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Shooting blanks

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, December 30th, 2008 - 16 comments
Categories: science - Tags:

Italian males, despite the appearance of virility in their persistent attentions to female tourists, have caught the European disease – male infertility. A study this year shows some dramatic falls in male fertility in Italy since the 1970’s.

Finding Dulcinea summarized the Italian results as:-

During the 1970s, Italian men averaged 71 million spermatoza per millimeter. But today, they average 60 million, according to a study of 10,000 healthy men conducted by Fabrizio Menchini Fabris of Pisa University.
Fabris also found that today, fewer than 30 percent of the sperm are ‘active’ in Italian men, while 50 percent were active in the 1970s. Taken together, these number mean that Italian men today have 50 percent fewer active sperm than they did thirty years ago.

It is a common observation across the whole of Europe and North America – but at differing rates. In 2004 the Canadian National Review of Medicine summarized the then current knowledge as:-

The rate of decline is similar to reports from France and other European countries, although sperm counts among British men are even below the European average. It’s generally agreed that sperm counts are falling twice as fast in Europe as in North America.

The primary suspects are endocrine disruptor chemicals, especially pesticides. There are many other suspects from smoking to tight underpants. However the use of agricultural pesticides explain the demographic distributions far better than other suspects.


The prime suspect is the insecticide DDT (dicophane). At the end of WWII it was hailed as a wonder weapon against a range of diseases, especially malaria. A chemical in the insecticide called p,p’-DDE has strong estrogenic and anti-androgenic properties. Wherever it is found in high concentrations, there is evidence of demasculinisation. Florida’s Lake Apopka, with extremely high levels of DDT pollution, is swimming with androgynous alligators.

Other problematic chemicals are alkyl phenol ethoxylates and nonylphenol ethoxylates widely used in industrial detergents, paints and pesticides as surfactants. Agricultural pesticides are clearly implicated and go a long way to explain the geographical variation of male fertility. Within Europe it is isolated Finland, with its minimal agriculture, that has the highest sperm counts.

Although DDT has been banned or restricted for two decades in the developed world, its persistence means that it can still be traced in all humans. It is still in widespread use in many malarial zones, from where it can be exported via food or the atmosphere. Little or no action has been taken to restrict other estrogenic compounds in the environment. The problem of falling sperm counts is bound to get worse before it gets better.

Recently other common pesticides in current common usage have also been implicated in studies in the USA.The general characteristic is that the chemicals are endocrine disruptors. What has been puzzling is that they appear to cause little damage to mammal biology or DNS except in large quantities.

In 2005, a study on rats showed the type of effect required to explain what has been observed in human populations.

Pregnant rats exposed to fungicide sprayed on vineyards and pesticide sprayed on crops had male offspring with a sperm count reduced by 20 per cent.

If confirmed by further experiments, the findings could help explain the decline in human male fertility over the past 50 years.

The timing of the exposure turns out to be critical, which is probably why the effect has not been observed previously, and it also has an unexpected damage path.

The scientists exposed pregnant rats to the chemicals at the crucial moment in gestation when the sex of the offspring is determined. The result was that male offspring suffered a 20 per cent decline in sperm counts, and sperm motility – its ability to swim – fell by up to 35 per cent.

What was surprising was that these traits were also seen in 90 per cent of the male offspring born to three more subsequent generations yet the scientists found no obvious mutations in the DNA of the animals.

One possibility is that the toxic substances altered the natural chemicals, called methyl groups, that normally surround the DNA molecule and these subtle changes were inherited by the male offspring.

“We are mostly describing a new phenomenon… The hazards of environmental toxins are much more pronounced that we realised,” Dr Skinner said.

If this result is confirmed, then we could soon have generations of human males shooting blanks. However it is unlikely to slow down the Italian males that my female friends complain about – I suspect that is cultural.

However it does indicate that perhaps we should be investing in learning about how to store sperm for longer. The pesticides and other agricultural chemicals are required to produce the level of food required for the burgeoning world populations. Consequently their use has been spreading throughout all of the world farming areas. If the male fertility levels in other areas follow what has happened in Europe and the USA over the last 50 years, then the problem will self-correct as the population drops.

The issue is that we might get overshoot into the world of P.D.James in her novel The Children of Men. I watched the movie adaption last night – excellent movie. That started me looking at the material on the net.

16 comments on “Shooting blanks ”

  1. cha 1

    Unintended consequences and parachuting cats, a true story,maybe?.

  2. Shona 2

    PD James based Children of Men on the research of Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski and John Peterson Myers. Published in 1992 “Our Stolen Future” though disturbing it is a great non fiction read on how the human race is the author of it’s own demise through constantly poisoning it’s food supply. Al Gore insisted when he ran for President that it was the study that he was going to base his presidency on.Well we all know how that turned out, after all he just talks shyte doesn’t he?
    Happy New Year to you all.

  3. lprent 3

    hi cha:
    I’s have to class that as legend. Read this (I went and did roughly the same searches)

  4. cha 4

    Yeah, I know lprent, believe nothing you read and only half of what you see, but a giggle and a smirk for a lazy summer arvo at home.

  5. Ummm, I seriously object to your statement about pesticides being required. Bio Intensive organics can produce similar outputs to factory farming. I highly recommend you check out “The power of community: How Cuba survived peak oil”.

    Pesticides are required if we want out of season produce battery farmed in vast mono cultures. The green revolution was exactly that. We turned out back on eons of built up knowledge about how to grow food. Hung our hopes on science but didn’t do it properly. Commercial interests have interfered. Money is made not from making food safe, but by making people spend more. Often in the agricultural world this is simplified further to just making more. (Exemplified by the status of having a good yield) Research money sadly follows commercial interest more than human or eco system interest and more money generally means more research and more results.

  6. lprent 6

    mouldy: Have a good read of

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population

    During my lifetime the world population has more than doubled. The population of NZ has nearly doubled. The world population will probably double again before I crap out – hopefully from one of the western diseases of age. I’d really prefer to not die from more violent means at the hands of the starving or epidemics incubated in the same.

    The problem about food world wide is not about marketing, it is about people, population growth rates, diebacks, war, pestilence etc and all of those awkward consequences of what happens when people start starving.

    Sure there is a small fraction of the world that is wealthy enough to care about what they’re putting in their mouths (like me). Most are more concerned with getting enough food.

    The research on organic farming will carry on in the wealthy countries where the market for the goods is. When it gets simple enough and gives good yields then it will be taken up with alacrity by farmers everywhere – most farmers will use whatever works. At present that does not appear to be the case with the organics simply because they haven’t had the degree of research done into them. What works in NZ will probably not work in Indonesia and will take time to find out what does work.

    In any case, there is so much persistent endocrine disrupters around the ‘west’ already, that I suspect it won’t make much of a difference.

    BTW: I’d suggest moving flats. Mouldy buildings are really hazardous to your health

  7. Akldnut 7

    mama mia – wassa happen to my tadpole, mussa be swimming uppaside downa. Shesa gonna getta worsa before she get betta!!

  8. Janet 8

    I’m sure all those electromagetic fields such as those caused by cellphones and their towers, microwaves and computers can’t be helping either. The cumulative effect of EMF plus environmental toxins are affecting a lot more than just sperm. After all that’s not such a big deal – a few sperm banks are all that is required. We need a healthy planet more.

  9. George Darroch 9

    lprent – totally agree with you that trendy “organics” sold in Parnell has nothing to do with world hunger or the like. But the Cuban experience is instructive, as is stuff being done in India, Indonesia, and across the developing world. Sustainable agriculture has been used to produce very high per-acre outputs, with both new techniques and ones used for thousands of years. Small holders are well documented as putting out higher outputs when compared to larger farms. The problem is, however, is that it isn’t as profitable (in dollar terms) as mega-farming, and is thus neglected by business and policymakers.

  10. cha 10

    Janet, a personal observation, having worked at the high voltage end of the electrical industry for more than 30 years, nearly all the blokes involved in HV substation construction and maintainence father girls and lots of them. EMF?, who knows, but at the kids Christmas party, 80% girls.

  11. Iprent: I understand your confusion of “organics” as a marketing thing. A neighbour of my parents is going organic due to the premium payments available for lamb. A lot of people see organics as a trendy hip think.

    I see organics as a method of production that is massively more sustainable than fossil fuel based agriculture. For me it is not just about the pesticide use but also about the energy used. You claim price is a problem. I claim our eating habits and expectations are a problem. I remember Mum cooking as a kid. Used to always be with raw ingredients, a major component being from the garden and farm. In the late nineties as the tide of Americanisation initiated with the reforms of the eighties rose finally to drown rural Southland. Suddenly we were eating sauces premade from a bottle or a packet, schnitzel that came pre crumbed. It wasn’t preprepared meals, but it was close.

    We have used the once plentiful cheap oil to fund a feast. We have had opulent foods that combined with a lack of exercise are causing health problems for many. You talk as though you expect conventional agriculture to continue to be ‘cheaper’ than organics. What happens when the world economic fires again, oil demand increases to match supply and the price of oil increases again? Many of the chemical solutions promoted by exponents of the Green Revolution have small or large fossil fuel components and/or have high energy inputs required. What happens when all the cheap sources of phosphate (used to make super phosphate more commonly super) are used up.

    Sulphur and phosphate rock – the two main ingredients of super phosphate – had risen from about US$45 ($58) and US$50 a tonne respectively at the start of last year to spot market prices of US$600 and US$300 a tonne or more, Mourits said.

    link

    Conventional farming is based around supplementing natural processes by adding nutrients and using chemicals to control pests. In some cases straight replacement is used. As the prices for these supplements increase this will be reflected in the price. As the supplements are based around non-renewable resources (otherwise they would be organic…) the amount will continue to decrease leading to increase in demand and pricing. This will see at some point conventional farmed produce rise to match organics.

  12. rave 13

    I wonder what the sperm count of the Israeli IDF males is.

  13. Janet 14

    Don’t pilots also disproportionately father girls? Could be the extra radiation up there or increased exposure to EMFs.

    I know women who work in IT seem to have a higher risk of miscarriage.

  14. Janet 15

    Cuban revolution 50 years old today. Now there’s resilience!

  15. lprent 16

    Hi mouldy,

    What I was specifically looking at was the expansion of the technology of organics to places like asia, africa, latin america, pacifica, etc etc.

    The tech for growing these types of crops has been tested largely in the OECD countries. After 30 years it is maybe becoming comparable in cost and production possibilities for temperate zones.

    As far as I’m aware the type of tech required to farm outside of the temperatate zones in the quantities required hasn’t been developed. It will probably take about 15-20 years of painstaking work by locals to work out what works where.

    BTW: If you look at the fertilizer usage in NZ compared to when I was a kid, it is way down. It also dropped before the price went up. Different technologies made it less relevant.

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  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
    A bit of good news on the writing front. My 3900-word short story, The Night of Parmenides, has been accepted by SpecFicNZ for their upcoming Aftermath anthology, to be published in early 2022. This is my first published short story to be explicitly set in my home-town of ...
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
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  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Bollocks
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    1 week ago
  • World-leading?
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    1 week ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
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    1 week ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
    Long-time Tolkien geeks – or those bemused enough to run across a certain internet phenomenon – might know that ‘Sauron’ is not actually the real name of the Lord of the Ring. ‘Sauron’ is just an abusive Elvish nickname, meaning ‘the Abhorred.’ Sauron’s actual name, at least originally, ...
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  • Forced Re-entry
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    1 week ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
    The Christchurch City Council has published new "coastal hazards" data, indicating which places are under threat from sea-level rise. And its not good news: Parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are likely to become unhabitable [sic] as the city council figures out how to adapt to sea level ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
    I wonder if Mike Hosking ever reads the paper in which he appears so regularly? If he does, he might have noticed a report in today’s Herald about the problem that could face churches in Auckland if a vaccine passport becomes mandatory for those wishing to attend church services. The ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Bill Ralston, Media consultant and columnist: “NZ Politics Daily provides an invaluable service for journalists, politicians, businesspeople, decision makers and the public at large by providing an easily accessible, exhaustive, link to every significant political story in the country’s media that day. It’s a gem of a service ...
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    1 week ago
  • Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Introducing Mr Stick.
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    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #40, 2021
    "Old" research There's little point in trying to best this excellent article describing the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics by Ars Technica authors Jennifer Ouelette and John Timmer, each having a gift for concisely on-target, accessible science journalism. Here at New Research we'll punt and quote the The Royal Swedish Academy of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Standing on one leg is a sign of good health – and practising is good for you too
    Dawn Skelton, Glasgow Caledonian University Research shows that people’s ability to stand on one leg is an indicator of health and that getting better at standing on one leg can add to fitness and potentially lifespan. Being able to stand on one leg is linked to increased levels of physical ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: More dishonesty over the CCR
    Last month the Emissions Trading Scheme turned into a farce, when the government flooded the market with credits in a failed and wasteful attempt to Keep Carbon Prices Low. When I asked about the background of this policy Climate Change Minister James Shaw sent me one of the most egregious ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Schrödinger’s Wraith: The Status of the Witch-King of Angmar, 15th-25th March, T.A. 3019.
    My recent re-read of The Lord of the Rings reminded me of one of the vaguer head-scratchers in Tolkien. The status of the Witch-King of Angmar between his death at the Battle of Pelennor Fields and the Destruction of the One Ring ten days later… was he, in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How rainbow colour maps can distort data and be misleading
    Philip Heron, University of Toronto; Fabio Crameri, University of Oslo, and Grace Shephard, University of Oslo   The choice of colour to represent information in scientific images is a fundamental part of communicating findings. However, a number of colour palettes that are widely used to display critical scientific results are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Korea’s march to global cultural domination, plus a K-pop playlist
    So far, South Korea’s culture industries seem to be pandemic proof. They’re also winning huge global audiences, and not merely large domestic ones. In recent years, South Korea’s TV series (Squid Game, Descendants of The Sun) and movies ( Parasite, Oldboy, The Handmaiden) have become global hits. However, it has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In a lockdown, where does work end and parenting begin? Welcome to the brave new world of ‘zigzag...
    Candice Harris, Auckland University of Technology and Jarrod Haar, Auckland University of Technology   All parents work. The difference lies in the breakdown between their paid and unpaid workloads. That equation is influenced by many things, including education, qualifications, age, ethnicity, financial status, number and age of dependants, gendered and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Using Rapid Antigen Tests to Improve COVID-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Figure 1: Rapid Antigen Test kit given out freely from the NHS in the UK Dr Jennifer Summers, Assoc Prof James Ussher, Assoc Prof Nikki Moreland, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker* Most COVID-19 testing aims to identify infected people. To date, Aotearoa NZ has relied almost ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
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    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
    The Government is supporting a Whakatōhea-led project undertaking landscape scale restoration in forests and around vulnerable rivers within the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “The Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao project will employ four people to undertake pest and weed control, ecosystem restoration and monitoring over three ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3 for a few more days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1. “Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
    The Government is moving ahead with new courthouses in Tauranga and Whanganui, which the Justice Minister says provide an opportunity to redesign court facilities that help put victims at the heart of the justice system. “These courthouses are part of the 10-year infrastructure investment plan to restore and modernise Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te ata. Earlier this month Save the Children wrote to me with their most up to date analysis on the impact of climate change. What they said was that children born in Aotearoa today will experience up to five times as many heatwaves and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today. The Emissions Reduction Plan will set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
    The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The law received 65.1 per cent support in a public referendum held alongside last year’s general ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Taking a lead in threat to curious kea
    Reducing lead poisoning of kea, the world’s only alpine parrot and one-time New Zealand bird of the year winner, is the goal of a two year project being backed by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.  “Lead poisoning is a serious threat to this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government provides certainty to working holiday and seasonal visa holders and employers for summer
    The Government will extend Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas for six months to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders over the coming summer period, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. “This offers employers and visa holders the certainty they’ve been asking for going ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Lower card fees good for businesses, consumers
    The Bill to help lower the cost of the fees retailers get charged for offering contactless and debit payment options is another step closer to becoming law, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark said today. “COVID-19 has changed the way we spend our money, with online and contactless ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Mandatory vaccination for two workforces
    High-risk workers in the health and disability sector to be fully vaccinated by 1 December, 2021, and to receive their first dose by 30 October School and early learning staff and support people who have contact with children and students to be fully vaccinated by 1 January, 2022, and to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Fund allows more Pacific community led vaccinations
    The Government has made $1.1 million available through ‘The Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund’ to directly support Pacific community-led initiatives towards increasing vaccinations, said Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio. “The best way to protect our communities from COVID-19 is through vaccination. “We need to explore every avenue to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Small business at heart of economic recovery across APEC region
    The Minister for Small Business says support for small and medium enterprises will remain ongoing as the Asia-Pacific region moves through response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuart Nash today chaired a virtual summit from Wellington for the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM). “APEC Ministers responsible ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Restrictions on abortion medication lifted for health practitioners
    Abortion services can now be provided in primary care, meaning people can access this care from someone like their trusted GP and in a familiar setting, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “By lifting some restrictions on the funded medications used for early medical abortions, more health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record day for Māori vaccinations
    More than 10,000 vaccinations were administered to Māori yesterday, the highest number in the vaccine campaign so far, Associate Minister of Health (Maori Health) Peeni Henare announced. There were 10,145 doses administered across the motu yesterday this is almost equivalent to the population of Hāwera. The doses are made up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on Joint Cooperation in Agriculture between Ireland and New Zealand
    8 October 2021 - Dublin, Ireland Agriculture plays an important role in the economic, social, environmental, and cultural wellbeing of Ireland and New Zealand. We are focused on increasing the productivity, inclusivity, and resilience of our respective primary sectors. As agri-food exporting nations, we also share a commitment to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Northland to move to Alert Level 3 tonight
    Northland will move to Alert Level 3 restrictions from 11:59pm tonight following recent information on the risk presented by the positive case initially tested in Whangarei earlier this week and confirmed in Auckland yesterday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. The person is now in an Auckland Managed Isolation Quarantine ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister's Christmas Card Competition
    It’s that time of year again! If you’d like to help design the Prime Minister’s official Christmas card, here’s how to take part: Draw, paint, sketch or craft an image you’d like to see on the front of this year’s Christmas card. It can be anything you want – a traditional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech : Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ruapehu social housing pilot, providing value for generations to come
    Housing Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods today announced the development of six social housing units funded by the Government’s Covid response infrastructure fund, to help work toward resolving Ruapehu's lack of social housing. “The Crown’s investment of $2.1 million in this project will provide value to the community for generations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Children’s Commissioner Appointed
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced  Judge Frances Eivers’ appointment as the new Children’s Commissioner. Judge Eivers, who is currently a District Court Judge in Manukau, will take up the role on 1 November 2021. She has been appointed for two years. The Children’s Commissioner is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for business available from today
    The third round of the Resurgence Support Payment opened for applications this morning. “The RSP helps businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. It provides cashflow to businesses and supports them to pay their bills while the country is at Alert Level 2 or above,” Grant Robertson said. “The ...
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    1 week ago
  • Compelling case made for modernising local government
    Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the interim report on the Future for Local Government Review.  “Our system of local democracy and governance needs to evolve to be fit for the future. New Zealand is changing and growing, and there are some significant challenges presenting not only now with ...
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    1 week ago