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Really buffering climate change

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 pm, January 14th, 2018 - 53 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Economy, Environment, ETS - Tags: , , ,

The recent 1 development of accident and disaster insurance over the last century, and its widespread non-commercial adoption across the world in the last 60 years is having a profound influence on buffering climate change. The Economist had a recent article with an excellent graph showing this.

THAT 2017 suffered from more than its fair share of natural catastrophes was known at the time. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the streets of Houston, Texas, were submerged under brown floodwater; Hurricane Irma razed buildings to the ground on some Caribbean islands. That the destruction was great enough for insurance losses to reach record levels has only just been confirmed. According to figures released on January 4th by Munich Re, a reinsurer, global, inflation-adjusted insured catastrophe losses reached an all-time high of $135bn in 2017 (see chart). Total losses (including uninsured ones) reached $330bn, second only to losses of $354bn in 2011.

Unlike 2011 with its expensive earthquakes in Japan (and here in Christchurch), last year it was 97% weather and climate related. This has been common and ever increasing trend.

If you look at the figures adjusted to a common 2016 base since the 1980s, this pattern becomes cyclically clear in recent decades

If climate change brings more frequent extreme weather, as Munich Re and others expect, last year’s loss levels may become depressingly familiar. Already, the data show many more frequent high-loss events since 2000—lots of them weather-related—than in the two preceding decades.

 

The article points out that the modern basis for insurance, where insurance companies farm out the risk to reinsurance policies, has so far been standing up to increased risks.

For all the gloom, the 2017 losses were also proof of the resilience of the reinsurance industry. Insurers have long spread catastrophe risk by taking out reinsurance policies. This time, reinsurers had such ample capital buffers that they are expected to suffer only a small dent, of around 5-7% of capital. And 2017 was also the biggest test so far of reinsurance provided directly by investors, whether through catastrophe bonds or “collateralised reinsurance”, where a fund manager puts up collateral to cover potential claims. These forms of “alternative capital”, which reached $89bn in mid-2017, now make up around 14% of total reinsurance capital, up from 4% in 2006, according to Aon, a broker.

Their performance has been remarkably smooth. Investor demand has held up; many asset managers in the field have raised new money since the losses. Demand may yet grow further, says Paul Schultz, head of Aon’s capital-markets arm, since the yields on alternative capital are poised to rise because of growth in reinsurance premiums.

And that is the point. Unlike the ‘market’ abortions for trying to control greenhouse gases like the Emission Trading Scheme that National appears to have deliberately sabotaged for political reasons 2 , rising reinsurance premiums reflecting increased extreme weather risks actually impose a cost on dealing with climate change now.

In my view, New Zealand should just scrap the ETS as being a complete waste of time. Instead we probably need to treat climate a bit like we do with the Earthquake and War damages, with a few enhancements like mandatory insurance.

Legislatively insist that everyone in this country holding property, urban and rural, are required to have full coverage disaster insurance for extreme weather. I am pretty sure that this will provide an immediate political will to try to mitigate the cost of such insurance. The only way to do it is to move off risky land subject to flooding or reduce greenhouse gas emissions from polluters.

Sure, it doesn’t directly hit the polluters. But unlike the existing schemes which push the costs of climate change into the never never like the ETS does (and implicitly on to future taxpayers), calculations of risk and reinsurance premiums look forward from now and try to actually assess future risk costs to be paid now. Moreover it does so to make sure that there is profit to uncharitable investors wanting to make a profit.

Those paying increasing reinsurance premiums, and those investing to make a profit out of the misery of others will then have a direct vested interest in overcoming the lobby groups trying to get others to pay for their pollution – like the road transport lobby and farmers.

Now I’m sure that this will offend those who’d prefer more social responsibility from polluters. However I think that playing on simple greed to avoid paying the risk costs upfront for future events is more likely to induce some incentive to change now. After all those directly paying will be property owners rather than those polluting in a tragedy of the commons.

And anyway if we don’t deal with climate change at its root causes, it will provide a bloody great market price signal about what land is dangerous to build or farm on. That at least will start to reduce the costs to taxpayers for bailing out or trying fruitlessly to protect fools who like to live mere metres above sea level, drain swamps, live on flood plains or on coastal dunes.

 


  1. When I say recent, I mean from a historical perspective. Almost all of it happened within my grandparents lifetime. The bulk of the adoption of for non-commercial clients happened within my lifetime.
  2. National isn’t unique with this. Similar schemes have been tried across the world. They have proved to be an essentially useless amalgam between political will and market forces that to my eye appear to be designed to encourage unproductive cheating. They encourage politicians to reduce the costs to business and citizens through inflation and printing of carbon credits to the lowest common denominator – doing nothing.

53 comments on “Really buffering climate change ”

  1. Anon 1

    Pfft, earthquake insurance doesn’t pay out anyway, why trust the government with /another/ disaster fund? ACC’s a rip off too. Insurance is a scam. You can stick mandatory where the sun don’t shine, I wouldn’t trust the government – whomever is in power – with my /farts/.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      You realise that Lprent’s proposal wouldn’t have you paying the government a cent, eh.

      • Anon 1.1.1

        EQC is mamdatory with house insurence, is supposed to cover natural disaster, and goes to the government. Lprents proposal is the same thing but goes to private insurers.. so basically privitisation. Either way, mandatory ain’t right.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    I quite like the idea of signalling the cost of climate change via insurance premiums.

    The big fly in the ointment for the reinsurance market – and something the Economist article (rather complacently IMHO) hasn’t considered is how gracefully the reinsurance industry will degrade under growing claims. That is, what will happens when climate change disasters DO impact heavily on the ability of private reinsurance market to make a profit?

    Rather than a graceful degrading via slowly rising premiums the more likely outcome in any capitalist model is sudden withdrawl from the market of the insurance companies. In this situation, the state will be left as the payer/insurer of last resort anyway, unless it wants to stand by and watch as regions and cities fail to recover from a disaster.

    So we might as well get the state involved early and build up an ACC type organisation that’ll drive good decisions via a compulsory insurance levy.

    • greywarshark 2.1

      Sanctuary
      +100
      We have heard of companies with big fairly static financial pools which withhold money gained from investment until they see something they consider worth buying out. There is no reason that the insurance companies would not follow the same pattern, as long as the value of their balances remains stable, it may be better to hold with no risk, than spend or invest in something that will definitely depreciate.
      Even the darlings of the financial market, the tech companies, are fighting to remain viable and can get competed out of their high place of star rating, in a couple of years.

      What we need is more inflation.! Inflation eats away at stored money and it goes down in value. At present we have queer inflation measures. There is the official one the CPI, and then there is the one involving the biggest expenditure most will make in their lifetime, housing, which is mostly excluded and is roaring away pumped regularly by government action. Yet wage and benefit rises are measured against the CPI. This is a very skewed approach to understanding our economic condition that helps the gummint wot makes the laws and deemed regulations and appoints the right-minded! well-schooled people into the vital positions to pull the levers of management.

      (But such people are really needed to be employed to press the buttons on the ground in Hawaii where a nuclear scare left the country pantless, or also when trading on the stockmarket so they don’t buy up $millions of trading bills of some sort in a mistake that cost a bank big from a moment of madness.)

    • Anon 2.2

      You EQC, which already exists?

    • Ed1 2.3

      Why would the reinsurance industry “degrade”? – there seems to be profit in reinsurance – “since the yields on alternative capital are poised to rise because of growth in reinsurance premiums.” Christchurch will have had am impact on premiums around the world, but as most people here are aware premiums genreally were lifted fairly quickly, and have only recently declined slightly. The companies that withdrew (or went broke) had too high a concentration in the areas most affected by claims, and/or not enough reinsurance. It would be possible to rely on insurance instead of regulation, but that just feeds overseas shareholders profits from a captive market. There is a point to building regulations and the approval process for new builds / alterations, and to the approval process that requires certain standards to be shown to be met. England has compulsory 3rd party car insurance – there is still competition, but its biggest effect is to encourage young drivers to buy low powered vehicles – insurance can cost as much as the vehicle. The electricity market in NZ is effectively compulsory for most people, although the ever-climbing prices are encouraging the use of solar power. Electricity providers have little control over product costs, hence the emphasis on cold-calling to get people to switch – choosing which escalator to take them ever-upwards but as sufficiently varying rates as to be able to pretend there are market forces working, while actually paying for the administrative costs of client churn.

      ACC and EQC can be and have in the past been well managed, but the Nat-led government consistently tried to reduce costs by reducing (statutory) benefits; health insurance companies do the same by changing terms and conditions as well as premiums. An insurance basis for regulation wil not cover the costs of “downstream” activities – for example Christchurch probably needs greater water treatment costs than it used to due to the actions of farmers higher up the water basin.

      • Sanctuary 2.3.1

        “…Why would the reinsurance industry “degrade”? – there seems to be profit in reinsurance…”

        I was speculating that the increasing incidence of climate related disasters means, ultimately, there will come a point in time where the world’s disaster insurance industry is no longer profitable.

        At that point, something akin to the GFC may occur as the result of a string of disasters – the entire system will simply cease to operate as brokers and reinsurers simply stop bidding on the insurance borses. In other words, the failure of the insurance industry is likely to be one day BAU, next day insurance catastrophe.

        The government, as the insurer of last resort, would then be forced to pick up the tab.

  3. Ad 3

    Motu did a quick summary of New Zealand’s institutions relevant to housing insurance and climate change, here:

    http://motu.nz/assets/Documents/our-work/environment-and-resources/climate-change-impacts/Insurance-Housing-and-Climate-Adaptation2.pdf

    This note covers:
    – residential property insurance
    – EQC
    – issues with pricing climate-change sensitive insurance
    – estimating sea level risk,
    – a note on reinsurance, and
    – a bunch of references for further study.

    More a note than a proper paper, but it’s local.

    I liked this paper for the Harvard Business Review on how the insurance industry can prepare us for climate change:

    https://hbr.org/2017/08/how-the-insurance-industry-can-push-us-to-prepare-for-climate-change

  4. Bill 4

    I can’t quite see how this pans out Lynn.

    Insurers may well be “farming out” risk in much the same way as a small bookie will lay off a large bet to a bigger bookie ‘just in case’. And that works, but only up to a point that stays with the financial limits of the larger bookie

    Compulsory insurance and rising rates are going to hammer the poor. And many people already go without insurance because of the ongoing financial drain.

    I can foresee insurance (or some types) only applying to an ever richer cohort of society while the rest of us (I’ll most definitely be among that “us”) are left to the protection of hands clasped tight or whatever.

    And how does the whole thing translate into the physical world anyway? There’s a point in being reimbursed for a house, a road, a rail link, a pipe network or power distribution system when the need for rebuilds or repairs far outstrips our capacity to repair and rebuild?

    • Ad 4.1

      Compulsory insurance and rising premiums generally hammer property owners more directly. That’s the appropriate signal and the appropriate place to put the weight.

      That may also hammer renters in marginal properties by putting them up, which again is a blunt and necessary signal: move.

      Ratcheting up the premiums on coastal and floodplain property also has a fast effect on property values, which is the bluntest non-state way to shift owners away from danger.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        Yeah, I get all that.

        But move to where? And rebuild how? NZ’s infrastructure’s already creaking because of political neglect. And the remedies are set out on long time scales – time scales that likely take us well into a period of (not) dealing with unprecedented climate related damage.

        Insurance only works when things can be “put back”, no?

        • Ad 4.1.1.1

          No. It also works to replace elsewhere, depending on the policy.

          • Bill 4.1.1.1.1

            Put back, replaced – here, there or elsewhere – whatever. The point is that when climate related damage hits, there will be no putting back or replacing because we’ll lack the capacity to put back or replace.

            Even the woeful under-estimate of climate damage reckoned to be coming down the pipe-line, contained in the recent (formerly suppressed) climate report, is way beyond the coping capacity of NZ in terms of logistics.

      • Anon 4.1.2

        Dangerous propeties are already worth nothing, anyone who could afford to move – especially in chch – has already done so, or in the case of the rich already owns a safer property. So all you’ll do is punish people who can’t afford to leave anyway.

        • Ad 4.1.2.1

          It’s going to be a permanent cycle of “punishment’ then.
          Firth of Thames communities got a strong signal two weeks ago.
          Bay of Plenty are fully in the frame.
          Those is other low-lying areas are all going to make harder and harder choices.

      • Anon 4.1.3

        And how is it appropiate to punish people who aren’t part of the problem, and can’t do anything about it?

        • Ad 4.1.3.1

          Climate change is not fair.
          Insurance is not fair.
          Insurance simply reallocates risk.

          Fairness just isn’t a useful framing here.

    • lprent 4.2

      The point is that It is a cost on property in the short term for a medium term problem – increasing levels of extreme weather. As we all know, property owners including banks are risk averse.

      what I am interested in is to create a political lobby on current time who are interested in mitigating their own costs rather than simply passing the problem and costs down the generations.

      Incidentally I don’t know about anyone else. but the holders of my mortgage are really interested in me holding an insurance policy.

  5. Greg 5

    I can see a time when costal property owners are going to demand the the government buy them out the question is at what cost I would argue after last week’s storm costal property is worthless if you want live on the coast the risk is the property owners not the tax payer

    • Anon 5.1

      And what are you going to do with people who already can’t afford to leave their coastal property? Tent cities in CBDs?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1

        That’s what the National Party would do, except they’d use water-cannons on the tents. There are other options.

      • Greg 5.1.2

        There mostly national party voters anyway so it’s no loss

        • Anon 5.1.2.1

          They will be now that’s for sure, good to know the left cares exactly as much as the right.

        • Gristle 5.1.2.2

          Hi Greg,

          The point is that as at-risk housing is identified and marked down in value, the people likely to occupy it in the future are the less wealthy, the working class. So your comment about them being national voters is not relevant.

      • lprent 5.1.3

        Aside from my qualms about people living in perilous living places geologically. I suspect that it would cause a cost incentive toward preemptive mitigation

        • Anon 5.1.3.1

          How exactly? Again, it means moving into a tent in the CBD.

          • Sam 5.1.3.1.1

            … Well… It’s the Warren Buffet style of investing… I mean what do you think insurance companies do with all those premiums? Put it in a vault and mutter mhuahahaha… No. It gets reinvested in to mutual funds and venture capital and other high low yield investments. Doing things like grow the fund by investing in growth industry. And I believe the young mans idea is to pump those funds into mitigating climate change which just so happens to have the greatest potential to grow of any industry…

            You know this stuff shouldn’t need to be said. If New Zealand’s brain power was sufficiently harnessed… If

          • greywarshark 5.1.3.1.2

            It’s people like you Anon, asking questions, thinking out problems and gathering some mass of informed citizens together that could make things happen that are not at present. So think it out with intelligent friends and locals, have some evening meetings with a beer afterwards or coffee, and get your brain working. Too much of last century and almost 2 decades of this have gone by under the representative political model. What is needed now in the new century is Participatory Democracy.

            We need this. We didn’t get effective, responsive government with the representative style.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_democracy

            Then there is the grassroots townhall meetings system favoured by some Eastern USA states and here is a link relating to the Swiss ones.
            https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/directdemocracy/mike-mueller_-town-hall-meetings-are-the-archetype-of-democracy-/43771760

            swissinfo.ch: Do you like the fact that the local politicians talk directly to the citizens during these town hall meetings?

            M.M.: Basically, yes. It’s good that the politicians are forced to justify their moves directly to their communities and that politics and the administration are closer to the people. Germany’s administration, for example, is far away from its people and treats them badly and derogatorily. I have worked in Germany myself. Letters from German tax offices do not have a spark of decency!

            It’s different in Switzerland, and I like it. Public offices are very helpful and quick. I once managed to obtain a form from a Swiss public office within ten minutes by mail. The German theatre director, for whom I got it, was so surprised that he was convinced that I had some sort of family relationship with the Swiss office. But all I did was ring the official in charge of my affairs

            So put your energies into going for better informed relationships with local government for a start, and see if you can work that up so we can finally get through to central government, and perhaps we can get rid of the time-servers faster. We might even put a limit on the number of times that pollies can serve, and end the comfortable sinecure of someone who just keeps smiling at the right people to get the right number of electorate votes.

            Something here that you could get your teeth into, if they aren’t false ones.

            • cleangreen 5.1.3.1.2.1

              100% greywarshark,

              Our young are our future and we need to help them finally to get ‘engaged’ as we oldies have tried for decades and our voice is diminishing so while we can we must help the young to pick up the candle and run with it.

              United we stand divided we fall.

              • greywarshark

                cleangreen
                Yes, pleasure to read your stuff. Of course I don’t agree with you all the time. Feel free to give me your opinions when you feel they need some tidying up!

    • Macro 5.2

      To a large extent the Govt is responsible when property owners suffer because of extreme weather events that are increasing in frequency and severity due to AGW. Govts have known about AGW since at least 1988 when Dr James Hansen briefed the US Senate, and the majority of Govts formed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, which led into the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. All these international agreements are supposedly where Governments commit to dealing with increasing GHG emissions. Of course – quick as a flash – all these commitments were kicked down the road – reports were sat on – and nothing happened. Unfortunately, the politicians who were irresponsible in their inaction are mostly gone – leaving the impending disasters to later generations. Nevertheless the inaction of Government does not excuse them from carrying much of the blame. Stronger policies in the past and better education could well have prevented the poor decision making of local governments (who rely in central govt for advice) developers and buyers from investing in coastal property.
      The inaction of Nick Smith for instance – who sat on a report for over a year – which highlighted that impending SLR will be far greater than the previous predictions of 2005, is just one example – and he (if anyone) should be held culpable for properties being build now based on projected SLR of Tonkin and Taylor Reports before 2016.

  6. Paul Campbell 6

    why don’t we treat climate change insurance in a similar manner as ACC, except that this case we ding the largest carbon emitters with the largest fees to – that way some of the externalities of the processes come home to bite …. want to burn coal or gas to make electricity? you have to pay for the long term costs up front

    • Anon 6.1

      Why don’t we just go carbon tax?

      • Paul Campbell 6.1.1

        yes but let’s set it based on perceived consequences – for example “we’re going to tax carbon use to pay for it’s costs, we’ll use the money to buy out beachfront property at today’s valuations inflation adjusted, to built dykes and levees to protect low lying residential areas, to provide mitigation to flood risks, etc etc ….”

        • Pat 6.1.1.1

          Couple of reports worth reading and applying some simple arithmetic to…

          “Housing is a major capital asset with a replacement value of approximately $150 billion (in 2001 NZ dollars).
          The value of non-residential buildings is smaller but still significant at approximately $70 billion. This is
          followed by civil engineering structure (roads, bridges, other transport faculties, water/sewage/waste disposal,
          Telecom and energy infrastructure) at $50 billion. …”

          http://www.cmnzl.co.nz/assets/sm/2245/61/008-BENGTSSONJonas.pdf

          “How much money is involved?
          After Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements are accounted for, the carbon tax is expected to raise approximately $360M per year. The details of how the Government will recycle this revenue back into the economy will be announced as part of the business tax package in the 2005 Budget.”

          http://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2005-05-04-carbon-tax-policy-detailed

          Time …..

  7. Pat 7

    “RMS isn’t alone. In June, the Geneva Association, an insurance industry research group, released a report (PDF) outlining evidence of climate change and describing the new challenges insurance companies will face as it progresses. “In the non-stationary environment caused by ocean warming, traditional approaches, which are solely based on analyzing historical data, increasingly fail to estimate today’s hazard probabilities,” it stated. “A paradigm shift from historic to predictive risk assessment methods is necessary.”
    Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-the-insurance-industry-is-dealing-with-climate-change-52218/#oS8FpWXSYz2rXUEU.99

    Its a model that will be unable to cope with a significantly increased claim ratio….as the premiums rise and the excesses increase the pool to spread the risk will decrease….never mind the (in)capacity to replace….the same issues arise with a fully public model (i,e ACC)

    As has been foreshadowed by the response to the ChCh quakes there will be an inequitable response as long as any response is possible …then SFA

    • Pat 7.1

      “It’s not an insurer’s job to signal long-term risks to policy-holders, Grafton says. That kind of planning is up to property owners and their banks. “Let’s not look to the entity that is underwriting for the next 12 months to solve the problem, because it isn’t our problem to solve,” he says. “Insurance has never been for the life of a house, it is always renewed on an annual basis.”

      https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/01/14/74263/the-risks-of-living-near-the-ocean

      A timely article at Newsroom

      • lprent 7.1.1

        This is a signal from legislation to insurers and property owners

        • Pat 7.1.1.1

          id suggest it is more a signal from the insurance industry to politicians via the voting public

        • Gristle 7.1.1.2

          Do you think that it time for legislation to be enacted that removes the ability of land owners etc to sue the LA’s for effects caused to them by sea level rise, storms etc.

          At the same time new developments have to provide evidence of survivability (to xyz standard) for a defined period, eg 100 years. Houses are required to be designed and built with a minimum 50 year life. Surely the access and land of a new build should have some sort of similar requirement that goes back to the developer.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2.1

            Do you think that it time for legislation to be enacted that removes the ability of land owners etc to sue the LA’s for effects caused to them by sea level rise, storms etc.

            Yes. They took the risk knowing that the land could become inundated.

          • Macro 7.1.1.2.2

            Surely the access and land of a new build should have some sort of similar requirement that goes back to the developer.

            Essentially it does.
            Developers however will rely on reports that look at the lower levels of risk rather than the higher levels and argue on these risk factors that a development meeting those requirements should go ahead. Having completed the development they will then hope to pass the risk on to unsuspecting buyers as quickly as possible. It’s the buyers risk now. Had they undertaken due diligence they probably would not buy. But then the information is difficult to access – and can even be withheld.
            see: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/12/11/67390/drowning-dreams-72-new-houses-on-man-made-canals
            In particular the exchange with Gloria Humphries.

            • Pat 7.1.1.2.2.1

              ultimately any development requires TA approval…however even should liability sit with the developer a simple winding up of the company removes the possibility of remedy for affected parties

    • greywarshark 7.2

      Pat
      You make good point. SFA is what I am afraid of. Someone further up the comments talks about politicians sliding nasty reports to their bottom drawers rather than act on them while they are in power. They get their emoluments and gongs and off they go, leaving the increasing difficulties for someone else.

      The pollies in NZ announced solemnly that they had to make ACC fully paid up in the present to match future liabilities for long term clients. Then they play around with it and decrease its availability, so get the money, then run for touch pushing off the clients who don’t match the exact criteria set.

      But acting now for the future in other areas of importance particularly relating to climate change and disasters, where people are likely to be even needier. – that’s a different matter. We need to have a Disaster Fund started, alongside keeping the Superannuation Fund alive.

      And put some of it into training people to recognise problems, how to manage survival, how to cope when a lifetime’s housing investment is swept away and people are told there is no way they can be reimbursed for it, and will have to settle for a plain dwelling of a simple sort and count themselves lucky if they are near their preferred location with amenities available.

      • Pat 7.2.1

        I have some sympathy for those politicians (cant believe i said that)….as was demonstrated recently in ChCh (and similarly Kapiti I believe) any attempt by TAs to send the correct message re risk is met with organised challenge (often legal) by property owners concerned about property values….in many instances i suspect to enable an onsell of the risk….it is a problem I see no solution to, as an equitable solution is political suicide so I suspect we will muddle along and as time goes by more and more will gradually lose any equity they once had and carry the cost, there will be some noise made ( and those with the means will make use of the courts, not necessarily successfully) but the majority will just thank their lucky stars its not them….there is ample precedent

  8. Macro 8

    Interesting post Lynn. Ive been following Re Insurance and their work wrt to CC for a number of years now and have always found them to be realistic as to the escalating costs and to the continued probability for Insurance to continue to pick up the pieces. I commented on another tread on this here:
    They said then

    Adaptation through adequate sea defences and the management of the residual risk is essential. While the insurance industry is an important contributor to the absorption of volatile risk, it cannot address the challenges of climate change alone: To tackle this, a public-private partnership will be indispensable. Beyond traditional insurance, Swiss Re can contribute through alternative forms of risk transfer to absorb highly volatile losses.

    my bold

  9. eco maori 9

    I see Iprents point the insurance on coastal/vonlrable properties will cost so much that any capital gains made by the investment will be spent on insurance. In his theory the insurance company will lobby the state to stop the building on flood prone land and lobby the state to charge for the cost of carbon emissions. I don’t like state insurance they keep moving the goal post on the people.

    national have committed a major sin against the 99% buy ignoreing climate advice they had over the last 9 years this tells me that shonky key did not give a shit. I worked for the biggest houseing site development company in Tauranga we just filled in creaks compacted it down the priscription requirements that did not acount for rising sea leaves this is a catastrophe waiting to happen the septic system cannot keep up with all the new houses and noor can the water system. It’s all our retired people who have brought these houses a lot with the water table 4 feet blow the concrete floors they will be stuffed when it floods how many other sites are like this I thought that in flood prone houses you used piles that are more suitable for flood prone problems and if need be you put it on a truck and move the houses try putting a house with a concrete floor on a truck it you used long piles ramed in about 4 metres this compact and stablelise the site never seen any of that type of houses been built. I seen the council man he looked a bit shady these people don’t care who is burn by there shoddy regulations this problem needs to be urgently remedy. Ka kite ano

  10. jcuknz 10

    For those who suggest it does not matter as it is the rich pricks who own houses … do not forget the rich pricks who want to preserve their saving in rental properties in the suggested climate will again put up the cost of renting …. so it affects everybody owner or renter or using a tent in the town square.

    Once again I have reason to thank my lucky stars I have probably under fifteen more years to live … but then I think of my son and his child. I fully own my house which is ten metres above SHWM … but access is barely above SHWM in both directions. So it is a serious problem for me, and for years I have worried about the foolish council permiting building and renovating properties within the reach of the sea. Dykes are not an answer because the water level normally is just cm below those properties and simply swells up with the sea.

  11. Richard@Downsouth 11

    Yesterday was the hottest temperature on record in Invercargill… 32.3c

    Not that hot for some people, but pretty damned hot for down here…

  12. cleangreen 12

    Excellent article iprent.

    Keep the iron to the fire.

    Labour coalition needs to hear our combined ‘call to arms’ to tackle ‘climate change’
    and set about to ‘arrest the advance of effects’ of our ‘nuclear moment’ the PM Jacinda Ardern said is the number one issue of our time.’

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    by Daphna Whitmore In a recent debate on free speech I closed with a true story. A woman I know – a writer – tweeted a joke in response to a man having just insulted her on the platform. The joke featured some violent imagery, but it also featured absurdist ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 hours ago
  • Māui Tikitiki a Tāranga inspires Māui Hudson’s research journey
    Māui Hudson says the characteristics of his namesake, the Māori diety Māui Tikitiki a Tāranga, enables and inspires him to confidently walk into new spaces of research. He hails from Te Whakatōhea, Ngāruahine and Ngāpuhi. Māui is a trained physiotherapist but is well-known for his leadership in creating guidelines and ...
    SciBlogsBy Rosemary Rangitauira
    9 hours ago
  • Driven to help the planet and humanity thrive
    Mihi mai ki a Dr Te Kīpa Kēpa Morgan, a professional engineer, who’s inspiring a different value system that he says can help humanity thrive and safeguard the sustainability of our planet. Kēpa affiliates to Ngāti Pikiao (Te Arawa), Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāi Tahu. For more than a decade, Kēpa’s main ...
    SciBlogsBy Rosemary Rangitauira
    10 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why an attack on Iran is back on the agenda
    Reportedly, Christopher Luxon has the edge on Simon Bridges in National’s leadership contest although there is no firm evidence for that hunch. So, one hesitates about joining a media echo chamber that amplifies Luxon’s chances ahead of the 3pm caucus meeting today. You know how it goes: Luxon doesn’t quite ...
    12 hours ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 30 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr David Bromell, Senior Associate, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies: “While working as a public policy advisor, NZ Politics Daily was a daily “must read” as it alerted me to wider public policy issues than workplace-based media scanning, which generally covered only subject areas that related directly to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    12 hours ago
  • The Simple Thing That’s Hard To Do.
    What's Not To Like? There’s a reason why the self-evident benefits of a “one world government” arouse such visceral opposition from those with a vested interest in both the local and the global status quo. A world run for the benefit of all human-beings strikes at the very heart of the ...
    15 hours ago
  • A Stay of Execution: The National Library of New Zealand Caves to Authors
    Well, well. Looks like Christmas has arrived early, with a victory over vandalism. You may recall this little furore about the future of the National Library of New Zealand’s Overseas Published Collection: https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2021/11/22/lack-of-public-service-announcement-the-national-library-of-new-zealand-internet-archive-and-alleged-digital-piracy/ Well, those outrageous plans to digitise and pirate copyrighted works have got enough negative attention ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: We can do it!
    RNZ reports on the other story to come out of the government's emissions budget Cabinet paper: the scale of the changes we need to make: The massive scale of the nationwide changes needed quickly to cut climate gas emissions is laid bare in newly-released government documents. [...] The number ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Cold feet?
    Ministry for the Environment has dumped more cabinet papers related to its recent initial consultation on the emissions reduction plan. The key document is an August cabinet paper on Emissions Budgets for 2022-2025, 2026-2030 and 2031-2035, which made the dubious in-principle decision to increase the first period's emissions budget (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Rating The Contenders.
    There Can Be Only One: Some might ask why National MPs would install yet another “successful business person” at the helm of their party? Isn’t one Todd Muller enough? Especially when Simon Bridges could become the first National politician of Māori descent to become Prime Minister.LET’S GET SOMETHING out of ...
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Omicron, and the Bridges/Luxon dilemma
    At this early stage, the Omicron variant seems to be more infectious, and more able to bypass the protection offered by vaccines and by the antibodies generated by previous infection. The fact that it is being spread around the globe by travellers who were all presumably fully immunised and had ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 29 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Kevin Moore, Associate Professor in Psychology & Tourism, Lincoln University: “For me, the big advantage of NZ Politics Daily is the breadth of opinion and sources it gathers. Together. There is always a mix of news reporting, news analysis, opinion pieces and blog posts. That breadth ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • National is still very much the same Party even without Collins leading it… that’s the real issu...
    Judith Collins regarded Thatcher as “a personal hero” of hers. But like her hero though, it took the UK Conservative Party and their ideological counterparts here to get rid of both of them, from the inside. There’s a sort of bizarre symmetry to that really. Both were rather messy ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 21, 2021 through Sat, November 27, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: To Breed or Not to Breed?, The Vaccine for Fake News, Ten ways to confront the climate ...
    2 days ago
  • A professor without honour in his own country
    Michael Corballis just three months before his death appeared in an interview on the Hui with Mihirangi Forbes. She made no effort to conceal her disdain for his defence of science and proceeded to lecture him on not knowing enough about mātauranga Maori to comment on it and accused him ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Businessman – and Political Novice
    The drums are beating – see Heather Du Plessis-Allan in today’s Herald – for Christopher Luxon’s bid to become National’s new (and latest) leader. It is conceded that he is a political tyro but – such is National’s current plight – it is suggested that he is a risk worth ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • No, Elizabeth Stuart Would Not Have Stopped the English Civil War (Probably)
    As you might have noticed, A Phuulish Fellow is a fairly eclectic blog. Even an organic one. I have my interests, and write about them as the fit takes me. And sometimes I stumble across an article I feel the need to comment on. Today, I ran across a ...
    3 days ago
  • Rumour Has It: A Númenórean Character List?
    Today we have another Amazon rumour on our hands. And for a change, it is not coming out of Fellowship of Fans. No, instead we have the following tweet doing the rounds, ostensibly listing (mostly) Númenórean characters and their code names. It’s an interesting leak, if true. And that’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Covid as Warriors
    The book I am currently working on – tentative title ‘In Open Seas’ – looks at the current and future New Zealand. One chapter describes the policy towards Covid using the trope of warfare. It covers an important period in our history but show how policy evolves and why, as ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: the B.1.1.529 variant – what do we know?
    There’s a lot of news about a new variant originally reported in southern Africa. Early signs have prompted calls for immediate precautionary blocks on travel from the region to restrict its spread. The WHO has called an emergency conference on this variant. Here’s a round-up of what we know so ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    4 days ago
  • National Party board denies it unanimously agreed to Collins’ Faustian bargain with Satan
    Sources close to party president Peter Goodfellow say he was totally blindsided by Collins’ claims he was party to this particular satanic ritual. National Party president Peter Goodfellow is today issuing a strong denial on behalf of the party’s board, saying they did not, at any point, agree to the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • The cost of optimism
    Yesterday the National Party imploded in a messy knife-fight that cost it its leader and probably one of the contenders. So naturally, the government has taken the opportunity to do a dump of its pandemic advice, including the Cabinet papers on its controversial decisions to repeatedly lower the Auckland alert ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National’s less than stellar choices
    Amid all the jostling in the National caucus ranks, spare a thought for Andrew Bayly. Who? Well might you ask. Plucked from obscurity by Judith Collin, elevated from number 18 to number 3 in the caucus rankings and given the Finance portfolio – a role in which he has been ...
    4 days ago
  • Are New Zealand’s universities doing enough to define the limits of academic freedom?
    Matheson Russell, University of Auckland   The news last week that University of Auckland public health researcher Simon Thornley was retracting a co-authored paper about supposed vaccination risks during pregnancy raised deeper questions about the limits of academic freedom. Thornley’s own head of department had called for the paper to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 26 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jean Drage, Political scientist specialist in local government: “With 78 local authorities and central government currently intent on reform, local government is a challenging area of research to keep on top of. Thank goodness for Bryce’s NZ’s Politics Daily. It is a gem, especially as it also ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Bridges is not the one
    Simon Bridges failed to bluff Judith Collins out of the leadership. A campaign to rehabilitate his image began shortly after the election and culminated in the publication of a memoir in August. There were persistent rumours of a deal with rival Christopher Luxon and MPs from the ‘liberal’ wing of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Smokefree cars – an important step towards protecting children from the hazards of smoking
    Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, George Thomson, Nick Wilson*  On November 28 new legislation to protect children from smoking and vaping in cars will come into force. This blog sets out the background and rationale for the new law, and discusses implementation, evaluation and the next steps to protect ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Judith's Last Stand.
    Going Out With All Guns Blazing: Why didn’t Judith Collins stick with the strategy that had kept her, National’s most improbable of leaders, in power for more than a year? One might just as well ask why Rob Muldoon (that other unforgiving right-wing populist National Party leader) got drunk and ...
    5 days ago
  • Act’s Precarious Ascendancy.
    On The Lookout: It is easy to imagine how closely Seymour has been watching the National Opposition for the slightest sign of a Clark figure emerging. A respected politician, who enjoys broad support across the party and, much more importantly, who impresses the ordinary centre-right voter as having what it ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #47, 2021
    104 articles by 574 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Delayed impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss on Eurasian severe cold winters Jang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2021jd035286 Observations of climate change, effects Divergent responses of terrestrial carbon use efficiency to climate variation from 2000 ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Eyes Wide Shut To “Unruly Tenants”.
    Not Seeing The Problem: They say there are none so blind as those who will not see. And, right now, Kāinga Ora is studiously not looking. It is clear to everyone that the Minister responsible, Poto Williams, has (like so many of her colleagues) been entirely captured by her officials. ...
    5 days ago
  • Is the mob coming for Charles Darwin?
    Richard Dawkins recently noted the giants of the past are being sanctimoniously judged by nonentities of the present whose only qualification is still being alive to do so. How will the future judge our own time when we are not around? Peter Franklin from Unherd examines whether the woke can ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Blowing a Hole in Your Own Wall: Idiotic Tampering with MIQ
    Managed Isolation/Quarantine has been a fact of life for New Zealand for eighteen months. It’s not popular – there are only so many spaces available at any given time, and the process is famously opaque – but it is the key to saving New Zealand from rampant Coronavirus. That, ...
    5 days ago
  • Now Labour wants secret trials
    Today, the government introduced the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to the House. The Bill would allow the government to use classified information in civil or criminal proceedings and keep it secret from the other party. So people suing the government for human rights abuses could lose, and defendants ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The end of a toxic leader
    If there's one thing that Judith Collins is usually good at, it's using scandalous information about other people to her advantage. Not above undermining her own political party, Collins has been known to even leak against her own fellow MPs, particularly those who posed a threat to her as the ...
    5 days ago
  • A transformative government in Germany
    Back in September Germans went to the polls, and handed the politicians a tough job, with no easy majorities for anyone. The Social Democrats, Free Democrats, and Greens agreed to work together in a "traffic light" coalition, but given their political differences (its basicly ACT/Greens/Labour), expectations for real change were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Political Harakiri
    The National party must always have known that they were taking a risk when they elected Judith Collins as leader. There were, after all, good reasons why they repeatedly declined to accept her candidature when she offered herself – as she frequently did. She was always an inappropriate person to ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete
    This is a re-post from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Richard Somerville “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I am sure that nearly all of those reading this article accept the main findings of climate science. Yet many people don’t. Instead, they believe a variety of climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the demotion of Simon Bridges
    So Simon Bridges has been bounced from the front bench and stripped of his shadow portfolio responsibilities for the crudely “inappropriate” comments that he allegedly made to a female colleague, Jacqui Dean – and personally apologised for – about five years ago. After years of mocking Labour for its supposed ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 25 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Rosemary Wette, Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, University of Auckland: “I’ve been browsing regularly through NZ Politics Daily for several months now. It gives me access to a range of views on current issues (helpfully organised by topic) that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to look up, or ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • The bizarre case of the Royal Society investigating academics defending science
    The Royal Society has begun a disciplinary investigation against a group of academics. The academics were defending science and in the past would have expected support from the Royal Society. The Free Speech Union has launched a campaign to defend the academics and academic freedom. Māori professor under investigation for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Unionism and nursing in New Zealand
    In the around 35 years I worked for unions (over 30 with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and earlier with the New Zealand Educational Institute) I often cogitated over the distinction between unions and unionism. They are intertwined but not inseparable. I associate unionism with collective consciousness able to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
    They Did Things Differently Then: And we might still be doing things differently, if the world these "Country Lads" were fighting for, and which endured for nearly 30 years after World War II, had not been supplanted by the world we inhabit now. In spite of its reality, New Zealand's ...
    6 days ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
    Feature image by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Wellington   Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak, Ryan Gage* Wellington City Council is currently consulting on a cycle network for Wellington. This is a big deal. WCC are proposing a 147km cycle network around the city, the vast majority of which is new. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
    Agricultural emissions has been an oozing sore in our climate change policy for over a decade. Exempted from the ETS in 2008, farmers were meant to be brought in and start paying for their emissions in 2012. Of course, National put a stop to that, and exempted them forever. When ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
    Over the past few years it has become clear that coal has no future in Aotearoa. Rising carbon prices, a ban on new boilers and a legislated phase-out for existing infrastructure are going to drive it out of the market. To reinforce this, the government signed up for an anti-coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
    The government is about to pass new vaccination mandate legislation under urgency. So obviously, they'd want to ensure it gets the best possible scrutiny in the limited time available by releasing the supporting policy documents, right? Of course not: On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    1 week ago
  • Important People
    The Herald has returned to form with a vengeance. In today’s issue, Barry Soper snipes at Jacinda’s handling of her regular press conferences. It seems that she did not give him an early chance to ask his very important question and took no account of his need to depart immediately ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
    Last week, Parliament embarked on the process of repealing the so-called “three strikes” provisions in the Sentencing Act 2002. Given that Labour, the Greens and Te Paati Māori all supported this repeal Bill at first reading (and that NZ First no longer is in government to block the move), three strikes’ eventual legislative demise seems ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
    By Paul Callister and Robert McLachlan Fifty years ago, on 26 November 1971, the film “Notes on a New Zealand City: Wellington”, directed by Paul Maunder, premiered on Wellington TV. The narrator asks if Wellington’s future will involve suburban sprawl, traffic, motorways, suburban shopping malls, and the decentralization of employment; ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
    Neale vs The Revolting Farmers: One has to admire the way Capital Government Relations CEO, Neale Jones, covers-off all the bases of the current political zeitgeist. In a masterfully composed tweet, he lambasts the Groundswell protesters as sexists, racists and reactionaries, clinging for dear life to “a purely extractive economic ...
    1 week ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Inflation — the decline of purchasing power as prices rise — is currently at its highest level in 30 years. This has led to concern among the public and policymakers about the rising costs of many important products like food, shelter, gasoline, ...
    1 week ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
    The National Library of New Zealand has not covered itself in glory in recent times. The decision to axe most of the Overseas Collection (some 600,000 books) in order to make way for more New Zealand items (which it collects already, and which amounts to some 3,000 items ...
    1 week ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
    Since its election loss earlier this year, Samoa's Human Rights Protection Party has been pinning its hopes on the upcoming by-elections to regain power. That was a pretty forlorn hope - with 18 seats, they would have had to win all seven by-elections and have two additional women appointed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
    Over the last decade concerns have been raised about Chinese “influence operations” in NZ and elsewhere. Run by CCP-controlled “United Front” organisations, influence operations are designed to promote PRC interests and pro-PRC views within the economic and political elites of the targeted country as well as Chinese diaspora communities. The ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
    by Daphna Whitmore The government is devising new “Hate Speech” laws to save New Zealand from something that has not been defined. When asked what is hate speech the Prime Minister replied “You know it when you see it”. The Human Rights Commission is supporting the law change and sees ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 14, 2021 through Sat, November 20, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheeple? A.I. Maps 20 Years of Climate Conspiracies, COP Negotiators Demand Nations ...
    1 week ago
  • The F Words, by Barbara Gregorich
    Book review Barbara Gregorich is a writer and long time anti-capitalist in the US. She and her husband were interviewed for Redline about the social movements of the 1960s. Her latest book The F Words, has been reviewed by Guy Miller for Redline. The F Words by Barbara Gregorich bears ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Scourge of the Aimless Kick
    The below-par All Black performance against France was – sadly – afflicted, again, by what has become a feature of New Zealand rugby – the scourge of the aimless kick. It is surely a truism that, to win a rugby match, you must have the ball. But time and time ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Delta Rocks Gibraltar: Lessons to be learned from Covid-19’s global resurgence.
    Hard To Beat: Perhaps the most important lesson to be drawn from what is happening in Gibraltar is that vaccination is not a magic bullet. Yes, it makes it harder to contract the virus, and significantly ameliorates its worst effects, but it does not confer absolute immunity to Covid-19 – ...
    1 week ago
  • I’ll take the masks and vaccines, thank you
    From Stuff:I don't want to be pedantic, but I'm pretty sure neither masks nor vaccines figure much in the Gospel of Saint John; nor has Jesus shown much efficacy in protecting people from anything. ...
    1 week ago
  • Hell To Pay: The alarming similarities between the Anti-Vaccination Movement and the creators of the...
    Never Let Go: If the violent prejudices of the Jim Crow South, echoing through contemporary struggles, teach us anything, it is that the defence of rationality, science and progressivism must never be allowed to falter. Those pre-modern night-riders, filled with unrelenting hate, are still out there. If the troops of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Peak Out of Auckland? + Other Covid Musings
    At last, we have some cause for optimism out of Auckland’s interminable Covid outbreak. Knowing our luck, it might be a false dawn… but there are some signs that we have seen the peak:
    2 weeks ago
  • Sing Song about Hard Times
    Celebrating Poet Anne KennedyThe 2021 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement for Poetry went to Anne Kennedy. I have enjoyed her work since her first collection Sing Song. The poems’ setting is in the domestic life of a family of four, told from the mother’s perspective: moving house, the gruelling ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A good problem to have
    Norway is the global success story on electric car uptake, with early policy and a well-signalled 2025 cutoff point for fossil vehicles resulting in 77% of new cars being EV's. But now they have a problem: not enough dirty cars to tax: Norway’s electric dream has been credited to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the politics of anger, plus a music playlist
    Angry? Are you talkin’ to ME? Of late, the Code Red levels of resentment inspired by the government’s Covid policy almost make one hanker for the days when people could write best-selling books about New Zealanders being The Passionless People. Not anymore. A hissy fit arms race seems to be ...
    2 weeks ago

  • More Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
    Minister for Veterans, the Hon Meka Whaitiri announced today that two new conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure have been added to the Prescribed Conditions List. Under the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Crown and representatives of Vietnam veterans and the Royal New Zealand RSA. Vietnam veterans in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
    Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford announced today that New Zealand will push for new international law to ban and regulate autonomous weapons systems (AWS), which once activated can select and engage targets without further human intervention. “While the evidence suggests fully autonomous weapons systems are not yet ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New freedom camping rules – right vehicle, right place
    Tougher freedom camping laws will be introduced to prevent abuse which has placed an unfair burden on small communities and damaged our reputation as a high quality visitor destination. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed that new legislation will be introduced to Parliament following an extensive round of public consultation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government invests to support a classic Kiwi summer
    Vaccinated New Zealanders can look forward to Kiwi summer events with confidence, while artists and crew will have more certainty, following the launch of details of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “The Government recognises that the arts and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Grace period for expired driver licences cruises into 2022
    Due to the ongoing Delta outbreak and extended lockdowns, all New Zealand driver licences and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will now be valid until 31 May 2022, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. “This further extension to the validity of driver licenses recognises that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
    A further 1,000 transitional homes delivered  New housing development starts in Flaxmere, Hastings  The Government has delivered the next 1,000 transitional housing places it promised, as part of its work to reduce homelessness. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods is marking the milestone in Hastings at a new development that includes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Traffic light levels announced
    The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red The rest of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Financial support to move to traffic light system
    A new transition payment will be made available particularly for affected businesses in Auckland, Waikato and Northland to acknowledge the restrictions they have faced under the higher Alert Levels. Transition payment of up to $24,000 as businesses move into traffic light system Leave Support Scheme and Short Term Absence Payment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
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