Open mike 17/03/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 17th, 2023 - 123 comments
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123 comments on “Open mike 17/03/2023 ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    "blue highway"

    "Without government support, this coastal shipping capability between regional ports would not have been available to New Zealand," Allan said.

    "This investment in the blue highway will also speed up recovery efforts, allowing for the swifter delivery of construction and rebuild materials into the East Coast."

    All good. About that Government support. Howabout ramping that up ! And looking at other options for the "Blue Highway". Are some kind of landing barge….shallow draught vessels a possible? for appropriate areas…of course.

    And…maybe they were listening? # 1



    • Sanctuary 1.1

      One of my hobbies is "how would we survive a zombie apocalypse in the rest of the world?"

      Food isn't a problem, but distributing it is. You'd see a massive emptying out of anywhere not connected by sea for food transport. The government probably needs a "book" that contains everything we'd need to do to survive an apocalypse like a nuclear war or alien attack. A chapter in that book would be entitled "a simple design for a 120 ton wooden schooner".

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1.1

        "a simple design for a 120 ton wooden schooner".

        Hi Sanctuary. Well….there still maybe still some Old School (and notso old : ) tradies that would be up for that.Of course, Apprentices needed ! We could use Native timber (Sustainable grown, as in replant !) makes sense. IMO

  2. Ad 2

    Hang in there CRL team; downtown Auckland is back and buzzing in no small part due to completed CRL sections and waterfront rebuilds from 2019-20.

    Keep the faith.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    I am not an expert on big power projects (perhaps Advantage may have view? Nah, who am I kidding, of course he'll have a view wink ) by any stretch of the imagination, but I wonder if we are going to spend sixteen billion on pumped hydro to buy the country what is effectively a giant six week duration battery that is 1000km of vulnerable power lines from the main population centres then ought we not consider what else we might get for the money?

    For example, sixteen billion might get us something like a 1200MW nuclear power station at Marsden point. That is four times the output of the Clutha high dam. It is a geologically stable area (although you'd have to mitigate the design for tsunamis) and it is less than 150km from Auckland and building it there would mean you don't have to significantly alter an area of natural beauty in the South Island, since the site is already used for heavy industry. The lifespan of these nuclear power stations is 80 odd years so the ROI would be comparable (as an aside, I'd love someone to do an ROI analysis of the Acqua Vergine, built in 19BC and still going strong) to pumped hydro.

    Building nuclear would require a massive cultural headshift on the part of NZers, but with Australia buying nuclear powered submarines as part of the rising tensions in the Asia Pacific region maybe building a nuclear power plant would give us the excuse to move away from a complete ban on nuclear reactors anyway.

    Anyone got any better facts to contribute to this?

    • Phillip ure 3.1

      Your pro-nuke arguments could apply in britain/europe..

      But we are blessed with multiple other options..

      I don't know enough about the proposed water retention plan to credibly comment on it..

      But it is clear that the amount of dosh being spent on it would buy a shedload of solar/wind/tidal power..which would neatly supplement our existing hydro assets..

      • Sanctuary 3.1.1

        I mean, we could have 600 giant wind turbines in the Kaipara/Taranaki bight… But thier is a question around environmental footprint. Surely a nuclear power station that takes up a fraction of the space and needs a lot less maintenance might be better?

        • Ad

          Wind turbines last little more than 25 years.

          Each turbine has highly unstable generation. Each collector group has unstable generation. Each wind farm has unstable generation. Wind farms simply can't be base load.

          I have several posts I want to do. It's not unreasonable to ask the nuclear question given our isolation, generator concentration, and market that is screwing us all.

          Even after 4 country-altering crises since 2011, National just can't figure out what the state is for.

        • Mike the Lefty

          Nuclear might take up a fraction of the space of wind farms but the toxic waste it produces continues to be the major headache that nobody has a cure for.

        • Phillip ure

          Another problem with nuke-power is that it looks like the much cleaner nuclear-fission will soon enough supercede it..

          And does anyone know why tidal-power is not used here…it is not wrather-dependant..

          I sit 'on the dock of the bay… watching the tide rolling away'..each and every day ..

          And I wonder 'why not..?'

          • Sanctuary

            Assuming fusion become practical, it is still decades away from being an efficient and reliable source of power – we need to decarbonise now.

          • Cricklewood

            There are a fair few concerns around the effects on marine life etc. Very hard to figure out what effect the infrastructure will have on the tidal currents and the 'noise' from the turbines interfering with marine mammals. Alot to go wrong and not a whole lot of understanding at this point in time.

            • Phillip ure

              @ cricklewood..

              Worse effects on marine life than the hordes of fish-hunters who descend on them most weekends..?.

              Not to mention the commercial wing of that sorry pastime..?

              • Cricklewood

                Yes, potentially by an order of magnitude given the likes of the Kaipara are the nursery for massive amount of our snapper as an example. Interfering with the currents or the pressure waves that turbine blades can generate.

                Imaging the noise of windmills but underwater, or how the altering flows has changed our rivers for the worst. Dont think we want to be doing that to our harbours etc…

    • Graeme 3.2

      The nuclear industry has a very strong track record of grossly underestimating the cost of builds. Building it within the proposed time frame is another of their challenges.

      It's an issue with all major construction projects, but put the nuclear factor in there and it goes out by 10x. One of the reasons so few of them have been built in the recent generations.

      Pumped hydro is within our skillset, nuclear is a whole new game from planning, through construction and then operation, both at a plant and grid level. Big ask for a small country.

    • Macro 3.3

      It is a geologically stable area (although you'd have to mitigate the design for tsunamis) and it is less than 150km from Auckland

      Actually Sanct there is a serious fault in your proposed site. namely the Kerepehi Fault

      The Kerepehi Fault has a maximum potential of generating earthquakes with magnitudes of 7.2 or above.[1]

      Previously it was thought to contain 5 fault segments with events separated by many thousands of years of moderate magnitude but the mean event separation anywhere in the fault zone is now known to be only about 1000 years in what is a belt of many faults and at least 6 complex segments on land. Three segments have been identified under the sea.[2] The fault system extends therefore from Waiheke Island to south of Te Poi

      Recent historic ruptures have involved up to 2 m (6.6 ft) of vertical displacement, which suggests associated contemporary earthquake risk that could be of intensity 7.0 at the nearby major population centres, being Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Thames.[5] Forty percent of New Zealand’s population live, and 40% of GDP generation occurs within 50 km (31 mi) of the fault.[3] A major magnitude 8 to 10 event resulting from up to 3 segment rupture would be devastating to Hauraki Plains infrastructure.

      The distance from Waiheke Island to Marsden Point is a little over 100km

    • tWiggle 3.4

      Why is no one in NZ talking about gravity batteries, where excess power is stored by lifting weights? You can transfer power to other spots and store it there on-site, as the setups are scaleable.

      • KJT 3.4.1

        "Gravity batteries". Pumped hydro, you mean?

        Tidal turbines are a too much overlooked source of reliable power.

        We have sufficient tidal flow in Cook Strait, for one.

        And the technology is well developed. Tidal power turbines date back to the 60's.

    • joe90 3.5

      When I was first apprenticed to the NZED >50 years ago there was a possibility that one day I would get to work at a nuclear power station.

      Interest in nuclear power in New Zealand in the late 1950s and 60s was driven by rising demand for electricity. The New Zealand Electricity Department (NZED) included nuclear power in its range of possible generating sources, and in 1964 an interdepartmental Nuclear Power Siting Committee was established to begin the preliminary selection of possible reactor sites. By 1965 planning was under way for a 1000-megawatt (MW) station in Northland, with a site on the Kaipara Harbour being favoured. Engineering staff of the NZED were enrolled on overseas training courses, and an undergraduate course in reactor engineering was established at the University of Canterbury. During the 1960s and early 70s, several staff of the National Radiation Laboratory undertook training in reactor safety and licensing.

  4. Scott 4

    These small nuclear power plants cost about 4 Billion NZD each.

    A single plant powers 1million homes.

    Rolls Royce claims they are relatively quick to build and have all the latest safety features.

    A couple of these and we would have emission free electricity and be set for generations.

    • adam 4.1

      Love it, lets put directly over a fault line to prove how smart we are.

      Oh wait better yet, lets put somewhere we know theirs no fault lines.

      Using Nuclear power in NZ is like expecting a bowling ball to float across water when thrown.

      • Maurice 4.1.1

        Just put the reactors in Submarines so that they float and can be moved closest to where needed most to reduce line loss. Already proven technology.

      • Roy Cartland 4.1.2

        Not to mention that it would make us a 'nuclear state', hence a legitimate target. And what is the carbon cost of mining, transporting, storing, removing and disposing of the material, even before the super-long-term waste maintenance?

        • Sanctuary

          Welllll… The Kermadec trench is 10km deep and we happen to own that, so… if we need a disposal site I am just putting it out there.

          • Roy Cartland

            Yeah, I wondered about using subduction zones as waste disposal sites… The crap just goes back into the core and burns away into its elemental parts…. Turns out they work on vastly different time scales than would be useful to us ☹️

          • Cricklewood

            You want to store spent fuel where it can be accessed as we currently only use about 10% of the available energy. As tech improves the currently 'spent' fuel will be viable again.

    • Mike the Lefty 4.2

      And in that article not a word about how much waste uranium and contaminated coolant will be discharged and what they plan to do about it. Very 70s – trumpet about your state-of-the-art designs but don't worry about the discharges.

      • Roy Cartland 4.2.1

        Exactly, it's as if 'emissions' are the only concern.

      • RedLogix 4.2.2

        Recent events have forced all sorts of people to think seriously about nuclear power, many for the first time in their lives. And often their first question is: what about the waste? What will we do with the extremely radioactive spent fuel?

        There are two keys to understanding the nuclear used fuel (aka waste) problem:

        1. The quantities involved. Thanks to nuclear's amazing energy density, the amount of used fuel is so small that we can a afford to handle it very carefully.

        2. The difference between the three forms of radiation emitted by the used fuel: alpha particles, electrons, and photons (often called gamma rays). Alpha particles have no penetrating power. They are stopped by a piece of paper or a few centimeters of air. Electrons (confusingly called beta rays in this context) have very little penetrating power. Most are stopped by the outer layer of our skin. Alpha particles and most electrons must be swallowed to be a health hazard. They require little or no shielding.

        Photons on the other hand can have enormous penetrating power. High energy photons can pass all the way through a human being. You don't want to mess with these photons. Fresh used fuel puts out a lot of high energy photons and needs lots of shielding.

        Overtime, radioactive materials decay, and the radiation levels drop off. Different radioactive materials decay at very different rates. Most of the photon emitters in the used fuel decay rather rapidly. After less than 600 years, the photon dose rate at a fuel element surface is so low, that according to Department of Energy rules, it can be handled without any shielding at all. For practical purposes, the photon emitters are gone in 600 years. What's left are alpha and a small amount of electron emitters.

        The electron and especially the alpha emitters tend to decay far more slowly. 95% of the used fuel is Uranium-238 (or 238U), an alpha emitter. The half-life of 238U is 4.5 billion years. The alpha emitters are around essentially forever.

        So the rule is simple. Don't eat spent nuclear fuel, even if it's 600 years old. But you have plenty of substances around the house for which the same rule applies.

        And this assumes we do nothing with this material other than just store it. When in reality the solid 238U fuel rods still contain 97% of their original energy. We already know in principle how to extract this energy by reprocessing it, and with few decades of serious effort can fully commercialised these processes.

        Which means in the medium term the actual volume of high level gamma emitting waste that would require safe storage would be less than 1- 2% of the already tiny volumes involved. There are any number of acceptably secure means to manage this.

        Another key aspect not covered in my quote above, but delved into in depth by Delvanney here. The idea that any amount of radiation – no matter how small – causes accumulated catastrophic harm is a stupid lie. If this were the case the natural background radiation all life is exposed to would have rendered all life extinct billions of years ago. All the evidence suggests that our cellular DNA repair mechanisms can handle radiation up to dose rates of about 1-20 mSv/day. It is the rate that matters, not the cumulative dose. And for almost all sane scenarios the worst case power plant release or waste stream exposure is extremely unlikely to reach anything close to these dose rates for the general public.

        As problems go nuclear waste streams have never so much as harmed a single person, yet for some reason this is why nuclear power cannot solve climate change which is claimed to be an existential crisis that could kill billions. This makes no rational sense whatsoever.

        • tWiggle

          6 words: fukoshima, three mile island, chernobyl

          • RedLogix

            I am not sure what your point is.

            If you are saying that nuclear power plants can have failures then I totally agree with you. On current experience with all generation reactor designs we can estimate approximately one radiation release per 4000 reactor years of operation. In their operating life so far existing Gen 3+ reactors have not had a significant radiation release, and upcoming Gen 4 designs can reasonably expect to be as least as good if not better.

            Nonetheless it is an engineering fallacy to claim we can build reactors of any kind that will never have any kind of failure. It is useful to make a comparison with commercial aviation. They invest heavily in making flying remarkably safe – yet they never pretend that an aircraft cannot have an accident. A fact they remind you of every time you board a plane and sit through a safety briefing.

            Having agreed that it is impossible to have no radiation releases from NPP operation, the next question is – what is the harm of such radiation releases to the general public? In this respect for two of your three example cases the answer is a definitive zero.

            Chernobyl is addressed in Sec 14 of this document. – a worst case accident of an uncontained design that would never have been licensed outside of the Soviet Union, and grotesquely mismanaged as only a pack of communist fuckers could – the confirmed harm was remarkably lower than most people imagine. We know for certain that the accident caused 59 deaths of which 57 were from radiation. All higher estimates are based on a faulty LNT model that pretends that living cells cannot repair DNA damage, and while I accept this point can be debated, it will still be orders of magnitude less harmful than this:

            Air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil was responsible for 8.7m deaths globally in 2018, a staggering one in five of all people who died that year, new research has found.


            Since 1986 cumulatively fossil fuel pollution may well have already caused hundreds of millions of premature deaths – and yet we have continued to use them because the benefits outweighed the costs.

            Yet despite the indisputable fact that nuclear power is definitively one of the safest forms of power generation we have – the irrational fear-mongering bugaboo of how dangerous it is continues to be recycled. We should know better by now – it is not the 1980's any more.

            • tWiggle

              Sure, not so many people died immediately, but what about 200, 000 displaced, longer term radiation deaths and miscarriages, and a 4,000 km2 exclusion zone that will radiate gently for a while to come. I do admit it makes a fantastic wildlife sanctuary, but otherwise would have been productive land.

              Also, Russia has threatened existing Ukraine nuclear power stations in the current conflict. Home-made dirty bombs.

            • adam

              the irrational fear-mongering bugaboo of how dangerous it is continues to be recycled. We should know better by now – it is not the 1980's any more.

              I have no problem building nuclear power in nations that are not covered with volcanoes, and major faults.

              But to suggest they be built in this country is the height of hubris. We have found new fault lines in the last 15 years we did not know were there. We have regular volcanic activity. We are moving, and have earthquakes every day.


              It's a ticking time boom to build in NZ. We are stuck with wind, solar and if they can get it right, tidal. But building nuclear here is just stupid beyond measure.

              • RedLogix

                Sure, not so many people died immediately, but what about 200, 000 displaced, longer term radiation deaths and miscarriages, and a 4,000 km2 exclusion zone that will radiate gently for a while to come.

                Three points:

                1. The lower bound on how many people were harmed is 57 ranging up to maybe a few hundred. At the time there was all sorts of absurdly high claims being made, but in the decades since the data is best summarised here:

                To summarize the previous paragraphs:

                • 2 workers died in the blast.
                • 28 workers and firemen died in the weeks that followed from acute radiation syndrome (ARS).
                • 19 ARS survivors had died later, by 2006; most from causes not related to radiation, but it’s not possible to rule all of them out (especially five that were cancer-related).
                • 15 people died from thyroid cancer due to milk contamination. These deaths were among children who were exposed to 131I from milk and food in the days after the disaster. This could increase to between 96 and 384 deaths, however, this figure is highly uncertain.
                • There is currently no evidence of adverse health impacts in the general population across affected countries, or wider Europe.

                Combined, the confirmed death toll from Chernobyl is less than 100. We still do not know the true death toll of the disaster. My best approximation is that the true death toll is in the range of 300 to 500 based on the available evidence.

                1. The 4,000km2 exclusion zone is a nonsense. For certain there remain a few hotspots close to the plant which need to be managed, but 'gentle' radiation rates in the vast majority of it are well below the 1mSv/day dose rate. It would be perfectly safe to allow people to return – as did wildlife decades ago.
                2. The RBMK Chernobyl reactor was a type that was never contemplated anywhere outside of the Soviet Union – and yet despite it's dire shortcomings what most people forget is that it was but one of four units operating onsite – the other three continued to operate without serious incident, the last one being operated until Dec 2000. With people working there in complete safety for decades after the disaster.
                • Visubversa

                  I know it cannot be proven. but my brother who was vegetarian for all his adult life died in hie early 40's from stomach cancer. He was living in the UK at the time of the Chernobyl disaster and for several years afterwards. He ate a lot of cheese and other dairy products from France and Germany and travelled extensively in both those countries. He was always suspicious that his cancer may have been caused by the consumption of contaminated cheese or similar.

                  As he died here in New Zealand – he would not have featured in any stats about increased death rates post Chernobyl.

                  • RedLogix

                    Yes – my recent experience with a certain medical procedure means I can well understand and sympathise with how your brother felt. Not knowing and not having any way of ever knowing is a disturbing position to be in. At best.

                    The good news is that we now understand that low rates of radiation exposure are very unlikely to cause harm. There are plenty of examples of people who sustained very high cumulative radiation doses, but at a low rate over long periods of time – who appeared to suffer no ill effects. Here is a good document covering this effect.

                    The other good news is that in the decades since 1986 there has been no detectable rise in excess deaths across Europe that can be attributed to Chernobyl. Again it was only with hindsight that we could determine this for certain.

                    Of course I cannot say anything absolute about the cause of your brother's cancer – but if it was connected with his consumption of milk and cheese products the isotopes involved 131I and 137Ce would not be typically involved with stomach cancer. Iodine concentrates in the thyroid and has a very short half-life of about 8 days. It is relatively easily managed. Of more concern is 137Cesium that typically substitutes for Potassium and is typically associated with skeletal and muscular cancers.

                    Again I am not trying to pretend anything definitive here – but with what we know in 2023 there are grounds to think it was unlikely your brother's demise was the result of the Chernobyl release. Which absolves nothing on the Soviet regime for what happened – the people most disgusted and angered by what happened are people who understand nuclear power intimately – and the immense reputational damage it caused.

                • adam

                  Chernobyl is one of many in the former USSR. Some bloody nasty spots in Chernobyl, but kept in check by some bloody brave men and women.

                  Look for City 40. (some say outside the city is worse)

                  or Lake Karachay

                  Hot Spots – such a pc word – I always like Death Spots better. Spots if you go to, you will make yourself totally fubar.

              • RedLogix

                But building nuclear here is just stupid beyond measure.

                The whole of NZ is a geo-technical hazard of some kind. You could argue the entire country is unfit for safe human habitation – but that would be stupid beyond measure as well.

                It is is relatively easy to design plants to sustain very large earthquakes. I personally watched a large building containing a large paper machine suffer such serious ground shaking in the 1987 Edgecumbe event that it fluttered like a piece of paper in a gale – and I could not stand up – but afterward there was zero structural damage to the building or the machine itself. This was a very shallow quake that had dramatic surface energy, yet we had the entire site up and running again with two weeks.

                An alternate approach is to float the plant in a sheltered harbour, where again it is quite straightforward to accommodate floods, quakes and tsunamis. This approach is being used by Thorcon and is progressing at their Indonesian pilot site.

                If you want to postulate truly catastrophic events like a massive volcanic caldera super-volcanic event devastating much of the North Is – then go right ahead. But I suggest we might have bigger problems to worry about.

                Personally I do not think NZ needs to rush into nuclear power; we do have a decent renewable SWB resource to develop over the next few decades and have the luxury of time before any nuclear fission adoption becomes urgent. But globally it is a quite different story.

                • tWiggle

                  RedLogix, absorbing the energy from a large rattle is one thing, keeping your plant/building functional if there is uplift or fissuring is a whole different story. In the 1855 Wairarapa earthquake

                  "About 5,000 square kilometres of land west of the fault was lifted up and tilted. The southern end of the Remutaka Range rose by over 6 metres, but the uplift decreased westward to near zero along the west coast of the Wellington peninsula."

                  Now imagine your lovely powerplant with shock absorbers tilted 10 degrees from horizontal, or uplifted 6 m, or with a big crack underneath it.

                  • RedLogix

                    I can understand your objections – after all images of the devastation from ChCh or more recently Turkey are not pretty.

                    Yet much of what you are seeing collapsing horribly in these quakes are buildings with a much, much lower specification than what is commonplace in heavy industry. A concrete steel reinforced column that is say 2m square on each side, and filled with so much 30mm steel RIO that the fabricators can barely get their hands in to assemble it – and then filled with very high MPA grade concrete – is astonishingly robust.

                    When I expressed my amazement at how well that paper machine building had survived with not so much as visible cracks, the engineers pointed out to me that the building, 200m long, 40m wide and 15m high, had been designed to sustain being tilted 30 deg from horizontal in any direction, with 3,000 tonnes of paper making machinery on a mezzanine floor 7m up, with no damage.

                    (And have to point out again that the Edgecumbe quake was no mere rattle; it may have been only 6.3 Richter, but because of the nature of the event, the surface shaking was extreme in the immediate vicinity. Literally I was thrown many metres off my feet several times with no hope of controlling what was happening. Many people had similar stories.)

                    And yes the Wairarapa uplifts are bloody impressive – I have walked along that coast many times. Hell when I was working in Dusky Sound we found a relatively recent quake slip that had about 24m of horizontal displacement. So these things are possible.

                    Yet they are not impossible to design for. Wellington's Te Marua Water Treatment Plant has the main Alpine Fault literally running right through the carpark just metres away from the front door – yet the engineers are confident the facility can sustain any the predicted event. Again it is astonishing what a lot of concrete and steel can do.

                    But that is the old fashioned way to build nuclear power plants. Most Gen 4 designs are going to be built in a factory, and typically shipped to a coastal site as a single steel fabrication, using the same kind of highly automated and efficient methods we already use in modern ship building. This kind of highly robust facility can be designed to sustain unthinkably catastrophic events – again I'll point to Thorcon's approach as an example.

                    Engineers are typically highly motivated to learn from their mistakes – and events like TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima are closely studied afterward. (One of the root causes of the TMI incident was that operators thought they had commanded an important pressure relief valve closed, when in fact it was physically stuck open. Because there was no position feedback from the valve, no-one in the control room knew this for far too long. Directly because of the reports that came out of this event, valve position feedbacks that were rare beforehand, have become virtually universal throughout all heavy industry.)

                    Looping back to the analogy with commercial aviation – imagine if the world had said we were not going to fly anymore because of the Hindenburg. That because of that mistake we were incapable of learning from it and making aviation acceptably safe.

                    • tWiggle

                      RedLogix, I'm 'warming' to your argument, thanks for the expansion and the impressive description of over-engineering for earthquakes.

                      There must be upsides to decommissioning such latest-generation portable nuclear plants – maybe popping them down an active subduction zone whole?

                    • RedLogix

                      @ tWiggle

                      For a very long time I was firmly on the anti-nuke side of this argument. But despite a decent technical education for many decades I believed a lot of half-truths and distortions – and looking back on a lot of what I was saying a decade ago is an exercise in humility.

                      Oddly enough the turning point for me was Fukushima itself. At first I was alarmed as was almost everyone else – but then slowly it dawned on me that it was not a radiation catastrophe turning the entire Pacific Ocean into a dead wasteland as some where predicting.

                      After this I invested quite a few thousand hours learning as much as I could on what this industry was really about. And in this respect I do not demand anyone else simply accept anything I say about nuclear just because I say it. If there is a lesson I learned here it is about respecting other people's right to an independent search for truth.

                      Nuclear fission engineering is a serious business and I do not want to gloss over any of the very real challenges that remain, even with the Gen 4 designs I have frequently pointed to. But there are no magical energy sources that come with no downsides – there are no free lunches and I accept nuclear fission comes with it's own price. Yet I would contend the very real costs of unconstrained climate change will be in the long run far, far worse.

                      PS – no I have not seen anyone suggesting subduction zones as a disposal method. I suspect the objection would be the slow and uncontrolled burial in ocean depths with limited options to react to the unexpected. But next time I am chatting with some of my online contacts I will ask about it if I remember.

              • weka

                I have no problem building nuclear power in nations that are not covered with volcanoes, and major faults.

                I do. If humans allow climate to get so bad that it collapses civilisation (this is not a fringe theory), who will look after the power stations and nuclear waste?

                • Drowsy M. Kram


                  NZ nuclear power plants? Nimby if it's all the same to nuclear enthusiasts.
                  Australia first! Heck, they've got unmatched uranium reserves.

                  Spaceship Earth currently absorbs more solar energy than it radiates – the Anthropocene is an era of planetary hyper-energisation.

                  James Hansen speaks out about global climate change
                  [2012 TED talk]

                  This [energy] imbalance, if we want to stabilize climate, means that we must reduce CO2 from 391 ppm, parts per million, back to 350 ppm. That is the change needed to restore energy balance and prevent further warming.

                  The important point is that we will have started a process that is out of humanity’s control.

                  So now you know what I know that is moving me to sound this alarm. Clearly, I haven’t gotten this message across. The science is clear. I need your help to communicate the gravity and the urgency of this situation and its solutions more effectively. We owe it to our children and grandchildren.

                  Thank you.


                  In 2022, CO2 was 417 ppm. Is this iteration of civilisation incapable of learning to live within its means? If so, then it's not for want of lessons.

                  What is Earth Overshoot Day and when did it start?

                  Earth Overshoot Day officially marks the point when two factors run out of kilter: humanity’s ecological footprint and our planet’s biocapacity.

                  We’ve not been living within Earth’s means since the early 1970s. This is according to data collected by the United Nations and used every year by think tank Global Footprint Network, to calculate Earth Overshoot Day.

                  As someone fortunate enough to be born into a 'good' NZ family, the interval from the 1950s onward has been an exceptional time to be alive.
                  Many of us still don't know how lucky we were – yet.

                • RedLogix

                  A not unreasonable question, but again you have to ask if civilisation has collapsed so suddenly and dramatically that managing the legacy tail of retired nuclear power plants cannot be done – then I would suggest we have bigger problems to worry about.

                  Personally I find myself increasingly squeezed between climate deniers who still want to pretend that we can do unconstrained CO2, and climate catastrophisers who insist on immediate and radical industrial dismantling and systems transformation.

                  On the one had the deniers pretend we can fuck with intricate climate systems we do not properly understand, and on the other the alarmist pretend we can radically fuck with economic and energy systems upon which depend the lives of billions, with only happy consequences. In my view both are insanely risky pathways.

                  Nothing about our future is certain or guaranteed, but I have consistently argued our best bet is to treat this as the engineering problem it is and rationally plan to transition toward nuclear fission over the next few decades. Just as we have already moved from photosynthesis, to coal, to oil, then gas and now renewables. Eventually we will likely move from fission to fusion – or maybe something entirely unsuspected.

                  If we have just got on with nuclear energy as we already were in the 70's, we would not even be having this climate conversation now half a century later.

                  • SPC

                    The blameless France …

                    But there other options to supplement the variables, wind and solar … battery storage of them and


                  • tWiggle

                    No, we wouldn't be having that conversation, we'd possibly be having one like they have about the Sellafield nuclear power plant. Opened in the 1950's, and expanded and run for 60 years or so, it will take a hundred years to decommission. A nuclear power plant is a gift 'for generations' indeed.


                    • RedLogix

                      Again I would point to the analogy with the Hindenburg – an engineering failure from very early in the aviation era – that we learned from and did not repeat. We found better and much safer ways to fly.

                      Same with nuclear power – we never built another 1950's Windscale style pile again. If the world was full of reactors just like it you might have a point. But we don't.

                      I read that entire article carefully and was not surprised to find it the usual carefully contrived scaremongering. While it heavily emphasises how long spent fuel and waste is radioactive for – it completely fails to distinguish between highly penetrating gamma radiation that needs to be kept isolated for a few centuries at most, and low level alpha radiation that is only dangerous if you ingest the material.

                      Nor does it mention that this spent fuel is really a highly valuable source of fresh fuel for the next generations of reactors – and that disposing of it in deep underground facilities is incredibly wasteful and unnecessary.

                      Nor does it mention that medium and low level waste are for the most part harmless. That current exposure levels are set far too low because of the entirely flawed LNT (Linear No Threshold) model that assumes any exposure to radiation – no matter how low, even below the natural background level- is somehow cumulative. This model results in stupidly expensive regulations to reduce radiation levels well beyond any sane requirement.

                      (Just a few hours ago I read an article written locally here in Perth by a journo privileged to spend a day on a visiting Virginia class sub. One of the nuke officers pointed out that working 24hrs next to the reactor has less total exposure than a day on the beach.)

                      What matters is the rate at which you are exposed – not the cumulative dose. If you read this article on the Windscale fire you will note the remarkably brave actions of the Reactor Manager Tom Tuohy who must have been highly irradiated many times during the course of the accident – but because he managed to limit the rate of his exposure through instinctive good sense – he suffered no radiation sickness and lived into his 90's.

                      Once we resume taking a science based approach to properly managing radiation risk we will find most of these absurdly inflated fears and costs around managing spent fuel and waste will become a great deal more manageable.

                    • tWiggle []

                      Please have a read of the effects on a population of low-grade exposure to uranium ore mining pollution in India. It's not contained nuclear waste, but gives a perspective on living in an environment contaminated with uranium waste, ie improperly managed, representing chronic exposure.


                  • Robert Guyton

                    "I have consistently argued our best bet is to treat this as the engineering problem"

                    You have, indeed.

                    Could it be that "engineering"; that is, acting unilaterally upon the world, is where we have gone wrong?

                    Perhaps we should be co-managing/taking advice before acting?

            • Ad

              New Zealand has been beset by at least four country-altering events since 2009's GFC. Not a "window" so much as the wall fall down. Front fell off.

              The stupidity of the Key part-privatisations of energy generators particularly Contact, is that they are now free to lobby hard. So they are. They oppose anything except their own projects. Hence the politics is far harder than it needed to be.

              The scale of disability New Zealand is facing if we don't replace our Indonesian brown coal fired thermal baseload energy security should make every major user get noisy. So far it's mostly complaints.

              Which project has a shot at completion in time to achieve both national energy security and carbon goals by our stated 2050 goal?


              Woods has done really well to protect this concept from the Policy Bonfire Hipkins is undertaking. In fact I'm surprised it hasn't died.

              There is a high risk that NZSuper's Taranaki offshore wind deal will fuck up Woods like they did Twyford on light rail, using NZBattery to bury her. They are aggressive lobbyists who undercut policy.

              Woods needs to outplay NZSuper and Infratil and ACC and Contact all at once. Very hard. Dr Turner is deep beltway but he's not in the world of energy finance politics, which tends to chew you up fairly fast.

              The existing NZBattery proposal will be hard already. Nuclear would require a version of a Strategic Spatial Plan in which multiple regions agree, on untested legislation.

              That would not be as hard as it sounds if for example one proposed nuclear the the Kaipara as per the 1970s proposal, and NZBattery in the south.


              Believe it or not I expect a future National government to inherit national energy crises far harder than the current term, and on the last 3 decades history they are better at the nation-altering projects than Labour.

              A decent HVDC cable to Australia from Taranaki would enable what we really need which is an internationalised energy market, which NZ would export into. That would be a more useful gig for NZSuper, Infratil and ACC in the nation-building game.

              • RedLogix

                Yes. The obvious objection is that NZ lacks the capacity to operate nuclear power at present. Yet one of the main spin-offs from the AUKUS agreement is going to be the rapid development of this capacity in Australia. Already they have hundreds of engineering and technical people in study and training, and while for the next decade it will be focussed on the submarine program, inevitably these people will be available to build out a civilian nuclear program. NZ might well eventually be able to leverage this.

                And secondly it is worth noting that most Gen 4 designs intentionally minimise the need for highly skilled operators. Indeed it has been joked that walk-away safe Gen4 designs really could employ Homer Simpson – because there literally is nothing he could do to cause a plant failure.

                Besides most of the skills required locally would be in regulatory and engineering agencies within government. It would be the overseas vendors who would do almost all the heavy technical lifting from a design, build and operate perspective.

                You trans-Tasman HVDC cable is admirable – but a tad heroic in scope surely? Would there be a decent economic case?

              • tWiggle

                Would we pay Australia to transit our power to SE Asia, as they're planning to do quite soon, from ginormous solar farms?


                We may be better off buying our power from Oz.

              • Graeme

                Contact got flogged off well before Key arrived on the scene, in 1999, but aside from that Key's decision to turn the rest of our electricity industry into a vehicle to generate returns for private (and to a lesser extent state) interests has fucked our nation.

                Your portrayal of NZ Super brings back the Muldoon Dancing Cossacks portrayal of 1975 Labour's super scheme, with a government fund that powerful it takes over / crushes everything. I shudder at the monster we may have created.

                As an aside, is there a breakdown of how Onslow went from 4 Billion to 15.7? Does this include the purchase / nationalisation of Contact. Beause that's the only way I can see the thing functioning.

                Now a HVDC link across the Tasman and an integrated energy market across the same with energy flows both ways, now that’s an idea to explore and develop.

    • weka 4.3

      and have all the latest safety features.


      • Cricklewood 4.3.1

        Tbf if you were to compare nuclear to a fossil fuels over even a relatively short period of time the death and destruction wrought by coal etc etc would be far worse than nuclear.

        There's no way outside of complete castrophe the energy demands of humanity as a whole are going to decrease. Thinking they can or will is essentially sticking your head in the sand. As it stands nuclear is the safest and fastest way forward

    • tWiggle 4.4

      But the price of building a nuclear power station must include the cost of decommissioning it, plus l-o-n-g-term waste storage, which exceeds the build price. It’s no cheapie solution.

      • tWiggle 4.4.1

        The shut UK Sellafield plant, which admittedly also reprocessed used uranium rods from round the world, costs £2 billion a year just to maintain. That does not include the cost of dissassembling structures and transferring waste uranium to a planned £56 billion deep mine storage facility. Spent nuclear fuel is no picnic, and is essentially ignored by most nuclear-powered countries.

  5. Stephen D 5

    Todd’s gone.

    ”Former National Party leader Todd Muller will step down at the next election.

    Muller is MP for the Bay of Plenty. In a statement on Friday morning, he said he would not re-contest the seat or seek a list position with the National Party.”

    Jumped, pushed, non selected, or can see the electoral writing on the wall?

    • Ad 5.1

      But Willis keeps the Fonterra flame alive at the front of a government-in-waiting.

      For a moment we could have had Fonterra senior players as Number 1 and Number 2 in the country…

      … which would have been a most natural power-concentration for New Zealand.

      • Phillip ure 5.1.1

        Re it ironic or deeply disturbing that stuff recently gave fonterra the number one gong in nz top ten polluting companies..?

        And that seven of the other top ten polluters are meat processing entities…?

        • Patricia Bremner

          Fonterra has not yet made a donation for the re-fencing $20 a metre fund raiser.

    • Red Blooded One 5.2

      http://Former National leader Todd Muller to step down at election

      "In June 2021, he announced he planned to retire from politics – but after Christopher Luxon took over the party leadership, he said he had decided to stay."

      Maybe Christopher Luxon wasn't the White Knight he was hoping for after all.

      • Belladonna 5.2.1

        Again, this is late in the piece for an MP to announce his retirement.
        The BoP electorate committee will have already confirmed him as the National Candidate, and will now have to re-open selection.

        His letter does indicate (well, at least to me) that there are pressure issues in the role, which, following his breakdown, he just can't be confident he can manage. He acknowledges that it will be a tough election campaign (who would expect otherwise), and that he just doesn't have the capacity and stamina to put in the effort needed.

        While it's good to have that level of self-awareness – it would have been better for the party and his electorate, if he'd had it last October or November.

    • Sanctuary 5.3

      Todd retired, then unretired when his God squadder buddy boy got the top banana role and he thought they might win the election, now he's had a revelation in a conversation with a snake at his happy clappy church and re-resigned again.

      to paraphrase Monty Python,

      When electoral danger reared it's ugly head, Sir Todd bravely turned his tail and fled. Yes, brave Sir Todd has turned about and gallantly he has chickened out.

      • Red Blooded One 5.3.1

        Oh a tangled web we see,

        Luxon dressed as a Knight of Ni,

        Demanding this and that,

        The entitled prat,

        And his other Knights start to flee.

    • AB 5.4

      According to Mr Luxon, Todd has a "world-class brain" (at about 3:00 min in this NZ herald video) – which is why he appointed Todd to a shadow role in cyclone recovery. It is a shame if someone with a world-class brain sees no future for themselves in the current National Party. Other thoughts come to mind though:

      • maybe even a world-class brain doesn't save you from the mental horror show of politics?
      • is the most revealing thing that Mr Luxon is so conceited that he is claiming to have the ability to detect the presence or absence of world class brains?
      • and why does Mr Luxon disembody the brain as the most important political organ – as though politics was just the technocratic function of 'delivering' (something) without any ethical consideration of what gets delivered and why?
    • bwaghorn 5.5

      Decided 3 more years in opposition was unpalatable I expect

    • observer 5.6

      I respect Todd Muller for the way he has handled himself since his breakdown and resignation from the leadership.

      We've seen MPs suffer health problems, take leave and come back, but it's usually physical health, like cancer (Nikki Kaye, Kiri Allen). The stigma attached to mental health makes it harder.

      Muller has been honest about it – this is a moving and important interview, from Stuff in 2021:

      It should not be either/or: you're always fine, or you're not up to the job. He has made a contribution to improved understanding and empathy on mental health issues, and deserves credit for that.

  6. Adrian 6

    Point 1, Onslow is already a lake, it will just be bigger.

    Point 2, Compared to nuclear, its local water with no problematic waste.

    Point 3, Nuclear requires ongoing imported fuel.

    Point 4, Marsden Point is within one of the largest calderas in the country, albeit extinct, or is it?.

    Point 5, apparently there is not as much consistent wind in NZ as we think.

    • Maurice 6.1

      Lake Onslow is already a man made lake it would take between four and five years to build and a further two years to fill.

      All for six weeks of extra hydro water supply which would then take two years to refill. What do we do in the mean time while it is replenished?

      It does not increase the out put of the Clutha hydro dams just keeps them going for a short time in low rainfall years.

      • weka 6.1.1

        All for six weeks of extra hydro water supply which would then take two years to refill.

        Citation please. Which means a quote, and explanation and a link. The onus is on you to provide evidence and argument not expect people to read an article and parse your meaning.

        • Maurice

          If the Lake Onslow scheme goes ahead, the artificially-expanded lake high in the hills of Central Otago would in effect provide a massive battery with a charge equivalent to the total amount of power the entire country uses in six weeks, that could be drawn down when needed.

          The first sentence above "Lake Onslow is already a man made lake it would take between four and five years to build and a further two years to fill." was a quote from the previously linked article.

          Both are public knowledge.

          • weka

            Thanks. Citation still needed for the idea that the intention is to use up the whole storage and then wait 2 years for it to refill.

            I'm not an engineer nor a hydro bod, but my understanding is that they will use the battery to produce power on an as needed basis when the hydro lakes are low. I cannot imaging they will run the battery dry. The hydro lakes don't run out of power completely, which is what would need to happen in your scenario of powering the whole country for six weeks just from Onslow.

            But feel free to correct me with some evidence.

            • Maurice

              If the full capacity is not planned to be used why is it so big?

              Without doubt it is a slow fill/quick empty device. So that even if a smaller proportion is used the refill will be slow and intersected with another draw-down further emptying the lake. Eventually emptying it or only using a small part of the capacity.A LOT of land will be flooded just to use the top bit of water.

              I do remember "Damn the Dam said the Fantail" ……… or is this 'different'?

              • weka

                If the full capacity is not planned to be used why is it so big?

                Shall we assume you made your statement up then.

                • pat

                  We shall

                  • Maurice

                    Still does not explain why a $20 Billion asset will just sit there just in case it is dry from time to time justifies the destruction of an Iconic landscape and destroying the locals farms.

                    I get it – Farmers can be sacrificed for urban ease?

                    Next the McKenzie Basin?

                    • pat

                      Your numbers make no sense…but that aside…it is not just farmers that stand to benefit from (i agree) an expensive project…ultimately the country must secure its energy production and as has been noted, this appears to be the most possible method.

                      Many may not like it, but our ag production is what enables our current existence…and until such time as we develop an alternative (offers please?) thats what we have.

                    • bwaghorn

                      You don't understand what it's for obviously.

                      It's to cover peak load times and will recharge constantly, hopefully it'll enable all coal fired milk drying facilities and coal backup generation to be mothballed.

                    • tWiggle []

                      Once again, gravity batteries seem a plausible option to a storge lake to manage flucuating load.

                    • weka

                      Are you going to support NZ powering down then?


                    • Robert Guyton

                      " the destruction of an Iconic landscape and destroying the locals farms."

                      Have you been there, Maurice, to see what it is you are describing?

                    • pat

                      @ twiggle

                      How many gravity batteries to secure 5 TWh? (remembering that pumped hydro is a gravity battery)

                    • tWiggle []

                      Gravity batteries, alas, are currently more a short term solution to green energy fluctuations, it seems.


                      "In a valley in southern Switzerland, the striking steel and concrete prototype from Energy Vault, another leader in the gravity battery space, stands more than 20 stories tall. When green power supply exceeds demand, one of several AI-controlled cranes lifts a pair of 30-tonne blocks upwards. When demand outstrips supply, back down they go, generating enough energy for thousands of homes..

                      ….Think of it as a warehouse of [1000s of] energy elevators…When clean electricity is coming in, the blocks – made of recycled material – go up, and when the grid needs supply, they go back down. An EVx with a storage capacity of 100MWh can power around 25,000 homes for a day.'

                      Each installation's size and layout will determine its overall storage capacity, but even at the lower end, the buildings will cover dozens of acres. Could this be problematic? No, Piconi says, as the systems are likely to be situated near wind and solar farms far from urban centres…'Basically anywhere you can construct a 20-storey building will work,' he says."

                      To my thinking, it doesn't have to be one giant facility at the generation site. Smaller-scale storage could be built around NZ to reduce the need for peak-load coal-fired stations.

                      At the start of the article, gravity batteries are suggested as an alternative to pumping water back up to the storage lake of a hydropower station when demand is low. That's what sparked my interest initially. I didn't realise Lake Onslow will be for medium-term storage, but thought it was part of a repumping system. Gravity batteries clearly won’t work at that scale; my claims of scaleability were fantasy, sorry.

                    • tWiggle []

                      .. gravity batteries clearly won't work at that scale, apart from pumped hydro…

                    • SPC

                      A history lesson

                      Public Works and Maori land

                      South Island hydro

                      ECAN and nitrates in the Canterbury aquifer supplying urban areas with drinking water.

                      Some one has already allowed dairy farming … McKenzie Basin

                    • pat

                      " I didn't realise Lake Onslow will be for medium-term storage., but thought it was part of a repumping system."

                      As I understand the proposal Onslow is to be used as a variable sink to enable the intermittent renewable production WHILE providing a back up store of energy in the event of a dry year….most of the alternatives dont provide that flexibility (though theoretically elevated weights could but as noted that is essentially what Onslow is)…even nuclear dosnt provide that flexibility even if we overlook the other issues.

          • bwaghorn

            So ypu think all other power production might stop??

    • Sanctuary 6.2

      I don't think the caldera is pertinent. Given Fukashima, the whole Tsunami palaver would need addressing. But it doesn't have to be there, that was just an idea.

  7. weston 7

    Supprizez me that noone talks about tidal generators tide comes in tide goes out round and round every day of the year regardless and we cant harness that force ??Why ?


  8. Shanreagh 8

    Whatever your opinion about the ppsd lake Onslow 'chance would be a fine thing' is my response to the good sense idea from Hon Megan Wood of parties working together.

    National does not do whole of Govt approaches, well rarely, as we found with the response to the pandemic. As I have said before it was one of the most shocking times for me, as I waited for Simon Bridges to cross the floor to stand with the PM as she announced that NZ was facing a pandemic and we faced unprecedented times. I still feel the sinking feeling when I realised the pandemic was going to be a party political issue.

    Woods voiced hope at a select committee that the investment decision could transcend party politics.

    “This is a very serious, long-term asset that we'd be talking about. The prudent thing is we have to find a solution and we have to do this in a rigorous and methodical way that I think takes the politics out of it,” she said.

    But National Party energy spokesperson Stuart Smith suggested the idea Lake Onslow might go ahead was “tone deaf in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis” and National would immediately cancel the business case if it won the election.

    He said Lake Onslow was “a return to the bad old days of expensive government investment in a well-functioning electricity market” and said last week that any solution to the dry-year problem could be left to the market to deliver.

    I guess it would be too much to have expected working together with such right wing drollery such as Stuart Smith's

    well-functioning electricity market

    left to the market to deliver.

    In contrast to those who know

    Waikato University professor Earl Bardsley, who first identified the potential of the natural rock basin at Lake Otago to create an artificial lake, said the business case for the scheme would need to take a “wide view of the national benefits”, given the cost.

    That could include the economic gain from electricity being cheaper than it otherwise would be, and the general advantages of the green transition, he said.

    • tWiggle 8.1

      Be a bit careful there about interpreting Bridges's non-support over the pandemic in Parliament. I read somewhere at the time that National had approached Labour to offer bipartisan support. (Sorry, went hunting, but couldn't find the news article). My memory suggests a hint of let's plan this together, ie we want to share in political visibility over pandemic management.

      I wondered at the time why Ardern turned National down (a sense of flatly?). Perhaps managing compromise with Peters was enough work already; or perhaps Peters himself turned it down. So I interpret the no vote of support from Bridges as payback for be8ng shut out.

      • Belladonna 8.1.1

        Here's a news article which says Bridges was 'not opposed to the idea'.

        Which looks to me as though he was floating the concept – and waiting for a Government reaction.

        Now, with the coronavirus presenting another opportunity to unite New Zealand's largest political parties against a mutual enemy, Bridges told Magic Talk's Peter Williams he's open to the idea.

        "A lot of people are saying those sort of things to me," he said of suggestions that he and deputy National leader Paula Bennett could join the government.

        "We've heard [Finance Minister and Labour MP] Grant Robertson, among others, say [we need to implement] a wartime-type response.

        "I can't answer your question clearly today, other than to say when the facts change, I change.

        "We've got an openness to supporting and assisting here as we see something we've never seen before in New Zealand, certainly in my lifetime."

      • Shanreagh 8.1.2

        I have heard after the event that this is what happened, ie that an offer was made, but I was thinking of something far more spontaneous and that was to get up and cross the floor during or after the announcement. Very much like on a marae people will get up and cluster to support a speaker. Often not so much for exactly what they have said but for the fact that they have got up and said something.

        Even if nothing had happened then and there and it was left to politics the offer was there and the people of NZ could have seen that this unprecedented happening was a problem for united NZ not party political NZ.

        I believe that would have made a difference

        • tWiggle

          Shanreagh, I only mentioned National's bipartisan offer being turned down by the Coalition because you followed National's lack of pandemic support in Parliament with a claim they have a general resistance to bipartisan planning.

          • Shanreagh

            Sorry I don't understand……National tends to have the approach of being anti most things unless they have thought of it themselves. They are generally not reflective about what might happen in the future and generally act as if everything issue in life involves a political approach ie left or right.

            I have discussed issues with enough Nats and Nat type supporters over many years to know that they believe just about everything in life has a political spin or approach to it.

            I gave an example of this by the quote 'and National would immediately cancel the business case if it won the election.' So nothing that says would review, reconsider……just cancel fullstop.

            I instanced the pandemic announcement as being a case in point, afterwards and with reflection they may have said they were going to work with the govt. PM gave them a task of formally peer reviewing/adopting a steering committee approach.

            They could not do this, Bridges made it all about how he needed to breach lockdown by travelling to Wellington so he could address the media. Did he even adopt a careful and helpful approach to this task. No.

            So the recent-ish moment when they could have taken a whole of govt approach brought out their tendency to do a left/right oppositional stance.

            There is more to policy making than just being opposed to what the last person suggested. National's policy approach shows that just being contrary is a major way they 'do' policy.

            I mentioned the pandemic announcement as that was top of my mind when looking at their cancel, cancel, cancel approach to Lake Onslow. It was the very reason Hon Megan Woods did this shot over the bows and that was to bring forward the expected sterile response of cancel and the market does everything wonderfully well and if it needed doing the market would have done it.

            Hopefully Megan Woods will keep saying these things about working together so that it will get through Nats noggins that some issues would be better with everyone talking rather than trying to put a left right spin on everything that walks.

            • tWiggle

              Thanks for your thoughtful and informative expansion, Shanreagh. I think there is likely to be an even bigger divide now, after National were happy enough to glide in the wake of the anti-Ardern movement.

    • bwaghorn 8.2

      Cheaper power, can't have that old chap think of the poor share holders!!!

  9. PsyclingLeft.Always 9

    Brown suggests volunteers replace librarians

    First he was coming for Citizens Advice. Now ..Librarians?

    Could we have a volunteer to replace Mayor "buckets Brown” ?

    • Belladonna 9.2

      Why limit it to librarians?

      Surely the Mayor can be responsible for cleaning his own office. As can the senior executive team. They can form a roster for cleaning the staff room and toilets. All outside work hours of course, this can be entirely 'voluntary'!

      How about all of the people who holding stop/go signs on the roadworks. Surely this is an 'unqualified' job that could easily be done by volunteers.

      [All sarcasm, intentional]

      And, just in case he's missed the fact that we have a cost-of-living crisis. There are not limitless wells of volunteer time out there – just waiting to be tapped. People need an actual paying job to survive in Auckland (and often need more than one)

      All of the charities which depend on volunteers, have been saying for at least the last decade that their volunteer support is drying up – as people simply don't have the free time any longer. And that's for organizations where you donate time to accomplish a charity goal – not for something that you already pay for in your rates.

      If Mayor Brown wants to argue to close libraries, or reduce opening hours – then that's one conversation. But claiming that you can continue to run a library service with volunteer staff is quite another.

      Actually, the libraries which 'could' be argued to be unnecessary (heavy overlap in a small geographical area) – are the ones in the heritage boroughs of Auckland (Remuera, Parnell and Epsom Libraries, for example). Which all have highly motivated and wealthy usergroups who will fight to the death for their local library (and have done so, in the past)

  10. Hunter Thompson II 10

    Just thinking more about the East Cape slash problem.

    As I understand it, the law of nuisance says you cannot use your land in a way that causes damage to the property of others by letting something dangerous escape.

    So far, landowners have relied on the council to prosecute forestry companies, but farmers whose land is covered in logs would seem to have a cause of action in the courts, ie a private lawsuit, for the damage they have suffered.

    A NZ case is Double J Smallwoods Ltd v Gisborne District Council, 13 June 2017 (fire spread because of pampas and scrub on the council's land).

    Probably too hard for farmers to contemplate that sort of thing right now though.

  11. observer 11

    Never forget that if Ardern had not become PM, this man would have been a senior Cabinet Minister in a Bridges/English government …

  12. tWiggle 12

    For us horoscope watchers, welcome to the dawning of the Age of Aquarius:

    "The rise of [Social Media Misinformation] has corresponded to a modern transition to the information age, where information itself has become a productive force."

    More seriously, the source article for this quote nails the societal effects of misinformation spread through social media.

    Having close friends who, variously, have swallowed The Great Replacement racism, Jordan Petersen's anti-woman dross, and RT News lies about Russia's actions in Ukraine, I can only shake my head, button my lip around them, and wonder what poisoned bait I personally have succumbed to.

    • bwaghorn 12.1

      I've spent very little time on Peterson, but is it anti woman to point out that men are the ones out there doing the big hours in the shitty conditions getting squashed burnt and broken building and repairing, and delivering and getting very little recognition for it.

      Go to a gas station a 5 am, it's all men in high vis with calloused hands or driving trucks, (occasionally a woman but predominantly men)

      • Belladonna 12.1.1

        It probably is, however, anti-woman to refrain from pointing out that women are the ones doing the big hours in low-wage jobs, with little hope of promotion.
        And the ones, overwhelmingly, doing the unpaid 'work' that keeps the family running.

        As a society, we undervalue 'women's work' – to an even greater extent than we undervalue blue collar work.

        Check out the night-cleaning staff – overwhelmingly women (with the occasional man invariably a recent immigrant).

  13. Stuart Munro 13

    The easy answer to earthquake risk for reactors is to build them on vessels. These can be largely stationary, but are portable for refit or scrapping, and circumvent some of the permitting issues land-based reactors might have.

    Of course it would have been better had certain epic morons not boosted our population beyond the capacity of significant infrastructure, but we must play the hand those blithering idiots have dealt us.

    Auckland cannot build so much as a cycleway without pissing away tens of millions, but a reactor generator vessel can be built by a country that has not traded in their engineers for dysfunctional bureaucrats, and has a sporting chance of actually working.

    • bwaghorn 13.1

      Begins with T ends with Nami

      • Stuart Munro 13.1.1

        It's not a perfect defense – but large ships are rarely damaged by the great waves, Their destructive effect is a consequence of rapidly shallowing water – get a bit of water under your keel and you experience them as a simple swell.

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    Hi,I am sort of loath to write this newsletter today because I fear it’s playing into the hands of a bunch of elderly edgelords. These are typically older white men who generate their income by saying the most hideous stuff they can, all while self-righteously screaming about the merits of ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 hours ago
  • Film-makers follow the money on ‘disinformation’ bandwagon
    Graham Adams writes that while Web of Chaos gets a rerun on TVNZ, River of Freedom is left out in the cold. If you are a film-maker looking for an injection of taxpayer cash, a pitch focused on fake news purportedly propagated by “conspiracy theorists” looks to be a good ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    14 hours ago
  • At a glance – What is the link between hurricanes and global warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    17 hours ago
  • Nicola Willis brings us up to date with state service job cuts – while Tamatha Paul (is this overk...
    Buzz from the Beehive Finance Minister Nicola Willis has estimated the loss of around 2500 jobs from the public sector during the cost-saving since the general election last October. Another 1150 vacancies in Government departments have been removed from the books  and 500 are expected to go, she said during ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    20 hours ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Is it time for an Integrity Commission to monitor conflicts of interest?
    News that the Government’s new Parliamentary Undersecretary for Health, Todd Stephenson, has been pressured today to sell his investments in pharmaceutical companies shows how New Zealand is becoming more sensitive and suspicious about politicians’ “conflicts of interest”. Yet, we need to get much more serious about creating rules and procedures ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    21 hours ago
  • Forget the loud-hailers Minister, what you need is TikTok
    Chris Trotter writes – It almost worked. “Matua Shane”, local supporters in tow, advanced down the main street of Blackball. Had the Minister for Resources, Shane Jones, been supplied with a full-sized loud-hailer to amplify his pro-mining slogans, then the photo-op would have been an unqualified success. Unfortunately, the ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    23 hours ago
  • Did the Reserve Bank massage its OCR forecasts to help Labour keep power? (we’ve found evidence po...
    Rob MacCulloch writes –  Last year, in the lead up to the national election, Governor Orr said in May 2023 that he was “very confident” there would not be further interest rate hikes, stating the Reserve Bank had done enough in terms of rate rises. He was interviewed by ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    24 hours ago
  • Parliament’s increasingly toxic ethnic identity wars
    Bryce Edwards writes Toxicity and disinformation are becoming a big part of New Zealand politics. And much of this relates to debates about ethnicity, race, and racism. We should all be concerned about this trend. Personal abuse, dishonesty, and contempt in the public sphere are bad for democracy, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    24 hours ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Tuesday, May 28
    House-building and infrastructure industry leaders are begging the Government for project-pipeline certainty and warning of a 2009/10-style exodus of skilled staff overseas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government won last year’s election with a pledge to ‘get things done’ and ‘get New Zealand back on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Slippery People.
    What's the matter with him? (He's alright)How do you know? (The Lord won't mind)Don't play no games (he's alright)Love from the bottom to the top.You’re alright, but how about her, or him? What makes them tick? Are they a solid citizen or a slippery fecker? Why are we all so ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Children’s Voices in Auckland’s Future
    Recently, the transport consultancy Crank publicly released a report about children’s vision for transport in Auckland. It was produced in 2023 to help shape Auckland Council’s Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (VKT) Reduction Strategy. That got me thinking, and after going back to the recent Long Term Plan Consultation Feedback results, one ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 day ago
  • Med school backdown the “right thing” says Seymour
    One of National’s showpiece election promises appears to be in more trouble with Waikato University yesterday withdrawing its call for tenders to develop a new medical school. The move will delay any substantial increase in the number of doctors being trained in New Zealand. The University’s decision just over a ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • Of ‘said’ and Dialogue Tags in Writing
    Today, I ran across a Twitter thread about writerly use of the word ‘said’: As a writer, I have my opinions about this, and since it has been a long, long time since I offered thoughts on the unwritten rules of writing, I thought I would explore the matter ...
    2 days ago
  • The silent tragedy of local restrictions on renewable energy
    This story by James Goodwin was originally published by The Revelator and is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. Communities across the United States may soon find themselves facing a grim scenario. By adopted local ordinances that obstruct the development of new renewable energy resources within ...
    2 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Parliament’s increasingly toxic ethnic identity wars
    Toxicity and disinformation are becoming a big part of New Zealand politics. And much of this relates to debates about ethnicity, race, and racism. We should all be concerned about this trend. Personal abuse, dishonesty, and contempt in the public sphere are bad for democracy, social cohesion, and the integrity ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • What to say on the government’s racist Māori wards bill
    I've spent the afternoon working on my submission on the Local Government (Electoral Legislation and Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill - National's racist bill to eliminate Māori representation from local government. It's an important bill, and the timeframe for submissions is tight - only two days left! National ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Collins will be abroad when critics react to science funding – but Matauranga money should not be ...
    Buzz from the Beehive With just a few days to go before Finance Minister Nicola Willis delivers her first Budget speech, her colleagues have been focused in recent days on issues beyond our shores. Education Minister Erica Stanford made the only announcement of concern to citizens who want to know ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • New Caledonia’s troubles
    James Kierstead writes –  White sand beaches. Palm trees waving in a gentle breeze. Seas of turquoise and ultramarine, cobalt and denim stretching out as far as the eye can see.  Such is the view of New Caledonia that you get on travel websites. And it’s not an ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • The Negative social impact of taxpayer-funded partisan charities
    Bryce Edwards writes –  Whenever politicians dole out taxpayer funding to groups or individuals, they must do so in a wholly transparent way with due process to ensure conflicts of interest don’t occur and that the country receives value for money. Unfortunately, it’s not clear that this has ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • The Letter from Mayors & Chairs
    Frank Newman writes –  Earlier this week Local Government NZ sent a letter to the leaders of the coalition parties and Ministers Simeon Brown and Tama Potaka. It was signed by 52 local government leaders (see list appended). The essence of the letter is this: Our position…is ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on South Africa’s harsh election choices
    T he ANC’s goal in Wednesday’s election will be to staunch the bleeding of its support. The ANC has reason to feel anxious. For months, the polls have been indicating the ANC will lose its overall majority for the first time since the Mandela election of 1994. The size of ...
    2 days ago
  • The Kaka’s diary for the week to June 3 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to June 3 include:PM Christopher Luxon is expected to hold his weekly post-cabinet news conference at 4:00pm today.Parliament’s Environment Select Committee resumes hearing submissions on the Fast-track Approvals Bill from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm today.Auckland ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • May-24 AT Board Meeting
    Tomorrow the AT board meet again and I’ve taken a look through the items on their public agenda to see what’s interesting. It’s also the first meeting for two recently appointed directors, former director at Ritchies Transport, Andrew Ritchie and former mayor of Hamilton, Julie Hardaker. The public session starts ...
    2 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Monday, May 27
    The Government is looking again at changing fringe benefit tax rules to make it harder to claim a personally-used double-cab ute as a company vehicle. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Having repealed the previous Government’s ‘ute tax’ last year, the new Government is looking at removing a defacto tax ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Some Dark Moments from Netflix's Dark Tourist
    Hi,I pitched a documentary to a big streamer last week and they said “no thanks” which is a bummer, because we’d worked on the concept for ages and I think it would have been a compelling watch. But I would say that because I was the one pitching it, right?As ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #21
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, May 19, 2024 thru Sat, May 25, 2024. Story of the week This week's typiclal compendium of stories we'd rather were plot devices in science ficition novels but instead ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s bulldozer dictatorship bill
    This National government has been aggressively anti-environment, and is currently ramming through its corrupt Muldoonist "fast-track" legislation to give three ministers dictatorial powers over what gets built and where. But that's not the only thing they're doing. On Thursday they introduced a Resource Management (Freshwater and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: The Negative social impact of taxpayer-funded partisan charities
    Whenever politicians dole out taxpayer funding to groups or individuals, they must do so in a wholly transparent way with due process to ensure conflicts of interest don’t occur and that the country receives value for money. Unfortunately, it’s not clear that this has occurred in the announcement this week ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • My Lovely Man.
    Last night began earlier than usual. In bed by 6:30pm, asleep an hour later. Sometimes I do sleep odd hours, writing late and/or getting up very early - complemented with the occasional siesta, but I’m usually up a bit later than that on a Saturday night. Last night I was ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Pressing the Big Red Button
    Early in the COVID-19 days, the Boris Johnson government pressed a Big Red Button marked: act immediately, never mind about the paperwork.Their problem was: not having enough PPE gear for all the hospital and emergency staff. Their solution was to expedite things and get them the gear ASAP.This, along with ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Of Pensioners and Student Loans: An Indictment on New Zealand
    Up until 1989, you could attend a New Zealand University, and never need to pay a cent for your education. That then changed, of course. The sadists of the Fourth Labour Government introduced substantial fees for study, never having had to pay a cent for their own education. The even ...
    3 days ago
  • Putting children first
    Ele Ludemann writes –  Minister for Children Karen Chhour is putting children first: Hon KAREN CHHOUR: I move, That the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the bill. It’s a privilege ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Te Pati Maori go personal
    David Farrar writes –  Newshub reports:    Applause and cheers erupted in the House on Wednesday afternoon as Children’s Minister Karen Chhour condemned Te Pāti Māori’s insults about her upbringing. Chhour, who grew up in state care, is repealing section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act – sparking uproar from ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Threads of Corruption
    I could corrupt youIt would be uglyThey could sedate youBut what good would drugs be?Good Morning all,Today there’s a guest newsletter from Gerard Otto (G). By which I mean I read his post this morning and he has kindly allowed me to share it with you.If you don’t already I ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • The days fly by
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Aotearoa, you’re being dismantled… so take the blinkers off and start talking honestly about it.
    Is the solution to any of the serious, long term issues we all have to face as a nation, because many governments of all stripes we can probably all admit if we’re deeply truthful with ourselves haven’t done near enough work at the very times they should have, to basically ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Has Labour Abandoned the Welfare State They Created in 1938?
    The 2018 Social Security Act suggests that Labour may have retreated to the minimalist (neo-liberal) welfare state which has developed out of the Richardson-Shipley ‘redesign’. One wonders what Michael Joseph Savage, Peter Fraser and Walter Nash would have thought of the Social Security Act passed by the Ardern Labour Government ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs’ financial interests under scrutiny
    MPs are supposed to serve the public interest, not their own self-interest. And according to the New Zealand Parliament’s website, democracy and integrity are tarnished whenever politicians seek to enrich themselves or the people they are connected with. For this reason, the Parliament has a “Register of Pecuniary Interests” in ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Mastering FLICC – A Cranky Uncle themed quiz
    By now, most of you will have heard about the FLICC taxonomy of science denial techniques and how you can train your skills in detecting them with the Cranky Uncle game. If you like to quickly check how good you are at this already, answer the 12 quiz questions in the ...
    5 days ago
  • Shane Jones has the zeal, sure enough, but is too busy with his mining duties (we suspect) to be ava...
    Buzz from the Beehive The hacks of the Parliamentary Press Gallery have been able to chip into a rich vein of material on the government’s official website over the past 24 hours. Among the nuggets is the speech by Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and a press statement to announce ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Cut the parliamentary term
    When Labour was in power, they wasted time, political capital, and scarce policy resources on trying to extend the parliamentary term to four years, in an effort to make themselves less accountable to us. It was unlikely to fly, the idea having previously lost two referendums by huge margins - ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • More terrible media ethics
    David Farrar writes – The Herald reports: When Whanau Ora chief executive John Tamihere was asked what his expectations for the Budget next Thursday were, he said: “All hope is lost.” Last year Whānau Ora was allocated $163.1 million in the Budget to last for the next four years ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Bringing our democracy into disrepute
    On Monday the government introduced its racist bill to eliminate Māori represntation in local government to the House. They rammed it through its first reading yesterday, and sent it to select committee. And the select committee has just opened submissions, giving us until Wednesday to comment on it. Such a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The censors who’ll save us from ourselves… yeah right!
    Nick Hanne writes – There’s a common malady suffered by bureaucracies the world over. They wish to save us from ourselves. Sadly, NZ officials are no less prone to exhibiting symptoms of this occupational condition. Observe, for instance, the reaction from certain public figures to the news ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The case for commissioners to govern the capital city
    Peter Dunne writes – As the city of Tauranga prepares to elect a new Mayor and Council after three and a half years being run by government-appointed Commissioners, the case for replacing the Wellington City Council with Commissioners strengthens. The Wellington City Council has been dysfunctional for years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Thoughts about contemporary troubles.
    This will be s short post. It stems from observations I made elsewhere about what might be characterised as some macro and micro aspects of contemporary collective violence events. Here goes. The conflicts between Israel and Palestine and France and … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On Blurring The Lines Around Political Corruption
    It may be a relic of a previous era of egalitarianism, but many of us like to think that, in general, most New Zealanders are as honest as the day is long. We’re good like that, and smart as. If we’re not punching above our weight on the world stage, ...
    5 days ago
  • MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Bryce Edwards writes – Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • King Mike & Mike King.
    I built a time machine to see you againTo hear your phone callYour voice down the hallThe way we were back thenWe were dancing in the rainOur feet on the pavementYou said I was your second headI knew exactly what you meantIn the country of the blind, or so they ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The register published on Tuesday contains a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • How much climate reality can the global financial system take without collapsing?
    Microsoft’s transparency about its failure to meet its own net-zero goals is creditable, but the response to that failure is worrying. It is offering up a set of false solutions, heavily buttressed by baseless optimism. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 24-May-2024
    Another Friday, another Rāmere Roundup! Here are a few things that caught our eye this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, our new writer Connor Sharp roared into print with a future-focused take on the proposed Auckland Future Fund, and what it could invest in. On ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Earning The Huia Feather.
    Still Waiting: Māori land remains in the hands of Non-Māori. The broken promises of the Treaty remain broken. The mana of the tangata whenua languishes under racist neglect. The right to wear the huia feather remains as elusive as ever. Perhaps these three transformations are beyond the power of a ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, May 24
    Posters opposing the proposed Fast-Track Approvals legislation were pasted around Wellington last week. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: One of the architects of the RMA and a former National Cabinet Minister, Simon Upton, has criticised the Government’s Fast-Track Approvals bill as potentially disastrous for the environment, arguing just 1% ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to May 24
    There was less sharing of the joy this week than at the Chinese New Year celebrations in February. China’s ambassador to NZ (2nd from right above) has told Luxon that relations between China and New Zealand are now at a ‘critical juncture’ Photo: Getty / Xinhua News AgencyTL;DR: The podcast ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Beijing troubleshooter’s surprise visit
    The importance of New Zealand’s relationship with China was surely demonstrated yesterday with the surprise arrival in the capital of top Chinese foreign policy official Liu Jianchao. The trip was apparently organized a week ago but kept secret. Liu is the Minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) International Liaison ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • UK election a foregone conclusion?  That’s why it’s interesting
    With a crushing 20-plus point lead in the opinion polls, all the signs are that Labour leader Keir Starmer will be the PM after the general election on 4 July, called by Conservative incumbent Rishi Sunak yesterday. The stars are aligned for Starmer.  Rival progressives are in abeyance: the Liberal-Democrat ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2021
    Open access notables How much storage do we need in a fully electrified future? A critical review of the assumptions on which this question depends, Marsden et al., Energy Research & Social Science: Our analysis advances the argument that current approaches reproduce interpretations of normality that are, ironically, rooted in ...
    6 days ago
  • Days in the life
    We returned last week from England to London. Two different worlds. A quarter of an hour before dropping off our car, we came to a complete stop on the M25. Just moments before, there had been six lanes of hurtling cars and lorries. Now, everything was at a standstill as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Forget about its name and focus on its objective – this RMA reform bill aims to cut red tape (and ...
    Buzz from the Beehive A triumvirate of ministers – holding the Agriculture, Environment and RMA Reform portfolios – has announced the introduction of legislation “to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling development in key sectors”, such as farming, mining and other primary industries. The exact name of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • More National corruption
    In their coalition agreement with NZ First, the National Party agreed to provide $24 million in funding to the charity "I Am Hope / Gumboot Friday". Why were they so eager to do so? Because their chair was a National donor, their CEO was the son of a National MP ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Submit!
    The Social Services and Community Committee has called for submissions on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Wednesday, 3 July 2024, and can be made at the link above. And if you're wondering what to say: section 7AA was enacted because Oranga Tamariki ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Reading the MPS numbers thinking about the fiscal situation
    Michael Reddell writes –  The Reserve Bank doesn’t do independent fiscal forecasts so there is no news in the fiscal numbers in today’s Monetary Policy Statement themselves. The last official Treasury forecasts don’t take account of whatever the government is planning in next week’s Budget, and as the Bank notes ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Charter Schools are a worthwhile addition to our school system – but ACT is mis-selling why they a...
    Rob MacCulloch writes – We know the old saying, “Never trust a politician”, and the Charter School debate is a good example of it. Charter Schools receive public funding, yet “are exempt from most statutory requirements of traditional public schools, including mandates around .. human capital management .. curriculum ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Paranoia On The Left.
    How Do We Silence Them? The ruling obsession of the contemporary Left is that political action undertaken by individuals or groups further to the right than the liberal wings of mainstream conservative parties should not only be condemned, but suppressed.WEB OF CHAOS, a “deep dive into the world of disinformation”, ...
    6 days ago
  • Budget challenges
    Muriel Newman writes –  As the new Government puts the finishing touches to this month’s Budget, they will undoubtedly have had their hands full dealing with the economic mess that Labour created. Not only was Labour a grossly incompetent manager of the economy, but they also set out ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Rishi calls an Election.
    Today the British PM, Rishi Sunak, called a general election for the 4th of July. He spoke of the challenging times and of strong leadership and achievements. It was as if he was talking about someone else, a real leader, rather than he himself or the woeful list of Tory ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Photo of the Day: GNR
    This post marks the return of an old format: Photo of the Day. Recently I was in an apartment in one of those new buildings on Great North Road Grey Lynn at rush hour, perfect day, the view was stunning, so naturally I whipped out my phone: GNR 5pm Turns ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    6 days ago
  • Choosing landlords and the homeless over first home buyers
    The Government may struggle with the political optics of scrapping assistance for first home buyers while also cutting the tax burden on landlords, increasing concerns over the growing generational divide. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government confirmed it will dump first home buyer grants in the Budget next ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago

  • Government improves mass arrival management
    The Government has strengthened settings for managing a mass arrival, with the passing of the Immigration (Mass Arrivals) Amendment Bill today.  “While we haven’t experienced a mass arrival event in New Zealand, it is an ongoing possibility which would have a significant impact on our immigration and court systems,” Immigration ...
    5 hours ago
  • Super Fund to get more investment opportunities
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has welcomed the passage of legislation giving the New Zealand Superannuation Fund a wider range of investment opportunities. The New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income (Controlling Interests) Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. “The bill removes a section in the original act that ...
    14 hours ago
  • Crown and iwi settle three decades of negotiations
    Three decades of negotiations between iwi and the Crown have been settled today as the Whakatōhea Claims Settlement Bill passes its third reading in Parliament, Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “While no settlement can fully compensate for the Crown’s past injustices, this settlement will support the aspirations and prosperity ...
    18 hours ago
  • New Zealand to support PNG landslide response
    New Zealand will support Papua New Guinea’s response to the devastating landslide in Enga Province, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have announced.   “Ever since learning of the horrendous landslide on Friday, New Zealand has been determined to play our part in assisting Papua New Guinea’s ...
    19 hours ago
  • Government to consult on regulation of shooting clubs and ranges
      The Government is consulting New Zealanders on a package of proposals for simple and effective regulation of shooting clubs and ranges, Associate Minister of Justice, Nicole McKee announced today.   “Clubs and ranges are not only important for people learning to operate firearms safely, to practice, and to compete, ...
    21 hours ago
  • Successful New Caledonia repatriation winds up, need for dialogue remains
    Over 300 people have been successfully flown out of New Caledonia in a joint Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) operation.   As of today, seven New Zealand government aircraft flights to Nouméa have assisted around 225 New Zealanders and 145 foreign nationals ...
    23 hours ago
  • Minister to Singapore for defence, technology talks
    Defence and Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Judith Collins departs for Singapore tomorrow for defence and technology summits and meetings. First up is the Asia Tech X Singapore Summit, followed by the Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers Meeting and wrapping up with the Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from ...
    2 days ago
  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    3 days ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    4 days ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    5 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    5 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    5 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    6 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    6 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    6 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    6 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    6 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    7 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    1 week ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    1 week ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    1 week ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    1 week ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    1 week ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    1 week ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    1 week ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    1 week ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    1 week ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    2 weeks ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    2 weeks ago

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