Incarceration Insanity

Written By: - Date published: 1:07 pm, August 15th, 2010 - 42 comments
Categories: prisons - Tags:

Hopefully this article, in both The Press and The DomPost might start a debate about whether we want Corrections (Newspeak for Prisons) to be the largest government department.

New Zealand has a ridiculously high prison rate, which is a common characteristic of unequal societies that we’ve pushed further (although not as far as the US).  David Garrett denies the 2nd highest rate in the Western World by saying that no, we’re 61st in the whole world – as if being behind Singapore, Israel (with its political prisoners) and a slew of African dictatorships and other war-torn countries made it better.

Prison doesn’t work.  It keeps people off the streets, but, as psychiatrist James Gilligan says:

The most effective way to turn a non-violent person into a violent one is to send him to prison.1

In theory prisons have 4 purposes: retribution, deterrence, incapacitation of serious criminals and rehabilitation.

But there is no deterrence: criminals wouldn’t commit the crimes if they thought once, let alone the twice David Garrett thinks harsher sentences achieve.  There is little correlation between crime rate and imprisonment rate; what there is says a higher prison rate matches a higher crime rate, rather than reducing it.

And there is no rehabilitation when there’s double-bunking, container cells and prison officers too over-stretched to let prisoners out for counselling and work-training programs.  Not to mention no parole period to help them re-adjust into society.  People who go to prison are far more likely to re-offend than those sentenced to community offences – even for the same crimes.

So we’re left with Retribution, Incapacitation and in fact 3 more unstated purposes: Class Control, Scapegoating and Political Gain2, as politicians use a “dangerous class” to keep the poor away from the middle classes and distract from other social problems.  Do we want a society based on retribution?  We are currently about 10 years behind the USA in our prison policy.  Where are we headed if the image of our vision is 2 million in jail and a State the size of California going bankrupt paying for its incarceration fetish?

We need to have a rethink.  In The Netherlands a group of criminal lawyers, criminologists and psychiatrists came together to influence the penal system.  The said that:

the offender must be treated as a thinking and feeling fellow human beings, capable of responding to insights offered in the course of a dialogue… with therapeutic agents.3

They have a prison system with a much lower incarceration rate, and for those in prison, home leave to keep them in touch with their family and community, and an emphasis on treatment and rehabilitation, along with extensive parole to help them re-adjust.

Recidivism rates in more equal countries, with lower incarceration and rehabilitative prisons are about 35%; in the UK/US 60-65%.  We have 50% of prisoners re-offending after 4 years; I cannot find long term data.  At $90,000 to house each prisoner each year and $250,000 per new place that needs building, that’s a lot of people to be continuously paying for as they continuously re-offend.

And it’s not just the prisoner cost.  Those high crime rates also require more police.  A more equal society with a less retributive attitude needs a lot less police and money spent on security.

Wouldn’t we rather be spending that money on education (particularly Early Childhood Education and Adult & Community Education which make large differences) to give people opportunities before they end up channelled into a cycle of crime and prison?

hat-tip: The Spirit Level (again)

1 J Gilligan, Preventing Violence, 2001
2 J Irwin, The Warehouse Prison: Disposal of the new dangerous class, 2005

3 D Downes, ‘The buckling of the shields: Dutch penal policy 1985-1995’, Comparing Prison Systems: Towards a comparative and international penology, Weiss & South (eds), 1998

42 comments on “Incarceration Insanity ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    What would happen if first-time/non-violent/low-risk offenders were put not in prison, but instead were taken to a place of complete isolation… away from their usual social circle … and required to stay there until they were able to talk sense to a councillor? Something a little like what Outward Bound does, but for longer and tightly structured.

    Social isolation is exceedingly challenging for most people, and prompts them to think very hard about their life and what kind of changes they need to make.

    The way out would be to full-heartedly participate and succeed at literacy and numeracy remedial education, a well-defined period of community work, and completion of anger managment/addictive behaviour education.

    There is any amount of community work that needs doing in the conservation, re-forestation, bio-diversity areas that could be achieved this way. At the moment a lot so-called ‘community service’ is rather poorly structured and managed. Most of the time they turn up in a motley bunch, muck about at some half-arsed tasks and hanging out much of the day bored out of their skulls. With sensible funding, management and resources much, much more could be achieved… and most importantly… create a sense of achievement and success at something challenging and worthwhile in their otherwise feckless young lives. Ideally you even re-cycle the ‘graduates’ from this process back into working with ‘new entrants’ at the beginning.

    The purpose of ‘rehabilitaion’ as we have called it to now has been to get offenders more or less to the point where we could toss them back into the lives they came from, and delude ourselves that maybe they might come right and not re-offend again. That’s was never good enough.

    The real goal must be to get them to the point where they are capable of, desiring of, breaking out of the inequality trap they have been born into. (Yes this begs the obvious wider question about inequality in society overall, but crime and it’s consequences is nonetheless a matter of dealing with individual offenders and their treatment.) We’ve allowed generations of domestic violence and deprivation to breed a dysfunctional underclass in this country, and it’s going to take at least the same time to repair the damage. Which can only begin to happen if we can trip the ‘circuit breakers’ of violence, substance abuse and poverty that stalks our non-leafy suburbs.

    Offenders are not aliens; mostly they are ordinary people like you and I, but who’ve been ‘shit-magnets’ all their lives; it’s all they’ve known. Making dumb shitty choices is just business as usual for them. Getting them out of that place is a matter of getting them to see different, better choices.

    • Rex Widerstrom 1.1

      Social isolation is exceedingly challenging for most people, and prompts people to think very hard about their life and what kind of changes they need to make.

      You’ve nailed it RedLogix. Every prisoner to whom I speak who has had some sort of epiphany about their behaviour has attributed this not to incarceration (and certainly not to the threat of further incarceration) but – to a greater or lesser degree – to being isolated, having the day-to-day stresses of bills, finding work, dealing with relationship problems etc forcibly removed, and being able to reflect.

      Sure lots of other things can help that process. Counseling. Seeing the effect your behaviour has had on your family. Facing your victims. But these things all need time to process.

      The absolute irony, then, is that we’re packing our prisons so full that cells designed for one are being filled with two and sometimes three prisoners. Social isolation is the last thing we’re offering. Instead we throw people into a snake pit and expect that, when we finally throw them out again, they won’t bite.

      Your concept is exactly what many in the prison reform movement argue for… yet are accused of being “soft on crims”. Yet ask a criminal whether they’d prefer to work at a remote bush camp or sit with their feet up in a(crowded) cell and they’ll characterise the person suggesting the work camp as the one being “tough”.

    • We used to do this by sentencing people to solitary confinement. Kept away from everyone – including other prisoners – not even much contact with prison guards; just left alone with their thoughts to contemplate and rehabilitate.

      People literally went insane. It’s not considered torture.

      • RedLogix 1.2.1

        Open-ended solitary confinement in a punative claustrophobic cell, cut-off from all contact with sunshine, exercise and probably on a miserable nutrition-free diet is of course a potentially damaging regime.

        But as with all potent tools, solitary can be concievably used or misused. As can strawmen.

        • Graeme Edgeler 1.2.1.1

          Accepted international practice is now that anything longer than 3 days is dangerous.

      • Rex Widerstrom 1.2.2

        I can’t speak for RL Graeme but I’m certainly not advocating lengthy periods of solitary confinement.

        I’m talking about the 12 – 13 hours prisoners are locked in their cells overnight. They can read, they can watch TV and they can think. Eventually they start to think. But if they’re bunked up they talk… about crime and drugs, usually. And they get on one another’s nerves. And whatever else they do, contemplation isn’t part of it.

        Besides, you sems to have missed the point that RL was talking originally about group isolation. At least I assume this is the case, as community work in conservation, re-forestation, bio-diversity sounds like a group activity, and Outward Bound is mentioned… that’s hardly akin to solitary confinement as practiced in a prison.

        • RedLogix 1.2.2.1

          In this case Rex …you’re welcome to put words into my mouth.

          I’ve no idea exactly what the optimum form of isolation might take, indeed if there is any such thing given the sheer diversity of offenders and the reasons why they have been convicted…but Graeme’s notion of driving people mad by tossing them into dark, airless holes for months on end does seem a tad counter-productive.

      • guess 1.2.3

        It was called “the digger” and was still in use in the late seventies and early eighties where recalcitrant inmates were sentenced to by the First Officer for up to a month at a time. Misbehave and extra time was added, up to a month at a time.

        At 6am the inmate was let out to empty his piss pot and wash in cold water, number one rations were issued, one pound of boiled potatoes, half a loaf of bread, four ounces of dripping and one pint of milk, all bedding, a mattress and one blanket and pjamas, were removed and clothing for the day and one book were issued
        .
        The day was spent in a bare cell with one book, a piss pot, and a single light turned on, no exterior light in the digger. At 6pm the inmate was let out to empty his piss pot and wash, clothing and reading material was removed, bedding was issued and the light was turned off.

        Graeme is right, people were driven insane by month after month of solitary confinement but they’ve got a nice new words now, separates and behaviour modification units.

        And no, I aint’ telling how I know about the digger.

    • comedy 1.3

      How may first-time/non-violent/low-risk offenders are put into prison ?

      • RedLogix 1.3.1

        Well there’s a first time in prison for everyone inside. But of course very few arrive in prison for their first criminal offence. Many have a long history of stupidity that led them there giving plenty of opportunity to intervene and change their lives before they do real damage.

        Indeed Celia Lashley has pointed out that many future criminals can be predicted as pre-schoolers but we do nothing about it at an early stage when intervening would have a huge cost-benefit ratio… if we were serious about reducing crime.

        But we are not. What we actually do is wait until after the damage of the crime is done and then get our righteous jollies inflicting retribution.

      • Rex Widerstrom 1.3.2

        A New Zealand study of 22,340 inmates who were released from prison between 1995 and 1998 found that:

        Over two-thirds (70%) of the inmates had more than 10 convictions prior to being imprisoned. Only 5% of the inmates had no prior convictions. However, for nearly one-fifth (18%) of these “first offenders”, while they had no prior convictions, they had prior proved offences in the Youth Court. Almost two-thirds (65%) of the imprisoned “first offenders” were convicted of a violent or sexual offence, almost one-quarter (24%) were convicted of a property offence (mostly burglary or fraud), and 6% were convicted of drug dealing.

    • prosaic 1.4

      The social isolation idea may have something in it–and ‘outward bound’ type schemes are utilised very much in the Youth Justice system (in groups only). ‘First-time/non-violent/low-risk offenders’ are never put in prison. However we’d need to be aware of the cultural appropriateness of social isolation. Isolation certainly didn’t benefit law-breaking Australian Aborigines but, in some cases, killed them. Not sure this would be appropriate for many Maori either, given the importance of whanaungatanga in well-being. People who are oppressed are likely to break the law. As BUNJI says, the problem is largely the oppression of the ‘have nots’ by the ‘haves’, or the gap between rich and poor. A large gap between rich and poor is arguably responsible for all sorts of societal problems and in countries where the gap is small (like Sweden) there is less abuse, violence, addiction, unemployment, incarceration, depression, etc. A great book on this stuff (and on how to ‘fix’ it by increasing emotional intelligence and empathy) is Robin Grille, Parenting for a Peaceful World (http://www.naturalchild.org/ppw/). Because the road to prison does start from birth.

      • prism 1.4.1

        prosaic People who are oppressed are likely to break the law. As BUNJI says, the problem is largely the oppression of the ‘have nots’ by the ‘haves’, or the gap between rich and poor.

        I think that statement presents a half-truth often repeated. Different classes have different laws made for them. The wealthy break the law quite often, car speed, tax evasion, embezzlement, violence against spouses, neglect of children, manipulation of company funds and prospectuses etc. They just commit more elegant crimes than the lower class, and there is a bigger population in the lower class, with less well-paid and less satisfying jobs.

  2. nilats 2

    [Not needed.]

  3. Tigger 3

    No love for the magical ‘Maori’ flag that will spread it’s healing rays over every prison it waves over?

  4. PK 4

    ***Prison doesn’t work.***

    Well, it does actually. Increased incarceration levels & increased police numbers were behind the fall in US crime rates in the 90’s (the receeding crack epidemic & access to abortion for the poor following Roe v Wade were the other two main factors). See Freakanomic’s author Steven Levitt’s paper discussing this.

    Levitt, Steven D. (Winter 2004). “Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not” . Journal of Economic Perspectives 18: 163190.

    http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/LevittUnderstandingWhyCrime2004.pdf

    ***a State the size of California going bankrupt paying for its incarceration fetish?***

    California is going bankrupt in large part for not enforcing immigration laws. The costs in education, welfare & health are massive.

    “Perhaps the most disingenuous myth about illegal immigrants is that they do not impose any cost on society. The reality is that even those who work and half do not, according to the Pew Hispanic Center cannot subsist on the wages they receive and depend on public assistance to a large degree. Research on Los Angeles immigrants by Harvard University scholar George J. Borjas shows that 40.1 percent of immigrant families with non-citizen heads of household receive welfare, compared with 12.7 percent of households with native-born heads. Illegal immigrants also increase public expenditures on health care, education, and prisons. In California today, illegal immigrants’ cost to the taxpayer is estimated to be $13 billion half the state’s budget deficit.”

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112167023

    • loota 4.1

      As for the npr article, the writer quotes Milton Freidman FTW, so we know where that is coming from.

      Perhaps the most disingenuous myth about illegal immigrants is that they do not impose any cost on society.

      – Who is it who repeats this ‘myth’ – or is it a straw man? I’ve never heard a member of Congress say that illegal immigrants pose no costs on US society.
      – Why do certain bad quality jobs exist at such low wages that US citizens refuse to do them and leave them to illegal immigrants?
      – Why is a country like Mexico unable to create a rich trading economy which allows it to retain these citizens who instead feel that they need to flee to the status of being illegals in the US?
      – Given that millions of these immigrants exist in the US, many of them having done so for years, had children in the US, what is the way forward for them?

      Interesting you let these articles do the talking for you…what is YOUR point of view?

      What do you see happening and why?

      Or are you just content to say that the answer is ‘crack down on these people, crack down harder, and keep cracking down on them hard’

      Remember the US post WWII its economy, science and technology was built on immigration and of course long before that too.

    • RedLogix 4.2

      Ah yes… but if you actually read what Levitt says on p17 of the paper you link to:

      Finally, given the wide divergence in the frequency and severity of
      offending across criminals, sharply declining marginal benefits of incarceration are
      a possibility. In other words, the two-millionth criminal imprisoned is likely to
      impose a much smaller crime burden on society than the first prisoner. Although
      the elasticity of crime with respect to imprisonment builds in some declining
      marginal returns, the actual drop off may be much greater. We do not have good
      evidence on this point. These caveats suggest that further increases in imprisonment
      may be less attractive than the naive cost benefit analysis would suggest

      In other words prisons, while useful up to a degree, cannot be an actual solution to crime. If a higher imprisonment rate = less crime = higher benefit to society, then logically the best way to eliminate all crime would be to incarcerate all males between the ages of 14 and 40. This absurdity tells you that simply increasing imprisonment rates cannot be the answer. Even Levitt tacitly acknowledges that.

      • PK 4.2.1

        ***In other words prisons, while useful up to a degree, cannot be an actual solution to crime. If a higher imprisonment rate = less crime = higher benefit to society, then logically the best way to eliminate all crime would be to incarcerate all males between the ages of 14 and 40. This absurdity tells you that simply increasing imprisonment rates cannot be the answer. Even Levitt tacitly acknowledges that.***

        There isn’t any _one_ answer. I’m simply saying that prison is effective at reducing crime rates.

        On top of that you obviously need to reduce the number of children in abusive environments. To that end I would recommend birth control shots in exchange for ongoing welfare, although I doubt that’s going to be politically acceptable.

        • RedLogix 4.2.1.1

          I’m simply saying that prison is effective at reducing crime rates

          The point you deliberately ignore, the same point even your hero Levitt makes… prisons are a dead-end, dismal strategey with steeply diminishing returns.

          Try actually reading the material you referenced.

          • PK 4.2.1.1.1

            ***The point you deliberately ignore, the same point even your hero Levitt makes prisons are a dead-end, dismal strategey with steeply diminishing returns.***

            Levitt doesn’t say there are steeply diminishing returns. There may be, but there isn’t good evidence on that point. Levitt later indicates that due to fiscal constraints prison numbers are likely to stabilise, so abortion & increasing prison numbers will be the main contributors to future declining crime rates. That’s something I note above, that reducing the number of children born into abusive environments would reduce future crime rates. He discusses the crack epidemic, something which perhaps has an equivalent in NZ with P. Also, foetal alcohol syndrome is probably an issue that needs more attention.

    • Ari 4.3

      Actually there were far more factors than that behind the fall in crime in 90s, the one with the best correlation being wider access to abortion and birth control in the previous years. No single factor can be said to cause (or cure) crime, but there are some huge contributors.

      Wait, what? Who ever would have thought unwanted pregnancies would have a correlation with increased crime… 😉 Increasing support for at-risk children, widening access and improving attitudes to birth control, pro-choice abortion attitudes and laws, economic equality, high-quality education, a welfare system that encourages people into work without leaving them destitute beforehand…. all of these things matter in reducing crime before it starts.

  5. loota 5

    PK, so if higher levels of incarceration significantly reduced crime in the 1990’s, with less crime being committed, incarceration levels in the US must have fallen significantly by now, yes?

    I mean, there is less crime, so there is less time?

    Or didn’t incarceration ‘work’ like that.

  6. Bored 6

    Bunji, you aree to be applauded for pointing out that retribution does not work. At the centre any debate on crime comes that nasty little emotion, retribution. “Lock ’em up, throw away the keys” seems to be order of the day for the majority.

    Some observations and questions:
    * Them is us. I am yet to meet anybody who is a saint, we all have our nasty little secrets that we are ashamed of. How much lust for retribution is displacement of personal guilt?
    * Might the “criminals” we need protection from more properly be described as “psychopaths” “sociopaths” etc and be better handled by a proper “mental health” system?
    * When the upper levels of our society set such a good example of elevating pursuit of wealth and flaunting of possessions to such a high level is it any surprise that the lower levels of society are tempted to utilise “criminal” methods to achieve the same?

    • Brett 6.1

      So if your mother or daughter was raped and murdered, you would have no problem forgiving the person who did this act?

      • RedLogix 6.1.1

        In the end Brett, yes. If you don’t then the crime is committed twice, once in the act itself and then again as it blights your own life in eternal bitterness.

        It is the role of the Courts and Corrections to administer justice.

        • Brett 6.1.1.1

          Personally I could never forgive some one who did that to my family.
          I’d want blood and lots of it.

          • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.1.1

            Perfectly natural.

            Which is why we have police, criminal laws, trials, and prisons, rather than lynch mobs, ropes, and incessant, ever expanding blood feuds.

            • Brett 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I am a realist though and I know I the chances of extracting justice via my own hand is pretty slim.
              Which is why I would expect the punishment/sentence handed out to reflect the pain and suffering this individual has caused.

          • Bored 6.1.1.1.2

            Brett,

            I would want that person locked in a mental ward until everybody could be assured nobody else would become their victim. Which might mean forever. As Red says I would not want the crime to blight my life ongoing, getting blood revenge would only make it worse.

      • Ari 6.1.2

        Nobody has to forgive the perpetrators of crime, especially not rapists, murderers, or abusers. You just have to realise it’s better for all of is that they spend a productive and rehabilitated life regretting what they did before than going on to do it again to some other innocent victim, despite how distasteful the idea is of them not feeling disproportionate pain and suffering right back. You can stay exactly as angry, hurt, or upset as you want if you’re a victim of crime, and I think everyone understands that this is a perfectly natural reaction to the loss involved.

        (Although I’d prefer victims found some way to move on despite their loss, because it’s bad for their own mental health if they can’t, and if they’re stewing on it all their lives they’ve effectively been victimised again each time the topic comes to mind for them)

  7. prism 7

    What a terrific graphic you have put on this post. Very clever to combine the hands grasping the bars of a price scanner – so appropriate for this move into private prisons. They are just another way for unprincipled, cold-hearted business people to make money, in this case out of degraded people.

    The same as in the alcohol scam that all governments have sunk in up to their knees, drawing off taxes and duties and not upsetting some very influential wealthy people who like the blue chip investment into a legally sanctioned and loosely regulated drug market. (In this case more controls and sanctions are needed on alcohol and marijuana also legalised and controlled so it becomes a blue chip investment too, along with hemp growing.) Aucklanders are protesting at the number of liquor outlets feeding off the community’s weakest – as one woman puts it “There used to be a dairy on every corner, now it’s a liquor outlet.”

  8. Pat 8

    “What would happen if first-time/non-violent/low-risk offenders were put not in prison, but instead were taken to a place of complete isolation…”

    We tried that once on the Chatham Islands, and the buggers escaped and caused havoc in the BOP.

  9. randal 9

    what I want to know is how to buy shares in the companies that run the slammers.
    it seems to be the best sunrise industry in new zealand.

  10. randal 10

    make that the only sunrise industry in new zealand!

    • pollywog 10.1

      how about rent-a-cops…private security and bodyguards for the fatcats ? Bet there’d be heaps of bros would rather do that than petty crime…

      Prison and harsher sentences only seem a deterrent only if you’ve never been to prison. Not having been, i’m shit scared of going but if i ever do and come out, i dont think i’d give 2 shits about going back cos i’m sure reality isn’t nearly as bad as my perception of it.

      And another thing, is it a cultural thing on Maori’s behalf that they get caught, arrested and sentenced more or is it a cultural thing on the judiciary’s part that they sentence Maori more harshly and to prison more often ?

  11. jbanks 11

    Investing in rehabilitation would be a good method of decreasing the future cost to society.

    If only there were a way so that this money didn’t come from tax payers but from the scum in prison.

  12. Claudia 12

    Toi Whakaari, our National Drama School, is putting on

    THE PERSECUTION AND ASSASSINATION OF JEAN-PAUL MARAT AS PERFORMED BY THE INMATES OF THE ASYLUM OF CHARENTON UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE MARQUIS DE SADE

    between Thurs 19 Sat 28 August

    I would not be surprised if its relevance to recent political events will be explored.

    For further info, see

    http://www.toiwhakaari.ac.nz/our_shows/coming_productions/JeanPaulMarat.html

  13. A really good article Bunji, and it’s encouraging to see debate that is more constructive than those we have come to expect from the beehive.

    In relation the ‘solitary’ issues related above, the early American prisons of the 1800s were set up exactly on those lines. Indeed, there were two – fiercely competitive – schools of thought, represented by the ‘silent’ or ‘auburn’ system and the ‘separate’ or ‘Pennsylvania’ system’ both sought rehabilitative functions (and both, admittedly, had their problems). Although we tend to think of prisons as having been around forever, they are relatively new criminal justice devises. Before the late 1800s, prisons were only used to house inmates waiting physical punishment (or transportation to the colonies) or to hold debtors until they could pay their bills.

    Anyway, the ‘modern prison’ of the 1800s was a tool designed for rehabilitation. But limited understandings or criminal behaviour, and budget constraints meant they slowly transformed into places of confinement. Although most people are quite aware that socio-economic drivers need to be addressed before crime can be tackled in a meaningful way – it is important that prisons rediscover their rehabilitative function.

    A recent report by the National Health Committee had outlined the shocking problems of New Zealand prisons, and I encourage anybody interested to have a look at it. Among numerous other things, the report highlighted the fact that 52 percent of New Zealand prisoner had psychiatric conditions and 89 percent had substance abuse issues. Unless we look to address these types of issues, we will not address recidivism and therefore the creation of more victims. It cost over $90,000 annually to house a prisoner as well as a one-off cost of $250,000 toward capital costs. It costs a lot less to address mental health and addiction issues. But until we do so, prison will continue to be an expensive revolving door. Both socially and fiscally, it appears quite clear that we can’t afford to continue on our current path.

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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • National says “fuck you”
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the government's racist bill to eliminate Māori representation in local government. The report duly notes the Waitangi Tribunal's finding that the bill breaches te Tiriti, and the bill's inconsistency with our international human rights obligations - and then proceeds to ignore both. Instead, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon is – Big in Japan
    This week our Prime Minister Christopher Luxon… mmm, let’s take a moment to consider just how good that sounds. Hope you weren’t eating.Anyway that guy. Better? That bloke from the telly, he said - what I would say to you is… I’m big in Japan. My kind of people, hard ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 21-June-2024
    Tis the winter solstice! The shortest day and longest night of the year. The good news: we’re on our way back to summertime. Here’s another roundup of stories to brighten up your Friday. Our header image is from CRL and shows Waihorotiu Station lit up for Matariki 2024 The ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, June 21
    Our economic momentum remains anaemic, and it’s possible the tiny increase in GDP was a ‘dead cat bounce’. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Per-capita GDP has fallen 4.3% from its peak over the last 21 months, which is more than it it fell in the Global Financial Crisis recession ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Futility of Punishment
    Hi,I was in Texas recently and couldn’t stop thinking about how in some parts of America they really like to kill their prisoners. As a society we tend to agree murder is wrong, but somewhere along the way Texas figured it’s fine if it’s after 6pm and the killing is ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • The new Beehive approach to the environment
    A persistent theme has been weaving between the Committee rooms at Parliament all this so-called “Scrutiny” week as MPs have probed Ministers and agencies about their work and plans. The question has been simply what the environmental price might be if the country begins to accelerate its infrastructure building to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25 2024
    Open access notables Climate Change Is Leading to a Convergence of Global Climate Distribution, Li et al., Geophysical Research Letters: The impact of changes in global temperatures and precipitation on climate distribution remains unclear. Taking the annual global average temperatures and precipitation as the origin, this study determined the climate distribution with the ...
    4 days ago
  • You take nicer pictures when you’re not drunk
    Readers keeping count will know it's more than five years since I gave up booze. Some of you get worried on my behalf when I recount a possibly testing moment. Anxious readers: today I got well tested.All the way across France I've been enquiring in my very polite and well-meaning but ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Cancer
    Turn awayIf you could, get me a drinkOf water 'cause my lips are chapped and fadedCall my Aunt MarieHelp her gather all my thingsAnd bury me in all my favourite coloursMy sisters and my brothers, stillI will not kiss you'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving youI remember the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    7 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    55 mins ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
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