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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    4 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    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
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week 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
    5 hours 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
    5 hours 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
    7 hours 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
    9 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    11 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    1 week ago
  • 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
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
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