Labour on the environment

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, November 8th, 2011 - 38 comments
Categories: Environment, labour, national - Tags: ,

I was going to write about the release of Labour’s environmental policy – and the resounding silence from National – but NRT has done a great job aleady. — r0b

Labour on the environment

Labour released a package of environmental policies over the weekend, covering climate change, conservation, and the environment. So, how do they stack up? IMHO, pretty well for a major party.

On climate change [PDF], Labour would bring agriculture into to the ETS in 2013, though with a 90% pollution subsidy with an unclear phase-out rate. They’d also direct Solid Energy to give up its lignite plans, and make sure that any lignite mining and processing did not receive pollution subsidies. Finally, they’re signalling a change in foreign policy, promising to take “a leading role” in international climate change negotiations. That might not survive contact with MFAT, but at least the intention is there.

On Conservation [PDF], they’d establish a marine sanctuary around the Kermadec Islands, expand a few national parks, strengthen Schedule 4, and protect wild rivers. All pretty mainstream and as expected.

On the environment [PDF], they’ll review and strengthen oil spill preparedness, ban deep sea drilling without proper safeguards, and conduct an immediate investigation into fracking. However, they’re not planning on rolling back National’s RMA “reforms”, and are instead promising to promulgate further National Policy Statements (which are a fairly weak regulatory tool, but better than nothing).

Meanwhile, looking at National’s website, they’re not even bothering to list these issues anymore. They don’t have an environment, conservation or climate change policy; the closest they have is a “resource management” policy, the title of which tells you everything you need to know about their approach to these issues, and which is actually about further reducing public input and allowing developers and polluters to trample over the rest of us. These issues – the most important to New Zealanders, according to a recent 3 News poll – aren’t even an afterthought to them anymore. Instead, they’re things to be ignored, so that their rich mates can make more money at the expense of the rest of us.

38 comments on “Labour on the environment”

  1. Peter 1

    Fantastic, but at this point in the election campaign you need to ask who is winning hearts and minds. Key I suspect is the clear winner.

  2. Richard Watts 2

    If your wealth is unsustainable do you have wealth? People like the Greens are like the family members of a lottery winner telling him to ‘invest it’ rather than spend it all at once. National will keep the good times rolling but once the money runs out the party is over and we’ll be no wealthier than when we started.

    We started in grinding poverty, we started in a time where any abuse was tolerable, we started in a time where people were lucky to make it into their 50’s. We (humans) got a one time bonanza of free fossil energy, we just had to extract it. Once the party is over we’ll be even worse off than before because suddenly our planet will have 6 billion more than we can feed.

    What I don’t understand is why aren’t the wealthy rushing to support the Greens? Surely they would have to understand that once the good times run out they have the furthest to fall. Surely they have to understand that as a Doctor, Lawyer, Analyst, CEO etc that their wealth is derived from the complexity of society which can only be achieved with a LOT of energy?

  3. insider 3

    “They’d also direct Solid Energy to give up its lignite plans”

    This is a typical half arsed approach and demonstrates the whole political meddling problem of SOEs. LAbour either is happy to have lignite mining or it isn’t. If it doesn’t like it, why not come out and ban it? What point is there in banning a single company from doing it when others can just step in and take their place? Why limit SE’s opportunity to invest and grow its business? Labour seem more worried that it might stain their image than head off any environmental issue.

  4. If it doesn’t like it, why not come out and ban it?

    Short answer: because this would be quicker and easier. Solid Energy is the biggest playr, with the most concrete plans. Getting them to drop those plans kills the problem with a flick of the Minister’s pen.

    This does open space for other players. Labour is I think relying on the ETS to do its job and make those plans uneconomic. But it needs to kill pollution subsidies in order for that to be the case.

    • insider 4.1

      Anything in there about banning selling the IP or mining permits? If not it won’t kill, though it may delay – coal mining is not a unique activity to SE in NZ (not that I think the plans are going anywhere fast – oil prices are way too low to commit to a coal to liquid plant).

  5. uke 5

    I would like to have seen an immediate moratorium on “fracking”, pending the outcome on any inquiry. This is not a properly “tested” technology, having been excluded in the US from having to meet the requirements of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.

    • Richard Watts 5.1

      There is a lot of misinformation about Fracking. If the drillers were able to get the fractures to propagate as far as has been alleged they would make billions selling the secret. At best the fractures propagate about 100 feet.
      The reason why methane would escape is because of a bad concrete job. Heres a hint, Haliburton or big H doesn’t warrant their casing jobs and they will charge as much for the 1st as they would for the 10th.
      The produced fluid from the well brings about 70% of the fracking fluid back to the surface and this is either disposed of deep underground in re-injection wells. This happens over the first days to a week of operation.
      The reason why there are stories about exploding well water is because in many cases water wells are drilled into shallow natural gas reservoirs. Alternatively gas migrates naturally through fractures in the rock.
      There is no more danger from fracking as there is from conventional natural gas and oil exploitation.

      • Galeandra 5.1.1

        Well, I’ve read a lot of other commentators who say very different, many from the US. Support your opinions with some sources so that they can be evaluated.

        • insider 5.1.1.1

          Fracking is a process that has been used for over half a century all around the world in oil and gas wells, as well as in geothermal and water wells. The main objective is to insert sand grains into fractures to open them up and allow better transfer of the resource. That tells you how large these fractures are. You probably frack your garden with wider gaps when you dig a hole for a new shrub just through the impact of your spade or when you hammer in a fence post.

          What is new is the access to tight gas in shales. But these shales tend to be thousands of feet below the surface – well beyond any water sources. But because it is tight gas it means that more wells might be needed compared to a more traditional gas field. It’s not the fracking that is the issue when it comes to water contamination, it is the drilling process and well protection. But this is not unique to fracking, it is a well construction issue. The other is the waste fluids. Again it is how it is done by poor operators that is the key concern perhaps combined with higher water volumes involved in fracking (though water pressurisation of wells is relatively old technology in oil and gas). Putting the waste fluids 5000 feet underground should not be a concern to anyone who thinks a little beyond the scare stories or their plain primal fear of the unknown.

      • uke 5.1.2

        Personally, I would prefer no carnicogenic chemicals ever got remotely near the water table or “disposed of deep underground in re-injection wells”.

        • Richard Watts 5.1.2.1

          To be frank with you, the water coming up alongside the oil/natural gas is nastier than the actual fracking fluid. The reason why they have to dispose of the water appropriately is because it is laced with heavy metals and is extremely brackish and it contains oil/gas as well. A little known fact about the oil industry is that they are far more concerned about the brine than the are about the oil. Oil can be cleaned up but brine can ruin farmland for hundreds of years.

          I am not saying that fracking is good let me make this clear. I am saying that fracking is just as bad as every other oil/coal/gas extraction activity and no matter what there are still risks involved. The reason for instance why they test the blow out preventers every two weeks is because they are that unreliable. By all means oppose fracking but also oppose all other forms of natural gas and oil extraction as well.

          The EPA is regulating this by the way:

          http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/10/epa_to_regulate_disposal_of_fr.html

          Before I even think to look things up I would have to understand what you want. The geography of deep injection wells are pretty clear. I don’t see how fracking can contaminate water any more than primary and secondary extraction techniques could.

        • insider 5.1.2.2

          What do you think xylene, toluene etc are made from? mainly oil and gas. And where do we get them from? Mainly underground from oil and gas reservoirs….

          • uke 5.1.2.2.1

            Right. So because hydrogen cyanide can be produced partly from coal it’s quite okay to inject cyanide back into the ground. Or dioxins, because they can produced from hydrocarbons. In fact, considering every poisonous substance is synthesised from material deriving ultimately from the earth then, sure, inject it into the ground.

            • insider 5.1.2.2.1.1

              the vital difference being that xylene and toluene are naturally present in hydrocarbon deposits, and, last I heard, those hydrocarbons are generally considered toxic and can even be carcinogenic, and they are even known to exist in quite large quantities underground near water deposits, far greater quantities than the fluids used to enhance their extraction. Maybe we should remove all these hydrocarbon deposits to protect the water deposits?

    • insider 5.2

      It’s a very risky approach saying ‘the US does not regulate X’. They have huge amounts of regulation and exceptions. Just because a federal law may not cover some areas, doesn’t mean it is not regulated. In this case an EPA study said there was no contamination risk to water from coal bed methane fracking so the fluids used were excluded but other fracking elements are controlled. Fracking processes can also be regulated by states.

      • uke 5.2.1

        I did not say fracking is completely unregulated in the US. But as far as I understand, US fracking was exempted in 2005 from any regulation under the Safe Water Drinking Act by the EPA on the basis of the 2004 study you refer to (which was subsequently seriously criticised).
         
        There is certainly enough concern about this process that it has been banned or suspended in several parts of the world. I don’t see why NZ should cheerfully waltz into such a controversial activity.

        • insider 5.2.1.1

          but to say it was exempted implies that the law was relevant to the process and not including it was some form of policy failure. Something like a million wells have used fracking and they have never been regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act . So the ‘exemption’ was to prevent scope creep of the law into an area never previously covered or intended, a technique commonly followed in NZ law.

          So something being ‘controversial’ is your benchmark for banning something? Well kiss goodbye to windfarms, geothermal energy, fluorescent lightbulbs, electric vehicles, hydropower, tidal energy…

          • McFlock 5.2.1.1.1

            although, to be fair, none of the energy alternatives in your list have a realistic risk of polluting drinking water before it leaves the ground. That’s where the “controversy” about fracking comes in.

            • Richard Watts 5.2.1.1.1.1

              I think you need to rethink what you said. Geothermal energy does have similar risks as gas drilling in terms of risks to ground water. Wind farms, fluorescent lightbulbs and electric vehicles rely upon an extremely polluting extraction process for rare earth elements which can also risk ground water contamination. Hydro-power does have risk from creating stagnant water behind dams so that leaves tidal energy as the only one which doesn’t have risk to ground water by virtue of relying on sea water for power.
              All processes have risk involved and one must weight the pros and cons for all alternatives. Sometimes the alternatives do have worse consequences than the things they replace. It doesn’t help anyone to simply have irrational fears about things, we must all consider the practical and pragmatic responses like all human beings ought to.

              • Colonial Viper

                Sorry Richard Watts but you are talking from the standpoint that risks and consequences can be accurately measured and quantified, and that logical, analytical decisions can therefore be made in a robust and reliable fashion.

                None of which is (entirely) true.

                Actual real life decision making tends to follow the money, unless very judicious and impartial systems have been set up protecting against that.

                • Richard Watts

                  It depends on the risk/consequence.
                  Risk: Running low on energy.
                  Consequence: Billions die.
                  Some like the above are pretty explicit.
                  Most issues we face are from explicitly quantified risks such as global warming, soil depletion, peak water etc but the unfortunate response from many people is to put their fingers in their ears. 
                  When all parts of the world can be protected equally then the incentives for all business activities will be correct. At the moment the incentives are perverse because only some things are protected whilst others are not. China for instance is the only country willing to undertake rare earth mining and processing for perverse ecological reasons.
                   

              • McFlock

                my understanding is that we were talking about fracking as opposed to other typres of drilling – geothermal doesn’t necessarily mean “fracking”, does it?
                As for the issue about mined elements possibly hurting groundwater, the energy extraction itself does not have the same issues as fracking – and the rare earth mining issues (which should be addressed) should be addressed separately. After all, I’m sure much of the fracking equipment has the same environmentally doubtful character as theequipment for wind farms and fluoro bulbs. 
                 
                There is a wider picture, yes – but personally I think insider was just looking to muddy the debate via the “some are less pure than others = all are impure = all are equally impure” circle. Again.

                • Richard Watts

                  I have to be explicitly clear here. The depths they are talking about are in the order of thousands of feet underground. The problem is NOT the actual fracking, it is in the well casings. If the well casings fail and these do cross through fresh groundwater there will be contamination. This is a problem which all land based fossil fuel extraction faces. The water they are contaminating with fracking fluid would be an ecological disaster if it ever reached the surface or mixed with the water table regardless of whether there is fracking fluid in it or not. Almost all drilling aside from the Bakken shale formation produces considerable quantities of water.
                  Either oppose drilling or support drilling, it is a red herring to simply focus on the one aspect of drilling because it sounds scary. The reason for the link between fracking and water contamination is due to the sheer number of wells which must be drilled to access ‘tight gas’. The number of wells drilled multiplies the risk because each individual well casing has a chance of failure.
                  I just want to make it clear that I absolutely do NOT support fracking. I know enough about the oil industry from http://www.theoildrum.com to understand the risks involved. The difference is that I also do not support conventional gas and oil exploitation either. The fact remains however that we cannot replace even a fraction of the fossil fuels produced by alternatives at this juncture so whilst it is difficult to live with oil production it is impossible to live without it.

                  • rosy

                    “Either oppose drilling or support drilling, it is a red herring to simply focus on the one aspect of drilling because it sounds scary

                    I’m absolutely opposed to that kind of absolutist thinking 😉 when other factors, such as changing the environment the technology is used in, alters the risk profile of the operation.

                    A rather good summary of the regulatory debate in the US is here.

                    • Richard Watts

                      Im absolutely not being absolutist! 😉
                      Talking to an actual geologist who has worked on hundreds of drilling projects I might have an insight or two to share. Seriously the guy is anal about safety and making sure he meets Texas drilling regulations. He has to dispose of rainwater which falls on his drilling site with the same care as produced water form the well. To paraphrase him he would be thrilled if fracking in reality was as effective as portrayed in the media.
                      I can’t tell anyone that fracking is safe because I can’t say that any drilling for oil and natural gas is absolutely safe. I have said many many times that the risk involved comes from the well casing itself, the same casing which failed in the gulf of Mexico disaster along with the blow out preventor. 
                      I am trying to be pragmatic here. If you want to know I am a paying member of the Green party in New Zealand and I have been involved with many of their activities in the lead up to the election.

                    • rosy

                      Oh I’m not questioning your credentials, just the absolute positioning because it ends up in quite pedantic, and unrealistic debates, extending to the point of absurdity, like why the advocate of the position being argued might be using an oil-based product.

                      I think you’ve summed up the problem of exploiting fossil fuel resources with your last paragraph:

                      The fact remains however that we cannot replace even a fraction of the fossil fuels produced by alternatives at this juncture so whilst it is difficult to live with oil production it is impossible to live without it..

                      Decisions need to be made to divert resources toward alternatives in a big way. I’m more concerned about shale-fracking without an adequate regulatory framework than I am about reasonably well-tested conventional drilling, just as I am about deep-water drilling (and transporting the stuff). And even if the regulatory environment is adequate I don’t support the increasing exploitation of fossil fuels when it’s a reduction in demand and alternative technologies that are needed.

                      http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/09/fossil-fuel-infrastructure-climate-change – “If fossil fuel infrastructure is not rapidly changed, the world will ‘lose for ever’ the chance to avoid dangerous climate change”

                • insider

                  No, Uke said that controversy and other countries ‘banning’ it (I’d dispute that there are wholesale bans in many places) was reason to not do it here, yet it is a well proven and widely used technology whose environmental record is not out of kilter with other parts of the oil industry. If that were the measure to ban then a lot of things wouldn’t happen here. If you think untested tide power is not controversial go up to the kaipara, breeding ground of much of nz’s snapper. Wind farms are regularly in the news for environmental effects, do you know how much mercury wairakei pumps into the Waikato river? A lot more than generated by cfls and they are considered both a hazard and something to be made compulsory. Hydro ruins rivers apparently and electric cars require harmful batteries.

                  On the other hand methane in your water is by all accounts harmless (or no harm has been found). So let’s not allow fear and hyperbole to unnecessarily limit our energy options

                  • uke

                    You seem to have a habit of misquoting. I did not say “many” countries have banned fracking. I said several have banned or suspended. I said this was reason not to blithely go ahead with the technology. My initial posting recommended a moratorium pending an inquiry. Therefore your initial sentence is a complete mischaracterisation of what I said.
                     
                    McFlock is correct. You’re just running intereference. Don’t know why I took the bait.

                    • insider

                      That’s hilarious – in accusing me of misquoting you, you misquote my ‘quote’ of you (which was actually a paraphrase).

                      You said it was not a properly tested technology “having been excluded in the US” from an environmental law. Exclusion from a particular regulation is not a valid test of a technology. Nor is the initial ‘tested’ statement even vaguely true because you ignore its long history across a range of mining-based industries – 60 years and a million wells. What is an adequate time and test regime in your view? Don’t go crying ‘interference’ just because you can’t take a tackle.

  6. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6

    ban deep sea drilling without proper safeguards

    Who, exactly, is advocating deep sea drilling without proper safeguards?

    • Richard Watts 6.1

      There are no real safe guards which can assure us that another deep sea Horizon won’t happen. Deep sea drilling is dangerous period because of the complexity and the sheer number of things which can go wrong as well as the difficulty in fixing them. Having safeguards won’t assure us that nothing will go wrong, it’ll just mean we have assurances that nothing can possibly go wrong until it does. If you’re doubting me here then all you need to do is look at Fukashima.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.1.1

        Very good. Not the question I asked, though.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    I defy anyone to watch Gasland and not be utterly horrified.

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/gasland/

    We are witrnessing last acts of desperation on behalf of fossil fuel interests to prop up their dysfunctional house-of-cards economy, and they are making truck-loads of money in the process.

    • uke 7.1

      Yes, it’s essential viewing. Especially the bit where, before a congressional committee, the oil-company officials refused to drink water taken from (previously safe) wells nearing their fracking oeprations.

  8. exitlane 8

    on Schedule 4 they will consider expanding the area on the Coromandel off limits to mining to the southern Coromandel DOC estate  eg the area inland from Whangamata where Newmont Waihi Gold are drilling now and want to mine. 
    This is high value conservation land of equal or better status as the currently protected Schedule 4 land north of the Kopu Hikuia Road, so this policy is hugely welcome

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  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    7 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    1 week ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

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