the same subsidies as fossil fuels?”

    http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/science-and-not/what-if-solar-energy-received-.html

  13. Afewknowthetruth 13

    aerobubble.

    The whole point about local government is that they need submissions from well educated people in the comminity who know what they are talking about so they have something to ignore. Nothing anyone says or does makes any difference. Hence, everything that actually matters gets worse by the day.

    Note that Texas is close to complete environmenal collape, being in its tenth month of severe drought and experiencing unprecedented conditions.

    http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

    But that will not make one iota of difference politically. Big oil will continue to do whatever big oil wants to do, i.e. keep looting and polluting till there is nothing left to loot and pollute, and they have rendered the Earth largely uninhabitable.

    • alex 13.1

      Thats actually really scary the position that Texas is in, given the media attention on Texas as the home of booming American exceptionalism. It begs the question, does a high growth economy require raping the environment?

  14. randal 14

    the world is fucked. its all going to peter out. slowly. what began with a bang is going to end with a wimpy.

  15. Drakula 15

    Ecocide should be the new prevailing legal term to enter the common vernacular.

    Then there is another legal term that Jim intimated, ‘limited liability’, yes that has been the legal loop hiole that many corporations have bolted through since the days of the British East India Company.

    Maybe ‘limited liability’ (Ltd) should be re-defined to serve the purposes of investigating corporates of Ecocide.

    The reasons it came about was early companies on the other side of the world could not hold investors or owner families personaly liable should accidents or revolutions etc. happen.
    Correct me if I’m wrong but it was a bit like incorporated societies and it was practical in the time that it was drafted.

    Now we have instant global communication and in todays context why shouldn’t we have corporate CEO’s personally liable for any environmental disaster.

    Thats why people like Mr. Reynolds (?apelling) of Telecom who get $5million payout should also be personally liable for environmental damage and that if this was addressed, then we could have a radical change in the prevailing corporate culture.

    THE BUCK HAS TO STOP SOMEWHERE !!!!!

    • Afewknowthetruth 15.1

      Drakula

      The buck stops with the next generation, who will have to try to cope with the horrendous mess created by eco-vandals (a term I have been using since 1999) currently in charge.

      The meltdown of the Arctic region is accelerating, much as expected when CO2 emissions are risng out of control.

      http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/09/07/313873/arctic-death-spiral-continues-sea-ice-volume-hits-record-low-for-second-straight-year/

      The positive feedbacks triggered by this meltdown are forecast to make the Earth largely uninhabitable by the end of this century. So we can imagine what it will be like at the halfway point: diabolical.

      How do politicians respond to this planetary emergency? They ignore the energy supply issue and ignore the burgeoning environmental catstrophe, and instead of dealing with anything of consequence they harp on about economic growth and tax cuts!!!!

      And budding politicians like Ben Clark tell us how wondeful the rugby is!!! (squandering energy and resources on corporate lunacy apparently being right up his alley).

      As randal put it: ‘the world is fucked’

      And who is responsible? Corporations and the politiicans who serve the interests of corporations instead of serving the people.

  16. johnm 16

    Prince Charles agrees with AFKTT that our number’s up unless we retreat rapidly from BAU.
    “Prince Charles warns of ‘sixth extinction event’
    Mankind faces extinction, the Prince of Wales has warned, unless humans transform our lifestyles to stop mass consumption, run away climate change and destruction of wildlife.”
    Ecocide = Eventual Human extinction or severe permanent Human degradation leading to delayed extinction.
    Refer link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/8749863/Prince-Charles-warns-of-sixth-extinction-event.html
    My opinion is it’s too late too stop the momentum. However we are still lucky here in NZ having a small population. What ever happens we should be able to survive reasonably here trusting that the surrounding oceans will dampen down climate change. We should try to reduce our population and certainly learn to be self-supporting in every way.

  17. belladonna 17

    Until we stop eating meat the environment will continue to go downhill. 50% of the destruction of the environment could be halted if we adopted a plant based diet. Selfish meateaters need to give this serious thought if the children of the world are to have a future.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
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    3 days ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
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    3 days ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
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    3 days ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
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    4 days ago
  • Fight to protect kauri on track
    The Government is pitching in to help vital work to protect nationally significant kauri forests in Auckland, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “Ensuring the survival of these iconic trees for future generations means doing everything we can to prevent the potential spread of kauri dieback disease,” Kiri Allan said. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Joint statement of Mr Bernard Monk; Hon Andrew Little, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry,...
    [Note: The Parties have agreed on terms to fully and finally settle the proceeding and will jointly issue the below statement.] At the heart of this litigation are the lives of the 29 men tragically lost at the Pike River mine on 19 November 2010 and to whom we pay ...
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    4 days ago
  • More financial support for businesses
    Today’s decision to keep Auckland in a higher COVID Alert Level triggers a third round of the Wage Subsidy Scheme which will open for applications at 9am this Friday. “The revenue test period for this payment will be the 14th to the 27th of September. A reminder that this is ...
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    5 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand provides further humanitarian support for Afghanistan
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing a further $3 million in humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  “There is significant humanitarian need in Afghanistan, with the crisis disproportionately affecting women and girls,” said Nanaia Mahuta. The UN has estimated that 80% of the quarter of a million ...
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    5 days ago
  • Innovative te reo prediction tool announced in Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
    A new Māori language prediction tool will play a key role in tracking our te reo Māori revitalisation efforts, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. He Ara Poutama mō te reo Māori (He Ara Poutama) can forecast the number of conversational and fluent speakers of te reo Māori ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further Government support for people to access food and essential items
    The Government is responding to need for support in Auckland and has committed a further $10 million to help people access ongoing food and other essential items, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced today. This latest tranche is targeted at the Auckland region, helping providers and organisations to distribute ...
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    5 days ago
  • Half a million Pfizer vaccines from Denmark
    The Government has secured an extra half a million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from Denmark that will start arriving in New Zealand within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “This is the second and larger agreement the Government has entered into to purchase additional vaccines to meet the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Inland Revenue providing essential COVID support for businesses
    Inland Revenue is seeing increased demand for Resurgence Support Payments and other assistance schemes that it administers, but is processing applications quickly, Revenue Minister David Parker said today. David Parker said the Resurgence Support Payment, the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme and the Wage Subsidy are available at the same ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
    New Zealand is expressing unity with all victims, families and loved ones affected by the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, and all terrorist attacks around the world since, including in New Zealand. “Saturday marks twenty years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to SPREP Environment Ministers
    Talofa Honourable Ulu of Tokelau Faipule Kelihiano Kalolo Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings from Aotearoa to your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. The new science released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 8 August paints an alarming picture of the projected impacts of climate change on the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Additional Resurgence Support Payments to support business
    Businesses affected by higher Alert Levels will be able to apply for further Resurgence Support Payments (RSP). “The Government’s RSP was initially intended as a one-off payment to help businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. Ministers have agreed to provide additional payments to recognise the effects of an ...
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    1 week ago
  • More Dawn Raids scholarships announced
    Details of the ‘Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarships’, a goodwill gesture that follows the Government’s apology for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s, were released today by Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. “These scholarships that are targeted to the Pacific will support the kaupapa of the Dawn Raids’ ...
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    1 week ago
  • One-way quarantine-free travel for RSE workers starting in October
      One-way quarantine-free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu starts in October New requirement for RSE workers to have received their first vaccination pre-departure, undertake Day 0 and Day 5 tests, and complete a self-isolation period of seven days, pending a negative Day 5 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt boosts Pacific suicide prevention support
    Applications have opened for the Pacific Suicide Prevention Community Fund as the Government acts to boost support amid the COVID delta outbreak. “We know strong and connected families and communities are the most important protective factor against suicide and this $900,000 fund will help to support this work,” Health Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt parks the expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
    As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today. “While this extension won’t officially ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 community fund to provide support for vulnerable women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced a $2 million community fund that will provide support for women and girls adversely affected by COVID-19. “We know that women, particularly those who are already vulnerable, are disproportionally affected by the kind of economic disruption caused by COVID-19,” Jan Tinetti said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Next phase of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response announced
    A further NZ$12 million of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response has been announced by Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today. The package builds on previous tranches of assistance Aotearoa New Zealand has provided to Fiji, totalling over NZ$50 million. “Fiji remains in a very challenging position in their response to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Robotic asparagus harvester aimed at addressing industry challenges
    The Government is backing a $5 million project to develop a commercial-scale autonomous robotic asparagus harvester, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) is contributing $2.6 million to the project. Project partner Robotics Plus Limited (RPL) will build on a prototype asparagus ...
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    1 week ago
  • Additional Pfizer vaccines to arrive tomorrow
    More than a quarter of a million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine are on their way from Spain to New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The additional doses will arrive in Auckland on Friday morning to help meet the current surge in demand for vaccination. “It’s been ...
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    1 week ago
  • Young people to have their voices heard in Youth Parliament 2022
    The dates and details for Youth Parliament 2022 have been announced today by Minister for Youth Priyanca Radhakrishnan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Youth Parliament is an opportunity for 141 young people from across Aotearoa New Zealand to experience the political process and learn how government works. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Boosting support for tertiary students affected by COVID-19
    Students facing a hard time as a result of COVID-19 restrictions will continue to be supported,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government is putting a further $20 million into the Hardship Fund for Learners, which will help around 15,000 students to stay connected to their studies and learning. ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Immediate relief available for Māori and iwi organisations
    The Government has reprioritised up to $5 million to provide immediate relief to vulnerable whānau Māori and communities during the current COVID-19 outbreak Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The COVID-19 2021 Whānau Recovery Fund will support community-driven, local responses to gaps in access and provision of critical ...
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    1 week ago
  • New beef genetics programme to deliver cows with smaller environmental hoof-print
    The Government is backing a genetics programme to lower the beef sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by delivering cows with a smaller environmental hoof-print, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. Informing New Zealand Beef is a seven-year partnership with Beef + Lamb New Zealand that is expected to result in more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced new appointments to the board of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Former Associate Minister of Education, Hon Tracey Martin, has been appointed as the new Chair for NZQA, replacing the outgoing Acting and Deputy Chair Professor Neil Quigley after an 11-year tenure on ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Govt supports residential house building by allowing manufacture of building supplies
    The Government has agreed to allow some building product manufacturing to take place in Auckland during Covid lockdown to support continued residential construction activity across New Zealand. “There are supply chain issues that arise from Alert Level 4 as building products that are manufactured domestically are mostly manufactured in Auckland. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government invests in scientific research to boost economy, address climate change and enhance wellb...
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has today announced the recipients of this year’s Endeavour Fund to help tackle the big issues that New Zealanders care about, like boosting economic performance, climate change, transport infrastructure and wellbeing. In total, 69 new scientific research projects were awarded over ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Transport to drive economic recovery
    The Government is investing a record amount in transport services and infrastructure to get New Zealand moving, reduce emissions and support the economic recovery, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. The 2021-24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) was released today which outlines the planned investments Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency ...
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    2 weeks ago