web analytics

Grow the Commons

Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, August 10th, 2016 - 57 comments
Categories: activism, Environment, farming, food, sustainability - Tags: , , , , ,

The following is a Guest Post from Robert Guyton.

Robert is a sustainability pioneer who along with his family grows the oldest food forest in NZ. A long time organic gardener, permaculturist and heritage orchardist, he’s a columnist, a regional councillor for Environment Southland, and an early climate change adaptor. 

Some time ago, I wrote a column describing a nascent movement called Common Ground that sought to link like-minded growers of plants under the umbrella of a shared name and an icon in the form of a Greenman sticker, which I promised to send out on receipt of a self-addressed envelope. The response to that idea was remarkable. My letterbox became, for several weeks, the scene of great activity; the postie’s, in filling it with letters, and mine, carrying those letters to my house for opening and reading. It was a delightful experience all round, replying to the charming messages, slipping the sticker into the return envelope and dropping them, one after the other, into the NZ Post mailbox in the village. I’d hoped there’d be a lot of gardeners out there who found the idea alluring, and there were.

The question then became, what to do as a follow-up to the initial excitement of being a sticker-carrying Common Grounder. Those good folk who now have a little Greenman stuck to their wheelbarrow, bicycle mudguard, or like me, front door, have no doubt kept on doing what they’ve always done – garden, filling their properties with plants of all descriptions and making their little corner of the world a better, more verdant place and for that I admire them as much as ever.

In recent days, I’ve been struck by an idea that I think could qualify for the title “Next Step” or “Phase Two” in the Common Ground story. With the weather being perfect for planting down here in the south of the South, I’ve been doing just that, lifting trees and shrubs that grew from cuttings set out last autumn and shifting them to their permanent homes. Only those final destinations are not inside of my boundary fences, but outside. I’ve been planting the Commons. In various overlooked and under-appreciated strips of neglected council land, I’ve been digging and delving, clearing and planting – apple, peach and plums trees, hazel and chestnut, nectarine, grape and quince.

I’ve chosen scrappy sites that no one wants, broom-covered bony land infested with cocksfoot, cotoneaster and holly, wasteland that can’t be built on or isn’t worth sowing in grass and mowing, no-man’s land, only it’s everybody’s ground, under common ownership thanks to the rates we pay our councils. I’m adding value to the overgrown wastelands by planting fruit trees that anyone and everyone will be able to pick from, once the trees reach fruiting age.

It’s a prickly business, planting in the blackberries and gorse. I’m covered in scratches and am forever digging thorn-tips out of my hands with pins and needles. I’m reminded of when I first began planting my forest garden here in Thames Street. Back then, I made the mistake of clear-felling the broom and gorse that covered the property and in doing so, exposed the site to the wind. Nowadays, I let the shelter trees stand and plant amongst them, hence the scratches. But it’s an investment for my community and we’ll all share in the harvest from those trees in years to come. I’m guessing that locally-grown, foragable food will become important in the years ahead, so I’m getting in early, establishing as many fruiting trees, shrubs and vines as I possibly can.

And here’s where existing Common Grounders and all other readers who like the idea come in – you too could grow the Commons. You know how to grow things and you probably also know where there is waste-ground that’s aching to be made useful and you may also have, as I do, grandchildren, who would love to clamber about in trees picking fruit for their dear grandparents. Naturally, I’ve chosen Grow the Commons as the name for this follow-up to the Common Ground concept, as it captures the intent of the second phase of the movement elegantly.

It’s a benevolent act, planting for the wider community on land that isn’t being utilised productively, though your local council might have some reservations (pun intended) about that. I’ve not bothered them with the trifling issue and suspect your own council will be as busy as mine with keeping the street lights on, the gutters swept and the thousand other important issues local councils have to deal with every day and won’t want to be bothered with the planting of a few pretty trees.

So, Common Grounders, that’s where we’re headed, out onto the Commons to grow for our future. Any anxiousness you might feel is probably justified, but it’s up to you and if you’d like to report in and tell me about your progress, my letter box is swept, its hinges oiled and ready to receive mail. If there are new-to-the-idea readers who would like a Greenman sticker for whatever purpose, send me a stamped, self addressed envelope and I’ll send one your way – 20 Thames Street, Riverton, 9822.

Happy planting.

A version of this article first appeared in the August edition of New Zealand Gardener.

57 comments on “Grow the Commons ”

  1. Thanks, weka, for putting up my story; it’s a bit wordy but I hope, interesting. At our weekend fruit tree sale a number of people bought our grafted heritage apple trees with the intention of planting them outside of their own boundary fences, having read this article in last month’s NZ Gardener. I hope that TS readers might be similarly inspired 🙂

    • Sabine 1.1

      i will go down to my garden in two weeks. I have discovered a Quince, Walnut, Lemon, Apple, Grapefruit tree sofar. A little rickety Green house full of cacti (?) and stuff. it will be exiting to go there and see what grows under the ‘weeds’ infact it will be fun to see what ‘weeds’ grow in my garden.

      While I understand the need for common food sources and the likes i would like to raise the issue of potable water. In Europe -especially old Europe – all the villages have public fountains – often two – one for people and one for animals. However that is one thing that seems to be completly overlooked in NZ. We can not overlook this issue as water born diseases may be a bigger killer then lack of food.

      Also a thing that I would like to see in my future ‘commons’ ( we are several friends that have bought small houses with big gardens in a small rather empty village in the middle of the north Island) is a bread oven. Again, being someone who has lived in very old villages in Europe the community oven often still stands.

      The planting of the gardens and the sharing of the fruit is important, but we need to include water treatment, water storage and common ovens to help us in the long terms.
      I would also like to know more about the maori way of storing food. I believe they had some sort of ‘underground’ storage.

      Thanks again for this beautiful read.

      • weka 1.1.1

        “( we are several friends that have bought small houses with big gardens in a small rather empty village in the middle of the north Island)”

        Nice one!

        The old European Commons oven reminded me of this essay by Dmitry Orlov about Russian villages and their relative immunity to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Interesting descriptions of private and communal spaces and resources,

        https://web.archive.org/web/20051225160222/http://www.survivingpeakoil.com/article.php?id=our_village

        Love this bit about communal benches. The sauna one is interesting too.

        The main elements of communal life are visits, barter of food and favors, and use of sauna. Visits are almost universally unplanned and unannounced. Most often, people stop by on the way, sometimes coming into the yards, and sometimes simply talking across the fence.

        The village has many benches scattered throughout, which consist of a length of split log hand-planed smooth, flat side up, which is joined to two round logs, which are buried vertically into the ground. These are found both next to the houses and outside the fences, and are used to sit and chat with neighbors. There are benches where you can warm up on sunny but frosty mornings, and benches to while away hot mid-afternoons in the shade. There was even a bench where I could stretch out on a clear night and watch the myriad of stars, the asteroid showers, and the Mir space station whizzing by periodically. I have built several of them myself, in strategic locations.

        Typical examples of barter involve exchanges of rabbit meat, eggs, vegetables and other perishable items that would otherwise be distributed unevenly and perhaps go to waste. Staples such as potatoes are generally not bartered.

        Sauna use presents one of the more complex examples of social interaction in Soykino. During my stays there, it was my responsibility to fire the sauna at least once a week, but since I enjoyed doing it and had little else to do, I fired it twice a week. It was quite a bit of work, but it made me instantly popular.

        • Robert Guyton 1.1.1.1

          Benches! That’s brilliant and simple. Planning…

          • weka 1.1.1.1.1

            Isn’t it great? And a neat way to bring in the carpenters and woodworkers in an area.

            • Robert Guyton 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Funny that you say that, weka. A young guy has just moved to the village, set up shop and is calling himself “The Funky Joiner”. He specializes in creating furniture from found timbers, recycled building materials etc. I’ll call in and see him soon, with a proposal…I can’t help seeing images from “The Last of the Summer Wine” in my head.

        • Sabine 1.1.1.2

          same go anywhere in France, Italy, Sardenia, Corsica and Germany and you will find benches. A good place to sit for the elders to have a chat and observe the life around them.
          Market places in the middle of the villages. A game of boules, a village fest with music on the day of the Patron Saint, the most favorite fruit (in France and Corisca it is often the edible chestnut) and so on and so on. While quite open to gossip it is also open to trade and barter.

          One thing i miss very much in NZ.

          • miravox 1.1.1.2.1

            “One thing i miss very much in NZ.”

            The benches thing is something that I’ve taken note of while in Austria. Not just in terms of how well they’re used, but also, as with plants, drinking fountains and decorative shop fittings, that no-one thinks they need to be CCTV’d, bolted down or removed to prevent them being damaged or stolen.

            And they’re right… the community garden on the busy Donau Kanal, pretty boozy over the summer, is never vandalised, and the seating never removed.

            That was pretty much the first thing that made me sad for my country.

            Anyway, I’m thinking about what will happen if I try to convert our unused carpark space at our Wellington apartment to a raised garden when we get back…

        • Sabine 1.1.1.3

          i asked the bloke who lives in my house to build me a sauna.
          his expression, priceless.

    • weka 1.2

      Any tips for planting in the Commons Robert? Do you plant as in your food forest, or do anything special? Compost? How big a hole? etc

      • Poking wands into the ground is perhaps the simplest method. Casting seed. Pushing nuts into the soil. Lugging trees in planter bags is the most difficult approach and the one I avoid now. Grapes grow easily from a section of vine pushed into the ground at this time of the year. I go for ease of planting, in my garden and out in the wildlands.

  2. save nz 2

    Nice post.

  3. Good one Robert. Walking the walk as well as talking the talk – the revolution in action.

  4. Hi, Sabine. Your comments about water are valuable in light of what we are developing in our small Southland town where The Council has extinguished interest in independent water storage of rainwater collected from the roof, in favour of a reticulated supply from a dirty river. In response, we installed tanks and collect our own, encouraging all of our friends to do the same, which they have done or are doing. Railing against authorities is one thing, making real what you believe to be right is another. The hill behind our town has numerous springs issuing from it, but very few are used for anything other than watering stock. They are a valuable asset that could be carefully managed to the benefit of our community. A community bread oven is another development waiting in the wings for our wee town. We’ve a semi retired architect planning/hoping to build a brick oven like the ones he has studied from earlier days in New Zealand and as well, we have several specialist bread makers, young people who have moved here for what they see as a great chance to create a community, who are encouraging our architect to make his/our dreams come true. Regarding food storage and especially “Maori” storage methods, I have drawn up plans for a raised pataka based on an old photograph of one that stood where the school sits presently. Not difficult to build and very elegant. There are “European” storage methods that suit just as well, such as the “apple house” my wife is determined to build to store our heritage apple crops. I’m using the “cider” method to store the tangiest apples 🙂

    • Sabine 4.1

      oh the cider method is and excellent storage for pears aswell.

      i am just struck by some of the villages i have lived in France that have recorded history going back to the Templar that as a standard have two at least sometimes three fountains. One for watering people, one for watering animals and one for washing – a safety aspect for the women i would guess.

      I have subscribed to a bread page on fb Universal bakers, and often there are video of community ovens from around the world, very interesting and yes i would like to have one in my village.

      I will install as many water catchment containers as i possibly can, but think that in order to fend of water born disease every community needs to do better then just relay on the individuals effort, especially in regards to purification etc.

      If you have an FB page or email one can contact you that would be awesome.

      • I’m easily reached, Sabine. Here’s my email: rguy10@actrix.co.nz and my blog: http://www.robertguyton.blogspot.com
        I’ve done pears, perry, over the past couple of years. We are growing a collection of gorgeous heritage pear trees we grafted from old trees we found surviving in farm orchards around the region, tastes like no other, shapes that amaze. I agree that while individual sufficiency is good, shared resources are also vital. Infiltrate (water allusion there) your councils, create your own (easy) and adapt what’s already in place. Some people won’t be able to get busy with these things, so working on their behalf is necessary and rewarding.

  5. Siobhan 5

    Auckland transport Proposed planting guidelines for berms…”Any planting shall not be edible ”
    https://at.govt.nz/about-us/asset-maintenance/footpath-berm-maintenance/

    I’m looking forward to someone planting edible ‘weeds’ and flowers and seeing how that plays out in Court. It is so petty to allow, presumably ‘pretty’ plants, but not edible plants…they do seem to have an issue with fruit trees, as they envisage piles of rotten lemons or feijoas all over the pavement, which I suspect would not be an insurmountable problem, yet I do see olive trees planted around which seems odd.

    • Hi, Siobhan. The guidelines have left a huge loophole for keen planters, in the enormous range of plants that are “pretty” but also edible. Into which category do they shunt hosta, for example being edible in the way asparagus are, or day lilies (edible flowers), evening primrose (edible, tasty too), kawakawa, cardoon and arugula. There are a host of ornamental perennials that would feed an army, if they only knew about them. Don’t mention the edibility and no one will know 🙂
      Next, shrubs with edible small fruits. Did anyone say Chilean guava? Or Chilean wineberry for that matter? Chinese dogwood? Yum. This trees don’t look fruity, nor do they drop their crop in the way the transport authorities would notice.

    • weka 5.2

      “Any planting shall not be edible”

      Good grief, how on earth did they rationalise that? Was it just the rotting fruit on the ground thing?

      • Siobhan 5.2.1

        They include this little gem…”They also have no right of ownership of any flowers or produce grown in the road corridor.”…they possibly envisage angry old folk getting into ‘pavement rage’ with the kids down the road pilfering ‘their’ fruit.
        To be fair, I think Council employees live in dread of enraged pensioners with fax machines contacting them every five minutes.

        • weka 5.2.1.1

          Lol, maybe that’s the way to the revolution!

          Pretty bizarre to see the council claiming ownership of plants produced on their land. It’s very U.S-ian.

          • Sabine 5.2.1.1.1

            especially considering that the council actually expects private citizens to ‘maintain’ council property at their cost.

            • adam 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Not always, they will mow it if you are disabled, if you ask, and can produce evidence of disability.

              I’d like to point out that they did not accept a photo of having no legs as evidence of disability. They demanded a letter from a medical professional.

              Ah New Zealand a land of bureaucrats and pen pushers, each as stupid as the next one. Thanks national, your government has one thing which we can all be dumbly proud of, your ability to make the civil service even more useless and stupid in just 8 years of office. That must qualify for some sort of reward?

  6. Ad 6

    IMHO that Riverton thing is a shining beacon of goodness.

    We’ve visited a couple of times, and the knowledge and generosity of the staff are just terrific. A really positive example for us up here.

  7. Rosemary McDonald 7

    ” I’m reminded of when I first began planting my forest garden here in Thames Street. Back then, I made the mistake of clear-felling the broom and gorse that covered the property and in doing so, exposed the site to the wind. Nowadays, I let the shelter trees stand and plant amongst them, hence the scratches. ”

    Do you think Robert, that perhaps the same method can be used to change the social and political environment for the better?

    Try and get the good and better stuff established before getting rid of the unwanted elements. Using the unwanted elements to shelter the new and better aspects until they grow strong enough to stand alone…as part of an overall more sustaining environment.

    I don’t want to complicate a brilliant post…its just what occurred to me when I read that.

    (We have an acre, and have been self sufficient for water for years. I can’t abide the taste of town supply…Auckland especially…
    Are you in town? Are you vulnerable to neighbours’ agrichemical use? This was the reason the wheels fell off our 11 years of spray free, permaculture (Linda Woodrow, rocks) dream.)

    And may you cow parsley run rampant in your fields!

    • “Do you think Robert, that perhaps the same method can be used to change the social and political environment for the better?”

      Yes x 1000, Rosemary and that’s very astute of you. That’s exactly how I feel (and I hope, act). I need to go and lie down, I’m overcome with a tidal swell of hope 🙂
      When I recover, I’ll finish answering your comment.

    • Herbicides are the bete noir of the commons planter, Rosemary but every good thing needs a threat in order to keep it strong. I make and post signs, “Spray-free zone” or similar, if I’ve planted in the town, but elsewhere I plant in places that don’t attract attention or herbicide. If ever my plantings get sprayed, I shake my fist at the sky, though it’s not his fault, then increase my plantings elsewhere – one tree lost to the ‘cide people means a dozen more going in somewhere else from me. My own neighbours are in the main, spray-averse, but if one does begin to wave a nozzle around, I’ll be engaging in discussion. Talking about chemical trespass though, my forest garden was trespassed upon by a herd of cattle beasts over the two days I was away at the weekend! They tramped over ever square metre of the garden, repeatedly, probably reconnecting with their aurochy past, browsed and broke but I wasn’t concerned. I’ve always said the forest garden is the most resilient system of all, able to withstand fire, flood and drought, and now I know it shrugs off stampede as well. I got photos of the dumb beasts gormlessly stomping my garlic beds and have written about it for the next NZ Gardener, so I’ll profit from the incident. Here’s a clip from that story 🙂
      “It’ll be a while before all signs of their dropping-by are covered, but what their rude visit did do is strengthen my claim that forest gardens are indestructible. Floods may come, hail may fall, wind may blow and fire may rage, I’ve often said, but my forest garden will shrug off all threats. The complex mix of species, plant and creature, that make up my garden is resilient because of it’s variety and overall health and can recover from anything, even, it turns out, the attentions of a herd of cattle beasts. I’m pretty confident, though I don’t wish to bring bad fortune upon myself by invoking fate, that even if every plant in my forest garden was up-rooted by some storm of other cataclismic event, it’d quickly recover; there have to be millions of seeds in the ground beneath all of the plants growing there now, along with stolons and tubers, rhizomes and bulbs, all poised to reclothe the soil, should disaster strike. In any case, my garden cared little about the cows, disregarding them the way they themselves might flick a fly with their tails.”

  8. Macro 8

    Robert – whilst visiting Vancouver a couple of years ago I was struck by the many roadside plantings of fruit and vegetables. Beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and apple, pear and so on. All well maintained. It seems that this is quite a thing in the city with an active community group.
    Here in Thames our Transition Town Team have been pursuing a similar path with a good planting of fruit trees in parks and reserves. There was some doubt about the planting of peach trees in the Hall Arboretum (the oldest in the country) and they have been removed as they were next to the scion trees of the Hall’s Totara. (One has to be mindful of the areas chosen) A community Garden in the nearby reserve is also planned.
    In Perth from where I have recently returned the residential building sites are not much more than 400 sq m (if that) but there is an ample roadside verge and around where I was staying almost all are planted – many are now being planted in native species as continuing drought conditions makes the sustainability of exotics doubtful – but here and there, there are fruit trees appearing – olives, citrus, and banana do particularly well, as do mulberry and apple.

    • Hi, Macro – Vancouver’s great, from what I’ve heard, and Thames too with it’s TT team. Fruit trees are probably the most difficult plants to “install” in any town, village or city, as there are prejudice against free fruit (Biblical, perhaps :-))
      Do you know of the Free Fruit Peddlers? They profess to be planting stones and pits as they cycle the roads of NZ. Go the Peddlers! Peaches, btw, are simple to grow from the stone, in situ. Push them in and forget. May as well do a hundred as do one 🙂

      • Sabine 8.1.1

        can yo use commercial peaches?

        • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.1

          Yes, but it’s more interesting to find a tree that’s been growing in the area since Adam was an orchardist, and collect those stones. I’m growing Morepark apricots, the ‘old’ flavorsome apricots our parents loved, because they have ‘story’ as well as taste. A delightful elderly woman sent me a box of nectarine stones she’d collected from under her special weeping nectarine, a one-off she’d discovered, and those suit this zone perfectly, as the original tree thrived without spraying, ever. There are other stones I’ve collected from similarly unique and long-lasting trees across Southland. I search for them and people who know I’m searching, post stones, pits, pips, cuttings and so on, to me, out of generosity. Crack the pit before you plant outside in wintertime and let nature take her course. They grow readily. Nursery-grown stone fruit seem to harbour leaf curl. Home growns don’t 🙂

          • Rosemary McDonald 8.1.1.1.1

            “Crack the pit before you plant outside in wintertime and let nature take her course. ”

            So why would you ever bother with fiddly grafting?

            • weka 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Some trees don’t necessarily grow true from seed eg apples. Peaches seem to grow true though, every easy.

            • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.1.1.2

              For one thing, Rosemary, apples don’t grow true from the seed. Pip fruit have to be grafted if you want to enjoy the same fruits as the original tree produced. Pears, being pip fruits, are the same. Stone fruits are more likely to grow the same as or close to the original and so are worth trying. You might even improve on the original. Root stock does offer some advantages; many are selected for their size-controlling effect. Others are good at resisting certain diseases or suit wet soil, for example. I’m planting some grafted apple trees out and about on the “waste” spaces but only where I’m sure they’ll not be broken, etc, as grafting takes effort, whereas pits and stones are easy to do en masse so I don’t worry about them being mown or whatever. I like grapes for the ease with which they can be spread – poke a cutting into the ground and step back 🙂 Nuts are very easy too. Hazels in particular make great forage for hungry townspeople. There’s lots you can do with hazelnuts.

            • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.1.1.3

              It just occured to me, Rosemary, that you could plant cuttings of your namesake all over the show, just ’cause 🙂 What a lovely service to the community that would be. Rosemary cuttings strike easily and make attractive and useful foragable plants 🙂

              • Rosemary McDonald

                I’ll remember that…..;-)

                Lavender also, thyme, oregano, sage, clumps of chives,

                But mint….with caution! Tends to invade.

                And…nasturtiums…

  9. One Two 9

    Thanks for posting this information and to all the contributers in the comments section as well. Lots to follow up on and read further into

    This is wonderfully positive, informative and motivational

    • weka 9.1

      I’m into putting up more posts like this (writing them, guests posts), so if there is any thing in particular you’d like to see let me know. It needs a political context too (this one easily fitted into Green activism).

  10. Rosie 10

    One of the most enjoyable and convivial posts I’ve read in a long time. There is a lot of helpful and useful information in the post. Thank you Robert and commenters.

    We started with with other planting volunteers on the reserve over the road a few years ago. I have plans for round two, which will be culinary herbs and the self seeding types of herbs and flowers, but there is too much work to do in establishing and caring for our own garden without getting knackered!

    If you’re in Wellington you can get free native plants from the council to plant up your berm if you want to turn it in to a no mow zone. They don’t do food plants but I’ve not seen them object to people planting fruit and vege crops on their berms – and I have seen them, they look just delightful.

    We have 50 mountian flax/wharariki, 30 libertia’s and some carex on our berm. The flowers have helped attract tui, which we don’t normally see around here.

    It’s all good 🙂

  11. mauī 11

    A few people have made pushes for fruit and nut trees in my area.

    I’ll give you a few snippets from the Council email reply:

    “Fruit trees require intensive maintenance”
    “Residents complain about rotting fruit”
    “The trees create a rat problem”

    So we don’t have fruit/nut trees in our parks, while neighbouring Councils have recently made a big push to have them. This is the problem with conservative Councils.

    But I like the approach you’re going with here Robert, good stuff. It’s giving me some ideas 😉

  12. mauī – they’re practiced at putting up barriers, that’s for sure. It’s a blessing really, by-passing them, for their own piece of mind, and planting in places they don’t pay attention to. In any case, baskets of locally grown nuts and berries make wonderful surprise gifts for local body representatives, delivered to their offices at times when the grind of political life is getting them down 🙂

  13. Sans Cle 13

    This post and comments are inspirational. I’ve planted a few fruit trees on the verges of reserves, where the Council doesn’t mow. Always a bit apprehensive of Council workers’ reaction to them, and neighbours. But so far so good. My little gift to the future. Tit-for-Tat…..as I have received much from past generations.

    • Rosie 13.1

      “My little gift to the future. Tit-for-Tat…..as I have received much from past generations.”

      A lovely way to show thanks to past generations and keep the wheels of kindness and thoughtfulness turning. Kia Ora.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • COVID-19 Worried about getting your vaccine or want a simple explanation?
    Worried about getting your vaccine? Let me tell you a secret. No-one likes getting a vaccine. People do it because they know they’re better off to. Let me tell you another secret, a weird one: the vaccine doesn’t really “do” anything. Confusing? Let me explain… Vaccines are a face at ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 hours ago
  • Delta puts workers’ power under the spotlight
    by Don Franks Foremost fighting the Delta virus are workers, especially in health, distribution, service and education sectors. Unionised members of these groups are centrally represented by the New Zealand Council of trade unions ( NZCTU). Political journalist Richard Harman recently noted:“Businesses are caught in a legal tangle if they ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    8 hours ago
  • Abstraction and Reality in Economics
    Sometimes high theory loses the human point of the exercise.One of the joys of teaching is you learn from your students. When fifty-odd years ago, I was at the University of Sussex, a student doing our first-year economics course, Jim, came to me, saying he was pulling out because it ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • What Happened to the Team?
    Last year, in the early stages of the pandemic, the Prime Minister’s “team of five million” performed well; team discipline was maintained and we all worked well together. This year, however, has been a different story; team discipline has weakened, and many people have on numerous occasions behaved badly and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Another legal victory
    Across the world climate change activists have been going to court, seeking to make their governments act to protect future generations. And hot on the heels of victories in the Netherlands and Germany, there's been another one in France: A French court has ordered the government to make up ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Invasion Of The (Covid) Body Snatchers.
    It's Here! They're Here! We're Here! Help! It’s as if we’re all living through a Covid version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. What has become of Jacinda? Where have they taken her closest Cabinet colleagues? The people on the stage of the Beehive Theatrette look the same, but they ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 15 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Associate Professor Grant Duncan, Massey University, Auckland “The NZ Politics Daily email is very helpful in giving me a quick overview of current events and opinion. It allows me to pick out important or informative columns that I may otherwise have missed. I recommend NZ Politics Daily to anyone ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 day ago
  • Missing From The Anti-Covid Action.
    The Invisible Man: Where has the NZ Council of Trade Unions been during the Covid-19 Pandemic? Why hasn’t its current president, Richard Wagstaff (above) become a household name during the pandemic? Up there with Ashley Bloomfield, Michael Baker, Shaun Hendy and Siouxsie Wiles? WHERE HAVE THE UNIONS BEEN during the Covid-19 ...
    2 days ago
  • “Go West, Young Virus”
    The Auckland Coronavirus Outbreak potters along, not helped by the perception that the Government is disturbingly enthusiastic about “managing the virus” or loosening the border. Health Minister Andrew Little said today he envisages 90% vaccination rates (which we don’t have) eventually leading to 5,000 cases in Auckland a week… ...
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2021
    How to fill a glass and thereby drink— from a fire hose So far this year, New Research has published listings for 3,291 papers concerning climate change from one aspect or another. Each edition includes two dozen or so articles describing freshly and directly observed effects of global waming. These ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: UKanians supports cuts
    The Guardian reports a study on emissions reduction policy from the UK, which found that UKanians overwhelmingly support stronger action than their government: The UK public backs a carbon tax on polluting industries, higher levies on flying and grants for heat pumps in order to tackle the climate crisis, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Media Link: “A View from Afar” on PRC-Taiwan tensions.
    In this week’s podcast Selwyn Manning and I discuss the upsurge in tensions between the PRC and Taiwan and what are the backgrounds to and implications of them. You can check the conversation out here. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Labour’s 2023 election manifesto
    This morning Health Minister Andrew Little effectively unveiled Labour's 2023 election manifesto: 5,000 cases a week in Auckland alone: Thousands of people will be infected with Covid-19 every week even with vaccination levels at 90 per cent, and hospitals face being overwhelmed once restrictions are eased and borders opened, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Don't Blame James.
    Emissions Impossible! So, don’t be too hard on poor James Shaw. His pathetic little To-Do list is, indeed, totally inadequate to the crisis. But, you know what? He’ll be lucky to get half of the items ticked-off. There’s just too many entrenched interests – not the least of whom are ...
    2 days ago
  • The “Pulpit of Strewth”
    Barry Soper is one half of one of one of those right-wing husband-and-wife duos in which the Herald seems to specialise. In today’s issue, he has a piece that doesn’t quite reach the heights (or depths) of a Hoskings-style anti-government hostility, but which does provide an interesting example of the ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the epic fails of Kris Faafoi
    Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 14 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Mike Treen, Advocate, Unite Union “Please continue your incredible work compiling these news digests. As someone operating in the fields of advocacy for workers and the broader social justice areas it is invaluable to be able to check what is happening in the media relating to the issues I have to deal ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • Overconfident Idiots: Why Incompetence Breeds Certainty
    This is a re-post from the Thinking is Power website maintained by Melanie Trecek-King where she regularly writes about many aspects of critical thinking in an effort to provide accessible and engaging critical thinking information to the general public. Please see this overview to find links to other reposts from Thinking is Power. ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Abandoning ambition
    When Labour was first elected to power in 2017, they promised us "[an] ambitious plan to take real action on climate change". Four years and a lot of foot-dragging later, they've finally released that plan. And its not what was promised. Where to begin? Firstly, they've taken the Climate Change ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Young adults worldwide have blunt message for governments: ‘We don’t trust you.’
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Elizabeth Marks describes herself as “a psychologist who works on difficult problems.” Her past research aimed at helping people cope with challenging health conditions, apt training, it appears, for taking on climate change issues. A few years ago, she altered ...
    3 days ago
  • Making ‘Second Age’ Hobbits Work: Amazon Series Speculation
    Time for a good old-fashioned fandom furore. The Tolkien fandom hasn’t had a proper one of those since the Great Nudity Scandal of October 2020… so it clearly must be time to pontificate from on-high about a television series we still know vanishingly little about. This time the subject ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 13 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Lara Greaves, Political scientist, University of Auckland: “I love the NZ Politics Daily emails as they help me to keep on top of current events. It’s incredibly easy to skim through and follow the links. I really appreciate these as it means that I am exposed to a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • The Data and Statistics Bill and the OIA
    The government introduced a new Data and Statistics Bill today to modernise and replace the 45-year old Statistics Act. Part of the Bill re-enacts the existing confidentiality regime (with one exception), which while a secrecy clause isn't an especially controversial one. Another part is aimed at removing "outdated" (inconvenient) limits ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The debate over the $55 million media fund erupts again
    RNZ’s Mediawatch and a video clip viewed 42,000 times keep the topic of the Public Interest Journalism Fund fizzing. Graham Adams reports.   A week ago, the NZ Taxpayers’ Union posted a short video clip of the exchange in Parliament between Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins in which the National ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Multiple sclerosis: the link with earlier infection just got stronger – new study
    Scott Montgomery, UCL For most of the time since the first description of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1868, the causes of this disabling disease have remained uncertain. Genes have been identified as important, which is why having other family members with MS is associated with a greater risk of developing ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Covid and free speech
    by Don Franks Some commentators have likened the struggle against Covid 19 to the world war experience. To those of us not alive in those times, that comparison can only be academic. What the anti virus battle reminds me of much more is an industrial strike. In my twenties and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Angry Blowhards”
    In today’s Herald, their excellent columnist, Simon Wilson, takes to task those “shouty” people whom he further describes as “angry blowhards”. They are those whose prime reaction to the pandemic is anger – an anger they seamlessly (and perhaps unwittingly) transfer from the virus to the government. The basis for ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Looking Forward To 2022.
    Future Tense? Okay, so that’s where we are in 2022. Living in a New Zealand where all the usual rules of politics once again apply. And, guess what? Jacinda’s government, once again, isn’t doing very well – not very well at all.LET’S PLAY A GAME. Let’s pretend we’re half-way through ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Covid mandates, and the Covid pill
    The cliché about “living with Covid” will not mean life as we’ve known it, Jim. Vaccination is fast becoming a condition of employment, and also a requirement to participate in aspects of social life, such as travel, attending bars, cafes, and concerts etc. These protective measures enjoy a high level ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 12 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Prof Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington; Chair of the Infrastructure Commission: “NZ Politics Daily” provides a great public service – a quick and unbiased way to check policy announcements and analysis every morning.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: A submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2)
    I have made a submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2).In preparing it, I looked at the Hansard for the first reading debate, and got name-dropped as someone likely to make a submission. So, of course I did. I focus on a small bit of the ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: More tales from the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme
    You may have read last week that two years after the publication of regulations for medicinal cannabis – and three years after the enabling legislation – two local products from a local manufacturer have finally met the minimum quality standards for prescription. You may also be interested to know that ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
    Over the weekend someone pointed me at a journal article on "The Poverty of Theory: Public Problems, Instrument Choice, and the Climate Emergency". Its a US law journal article, so is a) very long; and b) half footnotes (different disciplines have different norms), but the core idea is that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
    Last month the US and EU announced they would push an agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% (from 2020 levels) by 2030 at the upcoming climate change conference in Glasgow. The good news is that New Zealand is looking at joining it. The bad news is that that won't ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
    Classic Shot: Are the Prime Minister’s formidable communication skills equal to the task of getting her government’s anti-Covid campaign back on track?IF JACINDA ARDERN thought last week was bad, the week ahead promises to be even worse. Sixty community cases of Covid-19, one of the highest daily totals so far ...
    5 days ago
  • Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools
    Dr Rachel Webb, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Pip Anderson, Dr Emma Best, Dr Alison Leversha and Dr Subha Rajanaidu* In this blog we describe the range of urgent measures that are needed to facilitate a safe return to schools in Auckland and other regions of the country where there is ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
    Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
    Claire Breen, University of Waikato; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato; Robert Joseph, University of Waikato, and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato   Our names are a critical part of our identity. They are a personal and social anchor tying us to our families, our culture, our history and place in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
    On Tuesday 5 October the New Zealand Government announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be a requirement to attend large events this summer.It took a few days for event owners to absorb the information and understand the implications. By the end of the working week, most of the big ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jim Hubbard, Cartoonist “NZ Politics daily is a go to for cartoonists, or should be.  Political reporting enmasse like this gives cartoonists and political junkies a smorgasbord to get their teeth into. Essential and I daresay vital reading for those who care about the future of NZ.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 3, 2021 through Sat, October 9, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: VFX Artist Reveals how Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World, Will you fall ...
    6 days ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
    A bit of good news on the writing front. My 3900-word short story, The Night of Parmenides, has been accepted by SpecFicNZ for their upcoming Aftermath anthology, to be published in early 2022. This is my first published short story to be explicitly set in my home-town of ...
    6 days ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
    . . . . . References Newshub Nation: Gang leader Harry Tam denies Winston Peters’ claims he helped infected woman breach COVID boundary, sparking Northland lockdown Te Ao News: ‘Apologise!’ Mob leader slams Peters’ Covid, Northland allegations Stuff media: Covid-19 – Search for contact of Northland case ‘extraordinarily frustrating’ CNBC: ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
    Last week was probably a high point for many armchair “experts”, fresh from their high after some deep inhaling of the various musings and fumings, of an actually very smug, and very insualted John “Things all work for me…” Key, former Prime Minister and FOREX trader, had blitzed the ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Bollocks
    It would appear we have an unwelcome presence in town.Positive wastewater results had been detected in Hamilton and Palmerston North on October 6 and 7. There are 26 cases in hospital, seven of these are in ICU or high dependency units (HDU).One of the people in hospital is in Palmerston ...
    1 week ago
  • World-leading?
    So, the Herald has found someone, as we can see from today’s issue, who is able to explain why we should not claim to have been “world-leading” in our response to the covid epidemic. It seems that we have been kidding ourselves when we celebrated our low total number of ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
    Force Multiplier: Why are Ardern and her ministers so loathe to put a bit of stick about? The “emergency” legislation eventually enacted to authorise the measures needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic failed to confer upon the New Zealand Government the unequivocal authority that subsequent events showed to be so ...
    1 week ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker* The NZ Government appears to have drifted into an unclear strategic approach to Covid-19 control. In this blog we outline one potential way forward: a regional strategic approach that considers “regional suppression” and “regional elimination”. To maximise the success of this ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
    Long-time Tolkien geeks – or those bemused enough to run across a certain internet phenomenon – might know that ‘Sauron’ is not actually the real name of the Lord of the Ring. ‘Sauron’ is just an abusive Elvish nickname, meaning ‘the Abhorred.’ Sauron’s actual name, at least originally, ...
    1 week ago
  • Forced Re-entry
    The elimination of Covid strategy is not so much defeated but changing circumstances means that policy has to evolve. Our elimination stance was never sustainable or at least it would not be until the rest of the world also eliminated Covid-19. Elimination of the virus was a strategy we adopted ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
    Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on National's unjust "three strikes" law, and found that the sentence it required was (in the case in question) so disproportionate as to "shock the conscience" and violate the Bill of Rights Act ban on disproportionately severe treatment or punishment: The Supreme Court has ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
    The Christchurch City Council has published new "coastal hazards" data, indicating which places are under threat from sea-level rise. And its not good news: Parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are likely to become unhabitable [sic] as the city council figures out how to adapt to sea level ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
    I wonder if Mike Hosking ever reads the paper in which he appears so regularly? If he does, he might have noticed a report in today’s Herald about the problem that could face churches in Auckland if a vaccine passport becomes mandatory for those wishing to attend church services. The ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Bill Ralston, Media consultant and columnist: “NZ Politics Daily provides an invaluable service for journalists, politicians, businesspeople, decision makers and the public at large by providing an easily accessible, exhaustive, link to every significant political story in the country’s media that day. It’s a gem of a service ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al
    . . Congratulations,  Mr Barnett, Ms White, and your business colleagues. It appears that we will end up having to “live” (ie, get sick, end up in hospital, perhaps in ICU, intubated on ventilators, and possibly dying as our lungs fail) with covid19. But at least businesses will open up. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Introducing Mr Stick.
    MR STICK: You media types think the people of this country have changed, but you’re wrong. We’re the same tough bastards we’ve always been. Put a bit of stick about – and listen to us cheer!JOSEPHINE MUCH-ADOO: Kia ora, everyone, and welcome to “Introducing”. Today we are very pleased to ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #40, 2021
    "Old" research There's little point in trying to best this excellent article describing the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics by Ars Technica authors Jennifer Ouelette and John Timmer, each having a gift for concisely on-target, accessible science journalism. Here at New Research we'll punt and quote the The Royal Swedish Academy of ...
    1 week ago
  • Standing on one leg is a sign of good health – and practising is good for you too
    Dawn Skelton, Glasgow Caledonian University Research shows that people’s ability to stand on one leg is an indicator of health and that getting better at standing on one leg can add to fitness and potentially lifespan. Being able to stand on one leg is linked to increased levels of physical ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: More dishonesty over the CCR
    Last month the Emissions Trading Scheme turned into a farce, when the government flooded the market with credits in a failed and wasteful attempt to Keep Carbon Prices Low. When I asked about the background of this policy Climate Change Minister James Shaw sent me one of the most egregious ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Schrödinger’s Wraith: The Status of the Witch-King of Angmar, 15th-25th March, T.A. 3019.
    My recent re-read of The Lord of the Rings reminded me of one of the vaguer head-scratchers in Tolkien. The status of the Witch-King of Angmar between his death at the Battle of Pelennor Fields and the Destruction of the One Ring ten days later… was he, in the ...
    1 week ago
  • How rainbow colour maps can distort data and be misleading
    Philip Heron, University of Toronto; Fabio Crameri, University of Oslo, and Grace Shephard, University of Oslo   The choice of colour to represent information in scientific images is a fundamental part of communicating findings. However, a number of colour palettes that are widely used to display critical scientific results are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Korea’s march to global cultural domination, plus a K-pop playlist
    So far, South Korea’s culture industries seem to be pandemic proof. They’re also winning huge global audiences, and not merely large domestic ones. In recent years, South Korea’s TV series (Squid Game, Descendants of The Sun) and movies ( Parasite, Oldboy, The Handmaiden) have become global hits. However, it has ...
    1 week ago
  • In a lockdown, where does work end and parenting begin? Welcome to the brave new world of ‘zigzag...
    Candice Harris, Auckland University of Technology and Jarrod Haar, Auckland University of Technology   All parents work. The difference lies in the breakdown between their paid and unpaid workloads. That equation is influenced by many things, including education, qualifications, age, ethnicity, financial status, number and age of dependants, gendered and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Using Rapid Antigen Tests to Improve COVID-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Figure 1: Rapid Antigen Test kit given out freely from the NHS in the UK Dr Jennifer Summers, Assoc Prof James Ussher, Assoc Prof Nikki Moreland, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker* Most COVID-19 testing aims to identify infected people. To date, Aotearoa NZ has relied almost ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 7 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Liz Gordon, Former MP, researcher and blogger I just hate NZ Politics Daily. I get settled in to do a good day’s work and ZAP, it arrives in my inbox like a little shiny gift.  I try to ignore it but my cursor creeps inexorably towards the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Will electoral and political finance law reform succeed this ti...
    It’s welcome news that the Government has announced this week that they intend to improve how elections work in this country, including fixing the political finance rules. Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has announced that major reforms will be investigated in the areas of political donation rules, promising changes that will ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Will Jacinda Stand? Or, Has She Already Fallen?
    Free Falling? New Zealanders needed to hear Jacinda take a firm line on vaccination, issuing stern warnings to those who declared their intention to refuse. Kiwis just weren’t in the mood to let lockdown evaders and anti-vaxxers free ride on their good citizenship. Google’s IT wizards confirmed that Kiwis were, overwhelmingly, ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The CCR was a huge waste of money II
    Last month, in the wake of the September carbon auction, I talked about how the government's policy of flooding the market with a "cost containment reserve" of an extra 7 million tons of pollution in an effort to keep carbon costs low was a huge waste of money. Ministry for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Celebrating Women in Space
    Beautiful, Inspiring, Mysterious!  How do you describe space?  What do you think when you look up at the stars?  The United Nations General Assembly certainly knew how beautiful, inspiring, mysterious, and important space is when they designated a week to be World Space Week.  That’s this week, and the theme for this year is ...
    SciBlogsBy John Pickering
    1 week ago
  • COVID Clusterfuck
    Well it has been fun living in the safest country in the world for a year and a half, but a combination of cynical politics from the right, and dithering incompetence from the left, and selfish sociopathy or ignorance on the part of the population , means New Zealand is ...
    1 week ago
  • Unsurprising
    Former rugby league star Manu Vatuvei has admitted importing methamphetamine. The Warriors icon was charged in December 2019 with possessing methamphetamine for supply and importing the Class A drug. He previously denied the charges and earlier this year said he would “fight for his innocence” after he outed himself as the sportsman ...
    1 week ago
  • Bond, Wokeness and Representations in Cinema
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh The latest James Bond film has come out.  It is apparently to be Daniel Craig’s last incarnation as the Spy Who Loved Me, or raped me as some have pointed out.  There has been much discussion about how woke the new James Bond is and how ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, the Bubble, and the Trap
    . . . . . References National Party: Open the Trans Tasman Bubble Now (archived) Twitter: National Party – Sign the Trans Tasman bubble petition Twitter: Judith Collins – Sign the Trans Tasman bubble petition RNZ: Tourism New Zealand forecasting billion-dollar economy boost if trans-Tasman bubble opens Stuff media: Crack ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Not keeping their promises
    One of the big steps forward in climate change policy was when cabinet started demanding climate change assessments of policy, so when they built that road or changed energy or farm policy, they'd know what they were doing and be able to make an informed decision (and if not, one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A useful ruling
    As readers may be aware, I (and everyone else) have been having a growing problem with OIA extensions for "consultations". They're being used by agencies to juke the stats, scam extra time, and cover up administrative failure. So I've taken up complaining about them. And last night, I got a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
    The Government is supporting a Whakatōhea-led project undertaking landscape scale restoration in forests and around vulnerable rivers within the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “The Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao project will employ four people to undertake pest and weed control, ecosystem restoration and monitoring over three ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3 for a few more days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1. “Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
    The Government is moving ahead with new courthouses in Tauranga and Whanganui, which the Justice Minister says provide an opportunity to redesign court facilities that help put victims at the heart of the justice system. “These courthouses are part of the 10-year infrastructure investment plan to restore and modernise Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te ata. Earlier this month Save the Children wrote to me with their most up to date analysis on the impact of climate change. What they said was that children born in Aotearoa today will experience up to five times as many heatwaves and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today. The Emissions Reduction Plan will set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
    The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The law received 65.1 per cent support in a public referendum held alongside last year’s general ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Taking a lead in threat to curious kea
    Reducing lead poisoning of kea, the world’s only alpine parrot and one-time New Zealand bird of the year winner, is the goal of a two year project being backed by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.  “Lead poisoning is a serious threat to this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government provides certainty to working holiday and seasonal visa holders and employers for summer
    The Government will extend Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas for six months to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders over the coming summer period, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. “This offers employers and visa holders the certainty they’ve been asking for going ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Lower card fees good for businesses, consumers
    The Bill to help lower the cost of the fees retailers get charged for offering contactless and debit payment options is another step closer to becoming law, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark said today. “COVID-19 has changed the way we spend our money, with online and contactless ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mandatory vaccination for two workforces
    High-risk workers in the health and disability sector to be fully vaccinated by 1 December, 2021, and to receive their first dose by 30 October School and early learning staff and support people who have contact with children and students to be fully vaccinated by 1 January, 2022, and to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fund allows more Pacific community led vaccinations
    The Government has made $1.1 million available through ‘The Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund’ to directly support Pacific community-led initiatives towards increasing vaccinations, said Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio. “The best way to protect our communities from COVID-19 is through vaccination. “We need to explore every avenue to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Small business at heart of economic recovery across APEC region
    The Minister for Small Business says support for small and medium enterprises will remain ongoing as the Asia-Pacific region moves through response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuart Nash today chaired a virtual summit from Wellington for the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM). “APEC Ministers responsible ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Restrictions on abortion medication lifted for health practitioners
    Abortion services can now be provided in primary care, meaning people can access this care from someone like their trusted GP and in a familiar setting, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “By lifting some restrictions on the funded medications used for early medical abortions, more health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record day for Māori vaccinations
    More than 10,000 vaccinations were administered to Māori yesterday, the highest number in the vaccine campaign so far, Associate Minister of Health (Maori Health) Peeni Henare announced. There were 10,145 doses administered across the motu yesterday this is almost equivalent to the population of Hāwera. The doses are made up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on Joint Cooperation in Agriculture between Ireland and New Zealand
    8 October 2021 - Dublin, Ireland Agriculture plays an important role in the economic, social, environmental, and cultural wellbeing of Ireland and New Zealand. We are focused on increasing the productivity, inclusivity, and resilience of our respective primary sectors. As agri-food exporting nations, we also share a commitment to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Northland to move to Alert Level 3 tonight
    Northland will move to Alert Level 3 restrictions from 11:59pm tonight following recent information on the risk presented by the positive case initially tested in Whangarei earlier this week and confirmed in Auckland yesterday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. The person is now in an Auckland Managed Isolation Quarantine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister's Christmas Card Competition
    It’s that time of year again! If you’d like to help design the Prime Minister’s official Christmas card, here’s how to take part: Draw, paint, sketch or craft an image you’d like to see on the front of this year’s Christmas card. It can be anything you want – a traditional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech : Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ruapehu social housing pilot, providing value for generations to come
    Housing Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods today announced the development of six social housing units funded by the Government’s Covid response infrastructure fund, to help work toward resolving Ruapehu's lack of social housing. “The Crown’s investment of $2.1 million in this project will provide value to the community for generations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Children’s Commissioner Appointed
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced  Judge Frances Eivers’ appointment as the new Children’s Commissioner. Judge Eivers, who is currently a District Court Judge in Manukau, will take up the role on 1 November 2021. She has been appointed for two years. The Children’s Commissioner is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for business available from today
    The third round of the Resurgence Support Payment opened for applications this morning. “The RSP helps businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. It provides cashflow to businesses and supports them to pay their bills while the country is at Alert Level 2 or above,” Grant Robertson said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Compelling case made for modernising local government
    Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the interim report on the Future for Local Government Review.  “Our system of local democracy and governance needs to evolve to be fit for the future. New Zealand is changing and growing, and there are some significant challenges presenting not only now with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge and Associate Judge of High Court appointed
    Christchurch Queen’s Counsel Jonathan Eaton has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, and Auckland Barrister and Solicitor Clive Taylor has been appointed an Associate Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Eaton graduated with an LLB from the University of Canterbury in 1986, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Firearms licence extensions granted to those affected by COVID-19 delays
    New Arms Act amendments enacted today gives extensions to existing firearms licence holders whose renewals have been delayed by this year’s COVID-19 lockdown, says Minister of Police Poto Williams. “This is a necessary regulation that supports firearms licence holders caught out by COVID-19 Alert Level changes and unable to progress ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extension of Alert Level 3 boundary in Waikato
    Following public health advice, the Government has agreed to extend the Waikato Alert Level 3 boundary to the south, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Although today’s news has been encouraging, with new cases in Waikato being linked to previously identified cases, this is a prudent step to take,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago