How bad does it have to get?

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, March 5th, 2013 - 62 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, food - Tags: , ,

A new Australian report has coined the phrase “angry summer“:

Angry Summer’ made worse by climate change: Commission

The latest report from the Federal Government’s Climate Commission says the weather extremes experienced around the country this summer were made worse by climate change.

The report – The Angry Summer – says the extreme heat, floods and bushfires experienced around country were all aggravated by a shifting climate, and it warns the trend is likely to continue.

More details here and here. It’s no coincidence that the same thing has been happening in America:

Historic U.S. drought will continue into spring and summer, experts say

Nearly five months after expanding to cover the greatest area on record, the devastating drought of 2012 continues to spread woe across the central and western U.S. And, according to climate researchers, severely dry conditions will persist throughout the spring and summer.

Meanwhile in NZ

Counting cost of big dry

The big dry has parts of the country firmly in its grip. The president of Federated Farmers in Waikato fears the drought could have an even greater economic impact than those in 2007 and 2008 – estimated to have cost the country $2.8 billion.

Internationally the trend is all bad, and likely to get worse. According to the World Bank it is already the case that “Severe Droughts Drive Food Prices Higher, Threatening the Poor“.

Agriculture – food – is fragile. I suppose at some point we will decide to take action against climate change (though it is already too late to avoid massive damage). But when? How bad does it have to get?

62 comments on “How bad does it have to get?”

  1. vto 1

    There is no drought in NZ, there is standard summer weather pattern in an el nino cycle.

    Drought is relative to what farming has done to the new zealand land in ripping off the ground cover of bush.

    In evidence, go see whether there is a drought in the Waipouau Forest, or any other block of native bush in Northland. Betcha the flora dn fauna is fine (not in drought death throes).

    I think it is a case of we reap what we sow.

    • infused 1.1

      Pretty much.

      Worst weather since when? Always some date, which means it’s happened before. /end.

    • felixviper 1.2

      Quite literally.

      How come these same tories who bang on about ‘living within our means’ seem to think that doesn’t apply to the land water and air?

    • Colonial Weka 1.3

      +1 vto.

      We still need to take action about CC.

      And we need to change our food production practices while we still can. The reason weather is being classified as a drought in Northland is because of the industrial farming model (esp dairy). Plenty of people in the world grow food successfully in places a lot drier than Northland is currently (but of course this isn’t about growing food, it’s about strip mining fertility to make excess profit).

      • Colonial Weka 1.3.1

        I would add though, that I have seen plants in native bush dry stressed in bad years. Not so bad that trees die, but still very dry. Native ecosystems are at risk from CC, and we should be paying attention to that – if we start losing those most robust ecosystems, we are deep, deep shit.

        Plant more trees!!

      • Ennui in Requiem 1.3.2

        Been observing the Southern Oscillation (La Nina and El Nino) for years: this drought does fit within the El Nino characteristics of more rain in the west and drought in the east. Where the last few months have seemed unusual is that we have had (in Wellington) dry southerlies and easterlies as opposed to the normal westerly pattern. That in itself strikes me as abnormal, best leave it to NIWA to work out though.

        With soil moisture VTO comments that the bush does tend to retain moisture better, as you would expect from shading and a lack of human drainage interference. From the hours I spend in the bush (daily) it is as dry as tinder, it is only that the trees are well rooted that is keeping them alive (so I don’t agree that this is a normal state of affairs: lets just say the bush has adapted to cope with this occasionally). The issue we have is that it may no longer be “occasionally”.

        With regard to land use practices NZ farmers might best be described as grass miners. The trend is to go rip shit and bust with what ever will yield the best returns, which is currently dairy. As a consequence land that is unsuitable for cows gets “converted” with all the energy and petrochemical based inputs, water is also “mined”. The end result is the whole economic model predicated on high capital inputs is vulnerable to any input variance, such as a cost blow out in fertiliser prices or a lack of rainfall. This is balance sheet farming as opposed to sustainable / suitable land use.

        Don’t be too hard on the farmers: We too reflect their capture within a paradigm that is past its use by date. Their export receipts and infrastructural support industries pay a chunk of the cash and wages we see, and we in turn use it to buy SUVs and drive to the Warehouse. Our consumption generates the industries that put the carbon in the air that causes the droughts……

        • Anne 1.3.2.1

          we have had (in Wellington) dry southerlies and easterlies as opposed to the normal westerly pattern. That in itself strikes me as abnormal, best leave it to NIWA to work out though.

          It is abnormal. It is also correct to say the overall weather fits into the normal El Nino pattern, but the outcome of this El Nino is anything but normal. And because of CC it can be reliably assumed it’s going to happen more and more frequently. It stands to reason that ‘extreme weather’ is going to be just as likely under intensive, slow moving anticyclones as it is under low pressure cyclonic conditions.

          Labour, presently, is not giving Climate Change anything like the priority it demands. It seems they have also put it in the too hard basket and then buried their heads in the sand.

          Not brave enough to face facts or too busy playing politics with the facts? Take your pick.

    • jo 1.4

      I am in Nz in Auckland. There has been no rain in “rainy” auckland for 3 months now and the grass everywhere looks like yellow straw. I have lived here 10 years and it used to be humid and tropical and rain every day. It is like this all over the country this year. It is scary. Also a new player that I have noticed particularly in the last year is the constant wind as I walk quite a lot. The wind is very uncomfortable, dries out the skin, and goes away completely at night. Very eerie if you ask me.

      • Anne 1.4.1

        Nothing abnormal about the wind jo. Quite usual for the wind to die down overnight especially in summer-time anti-cyclones. What you are experiencing during the day is a fresh to strong sea breeze caused by the difference in temperature between the heat of the land and the relative coolness of the sea. At night as the land cools down the difference between the two narrows and the wind dies away.

  2. muzza 2

    No worries though, NZ has signed a food safety standards *deal* with the USA, so the FDA (Monsanto), can now further experiment on NZ, with their brands of GMO crops, foodstuffs etc, all rather convenient , the cross over of FDA/Monsanto executive eh!

    As for food prices, perhaps you might take a look at the commodities futures markets to see where the real problem there are, R0B! You think those who control the markets, and prices of food, oil etc give a toss about the poor, or anyone else, they despise humanity, which is why they are wrecking environments, seemingly carte blanche!

    Geo-engineering – Yeah its happening, no its not a secret, no sweat R0b, the action you’re looking for is already being taken, its just that people want to blow it off as conspiracy etc, and its not going to have the outcomes we would all like to see.

    So while people scratch around trying to understand when *action* on CC will happen, its already being done to you, its just that people can’t get their heads around it, because its not the solutions which they might consider *acceptable*!

  3. karol 3

    Very good post, Anthony. Yes, the droughts are very worrying.

    It’s been a very good Auckland summer for urban living, but the long term trend, and the impact on food production is very worrying.

    • kiwi_prometheus 3.1

      “It’s been a very good Auckland summer for urban living,”

      You are obviously not a gardener.

      • karol 3.1.1

        Actually, I am a novice gardener, with a small vege garden and collaboration with my landlord, also a novice. Requires much watering right now.

    • klem 3.2

      It better worry you, you live on a small island, you are much more vulnerable than the rest of the world. I live in N America, it does not worry me in the least.

  4. kiwi_prometheus 4

    ” How bad does it have to get?”

    Balls out all the way.

    Evolution hasn’t designed us to think that far head or that laterally.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Evolution hasn’t “designed” us for anything at all. Evolution does not have agency.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Well, it may not have designed you to be that capable but some of the rest of us are.

      • muzza 4.2.1

        Actually B, *evolution*, is what has rendered entire nations helpless to the systems which now dominate them, and the worlds people.

        So are the *rest of us* capable, I would sugegst not, because *the rest of us*, have not yet stopped the evil!

      • kiwi_prometheus 4.2.2

        You are missing the point.

        COLLECTIVELY humans don’t think that far ahead.

        Like the OP pointed out, we are already fucked, its just a question of how much?

        By the time humanity’s collective arse hole is really feeling the burn it will be game over anyway because of the cumulative/delay nature of CO2 in the atmosphere.

        • Colonial Weka 4.2.2.1

          “COLLECTIVELY humans don’t think that far ahead.”

          Some humans do.

          “In all of your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground – the unborn of the future Nation.”

          http://www.indigenouspeople.net/iroqcon.htm

          • kiwi_prometheus 4.2.2.1.1

            Still missing the point.

            It doesn’t matter if some humans do. If the rest aren’t interested the earth cooks, and they aren’t interested.

            Why? Because humans have evolved to satisfy immediate needs and wants. The earth is littered with dead civilisations that collapsed after using up their resources.

            • Colonial Weka 4.2.2.1.1.1

              I was just correcting your assertion that humans are not evolved to think ahead.

              ” The earth is littered with dead civilisations that collapsed after using up their resources.”

              And other peoples that have survived very long periods of time. What’s the difference?

        • Colonial Weka 4.2.2.2

          “COLLECTIVELY humans don’t think that far ahead.”

          Some humans do.

          “In all of your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground – the unborn of the future Nation.”

          http://www.indigenouspeople.net/iroqcon.htm

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_generation_sustainability

        • Ugly Truth 4.2.2.3

          “COLLECTIVELY humans don’t think that far ahead.”

          The main problem with humans (i.e. Cicero’s homo humanus) is that they think that they are the be-all and end-all of mankind. It’s just Roman universalism at work.

  5. kiwi_prometheus 5

    Nature article on how annual precipitation may stay the same in a region but become more unevenly distributed over the seasons making for more floods and droughts.

    “Although the magnitude of the shift is uncertain, largely owing to limitations inherent in the data sets used, the sign of the tendency is robust. On a regional scale, the tendency for wet seasons to get wetter occurs over climatologically rainier regions. Similarly, the tendency for dry season to get drier is seen in drier regions. Even if the total amount of annual rainfall does not change significantly, the enhancement in the seasonal precipitation cycle could have marked consequences for the frequency of droughts and floods.”

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1744.html

  6. ianmac 6

    Over 2007-8 there was a serious drought in NZ which precipitated the early fall into the Global Recession for NZ. However the National line then was to deny that as a cause and claimed Mismanagement as a cause. What goes around comes around? This drought is likely to cause an economic downturn now isn’t it? (A bit like the call about all those people heading to Australia being a bad thing and blaming the Labour Government of the day then Next Minit…)

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Yip. Wondering if this will finally be enough for RB to drop interest rates.

      • Ennui in Requiem 6.1.1

        Which sums up the problem nicely Lanth, money money money, we care more for interest rates than the planet we have to live on.

        Best to imagine a huge stack of cash which you can just take from at will, buy a Porsche, but because of environmental issues (related to the production of Porsches etc) absolutely no food available to buy. Enjoy the ride.

  7. RedLogix 7

    A worthwhile read in conjunction with this post.

    The apocalypse: Here’s the thing, though. It’s difficult to organize for or even against a future that you can’t imagine yourself and those children and future generations in. The thought of world-ending events may simply close down our operative imaginations. The end of the world may be popular in fiction, but in everyday life, I suspect, the apocalypse is the version of the future that it’s hardest to mobilize around. If the prospect is that it’s already hopeless, that the suffering is going to be largely down the line, that we’re all going down anyway, and the planet will simply be destroyed, well, why bother? Why not focus on what matters to you now and forget the rest? This is where denial, the almost involuntary turning away from unpalatable futures that seem beyond our power or ability to alter, comes into play. If the future is essentially over before it begins, then better to ignore it and go about your still palatable enough daily life.

    • Ennui in Requiem 7.1

      There is a theory that the death of a few million Amazonian natives post the Columbus introduced epidemics resulted in massive reforestation in the Amazon basin: consequently the theory goes carbon sequestration lead to the freezing winters recorded in 16th century Europe.

      My own version of hope goes much the same: get rid of the people and the whole planet will grow so much carbon sequestering vegetation that climate change will be a blip in planetary time frames. Us, well we are likely finito.

      • Jenny 7.1.1

        If that is what you believe
        I don’t buy it
        This world would not be the same
        Without people to admire it

    • Rogue Trooper 7.2

      Right On!

  8. SpaceMonkey 8

    I can see it now… neolibs declaring a “War on the Weather”!!!

  9. Bill 9

    A problem with asking “How bad does it have to get?” is that the question assumes that what we see is the full extent of ‘what is’. Unfortunately, due to lag factors, the full extent of how bad things are is well beyond what we can observe directly.

    When they signed the Copenhagen Accord in 2009, governments declared they would use the best scientific knowledge to hold warming below +2 degrees C. They’ve reneged on that commitment and are now (at best) seeking to mitigate the effects of a supposed 2 degrees C increase while looking for ways to avoid a 4 degrees C increase.

    I’m not going to bang on about the effects of + 4 degrees C again.

    Suffice to say that things are much, much worse than they appear and that our governments got into bare faced lying. I think it’s time to stop framing questions the way this post does (as though our or any government is going to take some required action at some point), and seek ways in which we can hold our government fully to account for the b/s they have and are peddling. They need to be made to commit to fast and drastic cuts in carbon emmissions. And they need to relegate the importance of the economic effects, so that some type of ordered chaos has a chance to prevail as we come off (‘plummet away from’ might be a better phrase) our current emmissions trajectory .

  10. pollywog 10

    What can I, as one man, do?

  11. Athena 11

    GE is already being promoted as the solution to climate change related decreases in food production. Last year the rural papers were very excited about Mark Lynas apologising for ripping up GE crops. Any opposition to GE is portrayed as heartless and irrational, given that, apparently, GE drought resistant ryegrass is going to save the world.

    • Jenny 11.1

      Any opposition to GE is portrayed as heartless and irrational, given that, apparently, GE drought resistant ryegrass is going to save the world.

      Yay! The mad scientists save the day, allowing us to mine coal and frack for oil until the cows come home, to roost.

      And a new building material formed from asbestos safely embedded in pitchblende will allow us to start up the asbestos mines again.

  12. Jenny 12

    Now we know the problem. Here is the solution.

    Stop all coal mines: Coal has been identified as the single biggest causative factor in climate change.

    Stop all coal mines: Starting with stopping the proposed open cast coal mine at Mangatangi South of Auckland

    Stop all coal mines: At a time when we should be closing existing coal mines – one more new coal mine, is one more new coal mine too many.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      The world wants energy Jenny, and in particular it wants a lot of coal.

      • Jenny 12.1.1

        Sez who? You? The coal miners? The Coal companies? And why coal “in particular” even though it is the most deadliest of all the fossil fuels? (And the cheapest).

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          Yeah I said. Just look at the global increase in coal consumption over the last 10 years.

          And why coal “in particular” even though it is the most deadliest of all the fossil fuels? (And the cheapest).

          Cheap upfront cost and low price volatility is part of the attraction. Supply stability is another. Chindia has been key to the global growth of coal consumption.

          • Jenny 12.1.1.1.1

            I understand now. Cheap upfront cost, low price, ie big profits.

            If blood be the price of your accursed wealth we have bought it fair

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.1

              MY accursed wealth?

              I hope you don’t use any appliances, materials or other household or personal items made in China, Jenny. After all 70% of their industrial energy needs is supplied by coal, and I wouldn’t want to think that you are supporting that.

  13. Jenny 13

    How bad does it have to get? (before we decide to take action against climate change?)
    It is great Anthony that you have raised this problem in the way you have.

    Raising the problem means thinking about solutions.

    let’s talk some solutions.

    Coal has been identified as the number 1 biggest single causative factor in human induced climate change.

    NASA climate expert James Hansen says that to have any chance of reining in uncontrollable climate change, all coal mining must stop. And definitely no new coal mines must be allowed to start, period.

    This is incontrovertible.

    So Anthony will you be calling for Labour Party supporters to attend the public meeting in Mangatangi against the proposed new coal mine?

    Everyone is welcome to attend.

    WHEN: 7 pm, Thursday 7 March 2013

    WHERE: Mangatawhiri Hall, cnr of Mangatawhiri and McKenzie Roads, Mangatawhiri (directions below). See location on Google Maps.

    SPEAKERS & TOPICS:

    Dr Young Lee (to be confirmed) on international research into the health effects of coal mining in the local neighbourhood.
    Dr Jim Salinger on the role of coal in climate change and the expected effects of climate change on farming in New Zealand.
    Jeanette Fitzsimons on how to make a submission under the Resource Management Act on the proposed mine.

    Chair: Peter Young, JP

    DIRECTIONS FROM AUCKLAND:

    Head South on SH1 and turn off onto SH2 towards Tauranga and Coromandel. After about 5 minutes you reach the new section of SH2 where the speed limit goes up to 100. The old SH2 goes off to the left and is Mangatawhiri Rd.

    Veer left on to Mangatawhiri Rd and soon you pass the famous Icecream Castle on your left, the former cafe now closed because of road rerouting.

    • klem 13.1

      “Coal has been identified as the number 1 biggest single causative factor in human induced climate change.”

      Um, but they haven’t proved their case for human induced climate change yet. I think you’ve jumped the gun on that one dearie.

      cheeers

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1

        Um, but they haven’t proved their case for human induced climate change yet.

        It’s been proved to better than 90% probability. I’m expecting the next IPCC report to say 95% probability. Personally, I’d say that’s close enough to say that it’s proved beyond reasonable doubt and that we should be acting on it.

        • RJLC 13.1.1.1

          You are wasting your breath DTB. “Klem” has been directed to the evidence on numerous previous occasions. ‘Denier troll’ is a term that appears apt in his regard.

          • Arfamo 13.1.1.1.1

            What’s happening to Arctic sea ice and the increasing loss of mass to glaciers and ice shelves pretty much clinches it for me – if it continues. There’s no doubt the global temperatures been steadily increasing for the last 300 years and especially steeply in the last 30. And it’s generally accepted scientifically I think that this co-relates remarkably with human-related CO2 emission levels. I haven’t seen the latest annual temps so I’m still waiting to see if they break out of the 16 year levelling off the denialists claim has happened. The graphs show the steady rise is happeng over decadal scales. From year to year they go up and down but the median point on the graphs keeps shifting inexorably up. If the climatologists are right we should be at the point where we should be clearly seeing consistent weather pattern changes, and it seems like we are. I don’t think cyclones/hurricanes can be said to be occurring more than in the past yet though. They have natural 20-40 year cycles of frequency and severity.

  14. klem 14

    “Historic U.S. drought will continue into spring and summer, experts say..”

    Headlines like this always make me laugh. They forget to mention that the drought occurred in arid and semi-arid parts of the USA. They do the same thing for floods, they forget to mention that the floods took place on established floodplains.

    Droughts in arid regions and floods on floodplains are about as unusual as snow at the south pole. Neo-libbies fall for it every time. Lol!

    Oh well, what can you say.

    cheers

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    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    4 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    4 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    5 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    5 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Local bodies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A future of government
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
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    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
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    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
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    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
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    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago