Mythbusting: we can’t cut emissions from agriculture

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, December 2nd, 2008 - 27 comments
Categories: climate change, national/act government - Tags:

This classic myth is used by National/ACT as an excuse to not do anything about climate change and, now, to attempt to undermine emissions reduction targets in the international climate change agreement to succeed Kyoto. And it is nothing more than a myth.

Between 1990 and 2005, agriculture became 30% more efficient in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture produced $115 (in 1995 dollars) worth of goods and services for every Kg of carbon (or carbon equivalent) emissions in 1990. By 2005 that had risen to $150 per kg of emissions. That 30% improvement in carbon intensity is actually better than the economy as a whole, which had a 24% improvement.


(sources: mfe, stats)

As, you can see the improvement in carbon intensity for agriculture went flat in the last few years, probably because the switch from lower-carbon crops to dairy has counteracted general improvements in carbon efficiency. But the fact remains, we can and we have cut the amount of greenhouse gas we emit for each dollar of agricultural production.

Of course, because production is growing the actual emissions from agriculture have grown even as carbon intensity has improved. To actually reduce emissions we need to improve carbon intensity faster (or stop growing production). That’s not impossible, carbon intensity is improving anyway, we just need to invest in research. Unfortunately, our new government is set to destroy the multi-billion dollar Fast Forward Fund that was established to do just that.

Remember, when National/ACT says that we can’t reduce emissions from agriculture they are wrong, and they are the ones who are preventing further progress. They simply have no commitment to fighting climate change.

27 comments on “Mythbusting: we can’t cut emissions from agriculture ”

  1. Phil 1

    the improvement in carbon intensity for agriculture went flat in the last few years, probably because the switch from lower-carbon crops to dairy has counteracted general improvements in carbon efficiency

    Wrong. There have been a farm conversions in NZ over the last couple of years, mainly due to the attraction of high milk-solid prices. However, those conversions have been from sheep and beef farms to dairy, not horticultural growers. It’s a falacy to claim earlier than ’05 is impacted by conversions.

    Looking at 1990 (and 1993 as well) you are using a poor choice of base year, so any productivity improvement is impacted by a significant ‘base effect’.
    IIRC, those two years had severe weather (snow storms down south too?) that did a lot of damage to stock and crops and would therefore depress the production/CO2 ratio.

  2. Phil. I’m using the year that the stats go back to.

    Are you denying that agriculture has become less carbon instense?

  3. Hi Steve, I am trying to replicate your graph but I’m not sure how you got those numbers from the sources you cite. How did you manage to extract agricultural emissions from the list of NZ’s total emissions? If you could give some more details I’d much appreciate it.

    Thanks.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    I think it is pretty clear that 1990 and 1993 look like outliers in the given data. The years of 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1995 were all up around 140. Say that you use 1991 as your base year, instead of 1990 – then the improvement is only 7%, which is much less than the 30% you like to point out, and much less than the 24% that the rest of the economy showed. Before you go spouting off about a 30% improvement based on this set of data, you should investigate these outliers and see if there is any obvious reason for them – weather being a likely bet – and then see if this has any affect on your position.

    I really do like this blog, but sometimes I think you do yourself a great disservice by posting things that have glaringly obvious flaws.

    [lprent: No-one is perfect, and we’re writing opinion pieces in our spare time. Sometimes facts or assumptions may be wrong. That is why we have a comments section. BTW: Haven’t looked at the posts yet, so this is a GENERAL observation]

  5. rauparaha. sorry, I’ve linked to the overall emissions page. in the left column there is a ’emissions by sector’ page, click there.

  6. Tim Ellis 6

    SP, John Key’s point is that New Zealand already has the most carbon-efficient agriculture in the world. Unlike power generation and transport, there are few further options available to use technology to significantly reduce carbon emissions from agriculture in New Zealand. So what happens if you include agriculture in the ETS? New Zealand farming becomes less competitive than overseas. New Zealand food production drops (just as the world has been facing food riots in several cities this year). Food production is transferred elsewhere, where their agriculture isn’t negatively impacted by the ETS.

    By all means tax carbon emissions in industries that are being treated fairly across the world, where there are significant technology gains to be made in those industries, and where there aren’t major potential humanitarian effects on that activity.

  7. Rex Widerstrom 7

    So hang on… are we debating the virtue of excluding agriculture from any ETS (as Tim Ellis suggests) or of kneecapping the Fast Forward Fund and thus any further research into reducing carbon emissions by agriculture, as Steve mentions in the original post?

    Because the former would appear to be an arguable proposition given the potential impact on the economy, whereas the latter just seems incredibly short sighted penny pinching, given the advances that have clearly been made, and the relatively paltry saving.

  8. Interesting analysis. The problem is however that Kyoto does not deal with “carbon intensity” – if it did we’d be away laughing as our carbon emissions per kg product are far lower than those of our competitors in Europe. If the global system were changed to be based on carbon intensity rather than absolute emissions we could actually use these figures. But until then it is fun speculation that does absolutely nothing to change our massive Kyoto bill.

    Part of that increase in $ per kg C will be pure inflation. The milk price increased substantially over that period. Any efforts to produce “value-added products” such as chilled meat rather than frozen will also affect the figures. So it is difficult to actually tell what your figures mean – have carbon emissions actually reduced or are farmers just getting more money for their products?

    A far more useful analysis would be carbon emissions per unit output.

    In order to satisfy Kyoto, we aren’t able to say “look, our carbon intensity is improving, aren’t we great”. We are expected to actually reduce total emissions. We can partially reduce emissions in some situations using nitrification inhibitors, changing farm management, and doing various things like that. But we have no practical way of seriously reducing methane emissions, our largest source of emissions, unless we kill all our sheep – and that won’t be happening any time soon.

  9. Phil 9

    Are you denying that agriculture has become less carbon instense?

    I’m going to have to be careful here – I supect that was the first step in a cunning plan to back me into a corner, where I end up arguing a point ‘further left’ that where you started from…
    🙂

    Farm conversions (from sheep/beef to dairy, not horticulture) have increased quite a bit over the most recent seasons, after milk prices really went crazy. But, conversions take time, and have to be done in the right season, so I think ’05 is too early for that to have an impact on your data.

    As a result, there is going to be very little compositional effect between, say, 1999 and 2005. Over that period (assuming your maths is right!) real output per Kg CO2 are essentially flat. So in that respect; Yes, I am denying Agriculture has become more efficient.

    However, as pointed out by Tim, we already have some of the most efficient Ag production in the world.

  10. Robin Grieve 10

    A cow recycles carbon she does not produce it. The carbon becomes grass which becomes milk etc which grows bones in children etc. Some carbon returns to the atmosphere from where it came as methane which then breaks down into carbon which becomes grass and so on.
    A cow does not create one single molecule extra of carbon so can not have any effect on global warming which is supposed to be caused by increasing carbon in the atmosphere.
    In fact carbon from some of the milk we drank as children is stored in our bones and bodies until we die but the farmer gets no credit for that even though they should.
    Anyone who thinks livestock methane emissions could cause global waming did not stay at school long enough to learn the carbon cycle. It just goes around and around and to want to clip the ticket each time is immoral.
    The only carbon emissions that can cause global warming are produced from burning fossil fuels.
    That is your lesson for the day, next week we will do more 4th form stuff.

  11. George Darroch 11

    Thanks for that helpful and informative lesson Robin Grieve. Perhaps later in the week you can teach that very simple 4th form science to scientists who spend their time dealing with agricultural emissions, and tell them where they’re going wrong. I’m sure they’d appreciate it.

  12. George Darroch 12

    I tend to agree with Lathanide. What I see is a significant improvement in the early 1990s and then production per unit of emissions holding essentially flat since 1996.

    “However, as pointed out by Tim, we already have some of the most efficient Ag production in the world.”

    Tim, John Key, Phil and quite a few other people have made this claim. It appears that the meme can be traced back to a survey conducted by Massey, which compared total emissions for UK products and NZ products flown to the UK. The NZ products came out ahead in most categories, but this is in no way a claim about “best in the world” rather simply a claim that food miles are simplistic.

    If there is research that compares different countries and establishes which come out on top I’d be interested to read it.

  13. gomango 13

    George – I’m looking for the logic fault in Robins comment which you can identify, but I cant. Can you please explain?

    Could it be that ETS is a flawed system which has anomalies due to the baseline chosen (amongst other things – don’t get me started on Russia, China, India, EU, US)? There are lots of anomalies possible. Cutting down a tree is actually good for the environment (if you carefully store the wood as framing in a building) yet under ETS you are no worse off if you use it as firewood. And, the reason I never mow my paddock is because I am committed to creating a carbon sink in my neighborhood. Bring in a carbon tax – that will change behaviour. Nothing else will.

  14. Robin Grieve 14

    Yes the Kyoto and the minority of scientists that support it are wrong.

    For example under Kyoto rules the carbon emission of mowing a lawn of 1000 square meters is about 3.0kgs of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere.
    To graze that same lawn with a sheep will emit as measured under Kyoto rules the equivalent of 19kgs CO2 to the atmosphere
    According then to Kyoto it is better for the environment to use a petrol gussling lawnmower than a sheep. This is clearly absurd and wrong.
    The problem is they do not differentiate between the two emissions as they should. A lawnmowers 3.0kgs CO2 is new to the atmosphere and therefore could cause global warming. (it has increased the net CO2 in the atmosphere) The sheep emission however is not new, the CO2 came from the atmosphere and the sheep just returns it.(no increase)
    So you see they are wrong and anyone who subscribes to the theory that livestock can cause global warming supports the absurd notion that it is better for the environment to mow our 10 million hectare of pasture with lawnmowers than graze them with livestock.

  15. Stephen 15

    Well they wouldn’t count the sheep at all, because no one gives a toss about anyone keeping a sheep in their yard except perhaps public health officials or some such thing.

    Yes the Kyoto and the minority of scientists that support it are wrong.

    Kyoto is a policy instrument informed by the science of climate change, so it’s more a negotiated political agreement than anything – it doesn’t really need scientists to support it, therefore once they’ve provided the scientific information, they are not really relevant are they? It’s all ‘risk management’ from there.

  16. Stephen 16

    Some carbon returns to the atmosphere from where it came as methane which then breaks down into carbon which becomes grass and so on.

    Any idea how long it takes to break down into carbon dioxide? Do you think it’s facilitating any warming while it’s waiting to break down? Even when it becomes CO2 it’s still causing warming, innit?!

  17. Stephen 17

    Steve,

    Remember, when National/ACT says that we can’t reduce emissions from agriculture they are wrong

    This post isn’t really all that specific though is it? Like Mr Dennis says, there are methods like “nitrification inhibitors, changing farm management, and doing various things like that” but they aren’t close to widely applicable right now – what’s your idea?

  18. Tim Ellis 18

    Robin said:

    A cow recycles carbon she does not produce it. The carbon becomes grass which becomes milk etc which grows bones in children etc. Some carbon returns to the atmosphere from where it came as methane which then breaks down into carbon which becomes grass and so on.
    A cow does not create one single molecule extra of carbon so can not have any effect on global warming which is supposed to be caused by increasing carbon in the atmosphere.

    I think your science is wrong Robin. You are quite right that cows do not produce any carbon “molecules”, although carbon is an atom. CO2 and Methane are molecules, however, which cows do produce.

    Carbon is not just recycled from grass to milk, I’m afraid. Carbon is consumed from the grass (a carbon sink, in grass form it is not in the atmosphere), and then some of it is transferred to milk. But much more of the carbon is used to produce methane, particularly in the bovine gut, which is emitted to the atmosphere through belching. As cow manure decays, it also emits large amounts of methane.

    If the cow did not exist, then the grass would have continued to grow, creating a larger carbon sink (removing the carbon from the atmosphere).

  19. Ron Shaw 19

    Regardless of your position on the science or the politics of ‘global warming’, ‘climate change’ or whatever you want to call it, the policy makers in the EU are drafting regulations based on an acceptance of climate change. These regulations will be used as non tariff barriers against New Zealand. The EU have even suggested ignoring their WTO obligations and placing countervailing tariffs on “high carbon footprint” imports.
    To counter the hypocritical nonsense that passes for policy in Europe, NZ has to be seen to act on greenhouse gas reductions even though we are small polluters in any absolute sense and greenhouse gas reductions are a very inefficient way of addressing the impacts of climate change.
    Parking the ETS, flawed and rushed as it was, plays to domestic concerns without taking account of NZ’s wider interests.

  20. Phil 20

    If the cow did not exist, then the grass would have continued to grow, creating a larger carbon sink (removing the carbon from the atmosphere).

    That’s only partially accurate Tim – once any living plant (grass, tree or otherwise) grows to its natural maturity, its capacity to remove more carbon from the atmosphere diminishes significantly. From first hand experience, through personal laziness and not mowing my lawn, I can tell you that grass grows to maturity very quickly!

  21. PK 21

    Sorry giant post – feel free to fall asleep during reading of it – there will be a written test however …. 🙂

    There is a lot of muddied thinking around emissions in general confused I reckon by the artificial mechanisms used to determine contribution to emissions and how this then translates back to Kyoto or the ETS i.e. the implementation is wrong and unrealistic.

    Methinks .

    • The whole point around emissions is net contributions.
    • Some emissions decay, in particular methane which has a half life of 7 years
    • Where there is an emission that decays and the rate of production is constant then the net contribution will be steady after about 4 half lives actually about 95% of the final figure but increases to net contribution are slow after four half lives (I think I remembered my exponential decay equations correctly)..
    • So, if you have a cow (and its replacements) producing the same amount of methane then ones cow’s net contribution is, to all intents and purposes, steady after 30 years.
    • If a cow eats grass the net reduction in CO2 overall is the difference between the CO2 fixed in the grass when grazed and when allowed to grow to full height minus the carbon fixed in the cow this is not a lot and if in a steady state i.e. same number of cows and same size of field, has no further net contribution after the grass was initially grazed and the cow installed.
    • Plants make no significant net reduction in CO2 once the plant is established as plants grow, die, decay, grow again etc. So, once say you have, say, a lawn that’s it your sink is fixed in size but varies in how much it fixes within a fixed range periodically.
    • There is a very small amount of, effectively, permanent fixing of CO2 by plants but it’s tiny and slow and can be ignored in the sort of timescales we are discussing
    • The fixation of CO2 has a high correlation with weight i.e. lots of plant material has lots of carbon thus the reason forests are bigger sinks
    • Cows generally aren’t grazed on quality land that can reasonably grow crops is my understanding (not a farmer so I am not super confident saying this) so one needs to change grazing land to forests to get any significant increase in CO2 fixing.
    • There are net emission contributions with associated agricultural activities that require energy that come from fuel sources that are net emitters e.g. fuel to take the cow to the slaughterhouse.

    This implies

    • Changing from a forest to a field has a net contribution to emissions as fields fix less CO2
    • Increasing the number of cows (or their size) increases the net contribution if the methane production is proportional to size, which it currently roughly is
    • The argument over requiring x kilos of plant material to make beef versus y kilos if used to make vegetables, rice etc is a bit of a red herring in an emissions discussion (sometimes dropped in) the as the plant material fixes CO2, gets eaten decays etc independently of whether there was a cow in the middle. The issue is the cow itself and its contribution to net methane levels and any associated energy use specific to cow production greater than that associated with the plant production.
    • It’s changes of use that are net agricultural contributors vegetable to animal, forests to crop, bigger cows (same as having more cows). Once that change has occurred all other emission contributions are related to associated energy use in the longer term

    Also, remember energy use, overall, is a net contributor.

    We can only reduce our agricultural emissions (ignoring energy use for the moment) if:
    • We can design cows that emit less methane (actually achievable to some extent and a good thing as methane production comes from an anaerobic reaction that is less efficient i.e. it would make cows more efficient)
    • Design plants that fix more CO2 per square metre i.e. bigger plants or more dense growth
    • Change the agricultural use to one that fixes greater net CO2 e.g. switch from grass to trees
    • Reduce the number of methane emitters i.e. cows

    That’s it and some of the options require (roll of drums) GE to be effective though there have been effects by changing cow feed but these appear to require currently uneconomic feeding mechanisms.

    I have deliberately ignored reduced emissions contributions that come from associated energy production reductions as the agricultural sector don’t have a lot of influence over this (the odd windmill perhaps) and this is really a discussion about the direct agricultural contribution.

    The fact that we have doubled our cow population in 40 years (from memory) and lets assume they are 30% heavier means that if we were looking at net contribution about 40% of the cows contribution should not be included in our emission figures as they did their net contribution it’s already there adding them in each year is invalid. They are not making any more emissions faster than they disappear. Of course, this does not happen we have our emission use measured based on yearly and not net contribution.

    The problem is, if I become a more efficient dairy farmer then I will have more cows per acre and will become an even greater net contributor. It’s probable that any reductions in methane production (remember CO2 is a red herring here for growing cows once the grass is grazed) through design or feed changes in cows will be more than made up for by an increased number of cows. So we can only really live up to our Kyoto obligations related to cows by reducing cows i.e. one of our few competitive edges and money spinners.

    In terms of other agricultural mechanisms to reduce our net contributions we could grow lots of forests actually change land use. But that requires large capital investment and 25 years without income. The returns have been pretty bad for a while and it’s only currently feasible in NZ because of the tax breaks. The ETS gives some funds as one can sell the credits but will they be enough. Not sure but it doesn’t look like it on current plans.

    We could try and change grazing use to crop use but based on my limited knowledge I don’t think that’s very achievable.

    In all of this we should remember NZ earns a lot of money from cows and agriculture. This in an environment where we have to compete against quotas, tariffs, subsidies etc and where the likely outcome of us living up to the $ of Kyoto or taxing our farmers with carbon emissions will just make us less competitive and I promise you the US, EU, China and India will not play fair. US and EU will continue with their posturing on free trade whilst implementing protectionism in agriculture and China and India (who will be huge emitters) will quite rightly tell the rest of the world to go s**w themselves as it’s a choice between starving locals or a ½ a degree difference in temperature ..

    And Steve you cannot necessarily equate increased profitability with increased emission efficiencies. There are too many other factors that could have led to increased profitability e.g. the exchange rate, increased demand pushing up the real price.

    However Steve, as you stated it’s obvious one can reduce overall agricultural emissions (not based on your logic though) I just don’t think we want to as it will quite likely beggar us with the current approach.

  22. Robin Grieve 22

    You are all getting carried away . Remember it was claimed by some that global warming would occur because carbon in the atmosphere was increasing as we burnt fossil fuels.
    Cows do not increase carbon so therefore no possibility of global warming. That some carbon becomes methane and then carbon is a red herring as there is no net increase which what global warming is all about supposedly.
    In fact a cow removes carbon from the atmosphere as she grows from a 40kg calf to a 500kg cow, that is all carbon locked away for 12to 14 years before she dies and is eaten by a growing child who locks the cows carbon up in it’s bones for 70 to 80 years. That is better than a tree.

  23. PK 23

    Robin,

    a much shorter version of what I said except that methane emissions are also contributors (assuming you agree with the global warming premise) and do increase the net greenhouse gases when you add an extra cow to the world.

  24. lprent 24

    RG: Wrong – it is from all of the impacts of humans on the carbon cycle and its impact on greenhouse generating gases.

    Sure burning fossil fuels is a major part of that. However so is chopping down carbon sinks like forests and releasing the stored carbon as CO2. For instance there was the 1997-8 burnoffs in indonesia. Estimates of the effect of those that they were at least 13% of the CO2 released that year. Those burnoffs continue. They do in all sorts of areas.

    Draining peat bogs also releases a bloody great big pile of atmosperic carbon. Probably more than deforestation. It is just harder to measure because it doesn’t have the isotopic signature of fossil carbon.

    What has been surprising with the CO2/CH4 levels is that they haven’t risen as fast as you’d expect over the last century as the human population has grown from slightly more than 1 billion to 6.5 billion. However the early releases appear to have been filling up the buffers in the carbon cycle, like cold ocean currents sedimentation etc.

    If there isn’t a corresponding re-sequestration of that carbon into other carbon stores, then the level of atmospheric carbon goes up. That is what the increase in atmospheric carbon prior to the 1950’s with increased fuel consumption and land-clearing did. However that rate of release since then has shown a steady reduction in the adsorption rates, so more the the released carbon is staying in the atmosphere, trapping heat, and modifying the climate.

    The problem is that we have no idea when we’re going to hit a tipping point. That is when the rate of climatic change is such that it starts releasing other climatic change agents. For instance ocean current changes starting to release solid methane on the arctic ocean bed, or desertification in the tropics releasing more carbon, or changes in the cold/warm currents in the oceans.

    However we do know that it will eventually happen because it has in the past. Anyone who has studied paleo- climatology is aware of this.

    Anyone who has studied the relative climate stability that our culture has relied on for the last 10k years is also aware of how closely our socities rely on that stability. I don’t think that they’d survive a big climate shift, and I think that without change we’ll get one in either my lifetime or my childrens.

    With the exception of the climate change deniers*, the acceptance of the problem has been become widespread since I studied it in the 1970’s in a earth science degree. The argument is about the best way to handle it.

    * In my view most CCD’s are generally total dorks about how they argue this topic (and usually don’t seem to know much about the topic either). They scream headlines like “31k scientists” without bothering to find out how many of them have any expertise in the area (or in a lot of cases if they even know that they’re on this list). Whale is a prime example – saw the moron exposing the blubber level between his ears today.

  25. PK 25

    Hi lprent

    bit of a rant there – perhaps a coffee overload? Not defending RG as I don’t know the guy but looking at his arguments…

    – he’s right in saying that cows are not a CO2 issue
    – he missed the emission contribution from methane
    – you had lots to say about elements he did not bring in to the discusion but you listed them as if he was arguing against them

    anyway – I’m sure you feel better now 🙂

    The one comment I would make is about the almost religious aspect of the whole climate change discussion and the entrenched views – we have terms like deniers (I forget the equivalent pejorative term for the opposite view). Keeping with the religious theme I would say that an awful lot of people are agnostic – and considering the poor record of science in the public domain over the last 40 years they are right to be so. Acid rain turned out to be an non event, the next ice age of the 70s is now global warming etc. Would you have any faith in this based on past experience and why would you?

  26. lprent 26

    PK: I was actually arguing against the statement (and yeah I should have quoted it)

    Remember it was claimed by some that global warming would occur because carbon in the atmosphere was increasing as we burnt fossil fuels.

    Obviously that isn’t the whole case. Even if there weren’t any fossil fuels being burnt, then there would still be an issue. Current land use would probably lead to similar effects. It’d just take longer. There is a  problem with sustaining the current levels of population with current farming and other land use.

    The probably part is to do with the buffering systems. No-one is too sure about exactly what the sequestration levels are. The only thing we’re sure of, is that with the levels of fossil fuel usage on top of land-use, is that we’re currently exceeding them by a significant amount. Otherwise we wouldn’t get the CO2/CH4 rises in the atmosphere we’re seeing at present.

    However in my lifetime human population has more than doubled from less than 3B to more than 6.5B. That has had consequent changes in landuse from high carbon sequestration to high release. I suspect that we’d probably be increasing CO2/CH4 levels in the atmosphere even without the fossil fuels.

    To control or even reverse the atmospheric changes, then land-use has to be part of the changes that get made (along with cement production and a number of other things)

  27. Robin Grieve 27

    Iprent

    You raise a lot of things oceans releasing methane etc. There is a lot of natural cycle stuff and one problem is when you link lots of things back to one argument it tends to get blown out of all proportion.

    The points raised about agriculture and livestock emissions contributing to global warming are all speculation. There is not one study anywhere in the world that links such emissions to global warming. The point an extra cow increases emissions fails to factor in that that cow is going to eat grass before any emissions occur putting it in credit. And remember any extra cow is going to lock carbon away for a long time in her bones. The point that there were 3b people and now there are 6b raises the point, what are they made of? Carbon is the building block of life it is not a polllutant. As the population grows we are going to lock up even more carbon.

    So there are in my view more questions than answers but the main point it is all just speculation. No one knows least of all those who designed Kyoto. (check out my previous post about the lawnmower and the shep to see how wrong they have got it)

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

  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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