New Zealand’s New Low Carbon Economy Stays Difficult

Written By: - Date published: 9:52 am, November 7th, 2021 - 36 comments
Categories: australian politics, climate change, local government, science, uncategorized - Tags:

First the Southland District Council plants a block of pine trees many years ago. Then they decide to strip the trees and get to the coal underneath.

That’s New Brighton Collieries, owned by Bathurst from the ASX, working with SDC on both ends. The Australians get resource consent from Southland District Council as regulator to figure how to expedite extraction from Southland District Council as forestry block owner.

Forest and Bird Society, the most successful legal protector of New Zealand nature, appeals with a judicial review in August. The claim is that SDC didn’t take climate change into account.

Southland Mayor Gary Tong responded that: “It’s a transition to better ways of doing this cleaner and greener, that is the focus, the only means of creating energy in some parts of New Zealand. We all want to make a cleaner, greener planet, but we can’t do it in five minutes.”

We can’t do it in five minutes. Another line for Greta’s next speech.

600,000 tonnes of coal ready to send CO2 into the atmosphere. With exploratory drilling finished they are ready to start work in 2022.

But just 20 k’s down the road, there’s a proposal to use some of our good clean hydro electricity for a big datacentre. Meridian already support it.

Marginal cost of electricity for operating this massive centre is the key attraction.

Of course, data centres aren’t massive direct providers of employment, but they have been seen as enablers of economic development as they enable the digital economy to advance quickly. Likely more chances of nationally-domiciled spinoffs than there have been from Bluff aluminium that’s for sure.

A new trans-pacific data cable plan brings this plan one step closer.

Hasn’t happened yet, $700m of bold cash needed to front to make it happen. Also Tiwai Point to close since it will need around 100MW annually, new branch mains feed, etc. Not easy. Hard.

And sure, free enterprise means deals happen between those who hold property and those who hold investment capital. Business. But the regulator Southland Council didn’t need to hand over the trees of property owner Southland Council to help the coal diggers from Australia.

On the same week as COP-26 and we sign up to all manner of promises, could the government not at least have made a statement stating what they wanted to see happen to this country, starting with Southland? Can we even try to keep the coal in the ground?

With its lines just a few kilometres away, could the most critical state agency charged with our energy transition even start to figure out how it might assist?

With coal deals like this supported by local councils, silence from central government on alternatives, and aggressive Aussies with money simultaneously gaming local government (Bathurst) and central government (Rio Tinto), our desired low-carbon future economy appears very, very hard.

36 comments on “New Zealand’s New Low Carbon Economy Stays Difficult ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    It’s a transition to better ways of doing this cleaner and greener, that is the focus, the only means of creating energy in some parts of New Zealand. We all want to make a cleaner, greener planet, but we can’t do it in five minutes.”

    Good post – and useful because it speaks to a pragmatic reality that people will continue to use energy regardless. We can talk about over-consumption in a small fraction of the world's population all you want, the reality is this is nothing compared to the massive growth in demand from the poor in the world who currently under-consume.

    And these poorer people will always be compelled to select the cheapest form of energy they can access – which for the moment remains coal.

    For the foreseeable future NZ is fortunate to have a buffer of hydro and geothermal potential to get us through the next decade or so. We have some low hanging de-carbonisation fruit such as de-coaling our milk processing plants and transitioning to EV’s that will take us in the right direction. But at the same time the natural gas reserves are not forever and it's my sense NZ is going to have to make some hard choices around energy sometime around 2040.

    Of course the atmosphere doesn't care if a molecule of CO2 comes from NZ, the US or the PRC, whether it was emitted a second or decades ago – all that matters is the total and the trend. This is the ultimate big picture challenge we all face – yet we remain so often stuck in silo thinking to address it. (We see this behaviour most vividly at events like COP26 – well intentioned but weak on getting to the outcomes that matter.)

    • garibaldi 1.1

      "We can talk about over-consumption in a small fraction of the world's population all you want". Surely it is unbridled Capitalism that has brought this about. Furthermore Capitalism will not solve the problems of "the massive growth in demand from the poor in the world who currently under-consume." It is Capitalism that has brought this about as well ie the greedy few show no concern for those who are not winning..

      Better equality in industrialisation and better distribution of resources would go a long way to alleviate many problems but it will not happen under the worlds current Capitalist systems. That is why we are stuck in silos thinking about it and then going blah blah blah at expensive hapless conferences.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        Better equality in industrialisation and better distribution of resources would go a long way to alleviate many problems but it will not happen under the worlds current Capitalist systems.

        No it won't. It simply doesn't work on the numbers. The fraction of people 'over consuming' however you define this – is far smaller than the poor people under-consuming. Whatever you take from the rich, simply doesn't get the poor out of poverty.

        Besides these zero sum games are silly – how are you going to politically enforce this state of perpetual poverty for centuries into the future?

        • Grafton Gully 1.1.1.1

          "The fraction of people 'over consuming' however you define this – is far smaller than the poor people under-consuming." People who choose to have an immaculate lawn, kwila decking and carved hornbill casques. Role models for "the poor people under-consuming". Pity they don't choose less consumption – but why would they ?

          https://www.yourhomeandgarden.co.nz/inspiration/outdoors/how-to-maintain-your-lawn

          https://www.google.com/search?q=kwila+deck&rlz=1C1CHBF_enNZ812NZ812&oq=kwila+deck&aqs=chrome..0i512j69i57j0i433i512j0i512l2j0i20i263i512j0i512l4.9741j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

          https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34504217

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1

            Most people tend to think that the 'over consuming rich' as pretty much anyone better off than them. Yet compared to roughly 6b other poor people in the world – you're insanely wealthy.

            Somewhere in a video my partner and I were watching recently there were two images juxtaposed – one of a woman squatting over a dung fire in obviously third world conditions. The other of a typical first world woman unloading a washing machine. I asked my partner – which do you choose?

            It feels very weird to be on a left wing forum making the argument against poverty.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.1.1

              We can talk about over-consumption in a small fraction of the world's population all you want, the reality is this is nothing compared to the massive growth in demand from the poor in the world who currently under-consume.

              The fraction of people 'over consuming' however you define this – is far smaller than the poor people under-consuming. Whatever you take from the rich, simply doesn't get the poor out of poverty.

              Pay no attention to the [over-consuming] man behind the curtain!wink

              Ah, the over-consumers – such role models for future generations.

              https://www.forestandbird.org.nz/submissions/te-kuha-appeal

              We’ve been here before.

              A money-hungry mining company is trying, yet again, to obtain permission to turn Te Kuha mountain into an open cast mine.

              They are absolutely relentless in their pursuit of Te Kuha's coal – regardless of the devastating cost to its pristine forests.

              So you and I must be unfaltering in our defence of the many native and threatened species that call it home – no matter what it takes.

              • RedLogix

                As I said elsewhere – the definition of 'over consuming' usually being 'anyone better off than me'.

              • mikesh

                I think most of us would be willing to consume less if we could be sure that everybody else was doing likewise.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Agreed, and that ensures most won't voluntarily consume less. For some, overconsumption is a way of life – maybe even a reason for being.

                  Time for a ‘cold shower’ about our ability to avoid a ghastly future [13 January 2021]
                  While the paper is a pull-no-punches assessment of the state of global biodiversity, its main purpose is in fact to demonstrate how little capacity we seem to have regarding any real chance to change the course of things. Everything from biodiversity death spiral, to runaway climate change, to overconsumption and overpopulation, to acute political impotence to do anything meaningful and at the necessary scale — we provide an admittedly brief, yet stark appraisal that things are heading in the worst possible of directions.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Overconsumption and the environment: should we all stop shopping?
              Over-consumption is at the root of the planet’s environmental crisis. One solution, proposed by author JB MacKinnon, is that we should simply buy less. But would that really work?

              • Ad

                Old fashioned signals of resilience:

                There are still a fair few weatherboard houses in New Zealand, with lean-to's tacked on to the side which are their construction timber storage holds. After this many months I've pretty much used up every scrap.

                There are also still a lot of home garages with arrays of tools – enough to do most tasks on your car, or to make a fence.

                And there are still lots of houses with internal storage of 'glory boxes', blankets and linen. Even people who still do bottling and making their own Christmas cakes – though indeed it’s now uncommon.

                There are even a few with good-sized gardens and nurseries – whether they generate much for the table or not is of less moment. I will be spending this week getting the peas beans and tomatoes out of the glasshouse and into a protected part of the back garden.

                There is through lockdown a huge growth in crafts from weaving and carding, to pottery, to all kinds of fibre and clothing.

                The phrase 'Number 8 Wire' was both a signal of resilience and very little working cash on hand.

                Those old skills we got from originating as an agricultural and low-cash country – whose primary practitioners are now aged well into their '80s – will get called on more and more up to Christmas and into the extraordinarily tight constraints of 2022.

              • RedLogix

                Why is it that every solution you have to offer seems to demand taking something from someone?

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Why is any suggestion that the golden billion share their wealth – take one for the team, so to speak – so unpalatable?

                  Answer that question honestly and you'll understand the root of my pessimistic outlook for this iteration of civilisation.

                  A deeper and more nuanced understanding of the sustainability of wealth is crucial to a green, resilient, and inclusive future,” said World Bank Managing Director for Development Policy and Partnerships, Mari Pangestu. “It is essential that renewable natural capital and human capital are given the same importance as more traditional sources of economic growth, so that policymakers take steps to enable long-term prosperity.

                  According to the report, global wealth grew significantly between 1995 and 2018, and middle-income countries are catching up to high-income countries. However, growing prosperity has been accompanied by unsustainable management of some natural assets. Low- and middle-income countries saw their forest wealth per capita decline 8% from 1995 to 2018, reflecting significant deforestation. Meanwhile, the value of global marine fish stocks collapsed by 83% due to poor management and overfishing over the same period. The projected impacts of climate change may exacerbate these trends.

                  In addition, mispricing of assets like carbon-emitting fossil fuels can lead to overvaluation and over-consumption. Development can be put on a more sustainable path by taking a comprehensive view of wealth and putting in place policy measures including carbon pricing to better value and nurture assets such as forests, mangroves, and human capital.
                  https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2021/10/27/global-wealth-has-grown-but-at-the-expense-of-future-prosperity-world-bank

                  • RedLogix

                    Why is any suggestion that the golden billion share their wealth – take one for the team, so to speak – so unpalatable?

                    It's not so much as unpalatable – as stupid. It would achieve little of lasting value.

                    Let me do some simple numbers. Lets go with the rough estimate that say the top 10% could cut their consumption by half. In real terms that would be say the whole of North America cutting back to something like Europe and releasing something like 20% of total consumption.

                    Now if that extra 20% taken from the top 700m people was now spread evenly over the remaining 7b people – and assuming we could do this with perfect equity – the gain seen by all the poor in the world would be in the order of 2%. In other words they'd still be poor.

                    And that's assuming the total global economic pool doesn't also shrink because of the enforced collectivism all this mass sharing implies.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      It [sharing wealth] would achieve little of lasting value.

                      Still, every little bit helps eh wink

                      Your "simple numbers" are a very simple justification for not sharing any more than we do now. But do they add up?

                      Setting aside the damage done to spaceship Earth, this iteration of civilisation is fabulously wealthy.

                      World’s Wealth Hits Half A Quadrillion Dollars
                      [10 June 2021]
                      The world's total net wealth has hit $431 trillion, nearly half a quadrillion dollars, and over a quarter of it is controlled by millionaires.

                      Millionaires control wealth valued at about $126 trillion dollars.

                      Let's say each millionaire shared half their wealth – and, to keep it simple, let's say that each millionaire would also get an equal share.

                      So, $63 trillion dollars, to be divided equally among ~7.9 billion souls. That's about US $8,000 per person, so a family of four would benefit to the tune of $32,000.

                      That's more than the median annual income in Luxembourg (which tops the table of median annual income by country at 26,321 (PPP, Current Int$)), and more that someone unlucky enough to live in the poorest countries could expect to earn in their (short) lifetime.

                      Being wealthy adds nine more healthy years of life, says study

                      The millionaires would still be wealthy, and everyone else would be better off (in some cases beyond the regional dreams of avarice).

                      See, I can do "simple numbers" too smiley

                      Just about the only downside would be the enormous increase in global consumption, but at least it would be consumption by those that really needed it.

                      But it's all too hard, what about the mechanism of redistribution, "enforced collectivism", shrinking economic pool, etc. etc.

                    • RedLogix

                      The other way to do it is to simply take the total GDP of the world (wealth as you used it is a misleading number because much of it isn't liquid enough to be 'shared') – and divide it among whole population. Depending on the accounting method used you get to a number around U$10 – 15k per capita. Or something like NZ Super.

                      But this doesn't do anything about total carbon – it merely uses an accounting trick to spread it out more evenly. Morally nice for you, useless against CC.

                      Let's say we have to reduce consumption by 70% by say 2030 to make the kind of urgent difference you insist is necessary. Now the number is a whole lot lower – around the kind of per capita GDP of say Keyna – or about 15 – 20% of NZ at present.

                      And then you have to enforce this miserable dystopian vision indefinitely into the future. That’s an unanswerable challenge that makes storing a few tonnes of nuclear waste look like child’s play.

                      Again I find it weird to be making the case against poverty on an allegedly left wing site.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Again I find it weird to be making the case against poverty on an allegedly left wing site.

                      I agree, entirely too weird to be encountering resistance to increased ‘wealth sharing’ on an allegedly left wing site – that’s more ACT’s cup of tea. Re your ‘concern’ about enforcing “this miserable dystopian vision indefinitely into the future“, let’s make it a one-off. Looking good!

                      Why poverty in New Zealand is everyone's concern
                      Liang describes poverty as a "heritable condition" that perpetuates and amplifies through generations: "It is also not hard to see how individual poverty flows into communities and society, with downstream effects on economics, crime and health, as well as many other systems. Loosen one strand and everything else unravels."

                      A Kete Half Empty
                      Poverty is your problem, it is everyone's problem, not just those who are in poverty. – Rebecca, a child from Te Puru

                      Time for a ‘cold shower’ about our ability to avoid a ghastly future [13 January 2021]
                      While the paper is a pull-no-punches assessment of the state of global biodiversity, its main purpose is in fact to demonstrate how little capacity we seem to have regarding any real chance to change the course of things. Everything from biodiversity death spiral, to runaway climate change, to overconsumption and overpopulation, to acute political impotence to do anything meaningful and at the necessary scale — we provide an admittedly brief, yet stark appraisal that things are heading in the worst possible of directions.

                    • RedLogix

                      I agree, entirely too weird to be encountering resistance to increased ‘wealth sharing’ on an allegedly left wing site

                      No resistance whatsoever – indeed the data has shows that while there is an extreme global elite who definitely skew the figures – for the most part the gap between poor and developed nations has been closing. Mainly because during the period from WW2 onward more nations were able to build their economies and trade than ever before. It was patchy, imperfect process, but by 2020 less than 10% of the world lived in extreme poverty. That's my vision of sharing – it is to bring everyone into the modern world. On the current track most of humanity will be upper middle class by current standards at the end of this century.

                      The path that takes us there requires clean, cheap and abundant energy. That gives humanity choices, options and enables the innovation necessary to manage our existing resource base and discover new pathways. Getting all of humanity past the demographic transition literally makes a new species of us, and opens the door to endless possibilities well beyond my limited imagination.

                      Your vision takes us in the opposite direction, the mass of humanity hobbled by a miserable, unreliable and inadequate energy base, that cannot amount to anything more than a slow, erratic reversion to pre-industrial poverty run by a global cabal of techno-feudal overlords ensuring we remain all equally poor forever.

                      With all of your education I would have hoped for better.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      With all of your education I would have hoped for better.

                      As would I wink

                      The path that takes us there requires clean, cheap and abundant energy.

                      Clean, cheap and abundant energy is required, but not sufficient – best of luck.

                      Your vision takes us in the opposite direction, the mass of humanity hobbled by a miserable, unreliable and inadequate energy base, that cannot amount to anything more than a slow, erratic reversion to pre-industrial poverty run by a global cabal of techno-feudal overlords ensuring we remain all equally poor forever.

                      Not my vision, but whatever floats your yacht.

                      Returning to a 1970s Economy Could Save Our Future
                      We’d contract energy use by half. Shrinking consumption is the solution we can actually live with.
                      https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2021/11/04/Returning-1970s-Economy-Could-Save-Our-Future/

                      The 1970s – so “pre-industrial“! How did anyone even live way back then?

                    • RedLogix

                      Sure we could shrink NZ's economy by half (although good luck with getting a majority to vote for that) – but that ignores the rest of the world.

                      While little old NZ is busy reverting back 50 years in time, everyone else in the developing world will be busy doubling or tripling their economies. And utterly obliterating any impact we might have.

                      The first 10 minutes of this recent presentation carries this message in more detail. Particularly the graph at around 6:40. if you want to take the shortcut.

                      And for me a highly encouraging political development – one Dr Kathryn Huff – who has the most remarkable bio, a strong research background in MSR's and advanced nuclear – is now heading up the DoE agency in charge of this area. A short but impressive intro to her agenda here.

                    • RedLogix

                      Not my vision, but whatever floats your yacht.

                      I know it's not your intended vision – but then again one of us could make a 3000MW power plant run.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      …but then again one of us could make a 3000MW power plant run.

                      S000 powerful wink

                      The globe is warming, and we both want this iteration of civilisation to get that trend under control, while moving towards a fair consumption space for all.

                      You favour one set of responses, I favour another, and the same human behaviours that brought us to this point will thwart the implementation of meaningful solutions.

                      1.5 degrees of warming is locked in; 2 degrees is baked in – and so on. Regrettably, spaceship Earth will have to (hopefully only figuratively) beat us over our collective heads before we change our ways – it’s going to be, as you say, "a bumpy ride".

                      The World Is on Track for a Disastrous 2.7 Degrees of Warming, UN Confirms [27 October 2021]
                      Overall, G20 countries are not even on track to meet their previous NDCs, let alone their new goals. The UNEP report found that if countries met their net zero pledges, we could limit global warming to 2.2 degrees Celsius — but many climate action plans will not be implemented until after 2030 and some remain unclear and ambiguous.

                    • RedLogix

                      I was reading about CC sometime back in the 70's and working at the time directly in the geophysics field. (In a pretty junior role it has to said – but it was a formative experience.)

                      I've worked with not one but two bona-fide climate scientists.

                      I was part of a team that confirmed the global scope of the Great Oceanic Conveyor currents in the deep Southern Ocean.

                      I worked with IR instrumentation for many years, the principles of which are the direct basis for the basic science of CC. At the same time I was also working with some of the most powerful radioactive nuclear sources ever present in NZ.

                      I have been staunchly defending the CC science here for more than a decade.

                      I have spent the last 2/3rd of my working life in heavy industrial processes and have a competent knowledge of how they function and especially how to automate them.

                      In particular when I read about the potential for new industrial pathways (literally I just scanned one that will easily deliver truly carbon free steel before replying here) I have a sense about whether the numbers add up or not. It's literally what I do for a living – making sense of what the process is telling me.

                      And right now the process I'm working with is producing it's first trial batches of lithium hydroxide – that is an essential material in the EV revolution.

                      So how about sparing me the moralising lectures on the perils of CC?

                      Also see my response to Adrian at 6:10 below. You think you're the pessimist.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      You must be very proud.

                      So how about sparing me the moralising lectures on the perils of CC?

                      You want me to spare you the lectures laugh

                      Anyway, seems we're on the same page re the seriousness of civilisation's self-imposed plight – nice to find common ground.

                      Time for a ‘cold shower’ about our ability to avoid a ghastly future [13 January 2021]
                      While the paper is a pull-no-punches assessment of the state of global biodiversity, its main purpose is in fact to demonstrate how little capacity we seem to have regarding any real chance to change the course of things. Everything from biodiversity death spiral, to runaway climate change, to overconsumption and overpopulation, to acute political impotence to do anything meaningful and at the necessary scale — we provide an admittedly brief, yet stark appraisal that things are heading in the worst possible of directions.

                      https://conservationbytes.com/2021/01/13/time-for-a-cold-shower-about-our-ability-to-avoid-a-ghastly-future/

                    • RedLogix

                      Check the date on this.

                      And frankly I’m past that kind of quote above. Much of it amounts to nothing more than a performative renting of sack-cloth and purity point scoring.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Much of it amounts to nothing more than a performative renting of sack-cloth and purity point scoring.

                      No arguing with that critique.

  2. barry 2

    "can't do it in 5 minutes" – We have had 30 years!

  3. Patricia Bremner 3

    I thought Councils have to put their activities through a carbon sieve? That obdurate coal guy … and council. This is denial and downright stupidity. Until there is a high unclaimable tax on such "investments"& "activities" to make it untenable, this will continue. Drive investment towards renewables and sustainability.

  4. Adrian 4

    One point lost in the whole argument is that not every single tonne of coal or litre of petroleum needs to be eliminated from use to control excess CO2, only enough to tip the rise into a reasonably steep decline.The one concern I have which I hope not to live and see is that if we completely eliminate CO2 in the atmosphere or minimise it too much then the fine balance that allows our environment to be warm enough to grow food in most places will evaporate with far graver consequences than currently exist. Samoa which can grow almost anything has an average annual temperature in the low 20s about 10 degrees greater than the food growing cooler marginal parts of NZ.

    • Obtrectator 4.1

      "The one concern I have which I hope not to live and see is that if we completely eliminate CO2 in the atmosphere or minimise it too much then the fine balance that allows our environment to be warm enough to grow food in most places will evaporate with far graver consequences than currently exist."

      Something tells me you won't have to worry too much about that one. And anyway, no biggie reversing it, I'd say.

    • RedLogix 4.2

      That's a fair question. The answer isn't completely simple but essentially CO2 once it gets into the atmosphere will exert an influence on climate for many hundreds of years. It's generally accepted that the 'safe' level of CO2 to maintain our current climate was under 350ppm – or roughly what it was at the turn of the 20th century. Right now we're closing in on 420ppm last I looked.

      The implication from these two facts is that simply getting to 'carbon zero' is not sufficient. We actually have to remove that excess CO2 from 420ppm (or more depending on where we peak) to back under 350ppm.

      I'll put this simply – if the human race went extinct tomorrow and no more fossil carbon was ever burned – that excess would persist in the atmosphere for centuries. Quite long enough for truly dramatic changes to occur. Think about this.

      It means that sometime this century, and the sooner the better, we have to go carbon negative. In other words using energy intensive technologies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere because the natural process is too slow.

      If we imagine to achieve this with solar panels, wind towers and growing organic kale …

  5. gsays 5

    The obscenity is, Captain 'Five Minutes' wants to cut down trees that are doing the needed job right now and into the future. Before he flogs the coal off, making the problem he is responsible for, bigger.

    The good old, blinded by a balance sheet, approach. So mid last century thinking.

    • Michael 5.1

      After striking that particular blow for the climate, Tong is moving on to better things. he wants to roll Sir Tim Shadbolt out of his job as Mayor of Invercargill. Stands a good chance too, on the basis of his record as environmental steward.

      • Gabby 5.1.1

        You'd think such a canny fellow would've been able to get to the bottom of that cycle trail overspend.

    • mac1 5.2

      Being a citizen from a 50000 population living in a province the size of Israel, it can be sometimes alarming that a group of rural-based corporate entities can influence the ecological well-being of such a large land area comprising, sea, mountains, river valleys drowned and asl, reserves, national parks, fishing, salmon, viticulture, sheep and dairy, forestry and horticulture.

      Is it the same with Southland where a small grouping of our population can so influence and change such a large land area?

      Our area assumed single authority status, not even an overview by a regional authority.

      It is a precarious state…………

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    Given the crackdown on wasteful government spending, it behooves me to point to a high profile example of spending by the Luxon government that looks like a big, fat waste of time and money. I’m talking about the deployment of NZDF personnel to support the US-led coalition in the Red ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 24

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:40 am on Wednesday, July 24 are:Deep Dive: Chipping away at the housing crisis, including my comments RNZ/Newsroom’s The DetailNews: Government softens on asset sales, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • LXR Takaanini

    As I reported about the city centre, Auckland’s rail network is also going through a difficult and disruptive period which is rapidly approaching a culmination, this will result in a significant upgrade to the whole network. Hallelujah. Also like the city centre this is an upgrade predicated on the City ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Four kilograms of pain

    Today, a 4 kilogram report will be delivered to Parliament. We know this is what the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State and Faith-based Care weighs, because our Prime Minister told us so.Some reporter had blindsided him by asking a question about something done by ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 24

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 24, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Beehive: Transport Minister Simeon Brown announced plans to use PPPs to fund, build and run a four-lane expressway between Auckland ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Luxon gets caught out

    NewstalkZB host Mike Hosking, who can usually be relied on to give Prime Minister Christopher Luxon an easy run, did not do so yesterday when he interviewed him about the HealthNZ deficit. Luxon is trying to use a deficit reported last year by HealthNZ as yet another example of the ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • A worrying sign

    Back in January a StatsNZ employee gave a speech at Rātana on behalf of tangata whenua in which he insulted and criticised the government. The speech clearly violated the principle of a neutral public service, and StatsNZ started an investigation. Part of that was getting an external consultant to examine ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Are we fine with 47.9% home-ownership by 2048?

    Renting for life: Shared ownership initiatives are unlikely to slow the slide in home ownership by much. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:A Deloitte report for Westpac has projected Aotearoa’s home-ownership rate will ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Let's Win This

    You're broken down and tiredOf living life on a merry go roundAnd you can't find the fighterBut I see it in you so we gonna walk it outAnd move mountainsWe gonna walk it outAnd move mountainsAnd I'll rise upI'll rise like the dayI'll rise upI'll rise unafraidI'll rise upAnd I'll ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Waimahara: The Singing Spirit of Water

    There’s been a change in Myers Park. Down the steps from St. Kevin’s Arcade, past the grassy slopes, the children’s playground, the benches and that goat statue, there has been a transformation. The underpass for Mayoral Drive has gone from a barren, grey, concrete tunnel, to a place that thrums ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 23

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Tuesday, July 23 are:Deep Dive: Penlink: where tolling rhetoric meets reality BusinessDesk-$$$’s Oliver LewisScoop: Te Pūkenga plans for regional polytechs leak out ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 23

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 23, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Health: Shane Reti announced the Board of Te Whatu Ora- Health New Zealand was being replaced with Commissioner Lester Levy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • HealthNZ and Luxon at cross purposes over budget blowout

    Health NZ warned the Government at the end of March that it was running over Budget. But the reasons it gave were very different to those offered by the Prime Minister yesterday. Prime Minister Christopher Luxon blamed the “botched merger” of the 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) to create Health ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • 2500-3000 more healthcare staff expected to be fired, as Shane Reti blames Labour for a budget defic...

    Long ReadKey Summary: Although National increased the health budget by $1.4 billion in May, they used an old funding model to project health system costs, and never bothered to update their pre-election numbers. They were told during the Health Select Committees earlier in the year their budget amount was deficient, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Might Kamala Harris be about to get a 'stardust' moment like Jacinda Ardern?

    As a momentous, historic weekend in US politics unfolded, analysts and commentators grasped for precedents and comparisons to help explain the significance and power of the choice Joe Biden had made. The 46th president had swept the Democratic party’s primaries but just over 100 days from the election had chosen ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Solutions Interview: Steven Hail on MMT & ecological economics

    TL;DR: I’m casting around for new ideas and ways of thinking about Aotearoa’s political economy to find a few solutions to our cascading and self-reinforcing housing, poverty and climate crises.Associate Professor runs an online masters degree in the economics of sustainability at Torrens University in Australia and is organising ...
    The KakaBy Steven Hail
    3 days ago
  • Reported back

    The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back on National's Local Government (Water Services Preliminary Arrangements) Bill. The bill sets up water for privatisation, and was introduced under urgency, then rammed through select committee with no time even for local councils to make a proper submission. Naturally, national's select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Vandrad the Viking, Christopher Coombes, and Literary Archaeology

    Some years ago, I bought a book at Dunedin’s Regent Booksale for $1.50. As one does. Vandrad the Viking (1898), by J. Storer Clouston, is an obscure book these days – I cannot find a proper online review – but soon it was sitting on my shelf, gathering dust alongside ...
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Biden Withdrawal

    History is not on the side of the centre-left, when Democratic presidents fall behind in the polls and choose not to run for re-election. On both previous occasions in the past 75 years (Harry Truman in 1952, Lyndon Johnson in 1968) the Democrats proceeded to then lose the White House ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • Joe Biden's withdrawal puts the spotlight back on Kamala and the USA's complicated relatio...

    This is a free articleCoverageThis morning, US President Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the Presidential race. And that is genuinely newsworthy. Thanks for your service, President Biden, and all the best to you and yours.However, the media in New Zealand, particularly the 1News nightly bulletin, has been breathlessly covering ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Why we have to challenge our national fiscal assumptions

    A homeless person’s camp beside a blocked-off slipped damage walkway in Freeman’s Bay: we are chasing our tail on our worsening and inter-related housing, poverty and climate crises. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Existential Crisis and Damaged Brains

    What has happened to it all?Crazy, some'd sayWhere is the life that I recognise?(Gone away)But I won't cry for yesterdayThere's an ordinary worldSomehow I have to findAnd as I try to make my wayTo the ordinary worldYesterday morning began as many others - what to write about today? I began ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • A speed limit is not a target, and yet…

    This is a guest post from longtime supporter Mr Plod, whose previous contributions include a proposal that Hamilton become New Zealand’s capital city, and that we should switch which side of the road we drive on. A recent Newsroom article, “Back to school for the Govt’s new speed limit policy“, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Monday, July 22 are:Today’s Must Read: Father and son live in a tent, and have done for four years, in a million ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Monday, July 22, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:US President Joe Biden announced via X this morning he would not stand for a second term.Multinational professional services firm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    4 days ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    7 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    7 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    7 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    1 week ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    1 week ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • Kiwis having their say on first regulatory review

    After receiving more than 740 submissions in the first 20 days, Regulation Minister David Seymour is asking the Ministry for Regulation to extend engagement on the early childhood education regulation review by an extra two weeks.  “The level of interest has been very high, and from the conversations I’ve been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government upgrading Lower North Island commuter rail

    The Coalition Government is investing $802.9 million into the Wairarapa and Manawatū rail lines as part of a funding agreement with the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), KiwiRail, and the Greater Wellington and Horizons Regional Councils to deliver more reliable services for commuters in the lower North Island, Transport Minister Simeon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Government moves to ensure flood protection for Wairoa

    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced his intention to appoint a Crown Manager to both Hawke’s Bay Regional and Wairoa District Councils to speed up the delivery of flood protection work in Wairoa."Recent severe weather events in Wairoa this year, combined with damage from Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023 have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • PM speech to Parliament – Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Report into Abuse in Care

    Mr Speaker, this is a day that many New Zealanders who were abused in State care never thought would come. It’s the day that this Parliament accepts, with deep sorrow and regret, the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.  At the heart of this report are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges torture at Lake Alice

    For the first time, the Government is formally acknowledging some children and young people at Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital experienced torture. The final report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State and Faith-based Care “Whanaketia – through pain and trauma, from darkness to light,” was tabled in Parliament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges courageous abuse survivors

    The Government has acknowledged the nearly 2,400 courageous survivors who shared their experiences during the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State and Faith-Based Care. The final report from the largest and most complex public inquiry ever held in New Zealand, the Royal Commission Inquiry “Whanaketia – through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Half a million people use tax calculator

    With a week to go before hard-working New Zealanders see personal income tax relief for the first time in fourteen years, 513,000 people have used the Budget tax calculator to see how much they will benefit, says Finance Minister Nicola Willis.  “Tax relief is long overdue. From next Wednesday, personal income ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Paid Parental Leave improvements pass first reading

    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden says a bill that has passed its first reading will improve parental leave settings and give non-biological parents more flexibility as primary carer for their child. The Regulatory Systems Amendment Bill (No3), passed its first reading this morning. “It includes a change ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Rebuilding the economy through better regulation

    Two Bills designed to improve regulation and make it easier to do business have passed their first reading in Parliament, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. The Regulatory Systems (Economic Development) Amendment Bill and Regulatory Systems (Immigration and Workforce) Amendment Bill make key changes to legislation administered by the Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • ‘Open banking’ and ‘open electricity’ on the way

    New legislation paves the way for greater competition in sectors such as banking and electricity, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly says. “Competitive markets boost productivity, create employment opportunities and lift living standards. To support competition, we need good quality regulation but, unfortunately, a recent OECD report ranked New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
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    2 days ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
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    2 days ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
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    2 days ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
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    3 days ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
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    3 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
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    6 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
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    6 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
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    6 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
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    1 week ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
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    1 week ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
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    1 week ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
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    1 week ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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