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Sarah v Government

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, June 23rd, 2017 - 56 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Environment, sustainability - Tags: , ,

Law student Sarah Thomson is taking the NZ government to court over climate change. The court dates are Monday 26 June to Weds 28 June (next week).

Thomson writes at The Spinoff about what brought her to this,

The day it really hit home was when I listened to James Hansen – the man who warned the world about climate change in the 1980s and whom NASA tried to silence – give a talk comparing climate change to an asteroid speeding towards Earth. The longer we delay taking action, the harder it will become to divert.

I looked around me to see if anyone else was worried about this rather large problem hurtling towards us. Surely, at least the government would save us from impending doom.

But the more time went on, the more conscious I became of how backwards the whole situation was. I wasn’t a climate change expert, but I could see that as far as diverting the asteroid went, we were doing about the equivalent of laying out a runway and waving glow sticks at the thing.

In my own city, the illustrious Tron, big, new, expensive roading projects were under way while public transport and cycleways were given second class treatment. More exploration for new oil was also happening in New Zealand waters, even though we know the majority of the world’s existing known oil reserves can’t be used if we’re to avoid a climate catastrophe.

It didn’t make sense. It made me furious. What kind of a mess were we going to leave our kids to live in? What would we say to them when they asked us what we did about it? And that’s when I realised that the Government can’t always be trusted to act in the best interests of the people or the planet. I felt compelled by an irresistible force to do something.

In November 2015, inspired by climate change litigation overseas including a case in the Netherlands where 900 Dutch citizens filed as plaintiffs, and in the US where 21 kids are taking a lawsuit against the Federal Government, I filed a legal action challenging the New Zealand government’s inadequate response to climate change. The case was the first of its kind here.

She explains more about the case here,

As part of the Paris Agreement, the NZ Government adopted a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 11% below 1990 levels by 2030 (the NDC). My case claims that this target is unlawful.

I’m arguing that the Minister for Climate Change Issues failed to take into account relevant considerations when deciding the target – the Minister considered the cost of reducing emissions in the short term, but not the cost of climate change in the longterm if we fail to act. I’m also arguing that the target is irrational because it’s well below what’s needed to strengthen the global response to climate change.

I’m taking the case because action on climate change is urgent, and it’s going to affect everyone and every aspect of our lives. Failure to reduce emissions will result in more extreme weather events, which will put our homes and health at risk, make food prices rise, and have a significant impact on the economy.

The best outcome would be for the Court to order the Minister to reset the target in line with what’s needed on a global level to keep warming below 2°. At the very least, I would like to see the Court order that the target is unlawful and needs to be reviewed.

On the first day of court the Coal Action Network Aotearoa will be holding a rally outside the Wellington High Court at 9.15. There will  be speeches including an address from Sarah Thomson. You can also attend the hearing that starts at 10am.

Update,

Statement of Claim

Statement of Defence

Moderator note – zero tolerance for climate change denial in comments. Bans will be given without warning. 

 

56 comments on “Sarah v Government”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Bloody impressive. My father says that when the mass of women in as society decide to change something … it changes.

    The asteroid analogy is wonderful, but reality is madder than this. We aren’t merely vaguely inviting it, we’re actively strapping monstrous fucking rockets to the thing and steering it smack onto the planet.

    Building more roads, digging up more fossil carbon, investing in anything which is dependent on fossil carbon in any manner is now a folly. We had two decades in which to take easy actions; it got wasted by the lies and confusion. Now it will all be hard work.

    Yet I remain optimistic; our understanding of the issues and how to respond to them is better than ever. People are starting to realise doing nothing is no longer a safe option. And people WILL act when they see options that make a difference and work to improve their lives. There is so much about de-carbonising society that is amazingly positive and re-generative. So much of the stress, anxiety and dysfunction of the world we live in, has roots right back into this mass petro-addiction.

    Thanks for posting on this.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      …investing in anything which is dependent on burning fossil carbon in any manner is now a folly.

      FTFY

      People are starting to realise doing nothing is no longer a safe option.

      I’m pretty sure that people have understood that for a long time. The real problem is that our governments are ruled by business and business didn’t want to change. Change is hard and expensive and they’re making lots of profits as they are.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        The carbonites FUD campaign created a space in which people felt like they could safely choose the status quo without being morally challenged. That option is fast running out.

        And while some businesses are indeed making money from the status quo, others see big opportunity in de-carbonising.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          It’s burning fossil carbon that’s increasing CO2 but using them in other ways is still useful and doesn’t increase GHGs.

          Sure, there’s some business that are starting to make big money from renewables and other sustainable practices but they’re a minority and they’re probably not the biggest companies in the world with the highest paid lobbyists and donations to political parties. In other words, they’re not the ones puling the strings.

          • weka 1.1.1.1.1

            “but using them in other ways is still useful and doesn’t increase GHGs.”

            Can you give some examples? I can think of some but I’m not sure what you are meaning exactly.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Can you give some examples?

              Drugs
              Plastics
              Glues
              Rubbers
              Metals
              Paints
              Oils

              The major problem of fossil carbon is the fossil fuels based upon it and the simple fact that they’re burnt releasing huge amounts of CO2.

              Actually, thinking about it, most of those examples will release some CO2 but I think it would be minimal enough that the natural environment could probably handle it.

              • weka

                Thanks, that’s a good list. The problems I see there are cradle to grave issues. Not just emissions in manufacture, but also other pollutants, and then what do do with end of life waste. All of those things need to be reduced hugely, with the possible exception of metals, although I have seen the argument that we should stop mining too. We should be reserving those things for essential need. The big issue there is consumption, the growth economy and population expansion, all of which underpin the impacts on the environment. Time to power down.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Not just emissions in manufacture, but also other pollutants, and then what do do with end of life waste.

                  We need to make use of the entire resource, minimise waste and recycle. Done fully (not that I think we can ATM) waste should become a thing of the past.

                  All of those things need to be reduced hugely, with the possible exception of metals, although I have seen the argument that we should stop mining too. We should be reserving those things for essential need.

                  I look at the iron sands off the Taranaki coast. A few years ago it was reported that there was ~300 million tonnes and the licence holder had permission to extract 20 million tonnes per year meaning it would all be gone in about 15 years. After a year the licensee said that there was actually 2 billion tonnes and immediately asked to increase the take to 50 million tonnes per year.

                  That resource is our wealth that allows us to do stuff and yet the government is willing to sell it off for money which is nothing (Really, you try making something with money). Never mind the damage done to the environment to get it.

                  If it really was about economics we’d be very, very conservative with the resources we have as they’re very, very limited.

                  The big issue there is consumption, the growth economy and population expansion, all of which underpin the impacts on the environment.

                  Yep.

                  Time to power down.

                  Is it power down or decrease population while increasing living standards?

  2. ianmac 2

    Hooray for Sarah. Is there a Givealittle fund to help her?

  3. Ad 3

    Is this a judicial review?
    What is the most optimistic thing that a judge could force the government to do?

    • I didn’t know you actually could take the government to court for not taking relevant matters into account when making decisions, or making decisions that are irrational. That seems to offer a hell of a lot of scope for future court action.

      I did wonder when I saw the headline if she was taking them to court for using fake carbon credits to pretend we were meeting our previous emissions reduction commitments. That one strikes me as having better scope for legal arguments (not that I’d know the first thing about legal arguments, mind).

      • Ad 3.1.1

        To challenge the process of a Ministerial decision you would need to launch a judicial review. It’s really hard work to win one.

        Last good one was when Chris Carter was Minister for the Environment and the Courts required him to look again at his decision about a marina in Whitianga.
        So that was a wee while ago.

        • Phil 3.1.1.1

          A judicial review looks only at the process used by the minister or department/agency to make a decision. It does not opine directly on the decision made.

          So, when Ms Thomson says “The best outcome would be for the Court to order the Minister to reset the target” it would suggest she doesn’t fully understand the scope of the legal avenues she’s using?

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            Relief sought:

            (b) An order requiring the Minister to set a new Target that will, if adopted by other developed countries in combination with appropriate targets set by developing countries, stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.

            (b) An order for certiorari / quashing the NDC decision and an order that the decision be remade.

            From link at bottom of post (first one).

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      In NZ?

      Absolutely nothing. Parliament is supreme.

      But it would be a bad look for the government when they lose and so may decide to Do Something to make it look like they’re taking it seriously.

      • Ad 3.2.1

        Not true.
        Judicial review is one.
        Some Maori Land Court decisions are another.
        Plenty of Public Works Act decisions would be incredibly hard to overturn by the state.

        I just want to know what legally she hopes to achieve.

        • Poission 3.2.1.1

          The remedy is in tort (mandamus) para 117.

          The argument is that setting the NDC at a level that will mitigate global climate change and eliminate poverty (whatever that means) is almost surely beyond the realm of responsibility of the minister.

          If the argument is the level of the NDC then that is contestable,in so far as the sink contribution of NZ is well understated.

          • Ad 3.2.1.1.1

            Cheers.

            If that’s the case it would be fruitful to see few points from her actual submissions.

            I don’t mind if it’s all done for publicity either.
            It’s election time – publicity from the courts is perfectly legitimate.

            • weka 3.2.1.1.1.1

              I put some links at the bottom of the post, docs from the case.

              • Ad

                Thanks.
                The Statement of Defence doesn’t seem to open.

                I’ll be interested to see how this progresses.

                Any legal mind here know what the presiding judge is like?

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.2

          Parliament is supreme.

          It really can ignore the courts. If they do so or not is a matter of following tradition and/or not looking bad to the public.

          There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to prevent our government from doing whatever it damn well pleases. Even if it’s unconstitutional and against the law cannot actually prevent them from doing it if they so choose.

          I’m not even sure that the Governor General can stop them.

          That really is our governing system in a nutshell.

  4. Greg 4

    [RL: Deleted. Banned from this thread for not reading the OP.] … nothing short of lunacy.

  5. Savenz 5

    Good on her. And it’s true, why should people stand back and allow stupid short term politicians to bring the planet into danger so they can have a luxury life and be in
    Denial, passing the much greater problems onto other people in the next decade. It should be illegal.

    • roadrage 5.1

      Agreed.

      One point. Oil is a highly energy dense liquid fuel and it is reasonable while we have the infrastructure to find all reserves. Its about using the stuff slower not faster and faster. The asteroid analogy would be flipping it into a controlled orbit and slowly mine it. Its the private automobile that needs to be resign to museums.

  6. dukeofurl 6

    is there a list of her expert witnesses, as Im sure it boils down to what they would be saying.

    • Savenz 6.1

      Yes paid expert witnesses, what on earth could go wrong? Sarc. I thin the average joe these days have more common sense on most issues. Look at grenfell towers all those experts & apparently 18 inspections failed to notice illegal cladding or think is it a good idea to have zero sprinklers? The occupants sure as hell noticed, but nobody cared because they were not experts just ordinary people with more brains than the experts.

      • roadrage 6.1.1

        Electing neolibs who don’t do govt or regulation yet are put in charge of governing and inspecting… …whose foolish? Tories get you killed. Slow in tower infernos or slowly toasting like a lobster with climate change.

      • dukeofurl 6.1.2

        Please save the sarc. Courts expect expert witnesses to be you know ..expert
        Im sure Sarah has some high powered people behind her.

  7. weka 7

    I’ve added a couple of links to the claim documents for the case.

  8. Whispering Kate 8

    All power to you Sarah, you have the thoughts and prayers of many kiwis who value their country and wish that our Governments would have vision and think of the future. You go girlfriend you have my blessings.

  9. Alas Sarah you have been sold a pup, and you have fallen for it hook line and sinker.
    Yes climate change is going to lead to the extinction of over 98% of current life on the planet. That is what over 405 ppm CO2 will result in, there is nothing humans can do AT SCALE to reverse this situation.
    For the best information about our current situation you need to listen to Professor Guy McPherson @ guymcpherson.Com
    Guy is one of the only ‘academics’ publicly stating the facts.
    Where as James Hanson is like your cancer doctor telling you to up your vitamin C intake.
    Humanity is a heat engine, “Everything we do creates CO2” reading this message has added more CO2 To our environment, your court case will add more CO2
    Kiwisaver is 100% dependent on the continued manufacture of CO2, that is what GROWTH is all about
    Every new born is equel to a potential 70 years of more CO2 emissions
    We were warned back @ the Reo earth conference we had 10 years to reverse our CO2 emissions, and even back then they didn’t understand how bad the situation was
    The ‘safe’ level of CO2 for a human friendly atmosphere is a MAX of 315 ppm and no more than about .7 ppm CH4, which hasn’t been exceeded for the past 800,000 years, until 1960 ish. Currently we are seeing a global average of nearly 1.9 ppm CH4, with spikes of 2.5 (ish). Acording to a few people CH4 is 150 to 300 times worse/stronger a GHG than CO2 giving ‘us’ a CO2e reading of anywhere between 700 – 1000 ppm
    That is probably enough time wasting on my part.
    Good luck
    Robert Thankyoufornotbreeding Atack
    http://Www.oilcrash.com
    http://www.vhemt.org

    http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.conversationearth.org%2Fnear-term-human-extinction-guy-mcpherson-218%2F&h=ATMuaErn82Yy4ZUPkI_fkRFBgVBFEdA46r_3rDvfn23Kx891EH6hxffRi6AOvVbsmeqCPt5080VLK1l8-2eiqA-Uae2Vj-55smluo61RZ4WZPXcXDitIg-3n8VZkuU9VBZrcPz5hUV9w

    [Guy McPherson misuses data to scaremonger and promote his personal apocalypse fantasy, and thus encourages people to give up trying to mitigate climate change. He’s a problem like the CC deniers. I wrote a post about it here. – weka]

    • Kevin 9.1

      100% Correct Robert.

      Have followed Guy McPherson for last 12 months now and read The 6th Great Extinction. A fascinating read.

      The earth will recover, but we won’t.

      • Ad 9.1.1

        We’ve survived worse and come out stronger.

        • Tony Veitch (not etc) 9.1.1.1

          @AD 9.1.1

          Have we indeed? Care to clarify that statement? If McPherson’s right, (and I hope he isn’t) then we’re facing the end of human life on earth.

          I’ve studied a bit of history, but I don’t recall anything quite as catastrophic as that!

          • weka 9.1.1.1.1

            The problem with McPherson isn’t whether he is right or not, it’s that he pretends the science supports his view that it’s too late. It doesn’t. He should just be honest about his belief, but he misuses science and his position to promote doom. No-one knows yet if it’s too late. He is as bad as anything the denialists do.

            There are better sources to look at for how serious things are.

            • Macro 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Exactly!
              McPherson is not a climate scientist. He is an Ecologist. For those who need to see what an actual Climate Scientist thinks of Prof McPherson’s claims I refer them to Prof Jim Rendwick’s excellent blog post here:

        • marty mars 9.1.1.2

          Survived worse ad – do you mean noahsark flood?

          • Ad 9.1.1.2.1

            No I was thinking the Paleolithic.

            It’s definitely going to change us as a whole species – but we’ve been responding to vastly changed climactic change with nothing like the technology we now have. In a weird way it’s exactly the kind of challenge that we all needed.

            • marty mars 9.1.1.2.1.1

              I don’t agree with you. the challenges we face today are not similar to previous ones and also technology ain’t going to be a white knight saving us any more than aliens arriving will.

              • Ad

                Ice age was worse.
                Bring it on.

                • Yeah make a joke. Obvious you don’t care – well do about your sking lol – just another variant of denier but dressed in pretend fashionable clothes.

                • weka

                  Ice age happened slowly though right? This is happening fast and it’s up for debate about whether we have time to adapt well. I think if we did a fast drop to zero carbon and thus limited the risk of runaway CC, then here in NZ we’d be relatively ok. Lots of places in the world are going to do very badly once it gets hard to grow food.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.3

          No we haven’t. The Earth has not been in the same climate conditions that it’s in now for the entire time of humans being on the Earth,

          • In Vino 9.1.1.3.1

            AD – Technology will quickly die with a major catastrophe. Our technology will collapse like a huge house of cards. You underestimate what we may well be facing. (I was tempted to type ‘misunderestimate’ in memory of a US President whom I thought would be the worst we would have for some time. No such luck.)

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.3.1.1

              WTF has that got to do with the price of fish?

              • In Vino

                Reply was to AD, who thinks we will be OK because of technology.
                I don’t share that belief.

      • roadrage 9.1.2

        Essentially the biological history of parasitical plagues is the same. They, or we, distort the ecology so significantly that we cause our own extinction. Eating several Earths is considered by the great conservative herd to be a virtue, a success, a product of hard work (not), like running rabidly round the hamster wheel even faster once all needs are met is somehow intellectual genius. And every member of the Tory herd has it by conformity to the neo-libmantra. Led by mogals like Murdoch its the lowest common denominator people that sells.

        • roadrage 9.1.2.1

          And that’s why the best way to change the world is to stop eating Murdoch’s product. He’ll survive. We won’t by continuing eating Trump ads manufactured solely to keep our attention.

      • dukeofurl 9.1.3

        ” read The 6th Great Extinction”

        Experts on great extinctions say we arent in one.
        https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/the-ends-of-the-world/529545/
        Earth Is Not in the Midst of a Sixth Mass Extinction

        “Erwin is one of the world’s experts on the End-Permian mass extinction”
        Erwin says no. He thinks it’s junk science.

        “Many of those making facile comparisons between the current situation and past mass extinctions don’t have a clue about the difference in the nature of the data, much less how truly awful the mass extinctions recorded in the marine fossil record actually were,”

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.3.1

          So, out of all the scientists that say we are you managed to find one that says we aren’t?

          See, that’s the exact same tactics that the climate change deniers have used over the last few decades to try and discredit the overall science.

  10. Ad 10

    Quite enjoyed Bill Nye’s 4 minutes of science on climate change. It’s about my level of science:

    https://www.climaterealityproject.org/video/climate-101-bill-nye?utm_source=email-welcome-sequence&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=General

  11. Tautoko Mangō Mata 11

    Sara Thomson is showing that age is irrelevant when it comes to taking leadership on an issue. My view is that the ultimate in futility is to DO NOTHING about climate change, which is almost exactly what the current government is doing…
    Being hopeless is not an attitude to which I am prepared to submit. We may not be able to change the final outcome but how can we not try?

    Go Sara

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    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    4 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    4 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    7 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    7 days ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    17 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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