It’s time to reform Fonterra

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, March 25th, 2016 - 49 comments
Categories: Economy, Environment, exports, farming, farming - Tags:

At the formation of Fonterra in 2001 it was thought New Zealand could essentially monopolize the world price of milk. From here, OMG, and what folly that appears now. Now, it is New Zealand’s largest economic liability, apart from real estate. Why hasn’t Fonterra worked?

The NZ Herald generated some thoughts last year from Tony Baldwin, leader of the government’s group that help change the whole industry.

You don’t have to agree with everything he said. I don’t agree that Fonterra should revert to bulk commodities at all, for example. But he made some good points.

Waikato Professor of Agribusiness Jacqueline Rowarth discussed the subject recently again in the Herald.

She understands the folly of Fonterra continuing in a race to the bottom of production, where its brands do not promote the values of our comparative advantage to other dairy producer nations, such as higher animal welfare, higher environmental regulation, extensive pastoral production, massive national branding strength, and more efficient production. That is to say, it does not advance the interests of New Zealand. It is not even close to generating strong competitive advantage.

It’s time the collective opposition stated that it will hold Fonterra to account as a core economic priority. Fonterra holds more power over our economy than Telecom did before it was forcibly split up by Labour’s 1999 government. It is a commercial entity formed by legislation and should therefore be regularly held to account by Parliament, and isn’t. No regulator currently touches it.

In the last two months, prior to its financial result a few days ago, its leadership faced up the the media a total of zero times.

Our regional economies and our regional environments are so vulnerable to Fonterra that it must be regulated. Even our current Prime Minister can see straight through their corporate lies to their suppliers.

Maybe it’s time for a Minister to sit on its board. Maybe a national water price regulator would help. Whatever. Apart from banks, Fonterra is our only economic Too Big To Fail. The Opposition must plan to pay as much policy and executive attention to Fonterra as it does to banking and real estate. Fonterra is New Zealand’s Nokia.

We are all too vulnerable to Fonterra for government to stay neutral to it.

49 comments on “It’s time to reform Fonterra”

  1. Saarbo 1

    That Tony Baldwin is a free market ideologue, …surprised to see you promoting his views against a farmer owned co op. Fonterra may have some issues at the moment but for fucks sake don’t look to Tony Baldwin for solutions…he’s the sort of arsehole who would suggest that farmers own the commodity side of the business and Fonterra should float of the Branded side on to the New York stock exchange (Actually that idea was promoted by Matthew Hooten on Nine to Noon on Monday)

    • Ad 1.1

      I dismissed quoting Oram because he’s so well known to readers here. I like an oppositional framing – good for dialectic.

      Plenty of other Fonterra critiques around, and they’ll get stronger.

    • Henry Filth 1.2

      I thought they’d already flogged off the “Anchor” brand in various parts of the world.

      But the trouble is that New Zealand has no products. French cheese-brie. Italian cheese-parmesan. British cheese-cheddar. New Zealand cheese????

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        /shrug

        Cheeses are the result of the mould used to create them. How many cheese moulds are unique to NZ?

        I figure the best we can do, as far as cheese goes, is say that it’s grown in NZ.

  2. RedLogix 2

    In my experience successful enterprises, regardless of whether they are public, private or any structure whatsoever, push operational decision-making down to the lowest level possible in the organisation, while ensuring the role of management is to provide communication and strategic coherence.

    Invariably it is the people doing a job who know how to do it best. I’ve encountered this so often, plant operators while they may lack a degree or be able to fully express an issue in the right jargon, almost always have a more intimate sense of what is right than I do. I make it a rule to listen to them, even if it seems wrong at first. Then I try to figure out what I need to do to help them get the result they already know they need in the larger context of everything else going on.

    Writ on a larger scale this is the correct role of management; acting as a conduit for operational knowledge and harnessing the collective power of the enterprise.

    Emphatically Spierings is taking Fonterra down a different, confrontational, top-down model which will only further damage the industry.

    • Ad 2.1

      I noted your comments on Open Mike re hollowed structures with a chill.

    • lprent 2.2

      The first rule of management is that their role is to be slaves to the people actually doing the work – from the drivers through the techs to the sales and marketing. Management are there to facilitate those people in becoming more productive and effective.

      As an overhead cost, that is managements only effective contribution towards productivity.

      Unfortunately often management get a tin God mentality.

      Incidentally this was the reason I dropped out of management and into programming in my late 20s. Rather than spending a lot of time, worry, and effort in 5 minute time slices trying to get others to be more effective, I found I just liked doing the actual work myself. It was a lot more fun.

      • Macro 2.2.1

        Exactly – but you try telling that to the young managers of today, and they will never believe you! 🙂

        • lprent 2.2.1.1

          I have been known to point it out..

          But fortunately with the slow demise of middle management through technology, it does appear to have gotten a lot more traction in the last decade.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Thank you for explaining why management should be getting lower pay than the workers.

  3. millsy 3

    Stop me if I am wrong, but all these problems seem to stem from when Fonterra listed on the stock exchange.

    It may have been a rather convoluted listing without it being a listing, but as Fonterra directors are now bound by insider trading laws, it is most definetely a listing.

    Genuninely cooperative Tatua and Westland seem to still be doing alright.

    • nadis 3.1

      Fonterra’s problems have existed from way before the listing – note its not a full listing – the normal shareholder rights still reside with the farmer shareholders. The listed fonterra shares are kind of irrelevant to the actual management and capital structure of the company.

      Fonterra’s problem is cultural one. It is an engineering and logistics company. Give them a problem like “increase production of milk powder and reduce costs” and they’ll do that better than anyone in the world. But charge them with growing a consumer brand and they’ll spend $100 million on the task, fail and then write off the investment. I think the cultural bias extends right back to farmers who think only in terms of milk production and input costs (rational as they are the only things they can control), and then management who have always been able to be successful enough through selling bulk commodities.

      But that game is over – traditionally NZ accounted for something like 30-40% of global dairy trade but around 1% of global production. Now with other countries starting to export Fonterra is no longer a whale in the export world.

      The smaller dairy companies have been successful (imo) because they have been unable to rely on a dominant position in exporting bulk commodities. Rather they have had to build added value brands to make money.

      If there is any kind of split that makes sense for fonterra it is in to a bulk business and a brands business. Problem for current management though is that this would advertise their failure as the current brands business would look like a joke.

      • David 3.1.1

        For a brand on the scale of Fonterra you need billions, not a hundred million. The smaller players have been successful because they are operating on a very small scale and their farmers have been committed to the longer term rather than just the upcoming payout.

        Splitting Fonterra is a logical step, but brands are not something Fonterra has succeed at, so I can’t see them improving that short term.

      • millsy 3.1.2

        A listing is a listing is a listing.

        As I said, the directors are now bound by NZX rules and insider trading laws. That makes them a listed company, and not a co-operative.

  4. Time to reform Fonterra? Sure – all you need to do is buy a dairy farm, join the cooperative and then try and persuade other members of the cooperative that reform is necessary. Let us know how you get on.

  5. Bill 5

    Maybe if Fonterra had been a genuine cooperative at the outset; one that gave farmers genuine agency, as opposed to the typically rigid, short sighted, top down corporate model that it is…

    Anyway. That as it may be…getting out of the hole might not be an option now. I note the post reports Jacqueline Rowarth as suggesting things like “higher animal welfare, higher environmental regulation”.

    And that’s all good, but then I think TTPA.

    Put simply. Better welfare or enlightened regulation etc – costs. And under a TTPA, with no tariffs to equal things out, foreign suppliers who don’t hold to the same standards will be able to offer cheaper products. That in turn will lead the domestic regulated industry (whichever industry it may be) to lobby for a relaxation of standards in order that they can compete on a level playing field. (The argument being that the will ‘go under’ otherwise)

    • Murray Simmonds 5.1

      Not dead, Draco T. But I wouldn’t mind betting that is being set up for an offshore corporate takeover.

      Just a guess.

  6. Gristle 6

    Fonterra’s fundimental problem is that the international export market accounts for 9% of internationalproduction and Fonterra’s share is 25% of that export market. So NZ’s exported dairy product is around 2.5% of the world’s production. Increasing world production by 2% matches the entire Fonterra export quantities.

    So whenever there is an increase in demand in the export market that drives up prices will see the rest of the world’s dairy production capability ramp up and the price will drop. There will be a continual Vulnerabilty wherever you base your products in the commodity end of the market and where competing production can easily be scaled up to meet increases in demand. When you have feed lot cows producing milk, adding an extra 10% in herd size doesn’t see much on farm investment required as it is bringing feed into the feed lot all the time already.US Feed lot cows are treated as machines and produce maybe 50% more milk that NZ cows. They are milked hard and culled out of the herd in half the time a NZ field based cow. Guess which type of system is more scalable more quickly. So New Zealand turning every bit of soil into a dairy farm is not the solution when the answer is exporting commodities.

    Fonterra’s profitability is dependent on sourcing material cheaply and processing it. As such it is happy to have low prices at the farm gate: $400m profit cannot be wrong. And as such sets up conflict with its farmer owners.

    Being a commodity supplier increases Fonterra’s risk in the future as there is a high probability that synthetic milk will produced from yeast. Milk powder is milk powder, right. So where is the value of organic, or grass feed, or cow produced if all you do is take all the water out of it as send it to a food manufacturing factory to turn it into bread or Coke or whatever.

    Fonterra setting up farms overseas to supply export markets is just compounding the problem. Increasing production into a volume sensitive environment is crazy unless this production offers some unique advantages, eg counter cyclical, removing trade barriers.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      So New Zealand turning every bit of soil into a dairy farm is not the solution when the answer is exporting commodities.

      Actually, simply exporting commodities isn’t the answer. Samsung, with about the same number of employees as Fonterra, produces about 25% of our GDP.

      Fonterra is proof that we’re doing it wrong.

  7. Fustercluck 7

    Danone makes several times the amount of profit per kg of milk solids than Fonterra.

    Finished, value-added products with brands and product names owned by the milk processor are the only way to make money in the dairy sector. The commodity approach was and is guaranteed to fail.

    Investing in overseas farms that compete with NZ farmers and drive down commodity prices was also a puzzling move.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      The farming sector in this country can only be bitterly disappointed in the performance of it’s industry leaders on so many fronts. This is just the latest.

      But until a majority of farmers wake up, understand they’ve been duped and dumped by the elite capitalists like everyone else … nothing much will change.

      • weka 7.1.1

        High stakes gambling. There must be a lot of denial going on about the people who lose.

      • Gristle 7.1.2

        Hate to say it but most farmers had and continue to have a low level of education. At a stage where you need a degree to get an entry level job how is it that it’s appropriate to base the future of the country, and multimillion dollar businesses on somebody who didn’t like maths science and English. You see a farmer in trouble and more than likely they compensate by doing more tractor work- iron disease.

        Don’t give me anecdotal evidence on how you are or know someone who left school at the age of 9 and now has 5 farms. I’ve got an inlaw just like that. He has 15 farms and does all his paperwork at the kitchen table (just like Crayfor). He also has no succession plan.

        There are some who are absolute guns, but there is very little opportunity to replicate there knowledge/experience elsewhere whilst the owner -operator model dominates. I am reluctant to endorse corporate farming. Hybrid models may be the answer.

        But this is all at the front end of a chain that likes commodities over value add and relies on a benign climate when this advantage is changing.

        • RedLogix 7.1.2.1

          Totally agree with your comment on the absolute guns. Whether it’s conventional or non-conventional ideas they are implementing, there are some operators who are absolute role models.

          Some are remarkably deep green guardians of the land, but for too many heavy levels of debt force them into unsustainable practices which ultimately degrade their businesses and their own health. More than a few men have been broken this way.

          As you suggested, education has to be the key. While it’s true many farmers may lack paper qualifications, most are no fools. Farming is not an easy business, it’s damned hard work and one wrong decision at the wrong time can bugger a whole season or more. So it’s not surprising many of them become very risk averse and in the absence of better information will stick to what’s worked for them in the past. But the key to change is showing them new ideas that are working.

          While most will have an informal bunch of mates in the district they’ll talk with and help each other out, my impression is too often these small networks also reinforce conservatism rather than promote change. Field days have often been a good thing, but perhaps too captured by commercial interests. Industry groups have been too often crippled by in-fighting between conflicting interests.

          We used to have a strong MAF that heavily invested in best-practice on the ground; I’m not so sure how much of this remains after decades of neo-liberal slash and burn. But ultimately sustainable agriculture is one of the core and vital responsibilities of government we ignore at great risk.

    • David 7.2

      Fonterra doesn’t have the capital needed to create brands on the scale it needs for the whole milk supply, on top of which, it sets itself up in direct competition with all its current major customers.

  8. cowboy 8

    Its important that farmers don’t get duped into throwing the baby out with the bathwater re Fonterra. They will realise becoming price takers at the end of the supply chain at the behest of foreign corporates is an incredibly dangerous place to be. Fonterra may not be perfect but at least they have the ability to evolve it in their own interests.

    While I agree Fonterra has not progressed the value add part of their business as fast as it should have, I didn’t hear those howls of criticisms a couple of years back when the payout was $8.40kg. The current collapse in commodity prices is a huge wake up for all concerned.

    Its timely the DIRA legislation gets reviewed as the mandatory requirement to take new milk, and supply a certain amount to the competition to effectively subsidise their establishment, has run its course.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      I didn’t hear those howls of criticisms a couple of years back when the payout was $8.40kg.

      Actually, there’s been huge amounts of criticism on here for years regarding Fonterra’s (and NZ’s) lack of diversification. And warnings about what was going to happen because of it.

  9. gsays 9

    while this may not be exactley along reform lines, i suggest this:

    massively cut the pay of the knobs up top.

    whoever came up with the idea that fonterra would treat their contractors as a bank (60 day extension of payment terms), and while they are at it give us a 20% discount needs an uppercut.
    they should be shown the door and every other executive that went along with it.
    apparently the high salaries are needed coz they attract quality workers….

    value added, value added, value added.

    go organic.
    i think it was on the standard i read the bog standard milk powder price was nz$2800 per tonne compared to organic milk powder @nz$14,600.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Apart from banks, Fonterra is our only economic Too Big To Fail.

    If anything in the economy id too big to fail then there’s only three options:

    1. Break it up so that’s no longer ‘big’
    2. Regulate it so that the government has a say in it’s running and a payout of it’s dividend
    3. Nationalise it into a state monopoly

    Fonterra is New Zealand’s Nokia.

    No it’s not although it probably likes to think it is. If anything, it’s what’s holding us back from developing our economy properly.

    What we’ve been doing over the years is focussing too much upon the stuff that’s easy to do rather than pushing on the stuff that’s actually a challenge. The reason for this reticence seems to be that out ‘leaders’ are focussed upon the costs and ignore the benefits.

    We need to reach further if we want to succeed rather than doing the same stuff over and over again hoping that we’ll all suddenly get rich. We need to look at the hard to do and say: This is going to be fun. Because it will be. Doing the easy stuff is boring, mundane.

    And now you know why the best and brightest of us leave – they’re bored and to do anything interesting requires leaving.

    • Macro 10.1

      “What we’ve been doing over the years is focussing too much upon the stuff that’s easy to do rather than pushing on the stuff that’s actually a challenge. The reason for this reticence seems to be that out ‘leaders’ are focussed upon the costs and ignore the benefits.”

      QFT

    • Hammerman 10.2

      3 very poorly thought out suggestions.

      Break it up – so we end up cannibalising each other in the overseas marketplace?
      Regulate it – because the government are really good at running businesses?
      Nationalise it – because that’s worked so well in the past.

      As a dairy farmer, supplier and shareholder of Fonterra – I look forward to you buying a dairy farm which will give you the ability to raise your 3 suggestions for a shareholder vote at this years AGM. I’m sure you’ll get 75% of milk solids to support your remit.

      Ultimately, it works like this. Me and 10,499 other farm owners will run our co-op in our interest. So you can either buy a farm and join us or move on. Fortress Fonterra is my co-op, not yours.

      • Ad 10.2.1

        Definitely agree that the shareholders are the key. But the effect of Fonterra on New Zealand is also bigger than shareholders – it’s the largest international corporate we have.

        It’s made its on-farm shareholders far too vulnerable. To banks, to their ability to respond to market signals, to succession and leadership planning. And yet Fonterra can’t return enough to make a profit that rewards the life.

        It’s shown too little capacity to stop mistakes, of a magnitude that damages the whole country. It’s bigger than its shareholders by a long way.

        We can wait for shareholder activism to work. It almpst never works.

        Nokia is the right comparison because it’s had to completely redirect its business model to survive. And so does Fonterra.

        • Hammerman 10.2.1.1

          Couldn’t disagree more.

          I’m less vulnerable with Fonterra then without it. Fonterra have delivered to dairy farmers over the long term. They’ve underpinned my farm value as a co-op member, the introduction of gDT has normalised NZ’s milk price with the rest of the world, and my ability to own and profit from the manufacturing asset beyond my farm gate is key to diversifying my farming portfolio and hedge my risks.

          This years milk price shouldn’t be a catalyst for change. FYI – I have farming interests in the UK and we’re getting 17 ppl from Arla for our milk over there. Convert that to solids and NZD and you get $3.96 so my $4.30 from Fonterra isn’t too bad after all. If Fonterra were behind internationally, then we’d be concerned.

          Our farm does 182,000 solids and Fonterra shares are about $6 each. I’ve got skin in the game, so my say counts. Until you get a tanker roll up your drive, and you make an equivalent investment like I have in Fonterra shares, you’re opinion is irrelevant. That’s the beauty of a co-op after all. It’s run for the benefit of its members only.

          • Cowboy 10.2.1.1.1

            Dairy farmers need look no further than the meat industry to see what a disparate beyond the farmgate model delivers.

          • Ad 10.2.1.1.2

            I’m not proposing ‘doing away with Fonterra’. Silly straw-man argument.

            My opinion matters because I’m a New Zealander and it’s the largest NZ business. It affects our entire economy.

            As for milk price (per kg ms) it was last under $4 in 2006. The next year it went to $7.5. Next year just over $4.5. By 2011 back to $7.5. 2014 around $8.3. You know where it is now.

            Congrats if you can plan on that. You’re a walking talking miracle too arrogant to admit improvement needed in Fonterra.

            BTW do you know how many Waikato dairy owner suicides there have been this year? I do.

            Do you know the % of forced sales ANZ is planning in mid-Canterbury this calendar year? I do.

            You could do with some of the cocky taken out of you.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.2.2

        Break it up – so we end up cannibalising each other in the overseas marketplace?

        That’s what competition is all about.

        Regulate it – because the government are really good at running businesses?

        Well, generally speaking, they’re better at it than the private sector.

        Nationalise it – because that’s worked so well in the past.

        Yeah, it did. The problems we’ve got now are because of privatisation.

        Ultimately, it works like this. Me and 10,499 other farm owners will run our co-op in our interest.

        Great, we’ll leave you guys to it. Don’t come to us next time there’s a drought, storm, long winter or any of the other myriad things that you usually come demanding the government (us) bail you out for.

      • Gristle 10.2.3

        The 3 solutions offered by DTB are not exhaustive and effectively represent non-solutions.

        Fonterra needs to be reconceptualised as an entity that delivers a premium range of products.

        And for farmers being suppliers of premium inputs will mean:
        1. A focus on environmental management that sees improved water quality
        2. Ethical treatment of animals. Tail breaking, Bobby calves, slinks, culling, lameness all need to be sorted out.
        3. Staff welfare is an issue. Look at the hours and lack of breaks, the drug and alcohol usage, the accident and death rates, as well as the low real pay rates.
        4. Resource consumption needs to be managed. A dairy farm can go through 80,000 litres per milk. A milking cow requires about 110 litres per day, so that’s another 80,000 litres. A quarter of a million litres per day per dairy farm is about the same as 250 homes. If you require irrigation then the water usage doubles.
        Over allocation of water resources has already occurred.
        5. Cows have to be pasture based eating mainly grass.

        Imagine a picture of Heidi in a meadow with a few cows. That’s what consumers want their dairy product to come from.

        I am a farmer but accept that as a consumer of a vast number of free high quality inputs that the NZ society can demand things of me, such as exceptional production values.

      • millsy 10.2.4

        You guys dont run the co-op anymore.

        Not since the backdoor NZX listing.

  11. Tautuhi 11

    Executives are very well paid at Fonterra, probably got their bonuses as well this year?

  12. saveNZ 12

    Personally feel the co operative model is working well, it is just the lack of talent and self indulgent agenda in the management side of Fonterra that is causing the down turn. They are getting too much corporate welfare from the government in water subsidies and lazy immigration etc. If they had to plan for less water, paying market rates for labour and a more sustainable future which is the likely to be needed in the future then they would have put research into water saving ideas and sustainable ventures.

    Fonterra executives are paid too much and produce more spin than long term results. They should not earn more than 1 million including bonuses. The bonuses should be pegged to a 10 year return not each quarter or year which incentivises executives to cut costs and investment to show better books. They should also no received bonuses if they have laid off workers.

    • Ad 12.1

      They’ve sacked their Head Office in droves this year to bring their exec overhead down.

      I haven’t heard anyone propose unwinding the entire coop structure.

      • sabine 12.1.1

        nope Ad, they sacked the workers and paid themselves a raise.

        from September 24 2015
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/agribusiness/72361647/Fonterra-boss-Theo-Spierings-gets-up-to-18-per-cent-pay-rise

        Quote: “Fonterra’s chief executive received a pay rise of up to $770,000 last year, despite struggling milk prices and hundreds of his staff losing their jobs.

        Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings’ salary for the year to July 31 was between $4.93 million and $4.94 million, it was revealed in the company’s annual result on Thursday.

        That’s up to 18 per cent more then what he was paid in the year to July 31, 2014, pushing his hourly take home wage up to $1595.” Quote end.

        but maybe you say, that he has had his salary frozen, cause you know shared pain and all of that …….

        October 1 2015
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/agribusiness/72585204/Fonterra-CEO-Theo-Spierings-salary-freeze-offer-too-late-farmers-say

        Quote” Theo Spierings received an 18 per cent pay rise in the year to July 31, with an hourly take-home pay up to $1595.

        Fonterra boss Theo Spierings’ salary has been frozen at his own request, but he will still qualify for major bonuses on top of his salary.
        Spierings requested the freeze for the 2015-16 year at a meeting of the company’s people, culture and safety committee on September 21.
        That was the same day Fonterra confirmed 230 more jobs were going, adding to the 523 staff made redundant in July.
        Spierings’ total earnings for the year to July 31 were at least $4.93 million, representing a pay rise of about $770,000.
        The freeze will only apply to his base salary and he will still be eligible for short and long-term “incentive” payments.
        Unusually for a major company, the dairy co-operative only publishes Spierings’ total remuneration, without splitting out bonuses from fixed salary.
        It is not uncommon for such bonuses to make up more than half of top executives’ total pay.” Quote end.

        Nope they only kicked out the worker drones, expecting the remaining worker drones to pick up slack and doing two jobs for the wage of one – lest they want to loose their jobs too and face the WINZ created under the current National Governments Lady of Welfare Mismanagement Paula Bennett, share price goes up as labour costs are cut, and large bonuses are paid to those that just unemployed a few hundred people.

        • Ad 12.1.1.1

          Describing those in head office as ‘worker drones’ is neither fair nor true. Far better to show if the total staff overhead has gone up or down.

          And scapegoating the performance of Fonterra onto the CE’s pay is just silly. The problems have been there since 2001, and are not improving.

          • saveNZ 12.1.1.1.1

            Personally feel it is extremely relevant. Fonterra is a co operative. Why should the CEO be earning “at least $4.93 million, representing a pay rise of about $770,000. The freeze will only apply to his base salary and he will still be eligible for for short and long-term “incentive” payments.”, while laying off workers and paying farmers milk payouts below what it costs to produce the milk.

            There is something wrong with a co operative if a few are benefiting from their own decisions while most of the rest of the co operative are much poorer or worse off.

            It’s classic neoliberalism not good for the farmers, not good for the suppliers, not good for the country, but really good for the 0.01% in the co operative who run it (into the ground for everyone else) and then will have a brainiac idea to sell parts of it off and raise more money or cut costs further by laying off more people or getting more corporate welfare, or not guaranteeing to collect the milk.

            Obviously cutting their own wage costs is not in the equation. (P.S Steve Jobs paid himself $1 salary when he took Apple back from bankruptcy. He was not a saint, but he did understand business!)

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    Today is a Member's Day, which should see the final part of the committee stage of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. The big question today is the referendum clause: will it be necessary, or can the bill pass without it? While the majorities for his amendments during the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • There is no ‘gendered brain’
    One of the key arguments used by trans ideologists is that some male-bodied people (ie men) are women because they ‘feel’ they are women.  To make this hocus-pocus sound a bit more credible, some will argue that such men have a ‘female brain’.  But this is thoroughly anti-scientific too. . ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    20 hours ago
  • Canada’s electoral system is broken
    Canadians went to the polls today in parliamentary elections, and appear to have re-elected blackface wearer Justin Trudeau. Unfortunately, they use first-past-the-post, and they've provided a perfect demonstration of how unfair this system is:PartySeats% Seats% VoteLiberal15746.4%33.1%Conservative12135.8%34.4%Bloc Québécois329.5%7.7%New Democratic Party247.1%15.9%Green Party30.9%6.5%Other10.3%2.4% [Results from Elections Canada] Yes, the Liberals got fewer votes ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Measles: the quackery that is homeopathic “vaccination”
    A few days ago, a friend sent me a link to a health-related FB page that had published a post from a homeopathist, offering homeopathic “vaccination”¹ against measles (using something called a “Morbillinum nosode” at a “potency” of 200C, which I’ll explain shortly). I followed the link, left a comment ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 days ago
  • Colombia: 20th anniversary of La Gabarra massacre
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh This year marks the 20th anniversary of the La Gabarra massacre. The community organised an event to remember the most well-known of the horrendous heart-breaking events that befell the communities of this area of the municipality of Tibú: the massacre carried out on August 21st 1999. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • A prediction
    There was another police chase in Christchurch this morning, resulting in a crash which killed one person and injured five more. Because someone died, the chase is being investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority. And based on previous reports by the IPCA, we know how it will go: the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: The Zero Carbon Bill
    Just a month ago we saw the biggest protest in a generation as people marched to demand stronger action on climate change. A core demand of the protesters was to strengthen the Zero Carbon Bill's target to net-zero by 2040. So what is the government's response? Judging by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Zombie ants, updated
    Back in 2010, I wrote about the strange tale of the zombie ants, which do the bidding of their fungal overlords. (They’re not an isolated example; a range of parasites change their hosts’ behaviour. See here and here for example – though as you’ll find, the toxoplasmosis story may be ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 days ago
  • Paying For Our Pakeha “Guilt” And “Privilege”.
    Shouldn't That Be: "Wrong White Crowd"? Rather than apportion guilt, would it not have been wiser for the makers of Land Of The Long White Cloud to accept that the Pakeha of 2019 are not – and never will be – “Europeans”? Just as contemporary Maori are not – and ...
    2 days ago
  • A Bodyguard of Truths.
    One, Two, Many Truths: With the collapse of “actually existing socialism” in 1991, the universities of the West found themselves saddled with a new mission. With their ideological competitors now soundly defeated they were no longer required to demonstrate the superiority of capitalist values. Their job now was to cement ...
    2 days ago
  • A call to unionists
    by the Council of Disobedient Women   We call on the Council of Trade Unions to show some fortitude and take a stand with your sisters. Unionists know that there is a material world, otherwise workers could simply identify out of poverty. They could declare themselves Well Paid. Why stop ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Sophistry and bullshit
    I spent some time reading the Regulatory Impact Statement and Bill of Rights Act advice for the government's odious control order scheme today. I am not impressed with either of them. Starting with the RIS, it is built on some pretty questionable assumptions. For example:Unless individuals have been convicted of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • I’m so fly, I’m #NoFly!
    #NoFly: Walking the talk on climate change, by Shaun Hendy. BWB Texts, 2019. Reviewed by Robert McLachlan In June 2018, Swede Maja Rosén founded We stay on the ground with a pledge not to fly in 2019, and a goal of persuading 100,000 other Swedes to join her. In August, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Punishing the young
    We all know that NZ First is a party of and for old people who hate the young. But they've topped their previous pedophobia with a proposal that all young people be forced to do 100 hours community work:NZ First wants all young people to do 100 hours of community ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Journalism, clickbait, & ideas of classical beauty – but not science
    A couple days ago the NZ Herald published a story with the headline, “Science says Bella Hadid is world’s most beautiful woman“, and followed up with the ridiculous statement that Supermodel Bella Hadid has been declared as the world’s most beautiful woman following a scientific study into what constitutes as ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    3 days ago
  • Is Simon’s Smile Sustainable?
    A Sustainable Proposition: With as much as 18 percent of the electorate declaring itself “undecided” about who to vote for, there is obviously plenty of space for a party like former Green Party member, Vernon Tava's, about-to-be-launched "Sustainable NZ Party" to move into. The most hospitable political territory for such ...
    3 days ago
  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    5 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    6 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    6 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    7 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    1 week ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • More homes where they are needed
    More houses for homeless New Zealanders are being opened today in Tauranga by Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi. Six 2-bedroom quality units are being opened at 878 Cameron Road by Minister Faafoi and Accessible Properties, a local Community Housing Provider (CHP). Accessible Properties now provides more than 1,700 community housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    41 mins ago
  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
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    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
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    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
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    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
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    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
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    7 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
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    7 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
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    7 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
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    7 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
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    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
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    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
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    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
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    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
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    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
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    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
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    1 week ago