Brownlee destroys a free market choice. Shut Whirinaki to get it back.

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, December 10th, 2009 - 26 comments
Categories: energy - Tags: , ,

From the Meridian Energy web site.

Meridian Energy Limited has confirmed it has suspended offering new Renewable Energy Notes under the investment statement dated 29 October 2009 following the decision from the Ministerial Review into the Electricity Market to transfer ownership of two of its South Island hydro stations to its sister SOE Genesis.

Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee today announced that the Tekapo A and Tekapo B hydro stations – the first two of the eight-station chain operated by Meridian on the Waitaki – will transfer to Genesis.

Meridian has ceased to accept all new applications for the Notes and maturing Notes will be unable to be rolled over. Existing Notes are unaffected by this suspension.

The suspension will be in place while Meridian studies the detail of the announcement and considers the effect of the announcement on the offer documentation.

Brownlee, one of the major impediments to the operation of democracy in NZ, is now interfering with market signals. He says that the reason for this change is to increase competition by..

…the larger purpose of the reforms is to stimulate more retail electricity competition in the North and South Islands by giving the state-owned power companies a greater mix of northern and southern assets.

He also makes it clear that he doesn’t like Meridian Energy, apparently because they don’t pay him enough of a dividend. This is unadulterated crap.

In my opinion, the main reason that Brownlee doesn’t like the Meridian is because he is an advocate of using fossil-fuel powered stations.  He has made it quite clear over the years that he’d prefer the rapid introduction of polluting fossil fuel fired power stations for a quick unsustainable short-term fix. It appears he is too impatient or lazy to wait for the slower buildup of renewable energy.

The reason that Meridian Energy has been gaining customers in the North Island away from its base generation facilities is because it doesn’t use fossil fueled power stations. Lyn and I deliberately switched to Meridian Energy purely because it was the only way to encourage the generation of renewable energy.

We are relatively price insensitive about power (unlike DPF) and deliberately selected a company that was generating the types of power we wanted to encourage. The table over the page makes it clear what those power sources are. We are also keenly aware of, and understand (unlike DPF) the long-term costs of running fossil fuel power plants and are highly sensitive about paying for them. I understand the science. Lyn has been documenting the effects.

Brownlee has just arbitrarily interfered in our ‘free-market’ choices, which is a perfect example of the difference between the rhetoric of the NACT government and what it actually does. The NACT state is one of arbitrary nanny state decisions made for purely personal reasons – just look at Double Dipton..

The diesel-fired Whirinaki power station is the dirtiest and most expensive occasionally operating in the country. I think that Brownlee wants to remove the ability of customers to use market signals about the sources of power generation so he can get the more of his polluting fossil-fuel stations running. This is something that many environmentally aware customers do not want, and is why there has been the flood of customers to Meridian over the last few years.

We will shift away from Meridian Energy if they fire up that station. If Meridian wants to retain our account, then they should take this opportunity to decommission the Whirinaki  immediately. It fits the profile of their sunk money in their marketing campaigns. Such a strong statement of intent would probably win them more customers.

If this reduces the dividends to the government, then that is the price of Brownlee decisions, effectively from a result of a unexplained decision by its shareholders that directly undercuts the companies marketing. The shareholder should take the cost. Meridian should suspend all dividends and put the money into investing in the renewable projects that are shown over the page. If they need more generating capacity than they have, then they are big enough to ensure that they can purchase renewable power from other generators.

In other words Brownlee and the NACTs should get by on  a reduced income while we increase our renewable power sources.

In the meantime there is an opportunity for a broking power company to start up that only offers power generated from renewable energy sources. When someone can convince me that they have achieved it, we’ll switch our account if Whirinaki is still operational.

If anyone lives near Whirinaki power station, I’d be interested in getting a few people to observe if the station is turned on. This is for publicity reasons.

The clock is ticking for Meridian Energy.

From wikipedia

Operating

Meridian Energy operates nine hydroelectric power stations and three wind farms. It also operates the 230 kW Wellington Wind Turbine in Brooklyn, Wellington

Name   Type   Location   No. turbines   Max. capacity (MW)   Annual generation (average GWh)   Built Notes  
Aviemore Hydroelectric Waitaki River 4 220 942 1968
Benmore Hydroelectric Waitaki River 6 540 2215 1965
Manapouri Hydroelectric Lake Manapouri, Fiordland National Park 7 730 4800 1969
Ohau A Hydroelectric Waitaki River 4 264 1140 1979
Ohau B Hydroelectric Waitaki River 4 212 958 1983
Ohau C Hydroelectric Waitaki River 4 212 958 1985
Te Āpiti Wind Ruahine Ranges 55 91 320 2004
Tekapo A Hydroelectric Waitaki River 1 26 160 1951
Tekapo B Hydroelectric Waitaki River 2 160 833 1977
Waitaki Hydroelectric Waitaki River 7 105 496 1934
West Wind Wind west of Wellington 15 34 2009 Under construction
15 turbines currently generating, full wind farm (62 turbines, 143 MW) due for completion late 2009[10]
White Hill Wind near Mossburn, Southland 29 58 230 2007

Proposed

Projects being developed by Meridian Energy include the following [11].

Meridian Energy Development Projects
Name Type Capacity Location Status
Project Gumfields Wind near Ahipara, Northland
Rototuna Wind 500 MW Northland west coast
Te Uku Wind 84 MW near Raglan, Waikato
Mohaka Hydro 44 MW Mohaka River, south of Wairoa
Project Central Wind Wind 130 MW between Waiouru and Taihape, North Island
Martinborough[12] Wind 8km SE of Martinborough
Mill Creek Wind 71 MW Ohariu Valley, north-west of Wellington
West Wind Wind 143 MW west of Wellington Under construction
Completion due late 2009
Mokihinui Hydro 60 MW Mokihinui, north of Westport
North Bank tunnel Hydro 280 MW on the Waitaki River water rights granted 2009
Hunter Downs Irrigation Waitaki River, South Canterbury
Project Hayes Wind 630 MW central Otago
Ross Island Wind Energy[13] Wind 1 MW Ross Island, Antarctica
Manapouri amended discharge project Hydro


26 comments on “Brownlee destroys a free market choice. Shut Whirinaki to get it back.”

  1. ieuan 1

    The whole Meridian renewable energy thing is a total have.

    They own the ‘Dunedin Energy Centre’ which uses fossil fuels to provide steam to the local hospital board. To get around the ‘renewable energy’ issue they just created a new company (Energy for Industry) which they own.

    You never had a ‘free market choice’ you just bought into some clever marketing.

    • lprent 1.1

      So? That generation doesn’t generate electricity.

      Basically you are as full of crap as Brownlee. If you read the post then you will realize I was talking about the power I consume. Not the steam that is in Dunedin.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1

        Im sure you realise the energy doesnt come from the South Island to your Auckland Home? no matter who your ‘generator’ is. Most likely due to supply constraints it doesnt get past Stratford. And yes Whirinaki , when it gets fired up may be the difference between blackouts for the central north Island, does that come into your choice

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          Sure I realize that. So what?

          Read the post with more care. What I said was that I was interested in supporting the generation of power from renewables. Therefore we picked a company that only generates from renewables. This is our choice. Not yours.

          Whirinaki has now been shifted to a company that really cannot afford to use it and keep its customers. I’m expecting it to not get fired up. There is no way that Meridian would have brought or built that generating plant.

          This violates the logic of having a free market in electricity generation and supply. So I guess you should talk to Brownlee if the power gets cut. He is the person screwing with the ‘free’-market.

          Incidentially, you realise that you’re really arguing on the basis of a single state enterprise. Perhaps you should think through your logic more clearly.

          • ieuan 1.1.1.1.1

            But you really don’t have a choice you are just buying into marketing!

            Your electricity may be ‘supplied’ by Meridian but in reality it is generated by another company (probably from fossil fuels) with Meridian adding a margin so they can afford all those expensive TV ads that show flowers floating down rivers.

            • lprent 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Point to anywhere that Meridian generates electricity from non-renewable sources. I checked it pretty thoroughly before I switched

              As I said before – you are full of crap. Why don’t you try and say something of interest. I know that you can – I’ve seen you do it before.

              Sitting here generating spin lines is just pathetic bullshit. Are you proud of yourself doing it?

              Brought to you from the same source as Paul Henrys alleged ‘humor’

            • Clarke 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Buying certified carbon-neutral electricity from Meridian does not result in magic non-carboinised electrons whizzing out of your electrical sockets, as anyone with a basic understanding of Third Form physics knows. However it does send an important market signal.

              Market signals are a mechanism for consumers to indicate their preferences to suppliers, and are an essential part of a functioning capitalist economy – and clearly, something that Brownlee doesn’t approve of.

              Or maybe Contact Energy simply paid the National Party a chunk of campaign contributions to stuff up Meridian’s increasingly successful marketing to the section of New Zealand that is intent on taking action over climate change … nothing would surprise me from a party that’s already given us Richard Worth. Melissa Lee and Double Dipton.

          • ben 1.1.1.1.2

            Lyn, this last comment contains almost no personal insults. Please try harder.

            • lprent 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Ummm I will try harder. I’m trying to emulate the basic stupidity level of the Paul Henry ‘humor’

              You do seem to have some comprehension issues though. Lyn hasn’t commented on the site in a long time. She is too busy with the doco. I do comment frequently and wrote the comment that you’re replying to – but my name is Lynn.

              BTW: Have you been giving some pretty lousy ‘science’ to that credulous poster over at KiwiBlog. 1.5C is the maximum that CO2 can increase the average tempature? From what ppms to what ppms? Even you must be aware of how stupid that statement sounds to anyone that knows what they are talking about.

              I notice that he was somewhat light on linking his assertions…

  2. Peter Wilson 2

    Yes, Meridian do own the Dunedin Energy Centre – it’s a “business unit” of Meridian Energy, but doesn’t produce retail electricity. When Meridian got certified as carbon neutral, this information was fully available to the certifiers, but it didn’t seem to worry them.

    I actually think the Dunedin Energy Centre is a good use of a non-renewable resource. The thing was built by the hospital board in the 1960s, and was under-utilised. It now supplies steam to Cadbury Confectionary, Taylors Cleaning, a fair percentage of Otago University, as well as the hospital.

    District heating schemes like this are common in Europe, and whilst still dirty (Meridian did clean up the emissions somewhat recently in an upgrade), it’s a better use than individual boilers at each installation.

  3. jen 3

    The huge lignite deposits in Southland and the Great South Basin oil fields might be making fossil fuels a particularly attractive proposition at this point. Especially for those who don’t really believe that climate change is a dangerous reality or who do, but think they’ll be dead by the time it gets really bad. I don’t know but I wonder whether the Nacts intentions in relation to these potential energy sources are why they are happy to step back from claiming to be climate changes leaders ( not that we ever were in any real sense). I suspect that where there is big money to be made it won’t matter whether its from fossil fuel. Maybe the thinking is that NZ will be so rich from its oil that it will be able to afford to pay whatever it costs to continue to emit. Hence their careless abandon about committing to pay billions of dollars compensating emitters . Just a crazy thought….

    • Peter Wilson 3.1

      The tories equate energy with progress and living standards, and take such a shallow view of the public that they think they will be rewarded if the coal and oil they dig up gives people a few more gadgets and lower fuel prices and thus allows them to believe that they are getting “ahead”.

      Their whole world-view is based around ever expanding energy supplies, so, they will probably stop at nothing to fulfil this. Of course, geology doesn’t work that way, and as geology hits up against ideology, the debate will probably get ever more shrill as people cry out for “solutions”.

      I don’t know what way the public of New Zealand will jump. Will it be preserving happy motoring at all costs, or will other movements and ideas slowly take force.

    • lprent 3.2

      The oil and natural gas fields around NZ are too fragmented and small to ever be more than a very high cost short-term resource.

      While we have a lot of coal. So does virtually every other country. Most have more accessible coal fields than we do. Why import apart from specialized uses like making steel, when you can develop your own fields.

      However we have a major agricultural export industry that will affected badly by losing its major marketing tool offshore to sell into higher return markets by pushing the clean image.

      • ben 3.2.1

        The oil and natural gas fields around NZ are too fragmented and small to ever be more than a very high cost short-term resource.

        I don’t know why multinationals are sinking millions in searching anyway – Lyn ALREADY KNOWS THE ANSWER.

        Talk is cheap. I’ll trust their millions over your opinion any day.

        • lprent 3.2.1.1

          Read insder below. They are interested in supplying the local gas market, not exporting – that was what jen was suggesting, and what I answered.

          You really do have comprehension issues. You have me concerned now. Is it a reading deficit? Or perhaps you should do some basic business courses as well as learning some basic science

    • Rob 3.3

      Even if climate change is false I have to say I still wouldn’t want coal/oil plants anywhere near when I was living. Perfectly happy to have any of the renewable methods though since they don’t pump out nearly as much poison.

  4. Peter Wilson 4

    Lynne – that’s a good summation of Whirinaki. If you like geekery, as I believe you do, Transpower are currently required to publicly notify whenever Whirinaki is turned on as per the Electricity Regulations. Lots of detail here – http://www.systemoperator.co.nz. It basically has to be a Grid Emergency (i.e. not enough generation in the North Island) before it can be turned on. If Whirinaki can’t be turned on then the only remaining step is to fire up Pole 1 of the HVDC (commonly known as the Cook Strait cable) before things start turning off.

    What is interesting is that there is no business logic in handing Whirinaki to Meridian *unless* the rules governing its usage are going to change. I mean, why hand a station that barely runs to a major electricity company unless it’s been tacitly acknowledged that they will be able to run it whenever they like?

    • lprent 4.1

      Yeah, that is what I suspect as well. However I also suspect from the tone of the statement at the top of the post that Meridian are as unhappy about it as I am.

      It destroys the marketing theme that they have setup for many years.

      This plus the way that Brownlee was hiding decisions in the energy field from Fitzsimmons make me think that this is pretty much Brownlee. I suspect that it is largely for the reasons I’m attributing to him.

      I suspect that ripping renewable capacity from Meridian and giving it a fossil plant has far more to do with Brownlee wanting to destroy a market in renewables for ideological reasons than for any rational reason. He has given the capacity (and income) to Genesis because he figures that they are more likely to do what he wants than Meridian.

      Basically Brownlee has all of the hallmarks of being a petty small-minded and pretty incompetent autocrat. Just look at how he mismanages the house.

      • Peter Wilson 4.1.1

        I’d like to think people would wake up, but then again we had another National politician with no small resemblance who behaved like that for 9 long years, and lost power in a snap election…

        The Greens should be seriously ruing their decision to work with this government on any matters. I don’t know which leader thought up that strategy, but right now, it doesn’t look good…

  5. Seems to be a ridiculous thing for the Government to do, given the Meridian ‘green’ image. I will be making a submission on the bill as it comes to the Select Committee phase, and urge others to do the same – this ‘shake up’ has the potential to ruin any consumer choice in the market towards renewable generation.

    I am a Meridian customer for their renewable image, and hope not to see the Whirinaki station turned on!

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    The NACTS proving, again, that they shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near government because they make bad, ideological, decisions.

  7. ieuan 7

    There is a suggestion in the Christchurch Press that Meridian might move Whirinaki to the top of the South Island, this would help with dry years when the hydro dams are empty and South Island power is being supplied from the North. This would also help reduce the load on the Cook Strait link, meaning a costly upgrade might be avoided.

    • lprent 7.1

      Link?
      The rationale seems somewhat unlikely considering that (wikipedia)

      In New Zealand the company owns and operates nine hydroelectric generating stations in the South Island: eight on the Waitaki River, and the country’s largest hydroelectric station – Manapouri Power Station – on Lake Manapouri. Meridian sells power to approximately 183,000 customers[6], primarily in the South Island.

      The rationale for giving the south island dams to the north island polluting generators is to allow them to access the south island markets more easily.

      The converse rationale (unlikely as it seems) is that giving a north island power station to Meridian would allow it service a north island market. Moving the plant to the south island would seem to really be somewhat daft.

      It is better to just decommission the plant. That would be cheaper for Meridian than moving it and using it.

      I think that the ChCh Press is simply blowing smoke or being hopeful.

  8. insder 8

    A few things

    Firstly Whirinaki, it is not the dirtiest power station in NZ. It is basically a jet engine and there are hundreds of them around on planes mainly but also ships. I doubt it is ‘dirtier’ than Huntly or Clandyboye or DEC or any other coal powered generation. It is bound to be a lot cleaner than most diesel standby generators. It may even be more efficient than SOuthdown gas plant (I’m sure the info is available). It IS expensive because diesel is expensive and because it hardly ever runs so needs to make a lot when it does run to cover its costs.

    The System Operator does not control Whirinaki, so quite why you raise their role in. It mainly doesn’t operate at all. WHen it does come on it does so mainly due to sustained high prices which are set out in its operating policy and everyone knows what those boundaries are. Grid emergencies are quite different and I’m not sure it has been used much if at all for that. They are primarily very short term events due to system failure, and if other cheaper generation is available then it probably wouldn’t be dispatched. One of the criticisms of Whrinaki is it is poorly placed to do its job as a reserve station because it is not on main grid links or close to major load centres.

    MED regularly produces data on its operation. In six years of existence it has been on for signficant periods only twice, one being for a large chunk of winter 08. Most years it has run for a few hours testing.

    Pole 1 has been gradually being put into service more and more. Surprising really given Transpower said it was so dangerous to operate… It’s arbitrary closure was a major issue in 08. If it had been operating normally there would have been far fewer problems. Transpower has never been fully held accountable for that disgraceful decision.

    Lynne – Meridian has been losing customers this year. Not quite sure where all these people changing to it are. Powershop’s gains has basically balanced out Meridian’s losses. Not a great return on their multimillion dollar launch.

    As for DEC, try finding any mention of it on Meridian’s website or annual report. Shows how they try to hide their involvement in it. I think they also run a couple of similar plants at dairy factories or wood processors. They run all the time so probably produce more of a footprint than Whirinaki.

    It has never been strong in the NI because it would be too exposed to risk as all its generation was in the SOuth, with a large chunk dedicated to Comalco. That’s one of the reasons it has been given a NI power station and also being forced into a hedge with Genesis. The other is that Meridian wasted water during the 08 dry winter and put the system at risk, and that is because it had no incentive to hedge and think beyoind its own needs. I think this asset swap is to broaden perspectives and risk to encourage a bit more attention to market risk as a whole.

    The other reason is to try and get more integration of Whirinaki into the power system so that the risk is spread and cost reduced. At present all the power companies sit back and wait for the govt to act and bail them out, while they also benefit from high wholesale prices that result. (Sounds like banking…. ) So I think you are being a wee bit paranoid in your assumptions.

    On gas fields, ironically it would be cheaper for NZ to continue to find relatively small fields. Large fields would end up being priced up to LNG and we would have to compete against Japanese and Chinese buyers for it. Small fields are captive to domestic demand and the cost of alternative local generation. They may be slightly more expensive to develop but would find it hard to charge a premium.

    That said, I totally agree on your conclusions re Brownlee. NAsty piece of work totally captured by Transpower (a monopoly – who trusts them?) and the power industry. One of the ironies no-one seems to have noticed is that for all his bluster about competition, Brownlee is actually handing more control of the industry to the powercos and monopolies. If they couldn’t be trusted before to get a decent market going, why give them even more power?

    PS moving Whiri to Chch is a genuine issue. Been around for years. Orion has plans for such a plant

    • lprent 8.1

      It is basically a jet engine and there are hundreds of them around on planes mainly but also ships.

      Yeah. That is one of the main reasons that I don’t bother flying. The others are
      1. I hate being packed in an airborne cattle truck
      2. Why have the net if you don’t use it?

      I really have no problems with having an emergency generator. The location of it (from what I understand) is to do with the fact that it is off the main power trunks. Specifically if there is an major earthquake or volcanic event in the central NI or taranaki. That was raised back in the 80’s as an issue for civil defense when I was interested in that.

      I just don’t want it in the generating portfolio of my power company. In fact I don’t think it should be in ANY power companies portfolio. It should be held and operated by the state emergency services like civil defense or the army. It’d be a real pain if it didn’t have full tanks when it was really needed.

      The steam plant stuff I’m unconcerned about. I don’t buy steam.

      Lynne Meridian has been losing customers this year. Not quite sure where all these people changing to it are. Powershop’s gains has basically balanced out Meridian’s losses. Not a great return on their multimillion dollar launch.

      It is Lynn. Meridian have been moving themselves from being a local (ie south island) company to being the first fully NZ based company. You have to look at where they are losing and gaining customers rather than the total numbers. You also have to look at what type of customers they are chasing (ie getting a higher return). Powershop has a pretty small customer base, largely made up of the price sensitive. I’m not.

      On gas fields, ironically it would be cheaper for NZ to continue to find relatively small fields.

      I’d agree. But jen was suggesting them for export. Our fields just aren’t suited for it.

  9. BLiP 9

    National Ltd® and their pet goons in ACT seems to be feasting when it comes to legislating to tilt the “market” in favour of its big business interests at the expense of the public it is supposed to be serving.

    Remember Wodney Hide and his call for more and more referenda to drive local body politicis? Well, this week the government has legislated to remove provisions for a referendum in the case of Auckland City selling its shares in Ports Of Auckland.

    While this new and stunning hypocrisy is progressing through the legislative process, another wee tweak, this time an unnecessary move to hobble the Takeovers Panel to prevent any problems resulting in the sale of shares in Auckland Airport.

    Thanks National Ltd®, I’m lovin’ it.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    10 hours ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    20 hours ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    20 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    1 day ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.