web analytics

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

      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:

    Click to access 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:


  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

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

          • Bill

            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

          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

          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

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

        • Gristle

          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

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

          • Sam

            … 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

            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.

            Then there is the grassroots townhall meetings system favoured by some Eastern USA states and here is a link relating to the Swiss ones.

            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

              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

                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

          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. …”

          Click to access 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.”


          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.”


      A timely article at Newsroom

      • lprent 7.1.1

        This is a signal from legislation to insurers and property owners

        • Pat

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

        • Gristle

          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

            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

            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

              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

      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.’

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand joins global search for COVID-19 vaccine
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    20 hours ago
  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    2 days ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    6 days ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    1 week ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    1 week ago
  • Green MP joins international call to cancel developing countries’ debt
    Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is joining over 300 lawmakers from around the world in calling on the big banks and the IMF to forgive the debt of developing countries, in the wake of the COVID crisis. ...
    1 week ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones swipes back at billion trees critics
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones says concerns that carbon foresters are planting pine trees that will never be harvested are the result of "misinformation". "The billion tree strategy is an excellent idea, unfortunately from time to time it's tainted by misinformation spread by the National Party or their grandees, hiding in scattered ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget boost for refugee families a win for compassion
    The Green Party welcomes funding in the budget to reunite more refugees with their families, ensuring they have the best chance at a new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How Budget 2020 is supporting jobs
    This year’s Budget is about rebuilding New Zealand together in the face of COVID-19. Jobs are central to how we’re going to do that.There’s a lot of targeted investment for employment in this year’s Budget, with announcements on creating new jobs, training people for the jobs we have, and supporting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters says China didn’t want NZ to go into lockdown
    Speaking to Stuff's Coronavirus NZ podcast, Foreign Minister Winston Peters revealed China tried to dissuade New Zealand from going into lockdown. “Without speaking out of turn, they wanted a discussion as to why we were doing it, because they thought it was an overreaction,” Mr Peters told Stuff’s Coronavirus NZ podcast. He also ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Changes made to Overseas Investment Act to protect New Zealand assets
    The Coalition Government is making changes to the Overseas Investment Act to ensure New Zealand assets don't fall into the hands of foreign ownership in the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Associate Minister of Finance David Parker announced the Act will be amended to bring forward a national interest ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: Trans-Tasman bubble to help tourism industry make swift recovery
    A quick start to a trans-Tasman bubble could see the tourism industry make a swift recovery, according to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. "I believe tourism will turn around dramatically faster than people think," Mr Peters told reporters after Thursday's Budget. "Why? Because I think the Tasman bubble is [going ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt. Hon Winston Peters: Budget Speech
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First   Please check against delivery https://vimeo.com/418303651 Budget 2020: Jobs, Business and Balance   Introduction Acknowledgements to all Cabinet colleagues, and party ministers Tracey Martin, Shane Jones and Ron Mark, Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau and to caucus colleagues. Thank you for your support, your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Jacinda Ardern’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Next steps to end family and sexual violence
    The 2020 Budget includes significant support to stabilise New Zealand’s family violence services, whose work has been shown to be so essential throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in housing gives more people access to the home they deserve
    The Green Party says huge new investment in public and transitional housing will get thousands more families into the warm, safe homes they deserve.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Huge investment in green nature based jobs jump starts sustainable COVID recovery
    The Green Party says the $1.1 billion environmental investment in this year’s budget to create thousands of green jobs will help jump start a sustainable recovery from the COVID crisis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Grant Robertson’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Minister of Finance Grant Robertson's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters tells struggling migrant workers ‘you should probably go home’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today the Coalition Government told foreigners at the start of the Covid-19 crisis that if their circumstances had changed dramatically, they should go home. "And 50,000 did," Mr Peters said. Official advice to Cabinet revealed there is potentially 380,000 foreigners and migrant workers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes today’s Alert Level 2 announcement
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the decision today to go to Alert Level 2 from midnight Wednesday, says Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. Alert Level 2 will mean a return to work for the vast majority of New Zealand’s businesses. A return ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to be protected after amendment to First Responders Bill
    Nurses now look set to get more protection from violence at work, under a proposed new law. This after NZ First MP Darroch Ball's "Protection for First Responders Bill", which introduces a six-month minimum sentence for assaults on first responders, will now also cover emergency department healthcare workers. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to get more protection, added to ‘First Responders’ legislation
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Law and Order Spokesperson An amendment to the ‘Protection of First Responders Bill’ is being tabled which will see emergency department healthcare workers included in the legislation. “During this COVID-19 crisis we have seen reports of violence and specifically increased incidents of spitting towards ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones: Northland port could be economic haven
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is breathing new life into the proposal to move Auckland's port to Whangārei to help in the economic recovery post Covid-19 pandemic. If New Zealand First was returned in the September general election, Minister Jones said a priority would be development of an "economic haven" at Northport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF grant for Ventnor memorial
    The plan to build a memorial to the SS Ventnor, and those who were lost when it sank off the Hokianga coast in 1902, has been granted $100,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund. Originally planned for a site near Rāwene cemetery, the memorial will now be built at the new Manea ...
    3 weeks ago
  • 75th anniversary of V.E Day
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters said: “Today is the 75th anniversary of VE Day – marking the end of World War II in Europe." Millions died in the six years of war, and families were torn apart. 75 years ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting the job done
    From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Government has committed to providing calm, clear, and consistent communication, including regular press conference updates from the Prime Minister. While New Zealand is at Alert Level 3, we're making sure that New Zealanders are kept informed and up-to-date with all the latest ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters responds to Simon Bridges’ ‘my sweetheart’ comment
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay. A day earlier, National Party leader Simon Bridges was on the radio show and referred to the Deputy Prime Minister as, "my sweetheart Winston". Mr Peters swiftly dismissed the question of whether Bridges had changed his mind about ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
    Budget 2020 provides a major investment in New Zealand’s documentary heritage sector, with a commitment to leasing a new Archives Wellington facility and an increase in funding for Archives and National Library work. “Last year I released plans for a new Archives Wellington building – a purpose-built facility physically connected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Driving prompt payments to small businesses
    Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. The Ministers of Finance, Small Business, Commerce and Consumer Affairs have written to more than 40 significant enterprises and banking industry representatives to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
    Maori Arts and Crafts will continue to underpin the heart of the tourism sector says Minister for Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta.  “That’s why we are making a core investment of $7.6 million to Te Puia New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, over two years, as part of the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
    The Government is funding more pathways to jobs through training and education programmes in regional New Zealand to support the provinces’ recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson have announced. “New Zealand’s economic recovery will be largely driven by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
     Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced the launch of a national conversation that aims to find out whether New Zealanders think there should be a formal agreement between service people, the Government, and the people of New Zealand. “This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Paving the way for a fully qualified early learning workforce
    The Government’s drive to improve the quality of early childhood education (ECE) is taking another step forward with the reintroduction of a higher funding rate for services that employ fully qualified and registered teachers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “Research shows that high-quality ECE can improve young people’s learning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Sport Recovery Package announced
    The Sport and Recreation sector will receive a multi-million dollar boost as part of the COVID-19 response funded at Budget 2020.  Grant Robertson says the Sport and Recreation Sector contributes about $5 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP and employs more than 53,000 people. “Sport plays a significant role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and outside the state care system – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
    Vital conservation and visitor infrastructure destroyed by a severe flood event in Fiordland earlier this year is being rebuilt through a $13.7 million Budget 2020 investment, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.   “This investment will mean iconic Great Walks such as the Routeburn track and the full length of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
    The Government is investing  $40 million in a partnership with Māori to get more whānau into warm, dry and secure accommodation, Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Hon Nanaia Mahuta says.. “We are partnering with Māori and iwi to respond to the growing housing crisis in the wake of COVID-19. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders Safe In The Water
    Keeping New Zealanders safe in the water Our lifeguards and coastguards who keep New Zealanders safe in the water have been given a funding boost thanks to the 2020 Budget, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Poto Williams has announced. The water safety sector will receive $63 million over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
    The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, which set a sound legal framework ahead of the move to Alert level 2, has been referred to a parliamentary select committee for review.  Attorney-General David Parker said the review of the operation of the COVID-19 specific law would be reported back to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand condemns the targeting of civilians in two terrorist attacks in Afghanistan earlier this week. “The terrorist attacks on a hospital in Kabul and a funeral in Nangarhar province are deeply shocking. The attacks were deliberate and heinous acts of extreme violence targeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to close tobacco tax loophole
    The Government will close a loophole that allowed some people to import cigarettes and loose leaf tobacco for manufacturing cigarettes and ‘roll your owns’ for sale on the black market without excise tax being paid, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The legislation, which doesn’t affect duty free allowances for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $62 million package to support families through the Family Court
    The Coalition Government has made a significant $62 million investment from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to start the reform of the Family Court and enable it to respond effectively to the increased backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today Justice Minister Andrew Little introduced the Family Court (Supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tailored help supports new type of job seeker – report
    The Government’s expanded services to support people into jobs will help an emerging cohort of New Zealanders impacted by COVID-19. The impacted group are relatively younger, have a proportionately low benefit history and have comparatively higher incomes than most who seek support, as captured in a report published today from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • A modern approach to night classes
    New funding to boost Government-funded Adult and Community Education (ACE) will give more than 11,000 New Zealanders more opportunities to learn, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This includes a modern approach to rebuilding night classes, which were slashed in the middle of our last economic crisis in 2010,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Call makes significant progress
    Significant progress has been delivered in the year since the Christchurch Call to Action brought governments and tech companies together in Paris with a single goal to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardent says. On its first anniversary, Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Call: One year Anniversary
    Joint statement: the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister of New Zealand and His Excellency Emmanuel Macron President of the French Republic. One year since we launched, in Paris, the Christchurch Call to Action, New Zealand and France stand proud of the progress we have made toward our goal to eliminate terrorist ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago