NACT: Going backwards for politics

Written By: - Date published: 7:10 pm, May 20th, 2009 - 33 comments
Categories: economy, farming, science - Tags:

The Fast Forward Fund was axed by the NACT government in Feburary. This was a fund that was to be invested and the proceeds and capital drawn down over 10-15 years to invest in agriculture. The funds would be distributed with equal contributions from agricultural businesses. Farming provides well over a third of our overseas earnings and is likely to be one of the prime drivers in helping us out of the recession.

Now the government will apparently put in a simple provision for  $90 million over 3 year according to Moana Mackey:-

Moana Mackey says that an AgResearch paper presented to a Waikato agricultural advisory committee suggests National’s promised “better” deal in place of Labour’s guaranteed fund will be a mere $90 million over three years.

“And it gets worse. Where Labour’s fund, with promised industry support, may well have eventually reached $2 billion, National’s promised replacement appears contingent on matching dollars from industry at a time when industry has been hit by the economic crisis. In a time of recession we should be investing more in R&D and innovation, but what the Government seems to be proposing is a fund which will be effectively limited to short-term research.

“What the country and the primary production sector in particular need is long-term certainty. I am sure Professor Gluckman would agree, but the AgResearch paper suggests that government contributions to any initiatives other than those producing short-term results will be quite uncertain,” Moana Mackey said.

Which means that the expected average government contribution of about $45 million per year under the Fast Forward Fund is now going to be $30 million with a far shorter time horizon. This is hardly the type of contribution that is likely to build an ongoing research programs in  agriculture. Since it is difficult to see how most agricultural research projects will come to fruition in 3 years, I suspect that there will be a lot of projects that simply don’t start – because there is no continuity of funding.

Agricultural research has been one of the most productive areas long-term for scientific investment. However NACT prefers to invest in lower-yielding infrastructural investments like the Waterview connection, the Auckland super-city, and the farcical Fibre-to-the-home project. None are likely to yield as much to the economy as investment in agricultural research. They appear to be done mainly for various political reasons that have nothing much to do with helping the economy in the medium to long-term.

Alan Emerson had this to say in the NZ Farmers Weekly last month:-

It’s getting increasingly lonely out here in the rural sector. Almost daily we can read about more money for Auckland, more motorways for the cities, more money for city broadband users but, correspondingly, no money or recognition for farming.

It gets worse with our key to the future, the Fast Forward Fund being wound up, no doubt to pay for Auckland motorways or Wellington broadband.

The Fast Forward Fund told our scientists, business people and school leavers that we had a government prepared to invest in our future and that agriculture was the way of the future. We now have a government with an opposite view. Reality is that agriculture will lead us out of recession; no other sector has that capability.

What irritates me most is that there’s no-one standing up for rural NZ. Feds’ Donald Aubrey did stand up for rural broadband but what about the Fast Forward Fund, tax credits, subsidies to manufacturing, further subsidies to tourism and the planned mega-city of Auckland?

There’s been a dearth of rural leadership on the current goings on in government and that has enabled the government to trample over us and support others to our detriment.

I agree. Perhaps it is about time for farmers who look forward to stop voting for these idiots who only seem to be able think without any forward vision.

As an aside, the most stupid statement I’ve seen for a while comes from MacDoctor. It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of research and development strategies.

In a time of recession you cut costs, Moana. The only research you fund is the stuff that will have immediate benefits (you know, the stuff National is keen to fund) – otherwise you go belly up and bankrupt.

So wrong. In a time of recession you increase spending on R&D when there are less demands on the resources required to do it. There are few benefits left in research that takes a short time to realize. That is because all of those things have been done before, and the yield is small. You get the benefit from research that changes the business fundamentals. So when you are coming out of a recession it increases the following rise in the economy. But then, Mac like NACT, thinks like an accountant. With a lack of vision that drives our economy backwards compared to others. That is what showed in National’s last term and they are trying again through a monumental lack of vision.

33 comments on “NACT: Going backwards for politics ”

  1. Backwards for politics perhaps, but forward for economics. If farmers are crucial to our future, then they will still be regardless of whether we subsidise them. In the overwhelming majority of cases, and sauf positive externalities, subsidising industries makes the majority of society worse off. I think that’s fairly widely accepted, except perhaps by those who are to be subsidised!

    • Lew 1.1

      R&D is only really a subsidy when the industry in which the results of that research will be used is capable, equipped and prepared to conduct the research itself. One of the major historical problems with NZ’s primary sector until relatively recently has been a lack of aptitude, facility or willingness to change for the better; this is not only bad for the primary industries, but for the other industries whose export dollars they support. One of the significant reasons why Australia has such a strong primary sector is decades of sustained, targeted blue-sky research and development by the CSIRO in partnership with universities and the private sector, aggressively deployed and commercialised, in bad years and good. The Fast Forward Fund, craply named though it was, represented a start toward that sort of model.

      L

    • Tom: The attitude you espouse has seen a long list of industries obliterated in New Zealand in recent years. Your statement appears to assume success is automatic if no one does anything simply because something has been successful in the past. This is despite history being littered with failures following successes for want of investment to support continued success. Farmers could, I suppose, club together and contribute a portion of their earnings to fund research. The reality is they haven’t and don’t support research on the scale required because – like everyone else – there are not enough of them who will make the contributions required.

      The record on investment is very clear: if the government doesn’t do it from taxation as a form of insurance, then in New Zealand that means no one does it. The producer boards have filled some of this role in the past, but they sprang from a collective, co-operative impetus now out of fashion and supposedly bad (despite decades of success in the dairy industry where collectives have been the norm).

      Perhaps it will help you understand it better if you think of it as insurance rather than subsidy. These farmers have paid tax and some of that tax is going toward work that will help them remain globally competitive.

      The record of individual humans taking responsibility for BIG collective issues is very poor. That almost 25% of kiwis still smoke proves how short-sighted and stupid huge numbers among us can be about our own bodies…..never mind the future of our industries 20 and 30 years in the future.

      Government definitely has a role in making sure SOMETHING is done. If that doesn’t square with your ideology then your ideology needs to learn a little history…and gain a better understanding of what people actually do.

  2. Lew –
    Firstly, you slightly confuse the issue by saying it’s not a subsidy – in a economic sense it is definitely a subsidy! But if it has positive externalities as you claim, it would just be a justified subsidy.

    Aside from that, it seems like you’re making two claims.
    First is that farmers were incapable or unwilling to invest in RnD, and because we rely on their exports we should do so for them. I don’t really buy this. If an industry is failing because it isn’t producing quality goods, I think we should let capital naturally migrate to more efficient uses. The people that benefit most from RnD for agriculture are the farmers themselves – if they aren’t investing perhaps we should consider why not!

    The second is the more plausible one that there RnD spending is sometimes a public good. Firstly however, it seems the private sector can take care of short term RnD pretty well. The vast majority of useful innovation comes from profit-seeking in the private sector – for recent examples think cellphones, ipods, etc. The remaining claim is whether there is a public good in ‘blue skies’ or long term funding. Perhaps, but only in limited amounts, and by its nature it is impossible to tell where that is going to be.

    So I think we should be careful about assuming that RnD spending should just be topped up by the Government so that we can keep up with the Joneses across the Tasman.

    • SPC 2.1

      R and D is vital to growth in the economy, to improving productivity and to business development (without question).

      R and D is either a tax incentive or it is a subsidy – via funding university research or other institutions doing research (available for local industry) or via public-private partnerships.

      R and D tax incentives and subsidy assist the government in maintaining and or improving tax revenues – its a form of investment (and more useful than roads for example).

      This is why governments offer R and D tax incentives – the Labour government had them at 15% (will National even sustain that?), much below the Oz rate of 40% and thus they are not competitive. If having competitive company tax rates is a priority, this is the more important area to start because we are the most uncompetitive here.

      We certainly will not match their wage rates until we improve our R and D spending levels (which unsurprisingly have been low while our wage rates fall relative to other OECD nations).

      The idea that R and D risk can best be left to the market … and then the cell phones will come is the economic version of awaiting the second coming. We have been awaiting it since 1984. If we do not build the R and D highway we will still be waiting for cross Tasman parity in a 1000 years time.

    • Luxated 2.2

      “The vast majority of useful innovation comes from profit-seeking in the private sector – for recent examples think cellphones, ipods, etc.”

      That is a big claim, would you like to substantiate it with some evidence? If you need counter examples:

      The Internet (DARPA)

      The World Wide Web (Sir Tim Berners Lee, CERN)

      Computing (Alan Turing, National Physical Laboratory)

      Jet Engine (Frank Whittle, as an RAF cadet)

      Plenty more examples lying around if you care to look.

      It is reasonably common for Universities and research institutes to work with private enterprise as a form of outsourcing R&D so the innovation is actually done at a (typically) government funded institute.

      “The remaining claim is whether there is a public good in ‘blue skies’ or long term funding. Perhaps, but only in limited amounts, and by its nature it is impossible to tell where that is going to be.”

      Firstly see above examples. All four had relatively short turn around times into mainstream use in their respective fields (Jet engine less so in part due to unwillingness of the MoD, largely made up for post war). Web adoption is positively, startling invented in 1989, ISPs in NZ in the early 90’s, mainstream adoption in the west in the late 90’s.

      A senior member in the LHC team recently announced that they had developed an all in one MRI and CAT scan (may have been PET) something that was until recently impossible due to the magnets in the MRI.

      Plenty of money is going into the development of high temperature superconductors which have the potential to revolutionise the pretty much anything that has electricity in it.

      All of the above was done with public money do you still suggest ‘blue skies’ research is of little value with no pay off? If so please surrender your computer as it obviously (and the fundamental governing principles behind it e.g. electromagnetism) have no relevance to the public good.

  3. Lynn:

    My statement may or may not be stupid, but it is exactly what most businesses will be doing in the recession. This is precisely why they were worried that they would not be able to access government funding, because they can’t afford to fund even half of their research. If you have even been involved in a business, you would know this.

    • SPC 3.1

      Successful investors talk about the behaviour of the group and why it is usually wrong.

      It is a truth that those companies which take the risks (invest for the future) make the real money. And while those companies playing it safe are the ones more likely to survive the present recession they subsequently become the more likely to fail to survive the next one. Our non resource sector economy is full of companies of the second type (the way of the hands off free market leaves us reliant on the primary sector so we have little choice but to support their ability to modernise).

    • lprent 3.2

      Don’t tell me that you are stupid enough to think that people involved in innovative export private sector always vote ‘right’. They’re not that stupid. That gets left to the bureaucracies like corporates, banks, etc who work based on back-scratching and the local economy. For that matter you probably think that public servants vote left? Simple analysis makes for stupid decisions.

      I’ve always been involved in business – why do you think I went off and did a business degree as well as the science? I’ve always been involved in product and systems development. It is what a programmer or manager (my two main careers) do when you focus on exports. Otherwise you get screwed by overseas innovations.

      It is why I’m saying that you’re being simplistic on this topic – in fact you sound just like an accountant in a business that is about to fail.

      Currently I’m working on a project that is designed for release in 18 months internationally. I’m also doing some work on a more engineering level project for release mid next year – also internationally. In both cases I’ve started within the last few months. This is when these types of projects get done. In my areas, there are quite a few projects starting up. The only thing that is noticeable is the intensified competition for job positions. That is because of the people getting released from corporates or coming back home. Happens every time at the start of a decent recession. But the number of export based projects seems to be rising as per usual.

      What gets decreased in a recession are the projects designed largely to increasing efficiencies in a tight resource/labour market – in the local economy. So you usually get a substantial chop in internal projects in corporates. Corporates don’t do much innovation in NZ on their product lines and businesses. They tend to pickup ideas and products from offshore. The smaller companies will cheerfully suck up their freed development resources into their own innovative projects within 6 months. Most of those companies are largely privately held and fund development on the basis of future needs, not what the current economy looks like locally.

      What fails during recessions are smaller businesses that fail to innovate on their processes and products. Typically they concentrate too much on cost-cutting and not enough on where they want to be in 5 years. Anyone that innovates their systems and products will out-perform them both during and especially after a recession.

      The problem is that the farming sector is full of small operators with limited abilities to do R&D on a level that is required to cause innovative change for the whole industry. Even the Fonterra’s have limited abilities to do basic research into other uses for their primary feedstock, but do the engineering level stuff, typically inassociation with the government funded people. Basic agricultural research is largely done by government funding in NZ. We are a world leader in our farming techniques in a large part because of that funding. You don’t stop it just because of a recession, you increase it, same as all of the other economies will be doing. To otherwise is commercial suicide a decade or so out, which in this case would also mean economic suicide as well. That is why the FFF was set up when we were heading into a recession to provide that level of continuity for the research for those export-led industries.

      It wasn’t a mistake – it was sensible planning. But I guess that doctors don’t run export based businesses?

  4. Chris G 4

    Didn’t you know? Righties dont like science. Its a big scary thing run by socialist universities.

  5. notreallyalawyer 5

    farmers cry poverty, complain about Auckland, win sympathy from the left.

    Aucklanders complain about traffic congestion and poor local governance, win sympathy from the right.

    was that Alice that just wipped by chasing a rabbit?

    • lprent 5.1

      It is one of those sad quirks of NZ politics. The right typically ignores agriculture now that MMP has removed those marginal electorates for electoral bribery. There are more voters in Auckland to bribe with white-elephants (like the super-city fiasco or motorways of limited utility – they just fill up).

      However, the left does support farmers – and historically always has done. Without them we don’t make sufficient exports. They just don’t do it stupidly by pandering to the lowest common denominator – that is left to the right. Just look at ACT.

  6. Lew 6

    Tom,

    I see you’re an economist. I’m likely out of my depth.

    it seems like you’re making two claims.
    First is that farmers were incapable or unwilling to invest in RnD, and because we rely on their exports we should do so for them. … The second is the more plausible one that there RnD spending is sometimes a public good.

    You make my argument a bit more elegantly than I did, but you perhaps miss the distinction of `blue sky’ research being that without direct and immediate tangible benefits to a specific sector. Absent those benefits, few in the private sector will fund such research; and yet it does (when conducted properly, etc) have benefits. Taking the CSIRO again as an example, since it’s what I know: most of their research agenda is to do with the environmental pressures of modern industry and life – into climate change and its effects on everything, weather and crops and crop ecologies; land and water usage; precision agriculture and efficient resource management; alternative energy; disaster preparedness, and so on. Much of this research would not survive in isolation; unless undertaken in a wider research ecology, with easy reference to other parallel projects, such research would likely fail and be abandoned as worthless. Nevertheless, this agenda has profound implications for everyone – not just farmers, miners or whatever, but those trying to outrun bushfires, minimise water usage or deploy electric cars.

    I think that markets are generally pretty good, but I don’t accept the assertion that anything the markets deem unworthy of funding is by definition worthless. That’s the role of government in research – to fill the gaps which markets can’t or won’t fill, and to ensure cooperation between different projects with a common goal in mind.

    L

    [FOURTH time lucky?]

    • Well, I’m studying economics, I don’t know if that is quite the same thing!

      I agree that markets don’t always produce efficient outcomes, I think that has been pretty well established recently! What I am saying is that we if are to justify intervention like this we need a very careful explanation as to why it is necessary. Otherwise it’s very easy to fall in to the trap of designing society how you personally want it to look, rather than how the majority of society wants it, as reflected in their consumption decisions. That’s what I mean when I say that we should look at why farmers aren’t investing in RnD as much as we think they should – seeing as they bear the majority of the benefit from it.

      The options are that they simply don’t know what’s good for them (which I don’t believe), that there are benefits to others (externalities) which will lead them to under-invest as they would all the cost but not all the benefit, or that, and this is what I was getting at, we are overrating the importance of this spending.

      I don’t know enough about the agricultural sector to comment about the third option on its own. But I was trying to show that the first two claims seemed shakier than they might first appear, so we should seriously consider the third for that reason.

      Like you I also see benefit in Government funding ‘blue skies’ research programs. To what degree it should fund programs that for the most part just increase private profit is, I think, a slightly different question.

      • lprent 6.1.1

        The reason why is that farmers are a lot of small individual businesses who are competing with each other. There are limited agribusinesses in NZ and they typically are too small to do much innovation – even the larger coops. Most of their innovation tends to the marketing side rather than the basic research and focused on the competitors rather than growing the whole industry. Thats how businesses operate.

        For the sake of NZ economy which receives the primary benefit of the export income generated from agriculture, the government gets heavily involved in the basic research for optimizing agriculture for our production and for delivering better types of product to our overseas markets.

        It is a system that has worked extremely well since refrigeration, and steadily built up our knowledge base in farming. That benefited farmers, sure. But it benefited the country even more.

        • Tom Mathews 6.1.1.1

          I’m not sure if you mean to include it as a ‘larger coop’, but Fonterra is a multibillion dollar corporation, I am pretty sure they can afford research.

          I also think that’s a pretty good example of how the farmers themselves can solve this sort of problem and make themselves more competitive. If your dream model is a whole lot of independent farmers running the same latest tech which the Government supplies them then I can see why you would want to subsidise them though.

          Also, I think it’s a pretty big claim to say that society benefits more from the imports than the people that directly profit off them. Certainly there’s a trickle-down, but I highly doubt that it would be bigger than the cost of the subsidy. Certainly nothing I’ve read here has make me think that.

          • SPC 6.1.1.1.1

            It really depends on how effective the R and D funding partnership is and how effective the taxation of profits is.

            If the private sector is puting up some of the money (15% tax credit – most of it) or half of it in public private partnerships then I would disagree (the rewards of an investment which generate future revenues to government operate over a longer time frame than for a company).

            Quite apart from this – land and water (and Kyoto) research results in efficiencies to the benefit of the economy as much to the various industries.

      • SPC 6.1.2

        Historically the model has been private farmers marketing collectively. They co-operated there.

        The farm sectors ability to finance of R and D is based on having the collective surplus income to do so – but our farming model places upward pressure on land values (any farm income improvement is matched by a rising cost of land). The established farmer benefits from this only when they retire (thus their income is stored in land value and not utilised in R and D funding). The new farmer barely survives the first downturn in prices (and only then if the bank is prepared to finance them through it until the land values recover with the next price upturn). Because the circumstance of farmers is so different, it is hard for such as Fonterra to formulate a way to develop capital reserves for such as R and D. Farmers naturally want to retain control of their co-operative vehicle but they have to committ to finding a way to set aside income in the good years to develop capital reserves.

        A Fast Forward partnership with government might just have been one way.

        Now we will have to consider a CGT on farm properties – so those leaving the industry finance the raising of the governments share of the partnership along with those still farming (in tough times there are new ways).

      • Lew 6.1.3

        What I’m driving at has recently been put more clearly than I could, by Barack Obama:

        As Vannevar Bush, who served as scientific advisor to President Franklin Roosevelt, famously said: “Basic scientific research is scientific capital.”
        The fact is an investigation into a particular physical, chemical, or biological process might not pay off for a year, or a decade, or at all. And when it does, the rewards are often broadly shared, enjoyed by those who bore its costs but also by those who did not.
        And that’s why the private sector generally under-invests in basic science, and why the public sector must invest in this kind of research — because while the risks may be large, so are the rewards for our economy and our society.

        That approach got results in the USA in the middle of the last century, and it still is in Australia now; why wouldn’t it here?

        L

  7. Farmers who voted for National must be wondering what they were smoking at the time. Instead of “their” government, they got ACT and market forces.

    • Nick C 7.1

      Or we could accept the other explanation: Farmers were acting rationally on polling day and quite like the market forces. After all they make their living by selling their produce on the market, and the majority of stuff government does (i.e. indirect/direct taxes, regulations, trade barriers) harms them.

      Theres another thing you guys should consider. Given that Farmers are (as a generalisation) wealthy, and farmers are the primary benefactor from the fast foward fund isnt this really just welfare for the rich that you are promoting?

      • SPC 7.1.1

        Are farmers wealthy?

        Some years they do not make a profit and are reliant on loans from the bank for their income.

        If they survive farming for a few decades they become rich, the same way a houseowner becomes rich paying off a mortgage as the value of the property rises (*10 for a farm).

        The problem with becoming wealthy in this way is that they are struggling to pay the farm mortgage and reinvest to maintain the performance of the farm itself and thus cannot easily also finance such things as R and D.

        It is innovation through R and D which will addvalue to our economy.

  8. Akldnut 8

    However NACT prefers to invest in lower-yielding infrastructural investments like the Waterview connection, the Auckland super-city, and the farcical Fibre-to-the-home project. None are likely to yield as much to the economy as investment in agricultural research.

    You missed a big “Egg” that they’re throwing at us – The Jonkey (bike) Trail

  9. sally 9

    On a much more serious note: stop using f*cking comic sans.

    • Maynard J 9.1

      Did you go to see ‘Helvetica’ at the Film Festival last year? Bet you did 🙂

  10. Chris 10

    I’m by no means an economist. However, given events of the past twenty years or so I am developing a healthy disdain for economics as a means to ‘explain’ the world. I prefer to dip into Constanza’s works dealing with ecological economics, and support Adbuster’s campaign for real-world economics, not so called classic economics.

    From my perspective, the Fed Farmers aside from techinical industrial publications/knowledge sharing, are good at whining and not much else. It would be unrealistic to expect them to ‘invest’ in RnD, and I don’t expect that suddenly they will see the light and set up an institute. The more ‘rational’ (and productive) behaviour is to whine their way to the government doing it all for them. It’s not called corporate welfare for nothing.

    I was comfortable having the last Govt set up the Fast Forward Fund. Doing so would mitigate the invetiable whining when farmers suddenly realise they need to innovate or die in the face of competition from other quarters. In this sense, the Fund was an insurance, and I’m happy to pay that insurance.

      • inpassing 10.1.1

        Would this relate to the unmentioned ‘externality’ of global/local environment..?

        Tom wrote of them as “benefits” to one or other party or interest, whereas broad care for the global environment has taken a battering of disregard through the era of deregulated financial economic emphasis.

        Deliberately costed out, as it were, we might well ask of the supposed wisdom in financial wizardry… might well ask well howse about getting back to the benchmark ground of human sustainability.

        I’d guess that in this sense the recession’s less is (planetarily) more. And may well continue for as long as it takes to get our priorities both right and correct.

  11. notreallyalawyer 11

    If you step away from the self-serving false dichotomy (Labour friend of farmers, National enemy of farmers – and black is white), which is merely about partisan politics, the central issue is the govt has limited resources in the peresnt economic climate.

    Everyone recognises the importance of Ag research – the problem is that increasing spending there takes money away form other areas. Other industries are entitled to research money, and there’s very good reasons for us to diversify away from primary produce, and new mothers should have the opportunity to spend time in hospital with their babies – that’s an investment in the future as well.

    But feel free to fall for the farmers Us vs Aucklanders framing. You might not have noticed but they’ve been trying that on for a while now.

    • SPC 11.1

      Its not, an either or, there was Labour’s 15% tax credit available for all (which National will probably do way with in the budget) – compared to Oz now at 40%.

      We do not spend enough on R and D and this is vital to the economic growth which affords our spending.

  12. coge 12

    Subsidising R&D, as in the euphemistic fast forward fund, is positively 1970’s styled Muldoonist politics. The fact is returns on such schemes are utterly unmeasurable. There is a good chance such returns (if they were measurable) over time would be less than the grant. The fund does simply not conform to basic modern economic principles.

    Since the seventies the world has become a lot smaller, it’s no longer necessary to do all such R&D in ones backyard shed so to speak. It was pure political expediency from the former Labour govt. Back your academics, & make it appear you are doing farmers a big favour.

    • SPC 12.1

      You seem to confuse picking winners of Think Big/artifical subsidy/industry protection with tax credits for R and D or public funding of R and D (it’s hard to identify any country in the OECD or developing world with lower R and D than us – public and private sector – and we wonder why we are falling backwards).

      As for the primary sector, it is a world leader, it’s not an uncompetitive sector being propped up. This is about adding value to product through technological innovation to grow the economy.

      If we do not so the R and D those who do will just buy up raw material and add value to it to their own profit – leaving us as low cost low return providers of the raw material. This will mean our resource sector will not grow as a share of the world economy as the technology advances and we will become relatively impoverished (as is already happening).

  13. Bill 13

    It seems to me that the profit motive act as a massive disincentive when it comes to privately funded ‘blue sky’ R&D. The only time R&D is undertaken without one eye fixed firmly on future profit is when it is funded from the public purse and even then, unintentional marketable by-products of the process are elevated and privatised.

    Private industry exists to make money and make money fast.So, the crux of the matter is not how much public money goes into it. Nor how much private money goes into it. The real issue would seem to be how to effect good R&D that takes account of all potential negative consequences (environmental, social etc) instead of those factors being over ridden by motives of potential profit and associated costs externalised.

    The fact that R&D is seen as a cost to be externalised in the same way as negative consequences of production is a secondary issue and one that can never be satisfactorily resolved as long as it takes place within a market environment that is inimical to any R&D that does not satisfy narrow market imperatives.

    If we ask whether we want substantive R&D guided by a number of principles or want it to be guided merely by its potential to generate profit for private institutions, then if the latter is the case the debate will bounce endlessly to and fro because the question becomes necessarily limited to one of funding.

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    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 day ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 day ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    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
    10 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
    10 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
    12 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
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  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
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