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QC describes Pike River mine as a ‘homicide scene’

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, November 22nd, 2016 - 52 comments
Categories: disaster, families, health and safety - Tags: , , ,

On Checkpoint Nigel Hampton QC (representing some of the families) described the Pike River mine as a ‘crime scene’ and a ‘homicide scene’, and he questioned the motives of those rushing to seal the mine.

John Key promised the families that the bodies would be retrieved from the mine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbL3wNHjZQo#t=0m23s

This is a promise that he now denies.

Former New Zealand chief mines inspector Tony Forster says that the mine is safe to enter. Harold Gibbens, former mines rescue team member interviewed on Checkpoint, says that the drift is safe to enter, there are rescue members willing to go, and he challenges the government to release the advice that they claim to have to the contrary.

52 comments on “QC describes Pike River mine as a ‘homicide scene’ ”

  1. Ad 1

    I’m just guessing Nigel Hampton QC is not a Director of the company who will under the new health and safety legislation be held criminally liable if another person is sent into the mine and is hurt or killed.

    • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1

      You say that in the face of an article saying that it’s safe to have a look around. Read it again

      • Ad 1.1.1

        Tell you what, operate a live tunnel mine under the new H&S regs and tell me your skin doesn’t tighten. I know exactly what that’s like, and there is no damn way I would allow anyone into that mine now. Ever.

        It was in no small part because of Pike River that the entire H&S legislation changed that altered this direct line of personal liability.

        • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1.1.1

          I understand your concern, those go in your log book when assessing underground work sites for hazards before preparing the work area. Sprinkle some shot Crete in your coffe while you’re at it

      • Psycho Milt 1.1.2

        You say that in the face of an article saying that it’s safe to have a look around.

        One pictures Clump_AKA_Sam attempting to persuade the court he shouldn’t be held criminally liable for the injury/death of a rescue worker because he read an article that said it was safe to go in and look around…

        • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1.2.1

          Courts don’t take out legal action against a shift boss if a life is lost under his super vision, the family does. If you or pollies want to interfere, upto u

          • McFlock 1.1.2.1.1

            no, it is valid – directors are now criminally liable (and good job too).

            But to have that level of fear paralysis means that no trucking company would allow its drivers on the road, and no port company would allow its wharfs to be used for the loading or docking of ships.

            What solid energy should be doing is either publicly releasing the reports which say it’s impossible to safely re-enter, or an estimate of the costs of a reasonably safe re-entry with risk assessments from all involved, including worksafe.

            • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Liability dosnt effect the risk profile. I’m going back to sleep now. Wake me when you’ve all jacked off to the point you’ve got your point across

              • McFlock

                It doesn’t affect the profile, but it does affect the risk aversion of company directors.

                Would you prefer your bottle first, or a nappy change when you wake up?

              • SpaceMonkey

                Not the risk profile, but absolutely the risk itself.

                That considered, I am certain there would be any number of experienced miners and support personnel from around the world who would be prepared to take that risk to undertake a mine re-entry operation to retrieve a fellow miner’s body – especially when that re-entry has been considered safe by an international expert.

                Why can all concerned not just sign something appropriately legal to absolve the company of any liability?

      • aerobubble 1.1.3

        Imagine, a new seventeen year old, glued to the phone activity, enters a gassy mine with a depleted mines inspection ministry and a cult of economic hands off, coupled to a imperative to return foreign investors money after rounds of headaches.

        Key will never let anyone in that mine, he will use the issue to make it harder to justify entry, and lockup the mine for eternity, because any outcome otherwise is a bad one for all involved.

    • Tim 1.2

      On that logic we shouldn’t send rescue teams into earthquake disaster zones too

      • Muttonbird 1.2.1

        Good observation. Ad believes a couple of ships and an appearance by Waitakere Man is a good response to a 7.8 so no wonder he’s too scared to go into the mine.

  2. Venezia 2

    I watched the Doco ” Pike River ” on Prime last night. The whole episode is just disgusting. And this latest claim from the Government and Solid Energy is more of the same. I stand with the Pike River Families.

    • Wensleydale 2.1

      Read Rebecca MacFie’s book if you haven’t already. Once I’d finished it, I just sat there, stunned. The litany of incompetence, negligence and callousness beggars belief. I’ve given it to my sister for some of her friends in the Australian mining industry to read. From what she tells me, they’re generally livid after reading it.

  3. Whispering Kate 3

    I was named a conspiracy theorist by someone on this blog site for calling the Pike River Mine a crime scene – it seems I am in illustrious company. A QC no less.

  4. Rae 4

    Of course it is a homicide site, it always has been and must never be permanently sealed off because of that. Seal it off and I think we can all assume it is a dirty great cover up.

    • SpaceMonkey 4.1

      Agreed… especially when it’s in the face of expert opinion, and without offering any evidence to support a ‘no re-entry’ stand. I expect an experienced mine inspector would be able to tell exactly what happened once inside the mine…

  5. save nz 5

    They need to do the decent thing, stop stalling and go in their and find out what happened to those men!!

    Where were they on safety when they let those men die in the first place?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Where were they on safety when they let those men die in the first place?

      The same place that they’ve always been – complaining about the costs of improving working conditions.

  6. greywarshark 6

    The government say it is dangerous to enter the mine, particularly for them.
    They just want to cover it all up and forget about it as a failed project, where they wouldn’t have chosen to work. Really it is a situation of caveat emptor to them. The miners knew the risks they think, the money they were paid meant they accepted them, and when the mine caved in on them, it was just the end of the vicious circle.

    And then they produced or encouraged such tight safety rules that small business can hardly cope in NZ, with the demands that are so stringent. It makes it very hard to be profitable in such an oppressive business climate as we have here for micro businesses, which I understand means the vast majority of business activity that provides employment and feeds into the general business money flow. Very large businesses are at another level that hopefully results in trickle down to smaller feeder fish clustering around the much larger one up the food chain.

    But changing the laws was always on the cards and the delays we noticed on attending to the Pike River unfinished business, were caused no doubt by the need to stall long enough so that protective legal barriers could be erected to reduce any financial cost or injurious legal case against business with which government was connected, or against the body of government itself.

  7. Grantoc 7

    Solid Energy has released a statement that includes the information that the atmosphere inside drift along with the rest of the mine, is comprised of 98% methane gas. If this is the case, then it has to be extremely risky to enter the mine, if not suicidal.

    This scenario is supported indirectly by last night’s documentary on Pike River where the mine was constantly being described as ‘gassy’ meaning that methane will naturally build up within it.

    Is there any evidence out there that challenges the above scenario? If so I haven’t read it or seen it. For instance on what basis does Tony Forster, former chief mines inspector say that the mine is safe to enter?

    • McFlock 7.1

      Nah. The gas is only an explosive limit of 4.4–17%. No explosive risk at 98%, vent it out to below 4% and you’re fine (external fan so no risk of spark from the motor as concentration passes below the explosive range.). It’s also apparently nontoxic (according to wikipedia).

      Basically, if they could dig the mine safely they can dig back into it. If the explosions were unavaoidable they should never have had a permit in the first place. If the explosions were avoidable, we should go back in (this time safely) and find out what happened and whether the cause was a systemic danger throughout all NZ’s mines.

    • Clump_AKA Sam 7.2

      A few thoughts
      Open circuit 21% o2 of which +/-80% is wasted(Volume).Limited to 60 minutes
      Closed circuit 100% o2 100% reusable.4hr rating

      Two scenario’s

      1.Entry team A enters an unknown environment with open circuit,heart rate has increased,breahing rate has increased,Co2 increased.Increase CO2 due to breathing 21% o2, his ability to perform is negatively effected due to co2 build up and higher work rate.

      2. Entry team B enter an unkown enviroment wih closed circuit,heart rate has increased,breathing rate has increased,co2 increase. He is breathing 100
      % the co2 build up would not be as great as the unit has scrubber/Sodalime to extract the co2.His ability to perform would mirror his training.

      Why breath close circuit?

      1. Easier Breathing- High volume less resistance
      2. Faster deployment -Scrubber and cooling system.
      3.Greater safety and comfort -Light weight

      my view is that open circuit should not be allowed. it old technology

      I think scott facemask is comming out with comms

      my 2cents….. thanks for the reply

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3

      With CH4 levels at 98% there is no chance of explosions. You’d enter with breathing apparatus.

      Or, as McFlock says, vent it to below 4%.

      Or, flood the mine then pump out the water and enter one area at a time.

      It’s eminently do-able, unless you;re a can’t-do National Party with a crime scene to consider.

    • mauī 7.4

      Families spokesperson says recent gas testing show its safe to enter, doesn’t say what the gas level is though:
      http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/86201726/pike-river-father-bernie-monk-says-mine-is-safe-for-reentry

      • WILD KATIPO 7.4.1

        Approx 95% which means the environment is inert , the probability of Methane explosions are at their most dangerous levels when at 9% – 9.5% and have an ignition source and of course, oxygen.

        Some background helpful information. There is plenty on the subject online.

        Also bear in mind that many contraband items in mines have the capacity to ignite an explosion , – this is why such items as battery powered wrist watches are prohibited. That’s how sensitive it can be if a mine reaches critical conditions.

        ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

        There are two main types of coal mine explosions: methane explosions and coal dust explosions.

        Methane explosions occur in mines when a buildup of methane gas, a byproduct of coal, comes into contact with a heat source, and there is not enough air to dilute the gas to levels below its explosion point, said Yi Luo, an associate professor of mining engineering at West Virginia University.

        “In most U.S. coal mines, each ton of coal contains between 100 to 600 cubic feet (2.83 to 17 cubic meters) of methane,” Luo told Life’s Little Mysteries. “When air contains 5 percent to 15 percent of methane, it can explode.”

        Deadly mix

        Methane, the main component of natural gas, is combustible, and mixtures of about 5 percent to 15 percent in air are explosive. When air contains approximately 9.5 percent of methane (the most dangerous concentration), it reaches the perfect oxidation point, which means that the right amount of fuel is mixing with the right amount of oxygen, said Luo. This produces water, carbon dioxide and a lot of amount of heat.

        “It does not [require] much heat to ignite the combustion process and therefore methane explosion can accelerate very fast,” Luo said.

        The heat generated by this process raises the temperature of the air within the mine, which causes it to expand in volume. Since hot air cannot expand easily underground, pressure builds in the mine. If this pressure is high enough, it can cause the air ahead of the combustion zone to compress and cause a shock wave, Luo explained.

        Ventilation is the most common method to avoid such methane explosions in coal mines. Large fans are used to blow air out or draw air into mines, but Luo stated that mine ventilation is still a complicated science.

        “In coal mines, we are required to control the concentration [of methane to] less than 1 percent,” he said. “But there are hard places to ventilate where concentration could get into the explosive range.”

        Mine explosions can also be triggered when fine particles of coal dust come into contact with a source of heat.

        While methane is easier to ignite, the explosion pressure and heat value of methane is not as high as coal dust. In most cases, dust explosions are first caused by methane explosions, said Luo.

        “Dust explosion needs a very high concentration of dust suspended in the air, which is very hard to find in a mine environment,” Luo explained.

        But, the shock wave caused by methane explosions can blow up coal dust within the mine, and the heat generated by the methane reaction can ignite the dust, which greatly intensifies the energy of the explosion.

        Worst case

        So, in a worst case scenario, a methane explosion has the potential to ignite a more catastrophic coal dust explosion.

        Coal mines in the United States have taken safety measures to avoid dust explosions, including spreading limestone powder over the coal dust. Limestone powder makes it more difficult for shock waves from methane explosions to blow up particles of coal dust, said Luo.

        “Limestone also absorbs a great amount of heat generated from the [methane] explosion,” Luo said. “It will either stop the chain reaction or reduce the intensity of the explosion.”

        The Massey Energy Co. explosion this week is the worst mining disaster in the United States in more than two decades, and this latest catastrophe adds to a long history of coal mine tragedies in an industry that is notoriously risky and dangerous.

        Since 1839, there have been 501 known U.S. coal mine explosions that killed at least five people each, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In addition, at least 52 coal mine fires have killed at least five people each. The worst of these disasters was an explosion that killed 362 people in a coal mine in Monongah, W.Va in 1907.

        An explosion similar to this week’s occurred at Sago Mine in Buckhannon, W.Va in 2006 that killed 12 miners.

  8. tc 8

    Pike river is an albatross around shonkys neck and he knows it.

    Isnt it great to have a compliant onside media not holding you to account and a police force that invades privacy to achieve political results.

    No wonder he smirks so much, easy gig this PM lark just bugger off when it all gets too much and make someone else smudge their image.

  9. MAUI

    Just a few more clips,… one demonstrating that it is a ‘ crime’ scene that needs proper forensics applied, the other the first time – and testimony – of placing a temporary seal in the mine.

    Here is the first , in an interview and audio with events leading directly up to the blast.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwRN7TYtNkw

    here is the sealing operation

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy12qvuVSIY

  10. The audio above would suggest that with all the breakdowns in safety standards and equipment – and with the methane detectors automatically tripping at the head that the initial cause was methane pouring out of a seam where the men were drilling on the west side of the mine.

    It has been suggested that the methane extraction fan system transported that large volume of methane down to the pit bottom south area where the ventilation pumps, electrical motors , lighting etc were housed , – exacerbating an already volatile situation . And thus the ignition source. Which stands to reason when Daniel Rockhouse states he witnessed a ‘ flash of white light ‘ from that area.

    The ignition source could have been one of many – from an electrical motor arcing , to sparks generated by metal machinery in the mining process. All of this is covered in the Royal Commission.

    Some theory’s were that the source of methane was the ‘ goaf ‘ … an area previously mined that naturally became an area of high methane concentrations. Following a rock fall, it was said this could have dispersed methane into the road header areas and throughout the mine. , – but it does seem likely it had something to do with operations on the day when the above audio is seen.

    The following explosions as we have seen were probably the result of hot coal seam /coal dust explosions – particularly the last ( 4th ) one.

  11. Red Hand 12

    Key did not promise the families that the bodies would be retrieved from the mine. He said he was “committed to getting them out” and that “he wanted to get them out”. I doubt he had the advice he needed to make a firm promise.
    My take on his agreeing to the meeting and saying what he said was to give some comfort to the families so they would stop agitating and also to look good in the election campaign.
    I see this as sad evidence that he did not find the courage to say to the grieving people that the bodies would likely remain where they were and to grieve with them and to say that it was not in his power to recover the men’s bodies, however committed he may have felt and however much he may have wanted to.

    • It is the Drift the family’s and their representatives wish to remain open . Not the mine. And as demonstrated in the above audio when the first temporary seal was installed, conditions were perfectly safe. And in fact in that manner and by using more advanced methods , the Drift can be reentered. This is what has been said by many mining experts. And at a relatively small cost .

      Which counters the narrative spoken by Key.

      The problem for Key and his entourage with vested interests is the likelihood of not only discovering bodies in / near the Drift but also the likelihood that the cause of the blast ( further indications of poor safety standards in all probability ) is discovered , – and worse still for Key – that entry into the mine proper can then be achieved.

      It is at THAT point …. that the problems really start for Key and those concerned.

      And in an upcoming election year?

      Would not bode well for Key and the National party one jot.

      I think you will find, – and as stated so many times by the miners family’s , – that this is the REAL MOTIVE behind Key and Worksafe’s bloody-minded rush to get that mine sealed off permanently.

      • Rae 12.1.1

        Well they are doing nothing to convince you otherwise. Speaking totally to their converted, hoping there is enough of them. I just hope NZ is better than, I despair that we may not be.

  12. Jeremy Carroll 13

    Sounds like there’s rush on to seal the tomb. Despite this not being a requirement from “Worksafe NZ” … lawyer Nigel Hampton QC advised yesterday that Solid Energy had until February to complete the second, outer seal.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11752896

    • Yes, … there is a rush on , spearheaded by Solid Energy in collusion with Worksafe NZ.

      ” When he ( Whitall ) was finally charged with 29 counts of manslaughter, – WORKSAFE – did a secret deal with his insurance company the night before Court, allowing him to buy his way out of these severe criminal charges for $100k per head. He was immediately allowed to leave the country a free man. ”

      ‘ Worksafe ‘….

      A play on the words to ‘ Work Safe ‘ …

      Remember that name …. Worksafe.

      Remember that name when after February 2017 this current Govt tries to talk about ‘ tax cuts’ as an election sweetener….remember that name every time the issue of cost comes up about a recovery plan for Pike River.. Remember that name when things are lied about in future with Kaikoura and all the justifications of incompetence start , remember that name every time another death occurs onsite at the workplace, … and when that final seal goes into Pike River, – the best thing that one can do is to remember – just who and what depts were responsible for one of the most grotesque abdications of moral and ethical duty of care to the working people of New Zealand in decades.

      And the government who directed them.

  13. wellfedweta 14

    “John Key promised the families that the bodies would be retrieved from the mine.”

    No, he didn’t. His exact words were that he was ‘committed to getting the boys out’. That is quite different.

    The other factor here is the material just released on Andrew Little’s duplicity on this. When Little headed the EPMU, the union did nothing about safety concerns at Pike River. Indeed Little defended the company after the first explosion, as did Damien O’Connor. Even after one group of workers walked off the site in protest at safety issues, the EPMU did nothing. No strike, no protests. Nothing. And now we have the sick sight of Little wringing his hands at the decision to not recover the bodies.

    I, too, stand by the men of Pike River. I want every last practical effort made to recover the men. But the hypocrisy of Little in this is a festering sore that will surely bite him as more material comes to light.

    • In actual fact , one of the workers did contact the Union about conditions, and was advised by the Union to walk off the job until safety issues had been addressed , – which they did ( they were then met by management and basically dressed down for it ) .

      Furthermore, – Pike River management barred union access to the site if a delegate attempted to come on site – which was their perfect legal right to do so due to legislation passed by this National government.

      Remember?

      So now under the current political climate of neo liberalism we see the lethal end result of Nationals successful attempts at passing legislation prior to Pike River designed to detooth the Trade Unions. And because of that fact , Unions have to balance peoples jobs with industrial disruption. If anything – this is the price we pay for allowing this sort of political climate in the first place.

      The very fact that there was an attempt at tightening Health and Safety laws after the fact of Pike River is in itself nothing more than an admonition that the deliberate disempowering of Unions and empowering of management to threaten employees with job loss for non compliance using legal tools passed by this government had resulted in the deaths of 29 workers.

      • wellfedweta 14.1.1

        None of that stacks up.

        Brent Forrester, the worker who blew the whistle on the walk out, claimed they received NO support form the EPMU. In fact Little’s response was that PRC “had a good health and safety committee that’s been very active.”

        There’s more on this whole sordid business at https://nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.co.nz/2014/12/how-andrew-little-failed-pike-river.html, including plenty more on Little’s, and the EPMU’s culpability.

        “Unions have to balance peoples jobs with industrial disruption.”
        They always have had to. Nothing has changed that. But there were many warnings, and the EPMU did NOTHING.

        • WILD KATIPO 14.1.1.1

          “Unions have to balance peoples jobs with industrial disruption.”

          Exactly.

          And I dont retract that . Under the neo liberal model and their talk of ‘partnership’ Pike River is the end product . It is a fact that this neo liberal government – not Andrew Little , for as youve shown was president of the EPMU at the time – was the incumbent government that passed laws that meant an employer could prohibit a Union delegate from even entering a private concerns property.

          And that meant that if management chose to not even meet with Union representatives concerning workers issues they could. Effectively killing co ordinated collective action from the very start.

          Pike River was the inevitable end product of this.

          And if Little was complicit in supporting management initially , bear in mind that up until that point the Union was only party to information that management had selected and was prepared to offer , – as one can easily see management contacting Union head offices after the first walk out occurred . Can you really expect management to send themselves up in a bad light?

          Of course not.

          And it took a Royal Commission of Inquiry to fully bring out all the facts. A legal initiative that had the clout to compel concerned partys to disclose in full just what conditions were really like.

          Up until then , it was more a case of ‘ He said – She said’.

          It may – just may – have been the case that the Unions were misled by management that all is well… as Whittall stated in an interview ” I can sincerely put my hand on my heart and say that safety was our first concern at Pike River ”… or words to that effect.

          But none of this detracts at all from the culture of worker abuse that has grown up out of the all – too – convenient ‘ partnership ‘ model of vested interest and lobby groups that have manipulated ( and provided healthy donations to ) successive neo liberal governments over the last 3 decades. And that is my point. Im neither a National or a Labour party voter. I dont give a damn about either – I care about the direction this countrys gone in over the last 3 decades of this neo liberal garbage. And that is all.

          So to end,… from the same website…

          { ‘ A fighting union movement

          Health and safety is a union issue, and it’s going to take us re-building a fighting union movement for work in New Zealand to become safer. It’s no accident that this is now ranked one of the most dangerous countries for workers in the developed world – as the union movement has grown weaker, following the Employment Contracts Act, so too has bosses’ ability to cut corners grown.
          Imagine if workers had the confidence to stop work every time there was an infringement or known risk? What if there were stoppages by all the workers on a site each time one person was injured or hurt? This used to be common practice in some industries, and it hurt the bosses where they notice, in lost ‘productivity’ and profits. That does far more for safety than any number of hours talking about partnership.
          The Engineering, Printing, and Manufacturing Union is calling for the “the re-introduction of worker-elected check inspectors” in mining. This is essential; health and safety needs to be in the hands of those with an interest in promoting it – working people whose health and safety is put at risk – and not controlled by our bosses and managers, who have an interest in maximising the amount of work they can get out of us. ‘ }

          BTW … good website… a lot of good material there so thanks.

          • wellfedweta 14.1.1.1.1

            Little was not just “complicit in supporting management initially”. He was complicit in drowning out the concerns of workers on site, and of covering up (or at best ignoring) safety concerns expressed from various quarters.

            You also seem to be on something of a hobby horse about the connection between neo-liberalism and health and health and safety. That is a dead horse, I’m afraid. Here is a list of historic mine disasters in NZ. Tell me which ones are the result of neo-liberalism.

            Kaitangata, February 1879: Candles cause explosion in an area known for methane (firedamp) killed 34 men and boys.

            Brunner, March 1896: Incorrect blasting set off a gas explosion – probably methane – killing 65 men.

            Huntly, Ralph’s mine, September 1914: A miner’s naked light ignited firedamp, killing 43 men.

            Dobson mine, December 1926: An explosion killed nine men.

            Huntly, Glen Afton mine, September 1939: Carbon monoxide asphyxiated 11 men.

            Strongman mine, 11km northeast of Greymouth, January 1967: explosion killed 19 miners.

  14. dv 15

    Some one has honour

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11753588

    Allied Concrete will not participate in sealing of Pike River mine

    Allied Concrete, the company contracted to supply concrete to permanently plug the Pike River mine has pulled out.

    Allied is owned by HWR, and chief executive Brent Esler said today they had been asked to quote for the supply of concrete by a contractor engaged by Solid Energy.

    HWR had “the deepest sympathy for the families of the 29 miners whose lives were lost in the disaster in 2010”.

    “We are respectful of their feelings around the sealing of the mine. We also understand the situation faced by Solid Energy who are now trying to prevent further risk of injury or fatalities.”

    The company was mindful that Solid Energy was not the mine operator at the time of the 2010 disaster but took over in 2012.

    “At this time Allied Concrete have not committed to supply concrete material for the final stages of the project,” Allied said. “We will assess any decision to supply product as it arises.”

    The company said it hoped an understanding could be reached between the parties and that some finality was achieved for everyone, “after this tragic event”.

    Pike River families are welcoming the company’s decision decision not to supply the concrete required to seal the mine.

    Allied has contacted Sonya Rockhouse, whose son Ben was killed in the mine, to assure her they will halt supply until the dispute over re-entering the mine is resolved.

    “We are incredibly relieved by this decision,” Sonya said.

  15. JustMe 16

    There is one thing I have noticed about John Key and that is he is totally incapable of keeping any promises made to ordinary New Zealanders. The families of the Pike River 29 are just ordinary NZers. Like the 29 miners entombed in the mine the families are also victims.

    The government’s constant delaying tactics regarding the Pike River Mine is starting to get really suspect. What are they hiding besides a huge level of incompetence?

    A truly proper government and PM would keep a promise made. But once Prince William had headed off back to the UK and the election results of 2011 were confirmed John Key quickly forgot his ‘promise’ to the citizens of Greymouth(which I believe is a strong Labour seat). Maybe Key made that ‘promise’ in the hope of taking Greymouth away from Labour. And because the citizens saw through him he became petty and resentful. If so then how typically juvenille of him.

    I am firmly of the opinion that if one of the Pike River 29 was say the son of a National MP then Key would be literally moving heaven and earth to ‘get the boys out’.

    The usefulness of the families of the Pike River 29 ended within 24 hours of the 2011 election results. The ‘boys’ were political tools to be manipulated by an opportunistic and self-serving PM.

    In this day and age with technology having even advanced quite considerbly since 2010 I suggest that if Key and his mates are reluctant to let in experienced miners to go into the mine then send in a drone to check it out.

    I am sure John Key had hoped the families of the Pike River 29 would shut up and put up with his decision and broken promise. Key depends upon apathetic NZers and he probably didn’t expect so many NZers to find his inaction to be more likely an act of cowardice.

    If we had a Labour government I am sure the boys would be out of that tomb by now and given a decent burial.

    RIP Pike River 29 but please ensure Key never forgets you. May he be haunted by your faces for the rest of his days.

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    Dunedin has had a succession of mild winters – our last genuinely cold one was in 2015. 2020 was no exception. But that still leaves spring… and having lived through the week-long spring blizzard of 2011, I am not unaware that September snows are a thing. Such was this morning, ...
    17 hours ago
  • Spain is (still) not a democracy
    The list of Spanish abuses of Catalonia's democracy is long. When Catalans voted for independence, Spanish riot police seized ballot boxes and beat them in the streets. When they elected leaders to represent their views, Spain refused to allow them to take their seats, or jailed them for "sedition". And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Crusher threatens Nicky Hager
    Crusher Collins - National Party LeaderEverybody should know by now that Judith (Crusher) Collins is a very malicious person. She is perhaps the most vindictive MP ever to disgrace our halls of power.Some of her unprecedented nastiness over the decades has been well documented in the book Dirty Politics: How ...
    19 hours ago
  • The Confident Traveller Led Astray – A Poem For Winston Peters.
    Quo Vadis, Winston?Where are you going, Winston, Son of the winterless north? We have lost count of the summers Since first you ventured forth. This track on which we find you, Unmarked on any map, Leads travellers to strange places. Do you not fear mishap? Countless roads I’ve travelled, Oh ye ...
    23 hours ago
  • Racism loses in Switzerland
    Over in Switzerland, the racist "People's Party" tried to have a Brexit-style referendum on ending freedom of movement with the EU, so they could stop the "flood" of foreigners. But the Swiss people said No: Swiss voters have resoundingly rejected an attempt to tear up the country’s agreement with ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • International Right To Know Day
    Today, 28 September, is International Right To Know Day (or, as the UN puts it, the "International Day for Universal Access to Information"). The Ombudsman is celebrating with a poll showing that while most people don't know about their freedom of information rights, those that use them mostly get what ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • One way or another, we’re paying for this
    Back in July, when foreign polluters (and archaeological criminals) Rio Tinto announced they planned to close Tiwai Point, I was dancing on its grave. Why? Because the carbon subsidies alone were more than enough to fund alternative jobs - or even just to pay everyone dependent on it a reasonable ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • End of life – it isn’t so easy
    In a few weeks, New Zealanders will make a choice whether we implement into law the End of Life Choice Act 2019.  My scientific expertise includes developing and validating methods to predict future events of ill people including death. There is one section of the Act that concerns me deeply. Section ...
    SciBlogsBy John Pickering
    2 days ago
  • Democracy Under Threat
    My wife and I are at an age when we have begun to think (and worry) about the kind of world we will leave behind for our children and, particularly, our grandchildren. We have experienced during our own lives, like others of our generation, our fair share of hard times ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Why it’s important to be open to relationships with people who vote differently
      There are few things written more deeply on the human heart than religion. Differences between us on the purpose and ultimate destiny of human existence have sometimes inspired great intolerance and even wars. But what would we make today of a Catholic who refused to countenance a meaningful relationship ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #39
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The Warming Climates of the Arctic and the Tropics Squeeze the Mid-latitudes, Where Most People Live Melting Arctic ice sends ...
    2 days ago
  • Where in the world will the next epidemic start?
    Naomi Forrester-Soto, Keele University Viruses jumping from animals to humans have been the starting point of numerous outbreaks, from Ebola to Zika. Given the similarity of SARS-CoV-2 to coronaviruses found in bats, this probably marked the beginning of COVID-19 too. We know that viruses have passed from animals to humans ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Fiscal Maths with Paul “Goldie” Goldsmith
    Mr Thinks has asked me to come onto the blog today to outline a few concepts in fiscal mathematics. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #39
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 20, 2020 through Sat, Sep 26, 2020 Editor's Choice Climate Disruption Is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Crucial A crack on the Amery Ice Shelf in ...
    3 days ago
  • National behind the times
    When Todd Muller resigned as leader of the National Party and allowed for Judith Collins to assume command, you could tell the blue “team” was desperate and in search of past glories. After all, Crusher is towards the end of her political career and from a bygone era where dirty ...
    4 days ago
  • Coronavirus: the road to vaccine roll-out is always bumpy, as 20th-century pandemics show
    Samantha Vanderslott, University of Oxford If you have been following the media coverage of the new vaccines in development for COVID-19, it will be clear that the stakes are high. Very few vaccine trials in history have attracted so much attention, perhaps since polio in the mid-20th century. A now ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • PREFU: The State of Government Accounts
    The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update’ (PREFU) tells us something about the future of the Public Sector but it requires careful analysis to assess how it is going. The 2020 PREFU is the most important economic statement during any election campaign. Unfortunately the commentariat tends to treat it briefly ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Predatory delay
    Farmers are whining again about being expected to clean up their act: Canterbury farmers want politicians to stop painting them as climate change villains, listen to their needs and allow them more time to boost environmental standards. [...] “The targets are necessary for the environment, but do we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Flight to nowhere sends the wrong message in climate crisis
    Qantas Airlines’ 7-hour “flight to nowhere”, that sold out in 10 minutes with prices from A$787 to A$3787, seemed like a sick joke to climate advocates. Apart from the waste of fuel and the pointless emissions, passengers would be able to see first-hand, from a plane just like those that ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: The cannabis referendum – a doctor’s perspective
    Cannabis is part of our culture: 80% of adults have tried it sometime. Intuition tells us that legalising cannabis will increase use – science suggests that is not likely. Our Dunedin and Christchurch studies show that cannabis use peaks in our 20s. Older people are less frequent users whether it ...
    5 days ago
  • First steps: Jerry DeSilva on the evolution of bipedalism
    Yesterday morning I got up (at the rather early and unaccustomed hour of 3.30am) to listen to a webinar by paleoanthropologist Dr Jeremy DeSilva¹. Titled “First Steps”, his presentation was about the origins of bipedalism in the human lineage. It was a fascinating session & I thought I’d turn my ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    5 days ago
  • True Believers In A False God.
    Down The Rabbit Hole: "Social psychologists have found that when fearful people contemplate potential misfortunes, they tend to feel helpless and pessimistic, but when angry people contemplate the same, they feel a sense of optimism and control. And one simple way to transmute fear into anger is to perceive an evil ...
    5 days ago
  • Majority Rule Requires Majorities That Are Real.
    Fifty Percent Plus One: New Zealand’s genuine-majority-delivering two-party system endured for five elections only (1938, 1943, 1946, 1949, 1951) a period of just 16 years. Very few New Zealanders alive today can boast of participating in an election which delivered a true majority to either Labour or National. Someone who ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour super exploitation
    This is the second in the lecture series by Andy Higginbottom on superexploitation. Here he looks at Marini’s theory of labour super-exploitation and Capital ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Small asteroid to make near-miss of Earth in NZ skies tonight
    Sorry for the late notice on this one, but I only just heard myself, in common with most of the human race. A small asteroid, somewhere between the size of a truck and the size of a house in dimensions, will hurtle past the Earth tonight, dipping closer to ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • This is not what accountability looks like
    When someone commits trespass, assault with a weapon, and kidnapping, you'd expect them to be prosecuted, right? But apparently the rules are different if you wear a blue uniform: A police investigation has found officers in Northland trespassed on a man's property, then unlawfully pepper sprayed him and arrested ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Cycling: head injuries ignored because of entrenched macho culture
    Howard Hurst, University of Central Lancashire and Jack Hardwicke, University of Winchester Competitive road cycling is a demanding and unique sport. One where crashing is inevitable – especially at the professional level. While the risk of head injury is relatively low in cycling – approximately 5-13% – compared to contact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The coming US shitshow
    Today President Trump once again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the US election. Coincidentally, The Atlantic has a long article on exactly what that means, from voter suppression by armed thugs in the name of "ballot security", to refusing to allow the vote ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A moral void
    That's the only way to describe the SIS, who - like their British counterparts - decided to look the other way on child abuse: The SIS knew a young woman was being sexually abused by her father but failed to lodge a complaint with the police, effectively allowing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will Goldsmith resign?
    The National Party’s campaign has gone from bad to worse with a further two large miscalculations being uncovered in their alternative fiscal plan. Firstly, National’s economic spokesperson and list MP, Paul Goldsmith, used May's Budget figures instead of last week's PREFU numbers, and came up with a whopping $4.3 billion ...
    6 days ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Part IX
    The initial session was a struggle. Annalax and Magni tried sorting out the details with the Isaac twins (the people pursuing the mountain trip). Annalax happened to mention his devotion to Lolth… whom the Isaacs, being ...
    6 days ago
  • This is bullshit
    On March 13, three plainclothes police officers kicked in Breonna Taylor's door under a no-knock warrant targeting another person. When a person inside reasonably assumed they were home invaders and (this being America) started shooting, they shot up the place and everyone around them - killing Taylor. Today, one of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water
    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    6 days ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    7 days ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    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 How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    7 days ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    1 week ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    1 week ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    1 week ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 weeks ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Pasifika churches gain from PGF funding
    Pasifika churches around the country will receive a total of nearly $10 million in government funding for renovations and improvements which will improve facilities for the communities they serve and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio have announced. The funding will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Job numbers up in August
    New data from Stats NZ today shows a rise of more than 9,000 filled jobs from July – driven mostly by the education and training sector, Grant Robertson says. Filled jobs were up 9,147 to 2.2 million in August 2020 compared with July – with 7,409 of those in education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori development receives funding
    Māori development projects across the country will receive a total of $18.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund that will create infrastructure and permanent jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “These projects will support economic development in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Manawatū-Whanganui, Waikato and Southland to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hand-up for owners of earthquake-prone units
    From today, owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings can apply for financial support to fix their homes, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing financial hardship over earthquake strengthening costs. “We understand how complicated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PGF backing successful Māori enterprise
    Whanganui will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment in a local food-processing company which will help the company increase production and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. Kii Tahi Ltd, which is owned by South Taranaki iwi Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi, will receive a Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Town halls and war memorials in PGF renovation programme
    Town halls, war memorials and other community landmarks across the country will be renovated thanks to grants totalling just under $12.4 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says more than 1000 jobs are expected to be created during the renovation programme. “Town halls, other ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Early help for whānau who need extra support
    The Government is investing in a new, whānau-centred early intervention prototype designed to strengthen families and improve the safety and wellbeing of children. The new programme, Ngā Tini Whetū, is a collaboration between Oranga Tamariki, Te Puni Kōkiri, ACC and the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency (WOCA) and was announced today ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
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