Nick Smith and the Ruataniwha dam

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, September 19th, 2013 - 37 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, water - Tags:

 

NickSmith forked tongueNick Smith is in trouble.  He has a lot of explaining to do to show how he has not misread misled Parliament.

The background is that the Hawkes Bay Regional Council has a grandiose plan to construct a dam to provide water for irrigation.  There are concerns that the dam could have a major adverse effect on the Tukituki River and its water quality may be devastated by increased nutrient run off.

Water quality is a major responsibility of the Department of Conservation.  Under section 6 of the Conservation Act 1987 one of its functions is “to preserve so far as is practicable all indigenous freshwater fisheries, and protect recreational freshwater fisheries and freshwater fish habitats”.  You would think that the potential devastation of a significant river would fall within this.  There is also DOC land that would be directly affected by construction of the dam.

The original 32 page draft submission said that the proposal is a risky and untested approach to water management which could kill the rivers involved.  It also said the risks of the dam project had not been fully assessed, and there was an inadequate management plan for potentially high impact effects on rivers.  It was replaced with a 2 paragraph submission that did not refer to these concerns and was neutral on the proposal.

The intensification of agriculture which will occur as a result of the dam means that much greater stock numbers will be possible.  This will mean much more effluent, and a significant rise in the amount of nitrates leeching into aquifers and streams through their urine and fertiliser use.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is suggesting that phosphates only and not nitrates have to be controlled.  It has proposed in Plan Change 6 an increase in nitrates, get this, of up to 500% on current levels in the Tukituki and Waipawa rivers and tributaries to what are described as toxic levels.

The problem with DOC’s position is that it is abdicating its responsibility to protect the environment and there are a distinct lack of Public Authorities advocating for protection.  The Hawkes Bay Regional Council has stated optimistically that the proposed dam “would take pressure off the Tukituki River in the summer months and potentially return it to naturalised flows. This would improve the water quantity and quality of the Tukituki River, which would be great news for the environment and recreational users.”  But there is no mention on the damage caused by increased nitrate levels.

The timing of the change to DOC’s submission and Nick Smith’s role in this will no doubt be investigated as will his recent statement to Parliament.  On September 17, 2013 in a point of order he said “[t]he member has claimed in the question that I had access to a report that I did not do so until I heard it on Radio New Zealand National this morning.”  He then said outside ParliamentI did not know that this draft document even existed until this morning. And to have accusations that somehow I have covered up its existence – it is somewhat difficult to cover something up when you didn’t even know it existed.”

This morning on Morning Report details of an email amongst senior managers leaked to Peter Fowler were disclosed.  The email, sent on July 29, 2013, said that Smith wanted to see DoC’s submission before it was lodged with the Board of Inquiry.

Smith fronted on Morning Report and in typical style answered questions with extreme confidence but there is a distinct smell about this.

He confirmed that on July 29 he was told that DOC had to finalise its submission on the Dam and that he asked to see the submission before it went in.  He then received a full briefing (20 pages) with details on why the Department had decided not to submit on the nutrient issue.

An environmentally hazardous proposal supported by the farming lobby is initially opposed by DOC, Smith asks to see the submission, it is then changed dramatically and he denies any knowledge of it.  This smells.

No doubt more questions will be asked.  But how a Minister could ask to see a report, receive a 20 page briefing on it, deny all knowledge about its existence and then claim he has not misled is beyond me.

UPDATE:  Question time this afternoon should be interesting.  Questions include:

Hon RUTH DYSON to the Minister of Conservation: Has he ever seen or received a submission or draft submission from the Department of Conservation regarding the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Plan Change 6, which paves the way for the Ruataniwha Dam proposal, which is critical of it?

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Conservation: Does he stand by his statement “No, I did not” when asked in this House whether he gave any indication to the Department of Conservation on the direction or content of its submission on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal?

37 comments on “Nick Smith and the Ruataniwha dam ”

  1. alwyn 1

    Good try Micky but this is, I fear another b.s. beat-up by Radio Pravda.
    All you can say is that the Minister was told on the Monday that the Department was to put in a submission on the Friday of the week concerned and that there was some debate in the Department about what the submission should consider.
    He asked that he recieve a full briefing before the submission was made. The Department would then appear to have briefed him and shown him the two paragraph submission that they were going to submit. That is all he saw and he was never shown the draft that had been floating around the lower reachs of DOC. Ministers do not, after all, see every bit of paper produced by a department of about 1800 people.
    Incidentally you may be guilty of the thing you are blaming Nick Smith for.
    In the first paragraph you say “he must show how he has not MISREAD Parliament” .
    I think you have been misreading the evidence and that Nick has not MISLEAD Parliament.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Thanks Alwyn. Have corrected. Obviously the coffee had not kicked in properly.

      But please reconcile this for me.

      You said

      That is all he saw and he was never shown the draft that had been floating around the lower reachs of DOC

      But he did not deny ever reading the draft. He denied even knowing that the document existed.

      Don’t you agree that the two statements are not reconcilable?

      • alwyn 1.1.1

        I don’t see why they should be irreconcilable. If you ask for a briefing by the department, and say you want to see the department’s submission then that is what you are going to be shown. It’s entirely reasonable for you to ask for it of course under the “no surprises” doctrine.
        If Smith was given a briefing on the project, and shown the final version of the submission, why should he even suspect that there was an abandoned draft that had been prepared. I can easily believe that he didn’t know that some other opinion had been floating around.
        Have you ever, in your work, been asked to prepare an opinion, done a draft, modified it and come to a quite different view to the one in the first draft. Would you have shown all the versions, or only the final one, to the ultimate recipient?
        As far as the word goes I thought it was funny. I do it all the time, even when I have had enough cups of coffee to almost give me the shakes.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          He was given a 20 page report on the matter which included the 2 paragraph final submission and must have included some background into the earlier submission about water quality. He then denied any knowledge of the earlier submission.

          Seems pretty clear to me.

        • framu 1.1.1.2

          “But he did not deny ever reading the draft. He denied even knowing that the document existed.”

          smiths own words and actions condem him here, and all we can go own is his words and actions – no one but smith can read his mind

          if he had said “i asked for, and saw the draft but the extra detail is new to me” then hes got an argument – but hes not saying anything like that is he, and the emails dont even support that rather generous re-framing of his own words

          now, he might have slipped up in his initial statement – but he still standing by it – so he is telling porkies, or cant figure out why his first statement isnt very accurate.

          neither of which is really acceptable from someone in his position

          Considering the guy has a record of telling outright lies, deliberate mis-information, manufacturing false crises and didnt see any problem with using his official standing to influence ACC – im picking hes telling porkies

    • bad12 1.2

      So when DOC’s Dorris Johnson sent out the email to various senior managers requesting that a copy of the draft submission be sent to Nick Smith you are suggesting that that draft was either not sent or not received,

      Wonder what Dorris is going to say when asked who asked for or why She wanted the draft of the submission sent to Smith..

      • bad12 1.2.1

        My apologies to Doris for the mis-spell, Doris Johnston is DOC’s Deputy Director- General, not quite ‘the lower reaches of DOC’ as suggested above…

      • Pascal's bookie 1.2.2

        Exactly, here’s what the email said:

        Hello,

        The minister wants to see the submission we are proposing to make on the Ruataniwha before it is lodged.

        I suggest you send it over tomorrow for him to consider the draft and also attach the briefing note you provided me.

        I am in Hamilton tomorrow but back on Wednesday. He is concerned and is likely to query whether we leave it all to the EPA to consider.

        The Minister isn’t wanting a briefing on the subnission, he wants to see the submission.

        • Ad 1.2.2.1

          …and there it is. That’s the next best thing to the Minister’s signature.

          It’s well overdue time for Smith to go.

          Let’s see if the new labour lineup can attack and win.

          Time to merge DoC with Ministry for the Environment and get some policy teeth back into conserving New Zealand.

  2. Chrissy 2

    Nick Smith is the most useless Minister of Conservation, ever.

    • Janice 2.1

      Nick Smith has been the most useless member of parliament since he entered as a young boy. He now appears to have spent those many useless years in Bellamy’s.

      • bad12 2.1.1

        i was particularly impressed with the ‘performance’ Nick gave after being made Deputy to the then Leader Doctor Dullard Don Brash,

        Unconfirmed and possibly malicious gossip at the time said that Nick got such a rush of power to His head that He immediately went into hyper-drive barking orders at all and sundry in the halls of the Parliament including Labour MP’s,

        Far from suggesting that Nick should be removed by the Doctors in charge, He does have ‘humor value’ after-all, i would tho think for community safety reasons Nick should possibly be shadowed where-ever He may roam by the men in white coats…

      • Greywarbler 2.1.2

        He has the red faced bloated look that I associate with people who have had a too extended and continual alcohol intake.

  3. Greywarbler 4

    Nick Smith seemed to be doing something right a while ago, though now I can’t remember what it was. Because I’m numb from the implications of this business over the dam. And that’s added to the extension of mining and drilling options and the chortling about income and prosperity.

    I think that the names of the people most involved in this decision should be noted for future consideration if anything happens that destroys even parts of our natural resources. The grinning assassins of the government need their bare bottoms tanned and their foreheads tattooed for thinking about this, and when something goes wrong reparation from them personally should be demanded.

  4. Kevin Welsh 5

    I live in Hawkes Bay and I object to this for two simple reasons, although there are many more, more valid ones.

    1. Public money being spent to add value to only a handful of privately owned businesses; and

    2. “There is a reason they don’t have dairy farms in the south of Italy”. And so it goes with the area this dam is supposed to irrigate. All it will do is continue to encourage farmers to grow crops (that would otherwise be unsustainable if there was no dam) or convert to dairy, in an area that gets burnt to a crisp almost every summer. I see this as I travel regularly to Palmerston North and SH50 is the road I travel on.

  5. grumpy 6

    …and…as if to prove the agreement between CV and myself yesterday that “cronyism” is a disease not confined to political spectra, here the mighty Whale rips Nick a new one, far more brutally than the left thus far.

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2013/09/docs-submission-dodgy-socialist-dam/

  6. Sable 7

    Oh dear, trouble in paradise with Whale blubber renouncing its Tory Gods.

    Love the comment about a “Socialist Dam”, whatever that actually means? Do we all sites around the dam singing the Internationale whilst waving red flags. Pure nonsense.

    • grumpy 7.1

      I think you will find it fits in with his crusade against “socialism for farmers”…..

      • Pascal's bookie 7.1.1

        Also, Smith doesn’t exactly square with the Lusk vision for the National Party. Hawke’s Bay sources indeed.

  7. Rogue Trooper 8

    Stab the puff-adder. Even an unrepentant reptile like Nick Smith must be aware of the importance of the Heretaunga aqifers and rivers to the broader Horticultural economy and, more importantly, the people who choose to live in the beautiful Hawkes Bay. The superphosphate that the sheep and cow cockies have been dumping on for 100 years has accumulated to be released continuously for the next 100 already. Talked with friend of Lou Crasborn this morning; Horticulturalists are ropable.

  8. Murray Olsen 9

    Great work by the Greens to uncover this. I can’t imagine the number of government scandals that will come to light once we have a fully functioning opposition.

    As for WhaleSpew and his aversion to a socialist dam – isn’t that where he shoots defenceless creatures with his Machiavellian mate Lusk? Maybe some farmer wouldn’t let him on his land after he left gates open or some other townie rubbish. Who knows?

  9. tc 10

    Yup it’s all about keeping the backers happy and smith is an accomplished performer (ACC beatup etc) that’s why Shonky had to get him back as Aya Tolley, Wilko just not in the same league with much needing to be done.

    Never mind the world class wines and other fine produce the HB provides you may be putting at risk as long as a few fed farmers members are happy.

  10. outofbed 11

    I know Mr Smith quite well

    Never ever believe anything he says

  11. Athena 12

    I reckon the problem is at the senior management level of DOC. National have stacked DOC with pro development types, like Al Morrison and they are the people who let the general DOC staff do the work on submissions, but then stop those submissions ever getting out (unless leaked). It is senior management against the rest of the staff, so Nick Smith can keep his hands clean. I would like to know if any of the senior management have relevant scientific qualifications. Good work by Mary Wilson on Checkpoint interviewing Doris Johnston.

    • Rogue Trooper 12.1

      yes, according to Doris , (to paraphrase her evasiveness) ” DOC are prepared to accept the existing risk assessment probability that the TukiTuki will become toxic as they continue to trial the single nutrient model around other catchments in the country as it’s catchment is deemed of only ‘medium value’ while they do have sufficient resources to carry out a full assessment at an estimated cost of “a couple of hundred thousand”.
      We, and our children Thank You Very Much, Doris .

  12. tricledrown 13

    Lizard eyes smiths tuesday ‘s answers to questions on morning report are at odds with this mornings answers.
    On Tuesday smith claimed to objection to the dam being built because of nitrgen run off.
    Was the work of one man with an agenda and no expertise in this area.
    Now it is a team of 3 highly qualified enviromental scientists.
    Lizard eyes wasn’t expecting a leak.Obviously!

  13. RedBaronCV 14

    Wasn’t there something in one of the papers the other day about the pro dam farmers financing a slate of candidates for the HBRC. Suppose if that doesn’t work we’ll get another Ecan.

  14. Tracey 15

    i heard doris on checkpoint last night. i am not sure she really addressed the tomorrow part of her email. however i got out of the car, did she blame an employee for not following her instruction?

  15. Pascal's bookie 16

    Oh dear, all yesterday’s spin just went ‘poof’ and disappeared in a cloud of bureaucratic reporting fastiduousness :


    But a report from the meeting released to 3 News shows Mr Smith was given a short briefing about the direction of the submission including the, “potential effect of the proposed nutrient limits and targets on the freshwater values in the Tukituki catchment”.

    After the briefing, Mr Smith raised concerns and requested more information, which according to an email trail, appears to have prompted senior managers to express concern also.

    The next day the 32-page submission was scrapped and replaced by a two paragraph submission approved by the Minister.

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Smith-knew-about-draft-dam-submission/tabid/1607/articleID/314011/Default.aspx#ixzz2fNHzCpgL

  16. Tracey 17

    … but the queen is keys new best friend, she wldnt holiday with a liar?

  17. Rosie 18

    Maybe Smith, in true Nat ministerial style, is making a habit of sweeping the advice of concerned relevant departments under the carpet.

    I’m currently borrowing a copy of Forest and Bird, Issue 349, Aug ’13. There is article after article describing the many ways in which the Nat govt is fucking up the environment. (my terminology, not theirs)

    “Conflict of values” is one article in particular relating to Smith’s anti environment behaviour. The discussion is about the decision to grant “mining company Bathurst Resources access arrangements necessary for it’s bid to develop a mine on Denniston Plateau……….”

    “furthermore, Dr Smith’ decision lies in contrast to the ecological advice of his own department. DOC’s 246 page report on Bathurst’s application for access arrangements (dated May 6, 2013) does not make explicit recommendation to decline or accept Bathurst’s application. But it states the application is inconsistent with objectives of the Conservation Act. It goes on to note is is “particularly concerned” about losses to the plateau’s natural and historic resources” (p.41)

    “inconsistent with objectives of the Conservation Act”

    Smith really needs to be called Minister for Polluting Businesses. His commitment to protecting our environment he has proven is at the best, weak.Great to see calls for his resignation. Wouldn’t it be great if he did go, but then what other member of the mine it, drill it sell it team would take over and carry on with the business of allowing vested interests with powerful lobby groups to continue to ruin our environment?

  18. Tracey 19

    rosie, i think thats exactly what norman called him, minister of dirty water

    • Rosie 19.1

      Oh lol. Did he? I missed that. Good on Norman. Now that we have an effective opposition leader, and combined with the Greens good efforts we might see a bit more fight in the house. It’s a great thing, at last.

    • RedBaronCV 19.2

      Well that has to be a superb double – entendre ( or something) that no doubt passed Nick Smith right by.

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    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
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    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
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    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
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    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
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    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
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    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
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    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
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    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
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    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
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    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
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    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
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    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
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    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
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    2 weeks ago

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