Meltdown at Fukushima

Written By: - Date published: 8:39 am, March 31st, 2011 - 35 comments
Categories: disaster - Tags: ,

Efforts to cool the nuclear fuel rods in Fukushima’s No 2 reactor have failed. The rods have become molten and it appears some have melted through the steel reactor core into a concrete layer. Two dangers now arise: radioactive chemicals created by the concrete reacting with the nuclear fuel and the nuclear fuel pooling enough to go critical.

This is what ended up happening to the nuclear fuel in Chernobyl’s No 4 reactor. Lava-like ‘corium‘, which is just a fancy name for ‘substance made from the molten core of a nuclear reactor’, melted through the steel liner and solidified in what was called the ‘elephants foot’ on the concrete basement floor*. The fuel melted through several metres of concrete, creating hydrogen gas and other volatile substances.

Ironically, the water they’re desperately trying to get into the reactors at Fukushima to carry away the heat actually helps to sustain nuclear reactions by slowing down (moderating) the neutrons emitted when an atom decays making them more likely to collide with other unstable atoms. Without the water and with all the reactions with concrete the melting ends. The corium gradually solidifies into what becomes a flaky and still highly radioactive material.

We’re still told that there won’t be a major radiation release from Fukushima as there was from Chernobyl. During that disaster, a graphite fire and multiple explosions after the core was breached sent corium and other irradiated materials high into the atmosphere to be distributed over a wide area. There’s not meant to be any more explosions at Fukushima. They say they are confident they can cool the corium as it comes out.

But a hell of a lot of stuff that wasn’t meant to happen has happened. If the corium is reacting with the concrete creating large amounts of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, then explosions are a real possibility. If the corium comes out all as one glob it could go critical, recreating the self-sustaining chain reaction that powers a nuclear reactor when it’s in action. That’s a hell of a lot more energy then is currently being emitted by the background decay of the fuel rods, which has been enough to cause all these problems. The one bright side is there’s no way it can go supercritical and explode like a nuclear bomb.

It’s not just No 2 reactor. Plutonium has been detected around reactor No 3. This reactor uses MOX fuel, containing plutonium, which is really dangerous stuff. The fact that plutonium seems to be leaking from the reactor suggests a breach in its core too.

With radiation levels rising, it is becoming both evermore vital and evermore difficult for workers to get close to the reactors to try to solve the problems.

I hope they’re drawing up plans for a sarcophagus, and not one like Chernobyl’s that started leaking after a few years.

35 comments on “Meltdown at Fukushima ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1


    Damn none of that sounds good.

    There is an economic fear as well – that if this whole scenario drags on for months, which it might, business interests will start to bypass Japan altogether. Find alternative suppliers, find alternative ports, offshore operations etc.

  2. Morrissey 3

    But just over a week ago I saw Air New Zealand boss Rob Fyfe on television, and he was adamant: the fuss over so-called nuclear leaks was a beat-up, and there was nothing to worry about. He advised us to do as he did, which was to accept the word of the Japanese government’s PR people, and not to trust the word of so-called “experts”.

    Here’s a picture of the great man, characteristically deep in thought…

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      He was, and remains, correct.

      There is no danger to aircraft flying to Tokyo, and funnily enough the pilots are actually smart enough to fly around the contaminated area as well.

      • Morrissey 3.1.1

        “…no danger to aircraft flying to Tokyo…”
        Could you advise us of the source from which you obtained this highly interesting piece of technical information? (Note: Mr Rob Fyfe is not a credible or respected source.)

        • Colonial Viper

          The thing is, unless you are flying directly over a concentrated gamma ray source, you will be fine at 32,000 feet. In fact at that altitude you could have a 100kT warhead go off a few miles away and still be relatively fine.

          The main issue to me is not whether people can still fly in and out of Tokyo. It will be whether or not they want to.

  3. Lanthanide 4

    As usual, the media reporting on the plutonium that was detected isn’t very detailed, and so it appears much worse without the detail included:

    “Vienna. Japan Confirms Plutonium in Soil Samples at Fukushima Daiichi. After taking soil samples at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japanese authorities today confirmed finding traces of plutonium that most likely resulted from the nuclear accident there. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told the IAEA that the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) had found concentrations of plutonium in two of five soil samples.

    Traces of plutonium are not uncommon in soil because they were deposited worldwide during the atmospheric nuclear testing era. However, the isotopic composition of the plutonium found at Fukushima Daiichi suggests the material came from the reactor site, according to TEPCO officials. Still, the quantity of plutonium found does not exceed background levels tracked by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology over the past 30 years.”

    In other words they found very minute traces of plutonium. Also, plutonium is dangerous to human health because it’s a very toxic material (like arsenic or other heavy metals), rather than because it’s radioactive.

    Plutonium fission products are found in all of the spent fuel rods as a result of fission in the reactor. It’s minute amounts, however. The MOX fuel in reactor 3 is being overplayed – there are something like 700-800 rods active in there at any one time, and only a couple of dozen actually have MOX fuel (which again is only 5% plutonium) and the rest are regular uranium.

    • Morrissey 4.1

      Lanthanide, these figures of yours are meant to reassure or comfort? How, exactly?

      • Rich 4.1.1

        Maybe you should just take the Lewis Page approach:
        – Fukushima isn’t a disaster. Chernobyl wasn’t a disaster. The backup safety systems have worked as designed. Look, there are no people dying in the streets of Tokyo from acute radiation sickness – things are as designed.

        (And BTW, Plutonium isn’t dangerous because its a toxic heavy metal, but because it’s an alpha-emitter that accumulates in the body. Arsenic (which isn’t a heavy metal, or indeed a metal of any kind) doesn’t do that).

        • Lanthanide

          Reading about plutonium on wikipedia, it looks like you’re correct, the danger is more from radiation than specifically from toxicity, although it appears the danger is generally overstated:

          “A commonly cited quote by Ralph Nader, states that a pound of plutonium dust spread into the atmosphere would be enough to kill 8 billion people. However, the math shows that only up to 2 million people can be killed by inhaling plutonium. This makes the toxicity of plutonium roughly equivalent with that of nerve gas.”

          “There were about 25 workers from Los Alamos National Laboratory who inhaled a considerable amount of plutonium dust during the 1940’s; according to the hot-particle theory, each of them has a 99.5% chance of being dead from lung cancer by now, but there has not been a single lung cancer among them.”

          As for arsenic:
          “Arsenic is a metalloid. It can exist in various allotropes, although only the grey form is industrially important. The main use of metallic arsenic is for strengthening alloys of copper and especially lead (for example, in automotive batteries).”

          But no, it’s not a “heavy metal”, so I was wrong on that.

          • Rich

            I was under the impression that you Knew About All Things, and now I hear you just repeat Wikipedia and the PR department of a japanese airport?

            • ianmac

              Unworthy of you Rich.

              • Rich

                I’m fed up with this attitude that nuclear power is a safe answer to all our problems and that anyone who opposes it is a luddite scientific ignoramus.

                I understand the pathology. People in the geek community read and watch far too much scifi. Scifi as an artform was developed in 1950’s America, where technology was going to lead us to a bright new future with flying cars and synthetic clothing. So when we have a problem (such as peak oil/climate change) a “technical” solution must arise. Nuclear power is that technical solution, and must be made to succeed.

                Hence, actual problems that prevent nuclear power being deployed get magicked away. Safety limits get questioned – hey look, 25 people got a big dose of Pu and didn’t die – that means it’s safe, right? New technology gets pulled out of a hat that will never, ever have the problems of Fukushima (as Fukushima wouldn’t have the problems of Chernobyl, and Chernobyl wouldn’t have the problems of Windscale Pile I).

                So if people who claim to have scientific evidence for the safety of nuclear energy make schoolboy errors (we did the classification of elements in 5th form), I’m going to call them on it. Sorry, and that.

                • Colonial Viper

                  No, nuclear power is not some kind of SF solution to all energy needs. But it’s been around as a working concept since the days of the Korean War.

                  There is no doubt that when nuclear power goes bad, it can go very bad.

                  And both regulators and private enterprise seem keen to cut corners which should not be cut.

                  But there are very simple steps which can be taken to limit the damage and probabilities of even a worst case scenario.

                  TEPCO should not have been allowed to store such huge amounts of spent fuel on site, at the densities which were there. A higher sea wall and diesel generators/back up power systems capable of surviving a drowning would both have been extraordinarily helpful. Not having 6 reactors at one site.

                  At the end of the day a lot of important corners were cut, usually in the name of reduced cost and increased efficiency.

                  • mcflock

                    Agreed, CV. And to me, that’s the real danger of nuclear power – complacency.

                    It’s all very well saying that modern designs are safe now, but what about in 60 years when the workforce has been whittled down in quality or quantity by HR cost-cutting, emergency plans have atrophied, bypass repairs have been left as the norm, waste has built up beyond spec (sorry, “according to re-evaluated and expanded specifications”), etc etc etc? In many accidents/mishaps, it’s not when something is new and shiney that the problem occurs – it’s when a routine job being performed by junior staff at 3am goes kaput that the clusterfuck begins.

        • toad

          Technically, arsenic is a metalloid, being to the left of the amphoteric line in the periodic table. As such, it displays some of the properties of metals, but it is certainly not a heavy metal.

          And you are right, Rich, about the difference between the toxicity mechanisms of plutonium and arsenic. While they are both bio-accumulative, plutonium’s high toxicity is because of the carcinogenic effect of the alpha-particles it emits in radioactive decay. Arsenic’s toxicity arises from its interference with metabolism through disrupting ATP production.

          • NickS

            Not entirely, if memory serves me right, elements like plutonium and uranium when in soluble forms will form ionic bonds (aka co-ordination chemistry) to a wide variety of biomolecules, disrupting metabolic and cell functions depending on what they bond to. Although it appears from accidental inhalation and ingestion that Pu is very considerably less toxic the U-238, but it’s also, despite it’s sort half-life, does not appear to increase cancer risks.

            Still not something you’d want to inhale/ingest, but compared to it’s decay products, it’s far less biological and radiologically dangerous.

            And yeah, arsenic is toxic due to being very electrochemically similar to phosphate, allowing for it to replace it in key phosphorylated biomolecules, where unlike phosphate it ends up binding far more strongly in the active sites of enzymes in the Krebs Cycle.

  4. The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 5

    For anyone interested in how bad things are becoming at Fukushima, I can heartily recommend the IAEA’s nuclear accident update log – good information, no commentary from “experts” – or worse, interpretation from journalists who don’t seem qualified to interpret nuclear meltdowns. It does mean you need to draw your own conclusions about the future direction of the reactors, but I have to say that I’m concerned that most of the worst-case scenarios do seem to have eventuated.

    • ianmac 5.1

      Thanks EISG. Thank goodness that the information therein seems credible and nearly understood by a Bear with very Little Brain. Still worthwhile to grapple with the discussion above.

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      I have seen videos of ‘experts’ on you tube saying they got data from the IAEA. But that data isn’t publicly available on their website. One video I saw was talking about radiation rates observed the area north-west of Japan, which has since been made publicly available only in the last couple of days or so.

      So while the IAEA is one of the best sources to go to, it seems that they aren’t publishing everything, and that some experts and other agencies may actually have an ‘inside run’ on the latest developments.

      • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 5.2.1

        I’ve noticed that the data appearing on the IAEA site is slower to come out than in the mainstream media – so I don’t think they’re withholding anything, but their turnaround cycle on the website is definitely slower than in the general media. I’m tending to read the MSM reports with a degree of skepticism until the IAEA provides a more accurate view a day or two later. YMMV.

        • Bright Red

          “The International Atomic Energy Agency said safe limits had been exceeded at Iitate village, 40km northwest of Fukushima, well outside the government-imposed 20km exclusion zone and the 30km “stay indoors” zone.

          “The first assessment indicates that one of the IAEA operational criteria for evacuation is exceeded in Iitate village,” the IAEA’s head of nuclear safety and security, Denis Flory, told reporters.”

  5. freedom 6

    The USO said about 200,000 U.S. personnel are being evacuated from Japan to U.S. West Coast cities including San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle/JBLM.

    As always there is more to the stories than the scraps we are fed yet 200,000 personnel is most definitely news and most definitely is not being reported in the msm

    as a comparison, it would be like announcing the withdrawl of all military servicemen and private contractors out of Iraq

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      The Americans are always over-cautious and paranoid about this sort of thing, though. Look at all the fear whipped up by three mile island.

      I also wonder about the numbers in the first article. At the start it talks about 15,000, and says that 6,700 and 8,000 have arrived at specific basis. At the bottom out of nowhere it suddenly says 200,000. I wonder if that’s a typo or something and it really should be 20,000?

      I also think if 200,000 people had moved out of Japan, we’d know about it. The sheer number of flights and ships required to move that many people within the course of a month is mind-boggling. This article was posted 10 days ago and yet nothing more has been mentioned anywhere about it. Doesn’t add up.

      I checked the website mentioned in the article. There’s no mention of this evacuation on the site, and the press releases haven’t been updated since 2010.

      As for the stuxnet thing, that’s pretty much tin-foil hat territory. Evidence for stuxnet points firmly at US and Israeli government agents writing viruses specifically to target the equipment used in Iranian centrifuges and fuel enrichment centres. I read an article a couple of months ago that said new evidence indicates that the stuxnet virus was disrupting Iran’s nuclear programme about a full year before it became public knowledge.

      The nuclear power plants in Japan that are currently having issues are far removed from the equipment used to enrich nuclear fuel in Iran, and probably aren’t even made by the same manufacturer. Stuxnet was also a deliberate attack on Iran, it seems unlikely it could make its way to Japan through any other than deliberate means, which again is unlikely.

      • freedom 6.1.1

        i posted the uso story to see if anyone else had heard or knew of any other data as i was having trouble finding confirmation, ( which in itself these days is hardly a reason to disbelieve anything.)

        the stuxnet issue is a little more interesting as the plant uses Siemens gear and there are reports of stuxnet affecting many machines outside of Iran. The growing theory is not that the stuxnet caused the fault because as we all know it was the Tsunami that damaged the plant, what is being suggested is that the Siemens/Stuxnet problems the plant was already experiencing may have affected the plant’s ability to function properly

  6. joe90 8

    News that an actual meltdown may be under way and the president of TEPCO playing where’s Wally, worrying.

  7. joe90 9

    Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board in India speaks about the ongoing problems with the Fukushima reactors

  8. Draco T Bastard 10

    Dangerous Levels of Radioactive Isotope Found 25 Miles From Nuclear Plant

    The isotope, cesium 137, was measured in one village by the International Atomic Energy Agency at a level exceeding the standard that the Soviet Union used as a gauge to recommend abandoning land surrounding the Chernobyl reactor, and at another location not precisely identified by the agency at more than double the Soviet standard.

    The measurements, reported Wednesday, would not be high enough to cause acute radiation illness, but far exceed standards for the general public designed to cut the risks of cancer.

    Seems to be getting even worse as time goes by.

  9. Peter 11


    Japan downplaying the Ionizing Radiation for so many days is scandalous and
    tantamount to global genocide.

  10. RedLogix 12

    The crucial point no-one wants to face up to is that everyone of the 450 odd BWR or PWR reactors currently operating in the world are vulnerable to exactly the same failure mode, loss of power to the cooling pumps for a period long enough to compromise fuel integrity.

    Which depending on the exact operating conditions at the time, can be a remarkably short period.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines’ alliance extended
    Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey announced today that the Government has extended Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines’ strategic alliance for another five years. “Reauthorising this strategic partnership means that passengers flying in and out of New Zealand will continue to have access to a wide range of flights and destinations,” ...
    2 hours ago
  • Health system reforms need further action
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says the latest report into New Zealand’s health reforms shows a few benefits, but overall once again demonstrates a lack of leadership by the previous Labour government.  The Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) report released today was commissioned by the previous government to provide an independent ...
    4 hours ago
  • Parallel assessment means new medicines assessed sooner
    Pharmac is changing its process so it can assess a funding application at the same time Medsafe is assessing the application for regulatory approval. This means that medicines will be able to be considered for funding sooner in New Zealand. “Access to medicines is a crucial part of many Kiwis’ ...
    6 hours ago
  • Smokefree Amendment Bill Introduced
    The Government has today introduced an Amendment Bill that will repeal three parts of the previous Government’s planned changes to regulate smoked tobacco. “The Coalition Government is committed to the Smokefree 2025 goal, but we are taking a different regulatory approach to reducing smoking rates and the harm from smoking,” ...
    1 day ago
  • Targeted support for young people
    Recently allocated Ministry of Youth Development funding will support more than 6700 young people to receive targeted youth development support to remain in education or transition to further training or employment and improve their wellbeing, Youth Minister Matt Doocey says.  Funding of $10.69 million will be allocated to 34 community-based ...
    1 day ago
  • Reshaping the health system to bring Māori health closer to home
    Legislation that will disestablish the Māori Health Authority will be introduced in Parliament today, heralding the start of a new vision for Māori health says Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti.  “We have said we will bring healthcare for all New Zealanders closer to the home and closer to the ...
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce
    Acknowledgements Good morning. Can I start by acknowledging Simon and the team at the Chamber. Thanks for the invitation to be here today. Introduction In October last year New Zealanders voted for change. The Coalition government was elected with a clear mandate to rebuild the economy and reduce the cost ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ welcomes Australia and Brazil to agreements
    New Zealand has welcomed Australia to the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG) and Australia and Brazil to the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement (GTAGA) Minister for Trade Todd McClay says.  As the current chair of ITAG and GTAGA, Minister McClay hosted the signing ceremony and issued the Abu Dhabi Joint ...
    2 days ago
  • Inquiry announced into school property
    The Government will conduct a Ministerial Inquiry to address problems with the school property system where the scope of property works planned was unrealistic and unaffordable. “The coalition Government has inherited a school property system bordering on crisis,” Education Minister Erica Stanford says. “There have been a number of cost escalations ...
    2 days ago
  • New Chair for Guardians of NZ Superannuation
    Company director and investor John Williamson has been appointed as the new Chair of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, the Crown entity that oversees the NZ Super Fund and the Elevate NZ Venture Capital Fund, Finance Minister Nicola Willis announced today.  Mr Williamson will take up his new position ...
    2 days ago
  • Northland open for business as critical works to repair SH1 Brynderwyn Hills begin
    The Government is encouraging New Zealanders to support, visit, and explore Northland, as the closure and detour of SH1 at the Bryderwyn Hills begins, and critical repair work by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) gets underway, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Many regions across the country suffered extensive and devastating ...
    2 days ago
  • Government backs police to crackdown on gangs
    The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell.  “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase. At the same time, ...
    3 days ago
  • Northland’s new Kāeo Bridge officially open
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed the official opening of the new State Highway 10 (SH10) Kāeo Bridge, which will improve safety and traffic flow for people heading to and from the Far North. “This is an important piece of infrastructure for the Northland region that will help members of ...
    4 days ago
  • Government grants $6.6 million to clean up old landfill sites
    The Government has granted $6.6 million to clean up four historic New Zealand landfill and dump sites vulnerable to extreme weather events and coastal erosion. At the BlueGreens Forum in Paihia today Environment Minister Penny Simmonds said that the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund grants will go towards fixing former landfills ...
    4 days ago
  • Dry weather triggers extra support for farmers and growers across the top of the South Island
    The coalition Government is providing support for farmers and growers as dry conditions worsen across the top of the South Island. “Conditions on the ground across the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are now extremely dry and likely to get worse in the coming months,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said. ...
    5 days ago
  • Trade Minister heads to Abu Dhabi for key WTO negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today, to take up his role as Vice Chair of the negotiations. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body within the WTO and meets every ...
    5 days ago
  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced an appointment round for King’s Counsel will take place in 2024. Appointments of King’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint King’s Counsel in recognition ...
    5 days ago
  • Retiring Chief of Navy thanked for his service
    Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia.  “I would like to thank ...
    5 days ago
  • Indonesian Vice President to visit New Zealand
    Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week, the first here by an Indonesian leader since 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced. “New Zealand and Indonesia have a strong partnership,” Mr Peters says.  “The Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can strengthen ...
    5 days ago
  • Government boost to fight against caulerpa
    The battle to contain the fast-spreading exotic caulerpa seaweed has today received a $5 million boost to accelerate the development of removal techniques, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The time is now to really lean in and build on the work of Biosecurity New Zealand, mana whenua, communities and local ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    6 days ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    6 days ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    6 days ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    6 days ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    6 days ago
  • Finalists of Ahuwhenua Trophy announced
    Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the two finalists for this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy at Parliament yesterday.  “I am pleased to see such a high calibre of Māori dairy farms featured as finalists this year,” Mr Potaka says. The finalists for 2024 are: Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani Whakatōhea Māori Trust ...
    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    6 days ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    1 week ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    1 week ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    1 week ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    1 week ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    2 weeks ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-02-28T03:44:00+00:00