Efficient cars – possible now

Written By: - Date published: 12:58 pm, November 10th, 2010 - 63 comments
Categories: sustainability, transport - Tags:

I read this interesting BBC article yesterday, showing how incredibly efficient cars are able to be made now, if society would grasp the nettle.

We could be reducing our carbon footprints massively – particularly in a country with as high level of car ownership as ours.

It would require a lot of investment, both in car plants to build the vehicles (and to do it efficiently, or there’s no point…), but also in the infrastructure to run the cars.  But if one country did it, they would show the world what could be done, and it would no doubt be a huge money spinner for that nation.

It would need a forward-thinking government with cojones to do this.  Not one that removed the bio-fuel requirement on the forecourt as one of its first acts of government, and one that has gutted the ETS, but one with a genuine commitment to the sustainability of our future.

You’d want the private sector to pick up the car-building section of the scenario, but that’s pretty much impossible under this government.  We need a government that is committed to manufacturing before we could think of doing anything remotely on a car scale.  One that ensures we have capital markets with actual capital in them, a far less volatile (and lower) exchange rate, and one that’s not scared to intervene in the free-market to create the conditions where such things are possible.

Auckland University is already creating the technology to charge cars with electricity as they drive along certain (presumably major) roads, so it’s not as if we don’t have the brains and innovation here to create such concepts.  And building energy-efficient cars would fit well into the high-skilled green image we like to project to the world…  But it’s only ever going to be a pipe-dream without a government making radical changes to the neo-liberal economy, and creating conditions where high-tech manufacturing can flourish again.

63 comments on “Efficient cars – possible now”

  1. Pat 1

    Fuel efficient cars need……roads!

    We will be ever grateful to the forward-thinking Sir Stephen Joyce, founding father of the efficient motorway system.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      *Shrug* It’ll never happen that way. Petrol will be $4/L well before these hybrids and electric cars are 5% of our vehicle fleet.

      Basically Joyce put a billion dollar bet on private road transport just as that era is ending.

      • M 1.1.1


        All part of the technology will save us mantra, ain’t gonna happen – we’re going to have to get used to using public transport, cycling and walking.

        • KJT

          Technology is going to have to be part of the answer. Unless you want to deprive Wellingtonians of bread for one.

    • Pat – however you look at it – “efficient motorways” is an oxymoron.

    • Bright Red 1.3

      we have plenty of roads Pat.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    It’s pretty easy to make prototype cars that are really fuel efficient, it has been happening for years. Actually getting one out to the market, uncompromised, at a price that people can afford is another matter.

    A big part of it is safety. Cars these days aren’t terrible fuel efficient because they are very safe. They have all sorts of safety features added in, as a result of strict testing that they must pass, and all of that adds weight. Reducing the weight of cars is the easiest way to increase efficiency, but it also decreases safety. If we could snap our fingers and magically move all cars on the road to the new more efficient, lighter cars we’d probably be ok. But because these light cars will be sharing the road with the old inefficient hulking beasts, they will always come off worse in any accident, which is enough for the design to be compromised and the efficiencies to be eaten away at.

    • KJT 2.1

      Thats where it needs the political will to say that “all cars within city limits must be light electric” Think 4 seater mobility scooters, not cars as we know them. Could be built by councils and rented for starters.
      The longer this is left the more expensive a transition to a lower energy culture will be.

      Buses and trains are not the answer for cities like Whangarei. An electric bus carrying 3 people is much less efficient than even a petrol car.

      Keep the hulking beasts for where they are most efficient. On the highway. Many towns are bypassed by the motorways already.

  3. insider 3

    Money quotes for me:

    “The cars of tomorrow might have very low running costs, but that will be irrelevant if people haven’t go the cash to buy them in the first place,”

    “It’s going to be conventional technology that’s going to give the greatest contribution in terms of curbing carbon emissions globally,”

    “We need to squeeze all the benefits out of the technologies we already have, rather than search for the silver bullet.”

    Too often on here we have people demanding we make a radical change to our infrastructure usually with no reference to the cost. But infrastructure is slow to respond, no matter how much you demand it. And the car market is the same with huge inertia on the supply and demand side.

    Look at hybrids for example. These have huge promise apparently and have been on the market for over a decade, yet only about 1% of new car sales in New Zealand are hybrids (about 700 out of 70k). Why? IMO because they are too expensive and the efficiency gains are lower than the additional capital cost, limited models, fashion. Electric cars will face the same take up issue unless they can radically address the up front cost issue.

    I’d expect that we will see many more hybrids when they successfully merge them with modern diesel technology. This would fit well into the manufacturing system, give cars that consumers understand, but could improve efficiency 30-40% on current petrol ICEs. But of course every year you increase hybrid sales you defer or make harder the entry of electrics because the efficiency gains are reduced.

    On the lightness and safety issue, I think that onboard sensors/controls such as you are seeing in trucks – radar, intelligent brakes etc – allied to the steering system, could counterbalance the potential risks of collision. Eg, if you have car based radar it could be programmed to avoid collision. Possible maybe through technology on roads and regulatory intent. Of course it won’t affect older cars…

  4. Peter 4

    While nice, this is a bit of a fallacy unfortunately. Have a read up on Jevons’ paradox. This basically states that if efficiency improvements are made in energy technologies (such as a car), it ultimately leads to *more* energy being used, not less, due to more people buying and using the more efficient technology. Cars have got much more efficient since the 1970s, yet, we use far more energy than we did back then, due to that efficiency. And that is just measuring the fuel that cars use, not the total energy cost of making the things in the first place. By that analysis, we are better off to be driving around in inefficient Series II Landrovers or something similarly ancient, as the cost of making a new car is often greater than the entire energy used by an existing car throughout its lifespan.

    The interesting question is whether Jevons’ is a feature of capitalism, or something more fundamental, and whether it holds on the downslope of energy production as much as it does on the upslope. The jury is still out on that question. It is easy to be fatalistic on energy economics.I certainly hope that in an environment of consistently constrained energy supplies that more efficient technology will win out without increasing the overall amount of energy used, but that depends entirely on how much it took to build the things.

    The hard reality of energy economics is that no number of new technologies and energy sources will match what we are losing as a result of peak oil (and soon, peak coal). You cannot sustain the unsustainable, no matter how hard you wish for it. Nature bats last 🙂

    The answer for us is to look at how we structured our transport system in the days before readily available oil. That means extending our rail network, coastal shipping, and much more localised economies. I’d also look hard into the overall economics of steam traction (yes, laugh if you will), but a steam loco lasts a heck of a long time, and can be powered off local resources without reliance on imported fuel. Modern steam is also close to diesel in terms of efficiency.

    Electricity will have a strong role to play as well, but only where the traffic density on a rail network can justify the investment, and there aren’t many places where that will be the case, even in an environment where rail is more highly utilised than present.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      I think people just get a wiff of Jevon’s paradox and then apply it everywhere.

      What about replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents? Do you see people suddenly putting heaps more lamps and lights in their houses because they’ve got more efficient lighting? Maybe they end up spending that same electricity money on something else electric, but I doubt many would take the savings from energy efficient bulbs to install many more multiple bulbs than what they previously had, which is basically what you’re saying when you start talking about Jevon’s paradox.

      • M 4.1.1

        There’s no way I want to have a source of mercury over my head – I’ve hoarded incandescents.

        Life of course is a risk but this is one I’d prefer not to take.

        • Lanthanide

          The mercury in lightbulbs is of no practical health risk:

          But hey, if you want to waste lots of money on lighting electricity so you can feel safe in your ignorance, go ahead.

          • M

            In addition to the mercury risk these bulbs also do not provide good enough light to read by and many others have also commented on this phenomenon. After trying CFLs for 6 months I found these lights did not seem to have enough grunt to read by.

            Given that I’m careful to switch off unneeded lights and pulling plugs out for appliances at the wall I should imagine this would negate some of the extra energy used.

            I’d far rather have my eyesight preserved with the minimum loss in acuity for as long as possible than strain them further so consider this money well spent.

            • felix

              “In addition to the mercury risk …”

              Err, what risk? Didn’t you bother reading the link that Lanth posted? Or are you just to cool to address it in response?

              As for the brightness, I agree they can be a bit dim. I have CFLs through most of the house but I have few incandescents in reading lamps and in the kitchen.

              However you can get much brighter CFLs now than you could a couple of years ago. I’ve got a new one over my electronics workbench and it’s awesomely bright. Just look for the higher wattages, I think it’s 20 or 25 watts whereas most of the ones I got the first time were all 8 and 11 watts.

            • lprent

              As a professional programmer I’m very sensitive about my eyes and light levels because crap lighting gives me pretty bad migraines. It is an occupational hazard. Drives Lyn batty because I’m forever getting her to turn lights away from my eyes. She likes them really bright – typical filmmaker..

              What you’re describing is what the CFL lights were like 4 or 5 years ago. But I have CFL’s lights at home that are brighter than incandescents with a very white light where I read, through to really dim yellow CFL’s where I work. I find them easier to work with and damn sight easier to replace (I don’t have to replace them).

              I wouldn’t go back and I’m replacing the few remaining incandescents through my current residence as they blow. Quite how I’m going to do the ones in the stairway and mezzanine roof is a bit of an issue. The stairway looks incredibly dangerous and the mezz will require a rather large ladder.

        • Cnr Joe

          M – you’ve hoarded incandescent light bulbs?
          In your survival shelter? Along with the 30 000 cans of baked beans and rolls of toilet paper?

          captcha – possibilities……

          ps, loved the Herzog Felix, along with the sleeping bumblebee – ‘ooh, it moved’

          • M

            Nah, believe in the power of community and what good would it do to hoard food as people will only steal it or kill you for it – some old lightbulbs will be of little interest to hungry hoards and I have good neighbours 🙂

            Hammer away if it makes you happy ….

      • Peter 4.1.2

        It is a relevant point – I certainly don’t like applying it everywhere – and DTB is right (see below), it’s a feature of unregulated free market capitalism, especially an economic system that does not plan for energy.

        But anyway, lightbulbs probably don’t obey Jevons, due to the system costs of installing extra wiring and socket in your ceiling to use more fluro energy-bulbs. So people don’t. Therefore, the savings here are real. So, it’s a good point.

        I’d say for cars though that the opposite is true – that’s certainly been the experience of the past 30 or so years. Motors have got much more efficient, but energy use has increased despite this (above despite population growth too).

        The basic point is this – without regulation, energy or transport system change, or a fundamental economic redesign, new technology alone will not reduce energy use. The household example is probably one place where it does apply, but only in the context of that household, and I’m not sure perhaps if people’s behaviour doesn’t change, to say, “well, hey, that lightbulb is more energy efficient, therefore it doesn’t matter if I leave it running”.

        • KJT

          With cheap fuel as we have. Car manufacturers have used the increased efficiency to offer more powerful cars. With expensive fuel drivers start looking for the same power using less.

          The answer for most land transport is reticulated sustainable electricity. Fortunately NZ is well supplied with possible sources compared with most other countries.

          It is a real opportunity we have here to be first in the large scale development of electric plug in commuter cars.
          NZ research into the technology in composites and other requirements is advanced.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Jevons’ Paradox seems to be a feature of free-market capitalism. Increased efficiency, like increased competition, will lower profits as less is used and so the capitalist system seeks ways to use more so that the needed growth to cover interest rates and profits is maintained.

      • Peter 4.2.1

        I suspect strongly that there is a link between interest and Jevon’s paradox, but haven’t seen any hard proof.

        • KJT

          Interest requires businesses to grow, or fail, to pay the time value of their cost of capital/money.
          Without interest steady state business is possible.

  5. Adrian 5

    In the recent economy run/test around the North Island the Mini Diesel won hands down on fuel efficiency ( this engine is also in small BMWs and Saabs), but it got killed by the diesel Road User Charges which cost a lot more than the fuel . RUCS on small diesels are incredibly counter productive to trying to save oil in NZ, its just not worth it. The latest generation diesels get up to 100km/litre and the stuff can be grown here. I’m doing it already, I hope to be able to run my tractor fully on bio diesel grown on farm within a few years. The problem is that RUCs are set for trucks doing 5 or 6km to the litre, there needs to be a more equitably structured system.

    • insider 5.1

      There are no RUCs on fuel for your tractor when it is used off road AFAIK.

      RUCs are done by weight and distance. The heavier your vehicle the higher the RUCs on a ‘fourth power’ curve which is supposed to match average road wear.

      If you think RUCs are unfair now it may get worse for small car operators. There is an RUCs review going on which may recommend a redistribution of RUC contribution. One concern is that the RUC tables are out of kilter and small diesels are not contributing as much road tax as equivalent petrol vehicles. The review could see a jump in small diesel RUCs and reduction in high weight truck RUCs. (I’m open to correction in my interpretation – RUCs are complex and not very well explained by MOT or NZTA).

      Personally it seems odd that people shifting fuels to improve fuel efficiency are being punished by higher taxes, even though the total RUCs pool is not supposed to increase. Seems a bit of a mixed message.

      • Adrian 5.1.1

        The point I was making is that we can grow diesel here and with very efficent engines can be a lot more self sufficent, but with truck type consumption it would require a lot of land. I’m well aware that I don’t pay RUCs for my tractor. I’m growing my own to be more sustainable for Sustainable Winegrowing NZ, I didn’t explain that point well enough. It would be ridiculous to penalise highly efficent vehicles by loading the tax, I presume that they appear not to pay their way because older larger petrol vehicles are gas guzzlers and hence pay more tax. There should be a larger differential to encourage conservation. Fat chance of letting Treasury let go of a cash cow though.

        • insider

          The amount of diesel that could be grown is so small as to be almost irrelevant.It’s not going to replace the 50k barrels of diesel we use every day.

          Although growing crops for fuel will push out other uses which will dampen economic activity in our key export sector and so reduce overall demand for fuel, so you may reach some equilibrium if we destroy the economy enough.

          I thought the wine industry were doing ethanol using waste clippings and fruit. I’d read it was expensive and cumbersome.

  6. Andrew 6

    ” and one that’s not scared to intervene in the free-market to create the conditions where such things are possible.”

    – Didn’t this Blog spend most of last week criticizing the government for intervening in the free market to create the conditions necessary to ensure the Hobbit stayed in New Zealand?

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Yes, but you missed the point of the blog posts: no such intervention was actually necessary, the government just caved into PR grandstanding and hollow threats by WB.

      • Andrew 6.1.1

        So you agree it is ok for the government to intervene and alter laws to make it more attractive for businesses to come to New Zealand, they can just only when you think it is necessary to do so and not when the government thinks it is appropriate to do so?

        • Bunji

          Lowering our labour standards to do business is not good. There’s a big difference between working on currency / monetary conditions to help our export businesses and a race to the bottom in workers’ rights. One benefits all NZers, the other makes life worse for most people who live here.

        • Colonial Viper

          So you agree it is ok for the government to intervene and alter laws to make it more attractive for businesses to come to New Zealand, they can just only when you think it is necessary to do so and not when the government thinks it is appropriate to do so?

          The Hobbit: National selling out the sovereignty of NZ under pressure from foreign corporate interests.

          Efficient cars: our Government meeting the demands of NZ’ers for a cleaner, greener NZ less dependent on foreign energy and less dependent on foreign money.

          Now do you get it, the top one is a sell out, the bottom enhances our national sovereignty.

          Or do you want me to write it for you in crayon.

          • insider

            Doesn’t it just transfer national sovereignty risk to car manufacturers instead of oil suppliers? These more expensive vehicles will be supplied by foreign companies.Even though I don’t agree with your sovereignty view, I can’t see how it sovereignty is enhanced.

    • KJT 6.2

      I did not. Government should be intervening to tilt the market in NZ’s interest, but where was the concern and money for clothing. shoemaking, whiteware, coastal shipping and all the other industries which we have lost. Billions in foreign exchange have been lost to an ideological fixation on the “free market” and globalisation.
      If no protection at all for local industries is so good why have all the economies who have done it failed.

  7. I’m betting on a next level genius developing a theory for harnessing ‘free’ energy and making oil obsolete within a generation.

    In the short term i’d like to see car racing banned, especially those V8 supercars. Seems kinda stupid and pointless in an age of peak oil.

    captcha : wishes

    • Armchair Critic 7.1

      I’m betting on a next level genius developing a theory for harnessing ‘free’ energy and making oil obsolete within a generation.
      John Galt, perhaps?
      I have shares in the Hamilton Harbour Bridge to sell.

    • Adrian 7.2

      If you are going to ban car racing you’re going to have to ban everything. Kid’s sport probably sucks up more fuel than you could imagine, slow bloody horse floats from race meetings to pony clubs with 20 cars stuck behind them, dog shows , rugby trips, dance competitions, rock cocerts ( how much fuel is the U2 show going to consume, 80,000 from all over NZ aren’t going to walk there). V8 Supercars use 85% ethanol, the other 15% is to see it if it burns, the FIA sees motorsport as the vanguard to alternative fuels and will probably be the first organisation to phase out petrol.

      • pollywog 7.2.1

        it’s more the symbolic message it will send to combustion engine carmakers to change the mindset of it’s petrolhead supporters that would alert the masses to peak oil and force a change to more sustainable vehicles faster.

        doesn’t matter what the top end cars run on. the brands they support and who sponsor them are still pimping hydrocarbon fuels like theres no tomorrow and no viable alternative.

        • Adrian

          Thats because there is no viable alternative.

          • felix

            If so, that’s all the more reason not to actively encourage excessive consumption of fuel, which is exactly what motorsport does regardless of what fuel they use themselves.

          • KJT

            Of course there is, but oil companies, who are a powerful lobby, want to squeeze as much profit as possible before it runs out.

        • insider

          Aren’t they running on ethanol blends now?

          And most of the oil sponsors I see are for lubricants – Fuchs, Mobil 1, Castrol, Havoline, Valvoline etc.

          • felix

            That doesn’t really make any difference to the influence such events have on the culture.

    • Colonial Viper 7.3

      I’m betting on a next level genius developing a theory for harnessing ‘free’ energy and making oil obsolete within a generation.

      Bad news mate, the theory has already been developed, and the oil companies have already bought the inventor off.

      • pollywog 7.3.1

        nah…thats bullshit.

        whatever theory that leads onto developing a next generation powerplant is gonna literally come straight out of ‘nowhere’ and probably following on from the current CERN experiments.

        …and once that idea is sown into the field of consciousness it will bear fruit that can’t be bought by oil companies.

  8. Roflcopter 8

    Could always build a side industry manufacturing really long extension cords.

  9. nadis 9

    Viper – seriously, that is just stupid. A game changing technology like that would be exploited by the oil companies not locked away. Unless you are joking your comment fails any kind of logic test. If one company controled that technology they would have a monopoly situation on the most disruptive technology the world has ever seen with a close to 100% price advantage over the nearest competing technology. They would be able to creat super profits, putting every other oil company and most industrial companies out of business. It would be the biggest shift in value ever seen in history.

    And think of the risks if they do sit on the technology. Some guy in india re-invents the technology, patents it globally and becomes the richest person in history. Because if the oil company has merely paid off the original inventor they have no patent protection anywhere in the world. No business would run the risk of owning such a disruptive technology without legal protection. Unless of course they have a 10,000 strong team of covert ops specialists who spend their time tracking down and killing any one getting close to discovering their technological secret.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Viper – seriously, that is just stupid. A game changing technology like that would be exploited by the oil companies not locked away.

      No, not if the cost benefit analysis doesn’t pan out and oil still looks more profitable. (And its very profitable).

      They would be able to creat super profits, putting every other oil company and most industrial companies out of business. It would be the biggest shift in value ever seen in history.

      No need to kill the golden goose quite yet. These are oil companies, not silicon valley startups. They’re a big group of old friends in the game together, yeah? Look at all the drilling, logistics, transportation they share. All the execs who move from one to the other.

      Because if the oil company has merely paid off the original inventor they have no patent protection anywhere in the world. No business would run the risk of owning such a disruptive technology without legal protection.

      Dude, trade secrets man. There are plenty of technologies out there which aren’t patented, they are simply kept secret. Everything from weapons systems to software.

      • insider 9.1.1

        History is littered with parallel development of technology. Invention doesn’t usually happen in isolation, it emerges from a pool of knowledge – the old 99% perspiration 1% inspiration thing – and the ones who get the fame are the ones who get there first, wiht others often racing them to the patent office. You can’t suppress invention.

        Most senior oil execs are serious lifers in their businesses. There is little movement because the cultures don’t encourage it. Go check the top 10 in each major oil company and most will be 20 year veterans.

        As for sharing suppliers, I’ll bet you see the same in all sectors, particularly hi tech or high specialised skills. And when you get to a certain size you only want to deal with similar sized orgs, so big corporates want to use SAS or SAP to run their financial systems and PwC or Deloittes to do their audits, they don’t tend to go for Xero or MYOB.

        • pollywog

          if someone has an idea, and it enters the collective unsconciousness of the ethereal hive mind, more than one person will have it and it then becomes a case of who acts on it first.

          if there was some next level technology based on blackholes/dark matter, no single person could patent a device or suppress it and like Rutherford to Einstein to Oppenheimer…shit evolves rapidly

          simple fact is, if we extrapolate trends based on present technology and energy useage we’re fucked, but throw in a hidden variable of inevitable change and progress, evolution, and suddenly the world looks a little brighter, though shit is gonna get a lot worse before it gets better.

          i believe somewhere out there is a kid who’s thinking about energy in a whole new way and will grow up to change how we channel it from one form to another.

          …and shes probably a girl

    • felix 9.2

      What CV said. But also this doesn’t make sense:
      “…putting every other oil company and most industrial companies out of business.”

      Umm, why would an energy company want to put all those customers out of business?

      • nadis 9.2.1

        Because it wouldn’t be an energy company more. They would put “old technology” companies out of business, customers or not. They would obviously be replaced by every consumer and company that wants to use the new and better technology. Much bigger market. Thinkl about it – if you owned a technology that was 99% more efficient than its closest competitor, would be used by every consumer or industry in the world – I think that is a slightly bigger market than oil which accounts for about 4% of global GDP, and that 4% is split up amongst millions of companies.

        Seriously the “oil company suppresses water car” conspiracy theory is one of the more stupid ones. Oil companies are about as capitalist as you can get, to the natural endpoint of oligopoly or preferably monopoly. And most conspiracy theories fail because the probability of actually suppressing that information is nil as soon as more than one person knows it. And as others have pointed out, discovery these days is a collaborative, cumulative effort. Take away the one person who discovers something now, there will be others who sooner or later make the same step. RSA is a great example of independent, parallel invention.

        Here’s what you’d see if the theory was true. The oil company with the secret technology selling off existing chunks of the the “old tech” business and setting up a new business line based on the disruptive technology where the executive have significant equity upside.

        Anything else is illogical.

        New technology is a disruptive event and by definition you can’t plan for it. But with hindsight it is very obvious. Nassim Nicholas Taleb is worth reading.

        • felix

          I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. You think that a new source of energy means all the manufacturers in the world close down and are replaced by a whole bunch of new ones? Different ones?

          Don’t be so naive.

          And when you say “Anything else is illogical.” you’re still ignoring the cost/benefit analysis. Think about solar panels for example. Whyt doesn’t everyone have them? It’s free energy. To not use it is totally illogical (accoding to your reasoning).

          The reason most people don’t run their household on solar energy is that most people do a cost/benefit analysis of the upfront cost of purchase and installation/retrofit, the likely savings over the useful life of the products, the life expectancy of the consumer, and the alternative option i.e. paying for energy from the grid month by month. At present it self-evidently makes no economic sense for a lot of people to invest in “free” solar energy as they’ll never recoup the cost in their lifetime.

          If solar panels become cheaper, and/or grid electricity becomes more expensive the cost/benefit analysis will change in favour of solar panels. It’s pretty basic stuff, nadis, and it applies to the large-scale manufacturing you’re talking about too.

          • nadis

            No. My point is if an oil company really had a game changing, disruptive technology they would be selling and marketing it, because the benefit to them would be far, far greater than the loss of their existing business.

            Otherwise, you’re making the exact point I am – but I was starting from someone else’s comment that the new secret technology was so disruptive it would essentially make the new energy source free.

            But kind of getting off point – what I was really talking about was the stupidity of the thesis that oil companies have “obviously” bought up this new disruptive technology and are sitting on it, unpatented.

            • Colonial Viper

              The infrastructure requirements of developing to implementation stage and then implementing a new energy tech in any kind of widespread basis are simply enormous. Cost of an oil refinery = $1B or a nuclear power station = $5B will be a walk in the park, compared.

              BY the way, you keep tech unpatented if
              1) You don’t want the world to know about it
              2) You don’t want a legal protection which is going to run out in a few years, when your view is that you want to control the tech for decades.

              • nadis

                and if someone else discovers it and patents it?

              • insider

                You would only not patent it if it had no application outside your operation or your operation and its consumers were so entwined that revealing it would damage both, eg bits off cruise missiles or a proprietary analytical software tool that is used in the p.

                Once someone sees something in action, people can quickly interpret it and reverse engineer.

                If the market for your product, returns and its consumer benefits massively outweighs the infrastructure costs, no one will care how much the investment needed is. Mobile phones anyone?

          • pollywog

            i reckon before the oil companies can monopolise the manufacture of next generation powerplants, the blueprints will be leaked as freeware.

            and people will be able to build their own using stuff one can buy from any decent electronic shop or as a kitset online then live off the grid beholding to no one, not the power companies, the oil companies or even the food industries.

            because the output of these new devices will far exceed the energy per unit of mass currently generated by hydrocarbons

            combined with something like a ‘thumper’ from Dune embedded in ones backyard and emitting localised wifi power that communities can then amplify by networking and capable of powering vehicles/electric motors within a certain range of any ‘thumper’.

            cost/benefit analysis in that scenario means current energy barons wont be able to compete and have no bargaining power or leverage to threaten consumers with.

            naturally these devices will have near zero pollution and open up possibilites such as interstellar travel and terraforming not to mention allowing us to communicate with teh godz of old 🙂

            • Bored

              I love all this talk of alternative electro cars. With non vulcanised rubber tyres etc made from petrochemical additives, all parts from industries powered by gas / coal power stations, and the huge energy cost of retooling the petrochemical infrastructure.

              You are right, its going to be a case of building locally…and using our hydro power which will be in big demand for lots more.

              For me its a horse (or bike if I cant saddle up)…give you a race on the beach.

              • pollywog

                for me its about self sufficiency, windpower and sailboats within reach of a port city and being able to block off a road with a landslide so the ‘zombies’ cant come waltzing down it 🙂

  10. Randall 10

    This is good news, It’s good that we are now able to build more efficient cars. However, I think this will not reduce the fact that we still need to avail of car insurance because this will necessarily not reduce the risk of accidents.

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    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    1 day ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 day ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    2 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    2 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    3 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    6 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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