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Seismic events in Christchurch, food & fuel

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, February 28th, 2011 - 19 comments
Categories: disaster, energy, food - Tags: , ,

So there was a devastating earthquake in Christchurch this last week that wrecked buildings and the lives of many people. The entire nation feels for the people who went through the quake and are trying to pick up their lives as best they can. Amidst the aftermath John Key announced that the city will be rebuilt. The rebuilding will be billions of dollars and take probably years to fully complete. Each and every time we see pictures on television or read a newspaper report we get glimpses of what effort will be required – roads, water and waste water services, power and telephones, homes and commercial properties all need to be repaired and reconstructed. Yet, the country seems prepared to make that effort.

There are a couple of other seemingly seismic events playing out as well, ones that were getting news attention before last Tuesday but have temporarily been sidelined. These relate to the global price of food and fuel and how the rising prices of both threaten to bring down governments throughout the Middle East. Food prices are rising quickly, some may say spiking. The first effects are being felt by those on the margins of society and globalised markets, the surplus populations of the world. Someone I know today described this phenomena in local terms, a significant proportion (he didn’t define an exact figure) of kiwis are finding they can no longer afford to buy milk.

Fuel prices are threatening to do the same. They were hovering around $90 a barrel, near $2 NZ a litre at the pump, even as the western world staggered through a recession. Events of the past month in the Middle East has rocketed the price over $100 a barrel and the prices at the pump past $2 with more to come probably if the NZ dollar falls in value. The riots and revolutions in the Middle East have a number of elements to them. One is the price the affordability of food. Exactly how certain we can be of the link between food and fuel prices is still not totally clear for me. There have certainly been natural disasters and crop failures around the globe which have pushed prices up, along with financial speculators. There is a plethora of analysis on the net regarding the reasons for the price increases, and links between, food and fuel so I will not attempt to rehearse them in any great depth here. All I will say is that I do think the link is becoming clearer, I am giving more credence to the idea that we are entering into a period of stagnating oil production (a peak oil type event) which is flowing through to food prices.

The Christchurch earthquake and food/fuel prices are not directly linked of course. For me, the link lies in how as a country we deal with them over the next few months and the next few years. So then how do we cope with Christchurch rebuilding whilst also taking cognizance of food and fuel prices. I noted that Fran O’Sullivan made an attempt in the Saturday edition of the NZ Herald.

“The brutal reality is that the February 22 earthquake will exhaust the Government sector’s financial ability to deal with any other major unforeseen incidents. Just 10 weeks ago Finance Minister Bill English said the Government’s accounts were stretched…Key should not hesitate to ask other New Zealanders to play their part towards financing the rebuilding of Christchurch.

Major levy increases will be needed to restore the Earthquake Commission’s fund in case it is called on by other New Zealanders before it can be replenished over time. Key should do the same. This is the opportune time for him to review the extent of his Government’s tax-cuts, which are being funded through borrowing and not healthy surpluses, and the extent of the interest-free student loans and Working for Families tax credits bequeathed by the previous Government…Put frankly, Auckland can no longer be the priority for the national infrastructure spend. It has had lots of Government cash spent there for the Rugby World Cup.”

To paraphrase O’Sullivan, we should all play our part to rebuild Christchurch so Key will need to review things like his tax cuts and other government spending including infrastructure plans. Some of what she says I can agree with however I am interested in joining the dots a little further than O’Sullivan attempts to encompass food and fuel prices. The dots do link back to the spending areas she has identified.

The matter of tax should be obvious to most. The recent round of cuts was not “fiscally neutral” and was not a “tax switch” for a good portion of low income earners. The first reservoir of finance Key needs to dip into to fund the Christchurch rebuild is tax. I myself doubt he has the courage to reverse the cuts of May last year. A rebuilding tax can certainly be levied however. Australia has introduced one for the Queensland flood starting at incomes over $50,000 and increasing again at incomes over $100,000. Key could also introduce a levy on top of company. Beyond that simple task the opportunity may be right to roll out some long sighted tax changes such as a capital gains tax or financial speculation taxes. That will help fund the immediate Christchurch reconstruction efforts but also help lay a solid foundation for future national economic development.

The suggestion that Working for Families should be scraped should also be obvious to most. Obviously a silly idea that is. At a time where wages are low and stagnating, unemployment is high and living costs are increasing the last thing the government needs to do is remove some of the financial props that are helping families get bye. The state of our economy dictates they need to be retained. Future possible events of structural high food and fuel prices, along with unemployment and uncertain economic recovery may very well necessitate Working for Families type programmes on a wider scale. That is, structural problems of high food & fuel prices along with faltering employment and growth will require a much greater effort to distribute resources and wealth on a far more equitable basis throughout our (and even global) political economy.

Finally there is infrastructure. This is where I once again find myself agreeing with O’Sullivan. Key and Steven Joyce need to urgently reconsider the infrastructure plans they have set in place. The major need must lie with Christchurch. There is some low hanging fruit Key is easily able to pluck for this. There is the 1.7 billion dollar Puhoi to Wellsford Holiday Highway for starters. This road has a Benefit-Cost ratio (BCR) of somewhere between 0.4 to 0.8 (the optimistic view Joyce found somewhere). If Joyce wants to improve the road he can do so for around $300 million and bypass Warkworth. The 2 billion dollars Waikato Express Way has a BCR of somewhere between 0.5 and 1.1 (again optimistic figures found somewhere by Joyce). That project can no doubt be scaled back with th3e resulting saving on both projects likely to be, at a guess, $2.5 billion. That’s a decent contribution toward the Christchurch effort. Then there is the Wellington Northern Corridor with a BCR of 0.6 to 0.9 to consider as well.

Should Key and Joyce want to spend money improving our transport infrastructure, and I understand there are arguments for doing so, then the priority must be public transport. In a few years, or maybe even a few months, if oil prices rise back toward $150 a barrel then the focus for affordable public transport will intensify. There are existing bus and rail projects that urgently require government funding to get completed. In 2020, when Christchurch is rebuilt, people are requiring road upgrades on which to drive their electric vehicles then Keys successors can consider it then.

As the reconstruction effort in Christchurch takes place we are all going to be required to help out. Government revenue and government spending, including infrastructure, will have to be carefully considered. New taxes will be required and there are scheduled government ‘think big’ roading projects that can be downscaled or cancelled. Such deliberations also need to take account of a future that requires, I think, income/wealth equality and structural programmes to cope with higher food and fuel prices.

-george.com

19 comments on “Seismic events in Christchurch, food & fuel”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    This seems like a good post to point out that with Key apparently ruling out a one-off tax to help rebuild CHCH and instead “permanently increasing” the EQC levy and possibly raising the payout level, he’s really doing a bait and switch.

    A tax-rise to help pay for CHCH’s rebuild would be money that directly goes into building things within CHCH, right now.

    Raising the EQC levy permanently means we are putting money away for the future, not increasing revenue to spend it right now. As I commented here /some-personal-reflections-on-the-quake/#comment-302758 EQC is not actually in hugely dire need of funds right now.

    It seems that rather than tax our own populace to help re-build CHCH, Key’s plan is to go out begging cap-in-hand to the rest of the world for money to do it, using his pals Letterman and Oprah (that sounds like a joke, doesn’t it?): http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10709224

    Also, S&P and Moody’s have both come out and said that despite the new quakes taking a toll on the government’s balance sheet, NZ once again has much lower public debt than many other western countries, and so they are not concerned. Further puts paid to their desperate need to sell off state assets (the forth-coming spin to be that it is now required to help re-build CHCH?)

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    I hope calls are being made to city planners around NZ (and around the world), starting to look at options for what a renewed, vibrant, future resilient Christchurch might look like.

    Nervous that the temporary mass exodus from Christchurch risks becoming more permanent as the months go by.

    • Shane Gallagher 2.1

      On the topic of resilience – it has become very apparent how bad it is for resilience to have centralised distribution networks. Most of the south island had centralised networks for milk and bread based in Chch and now getting bread and milk to people is a bit of an issue. All our local supermarket has is white bread and they had problems with having enough milk for everyone. Also other food lines are short as well. Now this is nothing compared to what has happened in Chch but the point is that if there were distributed systems then we would be much more able to cope with disasters and Dunedin could have been a major supply point for Chch for example.

      Also if there were distributed power generation systems (eg. solar and local CHP systems etc.) then supplying people with power would be a lot less of a problem – as each local area could supply at least some power for places like GP surgeries, pharmacies and clinics.

      Anyway, just a thought…

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Multiple redundant systems, highly localised and designed to fail gradually is a very important aspect of resilient systems engineering and preparing for the unexpected.

        But from the capitalist’s way of thinking, having increased safety margins, more stock on hand and keeping backup facilities ready but which are not normally used is inefficient and lowers profits.

        Nature is actually much smarter. It costs the human body a lot two build and maintain two kidneys, but nature has decided that its worth having a backup. Of course you might choose to asset sell one but then…

        • Peter 2.1.1.1

          Nice analogy. Nature has evolved resilience over eons, but as industrial capitalism is a relatively new phenomenon it is still highly R-selected (placing value on growth over stability). Time will tell if it can easily transition to a more K-selected approach.

          • ZeeBop 2.1.1.1.1

            DPB solo mums have much easier lives thanks to technology, like washing machines, where women needed to partner up and reach pragmatic solutions they can now go it alone. Transition may solve some of our social crisis-es but return us to some of the social problems of yesteryear we thought long gone. Overcrowding, disease. Bedbugs? A transition phenomena? But luckily our elites and chattering classes are not working the problem so we won’t know until its too late, well no money in it.

  3. Bored 3

    Nice article George. I saw the devastation first hand, and it is grim. When I got back I had a read of Middle East news, then checked the Brent Crude price (US$110). Hard times await.

    Thinking back on the last week we all have a head full of ideas that we all need to express. We mourn our lost city, but our lost people we must mourn more. If one thing happens out of this tragedy it is that we don’t allow anybody to build a building that can trap and kill people. No more steel and concrete tombs. No more landlords renting out crappy unsafe buildings when it should have been obvious that they are death traps. Enough said.

    On the economics of the rebuild we have some sterling examples of how it is done. Europe post war, Kobe etc. Argentina post default. All of these had massive capital injections. We may not be so lucky so referring to the national development efforts heralded in by the First Labour government may be more appropriate. We are a nation rich in raw materials and land to grow resources; we need to add our own value to these resources to rebuild our cities, starting with Christchurch in a safe sustainable fashion. Now we face the dire consequences of dismantling the Ministry of Works and Development, selling off the state forests etc. Remember capital is the accumulated value added by labour: we have the labour and raw materials; we can create capital by using what we have. It is time for the people to decide what they want , and to plan it rather than leave it to the mythical “market”.

  4. oscar 4

    The business roundtable reptile mouthpiece, Roger Kerr, has suggested christchurch could sell off the airport, lyttelton port, and orion energy to pay for rebuilding.
    I mean, seriously? Does anyone take him seriously anymore?
    If they do, the denizens of christchurch need to be ready to say no. It’s the income stream from these companies that help CCC pay for long term infrastructure.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Yeah, completely ridiculous. I was going to mention it in my comment above but it was getting a bit long and varied already.

      Orion in particular seem to be doing a stellar job. I’ve been very impressed with the guy fronting up to the media – he seems to know exactly what’s happening, authoritative and clear.

      • Peter 4.1.1

        Yes, Roger Sutton from Orion has been doing an excellent job. There was mention of the Ministry of Works and Development before, and in my short experience of working with local government, I view the local lines companies (most of which remain publicly owned) as having much of the public service ethos that was inherent at the old PWD. We called it nation-building once upon a time.

        Might be time for Labour to reclaim that phrase.

        Captcha is on fire: intervention

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    The decline in global oil extraction that will occur over the next few years will make the events in Christchurch look like a Sunday afternnon picnic in the park. Best evidence indicates we will be at below 1970s levels of oil availability by 2020.

    Meanwhile the clowns and criminals in government continue to promote policies predicated on increasing availability of oil at ridiculously low prices. It is quite surreal.

    We are in the early stages of a reversal of the Industrial Revolution. Most people are totally blind to it.

    As for rebuilding Christchurch -nice joke! Of course the notion will give the proles a bit of false hope as the ship goes under.

    P.S. The time to implement strategies for a soft landing was 5 years ago, when ‘nobody’ was listening. Most are still not listening

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Time to finish with the doomsday rhetoric and start debating constructive and detailed courses of action for NZ eh?

      • Peter 5.1.1

        Yep, no time for doomsday rhetoric. Collapses are slow affairs at best, and there is plenty of time to make strategic decisions knowing the likely outcome of the future.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    I spent from 2001 till 2009 promoting appropriate courses of action. ‘Nobody’ was interested. Only about 1% of the populace seem to ‘get it’.

    Anyway, it’s too late now. All the wondows of opportunity have closed.

    The other thing to consider is that governments and local bodies are ideologically opposed to approptiate strategies and do their best to block them. Their ‘job’ is to facilitate the agendas of multinational corporations. I didn’t fully realise that until I tried every door and found it formly bolted. 🙂

    So, we’re off the cliff and in Wily E Coyote land; the whirring of the legs is somehow preventing an immediate fall …. but the moment we [collectively] look down it’s all over.

    Sadly, most people are going to learn the hard way.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      If the future you are envisioning unfolds as you think it might, at some point it will be 99% of the people that “get it”. What are you going to do then? Be pro-active and constructive and try and improve the situation as much as possible, or just say “it’s too late, don’t bother”?

      • ZeeBop 6.1.1

        Solution # move to a country that cannot be invaded, has low population and is exporting its young people, grow a vegie garden. Watch the stars pass by. Not bothering is a good stance if you find the right place for it. North Coast of the South Island, a plot of land with a high gorge to dam for power and lots of wood. – now to win the lottery.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    The suggestion that Working for Families should be scraped should also be obvious to most. Obviously a silly idea that is. At a time where wages are low and stagnating, unemployment is high and living costs are increasing the last thing the government needs to do is remove some of the financial props that are helping families get bye.

    WfF and most benefits should be replaced by a Universal Income. This does two things:
    1.) Ensures that nobody is living in poverty
    2.) Shows the minimum that our economy needs to produce to maintain a high living standard for everyone

    • ZeeBop 7.1

      One odd consequence of inequality is it become harder to redistribute as more people are spread across a range of unhealthy situations, from the extremes of people owning leaky homes, to long term generational beneficiaries (even creating its own forms of poverty trap).

  8. ropata 8

    Time for a boost in state housing stocks (with tenants given assistance to purchase). A lot of our skilled tradesmen are in Aus profiting from their ongoing housing bubble. But maybe we shouldn’t require certified builders for everything, but strict standards and inspectors as the job progresses. There are a lot of of handy guys out there with CPIT diplomas in building.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
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    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate 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 How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    40 mins ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago