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Peak metals

Written By: - Date published: 6:47 am, September 19th, 2009 - 47 comments
Categories: economy, Environment - Tags:

We’re probably all now aware of the idea of peak oil. The earth is finite, and we can’t suck an infinite amount of oil out of it. But oil isn’t the only resource which is reaching its peak. Various important metals are running out even faster:

Indium, gallium and hafnium are some of the least-known elements on the periodic table, but New Scientist warns that reserves of these low-profile minerals and others like them might soon be exhausted thanks to the demand for flat screens and other high-tech goods. Scientists who have tried to estimate how long the world’s mineral supply can meet global demand have made some gloomy predictions.

Armin Reller, a materials chemist at the University of Augsburg in Germany, estimates that in 10 years the world will run out of indium, used for making liquid-crystal displays for flat-screen televisions and computer monitors. He also predicts that the world will run out of zinc by 2037, and hafnium, an increasingly important part of computer chips, by 2017.

This issue is starting to get more widely noticed. Here are some extracts from the New Scientist article mentioned:

It’s not just the world’s platinum that is being used up at an alarming rate. The same goes for many other rare metals such as indium, which is being consumed in unprecedented quantities for making LCDs for flat-screen TVs, and the tantalum needed to make compact electronic devices like cellphones. How long will global reserves of uranium last in a new nuclear age? Even reserves of such commonplace elements as zinc, copper, nickel and the phosphorus used in fertiliser will run out in the not-too-distant future. So just what proportion of these materials have we used up so far, and how much is there left to go round?

Without more recycling, antimony, which is used to make flame retardant materials, will run out in 15 years, silver in 10 and indium in under five. In a more sophisticated analysis, Reller has included the effects of new technologies, and projects how many years we have left for some key metals. He estimates that zinc could be used up by 2037, both indium and hafnium – which is increasingly important in computer chips – could be gone by 2017, and terbium – used to make the green phosphors in fluorescent light bulbs – could run out before 2012. It all puts our present rate of consumption into frightening perspective

The US now imports over 90 per cent of its so-called “rare earth” metals from China, according to the US Geological Survey. If China decided to cut off the supply, that would create a big risk of conflict, says Reller.

That was written in 2007. In 2009 the scenario quoted in the last extract is about to come to pass. China is planning to stop exporting rare metals:

Beijing is drawing up plans to prohibit or restrict exports of rare earth metals that are produced only in China and play a vital role in cutting edge technology, from hybrid cars and catalytic converters, to superconductors, and precision-guided weapons.

A draft report by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has called for a total ban on foreign shipments of terbium, dysprosium, yttrium, thulium, and lutetium. Other metals such as neodymium, europium, cerium, and lanthanum will be restricted to a combined export quota of 35,000 tonnes a year, far below global needs.

China mines over 95pc of the world’s rare earth minerals, mostly in Inner Mongolia. The move to hoard reserves is the clearest sign to date that the global struggle for diminishing resources is shifting into a new phase. Countries may find it hard to obtain key materials at any price.

Now what?

47 comments on “Peak metals”

  1. jabba 1

    great news to wake up to

  2. outofbed 2

    Now what?
    Prospecting in National parks?

  3. RedLogix 3

    Quoting from The New Scientist article is an interesting sentence: Mr. Kleijn says that a lot of copper could be freed up by replacing cities’ copper pipes with plastic ones.

    Copper is perhaps the most vital of the non-ferrous metals to our our electricity driven civilisation, and one for which there is no good substitute. (Aluminium cables are only useful in a certain small niche of applications.) But far too much copper gets stupidly gobbled up in domestic plumbing, when there are several excellent polymer alternatives available. Why?

    Well it’s an interesting story. Turns out that when polybutelyne plumbing was first introduced about 25 years ago there were two very divergent approaches taken in the US and Europe. The Europeans went down the regulated standards route, carefully developing good engineering specifications and clever sophisticated products that worked well. Most new buildings in the UK and Europe would be built with one of several excellent polymer systems installed.

    By contrast the US, in all it’s de-regulated capitalist hubris, let the free market reign. Result; total frack up. What they got was cheap, poorly designed rubbish, that after a few short years started bursting and leaking all over the place. What the Amercians did wrong was use cheap nasty acetate connectors, with poorly designed collars that needed huge crimp pressures to stop them leaking. Or used mismatched materials that failed under a combination of high mechanical stress and and the often rather high chlorine content of many US water supplies.

    A massive class action forced polybutelyne (and by tainted association, most other polymer systems) off the market. Huge sums were spent ripping out vast amounts of perfectly good polybutelyne piping and replacing it with copper. And no plumber in the US would even think of using anything but copper these days.

    I know this is a technical little story, but in a technology based society these things matter. The contrast between the European and American approaches, and the end results… could not be more stark. In the modern world politics is not just about the big social and environmental issues, it’s about competent, long-term managment of policies, regulations and standards. ‘Hands-off’ light handed, small govt does not cut the mustard.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      A free-market under highly regulated and enforced standards and we may, just may, be able to prevent modern civilisation from collapsing into the dustbin. As long as we maintain “capitalist free-market” and it’s core aspect of individualism though, we haven’t got a snowballs chance in a furnace.

  4. Chris 4

    Never fear! Gerry-Mining is Good!-Brownlee to the rescue!

    Ask him! Except Metiria did, and he morphed into Gerry-I don’t care what the peasants think-Brownlee.

  5. ben 5

    Folks, this might be scary except that a) doomsayers have been around for millenia, and it is not clear from anything you’ve said that you’re any different, b) you badly misunderstand incentives for discovery (hint: our desire to get materials out of the ground will end long before it is all gone), badly misunderstand how markets deal with scarcity, and badly misunderstand incentives for recycling, which appear when and only when, notwithstanding limitless tapayers dollars being thrown at it, scarcity actually occurs.

    Google “fatal conceit”. You can’t plan your way out of scarcity, although governments have a remarkable abilty to plan their way into it.

    • rainman 5.1

      “hint: our desire to get materials out of the ground will end long before it is all gone”

      This is surely the greater “fatal conceit”. What possible mechanism would exist to ensure that our desire for a resource will decline before the supply of the resource itself?

      Put another way: I have a plum tree in my back yard, grows the most amazing plums. And every year my desire for them builds as I see the blossom, then the fruit start to grow, then ripen. And for a few short weeks I get to indulge my desire and eat fresh plums from the back yard. But then they run out – before my desire for them does.

      Fortunately they’re a renewable resource, and if I look after the tree I can get some the next year. Not so with many other resources, though.

  6. ben 6

    Draco

    But far too much copper gets stupidly gobbled up in domestic plumbing, when there are several excellent polymer alternatives available. Why?

    I’ll bet good money you’re wrong that it’s stupid, Draco. The reason is that there is a global market for copper and people are perfectly aware of the alternative ways to plumb their houses.

    Quite why this could produce a misallocation of cooper to the wrong uses is unclear. Everybody is stupid spending their own hard-earned cash taking into account their own preferences and situations that you, as an outsider, couldn’t possibly know about? Is that what you think?

    Um, no. What’s going on is that you’ve done one or more of the following things: underestimated the quantity of copper, over estimated the value of its other uses, under estimated the value of copper as plumbing. I’m not saying people never make mistakes. But the idea that the entire world has systematically got it wrong by using copper in their plumbing and you’ve actually seen the light is plain silly.

    Again, the fatal conceit.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Ben,

      You’re addressing the wrong person.

      Everybody is stupid spending their own hard-earned cash taking into account their own preferences and situations that you, as an outsider, couldn’t possibly know about?

      In a nutshell yes. The Americans are stupid for having allowed the intelligent option of using polymer plumbing to be devalued because they failed to correctly regulate the market.

      The Europeans by contrast did not.

      • ben 6.1.1

        Red, if everybody else’s revealed preferences are unreliable indicators of value – why should we trust yours? What makes them wrong and you right? Given there’s millions of them and one of you, and they’re spending their own money and you’re not, and given they know what makes them happy and you don’t, why should we prefer your view on use of copper to theirs? Compared to the $billions they have independetly invested, your talk by comparison could not be cheaper, right?

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1

          It’s not a question of one person being right and another wrong. It’s about the science being right and the free-market being wrong. The use of plastic for the pipes would have been fine and no one would have changed if standards had been introduced. Those standards weren’t introduced and so America ended up with substandard materials the result being that the market then had to correct but everyone, because they didn’t know any better, moved away from using plastic to using a less common material.

          All of which adds to the increasing poverty of future generations.

          • ben 6.1.1.1.1

            Draco, you are assuming your answer. What science takes into account the personal value individuals give to copper vs plastics? What science takes into account the risk aversion for what’s new? And so on. Economics is about utility, not chemistry and physics. And utility is, ultimately, deeply personal. But those preferences are correctly recongised as relevant to happiness. Forcing people, citing the best science going, to accept something they do not want for whatever reason, is a recipe for second best.

            Extend that idea across the economy and it is a recipe for disaster. How many times must this be demonstrated? Planned economies do not work. If it fails for entire economies, why should we expect it to work in any part of it?

            You may well be right about the science. And perhaps consumers will come around to the idea that plastic really is better in pipes. After, what, a decade half the wine bottles in the store are still sealed with cork. I don’t know what people like. Neither do you. The simple fact is that right now people are willing to out bid others for copper, and its highest value use is in pipes. Absent externalities, you should not generally expect to make things better by forcing people to buy something they do not want.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1.1

              You really are an idiot aren’t you?

              you are assuming your answer.

              Yes, I know its a hell of an assumption assuming that people would prefer to buy a product that works.

              What science takes into account the personal value individuals give to copper vs plastics?

              WTF are you smoking? The original argument was plastics with standards that worked versus plastics without standards that didn’t.

              What science takes into account the risk aversion for what’s new?

              The science that can prove to a reasonable degree that one product works and the other doesn’t.

              Forcing people, citing the best science going, to accept something they do not want for whatever reason, is a recipe for second best.

              Who’s being forced to do what? That’s an interesting question. See, in America, the people were forced to do their own science to determine if a product was up to what they wanted to do. A highly expensive exercise which most people didn’t do resulting in even more expense due to the products they bought not being up to standard. In the EU the science was done for the people and the products were forced to meet the standard. They still had the choice of multiple products and could even choose copper if they wanted.

              The scientifically determined standards put in by the EU removed the risk and so people could buy confidently. In the US they ended up with multi-million dollar repair bills and a class action suit because the manufacturers went after profit rather than a good product. The people in the US are now risk averse to plastic pipes when they shouldn’t be all because some idiots thought standards shouldn’t apply.

              I won’t bother with the rest of your post because it’s all tripe.

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Thanks Draco…. that puts the case very concisely. Ben’s line of thought is a very revealing, it demonstrates the critical weakness of conventional economic thinking… an almost total disconnect with reality.

              As an engineer I’m completely baffled by the way these guys think. From my perspective there is something fundamentally wrong with modern economics. As I said above, any so called ‘science’ that completely fails to make even basic predictions, such as the current global financial crisis, has really lost it’s way.

        • RedLogix 6.1.1.2

          ben,

          I get the same sense of disconnect from reality when I read you, that I get from several other economist types I’ve come across before.

          My only answer is that for all your waffle about ‘revealed preferences’, the fact is that the regulated Europeans made intelligent market choices and the unregulated Americans did not. The links I gave are just a small taste of what you get when you google ‘polybutelyne’…what you discover is the very odd scenario where it is a perfectly acceptable mainstream product in Europe, and being ripped out in disgust by the Yanks.

          Is that ‘revealed’ enough for you?

          • ben 6.1.1.2.1

            Red, I’ve re-read your story – where is the bit that explains why copper was wrong? You’ve simply asserted that Europeans are intelligent and Americans are not, and copper bad, plastics good. But where’s the beef?

            The basic point here has nothing to do with copper vs plastic. The point is that no individual can possibly know what the right answer is. No spreadsheet can account for everything required to know what mix of plastic and copper, or whatever, is right.

            Yet you appear certain you know the answer.

            That is the fatal conceit that Hayek correctly pointed out shortly before Communism’s fall. The main reason socialism fails is because planners cannot possibly know where resources have their highest value use.

            Yet here you are, explaining that copper has higher value use elsewhere. As if you or I or any other individual could possibly know that. We can’t. One can criticise markets for all kinds of reasons, but suggesting officials (or blog commenters) are better than markets at directing resources to their highest valued uses is absurd. It has nothing to do with skill of the officials or their goodwill, or ideology. It is simply that the information requirements to solve the economic problem are stupendous and decisionmaking is best left decentralised.

          • ben 6.1.1.2.2

            Red, you know I get exactly the same feeling from you. This disconnect you think is happening is simply because I disagree with a prescription derived from a world constructed entirely in your head. You think you know what is required to know where copper has better uses. But the reality is there is no way you or I or even the smartest person in the world could possibly know this. The question of where any resource has greatest value is unknowlable by any person, because the number of competing uses for that resource and all the calculations required to derive value for each of them, taking into account substitute resources for each of them, taking into account their location and the timing of their need, taking into account all the alertnative ways they could achieve their ends without the resource, is simply incalculable. Whatever moral or ehtical or practical objection you have to markets, the one thing they excel at is doing a better job (though by no means perfect) of solving this equation than individuals or committees or experts could possibly hope for.

      • ben 6.1.2

        You’re addressing the wrong person.

        My bad, apologies.

    • RedLogix 6.2

      Oh, and this commentator in the Sydney Morning Herald has a scathing condemnation of conventional thinking:

      The global financial crisis has revealed major weaknesses in conventional economics. Economists will need to face up to these if their discipline is to recover its reputation and relevance.

      Many of these shortcomings arise from the belief that markets and economies are inherently stable. That is, the market system is self-righting. It’s usually in ”equilibrium” (balance) and, should some external event push it into disequilibrium, this sets off a process that returns the system to equilibrium quickly and easily.

      Economists hold to this belief for various reasons. One is that it makes economics nice and neat, providing simple explanations and predictions (the predictions may not be very accurate, but who’s counting?). It makes it easier to conduct economic analysis using maths rather than words, which makes academic economists feel scientific and intellectually high-powered.

      But the belief in self-righting markets also fits nicely with the political philosophy of libertarianism – the supremacy of freedom of the individual, the minimal need for governments and taxes.

      And it suits business interests, who want maximum freedom to make a buck in any way they see fit.

      • ben 6.2.1

        Red, I believe the SMH quote has nothing to do with allocative efficiency, which is what the copper issue is. Macroeconomic equilibrium and the current recession really is different and unrelated. Nobody’s arguing the current recession is the product of people not understanding their own preferences.

        • RedLogix 6.2.1.1

          Ben,

          You miss the point entirely… macro economic equilibrium is a mathematical and logical myth:

          Quite to the contrary, the representative agent approach in economics has simply set the macro sphere equal to the micro sphere in all respects. One could, indeed, say that this concept negates the existence of a macro sphere and the necessity of investigating macroeconomic phenomena in that it views the entire economy as an organism governed by a universal will.6 Any notion of “systemic risk’ or “coordination failure’ is necessarily absent from, and alien to, such a methodology.

          Dahlem Report p8.

          Behavioural Economists have been long arguing that the whole of macro economics is based on a number of fatal logical flaws, the notion of allocative efficiency is a nonsense, that so called competitive markets produce no more total welfare than monopolies, and the whole neo-classical intellectual structure of mainstream economics is a failure.

          The mere fact that the vast majority of professional economists completely and utterly failed to formally predict the current global financial crisis… is all the evidence needed.

          • ben 6.2.1.1.1

            You miss the point entirely macro economic equilibrium is a mathematical and logical myth

            …which is off-point in this thread, and doesn’t respond to anything I’m talking about. You are right about the failure of economics to anticipate the crisis. But it would be an almost perfect non sequitur to draw any conclusions from that about the ability of people facing market prices for copper and other materials to select the right piping for their homes.

  7. Innocent bystander 7

    There is a difference between peak oil and peak metal. Hydrocarbons are used up when burned for fuel. Metals are able to be recovered through recycling. If the supply of metals gets low enough then recycling will become more economic and the free market will kick in (I’m not normally in thrall to the free market but it will work). Obviously prices will go up and some metals will not be recoverable. Peak oil on the other hand is something that is really worth losing sleep over.

    Unfortunately the free market will also dictate that places where it was uneconomic or undesirable to extract hydrocarbons and minerals from previously will become a lot more attractive. Mining national parks or worse Antarctica will be easier than changing our behavior to reduce, reuse and recycle or finding sustainable alternatives.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Without the energy that oil provides how will the metals be recycled?

    • Marty G 7.2

      Recycling is the solution (if there’s the energy) the problem at present isn’t that the metals are being destroyed like hydrocarbons are it’s that at the end of the product’s life they’re being dumped into landfills and the oceans – how are we going to get that stuff back? Landfill mining – the way of the future?

  8. randal 8

    I’m hip to this dude.
    plant a tree.

  9. ben 9

    The US now imports over 90 per cent of its so-called “rare earth’ metals from China, according to the US Geological Survey. If China decided to cut off the supply, that would create a big risk of conflict, says Reller.

    Well now why would China cut off supply, exactly? It couldn’t just cut off supply to America, but to everybody (there are secondary markets) to stop America getting it. Look it what it has to lose from infuriating America:

    a) billions of dollars of sales of those metals, needlessly foregone

    b) America cancels its debt to China, a massive transfer of wealth to America

    c) America and possibly the world invades

    So I don’t quite understand the argument.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      You’re asking the wrong question. The one you should be asking is What does China gain by only selling completed products to America rather than the raw materials?

      America seems intent to inflate the debt away anyway so China holding on to US$ isn’t doing itself any favours.

      America may invade but I suspect that they couldn’t afford to. It’s damned expensive trying to enforce imperialism on a country half a world away especially when that country is:
      1) Bigger than you
      2) Has more resources than you
      3) Has joined an alliance with another country that is all of the above as well

      America is no longer a superpower. I doubt if it’ll be any sort of power in a few decades.

      So I don’t quite understand the argument.

      Reality doesn’t conform to your delusion so your inability to understand it isn’t surprising.

      • ben 9.1.1

        Dracro ,what does all that have to do with anything?

        The original comment was:

        If China decided to cut off the supply, that would create a big risk of conflict, says Reller.

        Again, why would China cut it off?

        Thanks for the insult, by the way. What delusion would that be? Has any country ever so blatantly disregarded its own interests as this author is suggesting China might? So why should we expect China to start now?

  10. jarbury 10

    Aren’t some of the metals used in the batteries of electric cars pretty damn rare? So much for that saviour from peak oil – what idea next Steven Joyce?

    • r0b 10.1

      Aren’t some of the metals used in the batteries of electric cars pretty damn rare?

      Yes.

      what idea next Steven Joyce

      It won’t be public transport. Too many proles would use it.

  11. Quoth the Raven 11

    I don’t have time to argue the contradictions, conflations etc in this thread now. But I will say this I support a free market. Free markets can’t do anything about the environment fullstop. Onle people can do something about it. The whole problem is one of negative externalities. It should be clear to anyone that they are not properly dealt with now. The state as it is socializes these externalities. One can argue from this for less state intervention in the market to protect the environment. I’ll quote Carson on this:

    In most cases (stipulating that some cases exist), government action is not needed to prevent externalities; rather, externalities are created by government action. In fact, Oppenheimer’s theory of the “political means” is just another way of saying that government is a mechanism for creating externalities: the state transfers the costs and risks of certain kinds of economic activity from the actors themselves to others, so that some are enabled to live at others’ expense.

    The solution, in such cases, is simply to end the existing state subsidies or privileges, so that the economic actor fully internalizes the negative consequences of his action through the price mechanism.

    • Bill 11.1

      I run an open cast gold mine. It pollutes the hell out of water for miles around…kills fish and the people who rely on those fish and that water. And no government/state is around to implement and enforce environmental laws. Why do I internalise the costs associated with my activities? Any of the locals get upset and the locals can talk to my well armed militia which comes in at a fraction of the cost of either greening my production or cleaning up the mess resulting from my production.

      I’m no fan of the state, but with a market economy, the state can offer at least some level of defence/safeguard against the more egregious effects of the free market.

      • Quoth the Raven 11.1.1

        Will come back to this battle because I’m short on time but I’ll point you to this again In a freed market, who will stop markets from running riot and doing crazy things? And who will stop the rich and powerful from running roughshod over everyone else?

        Arguing from a statist position that statelessness would be vulnerable to abuse, exploitation etc is bizarre to me because well that’s what we have now just look around you. It’s exactly what we want to end. Government creates chaos. Anarchy is order.

        • Bill 11.1.1.1

          The market economy has certain inherent dynamics that result in crazy shit happening. It’s just plain naive to say that we will all somehow stop the crazy shit happening ( How? Magic?) while advocating the throwing away of the one institution or set of institutions that have enough power to stop some of the more crazy shit happening.

          It’s not statelessness that opens people to abuse of all sorts, it is statelessness within the context of a market economy that opens people up to all sorts of abuse (eg the gold mining scenario above). The market is not neutral.

          Moving on, governance (the act of government) is not chaos. Chaos might arise from a lack of governance or from bad governance, but it most certainly is not created by governance in and of itself.

          How else does anarchy achieve and maintain order if not through governance?

        • Quoth the Raven 11.1.1.2

          Bill – People not magic that’s the whole point.
          There’s a distinction to be drawn between government and the state I tend not to draw.
          No one says crazy shit isn’t going to happen. Crazy shit happens now an awful awful lot so that’s no argument.
          Draco – I never said I supported an ETS. I don’t. I don’t agree with either of your assumptions. I don’t address the point of the post. Here you go then resources are running out, yes. We’re going to have to deal with it, yes. Nothing in the post that says how we ought to deal with it. As usual there a myriad of possibilites.
          There are lot of presuppositions at play from both sides that aren’t understood because we don’t access to each others full arguments worked out over time. So we have difficulty understanding where each is coming from.
          I used to be reflexively anti-market and statist. Hell I was bascially a social democrat, but as I got more interested in politics over the last couple of years with greater knowledge my ideas have changed.
          There are plenty of anarchists who hate the market. I’m pluarlist enough to not mind if your a communist or a free marketeer as long as its voluntary and non-violent.

          I recommend: Why we fight the power

          I know this has been a poor response but I promise I’ll get back to this argument on Tuesday. So I’ll leave now with a quote:

          Anarchism is no patent solution for all human problems, no Utopia of a perfect social order, as it has so often been called, since on principle it rejects all absolute schemes and concepts. It does not believe in any absolute truth, or in definite final goals for human development, but in an unlimited perfectibility of social arrangements and human living conditions, which are always straining after higher forms of expression, and to which for this reason one can assign no definite terminus nor set any fixed goal.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.2.1

            And I used to free-market and voted National until I learned more and actually thought about things. Go read Debunking Economics to get an idea as to why your free-market utopia will never work.

            I’m pluarlist enough to not mind if your a communist or a free marketeer as long as its voluntary and non-violent.

            I’m anarchist enough not to give a shit WTF you think of my politics. I’m also free-market enough to know that it’s best to make decisions, such as setting standards and keeping an eye on resource use, based upon what the specialists who have researched it say and not on what individuals want for their own self-interest because no single person can know everything. It’s society that will set the rules and enforce them. Individuals are then free to work within those rules.

            • Quoth the Raven 11.1.1.2.1.1

              Calm down Draco.

              On debunking economics maybe you should read some of the work of the Austrians. They’re avid free market advocates and maintain that economics is not a science. They rail against other schools of economics.

              The perfect knowledge argument and tragedy of the commons are used and abused by both sides. The argument around perfect knowledge is used as much against central planning as against the free market and the tragedy of the commons is used to argue for the complete private ownership of natural resources. So forgive me if I find neither convincing for whatever side is making the argument and it’s not just about economic theory it’s about ethics.

              You couldn’t be free market and have voted National. That makes no sense whatsoever unless of course you had no sense of what the free market actually entails.
              .

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      So you support a strong ETS but you don’t support the existence of the rules needed ensure it works?

      The free-market (and anarchism itself really) require two things to work

      1.) Everybody must have perfect knowledge
      2.) Everybody must be willing to sacrifice their own best personal self-interest for the common good (second-best personal self-interest)

      Last time I looked we weren’t gods and not all people were willing to do the second one. The reality is that the Tragedy of the Commons wouldn’t happen if there were rules that everyone obeyed. The rules are there because we’re not gods and we’re not all altruistic.

      EDIT: As an aside, you didn’t even address the posts point that all the resources needed for modern civilisation are running out.

  12. Bill 12

    “Now what?”

    Next best thing of course!

    Capitalism is a bit passe and up itself. No?

    We got by for how long without indium, gallium and hafnium? Without LCDs and cell phones and computer chips? And what proportion of humanity still does? Where’s the real calamity? A piddly proportion of humanity losing some hi tech possibilities or the billions suffering inadequate sustenance due to the actions/ inactions of said piddly proportion?

  13. I don’t think national will ever mine National Parks, it will be the death of them at the next election.

  14. jcuknz 14

    I had a clean up recently and picked up a few taps, fittings, and copper pipe lying around … took it to the scrap metal dealer and came away with $58 … amazing!

    It is not just the mineral industry that polutes. The NYT a couple of days ago had an article and quote from a householder in the area stating’ the tap water comes out smelling like a barn” Farm effluent run-off into the water table.

  15. aj 15

    Since there was a deviation into free market economics a little further up this thread, I thought I’d stray into Adam Smith territory and put this link up which I thought has an interesting point of view on the invisible hand of the market..

    http://angrybear.blogspot.com/2009/09/norman-borlaug-michael-jackson-and.html

    • BLiP 15.1

      Great link. Thanks.

      I despair, however, because despite all the science in relation to the climate, for so long as we are ruled by the corporates and their public relations there’s little chance of anything changing. One just has to look at the vehemence behind the denialists on just this site spouting out their nonsense as if it were fact to get a glimpse at the confusion being deliberately generated to deny reality. Even when confronted with facts, the denialists’ brain washing has been so thorough they are incapable of a change in position. I am in no doubt that the corporates have all the facts, yet why do they still persist? Its as irrational as seeking deliberately to bring on the Rapture but, in fact, carrying out the work of Mammon.

      When oh when will the sleeping masses wake the fuck up!

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    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 13
    . . April 7: Day 13 of living in lock-down… and unlucky for those who are superstitious. A day when there was a ray of sunshine from an otherwise bleak day of worrying signs. Today, as RNZ reported; Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield reported 54 new confirmed and probable cases ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 hours ago
  • A UBI in Spain
    So far, universal basic income policies, which see people given a regular income without any conditions, have been trailed only on a small scale. But now, Spain is introducing one nationwide as a response to the pandemic: Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    9 hours ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    10 hours ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    1 day ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    1 day ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    1 day ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    2 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    2 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    2 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
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  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
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    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
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  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
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  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
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    6 days ago
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  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
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  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
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  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
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  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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  • Advance payments to support contractors
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  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
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  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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  • State of National Emergency extended
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  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
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  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
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  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    2 weeks ago