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National the anti-environmental party

Written By: - Date published: 1:22 pm, September 28th, 2017 - 50 comments
Categories: climate change, Economy, Environment, farming, greens, national, water - Tags:

There’s been chatter on Twitter, and not so dissimilar talk around my office among ‘ordinary’ (probably on average right-leaning) people, about why National and the Greens can’t get together.  Why the Greens can’t ‘stick to the environment’ and get some wins there, as a compromise.

National’s urban supporters I’m sure would prefer a deal with the Greens vs a deal with NZ First (their rural ones might disagree), and National MPs always love a bit of Green-washing, and would be willing to throw the Greens a couple of bones.

The core hard reason it’s not going to happen is that the Greens’ members get to decide, and they wouldn’t go for it (as they believe in principles…), but there are obviously reasons behind that.

The focus is often on left-wing/right-wing, and the Greens insisting (rightly!) on social, as well as environmental principles.  There’s a lot to be said about how you can’t make good decisions about the environment when you’re on the breadline and your every thought is keeping (or trying to get) a roof over your head and food in your children’s bellies.  But that’s not what I want to focus on, as I think there’s a big bit that people are missing.

People can look to Germany and see a conservative party (fresh out of a coalition with a social democratic party), looking at forming a coalition with their Green party and a free-market liberal (ACT-esque) party.

But that’s a conservative party that has taken action on environmental issues.  Strong action on Climate Change.  Closing down their nuclear power plants because they’re not prepared to take the risks and waste.  Investing in renewables.

That’s a strong contrast with National.

In Aotearoa, National are the anti-environmental party.  Bizarrely the Greens have more in common with ACT than National.  ACT at least (like all of the top 8 parties other than National) rank Climate Change a 10/10 importance issue – National gave it an 8.5, as it needed ‘balancing against the economy’.  ACT don’t want to fund ever more irrigation to intensive farming & river pollution out of the public purse – only National does.  ACT – in their free-market way – believe in polluter pays.

National is the only party that doesn’t see the need for a carbon reduction law, carbon budgets, or a carbon commission.  They’re the ones who reduced what ‘swimmable’ meant to excuse their lack of action on our rivers, as our fresh-water fish become endangered.

Agriculture in the ETS?  A plastic bag levy?  From big to small, National don’t back it.

For National business comes first, second and third.  Their Conservation Minister (Maggie Barry), regularly says they’ll take action on the environment when the economy allows – ignoring that there is no economy without an environment.

So forget left-right.  On the environment – anti-environment spectrum the Greens & National are at opposite ends – that’s probably the biggest reason (of many) that there’s no chance of the 2 negotiating anything.


* I can’t even find a picture with Shaw & English both in it that’s how much they have in common.

50 comments on “National the anti-environmental party ”

  1. weka 1

    Blood good post. That’s a great explanation to push back against the attempted neoliberalisation of the Greens that’s going on.

    • Once was Tim 1.1

      which is exactly what it is! except that after 30 plus years of neoliberalism, half of them probably don’t even know they’re neoliberals. First an ideology, then a religion, then a cult, then a bloody Empire. It transcends all other ideologies and religions – it comes first in their minds. Even in David Lange’s autoB, he recognised it as being a religion amongst his peers.

  2. Andrew 2

    “They’re the ones who reduced what ‘swimmable’ meant to excuse their lack of action on our rivers”

    That is complete ill informed rubbish.

    The previous Labour/Green govt had the National Bottom Line at 1000 E coli per 100 mL annual median for a Grade C water body. Grade A was an annual median of 260 E coli per 100 mL at a 95% confidence level. Grade B was >260 and ≤540 annual median of 260 E coli per 100 mL at a 95% confidence level.

    National have more than halved the amount of allowable E coli by having an annual median of 130 E coli per 100 mL for all grades of rivers and made the confidence levels much stricter. The maximum allowable E coli level has been set at 540, for A,B and C grade water bodies, but only 5, 10, and 20% of the time. But the 95% confidence level means that in a time of flood the water body can, and most likely will have more than 540 or 260, but daily monitoring must be put in place until it is back under the 130 mark again.

    Now if you get a 260 rating you have to monitor daily, and bring it back down to 130. That’s new. Also, you couldn’t even measure quality before National put the apparatus in to do so.

    • That is complete ill informed rubbish.

      No, that’s actually true:

      “It’s like saying ‘OK, a lot of people are exceeding the 50 km/h speed limit in town so, in 20 years’ time, we’re going to have 90 percent of the people obeying the rules – but we’re going to shift the speed limit to 100km/h'” – Mike Joy

      Everything that you spouted was just a regurgitation of National’s lies.

      • tracey 2.1.1

        From your link

        “Environment Minister Nick Smith said the cost of the proposal to the government, farmers and councils was estimated to be $2 billion over the next 23 years.”

        Is this in relation to the recent article that ratepayers, taxpayers and iwi are outpacing farmers 94 to 1 in financial contributions?

    • lprent 2.2

      So you are picking ONE factor out of the 50 or so factors that waterways are routinely measured for? Why is that? Avoidance?

      If you read any criticism of the piss-poor standards that National brought in, e-coli was (from memory) about the only one that actually did improve – probably because the numerically retarded liar Nick Smith wanted one to go in the headlines.

      In other words you picked the one specially made for the stupid PR spinnners (which is what you look like – just another professional liar).

      So what happened to the standards for nitrate levels, various species of paramecium, phosphate levels, water volumes, native fish, and a host of other factors for measuring the actual health of waterways?

      Do you really think that we can’t read and can’t recognize a idiot lying by omission, you contemptible spinner?

      (and before you start whining about politeness – read the policy about “robust debate”)

      • Andrew 2.2.1

        edited to remove swearing as lprent has done the same after he called me a fuckwit.

        If you cant have a discussion without resorting to attacks and swearing then that says more about you than I.

        In case you want to be educated, then read the actual amendments:

        http://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/default/files/media/Fresh%20water/nps-freshwater-ameneded-2017_0.pdf

        http://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/default/files/media/npsfm-showing-changes.pdf

        The link that Draco pasted is also untrue from My Joy.

        “He said there was now a one in 20 chance of getting campylobacter swimming in an river rated “excellent””

        That is also not true. A swimming river rated as “excellent”, or an A grade river, “if in flood” at the “maximum allowable limit” of 540, you would have a 1 in 20 in 20 chance. That is, in 20 groups, then 1 in one of those 20 may get sick.

        Baring in mind that the river would have to be in flood and at the upper levels of where even the previous ‘wadable’ standard was set.

        “Forest and Bird chief executive Kevin Hague agreed, saying all the government had done was essentially change the definition of swimmability, from what was currently defined as wadeability.”

        That is also untrue. the wadeable standard was an annual median of 260, the new swimmable standard is 130 with tighter confidence levels.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          One Get Out of jail Free card:

          Policy CA3
          By every regional council ensuring that freshwater objectives for the compulsory values are set at or above the national bottom lines for all freshwater management units, unless the existing freshwater quality of the freshwater management unit is already below the national bottom line for an attribute or attributes and the regional council considers it appropriate to set the freshwater objective below the national bottom line for an attribute or attributes because:
          a) the existing freshwater quality is caused by naturally occurring processes; or
          b) any of the existing significant infrastructure (that was operational on 1 August 2014) listed in Appendix 3 contributes to the existing freshwater quality; and
          i) it is necessary to realise the benefits provided by the listed infrastructure; and
          ii) it applies only to the waterbody, water bodies or any part of a waterbody, where the listed infrastructure contributes to the existing water quality.

          Pretty sure the farmers and other polluting businesses were rapped with that.

        • weka 2.2.1.2

          from a green politics perspective the argument you are making is a nonsense. Water should be drinkable as minimum standard. That’s because it’s so hard to clean up water once polluted, and because all of life depends on clean water. Fresh water scientists say that the standard needs to be better than drinkable for humans, because fresh water ecologies need cleaner water than even that. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the implications of that in a finite set of islands. Or do you think eventually we will buy our water from overseas?

          Arguing about the numbers for wadeable is akin to arguing how to set the standards for the economy for acceptable numbers of kids to die of the diseases of poverty, or how many young men are acceptable to kill themselves, or how many people it’s ok to economically coerce into homelessness or how many lives its ok to ruin by running a low wage economy.

          I would call it sociopathic because at its basis is the normalising of violence against nature and people. It’s so normalised that you don’t even consider the implications of wadable any more.

          Hence you are aligned with the anti-environmentalists.

          • Andrew 2.2.1.2.1

            “Arguing about the numbers for wadeable is akin to arguing how to set the standards for the economy for acceptable numbers of kids to die of the diseases of poverty”

            Well let’s just take a step back for a moment. The argument was that National have relaxed the standard that Labour set. I am arguing that they have not, and in fact have strengthened it considerably.

            Water body degradation in NZ has been happening for decades. Only in the last decade have we really started to take it seriously and enact measures to monitor and improve our water quality.

            The previous “wadable” standard was a start, albeit a cop out as far as i am concerned, considering the Labour govt that was supported buy the Greens drafted it. This goes further.

            The end game should be to make “most” river water drinkable, but lets get serious here. That ain’t going to happen over night, it will happen in incremental steps, and this is one of those steps.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.2.1.1

              I am arguing that they have not, and in fact have strengthened it considerably.

              You still haven’t provided any evidence of that.

              The previous “wadable” standard was a start, albeit a cop out as far as i am concerned, considering the Labour govt that was supported buy the Greens drafted it.

              Except that the wade-able standard was National’s. The Greens said it wasn’t good enough.

              I’m really not sure if you’re spinning or if you actually believe the BS you’re spouting.

              • Andrew

                Sorry i was incorrect about the wadable document. What i should have said is that the safe cut off level of 540 E Coli, used in the wadable water statement was set by Labour and the Greens.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 2.2.1.2.1.2

              Get serious, it ain’t going to happen at all, because – (do nothing) National.

            • weka 2.2.1.2.1.3

              “The end game should be to make “most” river water drinkable, but lets get serious here. That ain’t going to happen over night, it will happen in incremental steps, and this is one of those steps.”

              I disagree. We should be making water better than drinkable now. That means not saying that we can try and clean up water for the next generation, but that we stop polluting now. I know rivers that are still drinkable and don’t have adequate protection.

              National have no intention of making water drinkable and if you use their incremental process you are condemning NZ to a very long term pollution that will be much harder to clean up.

          • Roy 2.2.1.2.2

            Thanks Weka, for making the point about drinkable. Drinkable (for an adult human) is about a quarter of the cleanliness required for native fish species and other ecosystems to survive. We need nothing less than pristine, and if that is “economically unviable”, then the economy is the one that’s unviable.

            Water is a necessity, as is a healthy enviro. Both should be paramount if we’re to survive.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.3

          That is also not true. A swimming river rated as “excellent”, or an A grade river, “if in flood” at the “maximum allowable limit” of 540, you would have a 1 in 20 in 20 chance. That is, in 20 groups, then 1 in one of those 20 may get sick.

          You should probably read your own links:

          % exceedances over 540 cfu/100 mL: <5%
          % exceedences over 260 cfu/100 mL: <20%
          Median concentration (cfu/100 mL): ≤130
          95th percentile of E. coli/100 mL: ≤540
          Description of risk of Campylobacter infection (based on E. coli indicator): For at least half the time, the estimated risk is <1 in 1000 (0.1% risk)
          The predicted average infection risk is 1%*

          * The predicted average infection risk is the overall average infection to swimmers based on a random exposure on a random day, ignoring any possibility of not swimming during high flows or when a surveillance advisory is in place (assuming that the E. coli concentration follows a lognormal distribution). Actual risk will generally be less if a person does not swim during high flows.

          It’s supposed to be less but it’s allowed to go over 540 5% of the time.

          • Andrew 2.2.1.3.1

            At 130 the risk is about 1 in a 1000. At 540 the risk of getting sick is one in 20. But that one in 20 is at the 95 per cent confidence level. Even if you put 20 people in water and it has a 540 E.coli level it’s not saying on average one person gets sick out of 20. It’s saying one in 20 of 20 groups will have one in 20 get sick.

            • McFlock 2.2.1.3.1.1

              No, it’s saying that 19 out of 20 groups on average will have 1 person ill.

              Or any particular group of twenty people should expect somewhere between 0 and 5 cases (inclusive, assuming a 0.05 proportion CI of say 0.001-0.25 where 0.05 is one person and you can’t have fractions of people), but say ten groups having no cases or one group having all 20 people get sick would be statistically significant variations from the risk assessment.

        • lprent 2.2.1.4

          Don’t be a ignorant and particularly stupid dipshit. Read the fucking documents rather than just the selected bits that are on your crib sheet. I’m not sur etat you even understand those.

          Perhaps you should spend some time reading some texts on factors that actually affect water quality over decades. They are not :-
          “The categories are based on water quality in terms of the two human health attributes, E. coli and cyanobacteria – planktonic.”
          Both are primarily symptoms of the bad water health rather than being a cause. Making them better doesn’t mean that the water is better. It just means that you wind up with a known chance of being sick across a wider range of waterways and lakes.

          No change in phosphates or nitrates – and our existing standards were already ridiculously loose, despite that that being a primary factor driving plant and algae growth and choking the waterways. Both are far more important in the future viability of waterways than e-coli or cynabacteria. The only thing that this pile of crap standard says is that councils should put a level in their plans.

          No changes in dissolved oxygen despite declaring that this was essential for non-anaerobic animal life. Nothing for the base of the ecosystems in waterways and lakes like looking at phytoplankton. Nothing for dealing with stratified nitrogen in the lakes with all of the nasty effects that that has on the vertical ecosystems.

          For that matter, absolutely nothing on heavy metals like cadmium (leached off super-phosphate), iron levels, suspended silt levels, and a multitude of other factors that come directly from humans dumping nasty shit into water. Things that can kill whole ecosystems and cause water to get toxic.

          In essence, the changes that they made could equally well apply to a dead and lifeless waterway or lake because they don’t deal with ANY of the causes of deteriorating waterways – mostly from leachates and silting from farming. They just pick a single species e-coli and a phyla as indicator species, and then totally ignore every significiant factor about maintaining existing water quality.

          All that they have tried to do is to stop animals shitting in rivers directly or indirectly, which is just a small part of the issues. Moreover, they haven’t particularly set a high standard even on that because what they have effectively done is said that existing waterways that are cleaner than that appalling standard aren’t required to maintain their existing water quality in even those factors. Probably the only reason that they did that was because under the previous regional plans from a decade ago, farmers were required to try to stop their animals doing that. So some dipshit PR person in Nick Smiths office saw an opportunity to get a cheap headline while doing nothing else.

          To be precise, you could probably get the same effects that they are say tat they are after in this standard by simply dropping cyanide to kill everything in the water and it would pass their measurable standards. It doesn’t mean that the water will be useful. Now if you can show me where *that* couldn’t happen under these standards and not violate anything in them then I might actually start listening to you.

          But in my opinion you are simply just a lying simpleton because it is clear that all you are doing is mindlessly quoting from a document without any actual understanding of what you are describing and what it means. Quoting numbers without understanding them makes you look like Nick Smith – a idiot parrot or PR fool.

          If you want any level of respect than engage with the issue with some intelligence. We really don’t need you picking out the small shifts from 8 years of discussion while ignoring that this document does absolutely nothing to improve water quality. All it does is provide an explicit license to pollute further.

    • lprent 2.3

      Now if you get a 260 rating you have to monitor daily, and bring it back down to 130. That’s new. Also, you couldn’t even measure quality before National put the apparatus in to do so.

      What complete billshit. The regional councils had measuring equipment paid for by ratepayers for decades. Where do you think that the measurements came from?

      Furthermore, the actual amount of measurement stations has actually decreased over the last 9 years. Certainly this government hasn’t put any more money into it. Instead they have been cutting funds to organisations like DOC, universities, and many others who used to do far more of it than they do now.

      In essence, Nick Smith waving his magic tongue over something doesn’t make anything actually happen. All it means is that there are more stupid liars like you trying to pretend that dead water is a functioning ecosystem.

  3. Stuart Munro 3

    This attack is a wifebeater.

    On the far right this will be used to make claims about Green impracticality after they reject any suggestion of going with the Gnats.

    It’s classical Gnat – having neither a credible record nor policies their only strategy is spurious attacks.

  4. Sparky 4

    In my opinion neither National or for that matter Labour have had great environmental policies. The filthy mess that is our rivers go back further than nine years. The Greens are ones with a great policy in this regard. If they had steered clear of the “glass of rat poison” talk about capital gains tax they probably would have done better come the election. Anyway lets hope they can at least make some inroads and we can have better environmental policies that are kinder to our pretty little country.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    NO

  6. tracey 6

    Well said.

  7. Cinny 7

    nat’s have been and still are useless on the environment.

    You would think in this day and age preference would be put on electric trains.. but nooooo Diesel all the way for national even if it costs more. How about the 2nd hand diesel loco’s brought in which were full of asbestos and then the slave labour they utilized to remove it. That was a few years back. More recently nats have decided to update kiwirails electric locos with diesel, and have been less than transparent about the whole situation.

  8. Awesome post thank you.

  9. Our ol’ pal Big Bruv over on Kiwiblog has it clear in his mind:

    “My goodness are we that desperate?
    If the Nat’s ever went into government with the stinking Greens then it is all over. We should just shut up shop, change our flag to red with a hammer and sickle and be done with it.
    I know the Nat’s are really Labour lite but getting into bed with the stinking Greens is taking things way too far.”

    🙂

  10. Robert Guyton 10

    Over on Kiwiblog, Farrar asks:
    “What could the Greens get if they went with National not Winston?”
    My immediate thought was, “Shat upon?”

  11. Robert Guyton 11

    Nick R (same site) makes sense:
    “Here’s what puzzles me. Ever since the election, every political commentator on the right including DPF has been bemoaning the Greens’ refusal to do business with National. Despite knowing full well what the obstacles are and what would happen to the Green Party if they did. Now granted, nobody in National gives a fart for the electoral prospects of the Greens. If the Greens were to offer a confidence and supply agreement for 3 years, have their caucus and membership torn apart in the inevitable battle that followed and then follow the Maori Party, United Future and ACT into the Graveyard of National’s Support Parties, that would in many ways be perfect. Three more years of Government without Winston AND the destruction of a left wing opposition party – nice one!

    But assuming – just for the sake of argument – that this poison chalice is somehow not attractive to the Green Party – why doesn’t National set up its own astroturfed centrist blue-green party that can advocate on the environment without the hard left social justice agenda? National has lots of money, and if it reckons there is a constituency that would vote for such a party, why not start one instead of trying to persuade the Greens to prop it up?”

  12. Robert Guyton 12

    SPC says:

    “The Greens letting NZ First hold all the cards strengthens the NZ First negotiating position with National.

    For them National remaining in power (as they have since 2008) is the worst of options but a coalition with NZ First is the fourth best option – behind a Labour-Green government, a Labour-NZ First-Green coalition and a Labour-NZ First coalition backed by Greens.

    They do not want National to be in a position to use them as a means to reduce concessions to NZ First.

    1. National may concede the field to Labour because of this.
    2. National becomes desperate for a deal with Greens as an alternative. And only if they are desperate would they do a deal Greens would consider.

    Greens will play a waiting game. It’s the smart move.”

  13. FRJon 13

    Wish I could “like” this post many times over… Definitely need to bookmark it!

  14. McFlock 14

    edit: bugger missed reply

    ah – comment got deleted

  15. Adrian 15

    Don’t let the Germans fool you, they may have closed their nuclear stations but they now get their replacement power from just over the border in France from French nuclear stations.
    It’s ” green ” washing on a vast scale.

  16. Pat 16

    National and their mouthpieces have no intention nor desire to form a coalition with the Greens…all this public kite flying has one purpose and one purpose only….split the Greens…..or divide and rule if you prefer.

  17. The following were the indicators used in the original Natural Resoruces Regional Plan of Environment Canterbury prior to the Commissioners arriving. It has since been superceded by the Land and Water Regional Plan. I took this from an assignment I did several years ago.

    Ecological Health Ecological health measures a water way health based on the impacts of human activities and natural changes to its system (Glennie J., pers comm.). It uses such indicators as the Quantitative Macroinvertebrate Community Index (Q.M.C.I.), which scales the sensitivity of taxa to pollutants.

    Nutrient Indicators Macrophytes and periphyton are key microbiological organisms which form mats of weed in rivers and can impede water flow, changing the characteristics of the aquatic life, the water way as a fishery and its aesthetic values. These require high nutrient input, which is readily available on dairy farms through cattle faeces and urine being discharged into unprotected water ways, but also from fertilizer application on land (Environment Canterbury, 2011, pp 32-34).

    Siltation Siltation is a major problem in spring fed water ways, which are numerous in Canterbury. Their margins get degraded by uncontrolled cattle herds, trampling the banks, which are normally soft sediment, easily broken up by hooves and dissolved in flowing water (Environment Canterbury, 2011 pp 32-34).

    Micrbiological organisms These are faecal organisms from dairy animals, that have found their way into water ways (Glennie J., pers comm.). Concentrations of these organisms affect the quality of water involuntarily ingested during recreation, and also the health of livestock that may come in contact with the water.

    Toxic algal growth This particularly relates to cyanobacteria, which has been linked to dog deaths. This is most prevalent during summer when temperatures are warmer and natural flows are lower, allowing sunlight to warm the water and encourage algal growth (Environment Canterbury, 2011, pp 32-34). The growth can be exacerbated by water having phosphate and nitrogen as these are necessary for photosynthesis

    Fisheries Fishing is a popular recreational past time in Canterbury where numerous fresh fishing opportunities afford themselves (Environment Canterbury, 2011, pp 32-34). Fisheries can suffer from degraded water ways if the insect life that they feed on, is depleted. If siltation is occurring it can damage spawning beds and give rise

  18. infused 18

    Climate change isn’t an issue for NZ. It will kill NZ (taxing and all the bullshit that goes with it).

    We are a small emitter. Not per capita, because that’s retarded in this context.

    • Incognito 18.1

      What are you on about? NZ is not a country on Planet Key but on Planet Earth. Thus climate change is an issue for NZ.

      It is misleading to say that we are “a small emitter” because the relevant point is that we are a contributor. You make it sound like one rain drop or one snow flake is irrelevant and negligible in the greater scheme of things but over time and added together they form lakes, rivers, glaciers and avalanches.

    • dv 18.2

      Freeload Inny

      And what will happen to our trade when the big emitters buy in and we are not doing our bit

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    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    4 days ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    4 days ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
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    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    6 days ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    6 days ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    7 days ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
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    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
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    1 week ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
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    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    1 week ago
  • A bill to criminalise wage theft
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: What the voting age debate tells us about our disconnected political media
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Why Pay Taxes?
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    1 week ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More timid bullshit from Labour
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Police Kill as Part of their Social Function
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report Animal populations have plunged an average of 68% ...
    1 week ago
  • The 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Ana...
    Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • The difference between Green and Labour: a tale of two Finance Ministers
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    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – The missing election policy on free dental visits
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #37
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    1 week ago
  • Letter to the Editor
    Dear Sir, As we head into the run up to the upcoming election I feel it is my duty to draw your attention to the lack of fun we are currently forced to ensure by the Adern regime. In their efforts to keep the nation’s essential workers, health compromised people, ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Participating in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training
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    1 week ago
  • Dysfunctional Design
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Can we trust the polls?
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • The UK wants climate action
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • In the US, the End of Days.
    I am feeling a bit impish today and so for no particular reason I thought I would share this thought, which I first posted over on twitter: “Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, heatwaves, street protests, armed vigilante militias, a lethal pandemic and a corrupt authoritarian using the federal government for partisan and ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Government too slow in deploying military to assist with Covid-19 response, former defence minister ...
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    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • Underwhelming
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Five things we know about COVID-19, and five we don’t
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Stewardship land is conservation land
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The price of Green co-operation just went up
    If they get into Parliament, everyone expects the Greens to form a coalition with Labour. But James Shaw has said that that might not be the case, and that they might instead choose to sit on the cross-benches: The Greens are prepared to forego a coalition or confidence and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Swimming with whales: you must know the risks and when it’s best to keep your distance
    Chantal Denise Pagel, Auckland University of Technology; Mark Orams, Auckland University of Technology, and Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology Three people were injured last month in separate humpback whale encounters off the Western Australia coast. The incidents happened during snorkelling tours on Ningaloo Reef when swimmers came too close ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Driving Out The Money-Changers Of Reactionary Christianity.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Could academic streaming in New Zealand schools be on the way out? The evidence suggests it should b...
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A Time To Begin Again.
    A New Holy-Day: Perhaps, by accepting this gift of Matariki from the first arrivals in Aotearoa, we late arrivals, shorn of our ancestors’ outlandish fleeces, can draw strength from the accumulated human wisdom of our adopted home. Perhaps, by celebrating Matariki, we can learn to take ownership of our colonial ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s tax trauma victims and how they might help the Greens
    If there was any doubt left, we can surely call it now. Time and date. End of. Finito. Perhaps you thought you saw a flickering eyelid or a finger move? You were wrong. Labour has given up on tax reform for the foreseeable future. One of the key remaining left/right ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 weeks ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Labour gives up on tax transformation
    Will the rich get richer under Labour’s latest tax policy? Based on the analysis in reaction to yesterday’s announcement, the answer would seem to be yes. The consensus from commentators is that inequality and severe economic problems will remain unchanged or even be made worse by Labour’s new policy. Although ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour on energy: Business as usual
    Labour has released its energy policy, and its basicly business as usual: bring forward the 100% renewable target to 2030, build pumped storage if the business case stacks up, restore the thermal ban and clean car standard (but not the feebate scheme), and spread a bit of money around to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Overshoot
    California is burning down again. In Oregon, the city of Medford - a town the size of Palmerston North - has had to be evacuated due to the fires. In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Rene has become the earliest "R"-storm to form since records began, beating the previous record by ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal
      A Proposal to provide for the development and operation of commercial film and video production facilities in areas of Christchurch has been given the go ahead. Hon Poto Williams, Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, has approved the Proposal, which was prepared and submitted by Regenerate Christchurch. Minister Williams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting a thriving wānanga sector to benefit Māori learners
    As part of the Government’s focus on building closer partnerships with Māori and enhancing the quality of, and access to, Māori medium education, a payment of $8 million will be made to Te Wānanga o Raukawa in partial recognition of its Waitangi Tribunal claim (WAI 2698), Associate Education Minister Kelvin ...
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