web analytics

Peak soil

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, April 5th, 2015 - 50 comments
Categories: Conservation, sustainability - Tags: , ,

No, not a typo. Just in case you’re short of things to worry about, you can add soil to the list. George Monbiot last month in The Guardian:

We’re treating soil like dirt. It’s a fatal mistake, as our lives depend on it

… Landowners around the world are now engaged in an orgy of soil destruction so intense that, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, the world on average has just 60 more years of growing crops. Even in Britain, which is spared the tropical downpours that so quickly strip exposed soil from the land, Farmers Weekly reports, we have “only 100 harvests left”.

To keep up with global food demand, the UN estimates, 6m hectares (14.8m acres) of new farmland will be needed every year. Instead, 12m hectares a year are lost through soil degradation. We wreck it, then move on, trashing rainforests and other precious habitats as we go. Soil is an almost magical substance, a living system that transforms the materials it encounters, making them available to plants. That handful the Vedic master showed his disciples contains more micro-organisms than all the people who have ever lived on Earth. Yet we treat it like, well, dirt.  …

A few years back I reviewed Tim Flannery’s Here on Earth: An Argument for Hope, which is also very good at documenting the dangers of the rapid environmental degradation that we are engaging in.

The government’s deregulation bill, which has now almost completed its passage through parliament, will force regulators – including those charged with protecting the fabric of the land – to “have regard to the desirability of promoting economic growth”. But short-term growth at the expense of public protection compromises long-term survival. This “unambiguously pro-business agenda” is deregulating us to death.  …

Of course our government is doing exactly the same, with its attack on the RMA.

This is what topples civilisations. War and pestilence might kill large numbers of people, but in most cases the population recovers. But lose the soil and everything goes with it.

Now, globalisation ensures that this disaster is reproduced everywhere. In its early stages, globalisation enhances resilience: people are no longer dependent on the vagaries of local production. But as it proceeds, spreading the same destructive processes to all corners of the Earth, it undermines resilience, as it threatens to bring down systems everywhere.

Most people understand the need to manage the environment sustainably. Even the political right should be able to grasp that there is no economy without the environment. And yet we carry on down our destructive road.

Obviously we need to vote for parties and local governments that take environmental issues seriously, not those that ignore or deny the problems. But we don’t have to just sit and wait for governments, we can all act locally. In this respect the Transition Town movement is a fantastic initiative. Get in touch with your own local transition organisation and get involved. There are plenty of great people and resources out there to learn from.

50 comments on “Peak soil”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    This is NZ from sapce. The light areas are farms and the dark areas are forest.

    Since the arrival of humans forests have dropped from near 100% to 31.4% in 2010. That coverage decrease had dropped to 56% by 1840 which means that even before the arrival of Europeans land use in NZ was unsustainable. Coverage has been slowly increasing since 1998 but not by enough.

    We need to change land use rules significantly from the presentfarm as a much as possible to make farmers richer to farm only what we need to feed the population in NZ. Cities need to upwards rather than outwards further decreasing land use. Everything else needs to be returned to forest with most of it being native forest.

    It is forests that build and sustain soil that can then be used to grow food. Artificial fertilisers do the exact opposite.

    • NZJester 1.1

      Actually maybe cities need to go down not up as in underground to leave the surface mostly clear for food and forest production. Or at least put in a growing level or two in each building.
      I saw a while back some plans an architect had drawn up of a building with a greenhouse built into it to grow food. Domes and mirrors on the roof reflected sunlight into the end of fiber-optic tubes that let them transfer the natural sunlight into the building where panels redistribute the light into the room without the need for electric lighting.
      Highrise greenhouses could be the thing of the future if we can still have the good soil to use.

      • weka 1.1.1

        We have enough land, that’s not the issue. We might end up with too many people, so at some point we will need either a steady state economy or degrowth. But the soil issue is how we farm the land we have not how much land we farm. Currently farming practices deplete soil, and the recent decades of extractive farming have accelerated that to a rate that is completely unsustainable. Fortunately we also know how to build soil (will drop some links down thread).

        • saveNZ 1.1.1.1

          Thanks Weka. Keen for links.

          Really liked those other links you did a while ago about drought. The one in Jordon was an amazing transformation.

          Do you know any thing about putting carbon in the soil?

          Apparently putting carbon in can totally change it for the better. Might be good for NZ soil.

          • weka 1.1.1.1.1

            Links here http://thestandard.org.nz/peak-soil/#comment-995892

            The carbon one is interesting. Lots of amazing work being done using animal grazing to restore soil and at the same time sequester carbon (you have to stop ploughing of course). If perennial pasture is left to grow long, then is mob grazed low, the plants shed their roots and this feeds the microbes. Those microbes are then crucial to all the biological processes that go on that ensure fertility, and good soil structure. This builds carbon in the soil, and as a long as it isn’t ploughed it remains there indefinitely. There are a number of different systems now in use that mimic this natural cycle from grassland and herd ecosystems (which are very fertile).

            Much of that work has been done in Africa, the US and Australia. People are doing it here too. I’m not sure what the limitations are here. In the big continents, herd animals were part of the natural ecosytems for very long times. Not so here and I hope we get to do more research on what are the best practices for the soils we have. On the other hand, we’ve spent 150 years degrading the landscape here and there is no reason to not use the livestock farms we have to restore some of those landscapes until we get to the next thing (we also need to massively be planting trees, because forests are crucial to how the ecologies of NZ works).

            Check out Holistic Management (Allan Savory), Carbon Farming, Regenag, and Joel Salatin. People that are good with empirical evidence without scientific rationale can check out the biodynamic farmers too. All those techniques are looking at land restoration not just sustainable farming.

      • Coffee Connoissuer 1.1.2

        take a look at vertical farming.

    • Poission 1.2

      The contrast from SPACE with a ring fenced national park is evident with Taranaki.

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/NEO_egmont_big.jpg

  2. saveNZ 2

    Absolutely right!!!

    Thanks for this article. Soil is very underestimated in how important it is both for food production, flora survival and erosion control.

    With the climatic change events that are occurring, droughts, floods, earthquakes, tidal waves etc throughout the world, soil issues are not really being talked about. We are losing the bees, kauris disease, etc etc and not enough is being done about it.

    People have lost sight of the big picture of life, now everything is so short term with profits – in the days before fertilisers you rotated crops and then on the seventh year let them be fallow. This has worked for centuries but now crops are mono crops, soil is not rested, soils are artificially maintained and the run off is leaching.

    I am not against fertiliser or pesticides but everything should be in moderation. There are big industry interests that want farmers to keep buying their products in ever increasing quantities. However the long term cost are not known and impacts on bees, water quality, soil etc

    The RMA is not strong enough already to protect the environment from short term profiteering, let alone if National gets its way to remove more environmental protection.

    Farmers should be the most scared, far from benefiting them, it is more likely industry and development will start to encroach them and wreck the Kiwi farming way of life. Fancy a motorway or power pylon through your farm, or a 200 residential subdivision next door – vote National!

  3. weka 3

    We need to shift to farming that not only doesn’t destroy fertile soil, but actively builds it. The basis of that is working with soil as a biological entity rather than a mechanical/chemical one. Fertility is created by the life cycles in the soil that are completely dependent on microbes. Kill or disrupt the microbes and the fertility and structure of the soil degrade.

    Currently we destroy soil by ploughing, leaving soil exposed, using artificial fertilisers, creating monocultures, overgrazing, cutting down trees and destroying natural ecosystems, and using techniques that dry out the land. Those things destroy the microbial life in the soil. All of that is avoidable.

    Examples of soil building farmers including Joel Salatin, who build soil at a rate far in excess of what biologists have been currently thinking.

    Joel Salatin’s family moved to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in 1960. Estimates of soil lost by plowing in the valley since colonial times range from 3 to 8 feet. When Joel’s father began grazing, there were areas of bare shale rock as extensive as 100 feet in diameter. In 2000, after 40 years of grazing, the largest of these rocky galls had been reduced to a few feet in diameter. By 2010, he couldn’t find any of these areas with less than 8 inches of new soil. He is making a case for 8 inches of soil created within a decade using a grazing plan with high-density herd impact followed by ample recovery time.

    http://www.nofamass.org/articles/2014/05/how-can-we-build-deep-rich-soils-new-england

    A good explanation of the soil food web and how it works,

    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2006-12-07/soil-food-web-opening-lid-black-box

    Demonstration of how to re-establish soil fertility in a dry, very degraded landscape by managing water in the soil and planting appropriately (“they laughed and said it couldn’t be done”) 5 mins,

    John Liu’s documentary on the restoration of the Loess Plateau (large scale restoration of desertified land to ecological food production).

    Holistic Management case studies in Australia, including large scale stations,

    http://www.soilsforlife.org.au/case-studies.html

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Great links weka. Especially that last one from Australia.

      Last year I had the chance to see what long-term drought is doing to farmers in NSW up close and personal. It ain’t pretty. The sad part is that only a minority of landowners like the ones in that link are so far willing to contemplate real change.

      Oh and the relationship between soil, forests and carbon capture has long stuck in my mind the the most vital link of all.

      Just local to us is Dave Holgren who can rightly be described as the godfather of permaculture here – we’re planning a visit as soon as we can find a free weekend.

      http://holmgren.com.au/

  4. fisiani 4

    So is this the latest excuse for no more houses to be build in the outer parts of Auckland and then blame the gummint for lack of houses?

    • weka 4.1

      stoopid trole.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      The only thing stopping new housing in Auckland is the government and they’re doing that by forcing green fields development for their land banking mates. What we really need is medium and high density within the bounds that we have and to slowly bring those bounds in.

      We have no other choice as we’ve already burnt through the resources that allowed us to spread out catastrophically.

    • DoublePlusGood 4.3

      Pro tip: just intensify the isthmus and then you don’t need to have Auckland swallow Franklin and Rodney.

  5. Upnorth 5

    this website just gets loopier and loopier

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      This is from te Ara, the New Zealand government’s encyclopedia of New Zealand.

      Extent of erosion

      In 1997 the Ministry for the Environment noted that:

      50% of the country was affected by moderate to slight erosion
      10% had severe to extreme erosion (eastern North Island, parts of Taranaki, and the South Island high country)
      only 31% of the total area could sustain pastoral farming without significant control of erosion
      a further 28% could support restricted livestock grazing combined with erosion control.
      It stated that the erosion of agricultural soils in the North Island hill country and South Island high country was of major concern.

      Are they loopy too? Or do they just require defunding?

      • weka 5.1.1

        The irony there is that the current government is desperately trying to control the advice coming from its own departments on ecological crises. It really doesn’t want to know what is real. Loopier and loopier.

      • Upnorth 5.1.2

        thats because the Labour goverment took away all farming subsidies – fertiliser was no one…hmmm

    • saveNZ 5.2

      @Fisiani or Upnorth, if you eat food, then soil is important. Not really loopy.

      Just because you don’t understand something does not mean it is not important.

      If you only care about money, then check out both the price of building insurance now and the cost of food in your supermarket. You might also like to understand farming both livestock, plants and trees is part of the NZ economy and tourism is also important that is based on the idea we have a clean green country.

      There is a relationship between food, soil, plants, livestock, trees, and climate change. I am sure in the ACT 101 manual it is not there but even the most ardent climate change denier I believe still understands that soil and food are related.

  6. tracey 6

    BEES HAVE BEEN IN TROUBLE FOR A LONG TIME TOO AND FOR SOME REASON (BASIC IGNORANCE OF HOW OUR FOOD CHANCE WORKS PERHAPS) it keeps flying under the radar (figuratively speaking)

    sorry Caps lock

    Soil and bees.

    Those who think a focus on those is loopy truly need to check off the planet now.

  7. fisiani 7

    What percentage of NZ is developed land? Care to guess?
    Is it 50%? 30%? 20%? 10%? 5%?
    I’ll post the answer later after I laugh at the guesses.

  8. Sable 8

    The fools in Labour and National seem to think treating our country as a toilet is just fine. Yet parties that do care seem to get overlooked. Personally I don’t get it.

  9. fisiani 9

    I’ll give you a little clue. We have roughly the same population as Singapore, Singapore could fit inside Lake Taupo,
    Whatever the point of this post it is irrelevant in New Zealand which is vastly under populated.

    • saveNZ 9.1

      Earth to Fisiani…

      Soil is not about Housing, soil is about Food Production!!!

      Many of New Zealand’s exports are related to food production or forestry.

      Soil is very important in NZ and less important than in Singapore which probably has to import all their food and forestry.

      Your point even wrecks your argument about housing as Singapore has a larger population in a vastly smaller country so blaming our housing issues on not enough land is nonsensical. Not to mention irrelevant.

    • felix 9.2

      What does “under populated” mean?

    • weka 9.3

      Fisiani, where does Singapore get its food from? (and it’s other resources)/

    • Foreign waka 9.4

      I am surprised that you say that since NZ main income comes from agriculture and forestry. Now, this requires land and lots of it. Unfortunately, many farmers are very short sighted (as are the gamblers on Wall street). The credo is: we want the dollars, and we want it now. This of cause means that the land is being used like a mechanical plant which we all know is unsustainable. The question is, will it be people in their middle age seeing the disaster when they are old or is it their kids?
      NZ is an island and as such extremely prone for the top soil being just being blown off to the sea. As it is only the top layer that allows to grow anything, farmers have undertaken a combination of deforestation, whilst growing only pines in other parts, depletion of water and pollution of the rest of waterways, whilst all the while saturating with ever increasing amounts of pesticides and other chemicals fields that are fertile.
      This principle of increasing yields might be seen as perfectly OK in the realm of invented values in the Stock market, but the Earth and its means of supporting all life is a bit too big for the little boys to play with.
      Coming back to the population growth as you stated with the example of Singapore. Firstly, the density of people living there is inhuman – literally. Secondly, we first need to be able to feed every child in NZ before we should have more of the same. Please do not come back with more people = more economic activity as this is really not the case in the long run.

      • NZJester 9.4.1

        It used to be every few years the over used farm soil in ancient farms would refuse to grow new crops as the farmers exhausted the nutrients in the soil their crops needed to grow. Then they discovered you could improve soil structure and fertility by alternating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted plants in the same area of ground by crop rotation. Modern farmers try to avoid the need to rotate crops by dumping on lots of fertilizer but that is starting to cause problems in our rivers and streams by choking up the waterways with nasty aquatic plants nourished by the fertilizer runoff into our rivers and streams when it rains. They should just go back to the well proven and environmental friendly method of crop rotation and avoid dumping all that fertilizer on the farms.

        • Foreign waka 9.4.1.1

          You are absolutely right. It would be even more important now to have the field rotation as well as certain plants as “neighborhood” crops to have a natural pest prevention in place.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.5

      That’s not a clue but an allusion and a piss poor one at that as it fails to take into account reality.

  10. Maui 11

    From what I can gather the Transition Town movement isn’t really a political group. Sure it’s a group where Green minded people will gravitate to and form some sort of community, but it’s not an activist group. I think there’s a big gap there for another green protest group to fill as the ecological pressures continue to mount and put pressure on society.

  11. aerobubble 12

    All species have the potential to explode in population, and just like all previous species we are inevitably going to hit a resource shortage, and have done over coming by adapting faster than genes use to, so much so that we did not take much of a hit.

    Eventually we will find a limit we cannot adapt culturally faster enough to, this would coincide with a rise in conservativism – forces opposed to change – will always occur when society needs to change. Heres the thing though, when we hit the wall, the final limit we cannot adapt fast enough, the conservative forces will be strongest, feeding off the growing clamor for change, but culture unable to agree on hw to achieve it since its a wall against which there is no solution.

    Well there is a solution, massive depopulation. Global one child policies. And until we actually can work together collectively globally we beyter get at it, crises in soil, water, energy, carbon show we are solving the easy bits of our spe ies needs and leaving all the hard problems, the wall exposed more clearly.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    18 hours ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    2 days ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    2 days ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    2 days ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    3 days ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    4 days ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    4 days ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    4 days ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    4 days ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    6 days ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    7 days ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    1 week ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    1 week ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    1 week ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    1 week ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First’s Ron Mark confirms bid for the Wairarapa seat
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First MP and Minister for Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Ron Mark has confirmed his bid for the Wairarapa seat.“The Coalition Government has done a lot of good work throughout the Wairarapa, but many constituents have told ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes second tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its next tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. We’re proud to announce these hardworking New Zealanders that have put their hand up to fight for a commonsense and resilient future.Jamie Arbuckle – Kaikoura Mark Arneil – Christchurch Central Jackie ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint effort under way to repatriate stranded Vanuatu nationals
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence A massive joint effort between New Zealand Government agencies, employers, and the Vanuatu Government is underway to repatriate over 1000 Vanuatu nationals stranded in New Zealand, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $40m for regional apprenticeships
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development Reprioritised funding of $40 million from the Provincial Growth Fund will support up to 1000 regional apprenticeships, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today. The Regional Apprenticeship Initiative is part of the wider Apprenticeship Boost announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens welcome new ACC zero carbon plans, call for ruling out any future fossil fuel investment
    The Green Party welcomes the ACC’s announcement to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 but emphasises the need to go further, and faster to truly meet the climate change challenge. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers pleased with NZ First amendments to firearms bill
    Farmers are rejoicing after Labour agreed to an amendment pushed by New Zealand First in the firearms bill that will allow the use of restricted guns for pest control.  Concessions on gun control mean farmers will be able to apply for a licence to use restricted firearms for pest control. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
    A new five-year funding agreement for the Reserve Bank will mean it can boost its work to protect New Zealanders’ finances, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand has a strong and stable financial system. Financial stability is an area that we are not prepared to cut corners for, particularly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Forgotten funds and missing money
    A law change has been introduced to make it easier for forgotten funds in institutional accounts to be returned more easily to their rightful owners. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has introduced an amendment to the Unclaimed Money Act 1971. It will update the rules controlling forgotten sums of money held ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers on mental health commitment
    The Government is delivering on election commitments and a key recommendation of He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction with the establishment of a permanent independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. Legislation enabling the establishment of the fully ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand privacy law modernised
    A Bill to replace New Zealand’s Privacy Act passed its third reading in Parliament today, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. “The protections in the Privacy Bill are vitally important. The key purpose of the reforms is to promote and protect people’s privacy and give them confidence that their personal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tourism operators provided extra support
    Extra support is being provided to tourism businesses operating on public conservation land announced Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage today.  The Government is providing $25m worth of support to tourism operators impacted by COVID-19, with a decision to waive most Department of Conservation tourism related concession ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago