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Paving paradise

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, January 27th, 2009 - 46 comments
Categories: economy, Environment, national/act government - Tags:

86363131_hkzbzg0y_dsc_0026r1We have received information that National’s plan to change the definition of ‘environment’ under the RMA in their 100-day legislation roll out will consist of removing the legal protection of a range of important parts of NZ’s environment, such as eco-systems, amenity values (e.g. the look and appearance of a landscape or townscape) and the human factors that affect the environment (e.g. constructing a building within a sensitive landscape, or a factory making too much noise near houses).

The RMA currently defines the environment as:
(a)Ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities; and
(b)All natural and physical resources; and
(c)Amenity values; and
(d)The social, economic, aesthetic, and cultural conditions which affect the matters stated in paragraphs (a) to (c) of this definition or which are affected by those matters

National is set to reduce the definition of environment to only “natural and physical resources”.

Think about what that means. It means that when deciding whether to give resource consent to a project, authorities will no longer be allowed to consider whether ecosystems will be destroyed or damaged. That could be a death sentence for endangered species. Nor will authorities to allowed to consider the value of the existing environment in anything other than monetary terms. The beauty of our land, the right of Kiwis to enjoy our country in its natural state will not be protected – only dollars and cents will be at issue.

If a developer wants to pave over a rare wetland, destroying the ecosystem, there will be nothing in the RMA under National to stop them. If a developer wants to build housing by your favourite beach or mine in your favourite landscape, there will be no requirement in law for them to ensure they minimise the damage to the natural beauty of the place and your right to enjoy it. Townscapes will be threatened too – developers will not need to consider making their new buildings or industrial activities fit with the surrounding neighbourhood.

This change will also make a large part of RMA case law useless and most Council policies would become redundant, which will severally slow down the RMA process – something that National are saying they want to speed up!

National is already attempting to soften us up for the introduction of this legislation by claiming reforming the RMA will bring down house prices by allowing more new housing to be built. That’s rubbish. It was speculation, not under-supply, that caused house prices to rise so fast. The RMA does not impose significant monetary or time costs on housing. These changes will not speed up house construction, they will just be a license for the few unscrupulous developers to make a quick buck with the rest of us bearing the cost.

46 comments on “Paving paradise”

  1. T-Rex 1

    The changes actually seem to me destructive and inefficient, but also pointless.

    Like you say, they will screw up existing case law and cause a whole heap of confusion, but I doubt that in the long run it will actually be any more or less difficult to block a project on any of the existing criteria.

    I mean if your project doesn’t effect natural or physical resources then, more or less by definition, it doesn’t exist. I don’t know how you could affect an ecosystem without affecting a natural or physical resource.

    I expect this to be the first steps in what will become a bitter debate over what constitutes a “resource”. I’d love to hear how National expect a debate of that nature to accelerate resource consent proceedings…

  2. T. agree with wht you’re saying.

    I’m not fimilar with case law in this area, my source is though, but I suspect ‘resource’ is defined in monetary terms at present – ie a resource is something you can use to generate an income. Of course, if there is no specific protection for amenity value etc, than the courts would probably look to extend the definition of resource, arguing that Parliament could not possibly want to create a free for all with no protection for amenity value.

  3. Sam P 3

    National’s thinking about changing the definition is obviously intended to reduce the consideration of human factors related to the environment, i.e. the social value of an undeveloped beach. The following from p.28 of their policy (www.national.org/environment) sums it up well

    “The failure begins at the top: there are no agreed national
    environmental objectives, and only a handful of clear standards.
    This lack of leadership and clarity of objectives flows down
    through the whole system*, creating a decision-making swamp.
    The Act itself adds to the confusion. It says there is a duty to
    avoid, remedy and mitigate adverse effects on the environment,
    and then defines the environment so broadly that
    irrelevant and inappropriate matters can be brought into the
    decision-making. It contains a vague and unhelpful reference to
    ‘Treaty principles’.

    The Treaty reference should be removed, and the definition
    of ‘environment’ should be revised so that it covers natural and
    physical resources and amenity only. This would mean there
    would no longer be a statutory requirement in the RMA to
    avoid, remedy and mitigate adverse effects on socio-economic
    conditions. This would curb unwanted planning activities and,
    in conjunction with increased use of standards, would reduce
    the scope for businesses to use the Act to litigate against other
    businesses for competitive reasons**.”

    *The RMA was introduced under National in 1991. The RMA is set up to have national policy and standards that are then followed through at the regional/local levels. However, in their 9 years of government the National Party did not create any national policy or standards (the DoC made one related to the coastal environment), leaving this work to be done by Labour/Greens.

    **objections on the basis of trade competition can’t be considered under the RMA as it stands, National’s intent here is to prevent Council’s stopping ‘big box’ retail development on the basis of economic effects on existing retail areas, such as local shops and the CBD, and the like

  4. Tigger 4

    Oh my god, I can so see my future – chained to a tree singing Kumbaya as the bulldozers move in…

    See, this sort of nonsense is what happens when you give DonKey and his merry band of climate change deniers the keys to the Beehive…

  5. And much of the work of the RM is dealing with neighbourhood-type issues. Amenity values like large buildings shading your property, affecting your privacy, etc.

    Are the Nats seriously saying that these “adverse effects” should be ignored? Because that’s what their amendment will do.

  6. BLiP 6

    Its brillaint! If you don’t like something or you want to get around somethig, just change its meaning.

    I’m expecting a host of similar iniatives from Goober John Key and the National Party – soon there will be no debt, crime, or poverty because they have simply eliminated the definitions from the legislation.

    And this from the Minister of Tourism who permits the spending of millions of tax payer dollars around the world promoting “clean green New Zealand”.

    Un-fucking-believable!!

  7. Tigger 7

    Dean – I suspect that’s exactly what they are saying – or at least they will argue that those things are being given too much weight currently and therefore the only answer is to wipe these things from the Act and, perhaps, let the courts work out the detail (justice for the rich whose property is being shaded I guess).

    BLiP – Key is also the head of the BlueGreens panel which makes big noises on their site about our natural resources.

  8. Billy 8

    “If you don’t like something or you want to get around somethig [sic], just change its meaning.”

    That’s kinda how the law works, BLiP.

  9. T-Rex 9

    Steve – I take it that interpretation is at the discretion of the courts? The undertones of that passage quoted by Sam make me wonder to what degree National (esp Key) will take it upon themselves to “advise” the courts.

  10. Tigger – yes but is that really the diagnosed problem?

    Perhaps they want to explain to Constance Baker?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4805566a23918.html

    Her situation was capable of being addressed by the RMA but, if the amendments are made, we’ll have thousands of Constance Bakers.

  11. BLiP 11

    Billy said

    ” . . . That’s kinda how the law works, BLiP . . .:”

    In that case, since he can make the entire environment disappear, how long before Goober John Key makes debt, crime and poverty evaporate into a little puff of National Party logic?

  12. cocamc 12

    Sounds similar to Labour changing the investment laws to stop Canadians buying into Auckland Airport. as someone above said “Its brillaint! If you don’t like something or you want to get around somethig, just change its meaning”

    Both parties as bad as each other

  13. Tigger 13

    Dean – they’ll probably just tell Constance that she should have worked harder and bought a more expensive apartment that couldn’t be built out!

    That said, if that’s life under the RMA can it actually get worse? I’ve never understood central city building processes, no one seems to have thought out how all these high rises will work in with each other. A visitor from the US recently said he thought Auckland looked like a slum. Sadly, I agree.

  14. Billy 14

    Both parties as bad as each other

    It’s not a question of good or bad. English is a rich and vibrant language. Words are capable of carrying shades of meaning that are intolerable if a law is to be understood well enough to be obeyed. So words require definition. This does not change their ordinary meaning, it just means that they have a specific or more limited meaning in the particular legislation.

  15. cocamc 15

    Billy – i was just being flippant.

  16. Words are capable of carrying shades of meaning that are intolerable if a law is to be understood well enough to be obeyed.

    Uggg!!!! Your socialist moral relativism filth disgusts me. Peoples minds have been poisoned with these lies for so long they have forgotten the true meaning of words like freedom and democracy. There is black and there is white and lawyers, teachers and other linguistic perverts should be shown exactly what that means before its two late for the next generation!!!!

  17. Sam P 17

    “I’ve never understood central city building processes, no one seems to have thought out how all these high rises will work in with each other.”

    Wellington is well thought-out for NZ, with a very complex urban design policy regarding building height and mass. Each city block has its own height standards, and integration with surrounding buildings is paramount.

    The old saying (that applies to Ms Constance in this instance) is that you don’t own your view. It is logical that if a building on the piece of land you live on can be X stories high, that a building can hypothetically be built on your neighbour’s land that is also X stories high, removing some of your view. These rights are restricted in residential areas to allow sunlight, etc.

    Anyone buying an apartment (or any house) should go through due diligence with a solicitor to find out how their property could be affected by future development, or if they can’t afford that go and see the Council for free. This isn’t the fault of the RMA, it’s just not all people choose to listen to/pursue sound advice.

  18. The RMA *could* use some tidying up, but I really hope they’re not foolish enough to go that far. I’m sure there are people in the National caucus who would very much like to strip out any consideration of ecosystems but the backlash would be huge. I’m cautiously optimistic that they’ll temper their urges.

  19. vto 19

    SP, the RMA does need some tweaking but if what you say is correct then it is bad. I hope you are merely doing your usual exaggeration of the situation. Will have to do some homework …

  20. Sam P

    But I think the point is that National are proposing to legislate to *remove* the very restrictions you champion?

  21. higherstandard 21

    “Uggg!!!! Your socialist moral relativism filth disgusts me. Peoples minds have been poisoned with these lies for so long they have forgotten the true meaning of words like freedom and democracy. There is black and there is white and lawyers, teachers and other linguistic perverts should be shown exactly what that means before its two late for the next generation!!!!”

    MMMM and add to that

    “The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself. There is no other principle distinctly, certainly, and consistently maintained through all its narrow turnings.”

    “These sequestered nooks are the public offices of the legal profession, where writs are issued, judgments signed, declarations filed, and numerous other ingenious machines put in motion for the torture and torment of His Majesty’s liege subjects, and the comfort and emolument of the practitioners of the law.”

    They don’t write em like that any more.

  22. IrishBill 22

    That would be bleak house?

  23. BeShakey 23

    Is anyone else having problems with comments? When I look at the main page posts show they have 0 comments (so I just read from there), despite the fact there clearly are comments when the post is clicked on.

    [lprent: Massive caching is back on after someone tried a denial of service attack a few days ago. It lags a bit sometimes on my side. Often the client side is caching heavily as well. Try refresh or the refresh key]

  24. Sam P 24

    Dean,

    I agree, and don’t think such restrictions should be removed. Was just making a detailed point about Tiggers comment.

    BeShakey: I have the same problem, and frequently use the F5 key when looking at the main page

  25. higherstandard 25

    IB

    and Pickwick Papers I think.

  26. IrishBill 26

    “pickwick papers”

    Ah, of course. It’s been a few years since I read any Dickens. I’d almost forgotten all about him. Perhaps I’ll pick some up on the way home tonight.

  27. higherstandard 27

    I suspect one could find similar musings from others going back over the millennia…. somethings don’t change all that much as time goes by.

    In truth lawyers are just the same as everyone a mix of good and bad depending on your perspective.

    Dickens after a long break is like getting reacquainted with an old friend.

  28. Tigger 28

    Actually, this change is just what we need. So when I win Lotto and buy up the houses around John Key’s home and install an all-night greyhound racing track, a nightclub, brothel, 24-hour A&E clinic and a bunch of $2 shops then I’ll only have to worry about the natural and physical resources and nothing else.

    Sadly I am bloody minded enough that if I win Lotto I will do just that.

  29. Janet 29

    I suppose it will all be rammed through parliament under urgency with no select committee scrutiny.

  30. Pete 30

    This reminds me somewhat of the Bush administration’s move to change definitions that allowed torture in Guantanamo and other (non-U.S. locations). Amazing what a little power does…

  31. mike 31

    “The RMA does not impose significant monetary or time costs on housing. These changes will not speed up house construction,”

    Bullshit! – you obviously haven’t tried to build a house lately SP.
    Compared to 12 years ago it’s a bloody nightmare.

    “(d)The social, economic, aesthetic, and cultural conditions which affect the matters stated in paragraphs (a) to (c) of this definition or which are affected by those matters”

    More bullshit! In other words “everything” thats ever been or will be. That’s why this farce of an act is for the chop.

  32. Felix 32

    mike,

    Anyone who knows what they’re doing with regard to building houses finds very little trouble with the consent process. You dot the “i”s and cross the “t”s, it’s usually very simple for a reasonably functional person.

    In my experience in the building industry it tends to be morons who can’t follow any simple process who run into trouble with consents – these are the same morons who don’t understand why they get parking tickets and blame the council for their fines.

    If you are one of these morons then I understand how difficult you must have found the process but really, you’re going to have that problem with almost everything you try to do on this earth.

    It’s probably best for everyone if you don’t build any houses. You’re just not smart enough.

  33. mike 33

    Felix – you must be one smart cookie working in the building industry – did you get School C woodwork? well done you.
    The RMA is a gravy train for pinko control freaks in the public service so I can see why you guys embrace it.
    It’s nanny state crap like this that lost you lot the election

  34. Felix 34

    mike,

    When I worked in the industry I was certainly smart enough to do with ease that which you apparently found so challenging.

    So compared to you, yeah I’m a smart cookie. Not that that means much.

    Don’t forget to put some money in the parking meter, mike. Wouldn’t want you getting angry at the council, would we?

  35. RedLogix 35

    Mike,

    Bullshit! – you obviously haven’t tried to build a house lately SP.
    Compared to 12 years ago it’s a bloody nightmare.

    Yes it is a nightmare. My absence from The Standard the last three weeks is due to the long awaited, 15 month overdue arrival of our latest investment unit on site. The total bill from the surveyor, the council, and interest to the bank because of the delay will be in the range of $23,000. That has added about 18% to the cost of the building. (Not including land and services which were paid for as part of previous stage.)

    So if anyone is qualified to have a moan about the RMA it should be me. Yet I fully support the general principles and purposes of the RMA and I do not believe it should be substantially changed.

    All the problems we struck were either due to our own making, or more importantly, the inability of Wellington City Council to deal with changes in a timely fashion. The critical delays were:

    1. Changes of staff. We went through three planners, and each one had their own views on what we were trying to achieve, and differing levels of responsiveness. Each one more or less forced us back to square one, but were unable to reach a conclusion in a timely fashion. The last was brand new to the job, and being so junior was very reluctant to make any decisions… everything got sent back for ‘peer review’, ie he had to get his boss to sign off on it.

    2. Changes of planning rules. Because everything took so long we got caught up in a major change of subdivision rules, so almost everything had to be reworked, and because we already had so much building and asset already committed to, it was a very difficult and close thing to accomodate such radical changes.

    3. Every variation, large or small, took a full month or more for a result. Even after we had a verbal confirmation of final consent in early Nov 2008, it was still the last working day in December before we got it in writing. Another month, another mortgage payment. Clearly WCC’s Building and Consents division is not coping with it’s workload, yet consent levels are way down. I would hate to imagine how long it would have taken if they were actually busy.

    None of our problems were directly caused by the RMA or Building Codes in themselves. Although these rules do generate a lot of paperwork, dealing with them is not an issue if you are prepared to put in the work to generate professional responses. Where we came unstuck was the inability of our Council to process the application in a consistent, effective and timely manner. This is where the problems are arising, and where solutions are required.

    Instead National propose a mindless gutting of the RMA which will be a repeat of the same mindless gutting of the Building Codes that National perpetrated in the early 1990’s. That turned out to be a grossly incompetent policy blunder that directly led to the ‘Leaky Building Syndrome’ … a cockup that has caused many innocent New Zealanders’ immense cost and heartache. This will turn out no different.

  36. Kate 36

    I think what is really interesting about the proposed changes to the definition is that most developers/ property lobbys do not want it changed – this is because they can argue about amenity value from an economic/ cultural and social perspective.
    This change will not make it easier to get your deck built thats for sure and there are serious ramifications for councils as Steve and others have outlined.
    I am not sure why they are making this change considering there has been no support from the development sector or from the environmentalists.
    Council processes and staff quality are whats really important in cutting down time for smaller projects not the RMA and as for big developments the RMA doesnt really need to be changed better national standards will do more to solve the problems most associated with the RMA.

  37. Lew 37

    RL: So … if the RMA were less convoluted and engendered less i-dotting, t-crossing and arse-covering on the part of underqualified WCC minions, would your building consent have been significantly quicker/cheaper?

    Why/not?

    Because while it might not be the right way to go about it, my instinct is that the planned changes will have the effect of making development quicker and cheaper. It seems to me that the strongest grounds for opposition arent `it won’t make things better’, but `it will have unintended costs’, as Dean and SP and others are arguing.

    L

  38. mike 38

    Sorry all you who are wailing and moaning —

    Its called the pendulum effect.
    You see when you have extreme detailed regulation that the RMA has – like anyone can object and almost any basis can be used to object, and almost any interpretation, etc, then there will always be a backlash – the pendulum swings one way and then it inevitably swings back the other way. It depends on how tight the ‘spring’ is as to how many times it swings.

    What the current government are doing is exercising the natural swing of politics.

    If the regulations werent so bloody insane (in some areas) then this wouldnt be happening. Just like the EFA, its insane and there is obviously going to be a backlash (which even Goff agrees with !!) How you “Redlogic”can be happy to spend twenty odd thousand to allow the effects of the RMA to proceed indicates only that you either have far tioo muc money or are a bit feeble brained. Will you have a better house for this money ? – and the answer is a big fat NO.

    There are a lot of regulations that need gutting. The building regulations need throwing out (how come we could build houses 100 years ago that didnt leak – and many are still standing today. With the building regulations what we got was leaky buildings – thats not progress)

    And yes, there will be a swing in due course against the changes national are going to make

  39. RedLogix 39

    So if the RMA were less convoluted and engendered less i-dotting, t-crossing and arse-covering on the part of underqualified WCC minions, would your building consent have been significantly quicker/cheaper?

    Alternately you might have suggested that it would have been quicker if said WCC minions were better paid, better qualified and sufficiently experienced to be able to operate the RMA and various Consent processes more effectively. That is where the problem lies, deal with it there.

    BTW the problems we really encountered were not so much with the RMA. If you understand what it’s requirements are, and approach them conservatively, then it is not all that difficult to gain compliance. The real problems arose with the Council’s own subdivision and multi-dwelling rules… these are much more complex and onerous. Dismantling the RMA will have no effect on them.

    There are a lot of regulations that need gutting. The building regulations need throwing out (how come we could build houses 100 years ago that didnt leak – and many are still standing today.

    A totally different issue to the RMA. Actually few people would want to live in a house built to 100 year old standards; they may not have leaked much, but they were small, cold, drafty and damp… with crap layouts and lousy services. In response an excellent NZ Building Code was gradually developed over decades (up until the 1990’s), that was a prescriptive document mandating a limited range of proven methods (esp around watertightness) that most builders and inspectors were very familiar with. The downside was that it was quite difficult for inspectors to approve alternate or novel approaches. Generally you had to get an engineer to sign off on anything unusual.

    The big cock up was National caving into vested interest pressure in 1990. Instead of expanding on and improving the flexibility of the existing Building Code, completely tossed the old document out and went for a ‘descriptive’, ‘self certifying’ approach. The suppliers rapidly flooded the market with a whole range of new materials and techniques with minimal training and unproven or downright dodgy durability. Problem was that the Councils had no experience with managing the huge risk this created, nor did the host of private ‘certifying’ companies that were signing off on all this new work. The industry was under huge cost and competive pressures and with no effective external oversight, issues around breathability, watertightness and quality slipped badly. It has and still is costing this country billions.

    In 1990 National did not so much as swing the policy pendulum, as kick off it’s pivot.

    No I did not enjoy shelling out $20k plus (for no measureable added value) this last year or so, but neither am I going to whinge about it either. Everyone else has been up against the same hurdle as well. But the way forward is not another ideological leap off the rails, but to identify the most frequently RMA and Building Consent issues and improve the system so that it is able to deal with them more effectively.

    I would bet that around 80% of the delays encountered with the existing process are caused by a relative handful of common issues, that could be dealt to with some fairly non-controversial reforms.

  40. Paul Robeson 40

    We gotta fight ’em on the beaches boys!

    sorry haven’t read the thread, but is there a strategy to combat this? Try to make it very unpopular.

    Having been overseas the first thing every foreigner says to me is how beautiful our country is. It is only that way because we’ve fought for it.

    The moment we build a tonne of massive tacky apartments and destroy a location, or anything else we can’t get it back.

  41. Paul Robeson 41

    Good to see someone remembers back as far as the leaky buildings nightmare which still hasn’t been cleared up from the last time these cowboys had a go at deregulation.

  42. lprent 42

    I remember it. I’m still living with it. We’ve repaired the building, but the court case hopefully starts in two months. In a year or so the nightmare may be over.

    This is now a bit over 10 years after my apartment block was built and about 4 years after the problems were detected. I feel it every month when the mortgage and loan payments come out – they are close to double what I was paying.

    All because some national party hack in the early 1990’s thought that deregulating the regulation of the building industry would improve the market efficiency. In Auckland this was taken by the local council as a reason to simply abrogate the council responsibility for buildings.

    It was and still is a mess. The current level of regulation is about right, but we’re still cleaning up from the last time we had these dickheads in charge of building regulation (and making noises about ‘efficiency’).

    But hey, that is the nature of a conservative – if something didn’t work last time, then lets repeat it and hope that it works this time.

  43. BLiP 43

    Some egg said:

    ” . . . What the current government are (sic) doing is exercising the natural swing of politics . . . ”

    There is nothing “natural” about Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Green/Blues Goober John Key and his big business buddies eliminating legislative protection for the environment – it is the antithesis of “nature”.

    I could understsand your premise if Goober & Co were to shut certain groups of citizens out of the process, or reduce the timeframe for consultation, or stack the deciding authority with National Party softcocks. But no. They will do that as well as sacrifice what’s left of our ecosystems to assist Goober John Key’s mates profit from destruction.

    The “spring” you refer to was no way wound that tight. Its more like, rather than a pendulum, a flood gate of greed is about to swing open.

  44. Clarke 44

    The immediate impact of an RMA change that removes “amenity value” as a criteria for resource consent applications will be that the flyover at the Basin Reserve will be railroaded through by the NZ Transport Agency. After all, being able to actually hear a cricket match won’t have any monetary value, so won’t have to be considered.

    Maybe this is the “brighter future” that John Key promised us.

  45. watchdog 46

    When National enacted the Resource Management Bill there was a caucus scrap between the then Minister of the Environment, Simon Upton, and development lobby within the caucus led by members like Warren Cooper. Upton was so concerned about keeping the purpose of the Act in section 5 intact that he did not take enough care over the definition of the environment (s.2). To this day he believes it is too wide. While Cooper and others lost the fight for section 5 they did achieve ammendments that affected the operation of the Act.

    The information provided above is reliable but time will tell what changes are made and how those changes affect the interpretation of the Act and the case law. Some of the interpretations are a bit fanciful but I know how you feel.

    It seems the intent is to remove certain aspects that frustrate those undertaking development. These frustrations are real.

    The RMA works in a continuum. Those that want to develop and those that want to protect what we have. We should not be surprised that the arena of resource management is characterised by the conflict of strong views, values and emotions. I don’t believe it is realistic to fix this situation so everyone is happy.

    The purpose of the Act is the “sustainable management of natural and physical resources” It will be a huge failing if any changes weaken the Act in this regard.

    But….water quality worsens from increased land use intensification, buildings and apartments are being built that have scant regard for the inhabitants health and wellbeing, cities sprawl out over countrysides. new towns spring up requiring higher energy and transport costs. The list goes on. Developers are not the only people unhappy about how the Act works in practice

    The problem is that government has failed to provide leadership by the provision of National Policy statements and Environmental Standards. This has caused endless protracted debates in the courts over the formation of Regional and District Plans.

    Our environment is under threat from this government and there is nothing like a recession to excuse those in charge removing rules to encourage development.

    We must be vigilant and ensure this does not happen

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    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    4 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    4 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    5 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    5 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    6 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    7 days ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    7 days ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    1 week ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
    This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David Teehan, Mere Ngailevu and others.Inevitably, you forget things, and over ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020
    Supply Side How are we doing with CO2 emissions? It's an important question, increasingly posed to a mixed bag of CO2 contributors who may or may not provide accurate reportage. Liu et al present a new, additional means of measurement based on satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide co-emitted from ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Donald Trump’s strategic gamble
    There’s a meme going around the Internet at the moment claiming that Donald Trump is a bit of an idiot. To outside eyes it does seem as though the President of the United States thumbs his nose at his own countries laws and administration far too often to be taken ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Is the prostitute the seller or the sold?
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the third part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna Whitmore. Part 1 was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • The climate crisis is also a biodiversity crisis
    Dr Andrea Byrom Like many of us, the summer break has seen me transfixed with horror at the scale and magnitude of the bushfire crisis in Australia. As an ecologist, I can’t help but be appalled at the loss of some of Australia’s most beautiful ecosystems and landscapes. And ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    5 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    6 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    7 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into constructionProvincial Growth Fund supports Waika...
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    43 mins ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    43 mins ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced New Zealand’s support for a Pacific-led hub that will strengthen public services across the region. “Strengthening public services is a core focus of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, as efforts to improve democratic governance in the Pacific contributes to a strong, stable and more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
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