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Public service deserves praise for earthquake response

Written By: - Date published: 5:12 pm, September 5th, 2010 - 35 comments
Categories: public services - Tags: ,

After every emergency come the media articles that accuse the civil defence system of failing. This time the well-known emergency relief experts at the Herald were passing judgment within a day:

“It was not until about 6am that the Ministry of Civil Defence posted its first alert, and announced it had activated the National Crisis Management Centre.

The first official police statement came a few minutes later, at 6.05am, from Inspector John Doherty.

A few short sentences – damaged buildings, ambulance reports of minor injuries.

“It is recommended that people take care if they have to travel as there has been damage to some roads,” he said.

Too little. Too late….

And where were the calming and authoritative voices telling them to stay in their homes?…

Government ministers Gerry Brownlee and John Carter finally turned up at the Beehive at 8.30am – four hours after the quake. Carter, the civil defence minister, said he had not yet spoken to the Prime Minister.

It could have been an episode of Dad’s Army. We’re going to have a conference call, said Carter. “Don’t panic.”

By the time the Government finally put John Key on an Airforce plane to Christchurch yesterday afternoon, any chance of demonstrating real, unifying leadership was gone.

Yesterday, the authorities didn’t lead – they followed.”

I don’t blame John Carter for taking four hours to get to the Beehive. He lives in Northland for Christ’s sake.

Was it slack that Minister for Civil Defence hadn’t spoken to the PM four hours into the disaster? Yes. But that tells you more about those two idiots then the State’s ability to respond. Frankly, there’s not much practical for ministers to do in those initial stages anyway. They’re no emergency professionals, they should get out of the way and let the professionals do their jobs.

Which is why I find it surprising that the Herald is criticising the PM for taking until the afternoon to fly to Christchurch. I ask why he was there at all. It’s not like he can make more informed decisions as a result. It was just a sight-seeing tour/photo-op that tied up emergency resources. Better for the PM to go once the initial situation has been stabilised. I would rather see the PM give a morale-boosting speech to the people of Christchurch today than doing a PR stunt yesterday (but he’s not there today, he’s at the netball playing sports commentator).

Anyway, like I say, an emergency response isn’t about what the politicians do but about how the public services are able to react.

Yesterday, the emergency services on the ground in Christchurch did sterling work. They cordoned off dangerous areas and got help to those who needed it. We have heard no reports of seriously injured people going without care; there was no breakdown in order. The fact that the local police were too busy activating their resources and doing their jobs to drop the Herald a line for – the horror! – an hour and a half after a major earthquake hit them is nothing to be ashamed of. The emergency services issued rolling advice updates to the public via Radio New Zealand and other media throughout the day.

It took just an hour and a half for the Ministry of Civil Defence to activate and issue information, quite a feat when you consider that means getting the staff into the emergency centre in the Beehive, getting information from Christchurch, analysing it, and formulating a response.

Across the board, the public service was on the ball. The hospitals coped well. The Defence Forces were on hand to assist. Search and Rescue teams were on their way as quick as practically possible. The Earthquake Commission had internet ads up advising people how to make claims within hours and had disseminated the information through the media too. The New Zealand Transport Agency had information on road closures out and up-to-date through the day.

And it’s not just the core public service that has proven its value. Radio New Zealand and Kiwirail have both shown how invaluable they are in a large-scale disaster.

RNZ is the only news source worth a damn in this kind of situation – most people in a disaster area are going to be able to listen to a radio but can’t get to a working TV or internet. Those that did see the TV coverage or listened to a commercial station would only have got patchy, sensationalist coverage that was obsessed with ‘looting’. RNZ’s coverage was professional, accessible, and relevant. We can’t afford to lose that. Another reason to oppose RNZ budget cuts and commercialisation.

Kiwirail has reminded us that rail that the ability to move huge amount of goods and people when needed, delivering 300,000 litres of water to Christchurch. Idiots who would have us abandon rail and rely on private trucking might like to reflect on that.

Publicly-owned utilities like Orion have repaired damage systems with admirable swiftness.

In fact, all righties should have a think where Christchurch would be without the building regulations and the public services they so strongly oppose.

So, I take my hat off to all the public servants who did their jobs with skill and dedication. When the best was needed of them, they delivered. The Herald can go f*ck itself.

35 comments on “Public service deserves praise for earthquake response”

  1. IrishBill 1

    Agreed. I’ve been incredibly impressed at how well this has gone, how resilient the people of Christchurch are and at how quickly the city is moving into clean-up mode.

    • Michael Foxglove 1.1

      Yes. Excellent call Marty. Communities in Christchurch have so far come through with incredible fortitude. And the contribution of public servants like civil defence officials, firefighters, and the police has been commendable.

  2. Jenny 2

    Train loaded with 300,000 litres of fresh water heads for stricken city.

    nzherald.co.nz

    KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn said the water would arrive aboard a train early this afternoon:

    “It’s a practical contribution we can make to Christchurch’s emergency response and we will be looking for other ways that rail can be used to support the region’s recovery,” he said.

    “We are grateful to Fonterra for making the tanks available for the shipment.”

    KiwiRail opened the railway line south of Christchurch last night but continuing aftershocks meant a speed limit of 40km/h had been imposed. That was reduced to 25km/h over bridges.

    A great initiative by Kiwi Rail.

  3. Treetop 3

    Everyone from central to local government, to distribution, to insurance, to emergency services to the media, have got it right regarding the welfare of those whose lives have been disrupted on many levels due to experiencing a severe earthquake and the unsettling after shocks.

    Civil Defence delivered: they did not panic, they showed leadership, they did not cause undue anxiety to those who were in shock.

  4. Jenny 4

    Another Public Service doing a great job.

    The MetService is currently issuing a weather warning for the people of Christchurch and surrounding areas.

    click here

    …Northwesterlies reaching 65 km/h in exposed places, with gusts of 130 km/h –
    between 9am Sunday and 6am Monday

    The Met say it is possible that the winds and heavy rain predicted may cause further damage to already compromised structures.

    There may also be a danger from unsecured loose materials being caught in the predicted high winds.

    In addition, severe gale force northwesterlies are forecast for the east of the South Island from inland Southland to Marlborough, and also for Wellington, Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay. These winds have the potential to bring down trees and powerlines, and make driving hazardous. They are also likely to be dangerous to structures already weakened by the recent earthquake.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      It’s actually been very still all day here until about 20 minutes ago when the winds started, but it’s still not gale force.

      Dad said it was quite windy this morning, but not gale force then either.

      Lucky for us, and I guess sometimes the weather will always be unpredictable.

  5. kriswgtn 5

    Chch will pull through this,I just hope it dont lose its charm.

    but as for beaker

    Keystone took what, 7-8 hours to arrive.
    What a loser

    and yeah it all boils down to $ for him while taxpayers can bailout SCF , they balk @ helping those who cant afford insurance

    Not everyones a thief like you beaker

  6. A Nonny Moose 6

    I laughed when I heard ol’ Smile n Wave was coming to “view the damage”. It goes to show his value to the country that the best he could do was offer condolences, and promises. Yeah, we know how good he is with his promises. I’d love to know if the money the govt will offer to our city will be more than the 1.7b offered to SCF!

    I am really really impressed how smoothly things have gone. Life is disturbed, but we’re incredibly well informed. Once power came back on, internet access was immediate and we have all the info we need at our fingertips.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      I laughed when I heard ol’ Smile n Wave was coming to “view the damage”. It goes to show his value to the country that the best he could do was offer condolences, and promises.

      Well that’s pretty much what we expect of our political leaders in these situations. If it was a Labour leader we’d expect the same.

      • Rosy 6.1.1

        I laughed when he was shocked about swimming pools popping out of the ground… interensting reference point.

        Emergency services seem to have been awesome! as have the people of Canterbury. It’ll be a hard week for them 🙁

        • Vicky32 6.1.1.1

          Yes, I watched him banging on, about swimming pools on 3News last night, and I thought WTF?????
          Thanks to Nat Rad, they rock! Their coverage was completely awesome and comprehensive…
          Deb

  7. prism 7

    It was surprising to see John Key in front of the TV camera explaining about the earthquake when it should have been the public servants with the expertise who are paid to handle the various aspects.

    It is right for the country’s leader to be there to see and hear about the size and cost of the problems but I thought he was getting into photo opportunity stance by doing the detailed reporting. Good if he could find out as much about how to strengthen a fragile economy successfully.

  8. Jenny 8

    Remarkably, not one major bridge in the affected area has been damaged.

    All the anonymous engineers responsible, deserve to be publicly recognised as life savers.

    capcha “Lazy” definitely not.

  9. RedLogix 9

    Thanks Marty. A lot of public service utility people will have been working very hard since this event. The guys who’ve had the least media presence, but who will have been working the hardest will be the the the water supply/sewerage guys. I can tell you from direct knowledge that they’ve been scrambling non-stop putting into action existing earthquake response plans, assessing and mitigating the damage.

    They’ll have weeks, if not months, of difficult work ahead.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Just watching TV3 news and they were complaining about the EQC because people couldn’t get through as if they expect the EQC to keep enough people on to be able to answer phones immediately when disaster strikes.

    • Carol 10.1

      And getting someone on the phone is not much use if they can’t provide much assistance. I had my ceiling open up in a Sydney storm a few years back. I got hold f the SES (State Emergency Services) on the phone that night. But they didn’t actually front-up and cover my roof for 2 weeks. Meanwhile I had a tarp rigged up over my bed, and my stuff all piled in the few dry spots I could find, while water poured in every time it rained. And there were others still sleeping under tarps rigged up over their beds long after my whole roof was covered.

      On TV3 tonight, John Campbell also did a report about the search and rescue team that have been hard at it in ChCh. Campbell was full of praise for them.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        And getting someone on the phone is not much use if they can’t provide much assistance.

        Well, apparently EQC do have the money but it’s an unknown if the resources for fixing Chch up are available.

  11. Hollyfield 11

    I think the Herald editorial is appalling, and I think they will find that most of NZ will disagree with their views on this matter. With the benefit of hindsight there are always things that can have been done differently/better, but in the middle of the crisis people have to cope with very difficult situations as best they can. It’s important to get facts and accurate data before making decisions, and this can’t generally be done instantaneously. Bob Parker has been fantastic, and to get so much of the power and water restored so quickly is amazing. The structural engineers on TV1 news tonight are acting so quickly to assess whether buildings are safe. Well done to everyone.

  12. prism 12

    Bob Parker might be a good front man but the hard work is being done behind his smiling presence on TV. And I don’t think that he should be judged as being the foremost candidate for mayor over Jim Anderton because of his white teeth and media nous.

  13. Johnno 13

    Congratulations to the officials and public servants who put their own and their families needs to the rear while they went and helped the fellow citizens. They are true servants to the public. I spent a lot of time yesterday in the vicinity of the Civil Defence bunker, and I have to say that without fail every official (and actually every Minister) I had dealings with were polite, good-natured, incredibly helpful, and patient explaining things to the assorted media.

    BTW, one of my favourite memories from yesterday was a farmer interviewed on the phone during TVNZ’s day-coverage. Question: What sort of shape is your house in? Answer: Aw, it’s fucked, aah I mean buggered, no, stuffed….. this isn’t live is it?

    Legend.

  14. Armchair Critic 14

    Looks like a textbook response to me. Sure, anyone can find something that could have been done better, it’s a major disaster, after all. But seriously, the CD response seems to have been excellent.

  15. I said I wouldnt post here anymore here, (and i wont after this post) but this is a unique event. Im not going to comment on the Government, but I will comment on civil defense, the police and the local authorites.

    Hats off to them, freaking amazing, it seems they had people on every street that was affected, I cannot beleive how fast they dealt with this, and how proffesional they were, to basically have everything back on, power/ water and the freakin internet just blows my mind.

    I dont know who trains these guys or what methods they use, but ten out of ten!!!!!!!!!

  16. Nick C 16

    Marty would you be opposed to the government hiring private contractors to clean up the city, repair damaged infrustructure etc?

    • Loota 16.1

      John Key wanted some new jobs schemes, now he has them.

    • Marty G 16.2

      No. The government doesn’t have a ministry of works any more, so all that kind of work has to be sub-contracted.

      doesn’t mean it’s good economic news though. Any more than it’s good news if you lose your cellphone and have to spend some of your savings buying a new one.

  17. Jenny 17

    Federated Farmers are on the ball and their website which is being continually updated, seems to be a good resource for rural and urban folk.

    From the Feds:

    In addition to the water deliveries to Christchurch in conjunction with Fonterra. The Federated Farmers 0800 FARMING line is increasingly receiving offers of accommodation from farmers, which Federated Farmers is now in discussion with the Red Cross on (who are also talking to Civil Defence on this matter). Federated Farmers is keen to collate these offers and if you can offer any assistance, please register that on 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) tomorrow morning.

    Electricity update for the Orion network:
    Orion continues to make progress restoring power across Christchurch city and
    the surrounding rural areas. Power has been restored to approximately 98
    percent of Christchurch’s urban and rural electricity network with less than
    3,000 customers now affected out of a total of almost 200,000.

    It is hopeful that power can be restored to a further 2,000 customers tomorrow.
    Several hundred customers will be affected for some days to come. All customers
    who need power, as long as their building is not severely damaged, should have
    power within four to five days. Orion’s advice remains that, as a precaution,
    farming customers seriously affected by power cuts should seek assistance and
    Federated Farmers has offers of generators. Please call 0800 327 646 to
    discuss.

    The MetService continues to forecast strong winds, however, these haven’t
    arrived yet. The weather has not hampered Orion’s restoration efforts today but
    any serious inclement weather could extend these timeframes.

    It is important to note that parts of its network will be in a fragile state due
    to temporary repairs used to restore power urgently. This fragile state will
    remain for some weeks before permanent repairs are completed, meaning that
    small events could cause power outages. Orion urges everyone to stay away from
    power poles and lines and to treat all lines as live at all times.

    The majority of Orion’s field staff and contractors will be stood down overnight
    for safety reasons. Federated Farmers is extremely grateful for the efforts of
    Orion’s staff and contractors.

    Telecom service update:
    Telecom’s fixed line infrastructure is performing well, as are both mobile
    networks. The majority of service issues are power-related and Chorus has
    advised us that enough generators and diesel are available to power all
    affected cabinets and cell sites to restore services in the South Island.

    The generators are being distributed to all affected cell sites and cabinets.
    Telecom expects all affected cell sites and affected cabinets to be running on
    full power from today. Chorus is implementing a diesel top-up schedule to
    ensure that generators do not run out. Telecom is working closely with
    infrastructure, banking and insurance providers, as well as construction firms,
    to support rebuild and recovery activities across Canterbury. The 111 service
    is fully functional.

    Telecom’s Christchurch offices will be closed on Monday 6 September. Client
    calls will be routed to its other contact centres where staffing levels have
    been increased.

    Schools and the University of Canterbury:
    Civil Defence advises that every school in Christchurch, Selwyn district and
    Kaiapoi will be closed for two days on Monday 6 September and Tuesday 7
    September. This applies to the state and private sectors alike. The University
    of Canterbury (including the College of Education at Dovedale) is closed while
    the campus is assessed. The University will not open before 6.00 am on Monday,
    13 September.

    Reporting damage:
    If you do have damage, please make contact with the EQC on 0800 326 243 and take
    photographs of damaged property. If you consider any damage to be potentially
    life threatening, dial 111.

    If you can offer assistance or need assistance, please contact:

    0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING)

    capcha – “comparatively”

  18. Logie97 18

    Just thinking…

    I watched the PM and the local Chamber of Commerce head on QandA this morning and their mention of every cloud having a silver lining and a positive effect on employment. I think they were referring to the masses of reparation work that will follow this disaster.

    The work is of course essential and the money will be found.

    Strange though that in other times Key would call this sort of work ‘government created’ and not productive…

  19. jcuknz 19

    As I watched I think it was Stuff’s photographic coverage from afar I got the impression that most damaged buildings seemed to be those built before we had building regulations and were past their ‘use by’ date. So the silver lining was that there were no fatalities and some of buildings which should have gone long ago will now be demolished? It is inevitable that ‘heads’ will flock to get in the way of the workers, I am sure it has been going on since the year dot … except these days we have the blogs to comment on rather than to our mates or under our breaths.

  20. vto 20

    Sheesh Mr Marty, you sound like Bill English when he said the folk of South Canterbury should say “thanks”. Piss off.

    The public service and regulations have been put in place over many governments over many decades, mostly of centre-right persuasion. I have never heard anyone call for deregulation of earthquake or fire regulations in the building industry so I am not sure what you are referring to.

    As someone responsible for putting up several residential buildings in town, including one a dozen stories high, I can assure you that never in the industry (swamped as it is with right wing types ay) have I come across anyone complaining about onerous safety standards in buildling. In fact quite the reverse. Including ourselves in the last one – on many occassions the point was made (more with fire) that it must work to preserve lives in the case of an emergency. As it has.

    I will tell you who deserves the biggest pat on the back in Christchurch (among many many) and that is the structural engineers of Christchurch. A small group who have been responsible for the designs of all the buildings. Their designs have performed admirably. Their work deserves a medal.

  21. freedom 21

    the only people who did a lousy job during the aftermath of this disaster were the Media

    they displayed the usual hunger for sensation instead of reporting level headed facts and information, they predictably failed in their civic duty during this disaster

    tv reporters endlessly repeating questions and not listening to answers, wasting the time of people who had far more important things to do

    warnings to the public about not clogging communication services followed by repeated requests for people to send in photos and stories,
    even after one of the telco’s speciifically asked them to stop

    there is the assistance of the military, do they calmly report this basic and expected event, no, they show images of armoured personnel carriers getting loaded aboard the ferry instead of a few simple shots of trucks and soldiers packing up emergency equipment. Sure the trucks are not as exciting but this type of juvenile journalism only creates false sensationalism, much like the over-reporting of the single (attempted) looting incident

    and then there is the disgraceful swooping of the buzzards into fox glacier, where apparently the media who went to the pub that night got told very clearly that they were not welcome

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    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    6 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    6 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    7 days ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    7 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    26 mins ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
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