web analytics

Lost highway

Written By: - Date published: 12:55 pm, June 25th, 2008 - 60 comments
Categories: economy - Tags: , ,

Petrol is over $2.10 a litre. The price will keep rising both with the ever upward march of the price of crude and the falling NZ dollar. Already, motorists are responding. Road usage in Auckland has fallen 3%. It’s fair to believe it is falling elsewhere too. The only reasonable conclusion is that the number of vehicles on the road will keep edging down as the price of petrol continues to rise.

So, why the hell are we spending $3 billion on two huge new motorway projects? The Waterview Tunnel in Auckland and Transmission Gully in Wellington add capacity to the existing network even as capacity demand is falling. That’s insane.

Yes, there is still congestion on the motorways out of the cities. But the solution is to take more cars off the road. Imagine if we put that $3 billion into public transport instead we could build a world-leading transport infrastructure with numerous small, comfortable, quick buses and faster, electrified trains.

Both major parties are stuck in a past of cheap oil. Those days are not coming back; it’s time we had a transport plan for the future.

[PS. before the Righties get all excited – no, this $3 billion couldn’t pay for National’s tax cuts. A motorway is built once, tax cuts are forever.]

60 comments on “Lost highway ”

  1. Wow, what a retarded post. We are sill going to need cars. People are still going to drive no matter what the cost. You know the Aussie is about to start mining oil deposits in rock and Canada is stepping up it’s sand mining operation. There will be oil for many years to come.

    200 years worth is predicted. The sands in Canada hold more oil that the arabs.

  2. Wow, what a retarded comment. No-oneis saying dig p the existing roads. I’m saying that the price of oil is going up and up and car use is decreasing, meaning there’s no need for massive new projects.

  3. Vanilla Eis 3

    Infused: and the Canadian sands are considerably more expensive to extract oil from. Which is what everyone is talking about when they say ‘peak oil’ – the planet will never run out, but the cost of marginal cost of production will be greater than market price. When this happens, production shuts down. Savvy?

    What SP is trying to say is that by strengthening the inter and intra-city public transport networks, pressure on existing infrastructure will ease. You don’t need to build a new highway if you can convince even 10% of the car-drivers to take new and efficient public transport. That way, the retards still willing to pay $4 a litre of gas can still drive wherever the hell they want.

  4. Vanilla Eis 4

    Bah. “but the marginal cost of production” – must have had two half-sentences in my mind.

  5. lprent 5

    infused: What grades are the oil you’re talking about? Your statement is basically useless unless you are simply trying to confuse the issue.

    From memory the Albertan oilsands are essentially tar. Great if you want to produce plastics, adequete for some types of heating oils, and absolutely useless for getting light fractions required for motor vehicles.

    What is the price for extraction and refining? That is the important question. There are hydrocarbons everywhere from coal deposits to the underwater frozen methane. Almost all of them could be converted into the petroleum factions we use for motor fuels, but in most cases the costs are orders of magnitude greater than what we currently pay.

    I’d suggest that if you don’t have any ideas on these rather critical questions (which is what I suspect), then your opinions just show you need some remedial science.

  6. Nedyah Hsan 6

    Ah, but there’s always going to be alternative fuel/energy sources coming out.
    Whether or not they come in the next 5, 10 or 15 years.
    If it takes 10 years, all thats needed is a few contractors to clear the weeds, cover over the cracks, and presto, new road for our water/urine/hydrogen/electricity fuelled cars.
    I suppose one could say it’s “forward thinking” in the “old style” but still.

    At least the buses will be on time, all the time, and wouldn’t have to cope with idiot drivers trying to overtake them as they’re pulling out.

    3 billion on a road is a shocking amount. Do we have monkeys counting peanuts dealing with the contracts? I hope we have some sort of penalty clause included, which always seems to be lacking.

    captcha: predict new; Oil sources perhaps?

  7. Vanilla Eis 7

    Nedyah: of course there are, but that doesn’t mean that investment in public transport can’t extend the life of existing transport infrastructure by reducing usage. I’d love to take the train north instead of driving (Especially if I get to avoid the Kapiti Coast highway and the Desert Road) but it’s not the most viable option at the moment.

    Captcha: and gasoline. Some of these are creepy.

  8. “In the words of Mary Beth Stanek, director of energy and environmental policy & commercialization at GM, “Developing and growing hydrogen infrastructure is vital to GM’s efforts to bring larger volumes of fuel cell vehicles to the market.’ ”

    GM Volt

    The car is not dead, fossil fuels might be dead but personal transport is not going to give way to mass transit anytime soon, especially in low density cities like Auckland.

    Bus riding Wellingtonian policy wonks might want to punish the rest of us by forcing us to ride buses ( in addition to just paying for them with taxation) with smelly Gold card holders but it ain’t gonna happen.

    [“smelly Gold card holders” charming. SP]

  9. Steve P: Isn’t $2billion of that $3 billion just a bribe for the Helen Clark’s Mt Albert electorate ? Now that is a bacon sandwich !!!

  10. So, why the hell are we spending $3 billion on two huge new motorway projects?

    Because road planners have to look at a longer term than what petrol prices are doing this month. Sudden price increases cause a shock that reduces demand. Give it a while and demand goes back where it was. The idea that this is the start of some permanent and significant fall in road usage isn’t very convincing – people are very resistant to reducing car usage long-term.

  11. T-rex 11

    Oddly enough, I agree with Bryan. In part anyway.

    Oil might be on the way out, but I don’t think personal transport will follow it.

    However, I do think that we’re not going to need new roads for a long time. Traffic density (in person/second) can be increased by an order of magnitude with smarter vehicle systems (i.e. take drivers out of the picture, because they suck). In the meantime oil will, as you point out, keep traffic densities down for us.

    No new highways!

  12. Stephen 12

    How is ruining your electorate with the construction and disruption required for a massive tunnel a “bribe”?

  13. Stephen: because it’s a lot less disruption than bowling 600 houses of Labour voters and digging a trench.

  14. Psych Milt : “Because road planners have to look at a longer term than what petrol prices are doing this month. ”

    Spot on.

  15. Stephen 15

    Are road planners looking at the RB’s forecasts then?

    From the Dom-post:

    The steeply climbing line is the price of crude oil, which has risen from US$33 a barrel to US$139 in four years. The graceful lines which curve downward are the Reserve Bank’s forecasts of future prices. In each instance the bank has been wrong. Despite its consistent view that oil is over-priced and will fall to a new “equilibrium”, the price has continued to rise inexorably.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominionpost/4578022a6483.html

    From frogblog:

    May 2004, they said we would have a $26 per barrel oil price today. In May 2005 (Teal), they said today’s price would be $51 per barrel. In May of this year (Blue), they said we’d be at $56 right now.

    http://tinyurl.com/43ckba

  16. No-one is saying personal transport is on the way out. I’m saying the era of really cheap personal transport is over. People will still use cars, maybe not a hell of a lot less than now, but we don’t need to be adding capacity for that – we need more capcity for the people who won’t be able to afford to drive.

    Only fools like Byran think the price of petrol is going back to $1 a litre.

    electric cars etc – great, but you have to understand the amount of cheap energy that oil used to give us. Even a small internal combustion engine produces 100KW of power. Admittiedly most engines are only in use for an hour or so a day but, still, to replace those engines hundreds of thousands of times over with stationary electricity generation we would need billions of dollars of new capacity. No energy source is going to be as cheap as petrol was again (until we get fusion or something).

  17. Stephen 17

    So the bribe is that they won’t buy up and demolish 600 houses when currently more houses are needed? eh? I accept that it might cost less to do so, but sounds like a raw deal overall.

  18. MikeE 18

    What about private roads, that way those who aren’t big fans of private transport (such as yourself and many greenies I’d assume) don’t have to bear the cost of roads, while those who want them pay the full cost of the investment.

  19. roger nome 19

    To all the unfailingly moronic right wingers here – no one is saying that the car is dead. But everyone who’s in the know is saying that oil and therefore petrol are going to become more expensive.

    Essentially it’s a problem of supply an demand. The global economy keeps on growing at 4-5% per year, and while that growth looks set to slow, demand for oil will continue to outstrip supply – i.e. Economic growth in India and China will remain robust and less than one in 40 of their 2.4 billion inhabitants have their own automobile – and they all want one.

    i.e.

    The international energy agency reported reduced oil consumption in rich countries that make up the 30-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, but noted few signs of slowing demand in developing countries, especially China and India.

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/10/news/international/iea_forecast.ap/index.htm

    Now, let’s have a look at the supply side. The task to keep up with demand is massive

    The world risks a supply “crunch” within seven years unless some 12.5 million barrels a day of new oil is added to the market, more than Saudi Arabia pumps today, according to the Paris-based IEA.

    No one is predicting that much extra capacity come 2015. Non-OPEC supply is set to peak in 2010, so it will have to come from the dictators of OPEC. Now, as a cartel you expect them to restrict supply and increase prices even if they have the spare capacity – but there’s no evidence that they do. So in any scenario the price of oil is set to keep increasing in the medium-term.

    More public transport, and less waste on roads thanks!

  20. T-rex 20

    Rather than re-argue every point with you here Roger I’ll just link to our last effort here

  21. djp 21

    I reckon petrol will get close to 1 NZD per litre (+inflation and assuming govt does not raise petrol tax) again.

    Oil futures speculation is what is driving the high price of oil.

    George Soros reckons about $60 of the current price of a barrel of oil is accounted for by speculators. Others are estimating from $40 to $90 per barrel.

    Even Obama just 2 days ago called for the Enron Loophole to be closed -> http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25318274/

  22. lprent 22

    Bryan:

    just a bribe for the Helen Clark’s Mt Albert electorate?

    I grew up in Mt Albert and I still do electorate work there.

    You are daft if you think that the people in Mt Albert want this damn road. It won’t help us with our traffic, it will just help the rest of Auckland.

    The best way of describing it at present is that the locals are getting resigned to it being built. That means the number of bodies doing an Arthur Dent will be less.

    It will cause an major disruption across the whole upper part of the electorate. It is going to make a major mess of some parks that I’m fond of.

    There is one motorway in Mt Albert already for the benefit of the westies. Personally I’d be in favour of dumping the damn thing elsewhere – but Auckland is a bloody isthmus. There are few routes and only one if you want to link to the north-western from the airport damnit.

    In short you can take the insinuation and shove it up where the sun doesn’t shine SIDEWAYS. We have to put up with it – we don’t have to put up with someone being a fuckwit about it.

  23. MikeE. I’d rather we do more productive things with our limited land in the major cities than cover it in unneeded roads.

  24. Incidentally, I was going to just go with the headlights on the dark highway pic from Lost Highway for this, but then I found the pic above. I reckon it’s awesome, great lighting. The larger version is a beauty.

  25. darryl p 25

    Just a thought starter, but let’s say that both roading projects are completed, which then allows cars/trucks to travel in and out of Auckland and Wellington at 70-100k per hour. How long would it take to recover the cost of the project through the fuel savings of all those cars/trucks on the road?

    At the moment coming into Auckland from the North Shore can take anywhere up to 60-70 minutes and the whole journey is spent accelerating in first or second gear and the braking to a halt a few meters down the road. A really inefficient use of petrol.

    But if all these cars can get from the North Shore to the city in 15-20 minutes going 70k in fourth gear then there is going to be a massive collective fuel saving as well as a reduced carbon footprint.

    Just a deferent way of looking at the whole thing…

    captcha: telephone koelble (not spooky, not relevant to post)

  26. roger nome 26

    T-rex:

    “Rather than re-argue every point with you here Roger I’ll just link to our last effort here”

    Didn’t we conclude that local driving would continue with much more expensive fuel, utilising light-weight transport (commuting), while much long-distance freight will move on to rail – which all means less maintenance needed, and a lower roading budget. That’s why I now advocate decreased spending on roading and more on public transport – particularly.

    djp:

    The reason for the so called “oil bubble” is that the market is expecting oil to be more expensive in the future, so the futures market goes nuts, which has a knock on effect for current prices. The market has woken up to peak oil, and the real scarcity/value of oil is now being reflected in its price. Any questions?

  27. Stephen 27

    darryl p, it might save money, but ironically the more people who make use of this fabulous new project, the less useful it gets because of congestion! So not much good I think.

  28. T-rex 28

    Roger – I think I agreed with you on oil, but not on traffic or energy availability, but then agreed again on roads (you thought there would be fewer trips, I thought there might be just as many if not more but that utilisation would vastly improve).

    Anyway, my comment above re: arguing with you was probably invalid.

    Public transport not roads – for sure.

  29. Matthew Pilott 29

    MikeE – I’m going to have a punt with that one. Why not? Perhaps the cost of transport has got to where it is no longer a public good, but more like the inner lanes of the Moscow Boulevards during the Cold War – private roads for the elite (politburo), but on public property.

    Of course there are a few problems – how will we, the public, be recompensed for the land and infractructure costs that have been publicly funded to date?

    If you’re talking about privatising all new roads (i.e. cease taxing petrol, and let developers build roads as the market wishes) then that is better, but private industry competing to build roads that would be privately owned doesn’t strike me as useful. How much duplication would you get, instead of having one single authority which contracts out building, for starters? How do you stop ‘free loaders’, people getting cheap petrol but avoiding private roads?

    Given the inefficiency of private vehicles, I don’t mind that people who commute alone every day help to fund roads and rail, which public transport can take advantage of. Since the private car has caused so much damage to the global common, it’s all to sweet that the cost is being internalised. I think roads should be privately funded anyway, and the money raised from taxes go to CarbonZero transport initiatives. Not too feasible though…

  30. Matthew Pilott 30

    darryl P – the problem is that it will encourage increased demand for roading, as the service is better. Greater road capacity will eventually result in a greater carbon footprint – but I know what you are getting at. I’m sure a balance can be struck that assists drivers, without excessively increasing demand – but a major project probably isn’t it.

  31. T-rex 31

    Mike – I actually started to reply and then got distracted.

    So long as you pay ALL the costs, including what would usually be externalities (noise pollution etc), and the road builder is prepared to accept all the risk (rather than get a govt guarantee in case of low use) then go for it.
    Good luck selling THAT business model though!

  32. lprent 32

    T: You forgot something. They should purchase the land for the road at market rates (ie whatever the market will bear). I really don’t want state powers being used for the benefit of private enterprise.

    It’d be interesting to see what the cost of the road would be after all of that.

  33. andy 33

    The tunnel:

    Transit have a problem with the design, the idea was to trench down beside Gt Nth Rd from Blockhouse Bay Rd to the motorway.

    Then they figured out they would absolutely f*^k up a major artery to build well a major artery. The trenching would disrupt the traffic and the Waterview area so badly and put extra pressure on other suburban routes and basically gridlock west Auckland. It is a Hobsons choice going overland.

    If anyone has driven that route in rush hour, and knows the geography (very important in decision) they will understand that a tunnel is the best option, it is not a bribe. It is the most expensive but least disruptive.

    My bad analogy would be to block the harbor bridge to build another harbor bridge.

  34. Good post. The Wellington Regional Council’s report talked about the “cannibalising” of passengers from the train system back into their cars if Transmission Gully was built. It had the dual adverse effects of persuading people to drive more and making the passenger transport system cost more because it would be used less. The best course is to fund the Wellington rail improvements and develop “clean” electricity supplies. There will then be a savings on the capital to construct, the annual cost to maintain and a reduced need to buy carbon credits.

    Pretty simple really.

    Auckland’s motorways have recently seen a reduction in useage for the first time ever. We really do need to think about the future and that the current rules are no longer going to apply.

  35. Rex Widerstrom 35

    Lynn asks:

    infused: What grades are the oil you’re talking about?… From memory the Albertan oilsands are essentially tar. Great if you want to produce plastics, adequete for some types of heating oils, and absolutely useless for getting light fractions required for motor vehicles.

    Australia’s 60 minutes had an item on this recently (link to video and transcript – ironically an ad for a car pops out of the same webpage!).

    According to the transcript: “Now, to get the bitumen out you have to heat it up with lots of water at a very high temperature, then process it, refine it, and presto – synthetic crude oil”.

  36. MikeE 36

    “So long as you pay ALL the costs, including what would usually be externalities (noise pollution etc), and the road builder is prepared to accept all the risk (rather than get a govt guarantee in case of low use) then go for it.”

    I think that is a fair enough requirement for private roads.. so would you agree with getting rid of the parts of the RMA which make it nigh on impossible to do this?

  37. T-rex 37

    Don’t know enough about the relevant bits of the RMA to comment sorry, but generally the RMA seems to have delivered pretty good results in terms of consultation with affected parties etc.

    I guess you’re talking about compulsory acquisition. I’m not sure. I don’t fully agree with Lynn, because that’s placing a pretty unfair burden on privately owned infrastructure that’s not faced by public development, but on the other hand public infrastructure development has different motivation.

  38. lprent 38

    T: I think that the original comment said something about the private roads being for private road users – ie not for the common interest.

    Yep MikeE said

    What about private roads, that way those who aren’t big fans of private transport (such as yourself and many greenies I’d assume) don’t have to bear the cost of roads, while those who want them pay the full cost of the investment.

    If that is the case, then it should be carried all of the way on a private basis. That would include having to purchase all of the land that the roads were on. If you dig back into the history of roading, I seem to remember that was why private roading became uneconomic a very long time ago.

  39. lprent 39

    RW: Yep and that is why it is unlikely to become economic on any sort of scale at anything like the current prices for motor vehicle fractions.

    I’m not up to date with modern refining and cracking. But just doing some rough figuring out what the energy budget is for that kind of operation scares me. Doesn’t anyone learn any basic science these days. The reporter in your links certainly seemed a bit clueless. My guess is that at present they’re selling it as bitumen – you notice that the reporter didn’t say what they are marketing? It’d probably be good for plastics because those processes often use the higher carbon structures.

    If they stop at heating/bunker oil it is probably sort of economic at some point. The yield would be low but the energy budget might work and they’d be able to use the waste for roading.

    If they continue to cracking to get the lighter fractions for motor fuels, then they’re better hope that oil prices hit the roof. The stuff STARTS as bitumen which is the bottom end waste from most refineries – the yield would be crap with any known tech. I’d suspect that almost any other known technology would be economic before then.

    Hell – I suspect that growing whole forests for charcoal based engines would be more economic. I haven’t even looked at the environmental effects.

  40. T-rex 40

    Lynn, economically it’s viable at the current price. Amortizing plant costs over long term and improving processes are expected to deliver $30-$40/barrel for petroleum.

    Environmentally it’s a total mess – terrible solution.

    I wouldn’t invest in it. $40/barrel is still expensive as an energy source, electric replacements are going to beat 8 kinds of hell out of it. Demand will slump, and the plants will go back to sitting idle, just like after the last oil spike.

  41. T-rex 41

    On roads – Fair enough, but regardless of who’s funding it (private or public) it still ends up being for the interests of most at the cost of some.

    Making private enterprise face a cost which is just swept aside as “for the greater good” when a public entity does it seems unreasonable.

  42. Matthew Pilott 42

    I watched that doco as well – it wasn’t pretty. They talked about it as a great option for Austrialia (which has the equivalent, but trapped in rock, not sand, which must be even less economic), but I noticed no one gave figures as to how much water the process requires – not such a problem in Alberta, teeny, slight problem in Australia, apparently.

    As Rex said – they did mention ‘lots of water’. Imagine if you live with Queensland’s Grade 5 restrictions, and have 125 l of water a day (wash some clothes, flush the bog twice, cook dinner and do the dishes and you might squeak in with a 2 minute shower) to live on. Now imagine you need ten times that to make a barrel of oil. Sell that if you can.

    Problematic.

    T-rex – you said $40/barrel as a source, what do you mean by that? pre- or post-refining? How is that comparable to traditional oil sources (i.e. the wet stuff in the ground)?

    Rex W – that was on over here too on our 60 mins, in case you’re wondering. I’d heard about tar sands, was interesting to see them in a bit more detail.

  43. T-rex 43

    I’m not an expert – I did a brief study on it about a year back, sufficient to lable it a seriously weak solution compared to alternatives, didn’t look into it any further. I imagine the optimistic $30/$40 per barrel is assuming no limitations on other resources.

    More details are here. It’s a fossil fuel lobby device IMNSHO, “Hey, keep buying petrol cars, there’s plenty left”. If it replaces petrol in widespread use then it will be one of the biggest signs yet that we, as a species, are f*cking useless.

    Check out, in particular, the EROI.

    It is the single most inefficient and polluting way I can imagine of getting cars around. I would support electricity from coal over oil from oilshale by a LONG margin.

  44. Our June Oil Production Briefing Paper is out now. We look at why Saudi Arabia won’t be able to overcome its own internal demand, and also the myth that speculators are driving up the price of oil.

    http://www.bettertransport.org.nz/news/134/53.htm

    It is also worth noting there has been a 6% decrease in traffic volumes for the northern motorway in Auckland, where the new Northern busway runs along side. Conversely there was a 6% increase in traffic on the Manukau Harbour Crossing, where there is no effective rapid transit. I don’t think this is a coincidence.

  45. roger nome 45

    Rex:

    “Australia’s 60 minutes had an item on this recently (link to video and transcript – ironically an ad for a car pops out of the same webpage!)”

    That’s all well and good rex, but you’re talking two barrels of sludgy toxic waste for every barrel produced and nearly twice as much carbon per unit of energy produced. With demand for liquid fuel projected to near double in the next 30 years you’re talking environmental melt-down.

    Also, the energy required carry out the process is massive, and involves mainly natural gas, which is set to peak a decade or so after oil. To get around this people in the industry have been talking about constructing nuclear power plants expressly for the purpose of replacing the gas. Surely it would just be cheaper and more environmentally friendly to go the nuclear-powered, electric car route?

  46. Sheik Sensible 46

    Why the hell is is $2.00 plus per litre? Because the filth merchants in the present government thieve petrol taxes and GST from consumers. That’s why!

  47. Matthew Pilott 47

    Yes, non-road users should pay for roading, that’s only fair.

    SS – back to your sandbox, child, you’re not worthy.

    In credit though, you didn’t mess up your spelling or grammar, apart from the second “is”, where there should be an “it”. Well done on the apostrophe use, not everyone can get that right. Proper NZ spelling on “litre” too, and you got “thieve” correct – ‘i’ before ‘e’. So you’re not totally useless.

    I’d have used a hyphen for the “that’s why?” sentence but that’s more aesthetics, though it is a fragment in essence.

    Now try to put the effort given to your technical writing into some critical thought.

  48. frog 48

    Thank you Stephen, for quoting the Dom Post and my blog. I would love to croak that the Dom Post got the chart you quote from me. Then I had to explain it to them. :-0

    Anyone who thinks that pushing 2 tonnes of steel down to the dairy and back to pick up 1 kilogram of milk has a future is deluding themselves. Personal transport as we know it is history. Oil is the most energy dense, easily worked energy sources we have, and we are pissing it away doing useless work.

  49. T-rex 49

    “Personal transport as we know it is history”

    Could you qualify that please? I’ve had a similar argument with rogernome. I agree that the scenario you describe above is history (2tons for 1kg), but personal transport is a very broad term…

    And I’d actually argue that oil is a pretty crap energy source. We just happened to have developed a dependence on it rather than something else. That’ll change in time… probably not very much of it either!

    I’d expect oil to be essentially unused (as an energy source anyway) in 30 years, but energy to be more available than ever.

  50. Sheik Sensible 50

    Gosh Mr Pilott you ARE erudite. I bet you have a degree…my pick is a very routine BA which undoubtedly suits your employment and qualifies you for little else!

    The petrol tax imposed by the government was the intended focus of my contribution but I now perceive that ad-hominem peripheral nit-picking is your forte. Good luck to you.

    Please direct me to a blogg which caters for those of us who can acutely ponder issues rather than being a theatre for your school-teacher type rantings.

  51. lprent 51

    SS: From the juvie sarcasm (and lousy spelling). You look like a good candidate for Cline Heine et al or possibly WhaleOil. Look under Right blogs on the left. Just my opinion of course.

    Lynn

  52. Which petrol tax? There has been no increase in the excise (beyond CPI) in years, GST is the same, and the reigonal fuel taxes are not yet in place, if they coem in at all.

    In fact, the Govt’s revenue is dropping because of high petrol prices. Less petrol is consumed meaning less excise is gathered (it’s charged per litre, not on price) and the GST from extra spending on petrol comes at the cost of GST not being gathered from spending on other things.

    And don’t forget, police cars, ambulances, army vehicles, they all run on petrol or diesel too. Higher prices hit the govt and cut it’s revenue.

  53. Matthew Pilott 53

    SS, sorry, I didn’t think it was meant to be a serious comment or one that had a valid ‘focus’ as such.

    Don’t worry, the language debate is always a second to the politics, since I didn’t think you had much to contribute by way of political discussion I thought I’d resort to the grammar.

    A BA (or any other non-vocational degree) can get you into all types of gainful employment. Don’t take my word for it though, by all means.

  54. T-rex 54

    Sheik – What’s your problem with petrol taxes? Their level (which, as Steve points out, hasn’t changed – and in fact has reduced as far as total revenue is concerned) or the fact that they’re charged at all? How do you think roads should be funded?

    As of early this year(?) all funds collected through excise tax on petrol even go into land transport projects.

    What’s your beef? That roads should be free?

  55. Tane W 55

    T-Rex,

    I can’t speak for frog, but it’s worth noting he/she/it said “…personal transport as we know it is history”. Not personal transport per se, but rather the way we currently transport ourselves. I’m not certain of your discussions with roger nome, but I think you’d agree with that.

    I think the future is going to see a lot more walking and cyclying, more use of public transport, and the slowly decling use of personal vehicles for ‘special’ trips only. The distance and terrain types that people consider to be walkable will increase greatly, and we’ll become a lot smarter about combining trips. Earlier generations coped without cars, and while they did live in smaller, denser communities, they made things work. Or rather, things worked because they did live in smaller, denser communities.

    The problem of course will be in the transition from our current system of personal transport, to the future, low-energy one. People’s expectations are going to have to be severely altered, and this won’t be a pretty process. I almost pity the next party in government, because they’ll cop it in the neck. Also, a lot of people with very expensive properties miles away from anywhere useful are going to find themselves with something they can’t use and can’t sell. It’s happening already in the States (exurbs are the hardest hit by the real estate crash).

    So I think frog is right; personal transport, as we know it, is history.

  56. roger nome 56

    Sheik Senseless,

    the excise tax was put in place by the National Party in the early 1950s, so they could scrap the Labour Governmet’s plans to build first-class electric rail infrastructure in Auckland, and fund their new highways.

    Are you saying we should reverse that? i.e. cut the tax on petrol, stop spending so much on roads and start investing more in pubic transport? If so, I can only offer you my whole hearted agreement!

  57. roger nome 57

    Tane W –

    T-Rex thinks that electricity will take the place of oil. This would entail growing electricity generation at a rate of 10% per year for the next 30 years. He says Solar and wind can do it. Sorry Rex, but that’s head in the clouds stuff.

  58. Liquid Energy prices may indeed fall again for different reasons.

    The high price of oil has led to people innovating; and if they can make a bug which can take any organic waste, and turn it into crude oil – that’s sustainable oil at $50/bbl. It was never worthwhile researching with oil at $10/bbl, $20/bbl etc – as well as the difficulty in genetic engineering etc. But now, the economics are different and making bacteria with specialised ribosomes to perform bespoke chemical reactions is not science fiction.

    Let’s just hope that modified E.Coli doesn’t make it out into the wild – I bet soil laced with long-chain hydrocarbons would be microbially antisocial, to put it mildly. But what a risk in terms of patent law – one leaked bacterium could mean a market awash with back-yard oil producers. After all, individuals aren’t subject to being told they can’t use a patented invention they’ve “built” themselves.

  59. T-rex 59

    Roger – I think electricity in combination with new vehicles can replace oil in functionality. There’s no need to replace the energy equivalent. As I described in my last post under “ambitious for big oil” – linked to in my response to you above.

    We could supply energy for the majority of personal transport requirements in NZ by increasing our existing WIND generation by about 25%. A breeze – if you’ll pardon the expression.

    So in conclusion, I think personal transport will be more widespread than ever. Just different… and a lot better.

    At any rate, I don’t think we’ll need new roads. Just maintain the existing ones. So add my vote to upgrading the rail network.

  60. Kevyn 60

    SP, Which petrol tax? I think he meant the one appropriated by the Finance Act each year rather than the one appropriated by sole authority of the Land Transport Management Act. The latter one has been increased twice in recent years, unless your definition of recent years is “less than two years”.

    Roger. Since the “user pays” motor spirits excise duty was introduced in 1927.
    http://www.petroltax.org.nz/documents_1918-1953.html

    I can only assume your refence to a 1950’s National government is actually referring to that government’s response to the Roading Invesigation Committee’s report. The truth (according to Mr Goosman) can be found here:
    http://www.petroltax.org.nz/documents_1954-1999.html

    If the Labour Governmet’s had plans to build first-class electric rail infrastructure in Auckland then why didn’t they include that infrastructure in the regional public works plan published in the appendices to the Parliamentary Journal in 1947?
    http://www.petroltax.org.nz/images/AK-1947.jpg

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • What sort of relationship might Labour and the Greens agree on?
    Even without knowing the final election result (because, don’t forget there’s about 500,000 special votes still to count and they very likely will change Saturday’s results), we can say two things for certain about the next government. Jacinda Ardern will be its Prime Minister. And Labour will be at its core. But ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    8 hours ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Leftwing euphoria meets reality
    The political left has been euphoric since Saturday’s night historic landslide victory for Labour. But political commentators from across the spectrum are united in warning that the new Government isn’t about to be transformative. Instead, we will see more of a status quo administration grappling with a crisis, with very ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    10 hours ago
  • Yes, a mandate for sure… but issues for NZ will be far, far more difficult now
    With the NZ General Election and Referendums over for 2020, Jacinda Ardern is to form a Government over the next few weeks, “there are some areas we do want to crack on with, that we will need to expedite”, and talks will begin to form around what the voters ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    12 hours ago
  • Labour Party landslide – 2020 Election in review
    Jacinda Ardern - Prime Minister of New ZealandThe 2020 General Election has been one of the most interesting in New Zealand’s political history. Not only did we have voters provide the Labour Party with a stratospheric 49.1% mandate to govern, the results also delivered National with a crushing 26.8% defeat ...
    13 hours ago
  • Be careful what you wish for: Labour's difficult triumph
    Labour’s overwhelming victory at the election has been greeted with rousing cheers on the left of New Zealand politics and the start of transformational demands. It’s a multi-generational win for Labour, out-polling the Kirk, Lange and Clark victories. You have to go back to 1938 for a bigger percentage (55.8%) ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    13 hours ago
  • A Skeptical Science member's path to an experiment on carbon sequestration
    During what now seems like another era entirely- back in February of this long year- Skeptical Science regular RedBaron (aka Scott Strough) mentioned in a discussion thread here that he'd been working on an idea for no-till cultivation of vegetables, was seeking to quantify what appeared to be promising results. Scott ...
    14 hours ago
  • Jacinda Will Keep Us Moving – To The Same Place.
    Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes? Not Likely: Though few New Zealanders would express it in such a fashion: Jacinda’s and Labour’s general handling of the Covid-19 crisis proved both to be highly effective defenders of the capitalist status quo. She, and they, kept the lights on. And that, in the absence of an alternative ...
    15 hours ago
  • The Greens and Labour
    With an absolute majority, Labour can govern in its own right, and doesn't need partners. But while unnecessary, they're a nice-to-have, both as backup and for PR reasons. Ardern has talked about "consensus", and there are obvious benefits for her of having government policy endorsed by as many parties as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #42
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... Earth has warmest September on record, and 2020 may clinch hottest year Record warmth in Europe and Asia overwhelms a ...
    20 hours ago
  • Josh Van Veen: The Vindication of Winston Peters
    An egalitarian spirit is currently being revived in New Zealand, and we should thank Winston Peters for keeping alive that spirit. Josh Van Veen, who once worked with the NZ First leader, pays his tribute.   With New Zealand First receiving less than 3% of the vote, critics are happily ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    21 hours ago
  • The Hunt for Red October: Musings on Taieri
    So New Zealand has had its general election. Jacinda Ardern has managed a single-party majority government, New Zealand’s first in twenty-six years, and its first since the adoption of proportional representation. I intend to do a comment on that further down the line – my feelings on the Sunday ...
    1 day ago
  • Lessons from the Election
    This year’s general election has broken new ground – and not just in terms of its outcome, the seats won and votes cast, and – in an MMP environment – the margin of victory. It also suggests that something quite fundamental has changed in New Zealand politics. The outcome is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The unexpected result
    The people have spoken, and its a Labour majority government. This wasn't meant to happen under MMP, and in fact its exactly what the system was designed to prevent: no majority governments, no elected dictatorships, unless we really, really want it (which at the time seemed unlikely on 40 years ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Schadenfreude is a dish best served blue
    What started out as the largest party in parliament has ended election night scratching the back door of the house of irrelevance. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #42
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Oct 11, 2020 through Sat, Oct 17, 2020 Editor's Choice A FIELD GUIDE TOTHE ELECTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE   The presidential election is just weeks away, and climate change has broken ...
    2 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Election '20: The Special Votes
    The 2020 General Election has a preliminary result. For reasons I am unable to really explain, we will not have even a preliminary result for the end of life choice and cannabis legalisation referendums for some weeks (I dropped the ball on that one when the referendum legislation was before ...
    2 days ago
  • National rejects tonight’s result as a ‘rogue poll’
    National are dismissing tonight’s election result as an “obvious outlier” Half an hour into counting, National Party leader Judith Collins and deputy leader Gerry Brownlee are already dismissing tonight’s election result as a “rogue poll”, saying it’s an incomplete survey with shoddy methodology. Brownlee called an emergency media stand-up just ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • Jacinda Ardern ran down four National supporters with her car this morning but due to electoral law ...
    Dr. Ashley Bloomfield reported at today’s 1pm health briefing that the Coronavirus turns out not to exist, but that information was also withheld on the same grounds. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern began her election morning by ruthlessly driving her car into a family of National supporters just blocks from her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • Six weird animals that have nothing to do with the election
    Get a load of these things! Some of these animals are just crazy. You wouldn’t want a single one of these animals anywhere near your kids. It could ruin them for life. Last thing you’d want is your kid growing up around any of these, and thinking that’s what animals ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • 1pm Covid Health Update for 17th October, 2020
    What follows is today’s 1pm health update from the Ministry of Health There are 12 new cases of Covid-19 today, six in managed isolation, three escaped, and three are wealthy foreigners so it’s fine. One of these cases is a man in his 50s who visited Auckland sex club Fisting ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • It's Election Day.
     This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • National caucus convening to elect new leader for final 2 hours of the campaign
    This is a breaking news event, and further updates and clarifications may be forthcoming. With less than three hours to go in the election campaign, The National Party is holding an emergency meeting to elect a new leader, one they hope can turn things around in the final one and ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • Judith Collins asking for two week extension on election due date
    Collins says she was “ever so close” to finishing everything up, but a family member died, her computer crashed, and she just needs “a little more time” to get things right. In a late move this evening, Judith Collins has written an urgent letter to the Electoral Commission requesting a ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • The Debunking Handbook 2020: Misinformation is damaging and sticky
    This blog post is part 1 of a series of excerpts from The Debunking Handbook 2020. The list of references is available here. Misinformation can do damage Misinformation is false information that is spread either by mistake or with intent to mislead. When there is intent to mislead, it is ...
    3 days ago
  • Not as a Christian, but as a New Zealander: Why I am voting against assisted suicide tomorrow.
    I am no stranger to lost causes. And, while there is always hope, it does appear that David Seymour’s “End of Life Choice” law will receive the necessary endorsement of voters to finally legalise assisted suicide in this country. A significant minority of voters will dissent, however.I will be one ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Ardern reassures voters that Greens’ negotiating table will be a tiny, humiliating one
    On the eve of the election, the Prime Minister wants New Zealanders to know the Greens will be given a very small seat at the table, quite literally. In the final hours of the campaign, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made a forceful appeal to the electorate not to be ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • A Waste of Time: The Hundred “Best” Fantasy Books
    Time Magazine has put out a list of the hundred best fantasy books of all time: https://time.com/collection/100-best-fantasy-books/ It is bad. Very bad. I get that this is clickbait nonsense, but… really. Time Magazine ought to be ashamed of themselves. Ostensibly, the selection process was as follows: ...
    4 days ago
  • Big changes do stick
    In one of her last pre-election interviews, Jacinda Ardern tries to defend her policy of doing nothing while in government: Ardern reflected on large changes made by Helen Clark’s government – particularly in education and welfare – that were still part of the system now, saying they prove smaller ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Polls show regret for not voting Green
    I have looked at election polling for last four elections and have noticed a concerning pattern. The Green Party's polling leading up to each election is stronger than what they actually achieve, then the poll immediately afterwards is always considerably higher. For most parties the opposite is generally the case. ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Planning to fail
    Last year, the government passed the Zero Carbon Act, setting short-term and long-term goals for carbon reduction. And they're already saying that they will fail to meet them: Environment Minister David Parker​ appears to have already given up on the country’s ability to meet the 2030 methane goal set ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Another issue Labour is ignoring its voters over
    Jacinda Ardern is trying to rule out even discussing a wealth tax if she gets re-elected. But if she gets re-elected, it will be by voters who support one. A Newshub poll shows that nearly half of all voters - and 60% of labour supporters - support a wealth tax: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Scholarship Physics
    It’s that time of year when school students become seriously focused on exams. This year has been messy for student learning, and has affected some students more than others, but the NCEA external assessments and the Scholarship exams are going ahead pretty-much as normal. I’ve taken some interest in the ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • “Fitz” On Cannabis.
    "I Like It!" “Shall I tell you the real reason to legalise cannabis? Because all the stuff I’ve told you, while true, isn’t enough. You should legalise cannabis because you’d like it. No, actually, you’d love it! Cannabis makes food taste better. It turns music into magic. It suppresses pain and nausea ...
    4 days ago
  • Crusher fails to resonate
    Judith Collins - National Party leaderYou can tell the National Party is in damage control mode most of the time these days. Instead of being able to provide any valid alternative to a Labour led Government, Judith Collins is going out of her way to be controversial just to get ...
    5 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime II
    Last month, we learned there was a flaw in our electoral transparency regime, with the New Zealand Public Party receiving a quarter of a million dollars in donations which will never have to be decalred. And now its got worse,as it turns out they're also explicitly soliciting donations from rich ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Entirely separate”
    When two people whose identities we all know but cannot say publicly due to name suppression were charged with "Obtaining by Deception" over routing donations to NZ First through the NZ First Foundation, Winston Peters claimed his party had been exonerated because "The Foundation is an entirely separate entity from ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Judith Collins' little green lies
    New Zealand is not the United States, thank goodness. We don't have the same level of political partisanship nor public media outlets that blatantly display political bias. However, during the closing weeks of this campaign I do feel an infection of trumpism is evident. Judith Collins and her National Party ...
    5 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: The Psychology of Ardernism
    Jacinda Ardern has made New Zealanders feel safe. Josh Van Veen looks at psychological understandings of leadership to help explain the ongoing success of Labour in this election campaign.   Simon Bridges could have been the Prime Minister. Opinion polls in February suggested a close election, with Colmar Brunton giving the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Let's Make Jacinda Break Her Promises.
    Make Her An Offer She Can't Refuse: Expecting Jacinda and her colleagues to break their promise not to introduce a Wealth Tax is not only unfair it is unwise. A consensus for change has never arisen out of a series of polite discussions - or base betrayals. A better New ...
    5 days ago
  • Two days to go, 12 questions still worth asking
    One last lap. One last crack. One last chance to boost your own policies or knock down your opponents. Tonight TVNZ hosts the final leaders’ debate and although over a million New Zealanders have voted and much of the policy debate seems to have stagnated around negative attacks, there are ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Possible inter-satellite collision on Friday
    Two objects in low-Earth orbit may collide with each other on Friday, in a hyper-velocity impact which would lead to millions of fragments being left on-orbit, each potentially-lethal to functioning satellites. Fingers crossed (not that I am superstitious) that it is a miss, rather than a hit. One local ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • Do Elections Deliver What We Want?
    MMP may deliver a parliament which reflects us, but frequently the government does not. At the heart of my recent history of New Zealand, Not in Narrow Seas, is the interaction between economic and social change. I could measure economic change via the – far from comprehensive – ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Flailing last grasps bring lasting gasps in the NZ General Election…
    The last week of the 2020 election here in New Zealand has been an increasingly torrid and venal affair has it not? Many expect the last week of any Election campaign to get considerably more tetchy, everyone is hurrying to nail the last voter down after all. But this ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2020
    Zika follows climate Sadie Ryan and coauthors combine what we know about the Zika virus and its preferred regime with modeling to show the pathogen will greatly expand its range during the next few decades. We do have some remaining control over the situation. From the abstract: "In the ...
    5 days ago
  • Does a delay in COP26 climate talks hit our efforts to reduce carbon emissions?
    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 Will the delay of the COP26 UN climate negotiations impact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Where do the parties stand on open government?
    The election is in less than a week, so I thought I'd take a quick look at where the parties stand on open government, freedom of information, and the OIA. The short answer is that most of them don't. While Andrew Little has "promised" to rewrite the OIA, there's no ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Second Time As Farce: National's Election Campaign Falls Apart.
    The Mask Of Civility Is Removed: According to Politik’s editor, Richard Harman, Collins has become her own campaign manager. Now, as a lawyer, you might think that the Leader of the Opposition would be familiar with the old saying: “The lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client.” ...
    6 days ago
  • National's Little Helpers have A Cunning Plan.
    Keep Your hands Off Of My Stash: Viewed from the perspective of the 2020 General Election as a whole, the intervention of the Taxpayers’ Union against the Greens' Wealth Tax confirms the Right’s growing sense of desperation that the campaign is slipping away from them. With hundreds of thousands of ...
    6 days ago
  • Covid-19: A planetary disease
    Louise Delany* This blog focuses on the underlying environmental causes of Covid-19 (Covid) and the role of international law in tackling both Covid and other planetary crises. I argue that major changes to our relationship with our planet and its creatures are needed and these changes must be supported by ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: How to make your mind up
    If you’re still on the fence about how to vote, Liam Hehir says it’s probably more important for you to vote on the basis of your principles, and he offers a way to think about how these principles might align with the main party options.   Still undecided? Here’s how ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • What else apart from a Wealth Tax? The shape of a Labour-Greens coalition
    If you haven’t heard, the Green Party supports a Wealth Tax. Yeah, I thought you might have heard of it. Everyone’s been talking about it on the campaign trail these past few days. It would force the wealthiest six percent of New Zealanders to pay a one percent tax each ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Time is slipping by for the fruit industry to improve wages
    The covid-19 pandemic has meant a lot of changes for New Zealand. Lockdowns, social distancing, a massive shift to working from home and the death of tourism for a start. But the sensible and necessary border closure has also completely cut off the supply of cheap, migrant labour - and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A new low in American “democracy”
    Every US election, we're used to seeing long lines of voters, and reading stories of widespread gerrymandering and voter suppression (including things like flyers falsely telling people their assigned polling place (!) has moved or that voting will be on a different day, and robocalls threatening that people will be ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A suggestion for Biden’s foreign policy.
    I have been thinking about US foreign policy after the upcoming election. My working assumption is that try as he might, Trump will lose the election and be forced from office. There will be much litigating of the results and likely civil unrest, but on Jan 21, 2021 the Orange ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Bleak views of melting Antarctic ice, from above and below
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Images from satellites high above the Earth have helped a research team put together a stark visual chronicle of decades of glacier disintegration in Antarctica. Meanwhile, a separate international research team has taken the opposite perspective – studying the ice ...
    7 days ago
  • Five reasons I am voting for National (and why you should too)
    Centre right voters have three realistic options this year.
      The National Party, which is currently at something of a low ebb but which remains the primary vehicle for conservative and moderate liberal voters; orThe libertarian ACT Party, which is undergoing a temporary boom as National struggles; orThe centre-left Labour ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Graeme Edgeler: How to vote, and how to think about voting
    Your choice of who to vote for could make a real difference. Electoral law expert Graeme Edgeler suggests you make an informed choice, and he goes through a variety of different ways to think about your voting options.   The New Zealand general election is being held next Saturday, the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • That School Debate: Tolkien, Shakespeare, and Anti-Stratfordianism
    Today, I am responding to one Philip Lowe, who back in August 2019 produced an interesting but flawed piece, looking at the way in which Tolkien viewed Shakespeare: Tolkien and Shakespeare: Counterparts ...
    1 week ago
  • Marching to the ballot boxes
    Today's advance voting statistics are out, showing that 450,000 people voted over the weekend, bringing the total advance vote to 1.15 million - just 90,000 shy of the 2017 total. So its likely that by the end of today, more people will have advance voted than did in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The long road to “Yes”
    One day in 1985, I came down from the loft where I was working as deputy editor of Rip It Up magazine, looking for lunch, and walked into a scene. There, on the corner of Queen and Darby Streets, a man was in the process of getting two kids to ...
    1 week ago
  • A funny thing for Labour to die in a ditch over
    Over the weekend, National unveiled its latest desperate effort to try and gain some attention: campaigning hard against a wealth tax. Its a Green Party policy, so its a funny thing for national to campaign against (alternatively, I guess it shows who their true opponents are). But even funnier is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The comforting myth of the referendum ‘soft option’
    Assuming we don’t count Bird of the Year, last week was my first time voting in a New Zealand election. I’ve been here a while, but for reasons too dull to recount, I didn’t have permanent residence in time for any of the others. Anyway, it’s hardly up there with 1893, ...
    PunditBy Colin Gavaghan
    1 week ago
  • Election: Equality Network’s Policy Matrix
    How will you vote this Election? We suggest comparing the Party policies on addressing inequality: The Equality Network identifies Ten Key Policy Areas that will make a difference: ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network: Party Policy Star Chart
    ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • A Tale of Two Elections
    AS 2020 draws to a close, two very different countries, in different hemispheres and time zones, are holding elections that are of great importance, not only for their own futures but for the future of the world as well. The USA and New Zealand differ greatly in physical and economic ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #41
    Story of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... How Joe Biden could reorient foreign policy around climate change A new report lays out ...
    1 week ago
  • Potential attack lines in the campaign's final week
    In the final week of the election campaign, parties large and small will want to make clear to voters why they are more deserving of your vote than the other guys. It doesn’t mean going negative… oh alright, it does a little bit. But it doesn’t mean playing dirty. It ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Oct 4, 2020 through Sat, Oct 10, 2020 Editor's Choice What Have We Learned in Thirty Years of Covering Climate Change? A climate scientist who has studied the Exxon Valdez ...
    1 week ago
  • Economic Resilience or Policy Brilliance?
    The economy has been through a traumatic experience. Prospects look sobering. Preliminary official estimates suggest that market production (GDP) fell 12.2 percent in the June Quarter 2020 – a huge, and probably unprecedented, contraction. In mid-April the Treasury had expected a fall of 23.5 percent (published in the 2020 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • The SMC Video Competition: The Tītipounamu Project
    Recently, the Science Media Centre ran the third round of its 2020 SAVVY Video Competition for science researchers. With entries ranging from kea tracking to Beethoven’s piano pieces, we judges were incredibly impressed by the creativity and quality of submissions. This week, we’re featuring the work of runner-up, PhD candidate ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Interview with Nicky Lee
    Fellow New Zealand writer, Nicky Lee, has been doing some Q&A with other local speculative fiction authors: https://www.nikkythewriter.com/blog Each fortnight is a different author, answering ten questions about their Writing Process. I think it’s an excellent way of helping build the profile of the New Zealand speculative fiction ...
    1 week ago
  • Capital Vol. 3 lectures: converting surplus-value into the rate of profit
    This is the third in the lecture series by Andy Higginbottom on superexploitation.Here he looks at the problem of converting surplus-value into the rate of profit.(Part one of the lecture series is here, and part two is here) ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Another call for OIA reform
    A collection of top-level environmental and human rights NGOs is calling for reform of the Official Information Act: The Child Poverty Action Group, Greenpeace, Forest and Bird, JustSpeak, New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties and Amnesty International are calling for a comprehensive, independent review of the Official Information Act ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The advice on moving the election date
    When the Prime Minister moved the election date back in August, I immediately lodged OIA requests with the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Justice for any advice they'd given. Both refused, on the basis that the information would be proactively released. That's finally happened, a mere three weeks after the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media Link: Pre-election craziness in the US.
    This week in our “A View from Afar” podcast Selwyn Manning and I reflect on Trump’s increasingly erratic behaviour in wake of contracting Covid-19 and the domestic and foreign implications it has in the run-up to the November 3 national elections. You can find it here. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Update to air border order strengthens crew requirements
    Additional measures coming into effect on Monday will boost our defence against COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the air border, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “As part of our precautionary approach and strategy of constant review, we’re tightening the requirements around international aircrew,” Chris Hipkins said. The COVID-19 Public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • A true picture of Māori business activity
    A better picture of the contribution Māori businesses make to the economy will be possible with changes to the way information is collected about companies and trading enterprises. Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced a new option for Māori enterprises who are part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Taranaki projects
    The South Taranaki museum, a New Plymouth distillery and a Pasifika building firm will benefit from a Government investment totalling more than $1 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The $1.05m in grants and loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help the recipients expand and create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the theme for the 2020 Fijian Language Week reflects the strong belief by Fijians that their language and culture inspires courage and strength that is strongly needed in times of emergencies, or through a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Trades training builds on iwi aspirations
    An investment of $2.025 million from the Māori Trades and Training Fund will support Māori to learn new skills while making a positive difference for their communities, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “K3 Development Limited Partnership will receive $2,025,000 for its Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeship programme, which will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Conservation Minister plants two millionth tree in Raglan restoration
    A long-term conservation project led by the Whaingaroa Harbour Care group in the western Waikato reaches a significant milestone this week, with the planting of the two millionth tree by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Planting the two millionth tree crowns 25 years of commitment and partnership involving Whaingaroa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Seniors – our parents and grandparents
    International Older Persons Day is a chance to think about the individual older New Zealanders we know and to confront ageism, Seniors Minister Tracey Martin said today. “What happened around COVID-19 is a reminder that our over-65s are a very large and diverse group of people and we need to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Residential building sector growing stronger
    Figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show healthy growth in residential building consents in an environment of Government support for the sector during COVID-19, says Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods. Statistics New Zealand reported today that a record 10,063 townhouses, flats, and units were consented in the August 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF helps Bay of Plenty youth find jobs
    Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) support for a pathways to work hub in Tauranga will help address high youth unemployment in the Bay of Plenty by connecting young people with training and meaningful employment opportunities, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau has announced. “Priority One Western Bay of Plenty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government confirms new acute mental health facility for Lakes DHB
    A new acute inpatient mental health facility at Rotorua Hospital will provide more patient-centred and culturally appropriate care to better support recovery, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says. “Improving mental health and addiction services remains one of the biggest long-term challenges facing New Zealand,” says Chris Hipkins. “Lakes DHB’s existing Whare ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community Languages Fund to increase support for Pacific community language projects
    Round two of the Community Languages Fund (CLF) will provide even more support for Pacific grassroots community and family language projects with the introduction of a second funding tier of $10,000, in addition to the $2,500 tier, says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  During the first round of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government puts teacher wellbeing at the centre
    The Government is committing nearly $9 million to ensure educators in early learning services and schools get the wellbeing support they need. Education Minister Chris Hipkins made the announcement, which includes providing frontline counselling and advice services for educators, during his address at the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) annual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago