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Key obstructs Copenhagen talks

Written By: - Date published: 11:46 am, December 11th, 2009 - 41 comments
Categories: climate change, john key - Tags:

Thanks to our dear Prime Minister John Key, New Zealand is being branded an international ‘fossil’ on climate change. Stuff.co.nz reports

Prime Minister John Key’s comments on climate change have come to the world’s attention, earning New Zealand a “fossil of the day” award at the Copenhagen climate change negotiations.

The awards are a hall of shame for countries seen to be obstructing progress in the talks. The recipients are decided by a daily vote by the 450 members of the Climate Action Network.

New Zealand’s third place dishonour on Thursday, behind Poland and Germany, was awarded for Key’s comments in Parliament this week that he would not increase the country’s 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

John Key really is doing his best as Minister of Tourism to kill off the 100% Pure NZ brand. And what’s replacing it? Well, now NZ is on its way to being branded as an obstructer of the biggest environmental issue of time. It’s heart wrenching watching our country’s integrity go down the drain like that.

Remember that barely 3 years ago our Prime Minister thought Kyoto was a hoax and was ‘suspicious’ of climate change. It’s not surprising Key’s giving NZ a bad rep.

41 comments on “Key obstructs Copenhagen talks”

  1. fizzleplug 1

    If a statement made in Parliament is obstructing the talks in Copenhagen, I think that says more about the talks in Copenhagen than it does about John Key.

  2. Pat 2

    From the same Press reporter:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3151093/New-Zealands-emission-cuts-targets-backed

    Two international reports have backed New Zealand’s proposals for tackling greenhouse gas emissions, saying the country’s targets are more ambitious than most.

    Analysis by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency said New Zealand’s offer of an emission cut between 10 and 20 per cent, on 1990 levels, by 2020 was at the “ambitious end”.

    The offer was comparable with Japan (25 per cent) and only beaten by Norway (30 to 40 per cent).

    A European Commission comparison showed that on a worldwide aggregate of a 30 per cent emissions reduction New Zealand should be offering 15 per cent, which is within the stated range.

    “It reinforces what New Zealand has been saying,” climate change ambassador Adrian Macey said.

    “The key thing is independent modeling and analysis using especially European-based models, seem to consistently show New Zealand is at the upper-middle at least.”

    Ironically, the country was awarded a “fossil of the day” award at the Copenhagen talks on Thursday because of comments made earlier this week by Prime Minister John Key.

  3. TightyRighty 3

    I notice the pompous git who awarded the prize said she spoke “for all new zealanders”. tone it down a bit.

    • gitmo 3.1

      Was she wearing a moustache ?

      • TightyRighty 3.1.1

        I couldn’t make it out clearly in the photograph. while the journo pointed out her costume and the prize, no mention was made of the elephant in the room

      • BLiP 3.1.2

        Retard: Susan Boyle or gitmo?

        [lprent: are you really wanting to start a flame? You know what I feel about those. *sigh* ]

  4. tc 4

    NACT are banking on this whole process falling down with no binding agreements so they can burn all that coal and say ‘if they can we can’.

    Leading the way on change and enhancing our 100 % Pure image to boost our vital tourism industry requires vision, guts and intelligence……you’ll never get that with this government.

    Brownlee has steathily removed alot of the sustainability initiatives whilst others like Tolley/Smith sythe their way through matters.

    Same old same old…..next govt will have the usual raft of shortsighted greedy actions to fix up just like after the eras of Muldoon/ Shipley etc.

    Like Oz under Howard……JK’s an embarrassment and there’s no plan/vision and alot of nat’s I speak to are starting to admit that which says it all really.

  5. Bill 5

    NZ is as ‘clean and green’ as a green arsed pixie with the runs.

    And everybody knows it.

    Additionally, while the image might have been good for tourism, the problem was always going to be that tourism encourages the arrival of tourists.

    Meanwhile, I do not know of a single person holding their breath for a worthwhile outcome from Copenhagen. We want a change? We change.

  6. outofbed 6

    I think that NZ position of expecting other countries to pick up NZ slack in regards to emissions is obstructing as is any other country doing the same thing.

    However Copenhagen has no chance of success
    For the world to accept that Global warming is a problem would be an admission that the whole market/freetrade/capitalist thing has failed ,hence all the rightwing nutters screaming.
    In a heartbeat trillions are found to shore up the banking industry,
    Invade Iraq? trillions
    Help 3rd word countries mitigate the effect of GW? I think we know the answer

  7. Jcw 7

    What a joke. NZ is aiming for a 10-20% reduction in carbon emissions relative to 1990 by 2020. Canada has promised a 3% 1990 –> 2020 reduction. The US a 1.3% reduction 1990–>2020. And NZ gets shamed?

  8. outofbed 8

    National MP Nick Smith will host this Public Meeting in Nelson to discuss the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Nick Smith is our Minister for Climate Change and is leading the negotiations for Aotearoa
    7.30pm, Friday 11th December 2009
    Nelson Electorate Office

    544 Waimea Road
    Corner or Waimea and Quarantine Roads,
    Annesbrook, Nelson

    May I encourage people to turn up to “see him off”

  9. tc 9

    Noble sentiments from ‘outofbed’ but the more folk protest the more it galvanises the likes of Smith to carry on.

    In the NACT world ‘protest = affirmation you’re on track’, as the arrogance doesn’t allow them to think they might just not have it right as well as they do what their backers tell them to……or no comfy jobs after you leave the beehive.

    When will Smith be targetted as the liar he is .

  10. outofbed 10

    When will Smith be targeted as the liar he is .
    Well it appears never. In both his public and private life he has been shown wanting in the truth stakes. Beats me how he gets away with it

  11. lukas 11

    NZ Sucks Campaign by The Standard, The “green” Party and the Left of NZ.

    • felix 11.1

      Saying “The govt sucks” isn’t the same as saying “NZ sucks”.

      Saying “Nick Smith sucks” isn’t the same as saying “NZ sucks”.

      Saying “Wah, Australia’s so much more awesome than NZ and we need to be more like them in every way” like National spent the last few years doing (and continue to do actually), now that’s a “NZ sucks” campaign Lukey.

      • lukas 11.1.1

        felix, remind me who accused the Nats of running a NZ sucks campaign last year for pointing out failures in government policy?

  12. gomango 12

    So explain to me again why the NZ targets are being condemned so heartily?

    According to what other countries are doing we don’t seem so inadequate. And given the track record of Australia, Canada, US, China, India, Russia, Eastern Europe, the Baltic States, the EU (note the recent case won bey member states which say the EU has no right to police emissions by member states).

    The table in this link suggests we are actually ahead of the pack (guiven Russia and Europe are/will be cheating, and Australia is going nowhere):

    http://www.grist.org/article/developed-country-emissions-reduction-commitments-copenhagen-part-2/

    Compared to 2005 emissions we are the best of this bunch, and close to best of bunch based on the very distorted (because of Europe/Eastern Europe/Russia/China) 1990 benchmark.

    • lprent 12.1

      Your problem with the value on that site (and that of Nick Smith aka Serial Numeric Liar) is that it assumes that the forests created since 1990 are never cut down. Since most of them were pine or other fast growth woods, this is patently incorrect.

      If you change the working assumption to having forests cut down every 20-30 years, then the result looks a whole lot different and puts us amongst the worst polluters per head in the world.

      How has this escaped your attention in the debates over the last couple of years? Please explain?

  13. outofbed 13

    So explain to me again why the NZ targets are being condemned so heartily?
    Because if we get above 450 parts per million we are Fucked

  14. tsmithfield 14

    Iprent “If you change the working assumption to having forests cut down every 20-30 years, then the result looks a whole lot different and puts us amongst the worst polluters per head in the world.”

    Forests are not just summarily cut down every 20-30 years. What usually happens is that there is a continual process of harvesting and replanting. New saplings have much more carbon-holding potential than mature trees, so I don’t see the problem from a C02 perspective. Furthermore, harvested trees tend to be used in industries such as housing and furniture where the carbon is locked up indefinitely. So, a forest management plan that involves harvesting and replanting would seem to be better so far as C02 is concerned, not worse.

    • Bill 14.1

      “Trick three: the fake forests or what the process opaquely dubs “LULUCF”. Forests soak up warming gases and store them away from the atmosphere so, perfectly sensibly, countries get credit under the new system for preserving them. It is an essential measure to stop global warming. But the Canadian, Swedish and Finnish logging companies have successfully pressured their governments into inserting an absurd clause into the rules. The new rules say you can, in the name of “sustainable forest management”, cut down almost all the trees without losing credits. It’s Kafkaesque: a felled forest doesn’t increase your official emissions… even though it increases your actual emissions.”

      http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-leaders-of-the-rich-world-are-enacting-a-giant-fraud-1837963.html

    • outofbed 14.2

      for complete rebuttal
      see

    • Bill 14.3

      Oh and if you’d read through oobs link above you’d have come across the argument that when a tree is converted to wood products that only 15% of the original amount of CO2 remains stored ( and even that, not for very long before it’s released) after logging and mill residue plus transport emissions are taken into account.

      guess I should write faster. Yeah. Nice link.

    • lprent 14.4

      Most of the carbon in wood is released within a couple of years.

      a. most of it is harvested to put into paper (how much of your used paper do you have stored?), not buildings or furniture. Probably in excess of 80% of the trees in NZ is used for pulp and paper.

      b. the waste factor on trees is very high. Typically non-pulp operations use at best 40% of the wood harvested. This is due to
      1. discarded branches
      2. bark and edge wood.
      3. sawdust during milling.
      4. breakages and spoilage during transport
      5. offcuts during usage.

      c. buildings and furniture don’t last indefinitely. My family has old wood from centuries ago as antiques. They are a fraction of the wood that was harvested and turned into furniture at the time. The rest has been burnt or decayed – most within a few decades. Similarly try and count the surviving wooden buildings that are over say 60 years old. They aren’t permanent in a process that will take centuries to undo.

      Please take time to think before making such a obviously daft assertion. I’d be surprised if more than 5% of the harvested wood is actually still in existence a year after harvesting. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was less than 1%. This is all pretty obvious even to a student.

      So what has happened is that fast growth forests sequester carbon from the air over 20-30 years, and almost immediately release most of that carbon as CO2 or CH4 a short period after harvesting.

      Unless they are a forest put in to grow for century, you can treat them as essentially being zero sum in climate change gas equations on a process that will last centuries.

  15. Tim Ellis 15

    So apparently New Zealand, the first country in the world to have an all gases, all emissions ETS, and opting for a much more aggressive target below 1990 levels than almost every other country in the world, and yet according to some we’re still “dragging the chain”.

    It seems the Left hasn’t yet accepted that we have a new government that was elected on the platform of keeping up with the rest of the world on climate change, rather than sacrificing our economy just so that we can have the moral pleasure that we’re doing more than everybody else.

  16. prism 16

    Bill – What carbon emissions would a modern mud house, (often thick straw bales will be used) involve cf to wood house? What can we use then if we ‘re not supposed to use wood?

    Also bright new idea to stop mud houses overseas crumbling under earthquake stress by putting layers of rubber from tyres round such houses can’t be stopped if found practical, because of emissions concerns. We are going to have to balance things out.

    • Bill 16.1

      Who said ‘Don’t use wood’?

      Wasn’t me. But I’d imagine less waste and burn off from straw harvesting than from wood harvesting. Then I guess it’s down to how well the house is constructed as to how long whatever CO2 there is remains locked up.

      For what it’s worth, I don’t think there is too much problem when we manufacture long lasting products. Eg. houses that stand for hundreds of years instead of the current 30 year or whatever lifespan.

      My gripe would be with the 90% plus of manufactured product that finds its way to the landfill within 6 months of being manufactured. My gripe would be with the 17 and 18 x more waste from manufacturing processes in relation to domestic waste; with inbuilt obsolescence; with stupid ‘kinder surprise’ production etc

  17. Um, I don’t think technically anybody voted for this new government, Tim. It was formed post election, based on the votes the various parties received and the consequent number of MP’s gained.

    I think what you mean is that National were elected on a policy of ‘keeping up with the world, etc.’ And, if so, you’d be wrong anyway. I doubt if they got a single vote on the basis of their platform on climate change, whatever it was at the time. It wasn’t a prime reason to vote National; anti-Aunty Helen was really the basis of their mandate.

    A strong personal position on climate change was absolutely a reason to vote for Act or the Greens, depending on your POV, but hardly figured in John Boy’s result, in my opinion.

    • Tim Ellis 17.1

      On that basis TVOR you wouldn’t be able to object to National selling SOEs or slashing social services based on their election promises, since you’re happy for National to break its promises.

  18. Not sure what you mean, Tim.

    No, I’m not happy if National break their promises, but I have got used to it down the years. Mind you, i’m not entirely sure National promised anything this time aroiund, they were vaguer than usual about what they intended to do about anything. Except tax cuts, they were pretty definate about tax cuts. Whatever happened to that promise, Tim?

    • Tim Ellis 18.1

      I suggest you read National’s ETS policy released three months before the last election TVOR. All of its commitments in this area have been carried through. The policy makes it quite clear that National did not propose to be a global leader in climate change at the expense of economic progress. http://national.org.nz/files/2008/ets.pdf

      • The Voice of Reason 18.1.1

        Cheers, Tim.

        I don’t think I’ll bother reading the PDF when you’ve summarised it so succinctly. Profit before planet. Excellent work, National. That’s the kind of moral leadership the world has come to expect from plucky little New Zealand.

  19. gomango 19

    and the forests also being replanted every 20-30 years? or not? And is that a problem peculiar only to NZ? What is our target then on a like for like basis with these other countries after you adjust for your unmeasurable forestry effect? I still dont see how our efforts will be worse than the US, Canada, Australia, China, India, Russia, Eastern Europe by any meaningful measure.

    The real issue is the lack of enforcability around emissions.

    For the record, I think ETS is a crock and it won’t deliver what the vested interests are promising. For a start, follow the money. Who profits?

    I would far rather see a carbon tax, but even then there would be problems with other countries taxing with one hand and re-subsidising with the other.

    Here are some of the problems with ETS:

    – there is no workable mechanism to ensure that corrupt countries (ie Russia) don’t cheat. The oligarchs will magically create carbon credits for sale to the west out of mid-air. We have the right to go into Russia and measure emissions directly, calculate forestry clearance rates etc?

    – why was 1990 baseline chosen? It certainly helps certain players.

    – If the EU can not even police itself, what hope is there? The EU cannot police emissions over the next 3 years – individual countries have the right to declare their net emission levels. Thats ok you say because after that the EU does have the right to police emission levels. But any net credits will be carried forward and added to the new EU mandated levels. So for probably 5 years or so, europe will effectively be a non-participant in the ETS, in fact I’ve just read a piece of research (from the DB Emissions Research group) suggesting EU emissions from the entire EU will grow over the next 5 years by around 10%. With their heavy reliance on coal and anaemic growth, who trusts the likes of Estonia, Poland etc to “do the right thing”.

    – Explain this in economics 101 terms: EU emissions in 2008 2.1MT, available credits 2.0MT, deficit 0.95MT. What did the price of carbon do? Down 70%. Does that sound like a market where no one is cheating?

    – In 2009 with a 5% increase in EU emissions, the carbon price is down 33% ytd.

    – why are problematic heavy industries in two of the richest EU countries (France and Germany) exempt from emissions caps? In case you arent aware of this rort, Germany has exempted a whole range of heavy industries from the requirement to purchase credits between 2013 and 2020 lest they move production offshore to countries that are either outside or don’t enforce ETS. Plus they will likely subsidise those companies in 2010, 2011 and 2012 as well under the less onerous Phase 2 scheme! At least the Germans tell the truth about what they are doing whereas the French do the same thing but deny it. Nice one – thats in the spirit of ” we are all custodians of mother earth.”

    – Offset calculations. Do you have any idea how fuzzy this process is? Even the squeaky clean Norwegians cant get it right. DNV anyone?

    – and who profits from an ETS? I find it very ironic that many of the commentators (here and globally) decry the irresponsibility, deviousness and greed of the capitalist finance system. Well hello? Who do you think profits mostly from an ETS? Global financial intermediaries…….. in words of one syllable – banks, hedge funds, brokers. But now they are the good guys right because they are facilitating the ETS?

    As the ETS scheme grows we will be introducing another volatility risk into global markets, that will impact mostly on those unable to manage it – consumers and the poor. A tax is far simpler, can be planned for by business and dis-intermediates the whole industry which has been created around carbon trading.

    • lprent 19.1

      I would far rather see a carbon tax, but even then there would be problems with other countries taxing with one hand and re-subsidising with the other.

      Ditto. Simpler and much clearer about lobbying effects

      why was 1990 baseline chosen? It certainly helps certain players.

      Because work on the Kyoto protocol was started in the mid-90’s and completed in the late 90’s. They picked 1990 as the reference year because there was reasonably good data (for the time)

      The idea behind the cap’n’trade was to facilitate pricing based on a scarce commodity. However the governments have been doing an inflation effect by increasing the effective number of credits

  20. gomango 20

    No the real reason 1990 was used, at least for the european ETS is far more prosaic. Bear in mind they had good data fopr many subsequent years. Germany was very happy – post-unification but before the inefficient filthy ossi industires were shut down. Voila – instant pain free improvement.

    And slightly more morally defensible, the west figured it would allow the wider eastern european countries a much easier entry into the eu system – those countries would not have any difficulty in meeting eu mandated targets as much of their 1990 heavy polluting industry had fallen over long before the late 90s when most eu entry agreements were made. Again, voila – instant pain free “progress”

    Between 1990 and 1995 emissions from the former eastern bloc fell by close to 30% whereas everyone else in the world was at best stable.

  21. Jim McDonald 21

    The present National Government with Key as PM to fulfil New Zealand’s vote for change – taking clowning around to a fresh, higher, new ambitious level.

    That’s not so funny when positive environmental/tourist perceptions about NZ’s are being eroded 🙁

    Not good being a laughing stock!

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    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    7 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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