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Labour and the Greens announce forestry policies

Written By: - Date published: 3:48 pm, March 19th, 2014 - 39 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david parker, greens, labour, russel norman - Tags:

Firstly from David Cunliffe:

The next Labour Government will give the forestry and wood products industries the policies they need as part of Labour’s plan for an economic upgrade, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

David Cunliffe announced new policies today at the ForestWood Conference 2014 to support the industry’s journey from volume to value.

“Forestry and wood processing are critical industries for the economic upgrade New Zealand desperately needs, especially in the regions.

“Our focus on investment, innovation and industry will see an upgrade in the industry to create better jobs that pay higher wages where they are desperately needed.

“To encourage investment we will provide tax deferrals in the form of accelerated depreciation to encourage industry to invest in new technology and plant.

“To boost innovation we will work with the industry and public science bodies to develop new products and technologies.

“To support industry development we will introduce measures to rebalance away from sending more raw logs overseas to developing more and better production here. These include:

  • A Pro-Wood government procurement policy for government-funded buildings up to four storeys high to boost the domestic market.
  • Suspensory loans to encourage new forest planting.
  • Forestry taskforces for long-term unemployed.
  • Introduce legacy forest status to protect our indigenous forests.

“Our opponents just cruise along, with no clear plan for our economy while wages stagnate and the cost of living continues to increase.

“Labour’s economic upgrade will lead to better jobs and higher wages for all New Zealanders”.

His full speech can be read here.  A few highlights:

Our economy needs an upgrade, because while New Zealand is the best country in the world to live in, it’s not the best place to make a living.

I have a vision of a New Zealand that harnesses the potential of all our people.

A vision of a country with the most productive and competitive businesses in the world. A vision of a country with better jobs and higher wages.

Right now New Zealand is not on a path to achieve that vision. Our economy today is driven by land banking and speculation, not by innovation and productivity.

And from David Parker:

A Labour Government will give targeted tax incentives to encourage much-needed capital investment in the wood processing industry, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.

“The proportion of our forestry products exported as higher value processed goods is decreasing. Every year New Zealand is exporting more and more raw logs; millions each year.

“A Labour Government will change that.

“A targeted tax incentive is needed to overcome the increased risks which wood processors face in a small economy. This will encourage the substantial capital investment needed to maximise value from our wood industry.

“It will enable the modernisation of our wood products industry and allow the sector to link into the global value chain.

“New Zealand’s internal market means large-scale wood processors are more reliant upon exports than those based in large economies like the United States or China.

“Processors with a greater exposure to exports face higher risks such as concentrated exchange rates, cultural barriers and the added difficulties of maintaining trading relationships with more distant clients.

“Unless those risks are reduced, the investments in the capital equipment needed to improve scale and productivity in forest processing based in New Zealand are unlikely to be made.

“Labour will work with domestic and foreign capital to make this work.

“Our accelerated depreciation will help attract the capital needed to migrate from ‘volume’ to ‘value’.

“We want to partner with industry to ensure an increasing amount of the output from forestry moves up the value chain – from raw product to light processing; from light processing to elaborate processing; and from elaborate processing to high-technology and product innovation.

“Today’s policies represent a major step in achieving that ambition, with accelerated depreciation by itself predicted to increase capital expenditure in forest processing by between $40 and $80 million a year”.

The Greens have also announced policy designed to increase the use of wood as a building material.  From their website:

The Green Party in Government will put $1 million towards the cost of the first 10-storey or higher New Zealand building constructed with structural timber, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Structural timber is a new construction technique for tall buildings with much of the technology developed here in New Zealand. These laminated timbers can be used as a smart, green alternative to the concrete and steel currently used for the load-bearing elements in high-rise buildings.

“The Canterbury rebuild presents a unique opportunity to use structural timber as a smarter, greener alternative to concrete and steel.”

“We will create a $1 million award in government to encourage the wider uptake of structural timber in the building sector,” said Dr Norman.

“The Canterbury rebuild presents a unique opportunity to use structural timber as a smarter, greener alternative to concrete and steel.

“The award is part of a bigger package of measures that will ensure forestry is our next high value export sector.

“Our exports of raw logs have surged while the local sawmilling and wood manufacturing industry has lost 4,000 jobs. Under National, we’ve seen a rapid simplification of our export base.

“This is not a smart way to run our economy.

“Rather than sending increasing amounts of low value-added raw logs overseas, the Green Party will encourage new technologies to be developed – such as structural timber – that will add value to our wood production and create good green jobs in New Zealand.”

Green Party forestry spokesperson, Steffan Browning, highlighted the high potential of structural timber buildings to lower carbon emissions and to add value to our log exports.

“Widespread adoption of structural timber in the building industry has the potential to substantially reduce the climate change impact of our building industry,” said Mr Browning.

“Timber buildings effectively become carbon sinks.

“Additionally, we can make our buildings lighter, stronger, and safer in an earthquake. St Elmo Courts is a six-storey structural timber building currently under construction in Christchurch and will be built to 180 per cent of the earthquake building code.

“Forestry can play a central part of a smarter, greener, more resilient economy.”

39 comments on “Labour and the Greens announce forestry policies”

  1. Nick 1

    “Pro Wood”, did Shane Jones announce it?

  2. View from the Centre 2

    Finally, something new from Labour that deserves some attention, so well done for that. One question I would have though is that this policy (and the greens one million for a building) is signaling new expenditure by the government. I’d like to know where this will come from. And yes, I know there are some obvious sources that are being eyed up by the Labour/Greens (e.g. increased taxes on top tier earners), but I’d like to see Labour being a bit more upfront (will it be taxes, reduced expenditure in other areas, an assumption of greater govt income, or something else). This would complete the picture and show that Labour/Greens are serious contenders.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      It will come from increased revenue, because per capita GDP is always higher under Labour-led governments, who (let’s be absolutely clear on the point – when I say invariably I invite you to check the evidence) invariably do a better job of managing the economy than the National Party’s right wing ideologues and corrupt troughers (viz. Judith Collins and her close friends and family).

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    “Forestry taskforces for long-term unemployed.”

    Yeah, develop a high wage economy by forcing people into hard manual labour. Fuck your beneficiary bashing, you right wing assholes.

    PS: other than that, it sounds like good policy, but I’ve had a gutsful of this shit. Kill the poor.

    • BM 3.1

      This doesn’t please you?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        No. It disturbs me that right wing hate speech has infested our country to this extent.

        • BM 3.1.1.1

          I have to say, the last thing you want is more people going into forestry.
          The sooner you mechanize these dangerous jobs the better.

          Can’t say Helen Kelly would be particularly impressed with these policy proposals.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, I’m not sure your feeble attempts at spin will get much traction.

            Value added is always good. Forestry is dangerous, but our inexcusable death rate is entirely the result of right wing drivel. I doubt the safety regulations are going to remain on “National Party” settings for long with the corpses piling up.

    • bad12 3.2

      Lolz, you have a point OAB, but, in my younger days i did a stint of high pruning on a couple of forest blocks when there was no other work around,

      We sweated for months for little more than the dole at the time, the joy in that was the crew were all long term mates and we enjoyed our extended ‘boil-up’ lunches,

      i would suggest tho that given the rigor of such work Labour need to look at a 6 month turn-around for such work gangs being paid the ‘living wage’ and having their stand-down period removed from WINZ requirements…

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1

        Labour needs to stop buying into right wing narratives and start representing something other than serfdom.

      • RedbaronCV 3.2.2

        If it can be organised so as not to infringe the rights of the workers, as a country we are far better “employing people” in such things as tree planting when the economy is slow, as there is a low but long term profit from these activites and they may at least promote some social cohesion as per B12

    • just saying 3.3

      Where? Can’t find any reference

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.3.1

        Hold the ctrl key down and press ‘f’.

        Then use the page search function to search for “long-term unemployed” on this page.

      • karol 3.3.2

        I don’t think it was in Cunliffe’s speech, but it is on Cunliffe’s statements about the policy on Labour’s website.

        Establish Forestry Taskforces for the long-term unemployed:

        * Support iwi forestry clusters to analyse options for their land.
        * Provide business stability for the forest and wood products industry
        * Complete the National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry.
        * Formalise the government’s approach to the forestry sector in a ‘New Zealand Forestry Policy’ document.

        Edit: Oh it is mentioned more breifly in a quote in the post. I’m not getting any hits by searching for it in Cunliffe’s speeh, though.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    Let’s dig into this a little further. In 2007, after eight years of Clark & Cullen, unemployment was at its lowest level in our country’s history,

    The long-term unemployed at that time were people who were more-or-less unemployable.

    So, on the one hand Labour wants to add more value to our timber. Fucking good idea. On the other it wants to saddle our brand new high-tech timber goods market with the unemployable.

    Yeah, right.

  5. karol 5

    Video (not very good quality) of Cunliffe’s speech here.

  6. millsy 6

    Anyone noticed that there is no mention of the government owning forests??? Like they used to?

    I dont expect them to resurrect the old Forestry Service, but putting Scion (the NZFS’s old R and D branch, now a CRI), and Crown Forestry (the last of the government owned forests, now under the wings of the MPI), at the centrepiece of any forestry strategy should be at the top of the list.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    I think both those policies can be summed up as:

    More of the bloody same.

    Both are looking at giving millions of dollars of taxpayers money per year to the private sector in the hopes that the private sector will get off its ass and do something. Not going to happen. The last thirty years of Rogernomics proves that free-market capitalism achieves nothing but to crash the economy.

    Want to build up the value producing side of our economy?
    Then what’s needed is to:
    a) Ban the export of raw product such as logs and
    b) Put a few tens of millions of government funding directly into each sector. This gets even better results when the R&D is directed to produce defined results.

    • Exactly – ‘free-market capitalism achieves nothing but to crash the economy’ – yet they are addicted to it as if their brains cannot conceive of any other way and so more of the same – by now the head is bloody and very sore from bashing against that same old wall – as Ian Curtis sang, “When will it end, when will it end…”

  8. Clemgeopin 8

    Was there ANY mention of this policy on the two 6 pm news channels today? Curious.

  9. Murray Olsen 9

    I’ve got real reservations about the forestry task forces as well. Employment comes from real jobs, not from some degrading scheme that will no doubt pay buggerall and serve only to stigmatise people further. How about going back to state forestry? Grow something besides radiata pine. Research it. Build state houses with it. Pay the people working in the forest a good wage. Take private profit out of the equation.

    All I can see with these task forces is more public money being shoved into the snouts of the owners of private forests. It’s as if they’re still trying really, really hard to make Rogernomics work. Labour, all I want from you is to get enough seats that Greens and Mana can push some decent policies, because you lot wouldn’t know a decent policy if it crawled up your bums and started chewing on your gall bladders. Can you at least do that much for us?

    • kousei 9.1

      Reinstate the forest service and grow something other than just radiata pine. I agree wholeheartedly. That is what Labour should have announced. Fat chance.

    • karol 9.2

      I’m not keen on the inclusion of the long term unemployed taskforce. In the light of wider aims for the policy, it may not result in exploitation of the precariat.

      The use of the term “long term unemployed” is a problem. What “long term” unemployed? Is Cunliffe referring to the increasing numbers of people unemployed or underemployed during NAct’s term in government?

      The taskforce idea does seem to be linked to industry training, so I’d like to see more detail. It may be part of a policy to upskill the forestry workforce leading to better jobs, with unemployed people being prioritised for such upskilling and jobs. Overall the policy does aim to produce better paid workers.

    • greywarbler 9.3

      MO +1 and another +1 for still being up and at it at 3.20 a.m.

  10. George D 10

    I’m totally in favour of these forestry gangs. I want to see a return to full employment, and where that means creating real work with real wages, then do so. Every New Zealander who is able to work should be able to walk into a job – and the ‘market’ cannot and will not do this.

    I’m also very glad to see two policies that, while not identical, are extremely compatible.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      What part of a “real” job involves work far from home for which someone is totally unsuited?

      I suggest you examine the demographics of the long-term unemployed before your enthusiasm gets the better of you.

      • George D 10.1.1

        Plenty of unemployment in the regions.

        Just because a policy can’t solve all of a problem, doesn’t make it a bad policy.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.1

          Oh, it’s going to apply to all the unemployed now, is it, not just the long term? Nah, I think you’re just thinking of things to say without addressing the issue.

          The fifth Labour government didn’t need indentured servitude to provide the lowest unemployment rate this country has ever seen. A WINZ employee told me at the time that the only people left without jobs were those who no-one would hire. I don’t know about you, but if I were a forestry worker they’d be the last colleagues I’d choose to trust my life to.

          This is a bene-bashing dog whistle pure and simple: work for the dole, and it will end badly (with any luck because Labour’s coalition partners tell the Labour Tories to go fuck themselves).

          • greywarbler 10.1.1.1.1

            OAB
            Stop criticising the person – stick to the policy. Why do you get so irritable and irascible over a perfectly sound comment? Are you someone with a painful condition stuck at home? I can’t see why you should take this out on others who are looking for the good result from policy and for Labour.

            I don’t think your comments offer light or real thought just complaints without reasonable critique.

  11. Once was Pete 11

    From a superficial look it appears to be another light weight effort. I have a feeling this policy will be as spectacularly unsuccessful as the other efforts so far. No idea about how they will deal with market forces. Do they plan to deal with the Fletcher/ Carter cartel. On one job I was involved in we could source NZ timber from Melbourne cheaper than we could get it from the same supplier locally. This is a major issue to be dealt with.
    How about speed of construction. Commercial tilt slab construction is fast and cost effective. Unless inducements are offered I don’t see architects, engineers and building owners rushing to build in wood.
    Why does labour think mills started to close in the first place? There had better be more than just local supply in mind because every time the construction industry goes through a cycle the local market will dry up. There is a reason off shore buyers want logs only. It isn’t hard to figure this out.
    I will wait for the full policy to be released before I make up my mind finally on this, but I am not holding my breathe!

    • Murray Olsen 11.1

      Fletchers and Carters have a real stranglehold on the local market and are not shy about protecting their interests against any perceived competition. Fletchers, as shown by Bruce Jesson, was basically gifted by the state to one family. It has not been good for the building industry. Short of expropriation, I don’t know what the solution is, but maybe a rebuilt Forest Service could sell to smaller outlets for local consumption? While most of the building costs are in land, the stranglehold on materials certainly doesn’t help.

  12. Once was Tim 12

    “On one job I was involved in we could source NZ timber from Melbourne cheaper than we could get it from the same supplier locally”
    …… not the first time I’ve heard that by any means (from architect/engineer relative); or NZ Salmon being sold cheaper in rural NSW than is available in NZ (last time I was there); etc.;etc

    …… maybe if some of these duopolists (such as supermarkets and building supply merchants) don’t start getting the message, it might be time to introduce a quota system whereby percentages of locally produced materials and goods must be sold locally. After all – the public usually has to pay for the cleanup of their shit left behind (such as festering milk fat pongs around Eltham)

    [Once was Tim because there now appear to be two of us]

  13. Clemgeopin 13

    Those that did watch the 6 pm news on TV! or TV3 last night, was there any mention of this forestry policy on the two 6 pm news channels? [I only watched the headlines as I had to leave]. Very curious to know if Labour is getting its fair share of important news exposure or not. I don’t really want to wade through two hours of news on ‘On Demand’, especially if there was no mention of the Labour policy.

  14. The Real Matthew 14

    Can anyone work out who we are going to sell these “value added” products to?

    There is a reason why processing in New Zealand has declined, it’s because the rest of the world is not buying it. It’s cheaper for purchasers to ship the logs off-shore.

    A subsidy isn’t going to change that.

    • Murray Olsen 14.1

      Even if we sell them to ourselves, that has to be better than buying them back from overseas.

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  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    7 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    7 days ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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?" ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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. ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    17 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days 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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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

  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
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