Plastic Fantastic

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, January 26th, 2018 - 55 comments
Categories: capitalism, disaster, economy, Economy, Environment, International, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , ,

I’ve noticed a fair few articles in “The Guardian” over recent months on plastic pollution. It tends to be a numbers and weights game – “x” pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans, or more tonnes of plastic than fish in the oceans by some given date, or “plastic as food” with shots of starved or starving fauna. This one adds a new angle.

Plastic carries disease, and also causes disease by compromising the vitality of organisms.

She [Joleah Lamb – lead researcher] said that once a coral is infected, disease usually spreads across the colony: “It’s like getting gangrene on your toe and watching it eat your body. There’s not much you can do to stop it. If a piece of plastic happens to entangle on a coral it has a pretty bad chance of survival.”

One third of all individual specimens of coral from across 159 reefs during a two year period of study had become ensnared by plastic debris. Corals entangled in plastic were reckoned to be 20x more likely to suffer from disease and, obviously, being less robust, less able to recover from any bleaching event.

Like global warming, plastic pollution is a systemic characterisation of capitalism – a free externalisation of costs that might otherwise impact on profits. The published paper (Science Magazine) touches on this where it reports

By 2025, the cumulative quantity of plastic waste potentially entering the marine environment from land is predicted to increase by one order of magnitude. Using this projection and assuming that the area encompassed by coral reefs remains constant, we estimate that 15.7 billion plastic items will be entangled on coral reefs across the Asia-Pacific by 2025 (the “business-as-usual” scenario for global infrastructure: 95% CI = 1.7 billion to 149.2 billion items)

Sadly, in spite of having awareness around the systemic nature of the problem, Joeah Lamb is quoted in The Guardian putting the onus back on individuals and consumers.

“The take-home message for individuals is to be more considered about the amount of single-use plastics you are using and think about where your plastic goes. These little things do matter.”

That’s akin to the sermon around AGW that runs  “change the lightbulb and save the world”. It’s ineffective bullshit that allows the culprits to sidle off into shadows where they can conjure up new and wonderful ways to protect and augment their profit margins…while doing nothing in the interim that would impact on profit margins.

If you think that’s too harsh or hopeless, then take your mind back to CFCs and how hairspray became “public enemy number 1” while ICI (the principle producers of CFC) devoted their time and energy to exploring and developing unnecessary high tech solutions that would deliver them a new monopoly and continuing rising rates of profit.

That’s not to say we should all continue using plastic willy-nilly. But the problem is well beyond “the supermarket bag” and the solution lies in production, not consumer choices.

Edited: I’d written that BP was the principle producer of CFCs when it was ICI.

55 comments on “Plastic Fantastic”

  1. JohnSelway 1

    I have become hyper-aware of the amount of plastic I use and made changes accordingly. I get really annoyed when I am at the supermarket buying a single item and they ask if I want a bag. Particularly if it is something, you know, already in a fucking bag.

    Just last week I saw a woman buy a single can of soup, ask for a bag, wrap the can in said bag and carry it like a fucking can. I nearly chased her down but luckily cooler heads (my girlfriends head) prevailed.

  2. Pat 2

    we will choose to fail

  3. weka 3

    “That’s not to say we should all continue using plastic willy-nilly. But the problem is well beyond “the supermarket bag” and the solution lies in production, not consumer choices.”

    We need both and more. Individual action and commitment is needed because what the public wants is what politicians respond to, and they’re the ones that will regulate. The more people that are willing to change and give up some consumer privilege, the sooner we will get political action.

    I also think that choosing out of plastic as much as possible grounds us in the ecological realities more and makes it obvious that we are all responsible, not just some evil people over there with power. We also need ways to hold the evil people over there with the power accountable, and that requires commitment also. Mostly people are going about their day buying plastic without too much thought. Any govt that regulates that without a shift at the individual level is going to experience some push back.

    • Bill 3.1

      I disagree with some of your premises.

      The chemical/plastics industry is nearly a US$ 1 trillion per year business. And like fossil, it’s driven by identifiable actors creating markets, chasing profit and shutting down markets that might compete with their business/ impinge on their profits.

      In other words, it is (to use your terminology) “evil people over there with the power”.

      Democratically elected western governments, first and foremost manage the economy and are beholden to economic interests. (And a trillion dollars is a sizable economic interest) You and me and everyone else are secondary considerations who are to be “jollied along” and encouraged to play our part in making profits for capitalists.

      Sometimes our demands are such that compromises will be made to keep us happy/contained. But we have never been and will never be the principle reason a government acts in a particular way – it’s business first.

      • weka 3.1.1

        Yes, (we’re not in too much disagreement there). But I’m not willing to wait for the revolution. So I’m also going to work to effect change in individuals (who will also feature largely in the revolution).

        If it’s all about power structure that you refer to, then people are powerless, and if they believe they are powerless they won’t act. Which serves the power structure 😉

        On the other hand, people mobilising as individuals does effect change (we are not powerless). At least in NZ, the govt can’t dictate our behaviours to the extent that we also can’t respond to the plastics issue. We can, and should. I’m arguing both/and here (which you are too I think, but we just have different emphases).

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          Not willing to wait for the revolution either.

          In the words ascribed to Martin Luther King by Viola Davis in her speech the other day –

          I’m not ready to wait a hundred or two hundred years for things to change. That I think, actually, that time is neutral. That it can either be used constructively or destructively. That human progress rarely rolls in on inevitability. It is through human dedication and effort that we move forward.

          But whereas you and I, as well as many others, understand the need for revolution, and may act with that horizon in view, I’m thinking far too many still have closer horizons and a belief that “if we just work this thing out*” everything will fall into place.

          Lifting horizons or suggesting the existence of other, arguably necessary horizons, is something worthwhile, and more worthwhile than allowing what I’ll call ‘virtuous complacency’ to take root because “poly bag”, “green lightbulbs” and “fair trade purchases” all adds up (for some) to “doing my bit” and “all I can do”.

          * capitalism and fairly ubiquitous forms of government

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I agree with that. I would add that we can talk about the need for urgent systemic change and frame individual action as part of that. An analysis of the differences between superficial action that supports virtuous complacency, and individual commitment that underpins further action, definitely seems useful.

            I’d also still really like people to stop using so much plastic as much as they can.

    • The more people that are willing to change and give up some consumer privilege, the sooner we will get political action.

      I think you’re wrong there. I think that the more people who are willing to give up that consumer privilege the less likely the politicians are to regulate. They’ll say that these people are choosing and so we don’t need to regulate and thus allow the corporations to continue to create this pollution.

      We also need ways to hold the evil people over there with the power accountable, and that requires commitment also.

      So how do we do that when the majority of politicians are on the side of that evil?

      • weka 3.2.1

        Voting for the ones that aren’t. And putting energy into supporting them as much as we can (Greens just put out the word that they need more votes next time round if we want true change).

        “I think you’re wrong there. I think that the more people who are willing to give up that consumer privilege the less likely the politicians are to regulate. They’ll say that these people are choosing and so we don’t need to regulate and thus allow the corporations to continue to create this pollution.”

        Except we know that activism pushes change, and that some activism at least is dependent upon numbers. The push around plastics now is in part a movement of people who have already decided to make change personally (e.g. there’s a whole genre of blogging around living a year without plastic kind of thing).

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          Except we know that activism pushes change,and that some activism at least is dependent upon numbers.

          Activism does but making soft personal choices that don’t make the headlines doesn’t. And all activism is dependent upon numbers. A single person standing up won’t make any change. It’s all those that join them and make a lot of noise about it.

          • Bill 3.2.1.1.1

            The single person standing up might not make any change. But the single person standing up can inspire or compel others to stand up too. And that can make change happen.

            So I wouldn’t be so fast to dismiss the “single person” 😉

          • weka 3.2.1.1.2

            I wasn’t talking about soft personal choices, but even those are useful. See the comment to Pat below. We need to stop adding to the pile as much as we can.

            “And all activism is dependent upon numbers. A single person standing up won’t make any change. It’s all those that join them and make a lot of noise about it.”

            Sure, but some activism is successful with relative small groups of people working together. Other things need a mass movement. This is one of them.

    • Pat 3.3

      I would suggest that even if EVERYONE drastically reduced unnecessary plastic packaging AND governments regulated for recyclable/biodegradable materials tomorrow we will fail to avert the impacts of the environmental disaster underway….we have still to deal with the 50 years plus of refuse and develop and expand alternatives (that are likely to bring their own environmental damage).

      The issue is we have developed systems that concurrently create and support the underlying problem…we have outgrown our environment….and we have no other.

      • weka 3.3.1

        I’m old enough to remember when we didn’t use plastic anywhere near like what we do now. I’m totally up for doing that again even if it means less convenience. Cleaning up fifty years of plastic becomes easier when we’re not adding to the pile. It also requires systems thinking, and the sooner we get on that the better.

        • Pat 3.3.1.1

          I am old enough as well however that world is now confined to history (how much forest was lost to the packaging industry in the days of paper bags?) and in the time since the systems developed have replaced and expanded both the population and the supply chains …..they cannot be undone and replacement is not instantaneous nor without impact….

          https://www.thoughtco.com/current-world-population-1435270

          As i see it the only possible hope of turning this ‘supertanker’ of environmental degradation would be a complete redirecting of the worlds economies from consumption which given the timeframes involved would inevitably need to be authoritarian (which in itself presents disquieting issues)….and is certainly at odds with any democratic principles

          • weka 3.3.1.1.1

            Oh, I agree with you about population.

            Not about change though. It might go that way but it doesn’t have to.

          • David Mac 3.3.1.1.2

            We can make paper and cardboard products with low grade wood pulp. Felled logs are stripped of their limbs where they fall, those branches are left to decompose or pushed into piles and burnt. I think it’s waste that could go a long way to creating much of the packaging we require, then recycled or allowed to decompose.

            Yes in just a few generations many of the key plastic polluters were once green. Milk in glass bottles, supermarket bags of paper, cigarette lighters of metal.

            • weka 3.3.1.1.2.1

              The one that gets me is having to buy something that doesn’t need protection in a semi-hard plastic package e.g. nails from a hardware store. Or a new cell phone. Or most things. It’s stupid beyond belief.

            • Andrea 3.3.1.1.2.2

              ” those branches are left to decompose or pushed into piles and burnt. I think it’s waste”

              You could also consider those windrows as returning some goodness to the soil over time; habitat for many invertebrates and myccorhiza/fungi; soil protection while the pioneer plants re-establish; a seed bed for the first plants – such as gorse, Cortaderia, Clematis and Dicksonia.

              Stripping the soil cover usually leads to downstream pollution, loose logs coming downhill in heavy rain, and gullying, which will impact on water quality, as well as increasing erosion. We’re kind of short of good soils in this country. Forestry is usually put on the steep ‘tiger country’ that can’t hold pasture, or other ‘low value’ soils.

              But, if using all of the tree, right down to the roots and resin is what we ‘have to do’…

              Yeah, nah.

              On the other hand – the cellulose from food wastes is already being used to make a plastics substitute, and is reasonably biodegradable. At least the bacteria, etc, are already part of the ecosystems.

              What I’d love to see is a ruling that only plastics that can be recycled safely in this country should be allowed to cross the border, with very few exceptions. Maybe for medical devices.

              If China can refuse to import any more of some plastic wastes into their recycling streams – we can, too. And stop shipping our toxic yuck to Third World countries desperate for work and income. There has to be many better ways.

          • Bill 3.3.1.1.3

            When the producers fold their arms or stick their hands in their pockets, everything stops. The working class “just” has to uncover its roots and flex is all.

            • Pat 3.3.1.1.3.1

              Yes everything does stop (in that unlikely event)….including the production and distribution of life essentials….even more pronounced in urban areas where the bulk of the worlds population are increasingly drawn to.

              • Bill

                Pat. In the event, if I’m an ambulance driver, do you think I’d stop driving the ambulance? Or if I’m a nurse, that I’d stop nursing? Or that anyone would pressure anyone carrying out such activities to stop? I don’t.

                In the event, it’s about killing “a way”, not about killing people.

                Are there grey areas, in terms of what we do to ensure human welfare, that could see different people engaged in the same work make different decisions to one another? Probably. Is that a huge issue? No.

  4. francesca 4

    While we are still in the jaws of market ideology its an uphill battle to institute legislation for our own survival.
    Woe betide any who get between extremist market ideologues and their money.
    The outrage,!
    the feelings of emasculation,!
    the threat to personal freedom!
    if anyone threatens to take single use plastics out of the food chain,or suggests that eternal and endless growth is not possible without turning Earth in to a massive rubbish dump

    • Bill 4.1

      Woe betide any who get between extremist market ideologues and their money.

      If I were a spanner and thems was a machine, I’d be happily woe betided crunching them thar cogs 🙂

    • cleangreen 4.2

      Francesca is so right here.

      The global corporate machinery has set us all up to pollute ourselves.

      It seems like they want to exterminate us all now as Francesca says and you can see this also with every issue we look at where if there was an @option@ to use a safe choice rather than the toxic option they choose to use the toxic option upon us all..

      Just look at the dirty drinking water crisis now:

      I wrote a blog to Government ministers about this critical issue today so see this.

      Importance: High

      26th January 2018.
      For your consideration Minister Clark please;
      Copy to;

      Hon; David Clark,

      Minister of Health;

      Also sent to all below.

      ===============================================================

      Public Health – COMMUNITY letter;

      26th January 2018,

      Dear Ministers; – please consider this plan to use a safe water purifier rather than using toxic chlorine in our municipal water supplies please read the facts below and link to expert companies use of the safe alternative of using hydrogen peroxide and not cancer causing climate changing Chlorine.

      http://www.h2o2.com/products-and-services/us-peroxide-technologies.aspx?pid=112

      Why can’t NZ water scientists speak up for using Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) rather than the toxic cancer causing chlorine in our water supply as other countries do so widely now.
      Wake up NZ remember when we were really “clean-green?

      Quote;
      H2O2 is Widely Used
      Since it was first commercialized in the 1800’s, hydrogen peroxide production has now grown to over a billion pounds per year (as 100%). In addition to pollution control, hydrogen peroxide is used to bleach textiles and paper products, and to manufacture or process foods, minerals, petrochemicals, and consumer products (detergents). Its use for pollution control parallels those of the movement itself — municipal wastewater applications in the 1970’s; industrial waste/wastewater applications in the 1980’s; and more recently, air applications in the 1990’s. Today, hydrogen peroxide is readily available throughout the U.S. in drum, tote, mini-bulk, and bulk quantities in concentrations of 35% or 50% by weight.
      This is Hydrogen Peroxide
      Hydrogen Peroxide Powerful OxidizerAs simple as it may seem, the treatment of contaminated waters is as diverse and complicated as the operations from which it comes. In today’s environment, where merely transferring contaminants from one medium to another is no longer acceptable, it is no surprise that a powerful oxidizer like hydrogen peroxide that looks like water — in its appearance, chemical formula and reaction products — should be so widely used. This is hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) — a powerful yet versatile oxidant that is both safe and effective.

      Warmest regards,

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        Hydrogen peroxide is a fairly weak microbiocide compared to UV and chlorine, and has a very poor persistence in the distribution system. It has some uses in small household systems, fed by wells or rain water.

        H2O2 does have a place in water treatment as a pre-oxidant stage, but it’s never used as a standalone treatement in large municipal systems.

        The key to safe chlorine disinfection is keeping the dose rate down to about 0.8 mg/l, and ensuring the organics are filtered before the chlorine is added. All this is very well known nowadays, and in NZ the big city supplies are tightly controlled in this respect.

        Places that use chloramine instead of chlorine do worry me; there really is far less research on the byproducts of this. Which is why chloramine (last I looked) is not permitted under the NZDWS.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.1

          …has a very poor persistence in the distribution system…keeping the dose rate down…

          I suspect you may need to explain these concepts until your head is bleeding.

  5. McFlock 5

    I can understand the societal resistance to losing single use plastic bags, but why not legislate that any single use plastic needs to be genuinely biodegradable of photodegradable? Make ’em out of starch or something similar – the tech exists. Is there some barrier other than a moderate increase in cost?

    • weka 5.1

      The biodegradable tech isn’t that good, and photodegradable isn’t what we should be aiming for. It’s a fundamental principle of sustainability to restrict high input/output tech and goods to essential things and to make them last as along as possible. Manufacturing single use bags (even if biodegradable) is massively wasteful of the whole cradle to grave resource loop. Think electricity usage in that alone, or carbon.

      That shit just has to stop and the thing that’s preventing it is our economic system which believes that businesses should be free to do what they want or we will all starve.

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        Actually, the thing that’s preventing it is that for at least the last two thousand years people have found single-use packaging a very useful way of protecting stuff that they only need to carry once. We just make ours out of plastic instead of paper, glass, clay or raffia.

        Legislating how something is made is a more achievable step than changing how people want to use it.

        What’s wrong with the biodegradable tech?

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          I don’t think so. I’m early fifties and we used reusable tech for the most part for food storage when I was growing up. It’s been a long time since we wrapped things in leaves.

          “Legislating how something is made is a more achievable step than changing how people want to use it.”

          And thus we have climate change.

          “What’s wrong with the biodegradable tech?”

          Some of what is in NZ already is photodegradable being marketed as biodegradable (I assume because it works better), so putting aside that stuff, cornstarch doesn’t hold wet things very well. The ones that do hold wet things well are very high tech plastics that don’t biodegrade in the environment. They need an industrial composter. And you can’t recycle them in the current plastic recycling stream. So now you have another layer of tech needed (build more factories and all the resource and carbon costs of that, plus economies of scale mean NZ probably won’t bother, so there’s shipping etc now too), as well as supply chains. Because this shit isn’t regulated and neoliberalism rules, those supply chains will likely not happen or not happen very well (think CFC bulb disposal, or even the fact that we have the tech to recycle shopping bags but we don’t), so the plastics will end up somewhere else. Landfills and the Pacific Gyre.

          Sure there will be improvements in the tech as we go along, but nowhere near fast enough, and there’s still the issue of capitalism/neoliberalism (government telling us what light bulbs to use!!!).

          This is sustainability 101 stuff. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

          • McFlock 5.1.1.1.1

            True, but on the climate change thing regulating how cars are made and what they run on (e.g. France’s regulations re:new car production) is more effective than getting people to give up cars.

            So currently the degradable bags aren’t fit for purpose. Move back to paper/waxpaper?

            It wasn’t just leaves – roman amphorae were often disposable items for transport convenience. The beer bottle is another longstanding usually single-use item.

            I think that a sustained campaign about plastic bags, coupled with advocating for a less shitty substitute, could involve a regulatory change. ATM the only impulse is for retailers to charge for bags – they get ‘charity’ advertising (or pocket the money) and the amount is trivial to the shopper. The business has no incentive to change away from plastic.

    • Bill 5.2

      Some years back there was a product (a film) developed that was going to replace plastic food wrap on meat or whatever. It was made from shrimp. I don’t know why it never took off, but remember comments about it being visually not so appealing.

      I suspect major pressure was brought to bear by those in the plastic/chemical industry who were seeing a threat to “their” market.

      Legislation would be the obvious first step. But even if various free trade deal clauses didn’t constrain the ability of a government to legislate, again we have very powerful industry players (think tobacco) who have one aim and purpose – profit.

      How long did it take for various legislation around tobacco to come into force? What about vehicle emissions and efficiencies? Or even efficiency standards on bog standard electrical products such as vacuum cleaners, fridges, washing machines etc?

      Staying within the existing parameters of the status quo for argument’s sake, unless or until governments step up and supplant markets and market forces as being the primary determinants of production and consumption, then any movement on the legislative front will be slow, hampered and piecemeal.

      • McFlock 5.2.1

        Then there’s also the problem that plastic bags are already generally ‘good enough’ (from a cost/use standpoint) so there’s no major push to improve on them, unlike e.g. electric cars and battery tech.

        Bags are cheap, portable (in rolls or stacks), quick to use and generally do the job. They just don’t disappear after use, which is the main problem.

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.2.2

        Take heart Bill…there is much work being done here and overseas on ‘alternative plastics’.

        Some of the ideas make sound sense….others sound really exiting and innovative and almost sexy, but have very limited application and/or are prohibitively expensive.

        Now…guess which ones are most likely to score the much competed for research funding? 🙁

  6. adam 6

    Just one more example of the failure of politics to produce a solution.

    There are no political solutions to capitalism.

    All we are doing is venting into the void, whilst the rich get richer, but are never satisfied.

  7. The Fairy Godmother 7

    We need to tackle industry on this. I understand 80% of Auckland landfill is industrial waste. The building industry is particularly bad with Styrofoam packing. In fact packaging is a huge issue. Being careful individually is only useful in so far as it puts us in a stronger position to collectively challenge industry.

  8. Like global warming, plastic pollution is a systemic characterisation of capitalism – a free externalisation of costs that might otherwise impact on profits.

    Correlation != causation. Pollution is a systemic characterisation of all developed industrial societies, including the non-capitalist ones – in fact the Soviet ones could have taught capitalism a thing or two about externalising costs via pollution. A non-polluting developed society wouldn’t be a capitalist one, but let’s not make it sound like getting rid of capitalism gets rid of the problem.

    • Bill 8.1

      The Soviet Union (thankfully) no longer exists. Putting aside notions of what might constitute “development” there are no non-capitalist industrialised nations in the world today.

      And the statement about externalising costs is accurate.

      If a non-polluting developed society wouldn’t be a capitalist one then are you suggesting that development as industrialisation is only one possible form of development and/or that all industrialisation produces egregious levels of pollution?

      The forced adoption of coal to power mills supplanted a far more efficient and clean source of energy (water) and there is no reason I can think as to why industrialisation must involve huge levels of unmanageable and deleterious pollution.

      I can see why capitalist industrialisation will always mean run-away pollution (eg –
      because production is for profit, not for the things produced), so taking the specific capitalist or market drivers out of production could, though won’t necessarily, curb dangerous pollution. (eg – the state capitalism of the USSR)

      • Psycho Milt 8.1.1

        If a non-polluting developed society wouldn’t be a capitalist one then are you suggesting that development as industrialisation is only one possible form of development and/or that all industrialisation produces egregious levels of pollution?

        I’m saying that externalising costs via pollution would be a very tempting option for any kind of society in a position to do it, and therefore a conscious choice to prevent people and organisations from exercising that option would have to be made – regardless of what type of society it is. A capitalist society lacks the mechanisms to make that choice and properly enforce it, but there’s no guarantee a non-capitalist society (which the Soviet economies most certainly were, for all the “state capitalism” horseshit invented by their Marxist apologists) would do any better. If we just called this a problem of capitalism and therefore we must get rid of capitalism, we’d misrepresent the problem and the solution.

        • Bill 8.1.1.1

          …therefore a conscious choice to prevent people and organisations from exercising that option would have to be made.

          Yup. So a “conscious choice” expressed by way of (say) organisational structures around production that would preclude externalising costs through pollution. And whatever those structures may be, it’s not possible to develop them within a capitalist context.

          And given it would require (in my view) quite substantive democratic input and oversight, any statist solution is no solution at all either.

          I’m no Marxist btw, and it was Lenin who said the Bolsheviks were developing state capitalism. A part of their claimed rationale was a Marxist contention that a revolution ushering in communism could only happen in advanced capitalist countries (eg – at that time Britain or Germany) and so they were going to create a “staging post” as it were.

  9. Bruce 9

    Its a pity the greedy politicians were sucked in by the crooked business men, rockafella, du pont etc to outlaw hemp and hemp plastic and destroy the planet with their own toxic products. And now none have the balls to admit they were conned and repeal the bad laws they made.
    Hemp plastic is a bioplastic made using industrial hemp. There are many different types of hemp plastic; from standard plastics reinforced with hemp fibers, to a 100% hemp plastic made entirely from the hemp plant. Hemp plastic is recyclable and can be manufactured to be 100% biodegradable.
    What Is Hemp Plastic? – The Hemp Bottle
    hempwaterbottles.tripod.com/what-is-hemp-plastic.html

  10. cleangreen 10

    true every word bruce,

    These men were criminals all.

    Though they look credible they snuffed out any optionns for a better way for our environment and our health for greed.

    DuPont and the Dow families were bad dudes as they caused many to die inserting their ‘nylon 6’ originally known on the CAS registry as ‘vinyl cyanide’ but the term was frightening people from using nylon so they changed the name from vinyl cyanide to nylon.

    The DuPont family are keeping one of their family members under house arrest now for 20 yrs as the son of one family is outspoken about DuPont products being toxic and killing people.

    https://www.nrdc.org/stories/24-d-most-dangerous-pesticide-youve-never-heard

    As for Dow, well we all know about the Dow chemical plant making the only supplies globally in NZ as this 2-4D poison that is used to kill possums and other pests is now banned most other countries but not here.

  11. David Mac 11

    We used to pay a deposit on glass bottles. I bought a bike via lugging empty pop bottles to the dairy. I think the only reason those schemes wouldn’t work today is because the deposit is too low. Not worth an industrious 13 year old’s effort.

    What would happen if I paid 20 cents a bag at Countdown and the 20 cents was paid back to the kid that returns it to a depot? Same with bic flic lighters, pay an extra 25 cents at purchase and they’re worth that much empty. The blister pack on my new trailer tie-downs, 2 litre milk bottles.

    They’ve had the deposit thing going on glass bottles in South Australia for decades, they’d have a mega data base of info re: what works and why.

  12. Whispering Kate 12

    There is also another pressing problem – the amount of textiles from clothing entering our landfills. Charity shops are saying that the problem is becoming worse these days as materials being produced for clothing are inferior and not lasting for any length of time and instead of being able to recycle as they would like, almost everything they receive, the vast majority of it is in such poor condition they have to bag it up for the tip.

    The charities are spending huge sums of money a year having to pay just throwing junk clothing into our tips. Shoppers today can buy an entire new wardrobe every season and why wouldn’t they when they are so cheap and not meant to last, so it doesn’t matter to them if they biff the stuff in a bag and give it to the charity shops to get rid of it for them.

    Clothing today even if it expensive is not as well made and stitched/tailored as they used to be – its a junk consumerable society we live in. Phones have a shelf life now, whitewear has a shelf life – everything is made to just be chucked out. Its a bloody wonder the planet doesn’t tilt off its axis under the weight of junk we chuck out. It’s all going to come back and bite us on the bum one day burying us in all this throw away stuff we buy endlessly.

    • David Mac 12.1

      In Stockholm they built a landfill upward. In winter they have an urban ski-field.

      Of course it is with issues and I may be wrong but I live more easily with land fill than I do suffocating reefs.

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  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    20 hours ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    21 hours ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    22 hours ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    23 hours ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    23 hours ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    2 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    2 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    7 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
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