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Learning from the Christchurch Earthquake

Written By: - Date published: 1:39 pm, September 11th, 2010 - 20 comments
Categories: Environment, housing, law - Tags:

In the wake of the Napier earthquake in 1931, a committee was formed that suggested new earthquake-proofing rules that eventually became the 1935 Building Code, which was implemented soon after the First Labour Government came to power.

The Wairapapa quake in 1942 caused damage in Wellington that took a long time to be fixed (due, in no small part, to the war). As a result, the First Labour Government created the Earthquake and War Damage Commission in 1945, as a form of (near) universal, affordable home insurance against force majuere events.

The threat of air raids, gas attacks, invasion, and earthquakes pushed the evolution of civil defence in the inter-war years with Civil Defence finally being founded as part of the country’s reaction to World War 2.

From disasters, we take lessons for the future. What lessons can we learn from the Christchurch earthquake?

I’ve suggested a couple already: making EQC cover truly universal by collecting it along with rates, rather than via insurance, and universal disaster income insurance through a tiny income levy about 1% the size of ACC levies.

It’s becoming clear that building rules will need to be looked at again too. Liquefaction was a major cause of damage in Christchurch (as it was in Napier). As you know by now if you didn’t know before, liquefaction occurs when loose, water-logged soil is shaken violently. The soil is compressed and the water is forced to the surface resulting in a lower ground level and layer of watery mud on top.

The Christchurch Council says that it went to court to try to block some of the worst-hit developments because it was concerned about the danger of liquefaction in a major quake but it was unable to successfully block them. That tells me the rules need strengthening.

We should look to the Netherlands for lessons. They don’t have the earthquake risk we do but virtually their whole country is sandy soil with a very high water table. If anyone knows about stable construction in these conditions, it’s the Dutch. What are their building standards to protect buildings against the risks of sudden settling? I understand that they compress the earth with vibrating machines then drive deep foundations.

Seems like that works against liquefaction too because a few New Zealand bridges and buildings have been built using those practices (ironically, maybe, the Christchurch Council has a very good map of areas exposed to liquefaction and how it can be countered – can’t find the link).

Maybe we need to strengthen the rules to make that kind of liquefaction-proofing a requirement.

20 comments on “Learning from the Christchurch Earthquake”

  1. Jenny 1

    Finally.

    Gov’t to address Chch housing shortfall

    Prime Minister John Key says a paper outlining support options will be presented to Cabinet on Monday.

    Unfortunately the Minister of Housing Phil Heatley is still, so far, missing in action.

    Where ever Phil has been issuing his press releases from, someone should inform him, there has been an earthquake in Christchurch.

  2. Loota 2

    All signs that Phil is seriously out of his depth and refusing to make decisions on the advice that he has been getting.

    Mommy, help!!!

  3. Searlo 3

    Ecan has a very good map of the possible areas of liquefaction (put out c2003) and available here: http://ecan.govt.nz/publications/General/solid-facts-christchurch-liquefaction.pdf

    • Dennis 3.1

      While the original printed version of the map may have been very useful, the online version is absolutely USELESS with much of the key information invisible. I assume the original has a dark colored background but the online version has a white background so all we see online is white text on white background.

  4. Jenny 4

    The first link I provided to that story carried by ZB has been withdrawn.

    Here is a link to a report carried by Yahoo on the Government’s planned Monday meeting to address the housing shortfall.

    Gov’t to address Chch housing shortfall

    I expect that Phil Heatley, as Minister of Housing with responsibility for New Zealand’s biggest landlord, Housing New Zealand Corporation, will table a report to Monday’s meeting on the current condition and future plans of HNZC in relation to the earthquake.

    Included in his report, Phil Heatley must reveal his Ministry’s plans for rapid expansion by HNZC to meet the pressing needs of those made homeless by the quake.

    Also as HNZC is responsible for housing people with complex needs such as, those with mental health issues, also included should be a full report on the condition of these properties.

    There are 72 properties like this in Christchurch, plus six women’s refuges, as well as a place for at-risk Christchurch youth, and 84 properties for those with intellectual or physical disabilities.

    Has there been any damage to these properties?

    What repairs will/are being done?

    Have any special needs tenants been made homeless?

    If there are, what is Heatley’s plan to rehouse these tenants?

    captcha – “mistaking” (for somebody who gave a damn)

    • Descendant Of Smith 4.1

      The problem with Housing New Zealand is that they don’t build homes for people with disabilities.

      They build the house and then Enable provide the funding for any changes that need to be made post build.

      It’s would be a good opportunity for the two organisations to get their heads together and build some suitable housing from scratch – you know with simple things like wide passageways for wheelchairs, wet areas for showering and so on.

      I’ve never been quite sure why HNZ can’t simply build a decent range of housing for disabled people – as long as they don’t build them in ghettos.

      It seems quite obvious that a lot of their clients will be disabled.

      The council shouldn’t be let off the hook either. There’s also a good opportunity to build some council housing for the elderly close to the CBD. With an aging population it makes much more sense to build some one and two bedroom units close to town rather than new subdivisions way out of town.

    • Jenny 4.2

      .
      John Key
      Sun Sept 12, 2010:

      Housing Minister Phil Heatley would take a paper to cabinet tomorrow with options to accommodate people forced from their homes.
      “Certainly some accommodation will free up very, very quickly, but it won’t satisfy all of the demands and that’s something that we’re working on with other interested parties,” Key said.

      In this paper to be tabled tomorrow, – will the Housing Minister, Phil Heatley reveal a plan by HNZC to buy up the necessary number of vacant properties in good condition to house the homeless?

  5. RobertM 5

    The lesson is that most of NZ is too shaky and volcanic for many types of long term development. That was appreciated as early as the early l930’s after the Napier and Murchison earthquakes. The decision at that time was to stop work on the Nelson railway on which huge progress had made thru the Buller gorge. It would inevitably have been destroyed by the l969 Inaguahua earthquake. The east coast line from Picton to Kaikoura was completed as a result.My own view is that sooner or later the Christchurch-Picton line will disapear into the sea as a result of a quake which is one of the reasons why I think a National rail system is not viable here. The system is too light, steeply graded and vulnerable to quakes and volcanoes in the North Island. It would be far wiser to stop patching up the Cook straight rail ferries and reintroduce a more substantial Lyttleton-Wellington route.
    The decision not to build the Nelson -Grreymouth line meant New Zealand would never really develop either heavy industrialy or as a mineral economy because without the Nelson -Buller rail the system lacks the capacity to move large volumes of coal the haul thr the Otira tunnel being too steep and long a route from the West Coast coal fields. The Otira tunnel and the steep line act as a bottleneck and the cost of rail freighting coast or other minerals from the coast is really too high to be economical. NZ ers do not see the truth of the Australian derision of Aeotearoa as the shaky iles.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      NZ ers do not see the truth of the Australian derision of Aeotearoa as the shaky iles.

      Umm…and they laugh at Japan for the same reason?

      It would inevitably have been destroyed by the l969 Inaguahua earthquake.

      No more damaged than was the road, and just as repairable.

      The Otira tunnel and the steep line act as a bottleneck and the cost of rail freighting coast or other minerals from the coast is really too high to be economical.

      Yet somehow it’s more economical once the coal is shipped overseas? You’ve kind of lost me there.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1.1

        The steepness of the line can be mitigated by adding extra locomotives or bringing in higher powered ones. ( I think the Chinese locomotives will solve this )
        The real capacity constraint is a single line. You see pictures of coal carrying lines in Australia that are 4 tracks to allow fast and slow trains in both directions.
        The export of coal is a fairly new thing for the Coast, however there was a large fleet of small colliers who served all the NZ ports up till the 80s when natural gas came in and town gas was phased out.

        • RobertM 5.1.1.1

          I would judge the route from the Buller coalfields to Nelson about 60 kilometres shorter than railing to Lyttelton which would have made the coal exports rather more economical. The rail line through the Buller gorge and under the Spooner range would not have had tunnels longer than about 2 kilometres and would have been less a restriction than the 9 kilometre long steep Otira tunnel which now electrification has been removed is dangerous and difficult to operate with diesels.
          Two routes would have more than doubled coal volume capacity. The marginality of coal exports via the Otira route is illustrated that the Fay richwhite Tranz Rail originally accepted contracts for the coal export business that barely covered costs to get the business.
          Had the Nelson line not been stopped by the earthquake risk it would have been much easier to rail coal to the North Island and there would probably have been more coal powered stations and the North Island steam rail fleet would probably not have been converted to oil burning steam around l950. It is an interesting point that in the days of steam much high quality coal was imported into NZ from Australia and even the United States because of the low quality of Waikato coal.

    • Loota 5.2

      Frankly, every land mass on Earth is the result of tectonic/volcanic activity either recent or some distant time ago and by this kind of reasoning your suggestion is inevitably going to be that we get off this planet.

      Who is to say that NZ won’t have another Krakatoa or Taupo but lets not live every aspect of our lives around that possibility.

      NZ ers do not see the truth of the Australian derision of Aeotearoa as the shaky iles.

      Is Shaky Isles better or worse than Thirsty Isles?

    • Martin 5.3

      Progress on the Nelson Railway was hindered through its history by a reluctance by the national government to spend money on same. The small fleet of Wf class tank locomotives that serviced the line for much of its life were old and suffered higher than normal wear and tear from having to spend half their lives running coal bunker first on Nelson bound trains (no turntables on the line). There were also delays during the war years when labour was in short supply. The fact the railhead never got past Owen River has nothing to do with earthquake risk….the governments at the time saw other lines as more important and that’s where the money got spent.

      Your argument that New Zealand is too shaky and volcanic for long term development doesn’t hold water. Japan is of similar size to New Zealand and to a large degree its a geological analogue of New Zealand…both countries sit on plate tectonic margins and have earthquakes and volcanoes. Despite this, Japan manages to function quite happily as an industrialised nation.

      • RobertM 5.3.1

        No you are quite wrong, a huge construction effort was made down the Buller River in the late l920s and around 1930, far past where the rails were actually put down, to drive the railway through.
        Substanitally the trackbed and foundations were completed almost to Murchison. At that time the line was very much the priority compared with the East coast route to Picton. The reason work was stopped was because of the assessment of the geological instablity and earthquake risk, that is a fact. The relative importance of the work is shown by the fact a Royal train ran on the line around 1928 for the Duke of York. There are historic photos of the huge work that was been putting in thru the Buller Gorge in the late 1920s

  6. tsmithfield 6

    I know several people with houses that have stood up well in areas subject to liquification. What has saved these houses is that they have foundations that are piled into underlying solid strata. So, perhaps for any rebuilding in these areas piling should be mandatory.

  7. Lanthanide 7

    My dad (masters in geology, studied port hills for his project) says that when the alpine fault goes, the shaking will likely last for 2-3 minutes non-stop. It’ll probably be about the same strength as what we’ve just had, but with a stronger sideways motion. The increased duration will significantly increase liquefaction in the city. Also, the west coast will be screwed, as the road links to Canterbury will be impassable for some time afterwards (likely months).

  8. kevyn 8

    The fault rupture is unlikely to extend more than a few km north of Inchbonnie so the Lewis should only be closed for a few days max. Although, if the Alpine Fault is a super-sheer then you can add Nelson and Blenheim to the list of towns that will be screwed.

    I can’t see us having hovercars in the short time remaining till the next quake. Unless there’s a drastic change in government policy I can’t foresee any of the at-risk bridges getting seismic retrofits in time either.

  9. Swampy 9

    The rules are pretty strong but for some strange reason the CCC didn’t enforce any. Go north to Waimakariri District with the Pegasus Town development and rules were written in to ensure that the ground was strengthened and the houses had pile foundations so they withstood the shaking, result is much less damage than some of the liquefacted areas.

    The fact is that every few years there is another scandal where a council has allowed development on unsuitable land, a few examples coming to mind in the city include contaminated land on an old tip, and an old sawmilling pit full of sawdust that was built over resulting in severe subsidence with damage to houses etc.

    Now given that Labour has reformed the local government legislation a few times in the last 30 years you have to wonder why it is they have not placed any obligations on local councils to ensure that standards are met.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    45 mins ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago