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Kapiti Expressway a half billion dollar waste

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, November 1st, 2012 - 64 comments
Categories: transport - Tags:

Campbell Live had a piece on Monday based on a leaked report into the benefit cost ratio of National’s Kapiti Expressway project. Now, in its evidence to the EPA hearings on the project, NZTA has claimed the BCR was 0.93 – ie you only get 93 cents worth of gain for each dollar spent. It turns out that was a massive exaggeration. In reality, we get 20 cents of value for every dollar spent. For $630m, we get $120m of gain. The other $510m, we basically burn. It has all the economic value of paying someone to dig a hole and fill it in again.

We shouldn’t really be surprised by the fact that this project, like the Puhoi to Wellsford Holiday Highway isn’t worthwhile. They basically involve building a new, wider, road alongside the existing road – despite the fact that traffic volumes on the existing road are falling. What will happen? The existing road will be emptied (but still cost to maintain etc) and the new road won’t be used at anything like its design capacity.

Put it in personal terms: say you’re a couple in middle-age. You’ve got a normal house. It was pretty crowded when all the kids lived at home but they’re leaving now. And, so, you decide to build a mansion alongside your existing house. Now, you’ve about three times the housing capacity to rattle around in, less demand in your family unit for housing, and a mountain more debt.

That’s what National is doing with your taxpayer dollars with these ludicrous roading projects – burning half a billion dollars, just for the hell of it.

Now, how many affordable houses could that build?

Think on that the next time National says it can’t afford to do something important for people in need.

64 comments on “Kapiti Expressway a half billion dollar waste”

  1. Steve Wrathall 1

    But the kids aren’t leaving. Number 4,444,444 just arrived

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      But they’re not driving and, in a few years, they won’t be able to.

      • Steve Wrathall 1.1.1

        yeah, like the Club of Rome who said in 1972 that oil would run out by 1992

        • Dv 1.1.1.1

          So Steve Oil won’t run out?

        • Lanthanide 1.1.1.2

          Note that their predictions were made before the massive slump in oil demand in the 70’s and 80’s.

          I’m sure they still underestimated the total flow rates (as did Hubbert) but their analysis is sound: there will be one year where the oil production of the world was less than the year before. Eventually there will be 5 years in a row where the oil production declined by each year.

          We just have to hope that when the production declines, our oil demand can be curtailed effectively and without turmoil.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.3

          yeah, like the Club of Rome who said in 1972 that oil would run out by 1992

          You made that shit up, loser.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.4

          like the Club of Rome who said in 1972 that oil would run out by 1992

          [citation needed]

          BTW, the projections that were made in Limits to Growth are pretty much bang on.

  2. Five years ago a project with a BC of less than about 2 to 2.5 would not be funded such was the competition for funds.

    For a project with a BC of 0.2 to be funded is bizarre.  You will find too that the ongoing cost of maintenance of the existing road is not part of this calculation so the return will be even lower than the figure quoted.

    And it is true that volumes have been dropping.  And with peak oil approaching quickly the project looks like a gold plated waste of time that our grandchildren will curse us for.

    • seanm 2.1

      Except – what will we do in 20 years time when our population is 7 million as has been predicted?

      All you are talking about is the trend as of today – completely ignoring whats coming over the hill in the distance.

      Who cares about peak oil – I guarantee you that there will be a replacement for combustion engines – pretending that there won’t be is laughable.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Who cares about peak oil – I guarantee you that there will be a replacement for combustion engines – pretending that there won’t be is laughable.

        Bicycles and clydesdales will be the replacement for combustion engines. NZ can do electric trams and steam trains too.

        • PlanetOrphan 2.1.1.1

          Imagine 2000 clydesdales walking over the Auckland Harbour Bridge everyday M8! 🙁

          Like that truckie from southland was saying on TV, that shits’ gotta go somewhere M8! |-(

      • mickysavage 2.1.2

        Nah Sean we are in a gradual decline as the population increases and various resources peak in production and start to run out.  We are just going to have to live slower and rely on transport less.  Or Crash.  One or the other.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3

        Except – what will we do in 20 years time when our population is 7 million as has been predicted?

        If our population gets to 7m then we’ve got a problem.

        I guarantee you that there will be a replacement for combustion engines – pretending that there won’t be is laughable.

        Nobody said that there won’t be a replacement. What’s been said is that the replacement won’t be able to maintain what we have today.

    • Georgecom 2.2

      About 5 minutes 10 secs through the Campbell video Brownlee is stating how BCRs are not the sole determinant of deciding if things are built. So, value for money needent be part of the equation?

      He does have to go back to the 1880s, Vogels infrastructure spending, to provide an example. IN those times Vogel was expanding into new territories and using new technology, rail. No great frontiers for Brownlee to plough into and he isn’t using any great new technology, rather, something running on a resource that is plateauing.

      This National Government is expert at looking backward but poor at looking forward. Rather than looking forward to the “Brighter Future” rubbish Key tried to promise people, he is looking backward to a radiant past.

  3. Bill 3

    Think on that the next time National says it can’t afford to do something important for people in need.

    Anyone know how to calculate the cost/benefit ratio for….oh, I dunno…let’s say raising welfare entitlements to survivable levels? I mean, if people on entitlements have enough money to spend through businesses other than the large corporates (electricity, supermarkets, telecoms)…then wouldn’t that represent a significant economic benefit…more money going to a wider spread of businesses potentially facilitating small business growth? Or am I misunderstanding the basis of this whole cost/benefit ratio malarky?

    Or is it maybe better to slather industrial waste over the landscape and issue directives to arbitrarily slash welfare entitlements by up to 30 – 40% – as is currently happening to myself and a number of other people I’m running across?

    (And yes, I probably will have to be a post on WINZ’s recent enthusiastic adoption of a particularily venal and viscious victorian culture.)

    • Lightly 3.1

      they say the BCR for early childhood education is about 8. ie. spending a dollar on ECE produces 40 times more value than spending that dollar on the Kapiti expressway.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Nice use of what has become an anti-Keynesian meme “dig a hole and fill it up again.”

    • Zorr 4.1

      It isn’t anti-Keynesian because the point behind Keynesian-ism (if that is even a word) is that the government spends to get the engine of the economy started again – however, this spending still has to meet the requirement that it *stimulate* further economic gains rather than just simply tipping money in to the economy.

      Providing millions to Downer (or other large engineering firms) is the equivalent of tipping that money down the gullet of the already rich. Rather than providing financial relief to those struggling in the current climate

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        If you want to stimulate the economy you never, ever give more money to the rich either directly (tax cuts) or indirectly (hiring large private firms) as all that ever does is accelerate the already excessive accumulation of the rich. To stimulate the economy the government spends in such a way so that the money ends up in the hands of the many and not the few. Building and maintaining infrastructure, spending on R&D, and increasing educational possibilities. Basically, spending that directly hires people and thus puts the money directly in their pockets as well as spending that actually develops the economy.

        Oh, and tax the bejeezus out of the rich so as to stop that over accumulation that they’ve got going on that destroys the economy.

      • Georgecom 4.1.2

        or taking $100 in cash and flushing $80 down the toilet.

  5. Hilary 5

    I travel that route a lot and it is rarely crowded, even on holiday weekends. In the last year I have only had one 20 minute delay coming into Otaki from the north – otherwise steady. Parts of the road are narrow and in poor condition in the Otaki to Levin section but that is the piece that the Government has already dropped.The Government’s abandonment of the Capital Connection train might mean that part is also more heavily used.

    • TightyRighty 5.1

      Are you serious? I drive that route all the time and the time it takes to travel sixty kilometres in an area that could not even be remotely considered built up is criminal. But it’s ok, businesses should suffer because the left hates roads and thinks we should all travel by train regardless of personal circumstance.

      I’d always drive through the wairarapa to go to Hawkes Bay to avoid the kapiti coast, the only time i ever drive is when i have to. An hour, sometimes hour and a half to do sixty k’s? on a highway? yea, don’t do anything to improve it, that will help productivity.

      • taxicab 5.1.1

        TR telling bullshit again . I have for the past 11 years driven frequently on a Saturday during peak time from Levin to Wellington central 93 ks (at the legal speed limit) in 1 hour and 15 minutes . weekdays at peak time takes 1 and a half hours at worst . The only improvements that should be contemplated for the Kapiti region should be the Western bypass that was dumped by that dork Joyce in preference of building a rediculous piece of highway that benefits only one set of users the Heavy Transport Industry because their soon to be introduced heavier tonnage trucks would collapse the rail overbridge at the north end of Paraparaumu . I repeat this is to appease one set of transport users only . And of course the Govt’s mates in the roading industry .

        • seanm 5.1.1.1

          Saturday is off-peak foolio.

          Peak travel times are morning and evening rush hours on weekdays.

          • taxicab 5.1.1.1.1

            Seanm . There is busy times in the weekend as well foolio . Note I specifically mentioned the weekend so as not to confuse seems it didn’t work for you though !! In case you have been in a coma we now live in a 7 day a week society with many retailers open 7 days . Your comments to others suggest you are a the one who is a bit prissy or maybe just a desperate attempt to justify the lunacy of the right .

        • TightyRighty 5.1.1.2

          Wow, the weekend road warrior out on the troll.

          You retard, ever had to do it for work during the week? when the trucks are on the road and then the oldies decide to get out in their fucking honda jazz’s and drive at eighty the whole way? It’s a shit drive. the whole way. it takes far to long to get absolutely fucking nowhere. It’s not like it’s auckland to hamilton, which is an important centre. It’s wellington to levin, which is a nothing town. Forget the P. North is the largest distribution unit in the country and it’s almost quicker to get to napier from their than the captial. despite being roughly equi-distant.

      • Hilary 5.1.2

        I expect you go at 100kph over the Rimutaka road then? Particularly easy with all those logging trucks. I have no problem driving around around Paekakariki at 80ks on a single lane. The traffic is steady and never congested. And why does more speed necessary mean more productivity?
        By the way I go to Palmerston North a lot and would love to take the train but there is only one a day and nothing in the weekends.

        • seanm 5.1.2.1

          The Rimutaka hill is a tiny part of the trip from Wellington to Woodville. Smokescreen.

          Try driving North at 80 km/hr by pie-kok during evening rush hour any day of the week. It can take up to 2 hours to get from Wellington to the other side of Waikanae sometimes.

          • thatguynz 5.1.2.1.1

            What absolute tripe. The only times that even comes close is around 5pm on a Friday, on a public holiday or when there’s been an accident.. Stop being disingenuous..

            Oh and btw, it’s paekak..

        • TightyRighty 5.1.2.2

          The ability to drive at the open road speed limit creates efficiency. you like the train? Take the train then retard. what timetables don’t work for you? that’s how trains work. DUH!!

          Paekakariki? one small section that does work well, of a very long and congested main road out of the CAPITAL!!

          Rimutaka hill is actually pretty good these days. only takes twenty minutes, then it’s open road in either direction.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.2.1

            The ability to drive at the open road speed limit creates efficiency

            Driving 10km/hr under the open road speed limit is far more fuel efficient than driving at the limit.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.2.2

            The ability to drive at the open road speed limit creates efficiency.

            No it doesn’t – it creates inefficiency.

            you like the train? Take the train then retard. what timetables don’t work for you? that’s how trains work. DUH!!

            And yet if the road wasn’t there the far more efficient trains would be used more and the train timetable would be better. Use of cars and building roads has massively decreased efficiency.

    • Ben 5.2

      The only time I’ve ever experienced congestion on that road is on holiday weekends, Christmas, or after an accident.

      Are we really spending hundreds of millions of dollars so we can get an easier trip to Kapiti for a long weekend? That’s fucking pathetic.

      • seanm 5.2.1

        Every day of the week it is jam packed in the evenings going North from 3-5, and in the mornings going South towards Wellington.

        Whats more pathetic is your prissy little anecdote that means nothing.

        • thatguynz 5.2.1.1

          Seriously, if you call that jam packed what would you call the Wellington motorway from Ngauranga Gorge towards town at around the same time? Or Auckland motorways any time after 3pm? They’re closer to “jam packed” than any stretch of SH1 through Kapiti.

          Your prissy little anecdote has significant foundations in bullshit.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Some good questions about transport in NZ being asked over at Auckland Transport Blog:

    I understand that politicians are setting the funding bands and that they will push for certain projects to be bumped up priority lists – and that the profession needs to work with this situation. However, there’s nothing stopping the profession from waking up to the flat-lining in traffic growth and fixing the future transport models so they accurately reflect this trend. There’s nothing stopping the profession from then highlighting how particular projects don’t actually stack up anymore. The politicians may choose to still proceed with them, but there’ll at least be public knowledge that X project is happening even though an objective analysis of it says that it probably shouldn’t. Or that Y project isn’t happening even though a good analysis of it suggests that it probably should.

    Unfortunately, for one reason or another, the profession seems largely unable to do this at the moment. Is it inertia? Is it that politics is more involved in what should be operational matters than I had thought? Is it because there are a few dinosaur transport professionals in influential positions who just need to go and retire? Whatever it is, the transport profession needs to lift its game. There’s a huge amount of money riding on it doing so!

    The Kapiti Expressway is certainly one place where the professionals should be calling out the government.

  7. tracey 7

    Its how the opposition frame this which will determine the level of waste…

  8. fabregas4 8

    Been a while since I drove north from Wellington but back say 15 years ago it was a bloody nightmare up to Whitby at least so I’d imagine it is worse now. I’m not sure oil running out will stop cars being on roads either. Does that mean wasting money on them is ok – nope but it does require some semblence of balance probably.

  9. SPC 10

    How come they use the economic cost of people in traffic to justify building roads – then they cut local delivery of services and do not factor the cost of people in traffic (to access services elsewhere) when making these decisions?

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Well then I suggest you sue them.

    • gobsmacked 11.2

      It may have been misreported. But was the leader misquoted?

      Labour can’t keep doing this. They can’t keep saying “No, actually this is our policy …” after the policy has been muddled, by the party’s leader.

      Phil, it is your responsibility, as a member of caucus, to ensure that Labour’s policies are communicated effectively. So why did you choose a leader who can’t communicate?

      This is basic, BASIC stuff.

  10. Oil isn’t running out, socialist folks. And even if it were, guess what, the earth is making more. how do you think it got made in the first place?
    Roads are awesome – they promote trade. I and eight million other people drive the San Francisco freeways everyday. And it’s amazing what an economic powerhouse San Jose etc is. And it’s amaxing how hampered by anti road sentiment that new Zealand is.

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      Monique says oil isn’t running out and the Earth is making more! Saved!

      Tell me Monique, why can’t we buy a barrel of oil for US$30 like we could ten years ago? Why did it go up in price almost 300% in just ten years?

      Could it be…SCARCITY? :mrgreen:

      • Doug 12.2.1

        Brent Crude is $108.00 And going down
        Colonial Viper Labor and Equipment costs account for price rises also what the producers think they can screw out of the buyers. Remember it’s OPEC that regulates oil price

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business/market_data/commodities/143908/one_month.stm

        • PlanetOrphan 12.2.1.1

          $90 a barrel and the pressure seems to decrease somewhat …. $100 is breaking even.
          (My novice impression of it all.)

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.2

          Brent Crude is $108.00 And going down

          So where did US$30/barrel oil go? I’ll give you a clue: we sold out of that cheap discount oil. We only have expensive oil left.

          Remember it’s OPEC that regulates oil price

          How can OPEC do that when it controls just 1/3 of world oil production today? And when big oil producers like Russia, Canada, Iraq, Iran and Libya are not OPEC members?

    • Georgecom 12.3

      Thank goodness for all those subterranean elves churning out new oil, eh monique. If we can now get Santa Claus and the tooth fairy to do the same, gosh, we’ll be awash with petrol.

    • millsy 12.4

      Do you like rail?

    • Dv 12.5

      Monique
      Only problem, it takes about a million years, and needs swamps to start with.

  11. Athena 13

    You say the Earth is making more oil. Yep, thanks to fossil fuel use we are heating up the planet, killing the oceans and changing the climate, so conditions can turn out like the carboniferous period when the oil was laid down. Hey, just keep driving, it’s all just a natural cycle. Pity about the mass extinctions, but I guess the selfish and willfully ignorant wouldn’t lose sleep over that.

  12. Something I wrote for a local site

    Robert Atack says Expressway is ‘Final Insult’

    A commentary on oil, the planet, and the Expressway, by Robert Atack

    “This expressway is the final insult.

    It is official, the world hit peak oil extraction in March 2005 — some like to say 2006, but whatever the year it is now in the past.

    Parliamentary Services (PS) came out with a report in October 2010 stating New Zealand could start seeing problems importing transport fuel as soon as 2012.

    There aren’t enough resources left to convert the current 800 million – to one-billion-plus oil-dependent vehicles to run on alternatives. So it is a given that as oil becomes less available there will be fewer cars using the current roading infrastructure.

    If what the International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted comes to fruition, and New Zealand can maintain its current global share of oil imports, then at best we face a 9% annual decrease in imports (if we maintain market share).

    So to reiterate – Parliamentary Services has stated NZ faces shortages from about 2012, and the IEA say at best the decrease will be 9%.

    The government is a member of the IEA, and up until recently always quoted them (as predicting peak oil to be 2035 – 37).You can read this on my website, in several letters from different ministers of energy since 2002.

    After a few years of 9% decrease, Kapiti residents will be looking back to these days and laughing at the foolishness of a society that couldn’t recognize the end of growth, and the end of the era of entitlement.

    We are fast going to understand how important the rail network will be, to ship food into Kapiti and Wellington if nothing else.

    The insult is that this current group of politicians have had ample information, both from citizens of New Zealand and some of their own advisers.

    Also I’ve been asking KCDC to take these issues seriously for 9 years.

    Globally all politicians have had this information since 1999, when Dr Collin Campbell gave his lecture “Peak Oil – The Turning Point for Mankind” in the London House of Commons.

    It took me about three weeks of sleepless nights to work it out after reading Collin’s talk. Yet energy ministers from Pete Hodgson to Gerry Brownlee have continually fobbed off our efforts to inform them.

    So the insanity goes on (the Kapiti Expressway), with people being placed under unnecessary stress by the threat of this never-to-be-built monstrosity crashing through their homes.

    The truth is way more terrifying than the road and maybe that is why the government will keep playing this charade of maintaining business as usual, until we can’t.

    If the road is started, I hope for your sakes it isn’t near your homes. We have way more problems facing us as a community than this side show.

    Mandy Hager is going to have some ideas as to what we can do to prepare for a post 2012 lifestyle; I look forward to reading her suggestions.

    The ongoing oil depletion predicament could lead directly and quickly to widespread starvation in NZ. Is that important enough for you to pause and think?

    If you’re among the mainstream media, the answer is no. If you’re any politician the answer is no. If you want to continue the process of human-population overshoot on an overshot planet, the answer is no. If you’re a defender of capitalism, the answer is no.

    If you’re among the few people working to minimize the forthcoming misery by informing people about the facts, it seems we’ve already lost, with not one single politician aiding our mission.

    What will your children say?

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      The ongoing oil depletion predicament could lead directly and quickly to widespread starvation in NZ. Is that important enough for you to pause and think?

      Pretty much mainly in Auckland though.

  13. Wychbych 15

    I live in Kapiti, and it will be built right through our communities, ruining the fabric of our ‘seaside town’ feel.

    They voted to not use the existing State Highway, instead carving their way through houses, protected ecosystems and urupa. I hardly need mention the cost benefit ratio, though I’d like to know if Joyce has business/director-type links to the contractors bidding for this project.

    • thatguynz 15.1

      +1

    • tc 15.2

      ‘though I’d like to know if Joyce has business/director-type links to the contractors bidding for this project’

      Rhetorical question of the day that one, why do you think they’re doing it.

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    5 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    7 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    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 If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    15 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    21 hours ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    5 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    6 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
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