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Powerdown

Written By: - Date published: 12:31 pm, January 17th, 2017 - 114 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, peak oil, sustainability - Tags: , , ,

Recently we had a conversation in Open Mike about the Powerdown. There seemed to be a bit of misunderstanding about what that is, so here is an introduction.

The Powerdown is a process where societies, in the face of climate change and resource depletion, choose to transition to a post-carbon world sustainably. Sustainably, because we cannot have perpetual growth in a physically finite world. Nor can we ecologically afford for the whole world to have Western middle class lifestyles, but instead we must live within the natural limits of the world in a way that allows that natural world to continually restore itself. Counting carbon and reducing it to zero is not enough.

The Powerdown is not based on high tech solutions (although we can continue to use various levels of tech as appropriate), because reliance on high tech as our major approach fails the resilience test and takes too many resources. Instead it looks at providing for human needs by using fewer resources and energy, and designing within whole systems frameworks in order to maintain the least disruption to human life while still giving us a chance at surviving. It isn’t a process where we all end up living in caves or reverting back to some imagined pre-industrial agrarian, nasty, brutish and short existence. Instead we take the best of our knowledge and design systems that enhance life rather than strip-mine it. In other words, we can powerdown and live good, meaningful lives. But yes, it means that we in the West will need to give some things up.

Journalist and educator Richard Heinberg wrote the book Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World in 2004,

Resource depletion and population pressures are about to catch up with us, and no one is prepared. The political elites, especially in the US, are incapable of dealing with the situation and have in mind a punishing game of “Last One Standing.”

He offers a different strategy that seeks to

  • reduce per-capita resource usage in wealthy countries
  • develop alternative energy sources
  • distribute resources more equitably
  • reduce the human population humanely but systematically over time.

While civil society organizations push for a mild version of this, the vast majority of the world’s people are in the dark, not understanding the challenges ahead, nor the options realistically available.

Powerdown speaks frankly to these dilemmas. Avoiding cynicism and despair, it begins with an overview of the likely impacts of oil and natural gas depletion and then outlines four options for industrial societies during the next decades.

Heinberg’s four options,

  • Last One Standing: the path of competition for remaining resources
  • Powerdown: the path of cooperation, conservation and sharing
  • Waiting for a Magic Elixir: wishful thinking, false hopes, and denial
  • Building Lifeboats: the path of community solidarity and preservation.

and then how three important groups within global society are likely to respond to these four options:

  • the power elites
  • the opposition to the elites (the antiwar and antiglobalization movements aka the “Other Superpower”)
  • and ordinary people.

Ten years ago, David Holmgren, co-founder of the sustainability design science Permaculture, also published a resource of Future Scenarios based on the confluence of Peak Oil and Climate Change. A lot has changed in that decade, including Holmgren’s updated perspective that Peak Oil would not arrive in time to prevent the worst of Climate Change. But his model of possible responses to the approaching crisis is still pertinent. He proposes four energy future scenarios:

 

Techno Explosion is Business As Usual, perpetual growth, with humans inventing/discovering new sources of energy and higher and higher tech. Eventually we would have to colonise other planets.

Techno Stability is the vision of renewable energy. It involves substantial change but if we build enough wind farms and solar panels we can maintain the standard of living we have now without too much disruption. Some ideas about steady state economies often sit here, the appeal being that we can change society but we don’t have to give things up.

Energy Descent is the downsizing of the economic activity, gradual reduction of population, and a transition to living within the natural limits of the world. It uses pre-industrial and modern sustainability design to meet human needs without destroying the world we are dependent upon.

Collapse is a fast, emergency transition off fossil fuels, brought about by runaway climate change and/or the disintegration of the global economy due to oil shortages.

Many people believe that the first two options are no longer possible. Techno Explosion is by definition destructive to the environment, hence the need to eventually move off planet, and we are fast approaching resource depletion, long before we are capable of space colonisation (assuming that that is even desirable). Techno Stability is what many mainstream green and sustainability thinkers want us to focus on. Peak oil theory suggests that this is no longer possible because of the relationship between declining cheap oil supplies, economics, EROEI, and time. If we had started the transition 40 years ago we might have had shot, now that’s behind us.

This isn’t to say that we can’t and aren’t transitioning many systems to renewables. We demonstrably are. But those systems are being transitioned using fossil fuel and I’ve yet to see a credible analysis that suggests we have the time and capacity to fully transition, let alone the political and social will. In theory we might, in practice we don’t.

Which leaves us with the Powderdown or Collapse. The concept of the Powerdown is challenging to many people, but it’s still preferable on almost every level to Collapse. Often the conversations about the Powerdown get stuck on either “we don’t like that idea” or, “it’s not possible”. The first premise is immaterial in the face of climate change, because it’s eventually going to happen whether we like it or not, but it’s helpful to envision societies that are sustainable and likeable. The second is at odds with the notion that humans are exceptionally creative. Time we started taking our situation seriously and applying that creativity to the crisis at hand. Let’s start by understanding what the Powerdown option is really about.

 

114 comments on “Powerdown”

  1. Gosman 1

    Good luck with pushing the concept of a powerdown to the electorate. Me thinks you will not be having much luck anytime soon.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      Probably. Even the Marshal plan for Europe had lauers of self serving interests. Its not so much the leaders, or the leadership, they will appear as required, its the self interest. English has many children, lots of grandkids no doubt, its an easy sell to. Key less so, being a neolib and all, has he taken up his Hawaiian bolthole yet? I mean ttpa fails, US drops out, Key resigns. In any other country would we be asking if he was a US patsy?

      Our closest ally is politically disfunctional, incapable of functioning as a capitalist economy by embracing solar and electric cars, aka Oz. Thats the biggest threat to Nz.
      We’re held back in introducing electric cars coz Oz is so ripe for such technology.

      Trump may shakeup their complacency. There is no tyranny of distance in a common climate.

    • weka 1.2

      You missed the point Gosman. It’s not about politicians pushing anything to the electorate (and that’s certainly not why I wrote the post). It’s about what we want to happen. I’ll take from your response though that you are happy with collapse.

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        No, I reject your doom laden scenario. I’m confident human society and innovation will find a way to muddle through. You’re just spouting another in a long list of ‘the end is nigh’ nonsense.

        • Robert Guyton 1.2.1.1

          “Muddle through”?
          Is that your aspiration? Muddle through?
          Sheesh!
          You Righties are so average in your expectations.
          I expect so much more!

          • weka 1.2.1.1.1

            I’m guessing somewhere between Techno-stability and Techno-explosion we have Gosman’s Techno-she’ll-be-right (Heinberg’s Waiting for a Magic Elixir: wishful thinking, false hopes, and denial)

        • weka 1.2.1.2

          That’s what I thought Gosman, don’t know why you didn’t just say that the first time.

        • Rae 1.2.1.3

          Muddle through? After what, Gosman? After we have wrecked the whole place completely, after we have bred ourselves to a point that all out war is inevitable as our usual way for a bit of a cull.
          Is it possible for right wingers to actually think this through sensibly, actually take the blinkers off long enough for a bit of glimpse into what the future holds, and maybe even throw off enough selfishness to want to do something for future generations, some of whom will be their own? I doubt it, they will prefer to keep their heads firmly in the sand, trying to accumulate as much as they can in the deluded belief that riches will somehow insulate them from the world around them.
          There are times I actually stray into feeling sorry for people with such views.

    • “Methinks”?
      Antique language, antique thinking.

    • Anno1701 1.4

      “Me thinks ‘

      forsooth !

  2. Carolyn_nth 2

    A lot of the moves to more sustainability seem to be easier or more do-able for people with reasonable incomes. eg solar panels, windmills, vege gardens, water run-offs into covered containers, etc.

    What are alternatives for urban renters? Not everyone can live on quarter acre sections.

    Community gardens, I know. But the members of the ones in my area meet on a day and time that I’m working.

    And composting? How to do it in an urban area without attracting rats?

    • weka 2.1

      Many people on all kinds of incomes are too time poor to do things like gardening too (it takes little income to garden but it does take time and a degree of physical ability). One of the best suggestions I’ve heard of for people with reasonable to high incomes is to pay someone else to grow food for them (either on their land or on land close by). This is cuts their ecological foot print hugely (due to the lowering of food miles), and creates some of the best resiliency (local food will survive agribusiness CC food shortages).

      For renters, I think permaculture has some good solutions for growing in small spaces (including vertical gardening) and for growing where one either cannot dig the ground or needs to be able to take their garden with them when they move (container gardening).

      Composting, do you have any land at all, or are you in an apartment?

      • Carolyn_nth 2.1.1

        I’m in an apartment. No land. I do have a small garden on my balcony in a container – grow some greens. I have a gnat problem at the moment.

        • Robert Guyton 2.1.1.1

          Don’t we all, Carolyn!
          If you believe…the clap your hands! No more gnats.

        • weka 2.1.1.2

          People do do worm farms in apartments. If it were me, I’d find some land locally, store the food scraps during the week in close buckets and feed the worms on the weekend.

          • Robert Guyton 2.1.1.2.1

            The answer to your problem is…Bokashi!

            • weka 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Can’t say I’m a fan of Bokashi, the whole buying in system although I can see it’s good for people that want that kind of system. Is anyone doing DIY inoculants?

              I was thinking for Carolyn, she could even empty into the local community gardens compost. Or have someone raising chooks or worms pick her buckets up (can’t remember if she has a car or not).

              • Our first spat! Wtf (what the Fukuoka!) – Bokashi is perfect for Carolyn’s situation !!!.
                Discuss 🙂

                • weka

                  KtK! (Kei te kata).

                  Could she do DIY Bokashi, no buying in?

                  • No. It’s pretty straight forward; you buy the product and it deals with your food waste. Good deal: no mess, no smell, no rats. The resulting “product” can goes into the soil (local comm-garden, window box) and boosts growth significantly. It’s a city thing! I’ve no reservations.

              • Anno1701

                “Is anyone doing DIY inoculants?”

                Trichoderma harzianum

                available from your local “hydroponic” shop

        • Anno1701 2.1.1.3

          ” I have a gnat problem at the moment.”

          neem coir sprinkled on top of your soil and watered in

    • aerobubble 2.2

      A war on CO2, means bamboo lawns.

    • Ovid 2.3

      If you’re in an urban area with a high walkscore, you’ve probably reduced your footprint quite a lot already. Perhaps think about your consumption behaviours – would secondhand items suffice? Do you shop with reusable bags? That sort of thing.

      • Carolyn_nth 2.3.1

        I do walk a bit. Also urban living means more options for mass transit.

        But I also think there needs to be community, and local and central government options – eg truly public transport at affordable prices.

        • Ovid 2.3.1.1

          Community is vital. Sharing resources is a big way of achieving energy descent. There’s no reason why, for example, public libraries couldn’t loan out tools in addition to everything else they offer.

          I’d love to see adult education classes restored too – I’d like a bit of training in DIY so I’m more ready to repair things or make things myself than ordering replacements.

          • weka 2.3.1.1.1

            Tool libraries, great idea.

            Imagine if we taught gardening in schools.

          • Carolyn_nth 2.3.1.1.2

            Interesting – I work in (council) libraries – need to be careful what I say in that regard, and issue a disclaimer on social media when I comment on them.

            I work at Auckland Libraries – the views expressed here are my own and not those of Auckland Council. [done}

    • Rats! They used to be our friends. Close your compost heaps. Rat’s are dismayed by closure; lids etc…

    • Again, Bokashi, Bokashi, Bokashi.
      That’s all.

    • Ric 2.6

      worm farm

  3. Ovid 3

    Transition towns is an application of similar thinking.

    NZ is fortunate that over 80% of our electricity comes from renewable sources. If we can boost that further (home solar installations are gaining ground – there’s an international glut of panels) and if our fleet of electric vehicles and hybrids continue to grow, we can meet the challenge of peak oil head on.

    • weka 3.1

      One of NZ’s big challenges is the footprint from our food miles (domestic as much as international). We’re not very good at eating locally.

      I’d feel more optimistic about electric vehicles if it was focussed on public transport and rail freight.

      • Constructed-from-Tiwai-Aluminium, aluminium, rolling stock, individually powered by electricity, moving produce from A to B: imagine it!

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          Steady state mate. How long does a train last?

          • Robert Guyton 3.1.1.1.1

            He aha?
            It’s better to power each unit, rather than powering the engine. In the South, we have ample electricity. A single engine pulling weight is far less efficient than individually-powered rolling stock. Plus, aluminium is very light and very available (tiwai).

            • weka 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Aluminium doesn’t grow in Tiwai 😉 But I take your point. I was suggesting that a train or whatever was built could be built to last a long time and by that stage the next generations will have solved the next set of problems, for which they are eminently more suited than us. But it won’t last forever, keeping our eye on the long game.

  4. Bill 4

    Two observations. One positive and one not so.

    Counting carbon and reducing it to zero is not enough.

    I think it is.

    Reducing carbon to zero in the timescale available naturally encompasses much of what is being touted as some kind of ‘extra’ consideration for a ‘powerdown’. Cutting energy consumption – an absolute necessity if we are to achieve zero carbon in time – entails cutting a whole plethora of consumption associated with or dependent upon energy use.

    In other words, there is no way to cut carbon without being mindful of how we use energy and what we use it for. So, no more “Kinder Surprises” (ie – wasteful energy use for the sake of producing trash). And no more energy being guzzled, courtesy of inbuilt obsolescence.

    We need to be making, building and producing stuff that lasts a proverbial lifetime instead of the profit yielding six months or two years life expectancy that fashion dictates. Christ! Phones are ‘old’ almost before they hit the shelves! Just a straight forward need to reduce carbon to zero dictates that must end…it has far too much carbon embedded (associated carbon emissions).

    The not so positive observation is that chart from 2004.

    If I’m reading the x axis correctly, Holmgren is suggesting time scales to act that are in line with the birth of my great grand children (assuming myself to be in the ‘baby boomer’ age range) and sees an energy descent occurring over whatever time it takes for old growth forests to become established (some few hundred years?) But see that incredibly steep line he has for ‘collapse’? Given the compressed x axis, of all the lines he maps, it’s that one that most definitely corresponds most closely to what we need to be actively doing with carbon emissions.

    • weka 4.1

      Plenty of baby-boomers already have great grandchildren, so I’d take that part of the axis as being close to now.

      Have a look at the techno-stability one. That’s the one that reduces carbon emissions quickly (over a couple of decades). But the Energy Descent line drops faster and sooner. Where it plateaus out isn’t zero carbon (that’s much further up the line). It’s the descent of all human resource use. That’s partly why I’m saying zero emissions isn’t enough.

      The other reason is that zero emissions for many people means electric cars. Which means that the interconnectedness of everything is missed, as is the need to actually powerdown as opposed to transition to renewables. I get what you are saying, but that’s not the way most people are thinking which is why we have Generation Zero etc.

      I’d also say that we need to shift from thinking reductively and start seeing the systems approach. This is what permaculture excels at. And it also doesn’t take the approach of cutting per se (although that is an intrinsic consequence), so much as finding a better way of designing for human needs that don’t require reliance on FF energy in the first place. It’s hard for people to see where we go if we’re being told it’s all about cutting back (hence the living in caves reaction). People need to see how it would work to still have a good life. Holmgren has been writing theory and demonstrating this for 4 decades.

      Zero carbon doesn’t solve Peak Soil, Peak Everything, deforestation, mass pollution etc. It might if you were in charge 😉 but focussing on the carbon as the central point obscures that it’s not Fossil Fuels that are the problems but how we manage our resources.

      btw Holmgren is arguing for downsizing the economy. If you want to understand his position in more recent years, he advocates for the middle classes to collapse the global economy intentionally. Crash on Demand is the 2014 update to Future Scenarios,

      https://holmgren.com.au/crash-demand/?v=3a1ed7090bfa

      • Bill 4.1.1

        I’ll put it another way. Assuming we get serious about energy related emissions, then in taking that step we will be twisting our own arms with regards other resource use.

        *All* resource (mis)use flows off the back of accessing energy, and if energy consumption is dropping (and it has to in any realistic 2 degrees scenario), then the consequence can’t be anything other than a concomitant reduction in our use of other resources.

        Granted, if we do the zero carbon thing and build up non-fossil energy grids/networks and what not over the next several decades, then resource depletion might become an issue – if we go back to approximating or trying to approximate our current aggregated global life style (consumption wise).

        On the other hand, if we don’t get serious on zero carbon from energy, then whatever potential peak resource you might care to mention will be among the least of our worries.

        There is a fish. And there are red herrings.

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          We are in agreement on the need for zero carbon. Let’s take that as a given.

          I’m saying zero carbon related to energy is a subset of the powerdown. So sure, we can focus on zero carbon without the other aspects and I think it’s a much harder sell for the reasons mentioned. I also know from my own experience and from studying permaculture design that it’s easier to design sustainable systems within a framework that both takes whole systems into account and seeks to create something not just remove something.

          To clarify, are you saying that if we solve the carbon issue we don’t have other resources depletion issues? We’re already at Peak Everything, it’s not a future scenario. This is the point of the powerdown. We are already in overshoot, not just from energy, but across many spheres. For instance, if we reduce NZ’s energy emissions to zero, but haven’t looked at population vs land base and food growing capacity, what then? I think it’s entirely possible for NZ to spend the next 20 years focussing on zero energy emissions and then ending up in the shit because we didn’t apply sustainability and resiliency design to food systems.

          We were misusing the world well before fossil fuels, it was just that we had a lot of leeway and it was happening over very long time scales. Fossil fuels was rocket fuel to our pre-existing propensity for overshoot. Overshoot doesn’t originate in excess energy use, it originates in how we think about and relate with the world. Which is why sustainability designers like Holmgren use that as the starting point for solutions.

          In other words, it *is possible to reduce energy and still have resource depletion issues. Famine is one obvious example. Population being the most obvious sticking point. We know from vast human experience that once you drop energy you have to limit population. Water is likely to be another one in many places. We can have carbon zero energy and still not have enough water for people.

          Not to mention the Last One Standing approach. If we focus on zero carbon without doing sustainability at the same time, there will be a big grab of resources as they dwindle. We’re already seeing that.

          • Bill 4.1.1.1.1

            I’ll leave it be. (and my replies are dropping in odd places)

            All I’m saying is that *all* you mention (sustainability) is an integral part of carbon reduction due to the relationship between energy, resource use and the 2 degree time scale. Zero carbon demands big picture thinking. And that, as an aside, is what I’d pick to explain why we’re doing nothing (reductionist thought habits).

            • weka 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Sorry, but I see a lot of discussion of carbon reduction that is not based in sustainability thinking. Maybe we have different meanings for that word. Yes, zero carbon does indeed demand big picture thinking but in and of itself it doesn’t require sustainability design. I get the connections you are making between energy, resource use, and the timescale, and I agree with much of that. I’m suggesting there is another thing in addition that is critical.

              I’d also add that you know how I go on about the ‘how’? Design sciences like permaculture apply that stuff as routine. It’s not primarily a theory of powerdown, as it is developing practice in doing it. Maybe that’s part of what is missing from the zero carbon focus.

              • Bill

                Never seen a feasible 2 degree scenario that doesn’t by necessity have sustainability deeply embedded in it. And it goes without saying that ‘new ways’ of doing things as we move through towards zero carbon (if we ever venture down that track) will be proposed, practiced and developed.

                Seen plenty of senseless talk around carbon reduction that I just tend to just dismiss these days. Maybe that’s the stuff you’re referring to when you mention discussion that doesn’t incorporate sustainability? I dunno.

                • weka

                  “Never seen a feasible 2 degree scenario that doesn’t by necessity have sustainability deeply embedded in it.”

                  Can you please link to couple?

                  • Bill

                    Go to any Anderson presentation or the papers done by himself and Bowes that underpin a number of his presentations. You’ll get a plethora of their stuff by going to almost any of the numerous posts I’ve done using their material.

                    • weka

                      The stuff I’ve seen from Anderson isn’t talking about sustainability design at all. Can you be more specific? I’m not really wanting to go on a fishing trip.

                    • Bill

                      This is going to be kinda long in a short space.

                      Today I have a computer and if it gives up the ghost, I’ll possibly just throw it away and buy a new one. I don’t know the carbon footprint of computer manufacturing, but will assume it’s substantial.

                      Any 2 degrees scenario that is feasible (in terms of physics) is looking at zero carbon from energy in a couple of decades from now.

                      So now it’s 2035 (allowing for some zero carbon electricity supply) and my computer gives up the ghost and we’re at zero carbon. I won’t be just throwing it away and buying another. Unless all of the processes that go into getting a computer on the shelves – the extraction and refining of raw materials, the various shipping and transportations ,the factories and buildings where assembly and design might take place – unless all of these things and a whole lot besides that I’m probably missing are undertaken with zero use of carbon emitting energy, then there will be no computer on any shelf.

                      And if there’s no computer on the shelf, then obviously, all of the materials that go into a computer are wherever they were in the first place – in the ground.

                      But we’re not just talking computers and other high end consumable goods (cars or whatever), we’re talking food (both its growing and distribution) and heating and building materials…it’s all going to have to be radically different in a zero carbon world…where it comes from, how it’s produced, what it comprises of.

                      So this isn’t really any different to anything in your post. All I’m arguing is that as a consequence of zero carbon, all the stuff in your post ‘comes to be’. If it doesn’t, we won’t have zero carbon, or we will have zero carbon, but bugger all else bar chaos due to collapse.

                      Just a simple logical step progression through what Anderson and some others lay out unveils the outlines of radical changes they call for. It cannot be anything different to the kinds of stuff that Heinberg and Holmgren sign-post – no-one is arguing against the general thrust of any of that.

                      Specifically back to Anderson and what he overtly states. He cannot see a way to zero carbon that doesn’t involve an ‘ordered’ crashing of the economy and radical systemic shifts. (Heinberg’s powerdown and Holmgren’s ‘energy descent’).

                      Sure, Anderson doesn’t attempt to spell out the detail. There is no need – the detail as well as the over-arching scenario is determined by the withdrawal of carbon emitting energy sources.

                      Conversely, much of what is in the post (eg – population and other resource use) could be prioritised and tackled (population really is a red herring in relation to 2 degrees) and it’s easy enough to envisage carbon emitting energy use being left too high for too long. And then everything that was built up developed gets slammed by events associated with an average surface temperature in excess of 2 degrees.

                      In essence, zero carbon is both necessary and sufficient, whereas much of Holgrem and Heinberg’s stuff is necessary, though not sufficient.

                    • weka

                      So that all makes sense, and I agree with the general take there. That’s a different thing than what I was saying though. I’m saying that focussing on zero carbon itself will not elicit sustainability. Sustainability isn’t something that occurs naturally as a consequence of low energy. I’ll try another analogy.

                      Approaching zero carbon, in a world where we’ve set zero carbon as the great goal instead of sustainability. Gas and coal are gone as heating sources. Hydroelectric and wind farm power is limited and increasingly being prioritised for supporting critical aspects that weren’t designed sustainably e.g. growing food is now happening in tunnel houses or using irrigation (because of extreme weather events) both of which need a lot of electricity. So what do people do to heat their houses? They cut down trees, and faster than we can grow them.

                      We reach zero carbon that decade and then society falls over because we can no longer grow food as we find that the water table has gone and tunnel houses are increasingly prone to problems with pests and fungal issues.

                      Taking us to zero carbon is an imperative, but it’s not sustainability design. In addition to that, we also need to create new systems. If we try for zero carbon using the systems we have now (esp our systems of thinking) then it’s likely we will just end up with another set of problems (still better for the planet of course). Sustainability design is an actual thing, and it creates different kinds of outcomes than say simply powering down energy supply.

                    • Bill

                      Why would tunnel houses or irrigation schemes be prioritised when they require large amounts of energy in a situation where it’s imperative that energy use is cut? (We simply can’t swap out current energy demand fast enough.)

                      Plan A – that envisages tunnel houses and irrigation schemes, or whatever else that guzzles energy, is not an option.

                      So Plan B…

                      Also, zero carbon means zero. So no trees or other bio-fuels. The need is to limit the amount of carbon going into the atmosphere in order that the carbon cycle slowly gets back to a state where it pulls more carbon out than is going in. The cycle is currently over-loaded and no matter how sustainably any bio-fuel source is managed, any burning of bio-fuel perpetuates that ‘over load’.

                      And yes, there’s an absolute need for a paradigm shift.

                      And if we commit to zero carbon in line with the 2 degree time scale we have, then that commitment will in and of itself, necessitate us dispensing with our current one – because what we have (how we think and the various systemic limitations we’ve placed around ourselves) does not and will not allow us to take the actions required to deliver success on 2 degrees.

                      In other words, being serious and realistic about a 2 degree target (ie – zero carbon from energy within a decade or so) will absolutely drive the adoption, or the unfolding, of a new paradigm/new paradigms.

                    • weka

                      Ok, I think I get what you are saying. Is it that if we adopted the plan, then that plan would inherently mean we wouldn’t do those things? I still don’t think that necessarily includes sustainably design, but my main response is that I just don’t think that that plan will be adopted because it requires either a kind of collective agreement on what is needed or totalitarian control, and I can’t see either of those happening until we are deep in the shit. The Powerdown isn’t dependent on that, although obviously it would be infinitely better if we did adopt that plan.

                      So short of that collective agreement or dictatorship happening now, the tunnel houses and irrigators will continue to be built for a while and over time the climate/weather pressures will increase so now it’s 2037 and we’re getting mass crop failures because of the systems we are using. At that point the farmers who’ve been doing regenag are obviously doing much better and the transition can start, but we’ve already lost that 20 years of growing food forests. If we start with sustainable design, then it will grow outwards.

                      Even if we did convert to the plan overnight, most of the mainstream doesn’t understand sustainable design and attempting zero carbon without that knowledge base, I’m not sure how that would even be possible. I’ll see if I can think of a way to explain this but at the moment all I can say is that taking something away doesn’t induce sustainable thinking. In fact, thinking about it, it’s because we don’t have sustainable thinking in the culture yet that so many people are resistant to change because they can’t see how zero carbon would work (hence the cave scenario).

                      Re the trees, I simply mean that when people get cold enough they will cut down the trees and burn them, and that’s not sustainable.

                      But Holmgren believes that firewood has a net negative carbon footprint (assuming we plant more trees than we burn, firewood forests sequester more carbon then is emitted from the wood being burned), and is a far better fuel source for heating than electricity (I think I linked to that recently if you want to see the rationales, it was in response to one of your posts where you said you would have to give up your woodburner).

                      This is the critical difference between our approaches I think. Sustainable design would choose a natural process that sits within normal carbon cycles over high tech solutions like wind farms (assuming they’re even possible in the Powerdown, bearing in mind the Powerdown isn’t just about carbon zero), because those processes bring multiple, compounding benefits, build resiliency and are themselves sustainable in the true sense of the word (the system they operate within restores the system itself in perpetuity). Windfarms just aren’t no matter how green we try to make them.

                    • Bill

                      So without a fundamental shift or change in how we approach our activities (cultural, economic etc) – ie, a paradigm shift, then you’re reckoning that only totalitarianism could ‘steer’ the necessary ~ 15% annual reductions in energy related carbon.

                      Okay. Let’s take that as read and further agree for the sake of argument it ain’t going to happen.

                      (I’m leaving out the stuff about trees as fuel because it’s convoluted and deserves a discrete exchange)

                      So, let’s assume that a growing number of farmers adopt regenerational agricultural practices in the absence of any fundamental shift in our basic psychological approach to the world.

                      And by 2035 ish, we have shot past 2 degrees, millions upon millions of people in equatorial and tropical regions are dead or on the move, and bar for those farmers who adopted regenag, (and who are probably only surviving as examples in more temperate regions) food production (besides whatever else) is falling over.

                      And there’s some sort of ‘mass awakening’, or at least a shift in food production techniques off the back of regenag techniques being seen to be more resilient/successful or whatever.

                      That’s all fine and good, except…we’re past 2 degrees, we haven’t yet cut CO2 emissions to anywhere near close to zero (meaning further temp increases are on the way) and the weather associated with that background signal of +2 is not going to be like anything we’ve experienced as a species and unlike anything most organisms currently evolved or adapted to (often geographically specific) holocene conditions have experienced.

                      And I’m not really seeing anything beyond that point besides many fucked shades of fucked.

                      I could have the perfect regenag system up and running and it works beautifully in this location and under this current climatic scenario. But then the deluges and/or the ‘never seen before’ winds and/or the unprecedented droughts…

                      Hell. The topography’s going to be changing (slips etc) and the bush (never mind whatever I’ve developed) is fairly likely to be (variously) dying due to drought or blown over by winds or washed away by slips…

                      Mind if I go back a bit?

                      You said “but at the moment all I can say is that taking something away doesn’t induce sustainable thinking.”

                      That’s true. But committing to a specific goal or target (a positive thing), isn’t about ‘taking something away’. And when or if we do that, we’ll be forced into considering the type of things we can do that would be in line with that target and the type of things that would work against that goal. We know (for instance) that to get to zero in time requires ~ 15% annual reductions in CO2 emissions from energy. And we can tell easily enough what activities or ideas would have a positive or negative impact on that.

                      Building energy intensive systems, whether for food or anything else, is on the “Things We Cannot Do” list. Developing low energy, and by default in light of energy requirements, sustainable systems for food and whatever else is about all that fits on the “Things We Can Do” list.

                      And if some people are engaged in low energy regenag, then under a “zero by” scenario, where that commitment has been made, and unlike the situation if that commitment hasn’t been made, the incentive for the general farming community to learn about, develop and/or adopt regenag approaches exists.

                      The alternative (to adopt a greyhound analogy) is to spring the trap doors after the wee fella has taken the hare home, the lights have been switched out and the bulldozers are moving in to start on that redevelopment project.

                      Reiterating. Powerdown is necessary, but powerdown isn’t sufficient.

                      edit – maybe we should shift stuff off to the bottom of the thread if we’re going to continue, aye?

            • Pat 4.1.1.1.1.2

              big picture thinking is right…..and to develop that thinking a destination is required….unfortunately I suspect the last one standing approach has already been chosen by some of our leaders, it is the only rational explanation for UK fracking for example.

          • Gosman 4.1.1.1.2

            Why do you think we are at peak everything? NZ has only got a little over 4.5 million people in a nation larger than the UK which has 65 million. I’m pretty sure we don’t have a shortage of land.

            • weka 4.1.1.1.2.1

              “I’m pretty sure we don’t have a shortage of land.”

              All food is currently grown using fossil fuels. If you don’t have fossil fuels you need to use the land differently. AFAIK no-one in NZ has done the audit on arable land and what population it would support if we were to grow our own food (as well as timber, wool etc).

  5. Siobhan 5

    “reduce the human population humanely but systematically over time”

    This seems to be seen as a Birth Control and Womens Rights issue.
    But it perhaps ignores the economic reality of poorer people. Children are seen as the only insurance against destitution in old age.
    To be honest even I, as a non home owner in a ‘middle class’ economy, have the thought floating around in my head that hopefully one of my children will be able to help house me in my dotage. I can see how that easily translates into wanting more children when you live in a brutal and impoverished economy.

    So, my thoughts are, to reduce birth rates the poorest populations need to be assured of an income and some sort of housing in retirement.

    This means increased Government expenditure. In turn, this means increased taxation.

    ….and there you go, back to the Elephant in each and every room, TAXATION OF MULTI NATIONALS, the end of loopholes, tax hideaways etc etc.

    • weka 5.1

      Good solution thinking there. Solving housing would certainly go a long way towards making it easier to solve the other problems in powering down.

      Holmgren did some work a decade ago on retrofitting the quarter acre suburbs. He started from the position of Australian and NZ suburbs built in the decades after the war were now dormitory suburbs. People slept in them but spent their days at work, and their evenings and weekends recreating somewhere else. Often you have a large house with just a couple in it. His idea was to take those suburbs and retrofit them so they were energy efficient, so the people could work from home, and so that more people could live on each section. In a block you might have half the houses growing food for the whole block, plus cottage industries (think modern ones), plus a trade or two etc. He did all that planning in the context of the powerdown, or if you like, reducing carbon emissions.

      The big stumbling block I see is we are used to having more space now, it will be hard to go back to sharing houses through multiple generations or with people we are not related to.

      One huge benefit of Holmgren’s plan is that the per person cost of housing drops considerable.

      • Siobhan 5.1.1

        The sharing issue is not so great now.
        For those of us with children under the age of 30 house sharing has become the norm. ‘The Kids’ can’t afford to leave, at least not for long. And for the renting parent it’s possibly the only way to afford the rent of a whole house, without reverting to ‘flatting’. Though even there, overseas atleast, shared housing in your adult life is becoming more of ‘a thing’.

        There are also more and more couples willing to make room for ‘the olds’ to help with child care, maintaining the house and what not. Once upon a time I would have been horrified at the thought, but now, it seems the only answer, and infact, a good thing for many., once the mindset is changed.

    • BM 5.2

      Can’t really have a UBI without population control.

    • Bill 5.3

      If the poorest people of this world are to have a half way decent life, then one of the inputs necessary will be energy. That’s why all Climate Accords that governments have signed up to mention equity.

      Swathes of the world need and deserve more energy in order that their populations can expect something substantially better than ‘scrabbling in the dirt’. Meaning that we have to take up the slack that produces in global terms of getting off of carbon.

      Meanwhile, population is not a factor in any 2 degrees scenario. Even China with its reasonably high economic growth cannot produce enough consumers to make an impact in the time available.

      And again. If we don’t do the 2 degrees (zero carbon) then total population (as opposed to the likelihood of huge migrating populations) simply won’t be a problem.

    • Sabine 5.4

      we need some sensible living arraingments.

      i think it is doubtful that we all can own/rent a three bedder plus double garage.

      What is down in Europe every now and then is to pare of old people lving on their own but in need of a bit of assistance with daily tasks such as shopping and carrying groceries, bring a crate of beer/lemonade up the staircase etc, with students who have some spare time but can’t afford market rent.
      This usually is an arraignment that works well for both sides.

      Then there is the “Rentner WG” which loosely translates into the “senior flatters”. Some groups form, buy a house, hire a in house concierge/nurse and essentially create and finance their own oldfolk house.

      I have no children and i guess i will later in my life hopefully find a decent young flat mate that is happy to live with us, do the groceries, mow the lawn and pay no rent in exchange.

      Once thing that must happen, urban and rural is how we ‘live’, and how much space we really need.

      • weka 5.4.1

        I like the senior flatters idea. I’ve only ever heard of 1 set of people consider that here in NZ. We need better ways of buying land together so it’s easy to do with people we aren’t married to.

        • Sabine 5.4.1.1

          ahhh, the Kiwi mindset of ‘must own it’.

          Nah, often the ‘Rentner WG” is rented. Granted, in Germany people live for several decades in rented properties.
          But i can see why that mindset of ‘must own it’ comes from.

          I am not married, my partner and I have a house that is in a trust. We are both beneficiaries. We can add beneficiaries if we wanted too.

          IF five people want to buy a property at equal parts, establish a trust, make it a non profit and essentially if one elderly person passes away a place for a new elderly person is opened.

          As for ‘inheritance’ the children can be ‘beneficiaries’ but without access to selling the house.

          sometimes we only do something to benefit us, and when we die that it is. I think above all we must come around to think in terms of our human ‘shelf life’.

          • weka 5.4.1.1.1

            “But i can see why that mindset of ‘must own it’ comes from.”

            It comes directly from having very poor protection for tenants.

            Trusts as you suggest aren’t that simple because we don’t have good social arrangements for owning (or renting) land together. Most stumble when they think about the commitment or what would happen if someone needs to leave. It’s actually quite different than a family or marriage situation.

            • Sabine 5.4.1.1.1.1

              i understand what you are saying, and i do understand where that mindset comes from – in my opinion nz does not have poor protection for tenants, NZ has a predatory housing market with only lip service pretending to be protection for tenants.

              but,
              look at it from the do-able side.
              the Rentner WG is not compromised of people that don’t know each other, they can be friends, business partners of even family members.
              they can organise it as Trust, on a 99 year lease etc etc.
              they can organise it as a co-operative where people can apply to be granted a spot once and elderly dies away that is wholly maintained by ‘subscriptions’ and such
              etc etc.

              one thing in that ‘powerdown’ scenario we need to look at is the fact that we – humans- are finitive. We will get old, we will get slow, blind, lame, incontinent and what not and at the end of our life we will die.

              Knowing that, we can together with families, friends and communities take elderly care back into our hands instead of deciding that having Nana go into ‘for profit’ elderly care is the best option. It is not and more often then not it is to costly for the individual and often the families. In a world were care for an eldery has to bring profit to share holders we can’t expect these businesses to behave in the interest of the elderly. It would go against the principle of the free market and growth and profit.

              So in all the scenarios discussed we need to look away from the burden of changing the system, i .e. walking instead of driving, growing food instead of buying it, looking after our own elders instead of paying someone else a misery to do so, but look at the benefits of change.
              By keeping our elders today – and us in the future – within the community we can as old people still provide services. Help with the small ones, the sharing of our knowledge, help in training young ones etc etc. And at the least we would alleviate loneliness and resulting depression among our elders.

              We often talk about how we need to bring the youth to go to vote and participate, but we also should talk about how we need to bring our old ones back into the community, lest they and their stories, their knowledge, their skills just disappear one night to be forever gone.

              • weka

                So in all the scenarios discussed we need to look away from the burden of changing the system, i .e. walking instead of driving, growing food instead of buying it, looking after our own elders instead of paying someone else a misery to do so, but look at the benefits of change.
                By keeping our elders today – and us in the future – within the community we can as old people still provide services. Help with the small ones, the sharing of our knowledge, help in training young ones etc etc. And at the least we would alleviate loneliness and resulting depression among our elders.

                I like this. In the circles I move in, eating local is totally seen as a benefit. That it also serves the world in terms of the powerdown is part of that, but primarily people do it because it makes them feel good. I think this is a crucial part of our activism, promoting things that work. Too often we are focussed on critiquing what doesn’t.

                Having said that 😉 I’ve been around many many people trying to own or rent land collectively for my whole adult life (let’s say 3 decades) and I know that while there are many ways to do that structurally and legally, it is still hard for most people to manage when it’s not close family or marriage (Pākehā at least, I think other ethnicities are better at this). The most successful ones I know of are people who buy land together and subdivide it and all live separately. There are some successful cohousing communities in NZ, and some successful intentional communities, but beyond that we’re still fairly clueless about how to do it socially. The biggest thing I see is Pākehā wanting to protect their assets (those that have any) and not knowing how to share fairly around that. There are also commitment issues (this is for younger people, but I bet this will happen with older people too).

                So, sure, we can talk about Trusts and such, but that’s not where the block is.

                Yes, I’m not suggesting that people who don’t know each other do this. I’m talking about people who do know each other. And I can totally see how people in Europe are better at this, I think it’s a very NZ thing tbh.

                I think that when constraints get tighter, people will be more willing to overcome those obstacles.

                • Sabine

                  we need to copy the Marae System in my books, the land belongs to the people, the people live on the land, the people get buried on the land.

                  Rinse repeat rinse repeat.

                  We need to talk about the benefits, not the effort. The effort will keep people away, the benefits however will/could get those exited that don’t want to end up alone, mistreaded, drugged to the hilt in a profit driven system that will keep them ‘alive’ cause profit.

                  • weka

                    Yep and yep.

                    I hope to be putting up more post on the powerdown etc, and would appreciate your comments then on looking at the benefits rather than the loss or effort. Thanks for highlighting this because it should change how I write too.

                • Molly

                  Cohousing, with it’s many forms and variations (including elderly communities) provides a framework for all the above.

                  Interestingly enough, with co-housing it is the more disparate and disconnected original groups that are operating at a more sustained level in later years.

                  Can’t find the article now, – may be in one of my books – but it seemed to do with the fact that many of the groups with close familial and friendly ties has more disillusionment and emotional reactions when the expected conflict and disagreements arose. Those who banded together to create a co-housing community without previous relationships or assumptive beliefs (ie. all were environmentally aware in the same way) took time to create founding documents, structures and systems that were aligned, and were able to deal better with conflict.

    • Rae 5.5

      You are absolutely right and this is the reason that a universal pension in old age is so important as part of the means of reducing birth rates.

  6. corokia 6

    There is so much “low hanging fruit” when considering ways to reduce energy/carbon/resource use, but it needs a change in mindset for the general population to take it on board. That will only happen when the media/advertising messages change.

    We could live comfortable lives using far fewer resources, but instead we ( the middle class) are being encouraged to buy disposable stuff, buy imported food, to fly away for short holidays, to support sports teams that fly hundreds of players and support staff all over the place every week, it seems so over the top.

    It’s promoted as “freedom”. Buy a Jeep, drive up riverbeds. Fly to Raratonga to escape the winter weather . Drive to the big box store and buy stuff at amazing prices. This is considered normal. Anyone telling the general population that they should cut back on such things comes across as a sack cloth and ashes greenie trying to spoil the party.

    Nothing will change until the mainstream advertising messages change. How can we help make that happen when the system is controlled by the 1%?

    • weka 6.1

      The people who work in the media are those people too.

      • Corokia 6.1.1

        Sorry weka, but I’m not sure what you mean?

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          I think what you say is true. I think it’s also true that the people in the MSM, journalists, editors, producers etc, are all people who are capable to the same processes as us here, and who will have concerns about their kids and grandkids. So in there there will be people really worried about CC and looking for solutions. Yes, looking at the 1% ownership issues needs to happen, but in a small place like NZ where any of us can tweet John Campbell or Mahingarangi Forbes, I think there are also other avenues for change.

          Focus on the people wanting to change, not the ones with a big investment in being able to consume (or ones like Gosman above). It’s the people who want to change and are looking for the way to do that that are our best hope. Some of those people will be journalists.

          • Corokia 6.1.1.1.1

            Yes, it helps to have journalists understand the approaching crisis, but journalists don’t control advertising. If the news reports talk about climate change but are then followed by ads for cheap flights and big box stores, then people are not going to change their behaviour.
            So somehow we need public information announcements (like anti drink driving ones) and to stop advertising CO2 intensive consumption. Sadly I don’t think that’s going to happen and we are heading for the crash scenario.

            • weka 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Public information announcements, great idea. I can’t see why the Ministry for the Environment couldn’t do those (left wing govt).

  7. Red Hand 7

    What will we need to give up to powerdown and live good and meaningful lives ?

    Emphasis on what will I need to reduce (rather than give up) is a more acceptable message to me personally and I suspect to other comfortable middle class people.

    1. Delay childbearing and have fewer kids, make abortion freely and easily available.
    2. Eat less, reduce dairy and avoid meat (spell out the cost savings and health benefits)
    3. Fewer cars per household (again the health benefits and social benefits of walking and good public transport)
    4. Living closer to workplaces while being fair to those workers who have less choice by appropriate town planning.
    5. Reduce the presence of advertising.
    6. Make overseas travel for holiday purposes alone more expensive.

    I realize these might be hard to sell. Personal experience has shown me that they are all doable without sacrificing a good standard of living (I have trained myself to shut out most advertisements and I would only travel overseas for education or employment).

    • Corokia 7.1

      As you say ” a hard sell”. How are things / messages sold to us? Advertising. Until that changes I don’t think most people will change their behavior.

    • weka 7.2

      I like this list Red Hand, and the point about reducing rather than giving up.

      I’d probably adjust the list slightly,

      1. Delay childbearing and have fewer kids, make abortion freely and easily available. – first figure out what population NZ can sustain geographically if it were to produce most of its own food sustainably. Then look at increasing our refugee quota, and consider climate refugees in the future. Then look at immigration vs increasing resident population. Big conversation all that, and I’d say make abortion and contraception fee and accessible.

      2. Eat less, reduce dairy and avoid meat (spell out the cost savings and health benefits) – eat local, eat sustainable, eat organic, then reduce dairy and meat. Promote local cuisine.

      3. Fewer cars per household (again the health benefits and social benefits of walking and good public transport). Yep.

      4. Living closer to workplaces while being fair to those workers who have less choice by appropriate town planning. – See my comment above about Holmgren’s retro-fitting the suburbs. I think we could see migration back to rural areas too if the benefits were obvious.

      5. Reduce the presence of advertising. – Not sure how that could be done in a democratic society tbh.

      6. Make overseas travel for holiday purposes alone more expensive.

      • Red Hand 7.2.1

        About point 5, I meant reducing ads by tighter regulations on where ads can be placed, ad-free media supported by donations and subscriptions, ad-blocking software and so on.

        Also reduce the presence ads have in our minds by deliberately reducing our exposure to them, ignoring them and being aware of an intention to influence our behavior, as defined by the Advertising Standards Authority

        http://www.asa.co.nz/2016/12/07/updated-definition-advertising-advertisement/

        I was surprised to see that the ASA is self regulating. That’s huge power to influence people’s thinking.

  8. Ovid 8

    In respect of population, this video is illuminating.

    • joe90 8.1

      200,000 years to hit 1 billion humans, 200 years to reach 7 billion….another 80 years to peak and plateau at 11 billion souls. It’s all a bit grim.

    • GregJ 8.2

      Thanks Ovid – most interesting.

      Et res non semper, spes mihi semper adest

    • adam 8.3

      I get sick of the over population arguments.

      You want to shrink populations, simple, have a world were women have equal rights. Not just token equal rights, but full rights to their own bodies and the development of society.

      So stop the population distraction, and work on civil rights.

      • Rae 8.3.1

        That is the only humane method of reducing population, the other is pretty grim, war. I think the two go hand in hand, to be frank. We have to address our overpopulation of the planet and I firmly believe that we will have massive conflict before we reach 11 billion as there is simply not enough resources for that many of us.
        Sadly, we have some incredible barriers to women’s rights in some societies, but that is no reason not to put effort into it.

  9. HDCAFriendlyTroll 9

    ” But yes, it means that we in the West will need to give some things up.”

    I hereby nominate that sentence as the understatement of the century.

    Anyway as oil for example becomes more scarce the price goes up. This in turn encourages new technologies which results in not only more efficient use but more exploration. Which results in more oil and so the cycle goes. It’s the way the world works.

    As for population control, yeah about that. You will find that countries that have high mortality rates have a lot kids per family, for obvious reasons. As the mortality rate drops the number of kids per family drops dramatically because there’s no longer any incentive to have a lot of kids. In fact having fewer kids becomes far more attractive as there’s less mouths to feed.

    • weka 9.1

      “I hereby nominate that sentence as the understatement of the century.”

      Well you know us Kiwis, never want to overstate things 🙂

      That population thing doesn’t really work in NZ, because while the rate of increase is dropping, we’re still not at a steady state. And we’re importing a lot of people.

  10. Henry Filth 10

    “But yes, it means that we in the West will need to give some things up.”

    Which makes it a major problem. We in The West have a political system which is currently based on the political establishment promising to give people things in exchange for power (votes).

    I rather think that “selling” the changes to this deeply-etched cultural pattern is likely to be more difficult than making the actual changes necessary for a transition to sustainability.

    A fascinating post nonetheless.

    • weka 10.1

      “I rather think that “selling” the changes to this deeply-etched cultural pattern is likely to be more difficult than making the actual changes necessary for a transition to sustainability.”

      That’s the one. But I also think it’s where our hope is too. We can look at other times we have changed and know it is possible. What I don’t think it is is coming up with a new system and imposing it on everyone (never going to work until we are in the first stages of collapse). I think it’s more about looking at where NZ already wants to change and is changing and working with heading that in the right direction. It’s my theory about Labour (support the changes they are doing), and I know there are a lot of people out there really concerned about climate change and not doing anything because they feel powerless. Learning how to feel empowered is a teachable skill.

    • Rae 10.2

      I think much of it is learning (or re-learning) that less is actually more, to stop and smell the roses, as it were.

  11. gsays 11

    Hey cheers weka for the conservation.

    Well done on the firm moderation, too.

    Fwiw for me the process is baby steps:
    Give up the tv, newspaper etc.
    Pass on the Facebook, twitter etc.
    Get involved in community and volunteer groups.

    I would echo the transition towns recomendment.

    Time banking schemes are great at building community, childcare is valued the same as mechanic for example.

  12. Liberal Realist 12

    Thanks for the great post Weka, ’tis appreciated.

    I largely agree with most of your sentiment – the thing that weighs most on my mind is how do we bring forth sustainable change in NZ? My foremost thought is that we ought to start with sustainability as mandatory part of state education from day dot. At the very least the next generation might have a shot at transitioning where we’ve failed.

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  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    3 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    3 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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 ...
    12 hours 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 ...
    13 hours 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 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 ...
    7 days 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
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks 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
    5 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    11 hours 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
    12 hours 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
    15 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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, ...
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    2 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 ...
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    2 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 ...
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    2 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 ...
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    2 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 ...
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    2 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 ...
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    2 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 ...
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    3 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 ...
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    4 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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    5 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
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    5 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
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    6 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    6 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
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    6 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
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    6 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
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    6 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
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    7 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
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    7 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
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    1 week ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
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    1 week ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
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    1 week ago