National’s ICT failures.

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 pm, March 4th, 2014 - 23 comments
Categories: labour, national, same old national, Steven Joyce, telecommunications - Tags: , ,

After having the past five and bit years with National’s negative policies about anything to do with new technologies, it is really nice to see some effective red-tinged morning ideas appearing on the sky’s horizon.  Of course that they were accidentally released because of a technology screw up does make them somewhat more delicious. And no it wasn’t Clare Curran who screwed up. She just took the hit.

Of course getting caught by a slow auto-fill in a email program is a classic mistake. In this case it meant typing in the correct recipient but getting caught hitting return on the first (?)  person in the parliamentary database – Amy Adams. She happens to the opposition’s minister for doing stuff slowly and very reluctantly – currently:-

  • Minister for the Environment
  • Minister for Communications and Information Technology
  • Associate Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

You have to remember that National has since 2008 managed to do exactly two things in the infotech area as far as I’m aware. They have been most notable for doing  both extremely badly. Slowly dragging out a rollout of fibre, and surveillance

Their takeover of the Labour policy for a fibre rollout has been a monument to how slow it was possible to make something happen. The current plan is to get to 75% of household by 2019 – 11 years after they promised to start. They over-promised what was feasible, fibre to the home (FTTH) rather than Labour’s much more feasible fibre to the cabinet (FTTC)  and then they funded it for less than Labour’s proposal. That is why it has been so damn slow. Most of the time was simply trying to get corporates to come to the party, and since then they have  managed to finish the fibre to the node (FTTN) that was already underway prior to any political proposals.

It was also a comedy of errors,  because while some of the first zones to be done were where there were high density residential housing in the central cities. However some idiot (probably Stephen Joyce) managed to forget that high density housing often consists of apartments. The agreements didn’t negotiate exactly how the fibre was going to be taken to those apartments. Consequently it is only in the last six months that there has been any take up in strata-title apartment buildings. 

This is one of the main reasons that residential take up has been so slow.

The other has been that most people really don’t need fibre speeds. Quite simply the servers of content are mostly offshore and we have some of the worlds slowest download speeds to the major suppliers. It doesn’t really matter how fast the download connection is when you can’t get data at anything more than a fraction of the speed.  We have a single expensive and rather rationed pipe the Southern Cross cable between us and the rest of the world from a monopoly supplier.

Where we have some local content providers, the speed on the local network is great. But with the exception of the Ubuntu local download servers and the old TV and movie content on Quickflix nothing much runs at speeds above offshore links. Which is why Chorus is dragging their feet over the price differential between copper and fibre lines. They know that there won’t be any significiant takeup of residential fibre for some time. People can’t get anything faster than they already are.

The 20 megabits per second of a urban download ADSL link are more than ample for everything that is currently available.

But personally I’d love to have fibre at home. We have a need for it. But I’m a computer programmer and blogger who routinely pushes about 40-50GB from my desktops to servers every month for work and ‘pleasure’. My partner is a filmmaker who can easily push 100GB offshore when the festivals are on.

But we can’t get fibre installed to our house because it is an apartment, and despite the fibre being laid outside the block nearly a year ago. So both of us are selling intellectual property exports to the world at a maximum and incredibly sluggish rate of just over 100 kilobytes per second. It takes about 3 hours to send a gigabyte of data offshore, about an hour to restore the database for this site at a server, and about 12 hours to send a copy of a documentary to a festival.

Then there is the problem caused by National’s other ICT venture in the last 5 years. They have massively increased the potential level of legal surveillance by bodies like police, SIS, customs, GCSB, and any of the GCSB’s 5 eyes partners.

After having watched these various bodies massively misusing their powers of undocumented and unsupervised surveillance over the last 6 years both with people I know and with apparently almost everyone, I now routinely run much of my traffic over encrypted streams. They re-enter the net in countries that don’t have policies that confuse democratic activism with subversion and view commercial espionage as their rationale for operations.

I’m not exactly alone. This means at present I spend a lot of time squirting data from NZ to a location somewhere in the world that isn’t the 5-eyes territory, to come back into NZ. I’m not alone. After seeing the disasters that National and other foolish governments have been making with their security policies pandering to paranoid dickheads and commercial spying and it’s impact on the net, I just do this to increase the amount of encrypted traffic they have to handle.

I guess National seems to enjoy slowing down the net. I really haven’t liked the lack of new local tech startups recently. It means that when the current crop of startups fostered prior to 2009 either grow to maturity and usually move closer to their markets or die, that the industries that support them also dies. The R&D and developmental assistance that National has slashed is one part of it. The other is the lack of suitable ICT infrastructure for all types of tech companies. It is just so damn short-sighted. But we’d be lost without National trying to support the commodity industries and their crony capitalists in the way that their fathers did..

Digging through the Labour’s ideas. They won’t be able to do all of them immediately, but at least they seem to be looking at doing something. I’ll write some more on those in a few days.

23 comments on “National’s ICT failures.”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I’m now on VDSL. I get 40Mb down, 10Mb up, $95/month for 200gb including VOIP line.

    Fibre isn’t actually an attractive alternative to me because what I have now is well-fast enough.

    I saw a story on Slashdot within the last few months about new technology pushing 100Mb+ speeds over plain telephone copper.

    In this context, FTTH sounds like a 2003-2004 solution, with new ADSL technologies catching up in capability. FTTC as the standard practice would have been much more sane.

    • Paul Campbell 1.1

      VDSL is iffy, depends a lot on how close you are to the cabinet – I get ~22 down, lots of errors, and it stops when it rains

      (puts on hardware designer’s hat) 100Mb/s over copper will be equally, if not more iffy and will run more risk on radiating into the RF spectrum – it probably wont work to my house 3 blocks from the cabinet

      Do you really think that Chorus will spend money speed up copper if they have fibre installed (that makes no sense) – if we had 2 competing suppliers (Chorus with copper and someone else with fibre) we might see that now we’re stuck – Chorus chose it’s monopoly position, it needs to suck it up and also accept the regulation of its prices that must come with being a monopoly

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        ???

        Not sure what your final paragraph is about. My point is if we had fibre to the cabinet, Chorus wouldn’t have a FTTH network. So they would of course invest in whatever was the cheapest and most effective technology for the last mile, which could be new flavours of DSL, or it could be fibre, or it could be cable, or some new form of wireless, or combinations of all of them depending on the locality. But now that they’re going to have a FTTH, they’re stuck with it, even if it isn’t the optimal technology in a lot of places – as Lynn has already made clear with the apartment situation.

        • Paul Campbell 1.1.1.1

          I’m pretty sure Chorus already has fibre to the cabinets – just not to the block – that’s the ATM loop that your DSL backends on to

          The apartment issue is simply that no one’s figured out who’s responsibility it is to plumb the fibre into the apartments from the street (Chorus? the landlord? the tenants?) it’s a similar sort of issue if you’re going to plumb Sky from a single dish (someone has to pay to build a splitter/amplifier tree to feed all the apartments – fortunately cheaper in NZ because orbital slots are not at a premium)

          Wireless is OK in some places – Christchurch maybe – but not here in Dunedin with its crinkly topography

          Oh – my final paragraph is about National (despite their claims to free markets) giving their mates a monopoly contract that’s not in our interest rather than setting up something that might leave us with cheaper connections

          • lprent 1.1.1.1.1

            The apartment issue is simply that no one’s figured out who’s responsibility it is to plumb the fibre into the apartments from the street (Chorus? the landlord? the tenants?)

            Exactly. But think what a FTTH actually means in the context of apartments. And you haven’t seen the other obvious legal issues with apartments?

            The distribution box that is owned and run by chorus is typically stashed in the bowels of the apartment block. Thats where they’d have to pull the fibre from the street to. Probably a single fibre to some kind of junction from what I’ve heard. Then like the copper you have to take a single fibre strand from there, distribute around the cable trays and up into the apartments. Chorus have now taken about 3 months to start talking about doing the first bit – after innumerable meetings.

            Apartments are typically owned on a strata title where the body corporate controls all of the communal areas. The apartment owners – typically in a average mix of ~25-30% owner-occupier and the rest rentals – have little or no permission to install anything in communal areas. It is also a owner democracy. Purchases have to agreed with at least half of the owners agreeing.

            In my apartment block of 60 apartments this means about 45 owners. Two thirds of whom will turn up. The ideal would be to fibre ALL apartments at the same time. But bearing in mind that most of the land lords would see no point of return to them, it isn’t going to happen.

            So now it becomes up to each owner and their ISP. Some of whom will want to get a fibre interface, others who’d probably prefer to just use existing copper to the fibre, and others who’d probably want to something weird like install CAT6.

            It all HAS to be done on the interior of the building and through the cramped cableways for a three story building….

            Complete confusion reigns, especially for those on our third floor.

            I hate to think what happens in a 12 story apartment block. One guy I know just pushed it all through his body corporate and has it installed. It took 10 months. He got it installed and running. Then someone contracted by Chorus accidentally pulled the whole building off line at the exchange.

            Now he has just dumped Orcon and moved to a ISP who doesn’t have a 3 day callback policy from the Philippines for a dealing with an outage. He hung on the phone for an hour to get through to Orcon sales to tell them where to stick their contract because they hadn’t held up their side. Then he rang a telco contractor and had it fixed in 20 minutes.

            BTW: Orcon’s support completely sucks these days. I’m dumping them as well as soon as I move to fibre, VDSL, or whatever. Couple of thousand dollars per year of business that I’ve had for them for the last 8 (?) years. Stupidest thing that I have ever seen was them cutting their NZ support operation – it was pretty adequete. That was why I moved to them in the first place.

            When I have to waste time getting stuff fixed, the last thing I need is a techno illiterate with a bad script. What I want them to do is to test my link and router from their side now (because I have already checked everything on my side to errors at the router) rather than on the 3rd call.

            • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I dumped Orcon and moved to Snap. I signed up with Orcon ’cause they gave me a really good deal with 2 months of a 12 month contract free (in total it was a $260 discount). But they royally fucked up the initial provisioning and install, I got absolutely no where with their customer support phone numbers – promised to fix the problems but never did. Tech support was surprisingly helpful, though. In the end I complained on their Facebook page and the guy there magically fixed everything in a few minutes.

              Also when I tried to leave them I had to ring up about 8 times. It appears saying “I want to cancel and I realise I have 1 month left of contract” doesn’t actually mean you have cancelled, it just means you have the intent to cancel. So I had to call back to confirm dates, and ended up having to push it back by a week because Snap never bothered to tell me that I had to be at home when the Chorus person installed the VDSL connection (my previously dealings with Chorus I never saw the technicians, they did everything at the exchange). Then finally, because Orcon have an antiquated billing system and the delay with Snap pushed the final date of service to the 23rd of the month, they billed me for an entire month in advance of which I would be using exactly 0 days service, then sent me a letter saying I was in arrears and they’d send debt collectors after me because I hadn’t paid it. The next month they reversed the charges.

              • David H

                Hmmm Maybe i’ll just stick with Slingshot ADSL. My speed ranges from 6Megabits to 15 on a good day but it don’t matter the fastest I have ever seen a d/load go here is 1.2M I have a package of 200gig with data rollover so I have about 700 gig’s to burn a home ph and 2 cell phones so is not a bad package for what I pay. But then again the biggest files I grab are about 9 gig’s. And after hearing the horror stories of Orcon. And after Telstra clear I swore NEVER again will I go with a company with a helpdesk in the Phillipines.

              • Paul Campbell

                I too dumped orcon and moved to Snap about a year ago too – largely because when asked they said “we’re doing fibre, not VDSL” and as I said we’re not getting fibre any time soon – Chorus seem to be spending their money in Auckland where the returns are larger (yes all those apartment buildings).

                Here in Dunedin we were screwed by the “unbundling” while Orcon et al spent their money installing their gear in high profit exchanges in Auckland Telecom/Chorus rushed out installing dslams in boxes in the neighbourhoods where they knew there was no room for 3rd party gear

    • Paul Campbell 1.2

      (I should add VDSL is generally better than ADSL, even mine is, even though its performance is ‘lumpy’ – just not as good for every one as you see)

    • Chris 1.3

      I see your point – VDSL works for you, but you’re very wrong about the capabilities of copper vs. fibre. For all this govt’s retardedness, doing FTTH, at least as a concept, is a great idea that will provide us with good infrastructure free of contention and latency problems for years.

      FTTH is the most desirable option and we should absolutely be supporting the national rollout, even if it should probably have been better managed. FTTC is a half-assed hack, leave that shit to Tony Abbot.

      • lprent 1.3.1

        Problem with FTTH the way Steve Joyce, Amy Adams, etc rolled it out is that it amounts to a subsidy for people living in villas in leafy suburbs and businesses – because that is who the policy is designed for.

        Occasionally by accident it manages to offer the opportunity for those who could use it productively, but unless you live in a villa like so few working programmers do in auckland (they live in apartments) it will cost a lot of time, money and effort to install. Creative businesses it helps. But it wasn’t sold as a subsidy to a small group of businesses.

        So far about the only useful economic benefit has been the supply to schools. The problem is that they aren’t funded for the cost of using the bandwidth. So take up of its use is low and (you guessed it) largely confined to schools of the affluent whom can afford large school fees.

        Basically FTTC would have been a whole lot more equitable. Then those who needed it could have simply brought a link without all of the silly pissing around that we aporn and gaming etting from chorus, and we wouldn’t collectively subsidizing the porn habits of the affluent villa owners.

        This incidentally is why as a programmer who spent much of my career working from home on servers offshore that I thought that the FTTH was stupidity made up by politicians less concerned by its economic benefit and more about supporting the use of online porn by their constituents.

        Nothing about about its implementation has caused me to change that opinion. I think it sucks as a idea.

  2. Paul Campbell 2

    I work at home, consult for US companies – I blew 4 hours yesterday sitting on my thumbs pulling a software tree from my client – I have (crappy, unreliable) VDSL I’d love fibre, they’ve installed it all around my neighbourhood but not into it – the install date changes periodically, started at 2015, now it’s some time after 2016. A friend elsewhere in Dunedin is a core firefox developer, according to Chorus I don’t think he’s going to see it, at least not according to their maps, he’s in a poorer part of town (Mongrel Mob territory) apparently only the rich are getting fibre

    Have you tried calling Chorus – they closed their Dunedin office when they laid off all their technicians and rehired them as “independent contractors” so I can’y knock on their door, call their 800 number and ask to talk to whoever’s in charge of deciding when fibre will be installed in Dunedin and you get the worst runaround – it’s so transparent it’s silly, even the person answering the phone couldn’t keep a straight face.

    Remember now that Chorus is a monopoly we’re not the customers, we’re what they are selling

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    @lanthanide

    ftth is the optimum solution. The problem is that it should be 1gbps both ways rather than the 100/30 top speed that were getting.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      The most expensive part is laying the fibre. Once it’s in, increasing the speed is an easier problem that can gradually happen over time as HW prices come down.

      So yes, fibre is likely to be more future proof than copper wires can be, but at the moment there isn’t a great use-case for fibre – all we’re told is that it will let us view television over broadband instead of through the air, but that’s not actually providing us anything new. So in the short-medium term, FTTC + investing in other last-mile technology seems like a better use of money.

      Similarly, instead of getting FTTH in the 30 biggest towns/cities in the country, focussing on FTTC in those 30 towns/cities, and then increasing rural broadband rollout, would benefit the country much more.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        So yes, fibre is likely to be more future proof than copper wires can be, but at the moment there isn’t a great use-case for fibre – all we’re told is that it will let us view television over broadband instead of through the air, but that’s not actually providing us anything new.

        Considering my hobby of CGI I tend to think more in terms of the possibility of collaboration. You see more and more of this happening around the world. Musicians and others getting together across the net to produce music, video and other forms of work that requires many people. The type of collaboration that can only be done with a reliable high-speed internet connection.

        Similarly, instead of getting FTTH in the 30 biggest towns/cities in the country, focussing on FTTC in those 30 towns/cities, and then increasing rural broadband rollout, would benefit the country much more.

        We could actually do both but that would require employing a few thousand more people which would drive wages up against John Key’s and National’s desire to lower wages. As I’ve said for a while now, we have the resources, we just don’t seem to have the political will to actually use them.

        • Sacha 3.1.1.1

          Totally. Killer app for many people/businesses may be high-definition videoconferencing. Spending another few billion on proper fibre would make way more sense than on highways. Elect smarter governments, people.

  4. Keiv 4

    1Gb upload on VDSL would be around 17 mins.

    Personally switched to VDSL 18 months ago and it’s been rock solid, 40 down, 10 up.

    I tend to download & then re-upload work material from home to works local ftp site, as work offices currently only get adsl2+ (20/1).

  5. NZ Jester 5

    That’s the problem with the current fiber roll out in New Zealand. Until we get some competition in the link in/out of New Zealand, all we really have is just a fast intranet and not fast internet.
    I have downloaded files from overseas that should have only taken a quarter of the time they actually did with the speed of my ADSL. If I upgraded to fiber once available to me, only local New Zealand content will be faster and all the international stuff will still be exactly the same speed. I doubt the time it took me to download the ISO images of a few of the Linux distributions at home to play around with while I was on a Hardware and Operating systems course last year would have been any faster.
    I also found it very frustrating trying to download the large ISO images due to a few times getting time outs on a few of the downloads that made me have to restart those downloads all over again.
    I ended up just downloading and trying out only 3 of the various Linux distributions instead of all the ones I wanted to compare.
    I had to use my home internet sparingly also for the rest of the month when I was getting the ISO image of the Fedora Linux install DVD at 3.57GB in size. I used up a lot of wasted Gigabytes from my monthly data cap as it twice stalled out and canceled after getting just over 3GB in the downloads. So just getting that one DVD used up about half my monthly data allowance of 20GB.
    Something that should have only taken me a week to do to compare the Linux distributions ended up taking me a couple of months due to download problems/speeds and my internet cap.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      There are usually local mirrors for most genuine linux ISOs (as opposed to things people sometimes euphemistically called linux ISOs).
      Use bittorrent when downloading anything big, if possible. It’s likely to be much faster, and you won’t have the problem of having to throw everything away and starting from scratch if it ‘fails at the last minute’.

  6. RedBaronCV 6

    And at a totally non tech pededestrian people level, everytime I hear the well paid in govt waxing on about iGovt I think, – great for all those people who can barely afford a few minutes of prepaid cellphone – they are totally locked out . If govt want to use it then they need to have people hooked up to it.

    • lprent 6.1

      That was why the hints at minimal allocation of bandwidth were interesting. It’d be reasonably cheap to provide a targeted allocation. It’d probably be pretty good for providing opportunities as well.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      If it becomes a right to have access to the internet then there’s no problem with affordability – it will be supplied.

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    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    5 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    6 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    6 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    7 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    1 week ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    1 week ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago

  • Government to progress Control Orders for community safety
    The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill will have its first reading in Parliament today, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. “The control orders Bill will mean our community is better protected from the risks of the very small number of New Zealand citizens who have engaged in terrorism related activities overseas. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • World-first plan for farmers to reduce emissions
    The Government and farming sector leaders have agreed to a world-first partnership to reduce primary sector emissions in one of the most significant developments on climate action in New Zealand's history. Today farming leaders and the Government announced a plan to join forces to develop practical and cost-effective ways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • More homes where they are needed
    More houses for homeless New Zealanders are being opened today in Tauranga by Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi. Six 2-bedroom quality units are being opened at 878 Cameron Road by Minister Faafoi and Accessible Properties, a local Community Housing Provider (CHP). Accessible Properties now provides more than 1,700 community housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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