Frogs swimming in the heated pot

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 am, January 23rd, 2021 - 34 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Environment, farming, food, science - Tags:

For me watching QAnon believers waver in their belief in their idiotic failed guru’s ‘plan’ has as about the same interest value as seeing the US rectify its political mistake of 2016. Amusing short term entertainment.

If you want more relevant short-term news, then recently I’ve been increasingly looking at the climate over the Arctic. That has become increasingly unstable this year after a widely forecast stratospheric warming event over the northern pole actually happened on schedule in early January. As was also expected, it disrupted and weakened the northern polar vortex causing lower level cold air to spin out in the northern hemisphere.

One of the lobes has already brought extreme cold to Siberia, where temperatures in Yakutia, in eastern Russia, haven’t climbed above minus-40 in more than a month, according to the Associated Press. Delyankir, in northeastern Russia, dropped to minus-73 degrees Jan. 18. The concentrated cold has been fierce and extreme, and looks to remain in place in eastern Russia through at least early next week.

Washington Post: “What a ‘wrecked’ polar vortex means for winter-starved Americans

That is ~ -58 Celsius for the rational standard unit world.

A twitter link in the article points out the range of temperature at that location over the last 7 months.

 

While these northern continental latitudes are known for their extreme ranges of temperature, a variation of about 95 degrees Celsius does seem a bit extreme in a single location. Wikipedia records the most extreme temperature range as being 105.8 degrees Celsius in a similar latitude and location. However this was between a low in 1885 and high in 2020 – more than a century apart rather than 7 months.

The point about this is that a large proportion of the world’s supply of food comes from the north of Eurasia and North America. Instability in the northern polar region has nasty effects on producing it.

At present the weakened polar vortex hasn’t caused major disruptions in the polar jet stream. Probably because it is multi-lobed.

“For this event, though we have seen fairly typical influence of the [polar] disruption on the surface in the form of persistent high-pressure systems (or ‘blocking’) over the Arctic, many locations have not yet seen extreme cold,” wrote Amy Butler, a research scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Chemical Sciences Laboratory, in an email. “This seems tied to where in particular the blocking has occurred, which may also be affected by tropical influences.”

She also noted that the messy split of the polar vortex may be causing it to play out differently than other years when the vortex was displaced.

“While the polar vortex has become very stretched out and wobbly, it has not displaced as strongly southward or split as clearly into two lobes as in other events,” wrote Butler. “[That] means it might not be able to influence the underlying jet stream quite as well.”

Washington Post: “What a ‘wrecked’ polar vortex means for winter-starved Americans

This kind of Arctic instability is becoming more frequent and as the world climate heats up, paradoxically, the upper northern hemisphere is likely to get more polar blasts as the Arctic sheds its cold to lower latitudes.

Thankfully at present, the course of these kinds of events in the northern hemisphere are entirely unpredictable compared to the southern polar regions. With climate change we can expect to see similar effects over a longer time period.

I’m less concerned about the direct extreme events like cold or heat waves, hurricanes and tropical storms, flooding, tornadoes, sea level rises, wildfires, destruction of habitats and so on.

Ecosystems and humans will adapt at a cost. The trend is always going to be worse for the next couple of centuries. We are just the beginning of that trend.

Researchers say that the influence of climate change on extreme events is strong and likely to continue growing.

“Just like 2019 before it, 2020 has been full of disastrous extremes,” said Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, from the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

“We have seen all this with a 1C of global average temperature rise, highlighting the sensitive relationship between average conditions and extremes.”

“Ultimately, the impacts of climate change will be felt via the extremes, and not averaged changes.”

“Unfortunately, we can expect more years to look like 2020 – and worse – as global temperatures creep higher.”

While 2021 is likely to bring a similar story of losses from extreme events, there is some sense of optimism that political leaders may be on the brink of taking steps that might help the world avoid the worst excesses of rising temperatures.

BBC: “Climate change: Extreme weather causes huge losses in 2020

Ultimately, I suspect that the increasing costs of insurance and infrastructure repair will educate even the most stupid ideological chumps that they need to harden where they live.

That is discounting the complete idiots. The ones that live in fragile locations like bulldozed fore dunes or in reclaimed swamps and the other daft geological locations that such suckers have built on. At some point, even without climate change, they or their successors will find this to be an educational experience. I just don’t want to pay for the stupidity of people who like to build on the equivalent of a cliff edge..

Stuff: “Auckland home above eroding cliff edge is fifth built on site in 40 years

With climate change, I’m not worried about the moral imperatives that some people seem to feel. What I call the conservation moral ethos. For me, it is too short-term a perspective and too unaware of what the earth is really like. Too embedded in a human-centrist moral awareness without facing the real extrinsic threats in rapid human induced climate changes.

Sure the coral reefs will bleach and become deserts for a while. Then they will be recolonised by species with a different temperature range. We see coral reefs throughout the longer term and in the recent history over thousands of years changing according to climatic shifts.

Studying earth sciences as I did four decades ago, with the time perspectives that requires, drives it home just how chaotically changeable the lithosphere that we live on and the volatile atmosphere and hydrosphere that we live in. You realise after looking at through the geological and biological history of our planet just how odd and rare that a complex biosphere and a civilisation is likely to be. Just how fragile and resilient it is.

What I worry about is somewhat more pragmatic. How it affects us as a civilisation. Mostly what are the effects of climate change on the primary underpinnings of our civilisation. That ultimately rests mostly on our food supply.

The problem is that the last 10 to 11 thousand years since the last glacial period was probably the one of the most stable climatic periods since Antarctica drifted into southern polar region and then froze up in ice sheets about 34-35 million years ago and triggered a sustained ice age with frequent glacial periods. What humans consider to be a ‘normal’ climatic state is less than 0.05% of that time period

During that time as a species and a civilisation we developed the complexity that is our agricultural systems. All built on an illusory ‘stable’ climate where temperature ranges didn’t vary by much and extreme events were minimal.

Our food creating system is the foundation of the most fragile widespread ecosystem in the world. The one that sustains our population and societies.

Yield growth for wheat, maize, and other crops has been declining in many countries due to extreme heat, severe weather, and droughts. By some estimates, in the absence of effective adaptation, global yields could decline by up to 30 percent by 2050. Countries that are already grappling with conflict, pollution, deforestation, and other challenges are likely to suffer the brunt of these impacts. The 2 billion people already without access to sufficient food, including smallholder farmers and other people living in poverty, will be hit hardest.

Already, despite decades of global commitment, hunger and food insecurity persist at staggering rates. According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report, nearly 750 million people experienced severe food insecurity in 2019 and the number of undernourished or food-insecure people is rising, with climate shocks a major contributor. Unless urgent action is taken, climate change will increase food prices, decrease food availability, and exacerbate instability and conflict because of competition over water and fertile land.

UN Foundation: “Climate change and the future of food

Our world population is still going to be increasing until at least 2050. Food prices, civil and regional wars or conflicts like terrorism activity show little or no respect for national boundaries. This is the real cost of climate change. It strikes at the base of our civilisation, and at the same time at the tools we need to deal with it.

It is hard to shift technologies to reduce future harm as is already happening slowly, when at the same time we’re trying to adapt for previous bad infrastructure and development decisions, and while conflicts over the most basic of resources is threatening instability.

Fools similar to the QAnon idiots will probably think that a human die-back is a good thing while they finger their weapons and fantasise first action shoot-em up games. Others will descend into catastrophic fantasies of drowning in sea level rises that wont happen for centuries and are limited to about 75 metres anyway. And others who get more concerned about smearing blame on the dead or past decisions rather than dealing with the current and future issues.

But perhaps the adults should start just looking at the real and pretty immediate challenges of climate change.


Medium: “The Boiling Frog Syndrome

34 comments on “Frogs swimming in the heated pot ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    During that time as a species and a civilisation we developed the complexity that is our agricultural systems. All built on an illusory ‘stable’ climate where temperature ranges didn’t vary by much and extreme events were minimal.

    Our food creating system is the foundation of the most fragile widespread ecosystem in the world. The one that sustains our population and societies.

    This is the crux of the climate change argument. The solution that I was planning to address in detail in a post lies in the human relationship with the natural world.

    Each step of human evolution, the invention of complex language, the use of fire, the domestication of dogs, the invention of agriculture and stock animals, the discovery of mining and the refining and working of metals, writing, the printing press and the use of coal – are all steps that have gradually decoupled our existence from a pure dependency on nature toward an independence from it.

    The process is far from complete, but at this time in our history at least half of humanity live in cities, more dependent on industrial processes than they are natural ones. While this is not an unalloyed benefit, from the perspective of the natural world, we save nature by not using it.

    It's my sense this means accelerating this decoupling process, moving our food chains away from conventional agriculture (depending as it does on naturally available sunshine, rainfall and nutrients) toward systems that are more technology based, that use less land, depend less on climate and use closed loop nutrient systems.

    In this we achieve two things at once, we reduce our impact on climate and the natural world, and at the same time we reduce our exposure to the risks and instability the natural world poses to us.

    • lprent 1.1

      It's my sense this means accelerating this decoupling process, moving our food chains away from conventional agriculture (depending as it does on naturally available sunshine, rainfall and nutrients) toward systems that are more technology based, that use less land, depend less on climate and use closed loop nutrient systems.

      Effectively a vertical garden system or the equivalent and/or intense agricultural tech. We're getting closer to it with the wider range of power sources – especially renewables which will eventually steadily diminish the cost of power.

      That will be a tall ask technically. Apart from anything else learning to deal with the gradual toxin buildups that suspected to be a feature of all closed loop intense agricultural systems. We'd probably have to run something like a Lagrange point habitat for a few decades to even figure some of that stuff out properly.

      But with the kinds of population growth and potential climate related crop yield problems over the next 3 decades or so. I suspect we're going to have to find this out the ad hoc way.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        But with the kinds of population growth

        Most of that population growth is going to happen in Africa. Most of the rest of the world has either already or is very close to peak population already.

        Setting aside Africa as a particular development problem in multiple dimensions, I'd suggest the main cause of food insecurity at present is going to be the breakdown in global trade that we're likely to see in the next decade or so.

        Much of the cropland in Africa has increased by output by a factor of five between 1950 – 2000, but this has been entirely on the back on synthetic fertilisers and mechanisation. If the breakdown of the global order means they cannot get reliable access to capital, equipment and inputs, then they will revert back to something similar to where they started in 1950. A similar story plays out in many developing parts of the world.

        There are relatively few places in the world with the right mix of low production costs, local or regional input sources, and stable financial status that will enable them to be long term producers. The first and by far the largest is the USA, after that France and Argentina, Myanmar (rice producer), Australia's Murray Basin (large but weather dependent and erratic) and finally NZ.

        Virtually everywhere else is exposed to the risk of something we've forgotten about – famine. The response will be to reduce their reliance on high volume monocultures and specialisation in order to just to feed their population. A retreat from global trade would mean that long term we could be looking at a catastrophic collapse in the ability of the world to feed itself, and this is before we factor in climate change.

        If this logic does play out, then I’d definitely anticipate a very high incentive to drive food production toward a more technological model.

      • RedLogix 1.1.2

        Apart from anything else learning to deal with the gradual toxin buildups that suspected to be a feature of all closed loop intense agricultural systems.

        Yes, that's a real challenge. The good news is that because most closed loop systems carry the nutrients in a liquid form it's far easier to process them, than they are if they're locked up in solid forms such as soil for example. All it takes is a relatively small plant constantly handling a small bypass feed to remove unwanted toxins. Technically very feasible I’d imagine.

        My starting point for this kind of approach is aquaponics, a balanced blend of now conventional fish farming and hydroponics. Add in high efficiency LED lighting, vertical structures and many more innovations going on in this space – plus the urgent food security drivers involved – I'm seeing a rapid uptake in the upcoming decades.

        • Robert Guyton 1.1.2.1

          RedLogix – is there, anywhere in the non-human world, past or present, anything at all like the system you propose?

          • RedLogix 1.1.2.1.1

            No there isn't really. But then there are so many things about humans that are not found in the non-human world. We will always have a connection to the natural world, but in so many ways we're already the first post-biological species on this planet.

            What I have in mind is does not have to lie opposite to your expertise and passion. It's my sense that in order to make technological based food production work really well, we will need to incorporate all of the observational knowledge and experience we can bring to the table. That means people like you would play a vital role.

            Nor do I imagine humans will ever entirely abandon the planet to a pure binary of wilderness and high tech habitat. There would have to be a place for managed landscapes, part forest, part grazing, part regeneration. Over time our custodial role for the health of the planet will only grow.

            Bear with me here, I understand that we’ll stumble and make mistakes along the way; but I’m willing to hold to an optimistic vision of our pathway.

            • Robert Guyton 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Bear with you, sure; you're presenting an intelligent, nuanced series of proposals but I wonder if your belief that we humans represent a "post-biological" species, is a mistaken one and that no living entity can in fact, leave the biological state; at least, one as biologically-complex as we are. It may be, however, that we can become "hyper-biological" and operate within the framework all other living things are bound by. To do that, we'll have to "tick all the boxes" that have been time-tested by living things on the planet, rather than try to game the system in the belief that we can think of better ways than have so far been demonstrated. Even your fondness for aquaculture has me humming and haaing: I know there are wasps that lay their eggs inside of caterpillars and those won't enjoy the experience of being eaten from the inside out, but that seems a de minimus issue in the big picture, whereas consciously condemning huge populations of fish to an imprisoned life; something I'm sure we uber-efficient humans would do in a world under pressure, just doesn't seem appropriate.

              • RedLogix

                "Hyper-biological". Yes that's a better term than the one I used, and I agree with what your saying on this. We will always retain our biological nature, but we have already layered on top of it great deal of technology and consequent socialisation that takes us well beyond any other non-human species.

                The fish welfare problem is similar to the one with chicken farming; I'd imagine we'd find ways to achieve 'free ranging' the fish as we have for chickens commensurate with their conscious capacity. And the larger the scale the easier it would get. But it's a good question to hum and haa about enlightened.

                I don't know of a good answer to this, and while I'm happy for people to eat less meat generally, total vegan is not an option I'd advocate for the mass of humanity. The good news is that aquaponics generally produces much more plant based food than fish, so that aligns.

                • Snape

                  RedLogix

                  Why not start with what is easiest? A lot of agricultural land is devoted to producing grain for livestock, which is an inefficient use compared to if humans had consumed those grains instead.

                  Meaning less land is required to feed a population of vegetarians than carnivores.

                  • RedLogix

                    Yes I'm not a fan of grain fed livestock for a bunch of reasons, but it's not the predominate practice in NZ. Elsewhere climate is a factor can force stock to be sheltered over winter. And grazing on land that's unsuited for crops seems reasonable enough.

                    Overall I can see a trend away from intensive meat consumption, but I'm not dogmatic about it. I'd not rely on it to 'save the planet' from CO2.

                    • Snape

                      RedLogix,

                      “And grazing on land that's unsuited for crops seems reasonable enough.”

                      Sure, but could you quantify this? For example, in New Zealand, what percentage of the land area used for grazing is actually unsuitable for growing crops?

                    • RedLogix

                      what percentage of the land area used for grazing is actually unsuitable for growing crops?

                      Pretty much all the hill country.

                      This source suggests that arable cropping land is less than 2.5% of our total land area. While total 'meadowland' is a much larger fraction at around 40%

                    • Snape []

                      RedLogix

                      Your source is not suggesting that only 2.5% of New Zealand land area is suitable for growing crops. If you go back to the link and click on ‘definitions’ you will find this:

                      “Arable refers to all land generally under rotation, whether for temporary crops (double-cropped areas are counted only once) or meadows, or left fallow (less than five years). These data are not meant to indicate the amount of land that is potentially cultivable.”

                    • RedLogix

                      Still what matters is the land that is being used to produce crops – and if the 'potentially arable land' is even as much as 5% I'd be surprised.

                      If you're claiming that somehow NZ farmers are leaving vast amounts of land suitable and viable for crops unused you might want to produce some evidence.

                      But stepping back from quibbling this detail, I don't understand your point. In this country grain-fed stock is the exception not the norm, so I don't see how curtailing it would change much. And a huge fraction of farmed land is hill country you can't put machinery on so there is little opportunity to expand cropping to replace grazing.

                      You could argue for a completely different paradigm where NZ turns into a giant food-forest, but you'd need to demonstrate how that would be more productive and viable over what we're doing now.

                    • Snape []

                      “If you're claiming that somehow NZ farmers are leaving vast amounts of land suitable and viable for crops unused you might want to produce some evidence.”

                      No, it was just a hunch. My assumption is that if an acre of land could be used for either crops or pasture, the decision would be entirely market based, nothing to do with which choice produces the most food.

                      Stepping back from this quibble…. “we save nature by not using it.”

                      Ok, so you’re fine with un-arable land being used for grazing livestock, and you’ve noted that that’s the predominant agricultural land use in NZ.

                      My question, then, is how much nature (in terms of land area) is available to be saved by the agricultural ideas you argue for? Less than 5%?

    • gsays 1.2

      Morena RL, when I read your line "The solution that I was planning to address in detail in a post lies in the human relationship with the natural world." this series of clips came to mind.

      The first one is 40 minutes then 4 more at about 20 minutes.

      Mark Cohen, described as an ethnobotanist, amongst other things talks about his various paths that bought him to today. One of his observations was how, deep in our subconscious, we are aware of how untenable our existence is in regards to our carbon footprint, and disconnect from nature. This helps influence the high amount of mental ill health.

      He discusses a mix of anthropology, botany and philosophy. He asks himself the question what is human habitat, one that raises healthy body and minds. He then goes on to study and conduct research to come up with answers.

      I highly recommend this.

      • RedLogix 1.2.1

        I have watched it all. He does delve into why, despite my technological base, I'm never dismissive of the themes he addresses.

        As a keen tramper I was always aware from a very early stage, of the paradox of how much I valued the wilderness, yet how my very presence detracted from it. How the more of us present, the less wild it became.

        I'll also give Cohen credit for being intellectually honest about not knowing what sized population could be carried in his proposed vision. Nor do any of us know of what humanity might discover in years to come. So as the Dust channel says "It's the business of the future to be dangerous".

        But I will align firmly with his thinking on diversity. And in this context a diversity of intellectual and spiritual thinking, the harmonising of science and faith, the of the visible and invisible realities.

        One good question to ask – how many conscious minds are there in the universe? The correct answer is one. Because the complementary and essential idea that must thrive alongside diversity (in it's very widest sense) – is unity.

        Once that thought is established then a path toward integrating all of human knowledge, insight, wisdom and capacity – material and immaterial becomes possible.

        Think of us as an emerging species who have been given a 9 billion piece jigsaw puzzle for our 18th birthday. Each piece is fascinating and necessary, but for the moment the 'completed' picture that came on the cover of the box is hidden to us.

        • gsays 1.2.1.1

          I couldn't agree more with one mind (unity) and diversity.

          It's amazing, the diverse places knowledge comes from. Eg Bill Hicks famous quote:

          " Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Heres Tom with the Weather"

  2. Recommended reading: The End of the Megamachine by Fabian Scheidler. It's a fascinating summary of human history through the lens of economic & ecological exploitation and tyranny.

    Within only 200 years, man has deeply reshaped the Earth’s crust – and triggered off one of the biggest mass extinctions of species in the history of the planet. What has led to this dramatic development? Chapter seven explores how the logics of an endless accumulation of capital and a fossil energy system form an explosive amalgam from which our world today emerges. The consequences were brutal, not only for nature but also for societies: The mechanization of labor and the logics of competition and profit tore apart social networks and turned the worker into an object of global production logistics.

  3. Pat 3

    Potable water….more critical than even food, we are in trouble.

    https://www.seametrics.com/blog/global-water-crisis-facts/

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          One aggregate figure of 70% doesn’t really tell us much about where than water is coming from and what crops it’s been used on, but yes there is no question that agriculture at least in some places in the world does face a water crisis along with all the other issues I outlined above.

          However much more onerous standards apply to water intended for irrigation compared to potable water for human consumption, which means it's considerably easier and cheaper to produce.

          On the demand side I'd agree that trying to use desalination on water intensive crops like rice and cotton is probably not viable in the foreseeable future, but using targeted irrigation systems and high tech closed loop food production, would dramatically reduce the amounts needed. Somewhere I recall that a typical aquaponic system for example uses around 10% of the water needed for the same crop grown conventionally.

          I agree there is a real challenge with fresh water – plenty of people have been signaling this for a while now. But there are reasonable solutions at hand if we choose to use them.

          • Pat 3.1.1.1.1

            There are currently around 20,000 desalination plants in the world and they supply around 1% of current DRINKING water.

            We will not build our way out of these problems, even if you choose to ignore the externalities

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Again statistics do not interpret themselves; most desal plants are relatively small, but the article I linked to above describe some rather large ones providing up to 1000MLD (Million Litres/Day). That's more than Auckland's demand from just one plant.

              • Pat

                You continue to miss the point…by all means build another million desalination plants (and the energy capacity to operate them and all in a decade or two) if you think you can but will that provide water for the environment?…no, it MAY provide drinking water to significant proportion of the current population as they move from one devastated environment to another.

                It is not only humans that require potable water

                • RedLogix

                  I agree it's a problem, in some locations it will be a severe one. Potable water for human cities that have the most critical needs will be provided by desalination – as they are already. But such a build out would be a gradual process, there will never be a need to build 'a million' plants all at once.

                  But the point worth noting, is that the more water we provide for ourselves from desalination – the more left over for the natural world.

                  We save nature by not using it.

                  • Pat

                    "there will never be a need to build 'a million' plants all at once."

                    No , I was being generous….closer to 2 million (at current average scale) within the next 20 years to supply close on a 100% of reliable 'drinking' water

                    • RedLogix

                      But why would you assume we would ever need to replace 100% in the foreseeable future? That's apocalyptic thinking.

                    • Pat

                      "And then you'd never get to have to do all of them, most places are at a relatively low risk really."

                      The sourced data from the Seametrics link would suggest otherwise

                  • Pat

                    Your example…If Auckland needs to build a desal plant to ensure its water security will it build one that only provides for 20 or 50% of its needs?….Id suggest not.

                    • RedLogix

                      Not 100% of all the cities in the world will need to replace 100% of their supply all at once. You start with the ones most at risk and then prioritize over time.

                      And then you'd never get to have to do all of them, most places are at a relatively low risk really. Auckland for example would almost certainly draw all it could possibly need from the Waikato long before considering desalination.

  4. Snape 5

    “This kind of Arctic instability is becoming more frequent and as the world climate heats up, paradoxically, the upper northern hemisphere is likely to get more polar blasts as the Arctic sheds its cold to lower latitudes.”

    In theory, yes, but I don’t think there is any long term data to back it up. Sacha posted a roughly 40 day GIF showing instability in the polar vortex. Is there a 40 year GIF that shows the instability has recently become more pronounced?

    This is typical of the uncertainty inherent in climate science: historical observations are often unreliable (or unavailable), and model projections need many years to verify.

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    2 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    3 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    3 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    3 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    3 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    3 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    4 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    6 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    7 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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