web analytics

Labour proposes asset sales law

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, June 20th, 2011 - 57 comments
Categories: labour, privatisation - Tags:

Labour proposes a new law to stop asset sales. More like this please!

Labour proposes a new law to stop asset sales

Monday, 20 June 2011, 10:32 am
Press Release: New Zealand Labour Party

Labour is introducing a new private members bill to prevent the sale of key strategic assets unless there is a clear public mandate.

“Assets like our power companies were built through the blood, sweat and tears of New Zealanders and paid for by Kiwis over generations. They are not National’s to sell.

“John Key is arrogantly ignoring the fact that at least two-thirds of New Zealanders strongly oppose the sale of our community-owned assets. He should have to seek a specific mandate before flogging off those assets to corporate and foreign buyers,” said Phil Goff.

The private members bill, in the name of State-Owned Enterprises spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove, will require any future proposal to partly or wholly privatise an SOE or Crown entity to gain support from 75 per cent of Parliament or from a majority of voters in a referendum.

The State-Owned Enterprises and Crown Entities (Protecting New Zealand’s Strategic Assets) Amendment bill will entrench enterprises listed in Schedules 1 and 2 of the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986.

Those assets include our state electricity generation and transmission companies, NZ Post (including KiwiBank), Landcorp (including its extensive holding of farmland) and Solid Energy. It also includes other strategic assets like Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand and the Crown research institutes.

“These assets belong to New Zealanders. National does not have the right to sell them without the support of Kiwis. Once they are sold they are lost forever.

“Labour will fight tooth and nail to keep our Kiwi-owned assets in Kiwi hands.”

57 comments on “Labour proposes asset sales law”

  1. queenstfarmer 1

    A good idea. In the meantime it’s just as well the Govt is seeking a mandate at the next election.

    But why stop at asset sales? Expanding this to to full binding citizens referenda would be better.

    • Tigger 1.1

      I’m no fan of tyranny of the majority. Just because a majority of people think it’s okay doesn’t mean it really is okay.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    How does this impact on Labour’s/Cunliffe’s stance on PPPs?

  3. Policy Parrot 3

    “Expanding this to to full binding citizens referenda would be better.”

    The idea that citizens initiated referenda are the be-all end-all solution is what is ridiculous. For example the whole California budget crisis is a direct result of the much earlier citizen’s initiated referendum on property taxes.

    Also, Oregon (I think), had two referenda, one to impose a ban on tax increases, and another to ban spending cuts. Because these were binding, the state was locked in a permanent structural deficit.

    And, direct democracy remains as susceptible to big money as representative democracy, even more so. Just wait until the “Campaign for Better Government Mark II” opens it’s wallet.

    The whole Direct Democracy meme rides on politicians and political actors acting for what is considered to be in the best interests of the country, and not be a front for interest groups trying to get their various proposals across the line. How naive is that?

    • Jeremy Harris 3.1

      There are ways you can protect voter’s rights to referendums without having crazy structural deficits, such as an MoF veto which most legislation is already subject to. AG veto for BoR breaches.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Crazy structural deficits?

        Selling off more high earning state assets will do nothing except exacerbate our crazy structural deficits.

        • Jeremy Harris 3.1.1.1

          CV, I know you see my name and your brain immeaditely goes into leftie smear mode, but read Policy Parrot’s post, in particular the part where he talks about California’s and Oregon’s deficits. To anyone with half a brain they’d be able to figure out that I was referring to said deficits.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            Hi Jeremy, you know I appreciate it when your name appears at The Standard.

            Anyhows, I took another read at P.P.’s comment and this is one of those rare occasions where I believe has has the wrong facts (or perhaps out of date facts) when he says:

            Also, Oregon (I think), had two referenda, one to impose a ban on tax increases, and another to ban spending cuts. Because these were binding, the state was locked in a permanent structural deficit.

            In fact, when the Oregon Governor signed tax increases last year targetting the wealthy and businesses into law, Republicans and big business did form a bloc using direct referenda to strike down the tax increases. They failed. In 2010 Oregonians voted strongly in favour of taxing the rich and businesses.

            Oregon voters since 1990 have limited property taxes, rejected sales taxes and vetoed across-the-board income taxes. But with 87% of the ballots counted, the measure to raise income taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year, and individuals earning more than $125,000, was winning with 54.1%. A second measure to raise the state’s corporate income tax was ahead with 53.6%.

            http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/27/nation/la-na-oregon-tax27-2010jan27

            Also covered in The Economist

            http://www.economist.com/node/15393573

            • Jeremy Harris 3.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s good to see my comment has prompted you to go and do some research, if you knew that before you posted you wouldn’t have referred to NZ deficits.

              While steps have been taken to reform those deficits in the last few years, the problem – particularly in California – is well known and has been for 20 years.

      • Rich 3.1.2

        Well that’s completely useless. There have been dozens (it may be three figures) of laws passed over a report from the Attorney General that they conflict with the BORA. Parliament just passes them anyway.

        • queenstfarmer 3.1.2.1

          True. The BORA is a joke.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.1

            That could be:-

            a) Because it’s not entrenched as superior law which would allow the courts to overturn unconstitutional laws or
            b) Because it’s set up in such a way as to allow the government to bypass it if it considers the new law in the interests of New Zealand even if it does break the BORA.

            Personally, I’m not a fan of entrenched written constitutions as they have a nasty habit of preventing change that needs to happen but I do think that the BORA needs more teeth.

        • Jeremy Harris 3.1.2.2

          Although it makes me feel physically ill, I have to agree with DTB. Although not that the BORA should potentially be entrenched (that’s a different argument) but some function where the AG’s objection or legal opinion could not be overridden, an open appeal to the Supreme Court perhaps.

          BCIR can work, the Swiss make it work work, not only on a National level but at lower levels of government, and MoF and AG clauses would be a great way to strengthen this.

    • KJT 3.2

      BS. It works perfectly fine in Switzerland and several other US states.

      Why use one example from California.

      The NZ Government is proving to be pretty good at having an excessive budget deficit to benefit a few rich people and corporates.

      How could we do worse than at present.

      Opponents of direct democracy are really just worried that the majority will not follow their views.

      It is never very popular with any stripe of politician, because they want power at all costs.

      And, “even if it is the wrong decision it is ours to make”.

    • Frank Macskasy 3.3

      On top of that is the very real threat of Tyranny of the Majority.

      California’s infamous Proposition 8 – which resulted in a small “majority”, taking away the right of a minority to the institution of marriage, which was simply apalling. (That result is now going to be contested in California’s Supreme Court as unconstitutional.)

      Transfer that scenario to NZ and I wonder if the Homosexual Law Reform Bill (1986) would have been passed had it gone to referenda?

      Or the Prostitution Law Reform Bill of 2003?

      Heck, women didn’t get the vote in Switzerland until 1971!! Until then, numerous referenda on the issue had been voted down.

      I have a very real fear of lawmaking-by-referenda – especially law that is complex. For example, who can forget Norm Withers’ referendum held in 1999, which asked, “Should there be a reform of our Justice system placing greater emphasis on the needs of victims, providing restitution and compensation for them and imposing minimum sentences and hard labour for all serious violent offences?”?

      Lawmaking by referenda, to me, is a lazy way to make law. It involves little thinking; very little participation by the public; and only superficual knowledge of issues – usually by media. Complex issues devolved to a simple “Yes” or “No” tick.

      It would be like handing over the justice system to internet messageboards/Fora, for a verdict. It would be the ultimate ‘McDonaldisation’ of our political system.

      “Would you like fries with that “No” vote to adequately fund criminal rehabilitation programmes?”

      May the Flying Spaghetti Monster help us all.

      • Jum 3.3.1

        Frank Macskasy

        Binding referenda are far too dangerous in the hands of the New Zealanders who are proven to be greedy and selfish, misogynist and red-necked.

        We can’t handle our drink and we still think women take time off for their periods – rest assured there are many more cretins like Alasdair Thompson galumphing about.

        The Norm Withers referendum question was not actually one question; it was 4. Apparently, the clerk that okays these questions allowed it through just to shut Withers up, the clerk being safe in the knowledge it would be ignored by government. It should not have been allowed as one question and the clerk should have been sacked.

        I remember putting a giant cross on the question paper and shoving it angrily into the voting box, thinking New Zealand hasn’t progressed very far at all in its evolution.

        The S59 Bill was a ridiculous exercise in misleading and manipulating the public, which is incredibly easy given Key, in spite of his lies and betrayals, is still so popular. The question should never have been allowed.

        Binding referenda should never be allowed in this country; the foreign media and corporates that control our communications and everything else, just about, don’t deserve our trust that they would observe objective rules.

        • KJT 3.3.1.1

          “On top of that is the very real threat of Tyranny of the Majority.”

          That is a joke! At the moment we have a tyranny of a very small, wealthy minority.

          What is worse is Government by minority in the USA, UK and NZ keeps voting for less taxes for the wealthy putting the economy in deficit and shutting our society down.

          Looking at two BCIR decisions in California is cherry picking unless you look at how it has worked fine elsewhere.

          “Transfer that scenario to NZ and I wonder if the Homosexual Law Reform Bill (1986) would have been passed had it gone to referenda?”

          Judging by the polling at the time the majority in NZ supported the bill. It was parliament who held it up. I suspect a majority are also happy about gay marriage.

          It is a minority of religious people, supported by Government who are too scared of them to revisit the issue, who are holding up a sensible abortion reform law.

          “Or the Prostitution Law Reform Bill of 2003?”

          Maybe, maybe not. I suspect the majority could have been persuaded by sensible argument. But it is not a consideration against democracy that some people do not like the decisions. Many more do not like most of the decisions of our present Government.

          “Heck, women didn’t get the vote in Switzerland until 1971!! Until then, numerous referenda on the issue had been voted down.”

          Again in NZ it was Parliament that held this up. Indications were that the majority view was women should have equal rights. The decision in Switzerland reflected their society not their political system. The same thing would have happened no matter what form of Government they had.

          “I have a very real fear of lawmaking-by-referenda – especially law that is complex. For example, who can forget Norm Withers’ referendum held in 1999, which asked, “Should there be a reform of our Justice system placing greater emphasis on the needs of victims, providing restitution and compensation for them and imposing minimum sentences and hard labour for all serious violent offences?”?”

          The Government censored the senior judge who argued against more severe sentencing.

          Again this needed a more informed level of public discussion, instead of point scoring politicians.

          You mean the majority may not agree with you! If you think you have a better way it is up to you to prove it will work.

          Who are you to say you can understand complex issues but the public cannot.

          The majority did oppose section 59. Not I suspect because they wanted to go out and beat their kids, but as I did, because the police already have more powers than the level of maturity and skills of the average police-person can handle.

          Given more discussion and less of the disgusting name calling and BS from both extremes we may have got a better law.

          Similarly with the FS and SB law a lot more discussion and time was required to make a durable solution which was OK for the majority of both ethnicity.

          “Lawmaking by referenda, to me, is a lazy way to make law. It involves little thinking; very little participation by the public; and only superficual knowledge of issues – usually by media. Complex issues devolved to a simple “Yes” or “No” tick.”

          Doesn’t work that way in Switzerland. Politicians have to work hard at getting views across, making legislation work or it will be voted out.

          Research shows that on the whole BCIR makes better decisions than politicians.

          New Zealanders have shown over time that, contrary to your belief, the majority believe in fairness and equality for minorities. How many really oppose fair treaty settlements for example.

          “It would be like handing over the justice system to internet messageboards/Fora, for a verdict. It would be the ultimate ‘McDonaldisation’ of our political system.”

          And handing it over to the prettiest politician on TV is not!

          ““Would you like fries with that “No” vote to adequately fund criminal rehabilitation programmes?””

          I suspect given the evidence of increased crime figures, if they are abandoned, the public would quickly vote them back.

          When people know that they will actually make a difference they will take more interest and demand they are properly informed.

          Why would anyone fully consider how they vote in a referendum when they know it will ignored.

          Like most people your objections are really. “We cannot have democracy because the decisions may not reflect the ones I would make”.

          Well. I am happy to test my ideas against the collective intelligence of the public. Are you?

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Go Labour 😀

    More gutsy stuff like this please.

    • SHG 4.1

      This isn’t gutsy, it’s a token gesture. This bill will never see Parliament because Labour is filibustering the VSM bill. Labour has only proposed this bill because they know it will never be read.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        Presumably they intend to follow this up at the general election though, right?
         
        If they don’t, then I agree, this is a waste of time and an own-goal for Labour – only willing to propose legislation when they know it will never be read or passed, but don’t want to propose legislation when they’re actually in power and can pass it.

  5. Peter Rabbit 5

    Hopefully the requirement for a mandate will be extended to Governments wanting to make purchases of new “assets” too, so we can avoid a repeat of the Kiwirail experience.

    • The Voice of Reason 5.1

      And Ministerial Beemers?

      • queenstfarmer 5.1.1

        Yes, or at least removing the BS that such deals are (and remain) “commercially sensitive”, which was the excuse that the previous Govt used when it signed that deal.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          Forget the previous Govt (man you righties are really hung up about them), NATs are cutting corporate deals left right and centre these days.

          Which we know nothing about.

          Secret mining corporate meetings notwithstanding.

          • queenstfarmer 5.1.1.1.1

            Only mentioned the previous Govt as it was they who signed the Beemers deal.

            I think all deals should be transparent, except in well-defined special circumstances (with ombudsman oversight).

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.1

              As you know LAB signed the Beamer deal, Key and English then chose to exercise the contract’s options to get new Beamers.

  6. Portion Control 6

    Why stop at asset sales? Why not make every parliamentary proposal require a 75% majority of Parliament?

    What a stupid move. When Key gets reelected in November he will have a mandate. Quaoting polls isn’t a good idea for a prospective Labour leader especially when on current polling he will lose his seat.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      There’s nothing stopping any future government from repealing this specific law, if it was passed. Except public sentiment, of course.
       
      To clarify: Parliament has the power to do anything, except curtail it’s own power. If a law is passed that requires 75% approval before some action is taken, that law can be repealed with a simple majority vote, and then the action also undertaken with a simple majority vote.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        Wrong, an entrenched law, and this would be one, requires 75% voting to repeal it.

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1

          From wikipedia:

          “Certain aspects of the constitution are entrenched, after a fashion. Section 268 of the Electoral Act declares that the law governing the maximum term of Parliament (itself part of the Constitution Act), along with certain provisions of the Electoral Act relating to the redistribution of electoral boundaries, the voting age, and the secret ballot, may only be altered either by three-quarters of the entire membership of the House of Representatives, or by a majority of valid votes in a popular referendum. Section 268 itself is not protected by this provision, so a government could legally repeal Section 268 and go on to alter the entrenched portions of law, both with a mere simple majority in Parliament. However, the entrenchment provision has enjoyed longstanding bipartisan support, and the electoral consequences of using a legal loophole to alter an entrenched provision would likely be severe.”

          You can stack as many entrenched laws on top of each other as you like, but ultimately the bottommost one can be repealed by simple majority. To get around this, we would need to dissolve parliament and set up a special constitutional parliament which in turn would create new system under which future governments would be formed. We haven’t done this, so parliament at the moment is completely sovereign and all powerful.

      • mickysavage 6.1.2

        Interesting proposition Lanth and one that has taxed law students for many years.
         
        PC’s proposal is not so interesting in that it would pretty well stymie most if not all action by the state.
         

  7. Peter Rabbit 7

    Unless keeping the current cars was going to end up costs us more through contract penalties etc (An argument I’ve not seen clearly answered anywhere) no I don’t believe they shouldn’t have been purchased.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      The BMWs did not need to be replaced. It was a 5 or 6 year deal (In other words we would have got the same good deal a couple of years later) and the government could drop out of it at any time (It didn’t have to buy the new vehicles at all).

  8. Green Tea 8

    Labour’s SOE ‘policy’, as per usual, is disingenuous. Why won’t Labour legislate against corporatization of State-owned Assests?

    Power companies are still forcing people to go cold in winter despite being state owned. And don’t expect kiwibank to start offering 2% home loans anytime soon.

    There’s really no difference between a State-owned coporation and a private one.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      There’s really no difference between a State-owned coporation and a private one.

      The fact that profits go into services for the people, instead of into the pockets of a few wealthy private shareholders, seems to be a big difference.

      • Policy Parrot 8.1.1

        I think what Green Tea means is that with the corporatisation of former government departments into State Owned Enterprises under New Public Management, state owned companies are instructed to act as if they were indeed private companies. Of course, the original reason for corporatisation was rationalisation and privatisation.

        Now there is this weird marriage of the state owning what are effective private companies, rather than running them as a service provision – arm of the state if you will. It is exactly because of this NPM directive that SOEs operate in the manner described above – that SOEs are designed to operate free of political interference, which is disingenous if you don’t really want to sell off the services.

        The general public have a right to be annoyed if Meridian announces huge profits for the year, because it is government policy to charge a profit margin – effectively a user-pays tax, on top of generation, maintenance and future-proofing capacity.

    • Lanthanide 8.2

      Massive power price rises over the last decade are indeed a failure. But better for the resulting profits to go to the government, than to go overseas or into a private company’s pocket.

    • Rich 8.3

      That’s a flaw with an SoE model that requires government to act as an arms-length shareholder (often being considerably less interventionist than a private business owner would be in similar circumstances).

      I’d suggest a more radical and at the same time practical move than Labour’s – convert most of the SOEs into worker- or worker/customer cooperatives. This is very different from a conventional stockholder corporation – the ownership and control is divided on a one person / one vote basis.

      This could be locked in by several methods (none of which fall foul of parliamentary standing orders like Labour’s scheme):

      – each coop would have articles of association that vest the company in its members and prevent privatisation without an unreachable hurdle (like 90% agreement).

      – coops would be prevented by statute from being privatised or restructured, again without consent of almost all the owners

      – coops would be given a company tax break, structured as a waiver of tax (which would have been substantially increased for traditional companies) that would become due to IRD in the event of a loss of coop status

      – coops would be lent working capital from the government on a low cost basis, with all funds becoming due in the event of a restructuring

      The effect of all this would be that for a right-wing government to privatise a coop, they’d not just have to pass a law: they’d have to confiscate the coop members assets *and* forgo a large amount of tax and loan money.

      • Colonial Viper 8.3.1

        +1 :mrgreen:

        Except I wouldn’t necessarily do this to already public enterprises, but just to private or new ones.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.3.2

        …convert most of the SOEs into worker- or worker/customer cooperatives.

        If they were working as an arm of the state rather than as profiteering businesses then they would inherently be worker/customer cooperatives.

        (none of which fall foul of parliamentary standing orders like Labour’s scheme):

        And how does Labours bill fall foul of parliamentary standing orders?

  9. Daveski 9

    Hard to know if this is a serious policy (ie they expect to get elected and then put this in place) or the type of policy you trumpet when you’re in opposition and expect you’ll be there a little longer. I would expect the later (given it’s not likely to become reality) but it puts pressure on the Nats which after all is the role of the opposition.

    As an aside, I’m a little bemused to see a LP press release posted as a post with nary a comment or indeed any attempt to analyse it (critically or otherwise). A few people have got offended in the past that this site is a stooge for the LP and this type of post hardly represents the Standard as an independent site. Perhaps the Standard’s email address and login got caught up in the database 😉

    • r0b 9.1

      My fault, I was in a hurry, and I think it’s an important announcement…

      Ahh – See Eddie has a post up.

  10. Red Rosa 10

    Great idea, except perhaps for Landcorp, which needs a fresh look.

    Landcorp is now a weird distortion of its original purpose, which was to settle young farmers on semi-developed farms and let them build up some sweat equity. The old State Advances and Lands Departments ran this quite well in the 60s and 70s, as many still around can recall.

    There is no reason why this policy cannot be reinstated. It was strictly managed in the old days and ensured only the best suited young NZ’ers got this chance to farm, even if they were short of cash. Lands never saw itself in the long-term business of ‘farming’ – the department was a developer and subdivider for settlement.

    As it stands now, Landcorp is still the nation’s biggest farmer (shades of the Stalinist State Farms), and holds a raft of well-improved properties. These, like most farms, show only small cash profits in relation to the taxpayers’ capital employed.

    Landcorp needs to justify its existence again, though the arguments for its continuing will no doubt be as flimsy as ever. Both National and Labour have muttered about Landcorp at times in the last 20 years, but it seems to roll along regardless.

    • millsy 10.1

      IMO Landcorp should be folded into AgResearch (as well as possibly Plant and Food), and turned into a super-CRI or something like that. Use it as a testing ground for environmentally friendly farming methods.

      • freedom 10.1.1

        But that will piss off Monsanto, among others  who you may remember is set to walk in and destroy NZ’s Agriculture Industry. Genetically modified seeds, Soil destroying herbicides, all waiting in the wings for when TPP is law.  Of course as soon as it is law then they can sue us if we try to develop any product, service or system that threatens the income stream of a Corporate entity deemed by American Courts to be at risk by New Zealand’s attempts to develop a sustainable economy.

        • Jum 10.1.1.1

          Freedom

          Anything that would ‘piss off’ Monsanto should please independence-minded New Zealanders, fighting against the TPPA.

  11. freedom 11

    There is something (well lots of things of course) i don’t fully understand about Asset sales and it is this,
    Our credit rating is largely based on our ability to repay the loans taken out by our Government on behalf of New Zealand.
    When we sell assets, we lose income, so we must therefore be a higher risk and i would deduce then that our credit rating is affected.
    this loss of income naturally increases the costs of borrowing
    So how do we win?

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      We don’t but, then, we’re not supposed to. NActs rich foreign mates are.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    It’s a step in the right direction but I’d much rather a comprehensive definition of Natural Monopolies and a stated position that the state will own them. As I tried to convey the other day, definition of a natural monopoly is complex as it can come down to physical attributes, the nature of the business and sometimes simply that the state should be doing it rather than private providers.

    I/S makes a good point to in that a super-majority is needed to pass the actual entrenchment and so is, unfortunately, unlikely to pass. NAct will never agree to it as if such an act passes they’ll never be able to give away our wealth again.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The coronavirus outbreak in China: what a difference a week makes
    When it comes to emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks, so much can happen in a week. In the case of the coronavirus outbreak in China, I’ve gone from not being too alarmed, to thinking “oh, crap!”. But that still doesn’t mean we should all panic. As I’m writing this on ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 hours ago
  • National cries wolf over Coronavirus
    Opposition MP Michael WoodhouseLast week, the current National Party leader, Simon Bridges, claimed that the Minister of Health wasn’t leading on ‘significant issues that matter to New Zealanders within his Health portfolio’ when commenting about the Government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak.This silly comment was made despite David Clark working ...
    15 hours ago
  • Fluoridation and sex steroid hormones – or the mouse that roared
    All the recent research anti-fluoride campaigners promote as “evidence” of harm from community water fluoridation amount to cherry-picking a very few statistically significant results from a large number of non-significant results. The whole exercise is a bit like the “Mouse that Roared.” Credit: The Mouse that Roared – TMTR Intro ...
    17 hours ago
  • Leave Neve alone
    Neve Te Aroha Gayford at RatanaI’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that the Ratana birthday celebrations this year were a well-attended event that went off without much of a hitch. This is in stark contrast to previous years, where some form of controversy has usually taken centre ...
    1 day ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #4
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 19, 2020 through Sat, Jan 25, 2020 Editor's Pick The companies that have contributed most to climate change Thought-provoking readings on those most responsible for the pollution. Sometimes, ...
    2 days ago
  • The swimming pool paradox
    It’s another warm day, but the breeze isn’t helping much, so off I go to the inviting outdoor swimming pool (banner picture) at the other end of campus. It’s an unheated pool (well, there’s no artificial heat source), which means one thing: It’s going to feel cold when I get ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • 100 seconds to midnight
    The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A multitude of drops: Social tipping points in climate action
    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    4 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    4 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    4 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    5 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    6 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    7 days ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    1 week ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    1 week ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
    This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David Teehan, Mere Ngailevu and others.Inevitably, you forget things, and over ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020
    Supply Side How are we doing with CO2 emissions? It's an important question, increasingly posed to a mixed bag of CO2 contributors who may or may not provide accurate reportage. Liu et al present a new, additional means of measurement based on satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide co-emitted from ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Donald Trump’s strategic gamble
    There’s a meme going around the Internet at the moment claiming that Donald Trump is a bit of an idiot. To outside eyes it does seem as though the President of the United States thumbs his nose at his own countries laws and administration far too often to be taken ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Is the prostitute the seller or the sold?
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the third part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna Whitmore. Part 1 was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • The climate crisis is also a biodiversity crisis
    Dr Andrea Byrom Like many of us, the summer break has seen me transfixed with horror at the scale and magnitude of the bushfire crisis in Australia. As an ecologist, I can’t help but be appalled at the loss of some of Australia’s most beautiful ecosystems and landscapes. And ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    5 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    5 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    6 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago