How To Get There 30/6/19

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 30th, 2019 - 66 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags:


This post is a place for positive discussion of the future.

An Open Mike for ideas, solutions and the discussion of the possible.

The Big Picture, rather than a snapshot of the day’s goings on. Topics rather than topical.

We’d like to think it’s success will be measured in the quality of comments rather than the quantity.

So have at it!

Let us know what you think …

66 comments on “How To Get There 30/6/19”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    I posted this a couple of days ago and it could be considered shameless self-promotion, but here's the link to the radio interview I did in Dunedin, on the topic of declaring a climate emergency. Maureen, who interviewed me, has a lovely Irish accent.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    "I encounter a lot of people who are alive to the seriousness of the mess we’re in, alive to the horror, and who can’t put their faith in something as soft as friendship. Who say, ‘Our cities are three meals away from catastrophe because of the agro-industrial supply chain.’ Who say, ‘We’re looking at the climate predictions and, you know, we’re going to be lucky if we keep climate change down to four degrees by the end of the century. There’s a good chance it will be six. We will probably have, at best, half a billion people left on the planet at the end of the century.’ Many of the people I work closely with, this is the reality that is weighing on their minds, and it is very hard to…"


    • veutoviper 2.1

      I started to listen to it yesterday but was rudely interrupted so have it on ice to enjoy this evening.

      (Maureen's accent is lovely. Different to Noelle McCarthy but like them both. Shhh – Morrissey will be here berating me.  LOL)

      Re the discussion last week as to whether to continue or not, I really hope you do.  I have not contributed much as I took a self-imposed holiday from TS for some months but read it most weeks.  While some contributors are now in absentia, please do continue. It was your idea/post etc in the first place.  

      FYI, after reading the discussion last week, I actually had a look at the statistics on the Posts since they started 16 Dec 2018.  

      There have been 27 posts so far – and as of last week's (23 June) a total fo 2141 comments (an average of 82.46 per post).  Things started off with high numbers in the first two months (Dec – Feb) of between 93 – 236; then fell back to a range between mid 30s to low 80s with one low of 12.  But the last few weeks have been holding up with 42 on 9 June, 68 on 16 June and 51 last week, 23 June. 

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        Oh, thanks for all that, veutoviper, it's good to know. 

        Having HTGT just ticking along at its own paces seems a good idea; it seems as though there's a lull everywhere, a pause perhaps, while it all sinks in. When it does, there'll be plenty of questions and suggestions and some of those might find a home here, so we'd better not be caught napping smiley

        Our weather, btw, is curiously mild and warm; there are shoots emerging from seeds I've sown that should be hibernating in the ground for at least another month, so that's worth noting. No frosts either; the brugmansia flowers are resplendent and we've passed the shortest day…

        • veutoviper

          In Wellington it was unusually mild until the last week and then the cold set in but now moving up again, thank goodness.  I am no longer able to garden due to muscular deterioration, walking difficulties etc due to autoimmune disease finally diagnosed 3+ years ago.  
          As I think we discussed last year, I was a very keen gardener with lots of green genes in my blood (three generations of Kew Gardens head gardeners back in the 1700s) and we grew up with my Dad and all of us growing most of our veges and some fruit.

          I moved back to the family property when Dad died about 25 years ago and continued the vege growing tradition and also keeping the soil organic with no nasties used during our family's time (65 years in August) and during the previous family's 35 years here.  (That family had 11 children, Dad was a whaler, and Mum and kids grew most of their food and enriched the soil with seaweed and whale blood etc (uuughh).  Soil is very rich and wonderful but currently in rest.  

          I can no longer keep up the property and need to downsize but am looking at a private sale to a family in the street who are confirmed organic gardeners etc etc. The property is in high demand but I need to be happy that it is going to people who will continue the organic tradition and not just see it as a bit of land to build townhouses on.  

          But I am growing some veges in fish bins, herbs in pots and I have lovely crop of mixed lettuces, spring onions and similar coming on well in fish bins covered by old glass table tops (raised to allow air circulation).  So there is always a way around having to give up gardening totally. 

          • Robert Guyton

            Did your dad "whale" with the Perano Bros in Tory Channel?

            When I lived on D'Urville Island, we went from place to place in one of the Perano's powerful whale-chasers – exciting way to travel, if you own good earmuffs!

            • veutoviper

              Not my Dad – the Dad of the family before us.  He was originally "Austrian" – actually Croatian in today's world. Some of the large previous family still lived local when I moved back after my father’s death and it was great to get to know them and share history etc of our upbringing in the same home,   I live in South Wellington in Island Bay which was very much a part of the Italian and Shetland Islanders fishing and in the early days the whaling business.  I am a bit rusty now of the Perano Bros but if IIRC the two communities were very much connected to one another. 

              I am into my busy time of day, feeding wild birds outside and my parrots inside, plus cat plus humans, but here is a short article on the history of Island Bay. 


              • Robert Guyton

                Oh, that's really great; I saw the exhibition, years ago, in the Maritime Museum in Wellington, where those folk were featured. My own crew are from Shetland and Orkney. Though it's neither of those, the island of Lewis & Harris sounds really interesting. 

        • veutoviper

          Oops – I just realised my reply to your comment @ 1 ended up under @2.  It is your Access Radio interview that I mean to listen to in its entirety tonight, hopefully.

        • gsays

          FWIW Robert, the HTGT post on Sundays is my highlight of the week here on TS.

          Akin to VV, I always read but not often comment.

          I find it to be enthusing (?) and reassuring that folk are asking similar questions and finding their own answers.

          Also it is a peaceful refuge from the willy waving that has been blighting TS of late.

          • Robert Guyton

            Hi gsays

            I've been looking at the tensions you're alluding to also and figure there's a lot of it around now, as the stakes get higher, and there's more to come. I guess each person has to make the decision to engage respectfully, or not, and it's clearly getting harder to chose the former option. 

            Your comment about folk asking similar questions really interests me as I'm noticing the same phenomenon; it gives me, as it does you, I think, a surge of hopefulness. 

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    “But we need to see the alternative picture. First, one figure that is not well known: more than half of what we eat today in the world is produced by the people themselves. Not by Monsanto, not by agribusiness, not by the big companies: it’s by the people themselves. The Via Campesina, the biggest organisation in history, they have been talking about this figure. They know it, because they are part of these millions that are producing their own food. They defined the idea of ‘food sovereignty’: it’s not the market and it’s not the state that must tell us what to eat, but we must find it and produce it by ourselves.


    But this is not going to be the back-to-the-land movement of the ’60s. First of all, because now more than 50% of the people on Earth are urban, we cannot produce food for everyone in the countryside. We need to produce food in the cities. And the beautiful thing is that it is absolutely possible. One hundred years ago, Paris was exporting food. Today, people are discovering that producing food in the cities is not only very simple but it is very beautiful."


    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      Yes, videos of urban gardens have been doing the rounds for about a decade now.  Mostly individual/family examples, but some communal projects have developed well.

      Development models presume designs are replicable.  Here's a relevant quote from your linked interview which signals that type of traditional thinking is based on a flawed assumption:

      "I knew at least two things: first, this is not what the people want, these beautiful development programmes. I did not know exactly why or what it is that the people want, but I knew that it was not this. The second was, the logic of government and the logic of the people are completely different. Even this populist president – I was in the presidential house, many times, in cabinet meetings – how they take decisions and what the people need and want are two different planets."

      Thus the problems created by representative democracy!  People-driven development is organic, local, tailored to circumstance.  Government-driven development is generic, non-local, applicable to particular places in theory only.  The latter is produced by global elites such as the World Bank & IMF, prescriptions based on ideology (neoliberalism).  Any design for resilience only becomes viable when based on the bioregion and social context of localities included – which integrates economy and culture.  Permaculture teaches that but politicians don't yet know.

      • Robert Guyton 3.1.1

        Yes, Dennis, I agree. I'm watching that tension playing out right now with the "climate emergency" situation here in Southland, from the grassroots perspective as well as the governance position; I spend my time talking with those around me in the open community, then sit with the politicians as responses are formed and decisions made. It's an odd place to be and tensions are high. My observation from the grassroots is that keeping a singular focus in order to achieve a defined goal, is nigh-on impossible; each of us has a slightly different focus and likes to express that, which can dilute the strength of our campaign. From the governance side, there's an antipathy toward the grassroots, if it's anything but a pasture grass; that is, farmer-councillors grow ryegrass  and see the "other" plants as a threat. The way through all this is … tricky but I am hopeful, especially where flax roots are concerned; the deeper rooted plants hold more firmly to the whenua and tap into older springs. I find myself holding my breath and have to remind myself that it's not sustainable to do that for long.

        • Dennis Frank

          Thing is, folks in your position cannot allow angst to govern their thinking.  It's a natural human feeling but local governance needs activists who embody resilience.

          That's due to the communal necessity of suitable role models.  So a toughening up seems required.  Not to deny the negative stuff that happens, but to use it as part of the emotional context.  Teaching others how to handle pessimism or despair works best via grounding our feelings (as you likely know) – acknowledging, but moving beyond into praxis of showing how to shift into working with adversity.  Folks often talk of how Londoners did that spontaneously during the Blitz, eh?

          So transcending the complainant stance favoured by many leftists is essential.  Doing what the situation requires has to be the focus from now on.

          • Robert Guyton

            Again I agree. I'll not succumb to angst, despite a brief dip in it, yesterday evening. I'm going to be bright and breezy and my resolve steely. I wonder, Dennis, if you listened to the interview @#1? 

            • Dennis Frank

              Sorry, I can barely fit a few written contributions in at present.  Too many other demands on my time!  I imagine it would be informative, for sure, on several levels, but fact remains that I have a library full of books I'm keen to read and some have been waiting since the '90s – just another example of my `so much to do, so little time' problem!  frown

              I look on the bright side to recall how much worse this problem was before I retired…

        • Poission

          Policy outcomes are difficult to frame,especially when you cannot construct from a historical scaffold.

          A good example (of a logical framework) would be as follows.


          There are three existential crises (of equivalent significance) at present eg Harari.

          “People should realise humankind is now facing three existential threats that cannot be solved on the national level,” he said. “They can only be solved on the global level.”

          “These threats are nuclear war, climate change and technological disruption, especially the rise of  (AI) and bioengineering. AI and biotechnology could destroy what it means to be human.”

          He said that an “arms race” in AI would result in the destruction of humanity.

          “Whoever wins this race it doesn’t matter, humanity will be the loser.”

          AI does not have the exposure of say CC or nuclear issues until now,when the US senate this week asked for submissions on the problems and issues on AI ,data mining etc.

          Here the US senate asked a very clever(and humble)  scientist to outline a blueprint on the structure of problems (which require formative solutions) which he did in 3 weeks.


  4. Robert Guyton 4

    On sewerage…

    "It’s a waste of all three things that can, if handled better, be put to better use. But it’s not just that, it’s that once you have the flush toilet you are connected to a system. Think of the nightmare of The Matrix, with everyone in their tanks, stuck full of tubes, plugged in to this virtual reality. Part of why that nightmare haunts us it that is such a good description of what we take for granted: the kind of relationship we have to infrastructure is a relationship of dependence on unthinkably large, centralised systems. It’s not just that we are born into incubators where we’re stuck full of tubes, or that we die stuck full of tubes. It’s that we plug ourselves in to tubes at critical junctures in our life, every day."

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Governance is no longer something people can safely leave to elected reps.  Democracy selects mediocrity by design, so expecting competence is a fool's approach to politics.  To survive the consequence of giving political power to fools, people will have to collectively monitor the fools they elect, and watch carefully for signs of consequent disaster.

    Fortunately, Michael Lewis has written a book packed with case studies to illustrate this point, in response to the Trump regime.  The theme of The Fifth Risk:  Undoing Democracy (2018) is that government is vulnerable to damage caused by ideology, and all the people are liable to suffer the consequences brought down on them by populism.

    Belief that `government is bad' is a popular ideology, so popular that Trump rode it like a wave and surfed into the White House in result.  Lewis documents the consequences, reporting via interviews with key people.  One operation of the US Dept of Agriculture was Rural Development, a "$220 billion bank that serviced the poorest of the poor in rural America:  in the Deep South, and in the tribal lands, and in the communities, called colonias, along the US/Mexico border."  Yet "they nearly always repaid their loans".

    Rural Development "gave out or guaranteed $30 billion in loans and grants a year" but due to the traditional low profile of the agency, few knew.  Government departments don't promote their activities in the public arena!  There's a moral here, for socialism:

    "I had this conversation with elected and state officials almost everywhere in the South.  Them:  We hate the government and you suck.  Me:  My mission alone put $1 billion into your economy this year, so are you sure about that?  Me thinking:  We are the only reason your shitty state is standing."

    One thing to not appreciate govt funding (paternalism, nanny state) but another entirely not be ignorant of that part of a state economy!  "But the more rural the American, the more dependent he is for his way of life on the US government.  And the more rural the American, the more likely he was to have voted for Donald Trump.  So you might think that Trump, when he took office would do everything he could do to strengthen and grow the little box marked Rural Development.  That's not what happened."

    Trump's regime split the box entitled Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services into those two separate parts.  "As there's a rule against having more than seven little boxes on the USDA's org chart, they had to eliminate one of the little boxes.  The little box they got rid of was Rural Development".

    Outcome:  ignorant Trump voters all across the South are facing the prospect of becoming even poorer if that funding isn't continued via a different govt process.  Yet due to their ignorance of how the govt works, they don't even know.  Just goes to show how ideology beats the hell out of pragmatism sometimes.


    • Ad 5.1

      Sounds more like a failure of the state to communicate why it exists. 

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.1

        That too, but most folks get lost in generalities.  Actual programs are more specific to their experience, so they get affected more directly.  Sometimes, the effect is visceral, as in this story of a loan Rural Development made to a "Fox News-watching, small-town businessman":

        "The bank held a ceremony and the guy wound up being interviewed by the local paper.  He's telling the reporter how proud he is to have done it on his own.  The USDA person goes to introduce herself and he says, "So who are you?"  She says, "I'm the USDA person."  He asks "What are you doing here?"  She says "Well sir, we supplied the money you are announcing."  He was white as a sheet."

        See how ideology separates folks from reality?  Leftists too, as we often see here.  A person's belief system is socially constructed, and emanates from group contexts, so like-minded others co-create it.  The model then seems so good to them that it serves to replace the real world.

        Reputation can catapult one into reality.  When it gets exposed in public to a discord with reality.  The guy realised how many people were gonna get their reality shifted by the conversation, so the blood left his face!!

  6. WeTheBleeple 6

    3D printed homes < $4000.

  7. Robert Guyton 7

    " Democracy selects mediocrity by design" – Hey! Councillor Guyton's feelings hurt! smiley



    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      Ah, but there's the old saying about the exception that proves the rule.  And things ain't always as they seem.  Who knew Bill Clinton was even a philosopher, let alone an exemplar of postmodernism? 

      Go back 21 years for the proof, via this from google – "Here’s what Clinton told the grand jury (according to footnote 1,128 in Starr’s report):  “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.""

      And he's right, eh?  So you can seem to be an ideal democratic politician, and use that mask to hide from those who get spooked by anything sophisticated.  I bet you know that already…

  8. Sabine 8

    We get there when we learn to co-operate until then, nothing much will change, each will toil on their own and go hungry at dinner time. 


    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      Agreed, Sabine. Finding common ground, despite differences, then co-operating for mutually-beneficial outcomes; sounds simple. It is happening more and more frequently, in my experience and the driver is the growing awareness that without co-operation, we'll fail.

      • Sabine 8.1.1

        survival is the common ground and we don't give a dime.

        Heck we can look at children in prison camps, drowned in the Rio Grande and the Mediteranean and give not a shit cause …..their parents fault. Never mind that what goes around comes around and once migrants – economic or environmental  have lost all right it is us that will be taken to task.  

        Like frogs we think the warm water is nice. 

        • Robert Guyton

          We've lost much of our feeling for kinship, sadly and don't feel the pain of "others", at least superficially; deep down at an existential level we do though, I reckon; our "inner world" is ailing fit to die and that disease is manifesting on the surface; of our own bodies, communities and that of the planet. As below, so above; there's a whole lot of healing needed; may as well get busy with it!

  9. WeTheBleeple 9

    Articles worth a read in and of itself, lot of good information concerning upgrading with electric buses (EB's).

    The issue at present is cost of EB's. 750K, twice the purchase price of a diesel. The fuel savings do not compensate for the increased purchase price.

    While the tech gets cheaper, the estimate for equivalent pricing (2030) is not quick enough for the time we have to turn things around. 

    I propose the advertising revenue from the sides of buses in cities might go a long way towards purchasing of new fleets where partnerships can be made between business and council for long term lease of the advertising space on new EB's. The advertising revenue plus fuel savings, and a government or local govt sweetener? For the benefits of reduced air and noise pollution, and the PR coup of retrofitting our fleets, and it looks to be a winner* for business and councils.

    *not actual figures. 

    Another concern is powering large fleets with existing infrastructure. Or what type of new infrastructure we might need. That is somebody else's domain – so feel free to appear and enlighten.

    • Dennis Frank 9.2

      I can only support the general principle of extending electrification into buses as well as trains.  When I was a child, electric trams were standard in our cities.  Few fathers drove cars – those that didn't catch the tram biked to work (using bicycle clips to stop their trousers from getting caught in the chain).  Imagine roads clogged with men on bikes, wearing short back & sides haircuts, white shirts & ties.  Actually, I recall the lower classes did wear blue shirts to show they didn't work in offices.

      Did you see the tv news story on the electric plane about a week ago?  Think the story said it is being developed by Google & Amazon or something.  Bit like a souped-up drone, it showed an operational prototype – reporter explained that the half a dozen or so rotors were to eliminate the design flaw of helicopters (motor fails, it drops out of the sky).  So, just like permaculture, they're designing for redundancy. 

      The thing is being rushed to market, apparently.  Vertical take off & landing, so urban authorities will be shitting themselves all over the USA.  I know, believe it when you see it working according to plan…

      • Pat 9.2.1

        I support the principle as well but when i saw the article it reminded me that Christchurch were running electric (hybrid as it appears) buses years ago….and as they and Auckland canned them due to reliability issues it is reasonable to expect hesitation in them approving them en masse anytime soon….a limited trial perhaps.

        When you apply this experience (and timeframes) to the likes of electric planes the expectation that these techno fixes have any  chance of a timely effect on our emissions problems is unrealistic

        • WeTheBleeple

          From the original article

          "One city, the 12 million person strong Shenzhen, had electrified its entire bus fleet of about 16,000 by the end of 2017, and has just done the same to its 22,000 taxis."

          So it's entirely possible – large scale NZ cities pale by comparison. But it is spendy. But how well is this 'Shenzhen pilot' doing?

          It's interesting the Christchurch shuttle also suffered from success. And so did local business off the back of that. Here's hoping the new EB's are more reliable.

          We don't need private planes. But where's me hover board.

            • Dennis Frank

              Intelligent design.  Efficient system thinking.  Effective implementation.  "Due to shorter driving ranges and recharging needs, Chinese cities typically require 100 percent more e-buses than conventional diesel buses. This requires additional money for procurement, operations and maintenance. Shenzhen almost entirely wiped out these additional costs by optimizing its operations and charging."

              "Shenzhen adopted a type of e-bus where a five-hour charge supports 250 kilometers (155 miles) of driving, almost sustaining a full day of operation. However, to ensure recharging does not disrupt bus services, bus operators collaborated with charging infrastructure providers to furnish most of the bus routes with charging facilities; currently, the ratio of charging outlets to the number of e-buses is 1:34. The charging facilities are also open to private cars, thereby improving the financial performance of the charging infrastructure."

              "The bus operators also coordinated the time of charging with the operation schedule, with all e-buses charged fully overnight when electricity prices are low, and recharged at terminals during off-peak travel times."

              Note that collaboration made it happen!  Kiwi rugged individualism only gets us so far.  We must upskill to collaborate, and embed collaboration as part of our culture.  Being competitive is okay, since both/and logic applies, but when collective survival requires teamwork the individual must subordinate rivalry into a group achievement praxis.  Compete to excel as role models while working together.

              • Pat

                Directed collaboration however….it is an impressive feat but we show no signs of the gov direction or its acceptance here…a quick back of the envelope indicates around 150 million to convert Christchurchs fleet alone (not including infrastructure)…and there are still reliability and terrain issues indicated.

                It appears doable (and in reality is the only option) but it will not be quick and there will be problems, both physical and political

                • WeTheBleeple

                  I think you'll find almost 100% acceptance from public, and enthusiastic backing for whichever parties are a part of making this type of initiative happen.

                  Start with the worst air pollution city. I think it is Christchurch? In addition to savings in running costs, there are saving to be made in the health system, with respiratory illnesses under the umbrella of COPD afflicting a large percentage of our population. A holistic accounting of benefits vs cost will push EB's to the fore.

                  I'll say it again because it's worth noting to business: Being proactively involved in electrifying buses would be a massive PR coup. You want your name on the bus so the public know who to thank with our purchasing power.

                  There will be some blowhard oil embedded types and pensioners off their meds screaming about commies or whatever they can fixate on to cause a fuss and keep their beloved diesel belching past our schools every day. 

                  Diesel buses disproportionately pollute. They're always running through our business districts and suburbs and are the obvious target for reducing air pollution fast. As infrastructure is placed to accommodate electric it might also expand for more extensive coverage for EV's in circulation as China has been doing.

                  " the expectation that these techno fixes have any  chance of a timely effect on our emissions problems is unrealistic"

                  "we show no signs of the gov direction or its acceptance here"

                  Quite the naysayer there Pat, though the links you provide have positive messages refuting your first claim – you do not – no faith in the west to pull a rabbit out of the hat?

                  Understandable, but not helping. 

                  Every bit counts. Transport is a significant fossil fuel polluter.

                  I think the government is showing some movement in the right direction but as usual needs a prodding from others. Demonstrating, business pressure, banks coming on board – as they sure as hell need some PR right now…

                  We could buy a few EB's with Hisco's lunch money.

                  People who are comfy rarely want change may all our younger generation light fires under their asses and keep them extremely uncomfortable till we act like the grown ups we're supposed to be. Then we might look past our noses and petty selfishness, and roll our sleeves up for the jobs that must be done.

                  Otherwise the planet will light a fire under our asses, and it'll be too late.

                  • Pat

                    I am aware of the apparent contradiction, however although firmly of the opinion that rapid deep rationing of FF is the only likely effective path to reducing the impacts of CC i also recognise that those FF need to be wisely used to build the basis for a net zero carbon society…..the  expectation that both will fail to occur in a timely manner is countered by the hope that the lack of alternative will prove me wrong.

                    The posting of the links were to respond to your statement” So it's entirely possible – "large scale NZ cities pale by comparison. But it is spendy. But how well is this 'Shenzhen pilot' doing?"….I was curious to know myself and so searched to discover those articles among others and it appears on the face of it to be doing somewhat better than I anticipated though not perhaps as well as the headlines portray

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      No worries Pat I should've been more clear it was the comments I questioned, not your inputs to this topic which have been valuable.

                      I like to wax and wane from utter hopelessness to dogged determination…

                      The hopelessness can be catching if we're not careful. Too many doom prophets round these parts.

  10. Jenny - How to Get there? 10

    If we are ever to get a handle on congestion and pollution in our cities, we need to get people out of their private ICE vehicles.

    People love free stuff.


    Luxembourg Becomes First Country to Make All Public Transit Free

    Luxembourg is set to become the world's first country to make all of its public transportation free. The newly re-elected prime minister Xavier Bettel and the coalition government have announced that they will lift all fares on trains, trams and buses next summer. Taking aim at long commutes and the country’s carbon footprint, the new move hopes to alleviate some of the worst traffic congestion in the world…..

    …..Beginning in 2020, all tickets will be abolished to save on the collection of fares and the policing of ticket purchases.

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    Incidentally, I ought to have explained the title choice of the book I mentioned earlier.  He interviewed the US Dept of Energy's "first ever chief risk officer", John MacWilliams, who was recruited by Obama's Energy Secretary:  "Just give me the top five risks I need to worry about right away.  Start at the top."  Apparently around 150 risks had been listed.

    Nuclear, of course.  "Broken Arrow is a military term of art for a nuclear accident that doesn't lead to a nuclear war."  Example:  in 1961 "a pair of 4-megaton hydrogen bombs, each more than 250 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, broke off a damaged B-52 over North Carolina."

    One disintegrated when it hit the ground "but the other floated down beneath its parachute and armed itself".  It was found in a field "with three of its four safety mechanisms tripped or rendered ineffective".  "Had the fourth switch flipped, a vast section of eastern North Carolina would have been destroyed."  Depending on wind direction, the fallout cloud would have enveloped Washington DC &/or New York.

    DoE designed those safety switches.  "With a very complex mission and 115,000 people spread out across the country, shit happens every day,"  said MacWilliams.  Radioactive waste is stored in caverns the size of football fields in the New Mexico salt beds.  In 2014 "according to a former DoE official" a federal contractor was told to "pack the barrels with "inorganic kitty litter"" but "scribbled down "an organic kitty litter"".

    Get it?  Must have been a verbal instruction – they sound the same.  That barrel burst.  "The site was closed for three years… costing $500 million to clean".

    Second & third risks were North Korea & Iran, then the fourth:  the electrical grid.  In 2013 a sniper with inside knowledge of where to strike took out seventeen transformers.  "We don't actually have a transformer reserve.  They're like these million-dollar things."  "Someone had also cut the cables… they knew exactly what lines to cut… these were feeder stations to Apple & Google."

    The fifth risk (title of the book) was project management.  For the significance, you'll have to read the book, but relevance to us here is climate change primarily.  How to get to a safer future depends on competent risk management.  Any public program responding to climate change only works if project management works properly.  Laws can only create policy & plans.  Implementation requires projects – organisations designed to achieve policy goals.

    The chapter on tornados is compelling reading.  "It was a mile wide and generated wind speeds of 302 miles an hour, the highest ever recorded on earth.  It killed 36 people, including a woman who had sheltered exactly as experts had instructed, by lying in a bathtub and covering herself with a mattress.  A car crashed through her roof and landed on her."

  12. soddenleaf 12

    Iran leadership is tyrannical, religious, flaky. They are destabilizing the region, holding back Palestinian solutions, helping Saudi Arabia staying backwards. When bigots rule everyone worries, you just don't know what they'll think is divinely proscribed.

  13. WeTheBleeple 13

    Don't even know where to begin here it is frustrating that we are so stupid.

    The answer is to stop using nitrate salts to grow grass.

    Salts dissolve in water. Plant transpiration makes a plant a siphon pulling water from the soil and through the plant. If the soil water is loaded with salt fertilisers the plant has no option but to take them up.

    Then there's all the cadmium riding coattail on phosphate fertilisers.

    All of these imported ingredients send vast financial resources offshore to oil and mining based industries. In exchange we get pollution, sub standard food, shitty waterways and a tarnished image. Farmers get more milk though so all good, till their herd carks it.

    Growing grass is easy. Forcing production is greedy and short sighted.

    Climate change will bring more and more of this to the fore. This is just a(nother) canary in the farmers coal mine(s).

    • WeTheBleeple 13.1

      The freak or aseasonal hail storms in the US and Mexico have destroyed many crops leaving significant surplus nitrate across broad swathes of the landscapes. Nitrate that leaches from soils with rain (or melted hail).

      A nitrogen scavenger cover crop (a non oilseed brassica) could be immediately air-sown across the affected areas to help sop up some of the excess. Any financial recovery from the event might be in silage/browse but it looks like massive losses. Insurance companies will probably pay, but will stop paying out for extreme weather in the foreseeable near future. Only government assistance and resilient systems will stand the test of trying times. Governments will run out of cash too if they continue to prop up failing models.

      Our food supply is threatened by climate change in many ways. We must adapt to use of mixed agricultural systems where animals increase fertility for crops and then crops bagasse is cycled through animals. Trees for multiple purposes and added fodder/crops. Nitrogen fixing plants within the tree, pasture, crop and cover mixes. 

      While industry loves to keep banging on about how they use fertiliser efficiently it is largely bullshit and BAU. We can see that in our rivers and streams and now in dead cows. Climate change will tear the rosy tinted glasses right off of unsustainable operations.

      Change requires changes.

    • Robert Guyton 13.2

      Cadmium? Farms are contaminated sites?

      Not according to the law. They're exempt.

      • WeTheBleeple 13.2.1

        We'll get locked out of markets before too long if BAU prevails. Local law (?) concerning/masking soil toxins has no sway over consumer demand in Europe, US and Asia. 

        Have they tried raise the environmental limits (for cadmium) yet? It's a fools game we could get locked out overnight.

        A clean green label will not suffice. Poison is poison.

  14. greywarshark 14

    This transferred from Open Mike 2/7/2019.

    bwaghorn 6  2 July 2019 at 7:32 pm

    Hopefully a game changer is on the way!!

    Science is our only hope imho

    • WeTheBleeple 14.1

      Selectively breed homoacetogens with high affinity H+ transporters so they can compete with methanogens in the rumen to create short chain fatty acids for milk and meat production instead of methane for burps and farts.

      That would be a huge win-win. Methane down, production up. 

      Do it once, do it right.

      • Robert Guyton 14.1.1

        "The animal itself does not produce methane but rather a group of microbes called methanogens, who live in the stomach (rumen), and produce methane mainly from hydrogen and carbon dioxide when digesting feed."

        How casually they absolved the cow from blame; it's not the cows' fault, it's those pesky microbes!

        A huge win, perhaps, but cows still tread too heavily on the land; perhaps it's not the heavy beast that's the problem, it's the soil that's not strong enough! 

        I'm reminded of the research that produced the NO2 inhibitors; sprayed onto paddocks, it paralysed or killed the microbes that created Nitrous oxide from cow urine; great idea, I always thought; smothering your pastures farm-wide with an antibiotic. The Chinese put the kibosh on it.


        • Dennis Frank

          I've edited the report to focus on the key political points:

          1.  Collaboration.  "An international collaboration led by New Zealand scientists has made an important discovery in the quest to help lower methane emissions from animals. 

          2.  Global.  "The findings have just been published online in the respected International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal."

          3.  Team.  "The international team which involved researchers from AgResearch (New Zealand), the Universities of Otago (New Zealand), Monash (Australia), Illinois (USA) and Hokkaido (Japan) has for the first time identified the main rumen microbes and enzymes that both produce and consume that hydrogen."

          4.  Leadership.  "Leader of the research programme, AgResearch Principal Scientist Dr Graeme Attwood, said the findings were important because scientists can now begin to target the supply of hydrogen to methanogens as a new way of reducing animal methane emissions."

          5.  Political relevance.  "This is vital for New Zealand to meets its greenhouse gas emission targets under the Paris Agreement and to ensure the farming of ruminants is sustainable into the future," said Dr Attwood.

          6.  Global collaboration.  "Dr Attwood said an important feature of the programme was its strong international collaboration with leading laboratories around the world."

          7.  International alliance.  "The involvement of AgResearch scientists has been made possible by New Zealand Government support for the activities of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, a New Zealand initiated alliance of 57 countries committed to working together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture."

          8.  Problem-solving.  "Through well-coordinated and well-funded science, we increase the likelihood of developing practical solutions to reducing global livestock emissions".

          This exercise in deconstructive keyword analysis reveals how climate change is inducing a suitable response via scientific collaboration in a global framework.  I'd like to see social science similarly applied, to enable global political collaboration.  Social media ought to provide the forums for that.  Enterprise along this trajectory would free us from the shackles of representative democracy.

          • Robert Guyton

            "to ensure the farming of ruminants is sustainable into the future"

            Therein lies the rub!

        • WeTheBleeple

          Don't get me started on manipulated microbes. Who can forget the US spraying modified 'rainmaker' bacteria on strawberry crops to stop them icing over (the pseudomonas typically catalyze ice nucleation in the atmosphere but some cretin removed the external features that provide this property). Did they cause a drop in a semi-arid regions priceless rain? Are their frankensteinian projects mingling with native populations?

          It's not like the US EPA is on the job. Or that industry is some bastion of truth.

          Sinkhole season in Florida, anyone…?

          The posts on nitrate briefly touch on systems that are regenerative rather than exploitative. These would require a significant drop in stocking rates but no more oil based fertilisers.

          The hit to farmers income (the only motivating factor of Parnell Farmers) will be offset by multiple crop types and the drop in costs: Vet bills, fertilisers, feed supplementation…

          These systems would work best with a gardener, an arborist and a farmer all working in collaboration over a relatively large system. You'd only want animals on each portion of land a few times per year.

          It's rotational grazing where crops and cover crops provide much of the animal feed; and animals provide much of the plant nutrition.

          In permie terms: Chop and drop is performed by the animals. Fertiliser is spread by the animals. Biodiversity is used to lessen the effects of pest cycles. Tree crops (as shelter belts) supply human and animal needs.

          Land use needs to be turned over to Farmer/Kaitiaki and wrested from Farmer/Accountants – who are good for nothing except their bottom lines. We have a lot of really good farmers, and a lot of greedy bastards.

          My bottom has uttered a few bottom lines describing their efforts angel


  15. Dennis Frank 15

    ODT reports our energy prospects:

    "The news that wind will play the leading role in New Zealand’s energy future was put up in lights by Transpower white paper Te Mauri Hiko, released last year. The report stated that electricity demand was likely to more than double, to about 90TWh (terawatt hours) per year, by 2050. By then, electricity will supply more than 60% of our total energy needs, having replaced all coal-fired industry and electricity generation as well as 40% of gas-­fuelled industry. Electricity will power most aspects of our lives, including 85% of personal vehicles."

    "Wind and sun will generate all that extra power, with a little help from geothermal and tide energy, Transpower says. Most of the solar energy will be installed by households and businesses. Wind will be the energy source the big generators invest in most heavily.  To meet the demand, 4.5 average-sized wind farms, of about 60 turbines each, would have to be built every year, starting in 2025."

    "Transpower’s report excited and galvanised industry players and academics in the energy sector. As did the Productivity Commission’s Low Emissions Economy report, of last year, which also identified wind’s importance."

    Contrast this future with the status quo:  " At present, fossil fuels provide 65% of New Zealand’s total energy needs. Oil makes up 44% and gas 15%. Coal, on 6%, is as big a player as wind in generating energy."

    In permaculture, you get taught to base your design on the local reality in which it will be implemented.  So you suit it to the environment, and energy design ought to optimise the flow of energy climate provides.  So…

    "Why wind?  Because we have the Roaring Forties, Grenville Gaskell replies.  Gaskell is the enthusiastic chief executive of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association.  The Roaring Forties is a band of strong westerly wind that whips around the ankles of the globe. The South Island and the lower North Island of New Zealand sit bang in the path of the Roaring Forties.  It means we have an ‘‘amazing opportunity’’ to make the most of ‘‘this incredible natural resource’’, Gaskell says."

    "Internationally, a wind turbine that operates 25% of the time is considered to be offering a decent return. New Zealand has plenty of locations where the capacity is closer to double that."

    "The country has 19 wind farms, generating 690MW. That’s roughly enough to supply Wellington, or the Otago/ Southland region (excluding Tiwai Point aluminium smelter), or 300,000 homes.  A further 2500MW of wind generation is already consented, ranging from the 45MW Titiokura wind farm in Hawke’s Bay to the 286 turbine, 858MW Castle Hill wind farm in the Wairarapa. The largest proposed turbines, 160m tall, are consented for the Puketoi wind farm, also in the Wairarapa."

    "‘‘This year is looking exciting,’’ Gaskell enthuses.  Three wind farm builds have been announced in recent months, he says. A 31 turbine, 130MW wind farm is planned for Waverley, in Taranaki; in August, construction begins on the $256 million, 119MW Turitea wind farm in Manawatu; and a $50 million, 16MW wind farm will be built in South Taranaki to produce green hydrogen."

    "Below the Waitaki River, there are five wind farms: at White Hill (29 turbines, 58MW), Southland; Flat Hill (eight turbines, 6.8MW), Bluff; Mt Stuart (nine turbines, 7.65MW), Clutha; Mahinerangi (12 turbines, 36MW), Clutha; and Horseshoe Bend (three turbines, 2.25MW), Central Otago. Sites are being investigated at Slopedown, in Southland, and Mt Stalker, North Otago. A site at Kaiwera Downs, Gore District, has been consented for an 83-turbine 240MW wind farm. Mahinerangi, west of Dunedin, has consents to expand from 12 turbines to 100, bringing its capacity up to 200MW."

    "Wind power has already helped reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions.  Figures released by Statistics NZ, on Thursday, show that while the country as a whole has not reduced its emissions during the past decade, electricity and gas sector emissions have declined an impressive 41.7% — a result to which wind power has contributed."

    • WeTheBleeple 15.1

      That is great news. We're even seeing shifts in operations from conventional oil companies. some of Statoils initiatives are downright impressive.

      • Dennis Frank 15.1.1

        Yeah, great.  Liked how it started, two white-haired old fellas as designers of the project.  Elderly being leaders, swimming against the flow to senescence, pangenerational problem-solving.

      • greywarshark 15.1.2

        Thanks for this WtB.   Gathering and presenting this stuff, these ventures, this change of thinking, this practical idea and sharing it around between us all, is so beneficial and inspiring and uplifting.    We need each other, and to bring our findings to the gathering place for all to see and think about, knowing that some will never be able to shift from their familiar path to do more than glance at them.   We can't wait for someone else to do it, those who choose are a minority, but it grows.

        Defenceless under the night
        Our world in stupor lies;
        Yet, dotted everywhere,
        Ironic points of light
        Flash out wherever the Just
        Exchange their messages:

        from 1 September 1939 WHAuden


  16. WeTheBleeple 16

    Mental Health.

    some of you may have surmised:

    I am not a hotbed of mental health.

    Things that make it worse (can only speak for myself here but might help others):

    arguing with blocks of wood or their mental equivalent

    poor diet

    lack of exercise

    lack of purpose

    unthinking authorities.

    Things that improve it:


    Balanced diet

    Exercise, especially walks in nature

    Good leadership 

    Purpose – a mission! 

    Good news.

    Climate change is likely wreaking havoc on the mental health of normally stable individuals. those, like me, prone to difficulties – might find their condition/s exacerbated by the constant barrage of 'bad news' and simultaneous touch-paper politics/press diverting us from dealing with reality.

    I find it extremely difficult staying on board to lend help in a world obsessed with themselves. It is important that I find those exemplars among us who work for the greater good or I would be swamped in despair.

    Surprisingly, to my cynical school of hard knocks self… there are an awful lot of people who do care. We must seek out the good, and nurture and encourage it. We must shine our light like never before.

    On monday I was dishing out tobacco to homeless folk. The levels of mental health issues were frightening. A couple of men would not even be approached, despite they were taking butts from the gutter, an offer of free tobacco was met with distrust. This was a bit heartbreaking, they were out of reach to me who'd been there. But,  the few men and one lady I'd given tobacco to distributed it out to their peers. Living in abject poverty, they all share! This humanity being (part of) their downfall in a self absorbed world.

    Self care is paramount, self absorption is deadly. We survive hardship together, or we perish. Learn from the homeless, grow a pair and grow a heart.

    Monday evening I performed comedy about mental health and homelessness to a group of homeless men – happily puffing away on home-grown tobacco.  To see these men living so hard roaring with laughter was an incredible experience.

    Many of us are one illness, one mental illness, one bad decision or simply a cruel twist of fate from being homeless ourselves. It doesn't take much for a life to fall apart it can happen so rapidly you find yourself out in the cold before you saw it coming. Homelessness is so confronting because they are us. You can't hate on the homeless man. That's not hate, it's fear.


    • WeTheBleeple 16.1

      I had a couple of points to illustrate there but wound up meandering…

      We need to take care of ourselves, but not to the detriment of our fellow man. 

      We need to take care of our fellow man, but not to the detriment of ourselves.

      Resilience is a function of community, not individualism.

      We are not all mad on the same day. On a bad day my mates help me, on their bad days I help them. This way we get through together.

      Self absorption and personal greed is destroying the planet.

      Altruism, cooperation and community might restore some of the damage done.

      • Dennis Frank 16.1.1

        Your meanders are also worth reading.  wink

        This morning Garner interviewed a spokesperson for the construction industry about the mental health issues (crisis?) happening there.  Middle-aged guy, and he referred to emotional intelligence.  When concepts like that are evidently achieving currency in the mainstream, there's a sound basis for hope (re resilience as policy).

        Your thoughts also reminded me that the way of the sorcerer required mastery of pain & suffering.  Read any account of traditional shamanism in indigenous societies for how that played out in various social contexts.  So you could view our trials & tribulations via that lens.

        I was at an altpolitical gathering around nine years ago, of 40 or so people.  A young aussie woman channelled a spirit, from within the surrounding wide circle of attendees. "Comte de Saint Germain was a European adventurer, with an interest in science, alchemy and the arts. He achieved prominence in European high society of the mid-1700s."

        My 0.5 second mental eye-roll was followed by the usual razor-eyed watch for the flaws in performance that always reveal the sham.  Didn't happen.  I saw, with increasing amazement, the emergence of the flow and continuance of courtly body language, eloquent speech using words no aussie would ever acquire nowadays (I've read antique literature since I was a kid).

        Anyway, when the entity asked for questions after advising us how to organise to deal with the consequences of climate change, I asked "how can we use shamanic function in the contemporary political?"  Then had to endure, with increasing embarrassment, prolonged applause from the entity as it clapped her hands with considerable enthusiasm and told the crowd "What an excellent question!".

        If I'd been on the ball, I'd have followed up with "Thanks, but what's the answer?"  Apparently the question sufficed – kinda zen response from the aristocrat, but could be it wasn't wrong.

        I told Bill Watson as we left later "that was authentic".  Zero doubt.  Pondering various times since, I always am left with gnosis that those of us capable just have to do our best with our inadequate skills.  To make a general point about that, there's the quest for ancient wisdom that we ventured into in the aftermath of the hippie thing as basis.  The trick is to ascertain how relevant that stuff still is…


        • Dennis Frank

          Probably worth adding that shamans did rearrangement of world-views, attitudes & expectations of the future as part of their job/praxis.  Rectifying the drift into error or degenerating mental health of members was essential to maintenance of the whole tribe (as a healthy community).

          It alerts us to the part played by plant allies in shifting consciousness, as well as showing that the shaman was the ancient mental health practitioner.  Hippies did psychelic drugs for kicks, mostly, but the original experimentation alerted the trend-setters to the deconditioning effect (which is what most of us needed back then).

          • WeTheBleeple

            There are certainly some not-so-subtle shifts in consciousness that lend hope to the situation entire. Reading a stuff hit-piece on the govt today (the economy is doomed!) reveals half the comments telling Stuff to get stuffed and stop trotting out tired old lines from self-absorbed old men…

            Huge change from only a year ago.

            The try-hards continue to try hard, but many people who were once fooled by tired old rhetoric have turned away from it, and are seeking alternative meanings to life.

            Well being. It's not just an empty phrase. 

            Deconditioning is occurring in society, children who march for change – not stare at their phones 'uselessly' as many try paint them. Public who wade in, in number, to counter the growth mantra…

            Then there's the hijacking of fear and insecurity by populism… yet more evidence of a society ready for change, radical change even. The trick is to channel this desire for meaningful change appropriately.

            The grip big business has on the public narrative is shifting despite them owning the press. 

            Those homeless men I cared for the other night didn't cause the housing crisis.

            Self absorption and greed did that.

            Fear is the enemy of dialogue.

  17. Dennis Frank 17

    Also on the topic of emotional intelligence, I've started a library book written by this guy:  "Andreas Weber … a German biologist, biosemiotician, philosopher and journalist."

    Readers who are unaware of semiotics can get a clue if I suggest it's all about the signalling process, the relation of language to meaning, the medium & the message.

    So he's on about transcending objectivity.  Well, some of us having been doing that since the '80s, to decondition from a scientific education.  What's new?  The collective venture of some biologists and neuroscientists into the feeling side of life.  Verboten, out of bounds in traditional science.

    Soon after publication three years ago, a reviewer posted this on Amazon books:

    "This book proposes nothing less than a new way of thinking about the earth and our place in it. Weber at one point terms it, "a new science of the heart" or in another book he uses the term "enlivenment". The basic premise stems from the idea that moving beings are alive, and to be alive implies freedom, choice, and the ability to feel. This aliveness includes living cells at one end and the entirety of earth's surface at the other. We are part of a living network, and that network is not about competition but symbiosis. As you can see, this book is an audacious endeavor".

    Yeah, but he's no lone wolf rebel.  I was citing the start of this trend thirty years ago in my writing.  It is now a substantial scientific subculture.  The paradigm shift into holism that occurred in avante-garde science in the '80s is escalating, that's all.  Yet scientific study of subjectivity is indeed a big deal, worth considerable focus.  It requires an adept philosopher to achieve a balanced integration of subjectivity & objectivity.  Experientially, you have to `see' your subjective take on something in relation to your objective take, and acknowledge them both as part of you simultaneously.  The former is feelings-driven, the latter is what you can share via language.

    • WeTheBleeple 17.1

      I was heartened to hear the desire for a more holistic approach mentioned several times in my university studies, and this across various disciplines. Environmental science was leading the pack. Paraphrased:

      'Good decision making requires that all parties are invited to the table. Exclusion of any provides grounds for resentment, legal stoushes, and a massive waste of time and resources competing where there should be collaboration.'

      We see how some parties still maintain the lie that their contribution (economy via extraction) is more valid than others, but this is changing through time. It wasn't that long ago Maori were not even at the table, nor the environment save a report from people hired to keep the extractors in business.

      Circular economics subverts the funneling of funds offshore strengthening local resilience. Environmental and cultural consideration insures against an uphill battle to do business.

      Business needs re-framing to what it was supposed to be. Products and services for a reasonable fee. Service of and to communities. Not cash cows. Making money should not be frowned upon, except where it is blatantly extractive.

      The whole 'survival of the fittest' outlook of evolution is wrong where we interpret this as competition only. The fittest were those most able to adapt to their environment in a sustainable manner. This involved entire food chains surviving. No creature ever survived alone. We who house 10 times more the number of bacteria than there are cells in our bodies – we are living ecosystems, not individuals. 

      We are ecosystems within ecosystems within biomes within a biosphere.

      Overplaying our hand is rife with problems as we are clearly seeing now. A switch of power from extractors to Kaitiaki is required. This switch may happen in a shift of consciousness in leadership, though I have no idea how that would come about.

      Holistic targets for every government, business required to serve not steal, permaculture as part of mainstream education – that would be a bloody good start.

  18. greywarshark 18

    In case this hasn't gone in here yet.   Anne Salmond talks about trees and possibly to trees.

    * Dame Anne Salmond leads the Te Awaroa: Voice of the River project.  She was the 2013 New Zealander of the Year &nbsp; 2/7/2019

    When the New Zealand Forest Service was set up in 1921, its vision was to sustainably harvest native forests and to plant exotic forests (mostly Pinus radiata), which began to be felled during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. As the demand for inexpensive housing grew, the rate of felling native forests also accelerated, and New Zealanders rallied to fight to protect what remained in national parks.

    The "forest wars" of the 1970s left bitter memories of a Forest Service dedicated to felling native forests, rather than managing them sustainably for future generations. As a result, conservationists largely dedicated themselves to protecting the remnants, while the Forest Service was left to concentrate on planting and harvesting exotic forests.

    pdf &nbsp; date?

    Dec 2017

    Gisborne – cleangreen!  November 2017


    • WeTheBleeple 18.1

      Really enjoyed the comments to Dame Salmond's article, a clear majority can see the wood for the trees.

      One thing that wasn't covered. We used to have the equipment to process logs larger than and other than young pine but not anymore. There are many experimental arborists around the country who could help provide information for a broad range of timber crops both native and exotic in NZ conditions. Being able to process the logs here would add further employment and value. The milled wood might also lend way to all sorts of local manufacturing (again).

      Some natives will grow considerably faster than one might think when they are pampered a little. Pruning, thinning, feeding and watering are all significant factors.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    1 hour ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    2 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    3 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    3 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    4 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    4 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    4 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    5 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 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. ...
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    6 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 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
    7 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
    7 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    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
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    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.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    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

  • 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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. ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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, ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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. ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    7 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    1 week 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 ...
    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 - ...
    1 week ago
  • 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 ...
    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 ...
    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 ...
    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 ...
    1 week ago