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Labour clarifies position on irrigation and bottled water

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, June 26th, 2017 - 50 comments
Categories: election 2017, farming, labour, water - Tags: , ,

labour.org.nz press release

Labour will not resile from royalties

Posted by Andrew Little on June 25, 2017

Labour believes cleaning up our rivers so that they are clean enough to swim in is the most important freshwater issue for this election, but that it is also fair that a royalty should be charged where public water is used in large quantities for private gain, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.

“It was reported following my speech to Federated Farmers last week that Labour has abandoned its policy of charging a royalty on farming uses of water. We haven’t.

“At the conclusion of my speech I was asked about resource rentals which I thought was a  reference to our NZ Power policy of 2014. I replied that we were not continuing with that policy.  I confirmed we would impose a levy on bottled water.  This was in addition to our focus on water quality, which I had already spoken about.

“The message of my speech was that we will work with farmers on regulatory change and that there is urgency to act on environmental quality and climate change. We remain committed to setting a resource rental for large water take for irrigation at a fair and affordable price.

“I wanted to emphasise that the platform we are campaigning on this election will emphasise water quality and a royalty on water used for bottling.

“The chair of the meeting commented that there was a difference between bottled water and irrigation, which I did not reply to.

“This exchange  was interpreted as Labour abandoning our wider policy, which we have held since the 2011 election, of introducing a wider royalty on commercial uses of water.

“Labour has not resiled from its policy on water royalties.

“This election we will be focusing on water quality and water bottling, as these are important to all New Zealanders,” says Andrew Little.

50 comments on “Labour clarifies position on irrigation and bottled water”

  1. bwaghorn 1

    what is the irrigation levy to be used for , is it ring fenced for improving all things water , or is it into the great government slush fund?

  2. Charge a lot for irrigation.double the penalties for polluters or those that don’t fulfill their obligations around water – farmers and city folk. Ban water bottling for export.

    • Andre 2.1

      Why ban water bottling for export? It’s the highest dollar value use of the water, and is a near negligible portion of water use in NZ. Just make sure we get a substantial royalty.

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        We need it here. I don’t care about the dollars – that’s a false argument imo.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          +111

        • Andre 2.1.1.2

          Let’s do a comparison of directly exporting water vs using it to produce milk.

          https://sciblogs.co.nz/waiology/2012/05/24/how-much-water-does-it-take-to-produce-one-litre-of-milk/

          Let’s start by imagining we charge a royalty of $0.01 per litre for bottled water that ends up retailing for over a buck a litre. If that water goes to dairy cows instead, it takes 250 litres of aquifer water to produce a litre of milk in Canterbury, along with another 700 odd litres of other water footprint. That litre of milk is worth maybe $0.70, and creating it also created a shitload of pollutants. The royalty on the 250 litres would instead be $2.50, with no resulting pollution in our waterways.

          I know which deal looks better to me. As long as we’re not trashing environmental treasures by extracting that water.

          • marty mars 2.1.1.2.1

            Just to clarify. My belief is that water is a common. It should be available to all. It should not be commodified for profit. I wouldn’t let farmers do it either.

            • gsays 2.1.1.2.1.1

              I am with you there Marty, some things are sacred, water is one of them.

          • weka 2.1.1.2.2

            Andre why are you comparing a natural resource with something that is produced. As marty says, the water is the commons. It shouldn’t be for sale.

            I’d also argue that the plastics involved in bottling water is a reason on its own not to do it. Massive amounts of pollution. And then there are the carbon emissions.

            We just have to stop all that shit. It’s that thinking (water extraction is better at making money) that has lead us to having most of our rivers polluted (hey, milk powder is a great way to make money). Start with sustainability and then figure out how to make a living within that. Most of what you are talking about isn’t making a living, it’s making a killing, and other things are paying the price.

            “As long as we’re not trashing environmental treasures by extracting that water.”

            Name me some NZ examples where the environment doesn’t get trashed.

            • Andre 2.1.1.2.2.1

              Let’s consider the proposed Ashburton scheme that got a lot of publicity last year.

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11672314

              That scheme apparently planned to tap into a resource that’s already heavily drawn on by agriculture, and since Ashburton is closer to the coast than the hills, it would be closer to the end of the line than the source. So I don’t see that there’s an argument that they are unfairly privatising a common resource that should be available to all any more than the farmers drawing on that same resource do. Nor is it trashing an environmental treasure any more than the farmers extracting water are doing, and it would be a very difficult task finding any measurable effects from that extraction from deep underground.

              The planned extraction rate was 1.4 billion litres per year. This sounds like a huge number, but it nets down to 45 litres per second. That’s a tiny trickle of a stream. I’d be surprised if there weren’t farmers extracting a lot more.

              As far as emissions, I’ll guess using the water for bottled water is probably lower than alternative agricultural uses.

              So all up, my argument is that if we are going to allow extraction of that water resource, then using it for bottled water with a royalty is a smarter and less environmentally damaging use than intensifying agriculture. Or if we are going to deny it to bottlers (with a royalty) because it’s privatising a common resource, then we should apply the same reasoning to farmers.

              • Draco T Bastard

                That scheme apparently planned to tap into a resource that’s already heavily drawn on by agriculture, and since Ashburton is closer to the coast than the hills, it would be closer to the end of the line than the source. So I don’t see that there’s an argument that they are unfairly privatising a common resource that should be available to all any more than the farmers drawing on that same resource do. Nor is it trashing an environmental treasure any more than the farmers extracting water are doing, and it would be a very difficult task finding any measurable effects from that extraction from deep underground.

                Non sequitur followed by failed logic.

                Just because it’s close to the coast doesn’t mean that it’s unfairly privatising a common resource.

                Just because it may be better than farming doesn’t mean that it’s not trashing the environment. In fact, we know it is trashing the environment as extracting the water will cause damage to life and the land.

                The planned extraction rate was 1.4 billion litres per year. This sounds like a huge number, but it nets down to 45 litres per second. That’s a tiny trickle of a stream.

                More failed logic.

                It’s not a question of it being a small amount but what the proportion of the amount being added by rainfall. And then how much the environment needs to survive.

                As far as emissions, I’ll guess using the water for bottled water is probably lower than alternative agricultural uses.

                It’s not just about emissions but about other pollutants such as plastic water bottles as well.

                So all up, my argument is that if we are going to allow extraction of that water resource, then using it for bottled water with a royalty is a smarter and less environmentally damaging use than intensifying agriculture.

                Yes it is but it’s still failing to note the actual physical limitations of the environment.

              • greywarshark

                Andre
                Let’s fucking not consider any export of water. It is not a commodity that there is much of, it can’t be processed cheaply enough (say from seawater) at an exportable price, it is a necessity, it is lifeblood to the land, and so with us.

                I’ll say no more. I have said my bit twice now in rage and bewilderment that apparently intelligent and sane people can erect such powerful theoretical arguments that should not even be considered.
                You sound like a neo lib economist who wants to change the world, or exploit to excess parts of it, because he or she worked out an argument calling on faulty theories and authority, that sounds good enough to a packed hall of peers.

              • Ad

                I agree with your reasoning Andre.
                Lowest cost, highest price.

                After all, if we ban exports of water, we ban exports of all fluid exports other than mineral fluids. Although I’ve heard a good glass of Pinot is also “sacred”.

                New Zealand has a comparative advantage in this world for water and grass. That’s still about it.

                The only policy argument is at what level the royalty for water should be set.

                Underneath that is the point Winston raised about whether that royalty should be ringfenced to be spent within the area it was extracted from.

                Also, since it’s a raw ingredient, whether it should be subject to GST or not.

                • Funny a christan like you mocking sacred things. That happened a lot during the early stages of colonisation too when christans showed disdain for the beliefs that they discovered here. Thought we’d moved on from that a bit but…

                • Draco T Bastard

                  New Zealand has a comparative advantage in this world for water and grass. That’s still about it.

                  No we don’t.

                  We have an absolute advantage compared to some nations and an absolute disadvantage compared to some others.

                  The only policy argument is at what level the royalty for water should be set.

                  Under market theology the price of water should be set at the same rate in NZ as the price in the nations with minimal water. NZ would then get a higher profit.

                  Underneath that is the point Winston raised about whether that royalty should be ringfenced to be spent within the area it was extracted from.

                  Most of it should go to the area it was extracted from with some going to the central government.

                  Also, since it’s a raw ingredient, whether it should be subject to GST or not.

                  GST applies to everything sold except financial services.

                  Still, the real question there is if we should have GST at all.

                  • Ad

                    A marked “theology” is not what is proposed. Labour is precisely proposing to regulate its price.

                    GST is proposed under NZFirst to remove GST on raw ingredients.

                    No political party in parliament I am aware of is proposing to get rid of GST entirely.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      A market theology is what we have. Adding water pricing is more of that market theology.

                      GST is massively regressive and needs to be gotten rid of.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I think the government Treasury’s accounts are now addicted to it, now that they’ve sold off most of the power companies.

                      Now that they’ve cut taxes on the rich actually.

                      Dropping GST will mean having to put the taxes back up on the highest earners.

                      Maybe a really adventurous state would simply nationalise fresh water, form its own company, and really make some tax.

                      That’s pretty much what needs to happen.

              • weka

                If you think that drawing water from aquifers doesn’t affect the environment I suggest doing some research on the US rivers that no longer reach the sea.

                Of course individual takes don’t make a difference. It’s when the take is more than the aquifer and catchment can sustain that’s the problem. We already know that NZ currently is in overshoot on so many levels, and we don’t yet know what will happen to the Canterbury aquifers from climate change (less rain and snow? More wind? melting glaciers etc). Ground water is far too important to fuck around with.

                The difference between bottled water and ag is that ag will eventually be about keeping humans alive instead of making money. Bottled water is not about that at all. It’s about supporting the extravagant lifestyles of developed places who have fucked their own water supply. I’m all for bottling water for humanitarian reasons, even with the plastics involved, but I think we have a moral imperative to not send our water to places that won’t look after their own.

                Agriculture for food needs far less water than it uses now. Regen ag specialises in low water farming. There’s no reason that kind of farming can’t take water as needed, but that’s entirely different than what we are seeing now. So sure, let’s ban commercial bottling of water, and put a moratorium on big ag irrigation so it can transition to regenag.

                • Jenny Kirk

                  Totally agree with you, Weka. Sensible, commonsense comments – so realistic …… its no wonder all those neo-libs don’t understand – they only understand their own fantasies.

                • Timeforacup of tea

                  Hello.
                  I am in the USA right now and can buy spring water for .1666666 cents per litre, yes that is right point 1666666 cents per litre. 24 – 500 mil bottles for US$1.99.
                  New Zealand is a rip of country when it comes to bottled water and I have never ever purchased a plastic bottle of water in NZ but do here in the US. Beats coke hands down.
                  Gas was US$1.99 a gallon today which ruffly translates to 25 cents US per litre. Eggs huge large buggers 47 cents US a dozen. And a US gallon of milk rich creamy milk not like our watered down stuff US$1.95 or ruffly 50 cents a litre.
                  Have a nice day.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.2.2

              +111

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.3

            As long as we’re not trashing environmental treasures by extracting that water.

            Trashing the environment is exactly what we will be doing by extracting the water and exporting it. Never mind reducing the amount of water for each and everyone of us here in NZ.

            Why do people think that the water we have is unlimited?

            • Ad 2.1.1.2.3.1

              Depends where you live.
              Too much in some places, not enough – seasonally – in others.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Still not unlimited.

                • Ad

                  It’s surplus.

                  Those who have an oversupply should be able to use that oversupply – unless of course you cut through Conservation lands to get at it. No need to be selfish with something we have in oversupply that the world needs.

          • Ad 2.1.1.2.4

            There are plenty of brewery companies who have asked the same question as that: why not just export water, when we get all the grief about whether beer is “craft” or not, what scale of alcohol tax it attracts, the massive plant and machinery required to produce at scale, the operational costs, the marketing costs, the depreciation, etc etc.

            Which is a very good driver for those like Coca Cola whose core products need massive extra ingredients, marketing, copyright protection.

            And we have too much of it most of the time in many places.

            I’m amazed that Watercare hasn’t started retailing bottled water itself.

      • greywarshark 2.1.2

        Andre
        Water is a scarce but necessary commodity. You want to keep exporting this??
        And think that we won’t be rorted by any business that sets up this moving gold mine??

        Wake up brother. Once the pipes are in place it can be siphoned off and who will be able to keep accurate measurements of how much? There could be observers in place and they would get captured by the business selling the water. It would be ripe for moral hazard. For bribes, for tax avoidance, for payment evasion with businesses constantly going broke owing $millions.

        Just leave our water alone, or it will be bloody water, the rose red bubble of a pricked thumb, I can feel it in my thumbs, I can feel it in my water. There is an inevitable human skewedness waiting to happen here, it’s just normal human business and greed behaviour to follow that route which will lead to multiple tragedies.

        • Ad 2.1.2.1

          We have an economy that runs on water already.
          Much of it is accurately measured, commodified, and given extra value before being sold, consumed and exported. You’re soaking in it.

      • Stuart Munro 2.1.3

        It’s not just about money – the whole water bottling game is environmentally negative. Councils should concentrate on clean water for people living in the area – not risk that for a dodgy dollar.

  3. patricia bremner 3

    Was this another case of a “misunderstanding/non story” which causes distraction through headlines for the growing ranks of Labour/Greens? (not counting inflated polls ofcourse).

    • Jenny Kirk 3.1

      Yes – I think so. A “misunderstanding” on the part of the media who reported it.
      I noted another one (I’m not going to say what it was) yesterday, and someone will be waiting for the opportunity to bring it up to “disrespect” Andrew Little. Just don’t believe them, and try not to be distracted.

      • weka 3.1.1

        +1 I was puzzled myself by the original article (it was in the rural pages of Stuff). But seeing left wing politicos assuming that the article was true was pretty interesting. The article itself wasn’t very well written, but some lefties just want to assume the worst about Labour and that’s where they will go first rather than checking things out.

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          I’m still puzzled 😉

          The original article refers to the 2014 policy of “resource rental”, but resource rental has been around since 2011 (‘Water’ is currently under review alongside other policies from 2014 and hasn’t been released as policy yet) . Andrew Little says he thought the question was about the 2014 policy of having a single buyer for generated electricity (The NZ Power Policy). That was dropped back in Nov 2015, and I have to say, that barring actually hearing how the question was phrased, I’m buggered if I can see how confusion between those two things could arise.

          Anyway, ‘checking stuff out’ then, it seems isn’t always that straight forward, aye?

          People generlly reported in good faith off the back of that stuff report. NRT has already put out a correction, and I’d hardly characterise the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers as lefties (who) just want to assume the worst about Labour…

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            Just as well I wasn’t talking about the anglers then and instead was talking about actual lefties who should know better but let their antipathy towards Labour cloud their judgement (mostly on twitter but also Rhinocrates on the weekend). The article was clearly not clear and in the political scene I’m not really going to go with ‘we should take Stuff at face value’.

            I don’t understand the whole resource rental vs whatever, so will wait for the actual policy release before condemning Labour.

            “and I have to say, that barring actually hearing how the question was phrased, I’m buggered if I can see how confusion between those two things could arise.”

            Whereas I think that people miscommunicate all the time and so I’m not going to try and parse a conversation I wasn’t party to on the basis of an article that was clearly inaccurate. Who knows what happened or why, shit happens. What bothers me is the political climate that relentless seeks to find the weakness and stomp on it. It’s brutal and punishing and I’m fucking sick of it. Sorry, not wanting to have a go at you, but I still think this shit might lose the left a close election.

            • Bill 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Not any kind of fan for “taking things at face value”. And I don’t think the likes of who-ever NRT is either. What I was pointing to was that they reported in good faith. I’m not sure how they could have checked things out when there isn’t any policy released yet. But whatever…

              • weka

                Yeah, nah. Media have good access to Labour, not least because it’s their job. They could have clarified directly with Labour comms. I have no idea if the report was in good faith, or had a pro-farming bias, or whatever but I see no reason to suppose that it was an accurate report.

                I read it and thought what? It didn’t make sense. Stuff could have figured that out too. Which doesn’t excuse Labour from their comms issues, just that my original point was that it’s the lefties who are inclined to bash Labour that went there so fast.

                • Bill

                  I’m talking about NRT’s blog post that was done in good faith off the back of the msm reportage.

                  • weka

                    yes, and I think IS was one of the people too quick to jump to bashing Labour. I read the article and thought something was wrong. IS is more politically savvy than me, so what gives.

  4. Michael 4

    Then how come Little’s comments to Federated Farmers were reported so differently from those above? I realise the Feds aren’t exactly core Labour supporters (which begs the question of WTF he was even speaking to them in the frst place, instead of trying to get some support from people who might vote for him – if he spoke clearly and without any bullshit) and might not make the most reliable messengers, but the media scrum who reported his comments (in an open meeting) couldn’t have got it that wrong? Could they?

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    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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. ...
    5 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
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