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Pike River fears grow

Written By: - Date published: 5:02 pm, November 20th, 2010 - 37 comments
Categories: families, Mining - Tags:

The news coming out from the Pike River mine disaster is not sounding good. A short time ago The Herald was reporting:

Twenty-two hours on from an explosion at the West Coast’s Pike River mine and the message for families of the 29 trapped miners is bleak.

“We haven’t heard a thing,” Pike River Coal chief executive Peter Whittall told a press conference this afternoon. There has been no contact with the miners since the explosion just before 4pm yesterday.

Air samples being taken from the mine were being analysed for traces of methane, carbon monoxide, ethane and other trace gases.

They especially wanted to see lowering levels of carbon monoxide but that had not happened yet, Mr Whittall said.

Tasman District police area commander Superintendent Gary Knowles said rescuers wanted to go into the mine but could not until it was safe to do so, and air quality tests were so far ruling that out.

“We are still waiting for a window of opportunity where we can do this. As the search commander I am not prepared to put people underground until we can prove it is a safe environment,” he said.

“We still remain positive, and we believe that once that window of opportunity opens we are ready to go.

Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas, and if the levels are too high for rescuers then it can only be extremely dangerous for anyone trapped below. Spare a thought tonight for the miners and their families.

37 comments on “Pike River fears grow”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas,

    It’s toxic and explosive. If the concentration’s high enough then you definitely do not want to go in there. The question would be: What are they doing to vent the place?

  2. hateatea 2

    While it would be nice to believe that no news is good news, it is starting to seem as if the only news will be bad. Please let me be wrong.

    Still praying and hoping

  3. Fisiani 3

    As a mark of respect please delete all the insensitive political references that have sadly been made on this topic. This tragedy transcends mere politics at least at this stage.

  4. Bill 4

    I hope I’m way off the mark, but why is nobody stating what would seem to be the obvious given the information we have been given?

    Rescue is a risky business. As such, calculated risks are taken. There is surely a plethora of personal safety equipment (breathing apparatus etc) and monitoring equipment on hand to mitigate potential or likely hazards to rescuers.

    That rescue co-ordinators are waiting for apparently totally safe conditions to return, would suggest that they are looking at a body recovery operation, no?

    Analogously, where possible a burning building is entered on the back of ‘calculated risk’ if people inside require rescue in spite of it being a far from safe environment. But no rescuers enter a burning building to recover bodies.

    Like I say. I hope I’m way off the mark, but talk of bringing the miners ‘back home’, as I heard it phrased on the news, would indicate otherwise.

    • Carol 4.1

      Well, it doesn’t seem a good situation to me. But an Aussie mining expert says it’s better to wait until it’s certain the environment is stable.
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10688948

      I guess the most crucial point for those inside the mine was during the blast and immediately after. So, if they did manage to survive fpr a few hours, or over last night, they must have air and it’s be best not to risk triggering another explosion.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        In that link, Bruce Hebblewhite states that “It is absolutely essential to know there is no further risk of future explosions.”

        But I’d have thought you’d want survivors ( if that is the scenario you are working on) out before that happened. And the quicker you get in…unless an explosion is known to be imminent due to known concentrations of volatile gasses… the less gas is likely to have built up and so the less likely you are to encounter another explosion. No?

        • Jeremy Harris 4.1.1.1

          I’m guessing but as VoR points out below one assumes that that the rescuers will have to do some of what is essentially mining themselves to clear any obstructions in the shaft, essentially hitting rock with metal, it doesn’t matter what breathing apparatus you have, it cannot stop sparks in an atmosphere around you that is combustible…

          • Bill 4.1.1.1.1

            What obstructions? They verified?

            • Jeremy Harris 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Well no one has been down yet, so no, and I have heard the CEO claiming the shaft roof would stand any blast but if there aren’t then it begs a few questions, sadly none with pleasant answers…

              It seems that almost everything that can go wrong in a coal mine is something to worry about in the situation, whether there is more firedamp, afterdamp, whether coal dust is present in large quantities due to the explosion, whether the seam is in danger of catching, whether the blast damaged the shaft…

              The tests should give some answer about the damps down there… It’s a tradegy and doesn’t look good… I hope the injuries aren’t too bad and the miners found an air pocket…

    • KJT 4.2

      I think it is pretty obvious why they don’t want to risk a rescue team.

  5. ianmac 5

    Firemen are equipped with breathing apparatus. I would have thought that they could at least carry out a recce about 1km as far as the blockage. This would give an idea of just what the size of the problem is. Cannot understand why they haven’t. I must be missing something?

    • The Voice of Reason 5.1

      I think the worry is that there may be no blockage. Unlike the Chilean collapse, this was an explosion, probably of methane. There are likely to be pockets of the gas remaining, so the rescuers have to be sure that they do not accidentally provide a source of ignition and cause another blast.

    • ak 5.2

      My thoughts exactly Ian – do they even know if there is a blockage? and with the news that the tunnel itself is sufficiently robust to make a collapse “unlikely”, the lack of any contact becomes more ominous every minute….surely an early recce with BA was the way to go – and what the heck with having to send air samples away??? surely there’s on-site systems available as a matter of course (canaries?)

      • Armchair Critic 5.2.1

        surely there’s on-site systems available as a matter of course
        Of course. Portable gas detectors are small (about as big as a mid-1990s cellphone), cheap, reliable and pretty commonly used where dangerous gases are found.

  6. Eure Kismet 6

    Why are the police in charge of this rescue? I know Aotearoa Police like to put themselves in charge of everything, but as far as I know Deputy Commissioner Pope doesn’t have a degree in Mine Engineering.

    This is the same police force that let a South Auckland shopkeeper shot by robbers bleed to death, refusing to let an ambulance through long after the robbers had fled the scene. Apparently because they preferred to get all their ducks in a row for a possible arrest a kilometre away, rather than try to save a man’s life by letting an ambulance through their ‘cordon’.
    They told the ambulance men champing at the bit to get to their patient, that “it was just too dangerous”. Sounds like a familiar refrain from bureaucrats.

    For types like that having everyone do as they are told seems to be preferable to saving lives.

    I still find it difficult to comprehend why it is that the mine had no well rehearsed strategy to deal with gas leaks and explosions, one that swung into effect immediately rather than waiting for law enforcement to give a go ahead about an issue far removed from their area of expertise. Especially given the regular frequency with which methane gas and carbon monoxide leaks occur in coal mines.

    A brand spanking new mine that seems to have absolutely no incident management protocols other than dial 111.

  7. Carol 7

    There are a few hearsay comments indicating the mine has not been very safe from dangerous gasses in recent months:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10689068

    IMO, things don’t look that good for the people down the mine. I think the police team are not making the decision not to go in, on their own. They are being guided by reports from the people in charge of the mine conditions and testing. My guess is that they also probably think that the people inside the mine probably haven’t survived. It sounds like there’s an outside chance they may have found a pocket with breathable air, and are staying put.

    But I also think they’ve decided, one way or another, rushing into a mine full of hazardous gases, isn’t going to make that much difference to the chances of the trapped workers surviving.

  8. The Voice of Reason 8

    John Key: Restrained, dignified and modest at a time of crisis or a complete arsehole. You decide:

    Key said the government had received expressions of support from various overseas governments: “Prince William personally sent me an email to say his heart and thoughts go out to the miners.”

  9. rightofleftcentre 9

    As always in these circumstances armchair critics are to the fore. “Experts” who know more than the experts.
    But political point scoring?
    Shame on those posters.
    We should all be sending out thoughts and best wishes and prayers to the families.

    • ianmac 9.1

      I do not think that there are “armchair critics” here. Some of us have a very genuine concern and should feel free to explore options. Platitudes are not that helpful rightofleftcentre, given that there would not be one person who did not feel for the miners and their friends and families. John Key made it political by talking about his “personal message” from Prince William.

      • freedom 9.1.1

        he does appear confused by the difference between ‘Days in the Life of John Key’ and the protocols of being a Prime Minister, especially when dealing with dignitaries. Many of the “I spoke with.. I got a call from…” moments are not directed to Mr Key, they are directed to our Prime Minister so he can pass on the thoughts of others as is his duty.

        Mr Key, It was not intended as a personal message

      • Bill 9.1.2

        Anyone else pick up on the difference of gravitas that various politicians projected?

        John Key and Gerry Brownlie fronted the media in open necked shirts and casual attire (BBQ anyone?), while Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd fronted in conventional formal attire ‘befitting’ politicians commenting on an unfolding catastrophe. And then there was what was said….and yes, it is arguably all platitudes, but “I got emails” versus “These are our thoughts and this is the practical support we are offering” represents a gulf in respective positioning, no?

        As for the reticence to enter the mine and the apparent unpreparedness, I agree with Eure (above) and commented similarly on what seems to be a bureaucratic safety culture here.

        Of course, my comments are based only on available information and so could wildly off the mark. Which begs the question; why have our media not sought more precise information?

        Why have they not asked, for example, what gasses are suspected as being present?
        What ppm are those gasses present in?
        Are there no remote camera apparatus that can be entered into the mine to assess physical conditions?
        Could gas detectors not be fitted to such apparatus too?
        Why are those in charge insisting that the environment is (totally?) safe before allowing potential rescuers in when everyone knows that calculated risk to life and limb is part and parcel of any rescue operation in such circumstances?

        And finally, if the coordinators of the rescue are working on the assumption that the 29 miners are already dead and are looking at a recovery operation, then why are they not fronting up and saying so?

        The 30 minutes of oxygen that could have gotten miners to stored oxygen supplies wouldn’t have been much use if the explosion had rendered them unconscious…as happened to one of the men who exited the access tunnel.

        While on the one hand there seems to be a dogged adherence to a crippling ‘safety first’ attitude trumping potential rescue efforts, allowing families to hold out hope if the prognosis points a body recovery operation is bloody cruel and unnecessary.

        • The Voice of Reason 9.1.2.1

          I think you’re heading in the right direction, Bill, but don’t expect an early announcement that it’s moved to a recovery phase. The likely outcome was known from the start (the damage to the external vent was ample evidence of the force) but it’s simply not appropriate for the search and rescue people to say so until there is more evidence. They are not going to risk losing more lives when the explosion appears to have been unsurviveable.

          If, by some miracle, there are survivors, the wait will not necessarily make things worse for them, but if more lives are lost in a hasty effort to get to them, it will be a double tragedy.

          Don’t rely on Eure either. He can can Kismet arse, frankly. His comment that the safety system was ‘dial 111’ is moronic and an insult to the miners, who are more committed to safety than most workers in NZ will ever be. Because they know what incidents like this mean. There is a system used in these situations that is coordinated, fast acting and effective, as we have seen since Friday. The response has been nothing short of excellent, but that cannot alter the difficulty of the situation.

          • Bill 9.1.2.1.1

            Sorry VoR, but the response has been everything but ‘fast and effective’ ( oh, people turned up in a fast and effecitve fashion…But then everything stopped)

            And it’s not the miners who have to be committed to safety (as I’m sure they would be/are), but the managers/bosses. And they have to dragged screaming and kicking in industry after industry to institute good safety provisions.

            As for the 111 comment…Eure’s cynicism seems justified.

            Sadly.

      • Vicky32 9.1.3

        True he did… I was disgusted to hear that last night…
        Deb

  10. Sean Brooks 10

    The rescuers and the Police are doing everything right here, you dont want to rush in with all guns blazing.
    The experts will know what they are doing.

  11. Vicky32 11

    I am watching/listening to One News about the current situation… Those poor men! I am praying for their safe rescue…
    Deb

    • Sanctuary 11.1

      While you are on your direct horn to the creator, ask him why he decided on blowing them up in the first place.

      k
      thnx
      bai.

      • Vicky32 11.1.1

        Sorry, Sanctuary, that’s just childish… Whilst we don’t know what caused the explosion, blaming God directly for it, is juvenile – as God having chosen to do any such thing is on the far side of unlikely…
        Now, back on topic!
        Deb

  12. tim 12

    Methane is always coming off coal in the mine, normally at a rate that it can be extracted from the mine. Very occasionally a mine will break into a pocket of methane and/or other explosive gasses that can not be extracted fast enough. This is one of many things that can trigger an explosion.

    The police are the designated authority in this situation but obviously they are taking advice.

    The risk to rescuers is very, very real. Concentrations of methane is very difficult to measure deep inside a mine. But this is not what all this talk of gas is really about. I believe that the mine is in fact on fire. It is a very dangerous place right now.

    We have many friends in the mine and they are very good people. Greymouth will struggle very much to cope with this. Obviously things are looking very grim but we hope and pray. All this speculation about whether the rescuers are doing the right thing is very misguided and hurtful. The rescuers are, by in large, friends and family of the miners trapped.

    A coal mine is a dark, hot, dirty and dangerous place where good men work and laugh together. Its men like these that started the Labour Party but I suspect they would find a lot of the stuff being said on this forum pretty bloody distasteful.

    • r0b 12.1

      No one means any disrespect to the miners of their families, of that you can be sure.

      But its a popular open forum, we certainly get all kinds of comments here. If miners found any post or comment on this blog distasteful, I hope that they would also be in agreement with our free speech policy, and the goals of what it is that we are trying to accomplish here.

  13. rightofleftcentre 13

    +1 to tim for the most relevant and rational post here.
    -1 to all the insensitive clever people in their armchairs at home who know better than the experts on site, and to those who want to sling political arrows during this incredibly difficult time for all directly affected by this tragedy.

    • Pascal's bookie 13.1

      I don’t see any one throwing political arrows, (excepting yourself). All I see is people asking questions in a difficult and distressing time. That’s what humans do. Personally when something like this happens I’m quite prepared to cut people a lot of slack for things they say.

      Criticising people for their human reactions is about the only exception to that rule.

      FFS, how about you just give your concern trolling bullshit a rest for a day or two eh? (If you want to dispute that interpretation of what you said, just ask yourself what exactly your comment added to the discussion.)

  14. Carol 14

    The actual description of the explosion and afterath make pretty grim reading. We have been told there was an explosion, but not how big it was:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4370659/Gasping-for-air-miner-inched-to-surface

    One of the guys who escaped was thrown 15 meters by the blast, there was a lot of debris flying around, and a fireball shot through the mine. Breathing was extremely difficult. It doesn’t look good for the rest of the people down there.

    Methane and CO2 seem to be the main gases that are causing the problem/danger plus some other gases.

    • joe90 14.1

      A mate in the industry tells me that if the miners had survived the blast the explosion would have consumed all the available oxygen in the mine and the resulting carbon monoxide will have created an unsurvivable environment.

  15. Sanctuary 15

    I disagree with the faux-pious demand that crisis itself is a reason for the stifling of debate on why this disaster might have occurred. People are rightly angry. Anger is a totally appropriate emotional response right now, so I don’t hold that we need to wait to calm down, or whatever. People are angry and to my mind in a situation where it looks like twenty nine men have died that makes an angry now a totally appropriate time to start asking the questions that need to be answered.

    If we are not angry, and we do not demand the answers angry people want and deserve, then Pike River and the government will do everything in their power to wiggle out of their responsibilities.

  16. rightofleftcentre 16

    The time for analysis of what happened will come when all the information necessary for such an analysis is available.
    The opinions and and anger expressed at this point in time are understandable but clearly only informed by what is available via the media.
    While it may make people feel better to vent such feelings, they are uninformed and based on conjecture. As such they add nothing to the situation other than to wind up angst.
    It is for that reason, Pascal, that I have chosen not to add “to the discussion”, but to point out the inappropriateness of many of the comments here – obviously needling some sensitive souls by doing so….. “trolling bullshit”?

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    7 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    21 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
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    6 days ago
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