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McCarten on Pike River

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, December 5th, 2010 - 63 comments
Categories: accountability, Mining - Tags: ,

This piece by Matt McCarten has come up on Open Mike. Here are extracts:

Eventually someone will be held culpable

Someone has to say it. The collective media swooning for Pike River boss Peter Whittall is just wrong.

Of course Whittall is devastated about the miners’ deaths. But he is also the guy in charge of protecting his workers and his company may have failed in that duty.

Instead we have sainthood surreally foisted on Whittall by the media and politicians alike, anointing him as the public face of national mourning for his dead employees and subcontractors.

Yet under his watch, 29 men were killed and still lie entombed. Family members and friends of the dead have been robbed of a loved one. Many other workers, as a result of the explosion, will lose their livelihoods.

Unbelievably, the chief executive of this company becomes a media darling. …

I can’t help thinking the genuine outpouring of grief by New Zealanders is inadvertently being manipulated. The mining company is being outrageously painted as an innocent victim alongside the 29 men. It also gives John Key and his government a public platform.

Too cynical? How else do you explain various cabinet ministers elbowing their way into television shots when there isn’t even a need for them to be at the mine? And what about the memorial? It seemed the whole Cabinet was on stage with other “dignitaries”.

The mining company executives were given pride of place next to the Prime Minister. The victims’ families and the miners’ union representatives were told to sit in the audience. When Whittall spoke he made no company apology to the families. I wonder if that was on advice from their lawyers? …

But we know whose interests this Government supports. Last week while the country’s attention was on the tragedy, they shoved anti-worker legislation through Parliament under urgency. Ironically one of the new laws passed is to make it harder for unions to enter a workplace to observe safety measures.

Despite not getting to sit at the top table on Thursday the unionists did something better. After the speechifying was over, the singing of the union movement’s anthem, Solidarity Forever, spontaneously erupted from the crowd. That was the only unscripted event of the day. Miners would have liked that. But they’d also like someone to take responsibility for killing them too.

63 comments on “McCarten on Pike River”

  1. ianmac 1

    John Key made a remark last week that they have turned the West Coast from Red to Blue. And what a great opportunity to turn tragedy into a political platform, but in subtle fluffy ways. No son of an MP will serve in a mine just as no son of a Senator would serve in Afghanistan!
    And any unfortunate who draws attention to this cynical action can be called uncaring, a traitor, or even a commie sympathiser!

  2. vto 2

    I agree completely. And have been vilified for raising similar points during and after the disaster.

    The finger will point directly at the company, which then breaks down into management (Whittall) and board (Dow etc). It has occurred to me that at times Whittall in fact looks a touch nervous with his manner of answering questions. I would hazard a guess that during the Inquiry things may come out which he has known for some time which will paint a quite different light.

    Some knowledge tells me that the industry / pike river coal have clammed up. Such is their worry perhaps …

  3. Sanctuary 3

    This disaster will be identified as resulting from systemic institutional dismissals of the risks in opening the mine in the first place. The deification of business and the stampede to show regulatory angencies are anxious to “cut red tape” and facilitate export orientated extractive industries on the West Coast will be shown to have resulted in a fatal politically influenced decision-bias that saw this mine approved, built and operated when inherently it was unsafe to do so.

    Because we worship a certain kind of business-ordained “common sense” in this country, no one anywhere any longer has the mandate and responsibility to just say no to decisions inherently wrong. It is common sense Jim, but not as Voltaire would know it.

    This disaster will be sheeted back to no-one in particular, and the “system” (read government agencies – business will get off scott free, dispite their lobbying and bribery) in general. Such is the hegomonistic dominance of the “rightness” of corporate groupthink in all out public and private sectors (and in the mainstream media) the lesson from Pike River will be imposssible to be learnt or absorbed, because the implications for our whole mad experiment in authoritarian neo-liberalism would cause to much cognitive dissonance for it to be contemplated. Instead, the whole thing will be written off as an act of God, a few scapegoats (Whittall, Dow – it depends on whether or not the media pack decides to turn on them to keep the ratings up) may or may not be punished, and Pike River will re-open, only to be quietly closed a few years later when the realities of the cost of making it safe means it will never be profitable.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Well we don’t have to chuck in the towel quite yet, the future (and this report) are not yet written.

    • ianmac 3.2

      This disaster will be identified as resulting from systemic institutional dismissals of the risks in opening the mine in the first place.
      Haven’t the NAct folk declared war on the Resource Consent Process? They say far too many fiddling time-wasting nonsenses get in the way of real developments! As for impediments through safety concerns- rubbish!

    • Swampy 3.3

      I think you are talking rubbish and should wait for the Royal Commission. The history of this country proves quite the opposite of what you claim.

      • mcflock 3.3.1

        Ah – obviously there’s been no case in NZ history where capitalists have cut back on safety to maximise profits, nor has their ever been a case where corporate managers have lied about events that killed people in order to limit their civil and criminal liability, nor has their been a case where either has happened and then the subsequent official inquiry has covered it up.

        /sarc

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    When Whittall spoke he made no company apology to the families. I wonder if that was on advice from their lawyers?

    It will have been. One thing I’ve learned from working in corporates is that they will never, ever admit to being wrong even if only indirectly.

    Ironically one of the new laws passed is to make it harder for unions to enter a workplace to observe safety measures.

    That’s not ironic – that was most definitely purposeful so that companies can cut costs even more and, yes, the deaths at Pike River are most definitely the result of inadequate procedures used in the mine for which the company is responsible.

    • Sanctuary 4.1

      My understanding is that the valuable hard coal being mined at Pike River is well known for high methane levels, and for the danger of hitting sudden “pockets” of methane that can flood the mine. Pike River has already suffered considerable delays due to trying to manage and ameliorate how they handle this.

      That is why I suspect the mine was inherently unsafe all along using standard safety measures, and why I think the mine will never be able to be re-opened and operated profitably if it is to be also made safe.

    • KJT 4.2

      The first thing insurance companies tell you is never to admit responsibility. I suspect Peter Whittal was not allowed to say any thing that could be construed as doing that, including apologies.

      I also think, that like most accidents, there is rarely one cause and it is usually due to mistakes, lack of knowledge or failings at several levels.

  5. Ed 5

    Trevor Mallard stands out with an honourable response – he has appropriate and natural sympathy for all affected, but also says that he has agonised over whether he made or did not make any decisions which could have avoided this tragedy, and wants his role to be openly considered together with those of others.

    Would that other politicians held similar views.

    • Trevor did publish a discussion paper on mining safety in 2008 and the report then fell on Kate Wilkinson’s desk. She then proceeded to do nothing with it.

      The paper is at http://www.dol.govt.nz/consultation/underground-mining/underground-mining-consultation.pdf

      • BLiP 5.1.1

        From the paper linked in Mickey’s comment:

        Underground mining is an important part of New Zealand’s economy and history. However, working in an underground coal or metalliferous mine can be hazardous, with the potential for catastrophic incidents. It is vital that good health and safety practices are in place –
        because people’s lives depend on them. I [ that’s Trevor Mallard ] asked the Department of Labour to undertake a review of the current Health and Safety in Employment regulatory framework as it relates to underground mining and to assess whether it is effective in managing the hazards faced in the underground mining environment.

        [snip]

        Queensland requires a safety and health management system similar to New Zealand’s HSE Act system. An underground mine is also required to have a principal hazard management plan providing for at least the following: emergency response, gas management, methane drainage, mine ventilation, spontaneous combustion and strata control.

        The regulations are very comprehensive, and the underground section contains provisions for emergencies, rescue and communication, electrical equipment and installations, explosives and explosive power tools, gas monitoring, mechanical, mine design, mining operations, ventilation and working environment.

        No one can say the authorities or the company were unaware of the risks and nor can they say there were no requirements to mitigate those risks. The question was on the best way to go about it. Submissions to the initial March 2008 report featured all the usual suspects bleating about compliance costs and promoting the failed concept that “the market will provide”. From the “Summary Of Sumbissions”:

        Submitters opposing the safety case option (Pike River Coal, Roa Mining, MinEx,
        EMA, McConnell Dowell) had the following concerns:

        · requiring a full safety case would be too onerous and costly for the small mining industry, especially for small operators

        · the model is relatively “untried” (despite operating in the rail sector, and its emergence for Australian mining) – submitters considered New Zealand lacks enough experience to operate it effectively without undue compliance costs, and

        · submitters considered that the department does not have the resources to operate an approval system without causing undue delay and cost for operators.

        Since then, of course, National Ltd™ has set about ensuring government departments are “resource stripped” and, specifically in the case of worker safety, usurped democracy to give employers the upper hand. And, in the hands of Calamity Kate “Folic Acid” Wilkinson, the Department of Labour has withered like a neglected house plant.

        The death of the miners can be put down to the “systemic failure” of those supposedly looking after our best interests. The Labour Government gave the go ahead for the mine while National Ltd™ did nothing about a potential hazard. The market simply acted as it always does in the absence of any enforcement of regulation.

        • Swampy 5.1.1.1

          However, there is the question of whether our mining regulations are as good as Queenslands’ or other countries and whether the DOL (is that the responsible department) is up to the task of making good regulations and enforcing them.

          Some have decried the change in HSE when the specific mining requirements were replaced with generic principles for all workplace safety. The rationale which was a good starting point was to say that workplace safety needed to apply to all workplaces, not just the handful mentioned in the various laws at the time. But there must be a bigger question as to whether the self regulatory regime is good enough or whether mining specific regulations have kept up.

          • BLiP 5.1.1.1.1

            One thing we know for sure, under National Ltd™ the provision for the safety of mine workers has stagnated and, across the wider economy, gone backwards. Still, plenty of cannon fodder for the employers to go around now the dole queue stretches around the block. And, whew! Just as well those pesky unions can’t go wandering about the place checking things, eh? Praise be to Mammon for “urgency”.

        • Swampy 5.1.1.2

          Compliance costs are very important to business and it is reasonable to say that the safety case requirement would be very demanding for small businesses. The rail industry as an example, the smaller players in NZ have typically found the safety case requirement very onerous. And it is disproportionate, more a case of greasing the squeakiest wheel or political favours, far more people die on the roads every year where no safety case is required.

  6. Darien Fenton 6

    I agree with Matt on this. I don’t know why the miners’ union weren’t part of the service, especially as a union delegate died in that mine, and 17 of the men were EPMU members – and now the remaining miners from Pike River are relying on their union for advice and support in the Labour Department investigation. Good old Governor General acknowledged the union leaders and union membersin his speech, but he was the only one who did.

    • It was a nice touch the crowd singing “Solidarity forever”. For those who may not have heard this the song starts as follows:

      When the union’s inspiration through the workers’ blood shall run,
      There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun;
      Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one,
      But the union makes us strong.
      CHORUS:
      Solidarity forever,
      Solidarity forever,
      Solidarity forever,
      For the union makes us strong.

  7. Bill 7

    Hmm.

    “If Key truly cared about the victims he’d ask their union, the EPMU, to nominate a candidate endorsed by the victims’ families to join the commission so they can ask the hard questions about safety standards and legislation those in power won’t want to hear.”

    I’d go further and suggest (as I did yesterday, even though I know it’s beyond the bounds of acceptable thought) that the union should be given a predominant position in any inquiry.

    • Swampy 7.1

      It’s beyond the bounds of common sense, as well. Now you are saying the union should just about be running the inquiry. It would just about be impossible to guarantee fair and due process with their well known political agendas in play. You may complain that there is not a union rep on the commission but neither is there any other political person or industry representative either.

  8. vto 8

    I didn’t notice that Pike River Coal and Peter Whittall did not apologise to the miners families.

    That is appalling.

    This is going to get ugly I suspect.

  9. mike b 9

    Matt’s spouting his usual bullshit again. Peter Whittall worked underground side by side with most of those 29 men in the mine until his recent promotion to wellington.

    Maybe no MP’s sons or senators sons worked in the mine, but the CEO did until a few months ago.

    • IrishBill 9.1

      You make it sound like he was an actual miner but he was the general manager. From Pike’s website:

      “Mr Whittall has held the position of General Manager-Mines since he joined Pike River at the company’s Greymouth mine site in 2005. During that time he has been responsible for on-site construction, mine development, recruitment of the new operations workforce and has been closely involved with the company’s recent capital raisings. He moved to the Wellington head office of Pike River earlier this year.”

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Maybe mike b thinks that Whittall situated his General Manager’s office at the bottom of the mine?

        • Swampy 9.1.1.1

          Maybe you do? What sense would that make?

          • BLiP 9.1.1.1.1

            You can bet the safety would be top notch.

            • Swampy 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Whittall spent a lot of his time in that mine. Do you suppose safety would have been important to him then?

              • Colonial Viper

                How much time is ‘a lot of his time’?

                You know, out of 2000 working hours a year? Fifty hours? A hundred hours? A few hundred hours?

                Further – Whittall and their company may truly have believed that they had taken all the precautions that they felt were needed. They may have truly believed that the probability of an ‘incident’ was sufficiently low. But that does not mean that they weren’t completely wrong.

                After all, we know that people (and organisations) can be totally rubbish at judging risks and probabilities even when they have specialist reliability engineers working on it. (See Airbus/Rolls Royce, BP, etc)

        • mike b 9.1.1.2

          His office IS actually at the bottom of the mine colonial viper, not that he stayed in his office much anyway. See, I’ve been to the mine, met the bloke, and lost a friend in the explosion. Peter was in the mine pretty much every day during construction and tunnelling, and was literally shoulder to shoulder with the miners. Obviously there’s been a safety problem for an event like this to occur, but Peter wasn’t asking the miners to do anything that he wouldn’t do himself. It appears as though you’re trying to cast him as a soft, cigar smoking elitist slavedriver. Nothing could be further from the truth.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2.1

            but Peter wasn’t asking the miners to do anything that he wouldn’t do himself.

            Peter may have been convinced himself that the mine was safe and that all necessary precautions had been taken.

            Hey may also have been completely wrong in that belief.

            It appears as though you’re trying to cast him as a soft, cigar smoking elitist slavedriver. Nothing could be further from the truth.

            1) You just mentioned he smoked cigars not me, I never used that term
            2) You just mentioned he was soft not me, I never used that term
            3) You just mentioned he was elitist not me, I never used that term
            4) You just mentioned he was a slavedriver not me, I never used that term
            5) You’re full of it.

            • mike b 9.1.1.2.1.1

              You’re full of it.
              I know Peter, know most of the 29, and I’ve lived in the town all my life. Your sniping to score cheap political points is vulgar. The union at Pike was pretty much an irrelevant entity, didn’t really do much for the miners, most union members were members out of tradition, not out of necessity. I didn’t feature much in their lives and, correctly, it hasn’t featured much in their deaths either. Attention has been given instead to where it has been well deserved- to the honest, sensible and intelligent leadership of the CEO.

              • Colonial Viper

                Attention has been given instead to where it has been well deserved- to the honest, sensible and intelligent leadership of the CEO.

                Hey good on you, every CEO who has had a tragedy on his watch needs a enthusiastic supporters club.

                I didn’t feature much in their lives and

                Well, thanks for your one bit of truth here.

                You’re full of it.

                Hmmmmm you do know people can scroll up to look at what you just wrote before, right?

                • mike b

                  Sorry, I meant to say “it didn’t feature much in their lives”.

                  And it’s true, I knew most of those guys and worked at the mine, whereas I suspect you don’t know any miners or anything about mining at all.

                  Ergo there’s no point continuing this. I’m outta here.
                  RIP pike river miners.

          • felix 9.1.1.2.2

            mike b is playing a clever word game – “the bottom of the mine” is outside the entrance, innit. Goes uphill, this mine does.

            It’s bullshit anyway though. His office is actually in Wellington.

            • mike b 9.1.1.2.2.1

              I wondered if anyone would pick that up, well done felix. It was a tongue in cheek answer to the idiot who suggested that because his office wasn’t in the mine, he never went underground. But is it bullshit? I don’t think so. Before his very recent promotion, his office was about two hundred meters from the mine portal, where he would go and spend a lot of each day overseeing the development of the mine, right next to my brother in law cutting coal at the coal face.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2.2.2

              Cheers felix 😀

              It was a tongue in cheek answer to the idiot who suggested that because his office wasn’t in the mine, he never went underground.

              Again no one suggested this you made it up.

      • Swampy 9.1.2

        He was the General Manager, Mines. When he started the mine wasn’t even open and was only just being developed. At that size of the business and level of development he did not sit in an office all day. He got out and led much of the development in his area of expertise which is mining engineering and that meant he spent a lot of time underground.

        • BLiP 9.1.2.1

          Under his management there’s 29 miners spending a lot more time than he ever did underground.

          • Swampy 9.1.2.1.1

            Well then hang the CEO from the nearest tree. Who needs a royal commission or anything.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.1.1.1

              You can’t do that Swampy, he (and his organisation) have a hell of a lot of questions to answer.

              • mike b

                bollocks. a minute ago you wanted him to apologise and admit culpability right away, didn’t you?

                • Colonial Viper

                  😀 lolz

                  Due process mate, him and his organisation has to answer the questions.

                  • blacksand

                    it’s not his organisation. he was employed by the company to get a job done. He worked at the face of the operation with his team of miners and whoever else got the thing going on the ground, and having done that has has been moved into a different manager position by those who employ him.

                    I think what Swampy is getting at is that yes, he was in fact in as harm’s way as his teams. That doesn’t by any long stretch mean that he’s due the anger that these deaths might spark.

                    I’m sure a board out there somewhere would breath easy were Peter W to be blamed for all of this. More blame is with the politicians who leave safety issues undealt with and the corporate bosses who opposed such measures – including Pike River Coal.

                    First I heard of Peter W was as the CEO of Pike River after the tragedy. All that was apparent of his was that he was doing the best for all those who still could be helped. That his title is CEO counts for less as a measure of him than some seem to think.

            • BLiP 9.1.2.1.1.2

              Can’t really, there’s a little something that I know is alien to a Tory’s thinking; it called due process. Trouble is, the company is seeking to interfere with it. Why do you think that might be?

  10. Swampy 10

    So. Matt is so predictable. Whittall is not a union leader and there are no places for bosses like Peter Whittall in the world, in effect. Remember SWFU taking potshots at Dick Hubbard in his cereal factory a few years ago. It was pretty simple to see what they were aiming at and what Matt is aiming at. The union wanted to make a big power grab in that workplace and so they started meddling and turning the workers against Hubbard.

    The people and commentators were applauding Whittall because he showed so much care and personal concern for his employees. Matt, that’s how it works in a small-medium business. Everyone knows everyone. They don’t need HR managers or union delegates to act as intermediaries between management and coalface. But you can easily appreciate that SMBs are not liked by the union movement because they are hard to organise because people have these strong relationships and they don’t like or want outsiders bringing their political agendas in.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Unions are needed to counterweight the power, organisation and authority that employers have in trying to reduce working conditions and drive down wages. More workers need to join unions and the behaviour of National is making that clear to more and more people.

      I have known senior managers show much care and personal concern for employees even as they close factories down, lay off staff and move jobs offshore. Personal care and concern do not help newly unemployed families pay the bills.

      In this day and age we need our unions strong more than ever.

  11. Oscar 11

    I for one am waiting to see how long the miners actually survived for. No doubt they would have kept records wherever they might have been. Can always hope they’re still alive, as until I see the physical proof, I can’t believe an illusion (all dead) as miracles have been known to happen.
    Why was the mine even operational when we knew in 1967 it was leaking methane gas?

    Strongman accessed the Brunner Seam too. With this knowledge, which Minister was responsible for signing off on Pike River in the first place, knowing that shot blasting would cause methane gas to leak? CH4 gas is no safer today than it was 40 years ago. Just like CO2 is no more dangerous today that it has been for the last few millenia.

    I’m all for letting the companys lawyers talk to the workers. BUT: The union lawyers should talk to the workers first, AND be present at all subsequent conversations the worker may have with the company. Unions can always rely on the worker to keep them informed of any meetings the company wants to have.

    In this instance, PRM aren’t acting honorably (but then they never have).

  12. Jenny 12

    .
    Listen to the Radio NZ podcast on Pike River Safety here:
    Radio New Zealand Insight
    Listening to the above Radio New Zealand Insight podcast. It was revealing to find out, that DOC had approved every single request for drilling and access ways on DOC land that it had received from Pike River Mining. This included drilling for ventilation shafts. DOC said that they had been expecting to be asked for permission for a 2nd ventilation shaft on conservation land from the company but they had never received any request for this.

    The Department Of Conservation responsible for the reserve land where the mining was being done, is innocent of the veiled accusation levelled at them by some commentators of putting nature conservation in the way of mining safely.

    In the past week, Guyon Espiner, Mathew Hooton, Paul Holmes, Fran O’Sullivan, all used their powerful positions in the media, to apportion some share of blame for these miners deaths, to overly concern for protecting the environment.

    In my opinion to balance the ledger, DOC and the conservation movement deserve some sort of public apology, and/or retraction from these individuals.

    Will they will get it?

    • Jenny 12.1

      .
      Since penning the above comment I was visited at home by a close friend who informed me that the miners may have survived if DOC had allowed the company to put in an extra ventilation shaft.

      So powerfully planted in the public mind, by the above media opinion formers is the false misconception that the mine management were somehow constrained by DOC because of environmental concerns from fully protecting their workers.

      Not one of these ‘opinion formers’, has as yet, publicly recanted their widely reported views. Consequently this lie continues to be believed and repeated by many members of the general public.

      Mathew Hooton, Paul Holmes and Fran O’Sullivan should correct their mistake.

      Let’s see if these respected ‘opinion formers’ can redeem themselves and admit the falsity of their initial claim.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        Isn’t it remarkable that people who swallow the “mistake” stop their brains there on DOC and don’t seem to be able to identify the next logical question:

        If the mining company couldn’t get the extra ventilation shaft they needed to make the mine safe why did they still send their workers down?

      • Pascal's bookie 12.1.2

        Jenny, I’m about to go to bed, but the best bet will be to find if there are any specific articles actually stating that the second ventilation shaft was turned down. I can’t recall if that has been mentioned in the media or if it’s just been blog commenters. If we find some, email the publication asking for a correction. Next step would be complaints to press council I guess.

  13. Wow

    I just saw an interview with a former miner Brent Forrester on Sunday on TVOne.

    Someone should grab this and put it up on the site. It is utterly compelling. His concerns about safety over an extended period of time have been borne out.

    Somehow the company has an immediate right of response. How could this have happened?

    Capcha company!!!

    We live in a Company world …

  14. ghostwhowalksnz 14

    I wonder if the Police have seized all records at PRC on the day of the explosion, including computer hard drives with emails and records of correspondence.
    As well the ISP records of emails to check if what you see is what was there
    After Cave Creek , records ‘went missing’ that could have let to prosecutions.
    Or has Whittall been given a soft time by the Superintendent in charge due to the shared experience of the long wait for rescue.

  15. ianmac 15

    The presence of Blue Ducks has been given for the reason that another ventilation shaft was not built. This has been refuted categorically by DOC. It was never a question or discussed. It is a complete fiction.
    But I wonder by whom and why it was ever raised as a possibility?

  16. higherstandard 16

    Has matt paid the back taxes for his employees yet ?

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

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

  • PM announces election date as September 19
    The 2020 General Election will be held on Saturday 19 September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the Government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into constructionProvincial Growth Fund supports Waika...
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced New Zealand’s support for a Pacific-led hub that will strengthen public services across the region. “Strengthening public services is a core focus of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, as efforts to improve democratic governance in the Pacific contributes to a strong, stable and more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
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