Lobby group wants motorways to drive over locals

Written By: - Date published: 5:58 am, May 6th, 2009 - 48 comments
Categories: mt albert, transport - Tags: , ,

Aerial view of Waterview. Click for enlarged view

Owen McShane’s lobby group the Centre for Resource Management Studies has a set of questions up about the Waterview Tunnel option of SH20. Essentially they argue for ramming an above ground motorway through the Waterview houses and green belt for the benefit of the motorists, and that the pesky locals should be ignored.

One of the basis of their argument is:-

However, this consultation has not revealed the preferences of the much larger number of people who will actually use the Waterview Ring Road when complete. The modeling indicates a two-way flow of 90,000 vehicles a day by 2026, which would be carrying at least 100,000 people a day. Surely their preferences count as much as a few score households on nearby land?

This is a gross misrepresentation. An above-ground motorway will affect thousands of households within earshot. Just ask any resident within earshot of the north-western motorway in Kingsland, Grey Lynn, Newton, and other suburbs. After that was put in close to our house at the time, it went from being an extremely quiet area to having a background hellish noise. They’d put in a rough surface and no noise protection. These days the RMA gives some protection against that sort of arrogant engineering, but it appears to me that CRMS wishes to revert back to that style of thinking.

Most importantly the Waterview project will be paid for almost entirely by the motoring public of the Auckland region and we would have thought that the motoring community that ‘pays the piper’ should surely ‘call much of the tune’.

Huh? Surely this is a case for user-pays. If they want it so much, then they should pay for what is required for the locals to let it through their community. Most people near the path of proposed SH20 would prefer that it wasn’t built at all.

We wonder why the interests of the neighboring residents of Mt Albert are regarded so highly, while the interests of the motoring public, who pay for the project, are totally ignored.

Furthermore, this motorway network will exist and be in use for hundreds of years. Surely the specifications of such a major piece of infrastructure should not be determined by the wishes of households whose average stay is measured in years.

If necessary, adversely affected residents should be bought out with generous compensation.

Now we understand why they wish to think that there are only a few score households. Buying out the hundreds or thousands of adversely affected households would massively increase the costs of an above-ground motorway. It would be cheaper to put in a tunnel. What the CRMS are proposing is how to provide a cynical fig-leaf token gesture to local concerns for politicians.

In any case, if the CRMS is proposing that the payback for the project can be measured in hundreds of years, then presumably so the costs of doing the project correctly for that timespan can be amortized over that period as well.

The CRMS also rails against number of lanes saying that it is too few for expansion. The solution is obvious – pay for more lanes. Putting in a bus lane in both directions seems like a good idea as well. After all the motoring public is looking at an investment that can be paid back over hundreds of years – the CRMS has said so.

There seems to be an implicit view that motorways generate adverse effects and no benefits to amenity and landscape. In reality a well designed highway in a park like setting can provide a major open space amenity to scores of thousands of road users every day. The northern motorway beyond Albany is an excellent example.

Unlike the Albany motorway, this area has residents already. People in Mt Albert are quite aware of the adverse effects from previous motorway projects. No amount of landscaping for motorists will help with the noise and disruption problems. Whoever the fool who wrote this report is, I surprised that they haven’t suggested that children would like to play alongside the motorway in the nice landscaped area. It is hard to see what kind of amenity it is for motorists either. You aren’t actually allowed to get out and use it.

After all, if this conclusion is correct for this link, which is being built through a mix of low-density residential development and open parkland, then this outcome must also hold true for all future motorway construction in the Auckland Metropolitan Area, and through many of the urbanized areas within the Auckland Region.

Exactly, here is the crux of the CRMS’s argument. If you are driving a motorway through an area of built up housing and established communities, it is different to shunting a motorway through countryside. There are unlikely to be many benefits to the locals from the motorway, it will largely benefit the motorists.

Most communities would prefer not to have a motorway shunted through their parklands and houses. Residents everywhere need to understand that if an above-ground motorway is driven through in Waterview over the local residents, then the same will be done using exactly the same arguments anywhere.

I’m not even going to go into the other spurious arguments. They are simply pathetic – have a laugh, read them. “Princess Diana” syndrome – people getting drunk and running into a wall?

Motorists, if they want motorways, should expect to pay for the cost of having the least impact on the local community and environment. Perhaps John Key and other NACT MP’s should be asked for their views on these questions when they visit Mt Albert during the by-election. Just make sure you get a recording of the answers. NACT politicians are a bit slippery about promises after elections

48 comments on “Lobby group wants motorways to drive over locals ”

  1. Nick 1

    Why doesnt McShane just cut the bull and call his group what and who they are, the “Centre for the Privatisation of Resources and the Donation of the Common Good to Wealthy Interests”. Im sick of privately funded think tanks posing questions to frame debate with preset answers, its an abuse of the democratic principle.

    On the need for motorways has anybody asked the sensible questions like:
    * will we be driving cars as much in 10 years?
    * where and what work will we be doing?
    * would public transport be a more viable answer?

    An oil depleted future might not be nice but is a certainty. Consequently I dont think that things will be the same as today so a little forward thinking might go a long way.

    • lprent 1.1

      I’d agree with all of that. There was a large section in the post pointing out that the traffic estimates might be a wee bit optimistic. However it was getting too wordy so I clipped it.

  2. TBA 2

    Lets be honest, the concerns these residents have are no different from the concerns that the residents who border the other 100+ km of open air motorways in the Auckland region. The only difference is that this motorway expansion is going to effect Helens backyard, hence why Labour pursued the tunnel option and now its simply a by-election issue that Labour hope to use to its political advantage.

    I wonder how much of a noise Labour or this website would be making about this if Mt Albert was a safe National seat?

    • Chris 2.1

      Motorways through urban areas tend to be bi-partisan in response. Motorways through blue rinse areas generate as much noise and anger as do poorer western suburbs such as Mt Albert. Just ask Mr Banks, current Mayor of Auckland. Whether blue red or purple, the noise is the same.

    • lprent 2.2

      Wrong – and ignorant of Auckland’s history of motorways.

      Most of the length of the existing motorways were originally put in when there were no bordering houses. The houses came after the motorway was put in – ie they were built for the conditions and the buyers were aware of the motorway at purchase..

      The vast majority of the other lengths were put through in what were then (and often still are) business districts.

      Some areas that were residential, they simply brought the houses and bulldozed them.

      There have been few motorways put through largely residential areas, and the track record is that they cause enormous disruption, an on-going noise problem, and usually a considerable drop in property values.

      • TBA 2.2.1

        Sorry Lprent, can’t be bothered with your personal attacks on opinions you disagree with today but I suggest that you go talk to some of the older urban planners in the Auckland area to get a true picture of what has happened in the past 30 years and actually get out and drive the roads, talk to the people vs just listening to the political propaganda and if you’re really interested

        Have a nice day.

        • felix 2.2.1.1

          Lynn said you were wrong, which you were, and ignorant of the history of Auckland’s motorways (that’s a fancy way of saying you were wrong), which you were.

          Then he explained why you were wrong. Where’s the personal attack? Have you never been corrected before?

          You poor wee thing. Run along and play and I’ll get you some bikkies.

        • lprent 2.2.1.2

          Nothing beats personal experience.

          I’ve been driving since 1975 on the developing motorway network. The housing filing in the spaces beside the motorways has been interesting to watch.

          I drove the northern motorway from Mt Albert every other weekend to a 88 acre block that my parents were developing in Puhio from 1975-1977. In 1977 I was driving back on the southern from the town supply farm in Alfriston to Mt Albert most weekends. Obviously I was next to the North-western when it was built, and we drove that as well when it was finished.

          Almost all of the motorway neighborhood then was either industrial or paddock apart from the north-western.

          Since then most of the motorways have followed the same pattern, developed in largely industrial areas or paddocks.

          …can’t be bothered with your personal attacks on opinions you disagree with today…

          Or that you are just wrong and don’t want to defend the line of bull you were spinning.

  3. andy 3

    The above ground and trench options will cause major disruptions to a very important arterial route. Great North Road carries 40,000 vehicles a day from large parts of West Auckland (not Mt Albert). What people miss is that trying to manage this traffic while creating a trench literally right next to the road will only create more traffic chaos for the years it takes to build.

    Glad to see people still trying to make it a Helens backyard boggie man issue. Without thinking that it is actually about moving people across town more efficiently, and would benefit Paula Bennets electorate more than Mt Albert.

    • lprent 3.1

      Yeah – it is almost impossible to find anyone in Mt Albert or Mt Roskill who thinks that it is a good idea for the local area.

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    “this motorway expansion is going to effect Helens backyard, hence why Labour pursued the tunnel option and now its simply a by-election issue that Labour hope to use to its political advantage”

    Yeah. Bloody Labour party abusing the political process by taking notice of what the peasants want. The job of a local MP is to tell the peons what the Party is going to do to them.

  5. TBA 5

    Andy:”What people miss is that trying to manage this traffic while creating a trench literally right next to the road will only create more traffic chaos for the years it takes to build”

    Andy without a question that there will be an impact through construction however will it be any worse that the impact that the Spaghetti Junction/Ports of Auckland caused for years, or even the work that is being carried out at present on the Mangere Bridge region? I doubt it.

    Pascal:”Bloody Labour party abusing the political process by taking notice of what the peasants want.”

    I haven’t said that its abuse of the political process (or believe that it is) but lets not pretend that Labour are fighting this fight out of some noble sense of right/wrong, its simply political ammunition that they hope will help sway the masses and the by-election.

    • Pascal's bookie 5.1

      So your accusation is that labour is engaging in perfectly legitimate politics, using the process as it should be used to advocate the concerns of the locals. The horror. Bastards.

    • lprent 5.2

      Spaghetti Junction/Ports of Auckland

      That is a business district – not many houses there.

      Mangere Bridge

      You mean the other bit of SH20 in Phil Goff’s Mt Roskill electorate. Perhaps you’d better have a closer look at the chaos that extension caused in Mt Roskill. That was in a area with relatively light traffic flows. The next area is high traffic.

      Labour and its MP’s have been fighting for an equitable solution for SH20 because that is what their constituents have been asking for. The tunnel solution was the best that was achievable. The next is not to have a motorway at all.

  6. andy 6

    TBA

    will it be any worse that the impact that the Spaghetti Junction/Ports of Auckland caused for years, or even the work that is being carried out at present on the Mangere Bridge region? I doubt it.

    I don’t know either, I suspect it would because of the nature of Gt North Rd and waterview being isolated by it and the high use of the road by locals just to get to the diary. But in this case there is a second option with less impact on the local community and existing traffic flows, so there must be an opportunity cost to for commuters.

    Was the same option was available in at spaghetti junction, Mangere bridge and ports? I doubt it!

  7. Zaphod Beeblebrox 7

    Everyone is to blame for the huge mess that has been created by this one. The huge amount of traffic that is funnelled from the west mixed in with a new huge NW-SE traffic funnel, with a NW motorway that will be unable to cope with the extra traffic, is a recipe for perpetual gridlock. I would not be wanting to live anywhere near this traffic triangle in next fifty years.
    When I drive anywhere in Auckland (except maybe on Sunday or late at night) I find it much easier NOT to go nowhere near the motorways and any of their off ramps.
    Why do we have to think of these huge unaffordable grandiose road schemes everytime the local network struggles at peak times.
    if you look at a road map of Auckland you see hundreds of unconnected local roads that end at a gully edge or loop back on themselves. We have constructed entire housing developments with only one way in or out. What we need are alternative routes using the existing road system not more unaffordable roadblocks.

  8. Rich 8

    I think it can be summarised as:
    “NACT to Mt Albert – fuck off you lowlives. Poop poop!”

  9. Oh good I can really sink my teeth into this issue.

    For a start, the cost difference between a full tunnel option and other potential options is not nearly as big as people make it out to be. The Ministry of Transport’s review of the Waterview Connection clearly pointed that out (see page 18 of this document: http://www.transport.govt.nz/assets/Katrina-09/Business-case-for-the-Waterview-Connection.pdf )

    To paraphrase (all costs in 2015 dollars)

    1) Cost of full tunnel option: $2.005 billion for 4 lanes, $2.335 billion for 6 lanes
    2) Cost of cut and partial cover options: $1.790 billion for 4 lanes, $1.813 for 6 lanes
    3) Cut and extended cover: $1.988 billion for 4 lanes, $2.205 billion for 6 lanes
    4) Open cut (no tunnel at all): $1.456 billion for 4 lanes, $1.585 billion for 6 lanes

    So therefore, there is no cheap option. If we compare apples with apples we see that a cut & partial cover option is only around $200 million cheap than a full tunnel option, a cut & extended cover option is around the same cost. An open cut option is $500 million cheaper, but that must be counter-balanced against the huge environmental and social costs that this option would generate.

    Now, to take on Owen McShane’s theory that the Waterview Connection ‘would pay for itself’. The Ministry of Transport’s report was clear that neither NZTA nor ARTA view the Waterview Connection as a priority – so therefore it would not be funded out of traditional funding sources any time soon. This is largely due to its low cost-benefit ratio.

    Page 11 of the report I link to above states this quite clearly:

    Funding the entire project from any single source would place a considerable strain on that source, making a combination a more feasible approach to take. All the sources of funding other than Crown funding or tolling require agreement from the Board of the NZTA, Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) or both. To date, neither the Board of the NZTA nor ARTA have indicated that they view the Waterview Connection as a priority project within existing funding levels.

    If the Waterview Connection was to be funded any time soon it will be through crown debt – as this is why financing costs were included in the reporting of the Waterview Connection’s cost going from $1.89 billion to $2.77 billion. This means that it will be general taxation that pays for it, not users of the connection themselves. If it is going to be built any time in the next 20-30 years it will not be via petrol taxes, as NZTA and ARTA do not view this link as a priority.

    Regarding the debate about past motorways being built through existing urban areas – spaghetti junction, the southern motorway from spaghetti junction through to Ellerslie and the NW motorway from Pt Chev to the city are the only main parts of our system ever built through existing urban areas.

    But getting back to Waterview, I just can’t see any option here being justifiable. There is no cheap alternative – we start at $1.5 billion (plus financing costs, plus upgrades to SH16 costs) and work our way up from there. The $1.5 billion option (Open Cut) would have huge environmental and social effects and it is still enormously expensive.

    Financing costs & SH16 upgrades added arond $800 million to the price of the full tunnel option, and I can’t see them adding much less to the costs of an open cut option. That means we are looking at the cheapest option being around $2.2 billion AND having massive environmental and social effects.

    How can you justify that Mr McShane?

    Edit: One more thing, Transit NZ became NZTA in August last year – get with the times Owen!

    • lprent 9.1

      the southern motorway from spaghetti junction through to Ellerslie

      Yeah that was done before my driving time, apart from recent upgrades to the existing systems.

      ….as NZTA and ARTA do not view this link as a priority.

      However this government seems to think that anything is possible regardless of the cost/benefit ratios.

      • jarbury 9.1.1

        I thought I remembered Steven Joyce saying that transport projects must have a sound economic justification, or was I just being delusional? Or does that only apply to public transport?

  10. Pat 10

    Jarbury, I always thought a number of houses had been bought up already. Is this true?

    Personally I’m in favour of the open cut option, particularly if it has the earliest completion date. We need the second motorway through Auckland completed asap. The Hobsonville Deviation is only a few years away, so Waterview is the last link in the chain. The words Just Do It come to mind.

    • felix 10.1

      I don’t know, Pat. I’m in favour of finishing the damn thing too but the words that spring to my mind aren’t Just Do It, they’re Do It Properly.

      • jarbury 10.1.1

        At least we’ve got the choices sorted here. There’s a $2.2 billion rubbish option or a $2.8 billion OK option. Neither can be paid through petrol taxes or tolling (even a $2 toll puts off enough traffic to push the cost-benefit ratio below 1) so both will be a $2 billion+ crown debt.

  11. Zaphod Beeblebrox 11

    What happened to the overland option along the side of the Rosebank Peninsula? I would have thought this would minimise disruption to Great North Rd and avoid a horrendous engineering nightmare a la the SH20-16- Great North Round Interchange.
    BTW for the costs mentioned here we could have a very nice rail system.

  12. jarbury 12

    Pat, I don’t know for sure about what houses have and have not been bought. I know that most of the required houses at the Waterview end were owned by Housing New Zealand, so I assume a purchase there would be quite simple.

    It is my understanding that around 150 properties are required for the full bored tunnel option, compared to 500-600 for any sort of other option (remember that even for cut & cover you need to buy the property above the tunnel). That’s part of the reason why cost differences between the bored tunnel and a surface option are nowhere near as big as people think they will be. At around $500,000 a property, you’re spending $250 million on property acquisition alone. Furthermore, the parkland a surface option will run through (Alan Wood Reserve and Phyllis Street reserve) is owned by Auckland City Council, who would not just give it to NZTA. That’s possibly another few tens of millions of dollars at least (I don’t really know how valuable open space land is).

    Remember, we’re looking at $2.2 billion for this at the very least. That money will have to be borrowed as NZTA & ARTA do not have the funds for such a large project (and they are smart enough to realise that it’s not a high priority). So this will be a HUGE tax-payer subsidy to a road that will just entrench Auckland’s auto-dependency.

    We need to look at alternatives.

    • George Darroch 12.1

      No we don’t!!!

      Roads roads roads roads roads roads roads. If Labour and United Future and ACT and National all agree, they can’t be wrong! More roads!

      • Pat 12.1.1

        Yes THIS road has to be completed. This is indisputable. How stupid would it be to alternative motorway through Auckland with a 4km vasectomy in the middle of it. It would be the motorway to nowhere.

        • jarbury 12.1.1.1

          Clearly the benefits of the rest of the Western Ring Route will only be fully realised once this last part of it is completed. However, I cannot see how it is economically justified. There is no cheap option here, it’s $2.2 billion and upwards.

          If we are to spend that much money we need to be sure it is worth it (and I have my doubts over the calculated time saving benefits for a start).

          The other option is to toll it. $2 of tolls will cover $400 million of debt. So a $14 toll should cover the $2.8 billion for a full tunnel option.

          More of my analysis is here: http://transportblog.co.nz/2009/05/06/waterview-connection-its-22-billion-and-upwards/

          • Pat 12.1.1.1.1

            No problem with tolls. The Orewa tollroad seems to be running smoothly now and obviously has wide acceptance.

            I don’t think the rail option forms part of the Waterview debate. It’s a separate issue. The Western Ring Route is a long and expensive motorway infrastructure with a 4km gap in the middle. It simply needs to be finished.

  13. Pat 13

    Jarbury – I have a family friend who completed a housing development at Waterview several years ago, and he ended up having to sell several of the completed homes to Transit NZ. My anecdotal impression from speaking to him was that a large no of properties had been bought along the intended route. Surely this is also the case at the Hillsborough end where a lot of works is currently being carried out.

    It would be interesting to find out how many homes have already been bought. This has an impact on the costs and which option is best.

  14. jarbury 14

    Pat, I certainly doubt that houses outside the 150 required for a full tunnel option would have been purchased. NZTA would be crazy to have done so, as their current preferred option would have not affected these places. He legally would not have “had” to sell anything to Transit as there’s no designation in place.

    The Mt Roskill SH20 extension is completely different. There has been a designation for that in place for decades. It opens in a week or two.

  15. Quoth the Raven 15

    Furthermore, this motorway network will exist and be in use for hundreds of years.

    What no flying cars.

    • George Darroch 15.1

      No peak oil either.

      • Pat 15.1.1

        Electric cars, and cars running on biofuels (be they cows urine or chinese gooseberries) still need motorways. The new motorways also enhance bicycle routes – see Hobsonville Deviation/Greenhithe bridge for example.

  16. Pat 16

    Jarbury – Is there any truth that the underground springs at Waterview make it unsuitable to build a tunnel?

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 16.1

      I understand the volcanic rock in that area is also a significant impediment to blasting. Has this been factored into the costs?
      re the springs- given the track record of transit don’t count on their cost estimates

      • jarbury 16.1.1

        I am sure that has all been taken into account. In recent years NZTA/Transit have actually done very well in ensuring that projects are completed on time and within budget.

    • lprent 16.2

      Probably not. Pops on geology geek hat.

      All of the fresh-water springs around the isthmus area are not from artesian or sub-artesian sources – there is no strata to carry them from the distant mountain sources.

      As far as I’m aware, local springs are all from basaltic lava pipes from the dome volcanoes (or maybe the Waitakere range volcanoes – although that seems unlikely) that are around the area. Those are easy to divert because their source is horizontal.

      I’d class that as myth unless you have an actual source (in which case I’d be fascinated). There is nothing to create a spring system. What is left of the local strata after millions of years of volcanoes is broken and block faulted.

  17. jarbury 17

    Pat – not that I know of, although I have heard rumours there’s hazardous medical waste at the back of the old Carrington Hospital.

    A lot of work went into the full tunnel option, and NZTA were ready to lodge the notice of requirement for it at the end of last year/beginning of this year. I imagine that if there had been such a big problem with a full tunnel option, NZTA would have known about it.

    The problem with slapping a $14 toll on the road is that nobody would use it and it would be a HUGE economic failure. It can’t even maintain a BCR of above 1 with a $2 toll, according to the Ministry of Transport:

    Traffic modelling suggests that up to 50 percent of users would be diverted from the road if a $2 toll were imposed. A $2 toll would support around $410m of debt, but the diversion would mean the loss of economic benefits worth an estimated $393 million. (The revenue-maximising toll is approximately $3 per vehicle, which would support approximately $470 million of debt in total, or approximately 17 percent of the total project cost.)

    Incurring $393 million in economic costs to finance $410 million in debt is equal to an economic cost of nearly 96c for every dollar raised. This compares with an estimated 20c in economic costs incurred for every dollar raised through general taxation (income taxation or GST). Therefore, we recommend against the use of a toll in this circumstance.

  18. Pat 18

    OK so no tolls. Then the answer is to skip just one year of $2Bn Cullen Fund contributions and put towards Aucklands infrastucture instead. Waterview paid for, problem solved.

  19. jarbury 19

    If we’re going to do that, then I suggest comparing the benefits of building the CBD rail loop and rail to the airport with that of the Waterview Connection.

    I don’t know what the results would be, but there would be a comparable $3 billion price tag so we should at least ask which would have a better BCR.

  20. Pat 20

    I still think the rail issue is a separate public transport issue. So complete Waterview short-term AND look at Auckland’s long term public transport infrastructure. The latter is something for the Supercity to sink their teeth into. If North Shore can spend $400K on a website that will last 18 months, then I think our rates can/will be better spent on Auckland-wide solutions.

  21. jarbury 21

    I don’t think it’s a separate issue Pat. The government now funds rail through crown grants, the Waterview Connection can only ever hope to be funded by a crown grant. They therefore compete for the same money and should be compared with each other to decide which one is the best value for that money.

    I’m sick of “let’s sort out the roads now and think about public transport later”. It is that mindset which has led to Auckland having one of the lowest levels of public transport use of any developed world city.

  22. Pat 22

    Jarbury, you are obviously an intelligent man/woman/man-bear-pig. You think a 4km gap in the Western Ring Route is a good thing?

  23. jarbury 23

    No I don’t Pat. However, given the expense of competing the gap I think we need to make sure it’s value for money. I’m very very much not convinced that it is.

    What looks pretty on a map isn’t what matters in the end. There are a lot of pressing transport projects in Auckland at the moment – including the rail projects that I mentioned above. Given peak oil uncertainty in the future (and all your biofuel & fairy dust cars won’t become affordable to the masses for decades) and the fact that motorway simply induce travel (and therefore congestion) we need to look at alternatives that can provide better value for money than this project.

    I truly believe that the benefits of this project have been overstated. The traffic modelling expects 98% of people travelling from the North Shore to the airport to use this connection, which seems truly bizarre. It also expects to remove 28,000 cars per day from the CMJ – in which case why are we about to spend $600 million on the Victoria Park Tunnel and the Newmarket Viaduct? Time savings benefits have been proven overseas to simply not exist in the longer term (as people drive further rather than travel times being shortened), yet these time savings make up 73% of the benefits of the Waterview Connection.

    There are just too many flaws.

    If we leave things for a decade, the MoT report says the cost benefit ratio will rise to 1.7 – which is a lot better than 1.15. Furthermore, if we spend that decade building a CBD rail tunnel, rail to the airport and other public transport projects we may find that we don’t need the Waterview Connection anyway. Particularly if petrol is over $3 a litre by then (which is what the NZTA and the ARC anticipate it to be in a decade [in today’s dollars] – which I think is conservative).

    Wouldn’t it be better to find that out before we spend $2.5-3 billion?

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    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    2 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    3 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    3 days ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    4 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    5 days ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    6 days ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    6 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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