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Pure clear water

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, February 21st, 2020 - 44 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, Environment, local government, nz first, Shane Jones, supercity, uncategorized, water - Tags:

It’s probably time to notice why Jones’ Provincial Growth Fund had to step in and provide several million of funding to patch up the water supply emergency in Northland.

We are in the most serious drought the upper North Island has had in recorded history, so it’s no surprise the entire system is showing strain alongside the land, the people and the animals.

In a small country with poor resources such as ours, it is nothing short of a miracle that we have such massive water storage facilities that have been built up over a century.

The dams formed in the previous century are now in the hands of corporations and are used largely for electricity generation and irrigation. They will enable that the South Island effectively never runs dry, never runs out of electricity, and will always be agriculturally productive.

Not so in the North Island.

By a long, long way, we are learning the hard way that there is not enough water storage nor facilities to process that water for human consumption. The Provincial Growth Fund is having to step in time and again to get water storage going where the planning and public investing should have been done decades earlier.

Now let’s contrast and compare Auckland’s water situation with that of Northland.

Auckland put out a discussion document on the future of water for the Auckland region. It showed that Aucklanders are on average pretty efficient in water use even when compared to some of the major Australian cities. It also forecast that Auckland’s increase growth – and growth in demand for water – would likely be sourced from further take from the Waikato River.

So in terms of proximity to a massive water source, Auckland is simply lucky.

It was also lucky to inherit through amalgamation the dams that had been built in the Waitakeres and Hunuas built in the 20th century.

But the amalgamation of Auckland also amalgamated all the local water retailers and the bulk water supplier into one entity. This amalgamation has enabled comprehensive planning for well into the future. Also the water is metered and priced, so it’s really easy to let consumers do the job of minimising use.

Northland has one regional council and a good few smaller councils. They don’t appear to cooperate that much, and they are poor because they represent mostly poor areas. They don’t have the rating base to think up and execute major projects.

Until such an extreme event as this drought occurred, there just wasn’t much need to look over the fence and cooperate together on water supply.

So now there is, and after this drought there always will be.

At the end of January, $12.7 million was allocated from the Provincial Growth Fund to the Northland Regional Council to really explore future water storage options. For intensive agriculture in the Kaipara.

That’s just not going to assist in drinking water for the good people of Dargaville – even though the announcement was made in Dargaville by Winston Peters who did all his High School there, and by Shane Jones who is from the Far North.

The Kaipara District Council is still struggling to pay for its disastrous but slowly recovering wastewater facility in Mangawhai Heads. Kaipara Mayor Dr Jason Smith said that while the PGF funding was hugely significant for Kaipara’s economy, it would not help municipal supply.

Smith said water storage for Dargaville homes could cost up to $15 million, which was too expensive for a ratepayer base of just 7,000 and was already struggling to pay off the $63 million Mangawhai wastewater scheme.

As Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta observed in 2018 there’s no agenda to require local councils to amalgamate their water entities to get a bit more scale. However, she noted that it was part of a longer conversation needed with local government which owns most of the water assets and which faces wide-ranging funding challenges and capability issues, particularly in rural and provincial areas, and that “councils in a number of areas have voluntarily been looking at the pros and cons of collaborative arrangements in Hawkes Bay, Wellington, the Waikato and top of the south.”

A while back there was loose talk of Watercare taking over management of Kaipara’s water system – or indeed the whole of Northland. It’s a very small set of reticulated networks compared to what Watercare operates across the Auckland region already.

This drought certainly makes those in New Zealand who criticised Australia for lack of preparedness due to climate change just last month look pretty damn arrogant and stupid.

This could be a hinge moment for climate change effects and their response in New Zealand. It looks like there’s nothing in the forecast for the first two weeks of March either. This is big.

You won’t see any public water storage sold off under this government.

Nor will you see forced amalgamations of Council water entities.

Nor will you see water priced, nor compulsory metering.

Nor any banging of heads of some compulsory regional-plus-local forecasting and planning and doing. Leastways not yet.

You will see more funding for industrial storage, and some patch-up funding for emergency supply because Councils failed to plan, and then just simply failed.

With so many options ruled out, the solutions to durable water supply for Northland’s towns is getting narrower by the day.

And this doesn’t yet have an end.

44 comments on “Pure clear water”

  1. dv 1

    AND yet we give water away to bottle companies!!!

     

     

    • Andre 1.1

      The amount of water that bottling companies take is trivial on the scale of water supplies for communities.

      To be sure, the perception of clean and pure that the bottling companies use to sell that water derives from the commons environment belonging to us all. So the bottling companies should be obliged to share some of that value back towards maintaining what gives it value. By way of a hefty royalty. But that really is a separate issue to bulk water supplies running short.

  2. WeTheBleeple 2

    'South Island will never run dry'

    What absolute nonsense.

  3. Adrian 3

    Dry Januarys and dry Februarys are not unusual in Marlborough having two back to back is circumstance and has happened many times before., for instance the Wine Festival day was chosen because no record of rain ever falling on the 2nd Saturday in February could be found even going back as far as 100 years.. That relativly high average is the result of stray ex-tropical cyclones that pass through in some late Dec/Jan/Feb years. Our summer rain predominately comes from the north. Quite a few have already gone through east of the country and the first one of the season has only just passed through the Tasman, hopefully more will come but as it is a generally mild El Nino/ La Nina year maybe not. 

    If you want a good overview of why this is a difficult year for the Aust/NZ region look up boma.govt.au and search the Indian Ocean Dipole, the Indian Oceans EL/LN cycle and see why our weather is affected by even what is happening in the Arabian Sea and the also Southern Annular Mode which is central to our weather and responsible for all those bloody cold wet souwesters out of the Southern Ocean.

    All three are in a phase that is least conducive to "nice"weather. All 3 are ocean currents or in the case of SAM driven by them.

    Janruary rainfall average here 10kms or so from The Pryamid is only about 40-45 mm  and Feb not much more.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Thanks for this, it lines up with everything else I've read. 

      It's important that climate change activists don't fall into the same error the deniers frequently exploit, cherry picking weather events to make claims about climate.

    • Robert Guyton 3.2

      Grapes are a crop that needs to be irrigated. There are other crops that grow in drier environments that don't require irrigation. There are management practices that result in moister soils year-round. Grape-growing doesn't appear to be one of those practices. Increasingly dry areas would benefit from a change from irrigation-requiring cropping to those that don't. In my opinion.

       

      • tc 3.2.1

        Chatting with an Ozzie farmer who's over currently.

        He's aghast at our dairying footprint and what it's done to water use etc in areas not actually suited to dairy. That and the debt levels in dairying had him wondering WTF is going on here.

         

        • Lettuce 3.2.1.1

          Tell him it's the same thing that's going on with the Adani coal mine in Queensland – naked greed with fuck all thought for any environmental implications past making supernormal profits for the owners.

      • Adrian 3.2.2

        With all due respect Robert knowing a bit more about soils than lovely Southland loams might change your take on that. Most of the Marlborough soils are very very shallow clay based top soils ( less than 100mm in places ) over metres and metres of glacial loess which has no waterholding potential at all.

        Visiting Aussies are astounded here when they see gum trees dying, "Mate, gum trees dont die in droughts! ' BTW, big droughts happen here around every 20 years or so or about every 3 El Nino cycles, the last one was in 1999-2001, this one isn't even that nasty, the 1958-59 one was pretty bloody bad.

        Ironicly, the soils in Marlborough vineyards are better than they have been for centuries. We mulch in all our prunings, use lime and local gypsum ( from the salt works ) to break down the clay and along with companion planting and all sorts of other little tricks there is now tilth that never existed before.

        Water is very well managed and there is lots of it down deep or stored from winter run off. 

        Come and have a look sometime.

    • Adrian 3.3

      I should have added that our small river in the hills here is holding up better and better every year as every new reservoir goes in. They seem to lift the water table when used for irrigation and can only be filled when runoff is well in excess of winter acquifier requirements.

  4. RedLogix 4

    And Wellington itself looks likely to struggle with it's own ageing infrastructure issues. I suspect part of this is a couple of councillors looking to raise their profile, but the city does have an expensive problem looming.

    Wellington has an especially difficult geography for water supply/waste, the hills create quite high pressure zones that are expensive to manage. This plus a landscape prone to movement means that an ageing system is in need of a dramatic capital replacement program no-one wants to put a number on.

    • ianmac 4.1

      My older sister is restricted to her house with serious mobility problems. She lives on Waiheke Island and depends on her rainwater tank. It is empty with a big backlog of weeks for home tanker delivery. No showers and basin washing.

      Normally Auckland has 185 rain days per month with an average of 103mm per month. Record 40 days without rain. Some rain on Saturday.

      Just putting this up as the effect on the less able can be overlooked.

    • adam 4.2

      FFS redlogix do you get how bad it is in the far north? It's not an aging infrastructure – it's a failed infrastructure and the drought is breaking the back of the region.  Talk about wellington and other regions is the distraction game as usual, and this is the usual crap that far north has to put up with.  

      Is it because there lots of maori up here? Do we not count because we brown and so far from wellington? 

      The drought and infrastructure are failing now! But no, let's do the normal and talk about  wellington because its way more fucking important. 

      P.S. It's hot, it's been hot for a bloody long time and I'm watching everything die around me – please, just once can people stay on topic – it's bad up here – it's worse than you are being told. And I'm a bit grumpy – so please don't take this as a personal attack. 

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        I hear you … I was only pointing out that water infrastructure problems exist everywhere albeit in different forms and severities. Right now Northland has an acute drought induced shortfall as well as a lack of decent resourcing long term. 

        By contrast Wellington, while reasonably well served on the supply side has encountered an unfortunate series of major leaks on the sewerage side. 

        In my 8 year experience working in the industry Ad nails it when he references the failure of govt to force mergers, smaller councils really struggle to fund and retain the people needed to run a modern water system, so they finish up contracting out a lot of specialist services which in my view is often poor value for money. (Some contractors are great, but all too often the bid goes to the sucker who made the biggest cockup in pricing the tender.)

        NZ has literally dozens of water supply entities for a population of 5m, while the UK has only 14 last time I looked.  Here in NZ they should have been rolled up into the Regional Council scale, but almost always parochial local interests vociferously objected and little was achieved. 

        • tc 4.2.1.1

          +100 "….but almost always parochial local interests vociferously objected and little was achieved…."

          Keep going, sewage, roads, services and a system that allows egocentric mayors/councillors to hide behind closed door flipping the bird.

          Waikato DC mayor Allan Sanson take a bow.

        • adam 4.2.1.2

          I'm all for watercare taking over the far north, as they have done a reasonably decent job in auckland. 

          I think this might be the point where merger of water management has to happen, in the far north at least.

          Lip service has gotta stop being paid to this region. 

          The hospital is going to make the press next,  the way this drought is putting pressure on the whole hospital system. They are in trouble. Soon, a very sad headline will be coming from the hospital. The doctors, nurses and other support staff are just looking worn out, and budget restrictions are being felt on the service delivery end of things.   

        • veutoviper 4.2.1.3

          From you far offsite position in Queensland, RL, it may seem that "Wellington seems likely to struggle with it's own ageing infrastructure issues" and has "an expensive problem looming" – but from my position in the midst of it in south Wellington the problems are not in the future, they are very much in the here and now and have been evident for years.

          My property, which I have owned for over 25 years and  has been in family ownership for over 65 years, has had several instances over that time of breaks in the water mains etc affecting many properties in the street.  

          I have been in dispute with Wellington Water for months now in relation to my latest problem – a swimming pool under my house for almost a year where it used to be bone dry.  This has been put down to a leak/break in the water mains outside my property at the juncture of services from a private street immediately opposite my property joining the mains in my street.  

          Wellington Water are in complete denial of this problem despite evidence from plumbers and others who have inspected the situation – no broken pipes etc on my property and my water table has risen considerably over the period. When fibre was being put in a couple of months ago, pumping equipment had to be brought in as the escavations continually filled with water – which the contractors had not expected.   While some of us have too much water, others in the street have the opposite – periods of no water etc etc.  

          These problems are not looming as you suggest – they have existed for years and in many areas around the city where the aging infrastructure has been neglected for years/ decades.

          In respect to your comment that you suspect that "a couple of councillors" may be "looking to raise their profile" – do you actually know any of them?  I suspect not, but for those of us in the midst of this they are actually doing what we voted them in to do – helping us sort out problems with issues such as this.

          • adam 4.2.1.3.1

            veutoviper ffs, like I said above you have an infrastructure which is working, allbe it pitifully, but it is working. 

            Don't you get the far north has not got that luxury?  

            This is region where the underfunding is historically chronic, and is at the point of cataclysmic collapse because of this drought. I know my usual hyperbole, but this time I'm really worried that what is left might just all collapse.  

            p.s. please note hot, grumpy and please don't take it as a personal attack – it's not. Just hot, grumpy. That said, on a personal note – I hope the muppets from wellington water get that pool out from under your house, that is not healthy. 

          • RedLogix 4.2.1.3.2

            Up until the 2013 earthquake the water supply side loss rate was about the same as most comparable cities. I don't know for certain what the numbers are now, but I strongly suspect that quake created a lot of long term damage that is taking years to show up. 

            • veutoviper 4.2.1.3.2.1

              We had plenty of problems in south Wellingotn long before 2013 – eg had a major one in my street just after I moved back in about 1994 and can recall problems elsewhere in the suburb continually since I've been back.  Local plumbers (there are many) reckon there have been problems since about the 1960s on, many of which have been ignored.  The earthquakes over recent years have added to this, but are not the only cause, according to those (plumbers etc) who have been around for decades.   The older plans for the area (both for overall infrastructure and individual properties) are also abysmal which does not help.

              • RedLogix

                I'm sorry to read that. I was never directly involved in the residential distribution side of the business, but from experience interfacing with WCC's water people it doesn't surprise me much that they would have problems with some of the older parts of the city most remote from the bulk supply sources.

                Part of the problem with aging infrastructure is not just the physical deterioration with time, but that engineering standards and documentation suffer from entropy as well. Then you have to factor in the many dozens of engineering staff involved, hundreds of contractors, thousands of road works and diggings, and endless repairs that have been undertaken over many decades.  In the era before computer aided engineering and documentation systems, maintaining accurate paper records was a herculean task.

                Somewhere in the system will be a plan to eventually upgrade  the distribution system in your area, but it could be decades away. And sometimes sub-optimal decisions are made for all sorts of stupid 'political' reasons that frustrate the hell out of the tech staff.

                It sounds like you do have a real problem and it needs fixing. If it's water supply leak the water under your house may still have some residual chlorine in it, and it's pretty easy to take a sample and get it tested. Bear in mind if the water has seeped through a lot of ground, then the chlorine content may be all gone, but if you do find some residual (probably <0.2ppm) then it's proof positive you have a leak and they're much more likely to act.

        • veutoviper 4.2.1.4

          Wellington Water is an amalgam at basically Regional Council level as you talk about in your last para.  Not sure that I would hold them up as a shining example of anything quite frankly …  https://www.wellingtonwater.co.nz/about-us/history-of-wellington-water/

        • Alice Tectonite 4.2.1.5

          Agree way to many water supply entities, especially when 3 cover around half the population (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch).

          Can only think of two recent examples where a small poorly resourced district has voluntarily merged its water operations with larger neighbour – Waikato District (with Auckland/Watercare) & South Wairarapa District (with Wellington Water), both happened last year.

          Maybe Northland's issues will force it up there. Certainly need to sort something out.

      • veutoviper 4.2.2

        adam

        Just wanted to say that I was not trying to also divert from Northland's problems which the post is about.  I just was not prepared to let the remarks about Wellington's problems being "looming" go.  Our problems  down here are very much in the 'here and now' also but of a different nature etc.  I love Northland and would love to live there, but too late in life now.  

        Kia kaha to Northland and I am just pleased that the Jonesy funds are there and hope more can be used to help Northland – after all that is what they are for. 

        • adam 4.2.2.1

          I replied to your post in my usual usual hyperbolic tone, then saw this one. 

          Again – that water under you house needs to be sorted. It's really unhealthy, and as I know your health is not 100%, I'm now pissed off and  grumpy about that water under your house. 

          These people take out taxes (rates money) and need to do their job.  They have the equipment, fiber optic cameras etc, they should get off their bums and use it. 

          And yes the far north is lovely, I think is why this is so damn maddening and sad. 

      • Ad 4.2.3

        I was tempted for a second to make it a nationwide post, then decided discretion was the better part of valor.

  5. WeTheBleeple 5

    Water Water Everywhere (remix).

    i.

    2019: In the drought-stricken regions of India, well over a hundred people were killed by heat and a quarter a billion had little to no water. The monsoon season was late; off-season rainfall had dropped; and this is a repeating, while increasing in severity, phenomenon.

    New Zealand is not immune to drought. Recent (2019) calls for Aucklander's to reduce water consumption in mid-winter clearly illustrates the potential exacerbation of water shortages here. While we have no monsoon season there are similarities in water cycles worldwide: after a major rain event, much is lost to surface flow straight back into the ocean. Adding to this: after a period without rain, arable land becomes less permeable to water; and so, the longer the period between rain events, the more water goes back to the ocean.

    2019: After 5 years of drought in Queensland, Australia, farmers rejoiced to finally see rain. What followed was a flood so devastating it killed more than 650 000 cattle, 48 000 sheep, and left a 2-billion-dollar mess in its wake. Topsoil was stripped. Freshwater, estuarine and coastal areas inundated with silt, carcasses and debris. Many farmers lost everything except their mortgages.

    The Great Artesian Basin is a 1.7 million square kilometre sandstone aquifer that lies mostly beneath Queensland. Its springs have supplied water to Aboriginal communities for dozens of millennia. Its discovery only a century ago enabled bore drilling and farming on a scale unprecedented in this semi-arid region. Soon canals criss-crossed the land with water flowing freely from the myriad of bores that had sprung up. By 1999 a sustainability initiative was granted Federal and State funds to help stop the decline of this aquifer.

    What followed was a game of whack-a-mole. As one lot of bores was capped, other previously dried out boreholes opened up. The restoration work continues, but the free-flowing water of Queensland's Farmers no longer flows so freely. Mound springs, paperbark swamps and wetlands have begun to dry up, while water usage continues to increase.

    Roughly two thirds of all rain that falls on land originates from the land. Transpiration of plants and evapotranspiration from terrestrial surfaces account for this. The oceans contribute the rest, which is the same volume that flows back out to sea. This balance (one in one out) changes where the land has become dry &/or plant cover is absent; as is often the case following drought. With plant transpiration and evapotranspiration severely curtailed, rainfall might drop considerably.

    It is predicted that both drought and rainfall events will increase in severity for NZ's climate, thus setting the stage for more flooding, yet less water returned to the land. What we require are mitigation strategies that address drought, flooding and aquifer recharge at once.

    "Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,

    The glorious Sun uprist: 

    Then all averred, I had killed the bird 

    That brought the fog and mist." – The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

     

    ii.

    New Zealand's hydrological cycles are intrinsically linked to our power supply. Where weather patterns are altered due to climate change, our power supply (and waterways) may likewise be altered.

    In dry periods, rivers and streams are fed by groundwater flow, that portion of rain that penetrates the surfaces it falls on. Groundwater flow is orders of magnitude slower than overland flow, and so, after extended periods of drought, one might still observe rivers and streams with running water. The total aboveground storage of freshwater (rivers, lakes, wetlands) is only about 1% of total freshwater; while groundwater storage accounts for 25%.

    Aquifers are groundwater storage replenished via groundwater flow percolating down through soils and the base of aboveground water storages. Recharge rates are dependant on levels of rainfall, ground permeability, and rates of aquifer depletion. Wherever pumping of aquifer water exceeds recharge rates, aquifers are depleted.

    Mitigation of both drought and flood requires the slowing down and capture of rainfall. A portion of the rain returning to sea needs to be slowed and/or trapped: allowing it to percolate down into groundwater flow and aquifers. This replenishes aquifers and maintains steady flows for our streams, rivers and hydro generation. Using whole catchment methods involving tree planting and incorporating small, but multiple earthworks and above ground storages slows and trap rain.

    A decrease in overland flow reduces severity of flood events in lower catchments. Additionally, the transpiration of trees has the potential to mitigate damage from multiple rain events through increasing the volume/time required for saturation of a landscape to be achieved. Added to this are the valuable products, aesthetics and ecosystem services generated with the creation of such systems.

    Where plant cover and sufficient water are present on the land plant productivity and carbon storage are increased simultaneously. The carbon pathway from atmosphere through plants to soil organisms and ultimately soil humus turns the soil into a giant sponge capable of retaining water and excess nutrients further increasing fertility and subsequent production. Current agricultural practises including tilling, applications of salt fertilisers, and the wide variety of poisons that come with these systems destroy soil microbiology and leave the land weak and exposed to the vagaries of weather.

        "And every tongue, through utter drought, 

        Was withered at the root; 

        We could not speak, no more than if 

        We had been choked with soot." – The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

     

  6. adam 6

    Thanks for the post Ad. 

    It's bad up here. Hard to put into words what it's been like looking around the region, the only word I have is sadness.  And a hope we don't get heavy rains, as that will do a lot of damage. 

    The one positive seems the councils are actually working together better, and Whangarei Council has been shipping out drinking water from it's dams up north as of last week.   

    Been hard going to the farmers markets, you can see the stress written all over people faces. 

    If you don't get how bad this climate change thing is going to be, come up north and get a taste.

    • WeTheBleeple 6.1

      I have a friend up north observing key species dying off in the forests. It's really bad. She's had to outsource her nursery (to many helpful locals) just to keep the wee trees alive. A tray or two each, receiving household grey water, it's all they got to spare.

      • adam 6.1.1

        I stopped walking in the forests a few weeks ago, it was just too bloody depressing. 

        I've been saving grey water to throw on what is left of my garden, I had been planning on getting some chickens, but that will not be happening soon. 

        Last time mowed lawn was in the middle of December – won't even try as I think will kill what lawn we have left.  

        I hope the nursery can survive, good on her thinking to outsource for grey water, and well done to the people helping her out – that is some good news. 

        • Brigid 6.1.1.1

          Ah that grey water. Bless it.

          It's all that's keeping my plants alive. Bloody hard work though.

          Funny thing is I get quite excited when the kids come to stay as that increases the amount of grey water I can use.

    • Rosemary McDonald 6.2

      Hi Adam. We headed south from Kaitaia about 10 days ago…just when the Level 4 restrictions kicked in.

        Things were getting pretty feral around the campervan dump station…for a wee while they'd even turned off the flushing water.

      And while the good folk of Kaitaia are having to 'let it mellow', the Waiharara and Motutangi Water Users Group are happy as, bathing in the bounty of the Te Aupuori aquifer.

      And it is very likely the NRC, hard arse as they have been over the water take from the Awanui River for Kaitaia's needs, are seriously considering further applications to take water from the Te Aupuori aquifer…a mere 6.2  million cubic meters…if you please.

      Gotta love those avos.

      Here in the Waikato it is not only dry, but hot, hot hot.  And very humid.  

      And I'm betting those neighbours whose bores dried up in the summer of 2008 will be getting pretty nervous.

      (And the last time they tried sucking water for Kaitaia from the aquifer at Sweetwater…local legend has it the the neighbouring properties lost their bores.)

      • WeTheBleeple 6.2.1

        I think council type mindset may be counting on avocados to bring 'financial relief' (tax income) and save the day – as they are ecologically illiterate bean counters. Where success is measured by such standards catastrophic failure often follows.

  7. Robert Guyton 7

    But we daren't even hint that the dry in the North is connected with anthropogenic climate change, global heating, call it what you will, for fear we'll be decried as ALARMISTS!

  8. WeTheBleeple 8

    Centralised water should be a user pays back up scheme for times like these. Earthworks have seen me garden most of the way through this drought, and other friends are also in a reasonable position, some drawing on town supplies only recently, and only sparingly. Grey water goes on the garden. I'm the only person I know except permies and the drought stricken desperate who use grey water in this, a record drought. Cities and towns full of IMBECILES who are entirely dependent on council looking after them. Roofs aren't collecting, landscapes aren't collecting. No common sense, no plan except to pump aquifers and dam rivers and write terse letters to council when their own personal circumstance is not ideal. 

    Idiots with engineering degrees doing the planning, whoopdy fucking do. Soon they'll share their plans of recycling your shit for drinking. I am not kidding.

    1% of freshwater is above-ground storage. 25% is ground storage but we're depleting it rapidly. We could make dam schemes equal to all the freshwater lakes rivers and streams combined, and it would not save us from climate change induced drought. Shove that in your town planning.

    I spelled out above how we are destroying rainfall. Government can take heed or waste money on grand schemes which wont amount to a hill of beans as droughts intensify. Turn the landscape into a sponge, or get the fuck out of the way so others can do it.

    • Alice Tectonite 8.1

      "Soon they'll share their plans of recycling your shit for drinking."

      Indirectly its already happening: Hamilton's effluent discharge is upstream of Auckland's intake …

      Then there's the level of bullshit cowshit involved in water supply in (too) many cases.

       

  9. Brigid 9

    Yes it's dry here.  Mid Northland.  It's too hot after 10am to do anything outside.

    The forecast says rain on Saturday which will be the first rain since the beginning of December except for the 10 minute shower late December. The cracks in the ground are an inch wide. If the cockey next door's grass has been growing at the rate ours has I'm surprised he's still milking. Lawn's been mowed once since December.

    I've never known it like this before. However the local arbourist declares "Oh it's always hot and dry in summer". He's young – 30ish, I wonder what he'll be saying when he's 60.

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    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 day ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    2 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    2 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    3 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    3 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    4 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    4 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    5 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    6 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    7 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    7 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    2 days ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    6 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    3 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    3 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    4 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    4 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    4 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    5 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    5 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    7 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    7 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
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    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
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    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
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    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
    The New Zealand Government is advising New Zealanders not to travel overseas due to COVID-19, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced. “We are raising our travel advice to the highest level: do not travel,” Mr Peters said. “This is the first time the New Zealand Government has advised New Zealanders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago