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Silencing scientists integral to National’s anti-science DNA

Written By: - Date published: 1:34 pm, May 11th, 2016 - 40 comments
Categories: climate change, science - Tags: , , , ,

muzzledA new book, Silencing Science, by one of New Zealand’s leading scientists, Shaun Hendy, detailing how this government muzzles scientists, is just one chromosome of this government’s anti-science DNA.

At the heart of this stance is this government’s refusal, or at best, extreme reluctance, to accept the science of climate change, or that of the pollution of our land and water by over-intense dairy farming, mainly because of vested interests representing farming within the National Party.

In his valedictory speech last year, former Green Party Co-leader, Russel Norman, labelled John Key a climate denier, but actually probably at bottom he accepts scientific truths, it’s just that he is so unprincipled, he is prepared to deny them for money and politics.

The supreme irony is that the National Party claims to represent business and capitalism, but virtually every creditable pundit, including some within National, recognises that the only way New Zealand will maintain a reasonable living standard is by investing in science and innovation, rather than its current reliance on commodities, such as milk powder and logs.

National has stifled business-led innovation via a multitude of methods, but mainly through its tried and true technique to cutting spending which it has honed in education, health and welfare.

National unwisely revealed in 2014 plans to cut the overall research investment in real terms by 10.2 percent over the following three years, and by 21 percent out to 2023/24, according to page 18 of the 2014 Draft National Statement of Science Investment. However, because people have cottoned on to this dire proposed cut, the government has since stopped including science spending forecasts. Another muzzling.

New Zealand already spends under half of the OECD average on Research & Development.

Hendy, director of Te Pūnaha Matatini, a centre of research excellence and Physics Professor of Auckland University, in conjunction with the late Paul Callaghan, of the Callaghan Institute fame, has expressed views in a previous book, Get off the Grass: Kickstarting New Zealand’s Innovation Economy, about the country’s wrong direction for science spending.

The book’s title, in itself a succinct criticism of National’s policies of our reliance on dairying and failure to meaningfully address climate change, argues the income gap between New Zealand and Australia and other economies is caused by a “knowledge gap” marked by our relatively low output of patented intellectual property (IP). That could be put right by more and better directed government spending on R&D.

As well, it argues, this government’s directive to have science more directed towards applied applications – ie business – has been inappropriately biased towards our traditional land-based activities – especially agriculture – instead of focusing on developing IT and other advanced manufacturing and service activities. We should be “exporting knowledge, not nature”.

In his latest book, Silencing Science, he felt the need to go to print because scientists are being cut out of public debate, not necessarily by direct actions, but often indirectly, often with severe consequences.

Hendy, a former president of the Association of Scientists, said, increasingly, scientists have commercial contracts with government that put constraints on what they can say publicly.

He told Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand’s Nine-to-noon that in a crisis it can be a disastrous constraint, as it was in the 2013 Fonterra botulism scare, when the company’s milk products manager, Gary Ramano, got the science “horribly wrong” by saying that botulism could be in the company’s products.

Fonterra, notorious for its controlling and incompetent PR, stopped a scientist from fronting the media and paid severe consequences, which had spinoff effects for New Zealand’s reputation and for other businesses.

Hendy notes that the government has signed many leading scientists to advisory bodies for such as the Cabinet and their contracts constrain what they can say in public. Hendy said some had told them they were muzzled during the botulism crisis.

Prior to this government, we would have had a Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries scientist fronting the issue.

“It’s gone too far. The spin and message control has got stronger. They are less willing to put scientists out there to talk to the public because of the inability to control the message” Hendy said.

Scientists should be able to work for a government department and talk to the public on the basis of their expertise, he said.

As well, self censorship has become a major factor since so much science funding comes via competitive tendering and is often short-term and therefore insecure.

“I have been asked over and over again whether I am afraid of losing my funding for putting this book out there.”

“You definitely hear from people in the scientific community being told to pull their ears in, particularly ahead of the Budget,” he said. “There is a sense that our science funding, particularly for the government, is linked to our good behaviour as scientists.”

‘We are nervous. We have all heard stories of people losing their funding – so we self censor.”

Hendy has proposed the establishment of a Parliamentary Commissioner for Science to ensure scientific advice gets out to the public.

Scientist, Nick Lambrechtsen, in a letter in today’s Dominion Post, supports the idea of such an independent body to counter “the suppression of scientific information and the spreading of misinformation by corporate lobbyists.”

“It would be nice to see the present government establish such a body to complement the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, but it probably awaits a change of government,” he wrote.

Look for more flannel on science spending and innovation in this month’s Budget, but check out inflation-adjusted spending.

(Simon Louisson formerly worked for The Wall Street Journal, NZPA, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and was most recently a political and media adviser to the Green Party)

 

40 comments on “Silencing scientists integral to National’s anti-science DNA ”

  1. joe90 1

    Eighteen long months…

    Nine years of censorship

    Canadian scientists are now allowed to speak out about their work — and the government policy that had restricted communications.

    […]

    Set to silence

    The crackdown on government scientists in Canada began in 2006, after Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party was elected prime minister. During the nine-year Harper administration, the government placed a priority on boosting the economy, in part by stimulating development and increasing the extraction of resources, such as petroleum from the oil sands in Alberta. To speed projects along, the administration eased environmental regulations. And when journalists sought out government scientists to ask about the impacts of such changes, or anything to do with environmental or climate science, they ran into roadblocks.

    http://www.nature.com/news/nine-years-of-censorship-1.19842

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Scientists should be able to work for a government department and talk to the public on the basis of their expertise, he said.

    Not only should they be able to it should be their duty to do so. The government should not have PR departments.

    As well, self censorship has become a major factor since so much science funding comes via competitive tendering and is often short-term and therefore insecure.

    The exact opposite of what’s needed. In fact, Mariana Mazzucato makes the point in The Entrepreneurial State one of the major reasons that the US technology sector took off so well was because of the secure decades long funding that the US Federal government provided to both public and private research. A hell of a lot of tech simply would not exist without that funding and a hell of a lot of tech companies both in and outside the US wouldn’t either (Most US research funding comes with the requirement of the research being public domain afterwards).

    It is essential that scientists be able to speak their minds to the public.

  3. DFool 3

    Its not just that the Government of the day might not like the message that the scientists bring on the big issues of the day for ideological or budgetary reasons, its that any unanticipated and unconstrained engagement with scientists and researchers brings costs upfront (unbudgeted for staff hours dealing with research applications, communications, consultation etc) and can potentially have financial ramifications down the line outside the scope of application/research and not at all the responsibility of the researcher to worry about, but nevertheless present in the minds of management. Alot of it is mid-level butt-and-budget covering.

    I have currently hit a brick wall with an agency I am dealing with, with regards to a permitting issue. Its not that the benefits of the research arent obvious, or that there are any direct costs for the organisation involved, or that they arent interested or individually supported. In fact, its a project that has been indicated in strategic documents for 30 years and which key stakeholders strongly support.

    Its just mostly that they arent budgeted to deal with me in any meaningful manner (meetings, phone calls, site visits, coffee and biscuits do add up) and are already stretched and pulled in so many other areas. They are also worried about my findings introducing additional albeit relatively minor operating costs in the great scheme of things or public pressure to do spend likewise (again, maybe a few tens of thousands of additional costs, in an organisation with a budget of several hundred million).

    • True that? Interesting. I appreciate this insight

      • DFool 3.1.1

        Mid-career PhD student, externally funded, working in a research area I was involved with in a previous job, excellent support from external stakeholders, nationally and potentially internationally significant findings, no problem with existing permits etc and the possibility/ramifications of my findings were indicated in the original research strategy submitted to the permitting authority in 2012. Hit a road block a year ago when I found what I had always indicated I might find. Havent managed to get thigns back on track yet and a bit burned out/bummed out by it all to be honest.

  4. greywarshark 4

    The only things that politicians want you to know, is what they want you to know today.
    And today NASA has found 100 new stars or something. Isn’t that great. NASA is opening a small office handling real estate futures, and options. /sarc

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/303567/more-than-100-earth-sized-planets-discovered
    It has also detected nine small planets within the so-called habitable zone, where conditions are favourable for liquid water – and potentially life.
    The finds are contained within a catalogue of 1284 new planets detected by Kepler – which more than doubles the previous tally.

    Homer Simpson and his contribution to space science.
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8j0WNUayx3U

    Also demonstrating science for us everyday Joes.
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_-Ih9vVJOs

  5. Yes I read this with interest in the Dom Post the other day. As a budding, wannabe scientist (currently serving my research apprenticeship, which I should really get back to instead of this foray into NZ’s political scene) who hopes to make a career in NZ, these issues are relevant to me and should be to us all. Naively, I’ve always thought that NZ should pursue something like a knowledge economy; our exports should be based on innovation and tech. That’s the stuff we should be selling to the rest of the world. We are too far away to do much else. We should be telling the world how to do everything smarter and better, more efficiently and with clean tech. And leading by example. Collecting on those fat royalties. Or something…

    Well that was my ignorant vision. Anyways, yes, Govt. needs to get with the program and up the R&D. Silencing science actually ends up affecting the bottom line (e.g. Fonterra botulism thing) so why perpetuate such inefficiency?

    • lprent 5.1

      our exports should be based on innovation and tech.

      It is there. Takes quite a while to build up.

      I have been a programmer who specialises in being employed by companies who export more than 90% of their sales. When I started exclusively doing that in 1995, it was a real pain. No capital and really hard to find people with relevant skills and damn hard to access our markets. These days it is just hard to find enough skilled people to cope with the growth of being small niche market players in a global market.

      But as much as I hate to say it, my dreams of doing it rural have evaporated. You need too many support companies, specialised contractors, and an ability to easily shift jobs. In short you need Auckland.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Mike Joy water scientist has received close attention from NZ gummint, mostly trying to shut him up. Ecologists keep presenting unpleasant scenarios and statistics and budgets.

    Controversial dam likely to go ahead (Ruataniwha Dam Hawkes Bay) 27 April 2016
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/302482/controversial-dam-likely-to-go-ahead
    The cost of the project recently jumped 50 percent to over $900 million…
    Meanwhile, Greenpeace has urged Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to ditch the dam for the sake of the environment and the economy….

    Irrigation New Zealand chief executive Andrew Curtis said a range of farms – including sheep and beef, cropping and about 20 percent dairy – would be irrigated….
    Investors still need to be secured too, but he understood ACC was in the mix and he was now 95 percent certain the dam would be built.

    Green Party…”But it’s still a very fragile project, because what they’re doing is they’re relying on, not only on the $80 million from ratepayers in the region, but also on investors such as ACC.”
    Massey University water quality scientist Mike Joy was almost lost for words when told enough farmers had signed up.
    “Well I’m just staggered, I can’t believe it. We know that 80 percent of dairy farmers are having to borrow just to stay in business given the price of milk at the moment,

    On Mike Joy
    http://www.listener.co.nz/current-affairs/ecologic/river-stance/

    Water quality around NZ
    Faecal contamination in Christchurch waterways. Duck this one. Dec 2015
    Frightful levels of E coli in Heathcote River April 2016
    http://www.waterquality.org.nz/

    • Ad 6.1

      We’re going to need more water storage on New Zealand’s east coasts, with or without more dairy farming.

  7. There is also the problem, that people as a rule do not want to hear the truth, show them this website, http://guymcpherson.com/ and you get shot down in flames.
    Suggest that not adding to the problem by stopping human reproduction is an absolute no no, can’t mention http://www.vhemt.org no no no.
    Even on this site you are told not to comment if your ‘truth’ doesn’t match the uninformed norm.
    And to try and convince 2.6 million KiwiSavers, that they are just pissing their money away on bullshit dreams, that can only be realized with the even faster destruction of the atmosphere (which I don’t think we can actually do, as it is sooo fucked now) is another social no no.
    So just because a few paid to keep their mouths shut so called scientists don’t have at least the guts Guy McPherson had, then who is to blame??
    What do they want a guaranteed pension plan, on another planet? Because that is about all there is worth protecting, as anything on this planet will be short lived, so maybe the scientists are in cloud cuckoo land as well?
    ‘Thin Ice’ thiniceclimate.org , was an opportunity to come out with a bit of truth, instead of a play for more funding?? To see what? How it is impossible to change anything?
    You only have to look at the CO2 graph on the right of this page, that shit isn’t going away, if there was no ice, humans would have been long gone, and you don’t need a BSC to work it out.
    bla bla bla

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      The funniest thing is this 0.01% wealthy class who have taken all this trouble to steal and hide all these $$$ in tax havens around the world, impoverishing their own countries peoples and degrading their own countries infrastructure and resiliency in the process.

      And when shit goes down hard, which I am picking will happen in <40 years, all those $$$ will be even more worthless than they are now.

      • Robert Atack 7.1.1

        It is kind of a good thing, that all that ‘spending’ is locked away.
        Like isn’t it better for 1 person to drive a $200,000 car, than it is 20 people driving 20 cars?
        Sorry this is kind of a rightwing view I guess, but the more even the money is distributed the more TV,cars, and alas children there would be.
        It sucks I know.
        Like the BS ideas of everyone living in a warm house, just wait and the whole planet might be at a uniformed 20C ? To heat the living space of every human! wow! nuclear power plants for Africa.
        I’m reasonably confident the environment (well the human friendly one) hasn’t 40 years left (4 maybe), but I think we would agree the exponential growth industry can’t run much longer.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          I think 4 years before it goes seriously upside down is a bit pessimistic…but who knows…I’d be happy to split the difference at 22 years though…2038.

          By then I think it will be apparent to all even the ultra elite that hell is sliding down the pike in a big way.

          Unfortunately at that stage it will be like trying to pull the parachute rip cord 100m above the ground.

      • greywarshark 7.1.2

        Perhaps the play to perform this year is The Admirable Crichton where an aristocratic family become isolated on an island and the butler is the only person with practical survival abilities and the ability to organise and lead the group. Possession of money is of no use, nor societal position, practical qualities and psychological aptitude are the ultimate requirements.

        First performed in 1902 when class was all in Britain. Now it is back again, growing exponentially with the new nouveau riche, it is the theme for the present.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.2.1

          Oh very nice I knew nothing about this play…thanks for the pointer, GWS.

        • Jilly Bee 7.1.2.2

          Oh yes, I remember that film many a long year ago, but was too young to really get the message – Kenneth More was the butler.

    • weka 7.2

      “There is also the problem, that people as a rule do not want to hear the truth, show them this website, http://guymcpherson.com/ and you get shot down in flames.”

      It probably would have helped a lot if Mcpherson hadn’t misrepresented his opinions as fact.

      • Robert Atack 7.2.1

        Oh, so the graph up on the right is just an opinion?
        The Indians baking, Canadians burning, and the millions facing starvation due to crop failure, oh and the pacific island sinking into the oceans, and the extinction event on the coral reefs, all opinion?
        All good then.
        Must go and register for the greens KiwiSaver scheme.

        • weka 7.2.1.2

          That Mcpherson, or anyone, can tell the truth sometimes doesn’t mean that other times they’re can’t be misleading. I’d have considerably less problem with his work if he was honest about where he is talking opinion. Instead he claims as fact that we are going extinct, and that it’s too late for the world. But he doesn’t actually know that. No-one does.

          And because tonight you seem to be at your very lowest powers of argument, I will point out that what I just said in no way precludes talking about how serious climate change is. All my criticisms about Mcpherson are based on wanting the situation to be taken seriously. You know this about me, so please don’t be disingenous.

          • Robert Atack 7.2.1.2.1

            Sorry Weka, but I think Guy does the math right, when you hear several so called qualified people making statements like we have done XYZ -10,000 times faster than the last big extinction event, and there is 50 million years or so of CH4 locked under the current fast sinking melt level, you have to come up with extinction. There are just too many positive feedbacks kicking in.
            409 ppm CO2 @ the north pole at the moment, 430 ish above parts of China.
            Any thoughts we might have of pulling ourselves away from this cliff edge, are a form of insanity, along the same lines as worshiping the invisable man in the sky.
            It is beyond our abilities to change the situation, supposedly (thanks scientists) the environment has gone up 6C within 10 years in the past, now if we are 10,000 times faster at getting to this point than before, couldn’t there be as drastic if not faster increase in global temperatures ? And didn’t ‘we’ go up .3c last year? March/March.
            Only time will tell I suppose.
            It is just our bad luck to be alive to watch it happening.

            • weka 7.2.1.2.1.1

              It’s pretty easy for me to make the arguments for keeping on trying. Not least, but not only, is that the analysis might be wrong. So it’s not insane to leave room for change, it’s actually the only sane thing to do. Even if the best we can do is prevent some other species from falling off the cliff, that is still a worthy thing to do.

              And thanks for prefacing that with “I think”. That’s all I’m asking. For people to acknowledge that we know things are very bad, but we don’t in fact know what is going to happen.

              • Colonial Viper

                It’s pretty easy for me to make the arguments for keeping on trying. Not least, but not only, is that the analysis might be wrong.

                Well, what about the deniers who say that there is no real problem, and who say that your analysis or Hanson’s analysis might be wrong.

                It’s absolutely the same argument, after all.

                I’ll tell you what I think is the most logical course ahead.

                That we get NZ and NZers ready for a world where 3-4 deg C temp rise with massive variability in the climate is the most likely scenario. And where access to fossil fuels (whether self imposed for climate reasons, or physically imposed by peak oil) is going to plummet around 25 years from now.

                NZ trying to cut a bit of CO2 output here or there will do nothing to change the trajectory the world is on, and will do nothing to get us ready for the nasty future currently coming down the pike.

                • weka

                  I think you’ve misunderstood. My objection isn’t to Mcpherson’s analysis. It’s that he claims it’s the one true way. He believes we are doomed but instead of presenting that as his opinion he says it as if it’s a fact. It’s not. The reason this is an issue is because the way he presents his analysis is likely to engender avoidance in a lot of people at the very time when it is absolutely critical that people engage and act. Why should someone give up their cost western lifestyle if it’s too late?

                  Yes denialists with influence who also present their view as fact are a problem, but I was specifically addressing the issue of McPherson. He holds sway in some critical parts of society that the denialists will no longer be reaching.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    McPherson touting that his own analysis and projections are but the one true way is a problem yes. But in fact its only a true problem if we are blind to that and become a pure McPherson adherent.

                    And even if you did, it doesn’t change the fact that his future scenarios need to be taken into account.

                    Personally I feel that there is a 5% or greater chance that he will be right. And if correct, that in itself demands a certain kind of attention and action.

                    • weka

                      “But in fact its only a true problem if we are blind to that and become a pure McPherson adherent.”

                      That is indeed part of the problem. I think it’s also a problem that he is engendering alarm and fear along with the message that it is too late. Most people (not the hardcore Mcpherson followers) are not going to respond to that by going yes we need to dig in and make radical change now. There is a whole bigger conversation around that that would be good to have some time. My main concern is the people who are aware of CC, just starting to get how serious it really is and who are looking for a path of action. The path Mcpherson prosposes is IMO not only wrong but deadly.

                      Personally I feel that there is a 5% or greater chance that he will be right. And if correct, that in itself demands a certain kind of attention and action.

                      And that’s certainly a framing I can get behind. We’re in serious danger of destroying everything, and we need to act now, and here are some of the things we can do…

                      (I’ll just repeat, I don’t think Mcpherson is necessarily wrong about extinction. I just think we don’t know yet and while there is a still a chance that we can avert that, we need to work towards that, not towards accepting our doom).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That is indeed part of the problem. I think it’s also a problem that he is engendering alarm and fear along with the message that it is too late.

                      To me it’s not a message about being “too late”. (Too late for what, by the way? I would say that we’re already too late for 2 deg C warming).

                      It’s a message around what is the most likely trajectory that we are on. It’s about realism not optimism. And getting ready for that.

              • Robert claims to disagree with Guy/NTHE, but it looks like he is coming around?
                robertscribbler / May 11, 2016
                Well, we passed the 400 ppm atmospheric average last year. This year there’s good odds that we will not see any one month below 400 ppm in the Mauna Loa average. After 2016, we will never see 400 ppm again without anything other than a miraculous change of heart among nations, a sudden halt to fossil fuel burning, a heroic effort in land management, a huge helping of amazing luck when it comes to carbon feedbacks, and some massive deployment of carbon absorbing materials. So yeah, unless we really change things now and we are very, very lucky, it’s by-by 400 ppm for our lifetime and for scores to hundreds to thousands of lifetimes to come. We’ve basically set the Earth on a path toward a rapid transition to another geological era. And the way we are doing it is unprecedented in all of the history of nature.

                • weka

                  So improbable but not technically impossible. I don’t really care how we save the planet if it gets done, so why would we want to shut the door on a Hail Mary pass? People who preach it’s too late are part of the problem because they are promoting inaction.

  8. Incognito 8

    The genial Sir Isaac Newton famously said “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.

    The collaborative spirit is particularly strong among scientists and pure curiosity is a strong driver & motivator for many. As such, neo-liberalism and free market ideology are often in direct conflict with the ideals of science and regularly clash with scientists.

    Unfortunately, the resulting increased selfishness and competition is not unique to the realm of science and scientists; other professions that strongly depend on collaboration are suffering from the same ill-effects.

  9. save nz 9

    Great post +100

  10. Incognito 10

    Last Sunday, before the release of his book, a very insightful Q & A interview by Jamie Morton with Shaun Hendy appeared in the NZ Herald Prominent scientist talks about Silencing Science.

    Interestingly, Steven Joyce was given an opportunity to respond and comment.

    Unsurprisingly, Hendy’s reasonable arguments fell on deaf ears:

    Mr Joyce also disagreed that a new independent parliamentary body representing science was warranted, saying this was what the political process was for.

    “There is never going to be a system where politics is subsumed, in these more politically controversial areas, to just a group of scientists having a strong view.

    “Because we have a political process and that’s democracy,” Mr Joyce said.

    “So, in my view, I don’t think there’s a need to keep adding additional arbiters simply because [Professor Hendy] is not getting the answers he wants.

    “Most people would say that just because a group of scientists want something to happen, doesn’t necessarily mean it should happen: it’s still subject to the political process.”

    Here it is clearly expressed by Joyce, for all of us to see and take note of: scientists are not supposed to have an independent voice and their messages need to be conveyed to the public (voters) through and by politicians (who happen to hold the purse strings and set policy & regulatory framework). The conduit for science communication (on ‘controversial’ issues) is not the (or any) media but politicians.

    Why are our Ministers so desperate to control data and flow of information? Why do they even pervert the spirit & workings of the OIA?

    In essence, Hendy’s argument is that scientists have a responsibility, an obligation, to directly communicate with the public, which, after all, pays for much of what scientists are doing. Similarly, the public is curious and demands answers to complex questions & problems that are free from spin and undue (political) influence.

    Yes, Joyce is right in the sense that ultimately decisions are political ones but his sub-text is again very clear: leave it to the politicians rather than the public. His reasoning is quite disingenuous and belittling – as if Hendy and scientists only want it their way and act like petulant little children if they get told “no” – and his ‘interpretation’ of the political process and democracy (in action) is certainly different from mine!

    • Simon Louisson 11.1

      Yes – very good

      • whateva next? 11.1.1

        Was the heavily promoted TVone”Kiwimeter-….What kind of Kiwi are you?” merely National’s free survey to continue being able to manipulate the message to suit the desires of the swing voters?

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    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    2 days ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    3 days ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    4 days ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    4 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    5 days ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
    Rebels In A Wrong Cause: The truly frightening thing about Jami-Lee Ross’s and Billy Te Kahika’s success in persuading thousands of New Zealanders that Covid-19 is just another trick, just another way of stealing away their power, is realising just how many of them once marched at the Left’s side. ...
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    5 days ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
    Media Statement For Immediate Release 10th September 2020 The income and wealth inequality lobby group, “Closing the Gap” thinks the Labour proposal a great start says Peter Malcolm, a spokesperson for the group. But they need to be aware of what many of the rich do and of what do ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
    ACT is pushing a "no-nonsense climate change plan". What does it involve? Repealing the Zero Carbon Act and Emissions Trading Scheme, reversing the fossil-fuel exploration ban, and allowing mining on conservation land. In other words, repealing any policy which might actually reduce emissions. Which is the very definition of nonsensical. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    5 days ago
  • A bill to criminalise wage theft
    Wage theft is a problem in New Zealand, with a widespread practice of forcing employees to work without pay, and regular cases of underpayment and exploitation. One reason why its such a widespread problem is impunity: rather than a crime, wage theft is merely a tort, dealt with by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: What the voting age debate tells us about our disconnected political media
    New Zealand’s media and online politics often reflect the values of liberal and progressive agendas. According to Liam Hehir, the current proposals to lower the voting age to 16 years – which the media overwhelming supports – is indicative of a wider mismatch with society, which is not good for ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Why Pay Taxes?
    My wife and I, through a combination of good luck and good management, have managed to retire in comfortable circumstances. We celebrate our good fortune by making relatively small but regular donations to a range of good causes – to rescue services like the rescue helicopters, St John’s Ambulance and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
    Jacques Raubenheimer, University of Sydney If we don’t analyse statistics for a living, it’s easy to be taken in by misinformation about COVID-19 statistics on social media, especially if we don’t have the right context. For instance, we may cherry pick statistics supporting our viewpoint and ignore statistics showing we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • More timid bullshit from Labour
    Over the weekend, Labour released its welfare policy: an increase in benefit abatement thresholds. And that's it. Faced with clear evidence of ongoing hardship among beneficiaries and a call from its on Welfare Expert Advisory Group to raise core benefits by between 12 percent and 47 percent, Labour's response is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Police Kill as Part of their Social Function
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (Bogota; 09/11/2020) The murder of Javier Ordoñez in the neighbourhood of Villa Luz in Bogotá, Colombia at the hands of two policemen brings to the fore the issue of police violence and its function in society. First of all we should be clear that we are ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report Animal populations have plunged an average of 68% ...
    6 days ago
  • The 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Ana...
    Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • The difference between Green and Labour: a tale of two Finance Ministers
    So the Greens co-leader James Shaw recently made a mistake. In his role as Associate Finance Minister approving funding for “shovel-ready” projects, he fought hard for a private “Green school” to get funding to expand their buildings and, therefore, their student capacity. There are many problems with what he did: ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – The missing election policy on free dental visits
    Over the last three years there have been growing calls for the government to provide dental services under the health system – universal free dental care. This is because at the moment there’s an anomaly in which teeth are regarded as different from the rest of the body which means ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #37
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 through Sat, Sep 12, 2020 Editor's Choice With California ablaze, Newsom blasts Trump administration for failing to fight climate change Trinity River Conservation Camp crew members drown ...
    7 days ago
  • Letter to the Editor
    Dear Sir, As we head into the run up to the upcoming election I feel it is my duty to draw your attention to the lack of fun we are currently forced to ensure by the Adern regime. In their efforts to keep the nation’s essential workers, health compromised people, ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Participating in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training
    It finally happened: about 13 years after first watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT) in 2007 when it became available in Germany, I recently completed the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training! Participating in this particular training had been on my to-do list for quite some time but it ...
    1 week ago
  • Dysfunctional Design
    Windows 95 is famous for requiring the shutting down the system by clicking ‘start, like stopping your car by turning the ignition key on. Why are so many interfaces so user-unfriendly? The Covid app to register your entering premises can be so clumsy. Sometimes I have signed in, sat down ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Can we trust the polls?
    Is the 2020 election result really the foregone conclusion that the polls and commentators are suggesting? Josh Van Veen suggests otherwise, pointing to some of the shortcomings of opinion polling, which could ready some politicians to say “bugger the pollsters” on election night.   In November 1993, opinion polls foretold ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • The UK wants climate action
    Back in 2019, six select committees of the UK Parliament established a Citizen's Assembly to investigate how to respond to climate change. The Assembly's deliberations were forced online by the pandemic, but it has finally reported back, and overwhelmingly supports strong action: Taxes that increase as people fly further ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • In the US, the End of Days.
    I am feeling a bit impish today and so for no particular reason I thought I would share this thought, which I first posted over on twitter: “Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, heatwaves, street protests, armed vigilante militias, a lethal pandemic and a corrupt authoritarian using the federal government for partisan and ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Government too slow in deploying military to assist with Covid-19 response, former defence minister ...
    Wayne Mapp (Photo: Tsmith.nz via Wikimedia) A former Minister of Defence says the government was too slow to involve the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in New Zealand’s response to Covid-19. But Wayne Mapp, a National MP from 1996-2011 who served as Minister of Defence for three ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Underwhelming
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Five things we know about COVID-19, and five we don’t
    Five things we’ve learnt 1. We know where the virus ultimately came from We know that the virus originally came from bats, and most probably a species of horseshoe bat in South East Asia. However, the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2, which allows the virus to attach to cells and infect ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Stewardship land is conservation land
    The Greens' greatest disappointment while in government this term has been the failure to implement a ban on mining on conservation land. Promised by Jacinda Ardern immediately after gaining power, it had long been assumed that the problem was NZ First (who have a long history of environmental vandalism). But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The price of Green co-operation just went up
    If they get into Parliament, everyone expects the Greens to form a coalition with Labour. But James Shaw has said that that might not be the case, and that they might instead choose to sit on the cross-benches: The Greens are prepared to forego a coalition or confidence and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Swimming with whales: you must know the risks and when it’s best to keep your distance
    Chantal Denise Pagel, Auckland University of Technology; Mark Orams, Auckland University of Technology, and Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology Three people were injured last month in separate humpback whale encounters off the Western Australia coast. The incidents happened during snorkelling tours on Ningaloo Reef when swimmers came too close ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Driving Out The Money-Changers Of Reactionary Christianity.
    Den Of Thieves: They describe themselves, and the money-making rackets they dignify with the name of church, “Christian”, but these ravening wolves are no such thing. The essence of the Christian faith is the giving of love – not the taking of money. It is about opening oneself to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Could academic streaming in New Zealand schools be on the way out? The evidence suggests it should b...
    David Pomeroy, University of Canterbury; Kay-Lee Jones, University of Canterbury; Mahdis Azarmandi, University of Canterbury, and Sara Tolbert, University of Canterbury Academic streaming in New Zealand schools is still common, but according to recent reports it is also discriminatory and racist. Also known as tracking, setting and ability grouping, streaming ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A Time To Begin Again.
    A New Holy-Day: Perhaps, by accepting this gift of Matariki from the first arrivals in Aotearoa, we late arrivals, shorn of our ancestors’ outlandish fleeces, can draw strength from the accumulated human wisdom of our adopted home. Perhaps, by celebrating Matariki, we can learn to take ownership of our colonial ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s tax trauma victims and how they might help the Greens
    If there was any doubt left, we can surely call it now. Time and date. End of. Finito. Perhaps you thought you saw a flickering eyelid or a finger move? You were wrong. Labour has given up on tax reform for the foreseeable future. One of the key remaining left/right ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Labour gives up on tax transformation
    Will the rich get richer under Labour’s latest tax policy? Based on the analysis in reaction to yesterday’s announcement, the answer would seem to be yes. The consensus from commentators is that inequality and severe economic problems will remain unchanged or even be made worse by Labour’s new policy. Although ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Labour on energy: Business as usual
    Labour has released its energy policy, and its basicly business as usual: bring forward the 100% renewable target to 2030, build pumped storage if the business case stacks up, restore the thermal ban and clean car standard (but not the feebate scheme), and spread a bit of money around to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Overshoot
    California is burning down again. In Oregon, the city of Medford - a town the size of Palmerston North - has had to be evacuated due to the fires. In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Rene has become the earliest "R"-storm to form since records began, beating the previous record by ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Says it all
    What's wrong with Labour? The end of yesterday's RNZ health debate says it all: Do you have private health insurance? Reti: "I do." Hipkins: "Yes, I do." Hipkins is Minister of Health. But it turns out that he won't be waiting in the queue with the rest ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Secret Lives of Lakes
    McKayla Holloway The helicopter carries a team of four Lakes380 scientists and me; we hug the Gneiss rock walls that tower over Lake Manapouri. It’s arguably one of New Zealand’s most well-known lakes – made famous by the ‘Save Manapouri’ campaign of the 1970s. My chest is drawn back into ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Winning Joke: Why The Traditional Left Will Just Have To Live With Rainy-Day Robertson’s Disappoin...
    Rainy-Day Man: Is Labour’s tax policy a disappointment? Of course it is! But it’s the best the Traditional Left is going to get. Why? because Labour’s pollsters are telling them that upwards of 200,000 women over the age of 45 years have shifted their allegiance from National to Labour. (Where else, ...
    1 week ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Volume VIII
    When we last left our intrepid Drow Rogue, he was sitting in a tavern with his companions, only for a crazy Paladin to burst in, and start screaming about the Naga. It soon turned out that ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #36, 2020
    Slight tweak to New Research Articles in NR are categorized by domain, roughly. This introduces the problem of items that don't neatly fit in one slot, or that have significance in more than one discipline (happily becoming more frequent as the powerful multiplier of interdisciplinary cooperation is tapped more frequently). ...
    1 week ago
  • Pressing the pause button after an adverse event happens to a vaccine trial participant
    Today AstraZeneca pushed the pause button on its late-stage trials of a COVID-19 vaccine. A clinical trial participant has experienced a serious health event and an investigation is underway to determine the cause. What does it mean? A cautious approach – trials can halt to assess safety data With over ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • ‘Compassionate conservation’: just because we love invasive animals, doesn’t mean we should pr...
    Kaya Klop-Toker, University of Newcastle; Alex Callen, University of Newcastle; Andrea Griffin, University of Newcastle; Matt Hayward, University of Newcastle, and Robert Scanlon, University of Newcastle On an island off the Queensland coast, a battle is brewing over the fate of a small population of goats. The battle positions the ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Is Euthanasia a health priority for New Zealand at present?
    Dr Ben Gray* This blog discusses what will be needed to operationalise the End of Life Choice Act in the event that it is approved at referendum. It argues that this will take significant resources. Judging by the experience in Oregon it is likely that this may only benefit ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Tuhia ki te rangi: a new space for student science communication
    Nau mai, haere mai – welcome to our newest addition to Sciblogs: Tuhia ki te rangi. Over the eleven years Sciblogs has been operating, the face of science communication has changed dramatically. Where a decade ago there was a burgeoning number of scientists and other experts looking to stretch their ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • If not now, when?
    I'm grappling with my sheer fucking anger over Labour's pathetic tax policy. Yes, it utterly contradicts their pretence of being a "centre-left" party and shows that they have no interest whatsoever in fixing any of the problems facing New Zealand. Yes, its self-inflicted helplessness, which will allow them to cry ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • TikTok suicide video: it’s time platforms collaborated to limit disturbing content
    Ariadna Matamoros-Fernández, Queensland University of Technology and D. Bondy Valdovinos Kaye, Queensland University of Technology A disturbing video purporting to show a suicide is reportedly doing the rounds on the popular short video app TikTok, reigniting debate about what social media platforms are doing to limit circulation of troubling material. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Is that it?
    Labour announced its tax policy today: a new top tax rate of 39% on income over $180,000. And that's it. No intermediate rate between the current top rate of 33% at $70,000 and the new one. No land tax. No wealth tax. Nothing (in fact worse than nothing, because they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Methane is short-lived in the atmosphere but leaves long-term damage
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Community Values
    Most mornings, when we’re at home, my wife and I will have coffee on our deck. I am the barista of the household and I make the coffee, the way we like it, on our espresso machine. This winter we have sat with our coffee, day after day, in glorious ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
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