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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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    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    2 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    4 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    7 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago

  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    19 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    5 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    6 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
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    3 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
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    3 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
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    4 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    4 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
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    4 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    5 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
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    5 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
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    5 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
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    5 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
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    5 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
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    5 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
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    5 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
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    6 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
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    6 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
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    6 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
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    6 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
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    6 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
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    6 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
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    7 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
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    7 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
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    7 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
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    1 week ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
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    1 week ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
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    1 week ago