Is Shane Jones Right About Mining?

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, May 25th, 2024 - 36 comments
Categories: Environment, Mining, Shane Jones - Tags:

On Thursday Minister Jones launched his new pro-mining strategy in a rural village that was the actual birthplace of the Labour Party. 

“I deliberately chose to come to Blackball because we need to re-legitimise [and] reinvigorate mining,” the former Labour MP said. 

“It’s been abandoned by the Labour Party. They are now a metropolitan, identity-driven party that feels embarrassed about those historic roots.”

There’s no doubt of Jones’ theatrical precision. In political terms he is seeking to ensure Labour never ever gets another regional electoral seat ever again. 

“We need to use the endowments that we’ve been given, we need to profit from them and stop the catastrophisation that every time you put a shovel, a machine, a digger in the ground – you’re destroying the sacredness of earth mother.”

I’ve written before about how hard an actual ‘just transition’ would be for Blackball

What Minister Jones actually launched was a Draft Minerals Strategy for New Zealand to 2040. It’s not a huge industry in New Zealand employing about 5,000 directly and generating about $1 billion in exports. 

Jones is quite fortunate that there are some large mining prospects that are already getting closer to production. Santana Pty has already released an estimate to the Australian Stock Exchange that its proposed new gold mine in Tarras has about $4b in gold for extraction

With 18 months of permitting and pre-construction, it is likely that this massive strike will be a producing mine within this parliamentary term that will produce political gold for Jones.

About 40 minutes up the road from Blackball is Reefton, and that has been assayed as having a seriously massive deposit of Antinomy

Reefton through the sustained investment of one main developer has really turned itself around. A strike of this scale will strengthen it for decades to come. 

We don’t have to be reminded that the economic and social history of major parts of New Zealand would not exist without extractive mining, including Dunedin, most of the West Coast, most of central Otago including the boom towns of Queenstown and Wanaka, also Thames, Paeroa, and Waihi and many more. It’s still strong in our imagination as The Luminaries showed so clearly. There’s also a whole heap of New Zealand ghost towns from dead coal mining around Huntly and Meremere, and those barely clinging to existence in Ohai and Nighcaps and Kaitangata.

Mining and petroleum is one of our highest productivity sectors. Way back in 2011 it was calculated at a figure of $330 per hour worked addition to GDP, making it our highest productivity sector on that metric.

On the other hand there’s the Pike River Memorial, dedicated to the 29 miners who were killed in a single mining incident very close to Blackball itself.  It is also not for anyone except the super-rich to try at any scale. Todd Energy have poured in over a hundred million dollars into dry spudded wells in Taranaki: zip return.

But a Class A miner in New Zealand can easily command $150,000, and are always in hot demand for mines in Australia. A dozen of those salaries in a town like Westport or Reefton would do at least as much social and economic good as a new backpackers dedicated to ferrying hikers to the Paparoa Track. Get a few mines going and we’d need a strong School of Mines again, generating our own pipeline for skilled trades earning very, very big.

We don’t have the refineries that could make higher value minerals our of raw ore – other than the old Glenbrook mill (which no longer takes ironsand), and Tiwai Point (which doesn’t use mined product from New Zealand at all). But if there were sufficient sustained development, it might become worth it again as it has before.

The previous Labour-Green government were not supportive of mining. Late in 2023 they stopped any requirement for the state to promote mineral extraction. They passed the Crown Minerals (Petroleum) Amendment Act 2018 which banned al new oil and gas exploration in the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone. Three onshore exploration permits were granted, with just one going forward to a petroleum mining permit. 

The real test for Jones and this government will be if they propose mining on conservation land

New Zealanders have consistently marched against such a move in their tens of thousands, including myself, and I would happily do it again. 

I suspect Jones has found a lucky streak of timing, and he will continue the march toward re-investing in regions that he started with the Provincial Growth Fund. His strategy is likely to play a lot better in the South island than the north. 

As seen in the hikoi to parliament two weeks ago, a fast tracked mine would be vigorously opposed by Maori on the streets.

If he tried that Blackball speech in Mangonui or Kerikeri his own iwi would be out there telling him how they felt. Same in Taranaki against seabed mining. Who knows maybe the Puhipuhi gold prospect north of Whengarei will get back into frame again.

But for the South Island, on the assumption that he leaves the DoC estate alone, Shane Jones appears to be on a winner. Just maybe Shane Jones is partially right.

36 comments on “Is Shane Jones Right About Mining? ”

  1. Obtrectator 1

    I have to agree that it's daft to oppose all mining simply because it's mining. Some extractive activity will always be necessary. Just as long as the extractors clean up after themselves both during and after their operations, an obligation that has far too often been neglected in the past, and still is today.

    That's very interesting about the proposed antimony (not "antinomy") mine at Reefton. A deposit of possibly global significance right here in little ol' NZ. Remarkable irony, too, that antimony is an important component in both the historical technology of printing (its alloys make the best-quality moveable type), and now, it seems, in electronics and computer memories.

    • thinker 1.1

      Think about the issue not so much about the mining, but about conservation land.

      What is the point of having conservation land, if you are going to mine it?

      I don't like like all the current downplaying of 'colonialism' per se because there is a lot of legacy from colonialism that we wouldn't want to do away with, even if we take it for granted – medicine, travel, education, for example.

      But, there were many bad things about colonialism that are probably the reason we use the term negatively. Power-mongering, exploitation of indigenous rights are but two.

      Another major one is the systemic exploitation of natural resources. Once it was realised that the world is a finite place, it led to a race, if you like, to build empires and systematically exploit natural resources for building fortunes for the wealthy.

      The worst of the exploited resources are harmful to the environment.

      It seems to me that one common theme about resource exploitation is the exploitation of people at the pointy-end of the process. Films like "Blood Diamond" shows the exploitation of ordinary Africans in diamond-mining. New Zealand's several major coal mining disasters, Pike River happening in our own lifetimes, is another example of people taking huge risks for a small share of the value of the resource being mined.

      It also seems to me that, in a world preparing for a cyber-revolution, and rethinking the selfish exploitation of the environment we must leave for our descendants, we now have a government prepared to not only take us back several generations, but to expose us all to the exploitation of 'us'.

      • Simbit 1.1.1

        Wee refresher on colonization: Indigenous Peoples didn't need to be colonized to acquire European innovations. Could've traded on a nation to nation basis (which was happening and was subsequently promised in treaties).

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1.1

          Yes thats right. However capital to use to use innovations and the markets for the end product usually followed the colonesians

    • georgecom 1.2

      some mining yes, mining like coal no. coal has no future and locking in a 10-30 year horizon is no sensical when we need to be carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest. Jones needs to be way more nuanced rather than some crude blustering about mining in total.

  2. Incognito 2

    Mineral mining may not be as black & white but it remains a double-edged sword with (too many?) major pros & cons.

    As always, blind bias and prejudice make for polarising conversations.

    It [antimony] was also used in the military for lead bullets and armour.

    […]

    We are ethical operators, we've run mines before, we do everything right.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/516115/reefton-could-hold-5-percent-of-world-s-supply-of-antimony

    There would also be strict health and safety rules for workers during the mining process, as antimony was highly toxic, he [University of Otago emeritus professor of economic geology Dave Craw] said.

    No wonder that some mining jobs pay premium – would you like to mine for asbestos too?

  3. As the daughter of a miner who worked in the Benneydale coalmine, I am Labour and I do not cringe Ad.

    The big money made by mines seldom trickled down to those working there. Health issues hard grinding shift work made many old before their time.

    The degradation of the environment, the fear of collapse, and the fear of the Mine siren is well remembered, though I was 13 when we left. Even in modern times this is many people's lives. Those who mine and mine owners do not live in those communities by choice. Fly in Fly out more the case.

    The safety failures, the narrow criteria applied to injury left many miners semi crippled with no pension or compensation.

    Modern mining uses mega machines and waste dams, Mining is a dirty activity, and mine owners seldom fix their mess. The trucking involved would be horrendous, unless we build a port for direct shipping, or admit Rail does have a role.

    As for Freddy Frog and Mother Earth, there well may be room for both Conservation Estate and Mining, but Waihi has reached the point of mining below the town as well as creating a huge crater.

    We need to decide, “When is enough enough?” Never for some people

    • Hunter Thompson II 3.1

      " … mine owners seldom fix their mess."

      Too right; it cost the taxpayer $22 million to clean up toxic waste from the Tui mine at Te Aroha.

      Even if a mine does provide jobs it is only for the short term. Mind you, that's all Shane Jones is concerned about.

    • Gareth Wilson 3.2

      Where would you prefer the metals in the machine you're reading this with to be mined?

      • Ad 3.2.1

        Would be weird imagining life without the mined elements required for cellphones, computer hard drives, electric and hybrid vehicles, flat-screen monitors and televisions, spindle motors and voice coils on desktop computers, electronic displays, lasers, radar and sonar.

        Apple are making the effort to go 100% recyclable in some elements. But for electric car makers, Republic of Congo is the primary source and that's the environmental standard for mining we accept when we buy one. Mining here helps us roll back the worst vulnerabilities of globalisation.

        Speaking of which, in July Labour's regulations will kick in that require that all fuel companies keep a full month stored here. Which is a start.

  4. Darien Fenton 4

    I am sickened by Shane Jone's deliberate attempt to undermine Labour History by launching this at Blackball. He couldn't even take a moment to visit the Wheel of Remembrance for the 29 Pike River Miners, still lying in the mine. I heard that bosses gave workers the day off to attend the meeting – don't know from which mines, because there are none in Blackball any more – and I bet if it had been a union meeting, they would have been denied. I visited Blackball on many occasions particularly when the Wheel was unveiled and when Sue Moroney launched her meals and rest breaks Members Bill which eventually became law under Labour. I met many locals, in the pub, at the famous Miners Hall, at the working men's club and at the Blackball Hilton. Not many of them looked like the pics in Shane Jones's pics, who all looked like bosses to me – apart from one old bloke from the United Mine Workers Union – you know that union, eventually smashed through the Nats Employment Contracts Act? And where was the local MP Maureen Pugh?

    • Basileus Dolomedes III 4.1

      Going to Blackball was a smart move by Jones, accepting the opportunity offered by Labour's mutation into a woke identity-focused party of the PMC.

      [Fix the typo in your user name in your next comment – Incognito]

    • Tiger Mountain 4.2

      Well put Darien. There is no excuse for Mr Jones. He has become the worst type of right opportunist.

  5. Incognito 5

    From the TS Media section: https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2405/S00121/ours-not-mines-blasts-draft-minerals-plan-saying-it-highlights-the-current-government-lacks-economic-understanding.htm

    “It is completely baffling that if the government truly believed minerals were the way to make New Zealand prosperous, why are they happy for 97.9% of the money to disappear off shore? Why not look at putting a real royalty on our minerals? Has the minister already promised his mining mates the royalties will stay low?”

    As usual, the international corporate offices are laughing all the way to the bank, also owned overseas, because of the gullibility, naivety, and the ease by which some people in NZ are all too happy to sell ‘their’ family silver (grandma included) for a few ‘blankets & muskets’. Oh, the irony!

  6. Maurice 6

    Shane Jones' position is largely a predictable back-lash to years of 'green' sanctimony where the use of the products of "extractive" industries is perfectly OK …. as long as it is not happening here and we can be smugly "clean and green". To keep the electric transition going ALL these elements are required and that means 'extracting' them from somewhere. At least we do not have child slave labour scheduled for use in our mines …

  7. bwaghorn 7

    Wonder if jones had a carpet bag in his carry on , an electorate seat for ghe next leader of nzf?

  8. Mike the Lefty 8

    Shane Jones promising riches to be made for everyone and that the mining companies will support the community.

    Except he didn't add that most of the workers will come from overseas because they are cheaper and that most of the profits will go that way too.

    Jones wallows in the irony that he puts on his wizard act in the historical heart of unionised New Zealand but that he and the government will make damned sure that the unions will be shut out completely.

    • Ad 8.2

      Like teachers, surgeons, police, soldiers, engineers, and nurses, it's better to train up the workers here. Until we do, we have to import pretty much everyone. The A Grade tunnellers can be attracted to stay if New Zealand companies pay reasonably and provide the consistent pipeline of work. It has been done and it can be done.

  9. AB 9

    As usual, the only things that matter are sustainability and ownership.

    Sustainability means the extraction and use of minerals etc. is carbon net-zero and has no/minimal effect on biodiversity. That pretty much rules out coal, but will allow other things to be mined.

    Ownership means that everything under the ground is a free gift of nature and belongs equally to everyone. Any benefits/profits that come from its extraction after workers have been paid for their labour, must flow to all citizens.

    Nothing that Shane Jones says suggests to me that either of those conditions will be met.

  10. KJT 10

    Thames, Paeroa, and Waihi

    Some of the poorest towns in NZ, after the extractive industries finished with them.

    Leaving a mess to clean up.

    So much so that a previous round of regional economic development, in the 60's and 70's, was needed to rescue them.

    As for the West Coast.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1

      Rogernomics made these towns poor

      Thames and Waihi had government supported industry after the end of mining. From the 1950s-1980s. Railway and vehicle assembly in Thames and TV plant in Waihi( building still there). Tariffs and government policy for full employment meant local industry was distributed to where the people lived.

      West coast coal mines were very active up till the 1970s this is Greymouth wharf colliers 1950s

      • alwyn 10.1.1

        Those were the days.

        We had a TV assembly plant in Waihi. Our own TVs built in New Zealand. What could be better? Well in 1975 a 26 inch TV cost about $840. Converting that with the RBNZ inflation calculator gives us a figure of about $9,900 today. It was about 9 weeks of the average weekly wage at the time.

        We can't get TVs that small today I'm afraid, or at least they aren't readily available. At Noel Leeming at the moment you can get a 32 inch one for about $335. That is a 30th of the real price in 1975. It's not built here of course but do you really want to go back to the dark ages of self reliance for everything?

        • Drowsy M. Kram 10.1.1.1

          … but do you really want to go back to the dark ages of self reliance for everything?

          Oh alwyn, you write as if we had a choice. We are each a part of many systems.

          The new age of illusion – Climate Change, Overshoot, and the Future of Civilization [1 May 2024; PDF]
          Overshoot is a terminal condition.

          Too Clever by Half, but Not Nearly Smart Enough
          Do we modern humans, unlike all subsystems of Gaia, get to choose our future? Over 8 modern humans believe they can (ask them).

          My point in all of this?
          “The higher and faster you grow, the further and faster you fall, when you’re building up capital stock in a nonrenewable resource. In the face of exponential growth of extraction or use, a doubling or quadrupling of the nonrenewable resource give little added time to develop alternatives…. The real choice in the management of a nonrenewable resource is whether to get rich very fast or to get less rich but stay that way longer.”

        • Patricia Bremner 10.1.1.2

          Alwyn. those TVs had materials that affected people. Cancers were common

        • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1.1.3

          All electronics have fallen in price since then not just ones 'assembled in NZ' under the import licensing system. So your comparison is grossly misleading

          My first home desktop computer was $990 in 1998- a very basic system even then. It was fully imported .

          Full employment ( they meant it to mean very little unemployment too) and the limits of foreign exchange earnings we had were combined to produce work in local factories from shoes, clothing, whiteware , building supplies, furniture , car assembly, home electrical goods.

          Australia also had protection of local manufacturing so it wasnt just NZ.

          A major reason was export earnings wouldnt cover the cost of imports so that parts and materials were imported instead which were made up to the final product here. The factories were spread around too. I would go to school past a new biscuit factory in Aucklands then outer suburbs, near the source of labour. A student job during university was another suburban factory making dried soup and similar ingredients

          • Belladonna 10.1.1.3.1

            A major reason was export earnings wouldnt cover the cost of imports so that parts and materials were imported instead which were made up to the final product here.

            So what changed by the 80's when the removal of import tariffs killed off the local manufacturing industry?

            Had we just got better at exports?

            And, while I agree that the OP example wasn't an apples with apples comparison – comparing the prices pre- and post-tariff removal – certainly illustrated that we were paying a premium for 'home manufactured'

            Note – at least in the automotive industry – we weren't importing from countries with low-cost labour – these were imports from Japan, the US and Australia.

        • KJT 10.1.1.4

          TV prices would have dropped as technology improved, wherever they were made, so prices then and now is not a valid comparison.

          Even now there are technologically efficient NZ designers and manufacturers successfully competing world wide.

          Now, NZ below median wage earners can afford TV's, but not food!

  11. Jeff 11

    Mining, if the profits are nationalised and used to help tackle poverty as well as initiatives to offset the carbon impact could be great for the country. That is the real legacy of the mining labour unions (also look at countries like Norway and their natural resources.)

    Except the NACTNZ coalition isn't interested in that. 98% of profits will go offshore (maybe the remaining 2% will go into Shane Jones's pocket) and it will negatively both the environment and NZs environmental brand. How is that good for NZ?

  12. John 12

    Of course Shane Jones is right the evidence is there for all to see.Unfortunately many base their opinion on emotional rubbish as a ploy to garner votes.

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    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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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, ...
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Minister celebrates students’ space success
    Space Minister Judith Collins is applauding students from Canterbury University’s Aerospace Club on their success at the world’s largest inter-collegiate rocket engineering competition, the Spaceport America Cup. “More than 120 teams from 20 countries participated in Spaceport America Cup, with the team from Canterbury University winning in their ‘30,000 Foot’ ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Address – Commemoration of the 74th Anniversary of the Commencement of the Korean War
    Tena koutou.Ki nga kaumatua,Ki nga whanau,Ka maumahara tonu tatou ki a ratou. Greetings.To the elders,To the families,We will remember them. Firstly, a special welcome to all the veterans here this morning and their families.  I want to acknowledge the veterans who are marking this day but cannot be with us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New WorkSafe board appointments to address a history of poor financial management
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden says three appointments to the WorkSafe board have been made to strengthen the organisation, ensuring it has the skills and expertise it needs to carry out its functions.  “WorkSafe has faced a number of recent challenges, including accumulating an almost $18 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Next phase of the Royal Commission into COVID-19
    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says this coalition Government is delivering on our commitment to expand the terms of reference for the independent Royal Commission into COVID-19 Lessons Learned. “There will be a second phase to the Royal Commission which features new commissioners and an expanded terms of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government introduces Three Strikes Bill
    The Government has introduced a Bill today to restore the Three Strikes sentencing law, Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee says. “New Zealanders are rightly concerned about violent crime. We are delivering on our commitment to introduce a revised Three Strikes law as one of our key law and order priorities.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New support for agricultural emissions reduction
    The Government and the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) are together committing an additional $8 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government actions strengthening Māori success
    Tākina Puanga. Ko Puanga kei runga. Ko Puanga e Rangi. Tākina mai te ara o Puanga nui o te rangi. Tākina ngā pou o te tau. Ki te whai ao ki te ao marama. Puanga or Rigel celebrations reflect a renewed energy across our communities – to acknowledge those who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    2 days ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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