web analytics

Solar storms: harden your networks – its getting warmer.

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, June 11th, 2010 - 37 comments
Categories: climate change, science - Tags: , ,

The sun is emerging from its deep sleep of the Solar Minimum. The increased sensitivity of human networks from satellites to power grids is starting to worry people who know what they’re talking about enough to cause them to have held a meeting on it.

The sun produces sunspots in a reasonably regular eleven year cycle between Solar maximums. The amplitude varies over time as you can see from the counts over the last couple of centuries (the numbers prior to 1850 are a bit patchy).

Click for larger view

As the wikipedia entry on sunspots says:

The number of sunspots correlates with the intensity of solar radiation over the period since 1979, when satellite measurements of absolute radiative flux became available.

These allow plumes of higher energy particles than usual to get expelled from deep inside of the sun’s fusion furnace. The effect on the earths climate is fortunately limited by a earths magnetic field. However as more charged particles strike the field, it depresses closer to the surface and more charged particles get down to the surface.

In the geological history however there have been periodic magnetic inversions where the north and south magnetic poles flip. As wikipedia says:-

Because the magnetic field has never been observed to reverse by humans with instrumentation, and the mechanism of field generation is not well understood, it is difficult to say what the characteristics of the magnetic field might be leading up to such a reversal. Some speculate that a greatly diminished magnetic field during a reversal period will expose the surface of the earth to a substantial and potentially damaging increase in cosmic radiation. However, Homo erectus and their ancestors certainly survived many previous reversals. There is no uncontested evidence that a magnetic field reversal has ever caused any biological extinctions. A possible explanation is that the solar wind may induce a sufficient magnetic field in the Earth’s ionosphere to shield the surface from energetic particles even in the absence of the Earth’s normal magnetic field.[7]

Personally, while the biological systems may have evolved to handle the increased flux during the flip, I’d take a bet that our electrical and electronic technology hasn’t. They certainly have had problems with mere increases in the solar output from the sunspot cycle.

The leakage of extra charged particles into the atmosphere which have previously caused issues for our technological systems. Most notable in modern times was the power outage in the Quebec power grid in 1989 which was attributed to a solar storm. Modern electronics are far more susceptible to charged particles than electrical systems.

Over the last decade since a peak in late 90’s and early 00’s we’ve been diminishing to the Solar Minimum. However the number of sunspots is due to rise again.

The following quote is from prior to the last Solar Maximum. It is worth repeating simply because it gives the strong impression of the rate of change of vulnerable devices world wide. For instance I understand that there are more cellphones in operation in NZ these days than there was in the US in 1981.

Why should we care that we are now once again living under ‘sunspot maximum’ conditions? After all, we have already weathered at least five of these solar activity cycles since the end of World War II. What is different about the world today is that we are substantially more reliant upon computers and telecommunications to run our commerce, and even our forms of entertainment and recreation. In 1981, at the peak of solar cycle 21, there were 15 communication satellites in orbit. Cellular phones were rare and there were 800,000 PCs sold in the U.S. with 300 hosts on the Internet. By the time the peak of solar cycle 22 came around in 1989, there were 102 communication satellites, and 3 million cellular phone users in the United States. With the new Intel 80486-based PCs, you could send e-mail to your choice of 300,000 host machines on the Internet.

As we arrive at the peak of the 23rd sunspot cycle in 2000-2001, however, we enter a very different world far more reliant on what used to be the luxuries of the Space Age. By 2000, 349 communication satellites orbit the Earth supporting over $60 billion of commerce. Over 100 million people have cellular phones, and Global Positioning System handsets are a commonplace for people working, or camping, ‘off road’. By 2003, 400 million people will routinely use wireless data transmission via satellite channels. There will be over 10 million Internet hosts with 38% of US households Internet-connected. To support all of this, not only will we need more satellites, but we will need more electricity flowing in our power grid which will have to work under loads unheard of in the past. As voters continue to elect not to build more power plants, blackouts and brownouts will become more common as power companies run out of temporary sources of power to buy during peak-load conditions during the summer and winter.

Yeah, I remember those crude old days (when things look better in 20:20 hindsight). The simple days when there were only millions of nodes on the Internet. There were still a lot of aircraft flying without fly by wire systems. When kids didn’t have a cellphone for each network. When the number of transistors in the CPU’s and GPU’s of a desktop computer or laptops were measured in million’s, much the same as those in cellphones are today.

Of course there is also the issue of where the extra energy pushed into the atmosphere and trapped with the increased greenhouse effect is going to wind up. The average temperatures around the world have been rising steadily during a period heading to the Solar Minimum as part of a long term trend. After all we have managed to keep the temperature averages rising over the last decade instead of doing their post Solar Maximum decrease. Now more energy is coming online…..

37 comments on “Solar storms: harden your networks – its getting warmer.”

  1. James John 1

    great article thank you.

  2. I look forward to a hotter summer

  3. really 3

    Interesting post Lynn. Those electronic manufacturers will be rubbing their hands together hoping for a rash of breakdowns and replacement purchases.

    Not sure about the last graph as the base it is using is the “Best estimate for absolute global mean for 1951-1980 is 14.0 deg-C” (1) , so while it is a good indicator for a possible temperature trend it a) is a bit of a guess because of the base uncertainty b) doesn’t show any cycles so makes it hard to determine what may or may not be happening in relation to solar flare cycles.

    (1) http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Denialism

    • lprent 3.2

      It is a delta chart to show temperature differences from an arbitrary base. It obviously has to start from somewhere, and the period they have picked is where there are reasonably good global records. Also 1950 onwards is in the current long term pattern of higher Solar Maximums.

      But it doesn’t really matter what the base used from where we have good temperature records. The effect in the last 50-100 years is always the same, a fast climb in tempatures.

      If they’d used a base of around 1905 as Don Easterbrook was suggesting in my previous post, then the delta climb would have been even higher because the Solar Max was a lot lower.

      If they’d picked around 1850 when the apparent peaks were higher, we’d still be showing a fast rise.

      • really 3.2.1

        Agree. The margin for error is still reasonably high.

        • lprent 3.2.1.1

          Sure, but the margin is pretty much on when things will happen rather than if they will happen. The science of atmospheric physics is pretty clear and unambiguous. Increasing greenhouse gases will increase the amount of energy retained as heat in our living space.

          Since the heat balance of the earth is very finely balanced, any sudden change (geologically speaking) tends to shift out of the narrow band that we’ve lived in for the last 10k years. Our civilization has a massive implicit dependency on the stability of the climate, so that isn’t good. Especially with the natural resource base stretched as far as it is into unsustainable usage because of population and expectation growth.

          The IPCC reports are very conservative scientifically because the science parts concentrate exclusively on what can be proven. I find that their worst case scenario is pretty much what I’d expect as an absolute best case (and their other two scenarios are just laughable). All of the since proven evidence since AR4 shows that, especially in the areas for positive feedback like ice cover.

          There is a high margin for error. Unfortunately it is all to the worse, and nothing to the better. Of course people who can’t follow the evidence prefer not to believe that. It’d involve hard changes…. Something that humans excel in avoiding.

          • really 3.2.1.1.1

            Yes things are changing and yes the downsides make pretty grim reading.

            The issue that I have is not with the fact that one directional climate change is a bad thing but with the degree of reliance on things like the historical (assumed) baseline temperatures to prove that this is happening.

            Out of interest, is there a commonly accepted ‘list’ of things that could easily be done/implemented to reduce climate change?

            • lprent 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah there are a range of things from orbital mirrors to getting the oceans to suck up more CO2 to storing CO2 in empty oil wells.

              Most of them are palliatives in that they don’t have long-term stability – they depend on having the high-energy civilization to maintain them, or they simply defer the problem for a short period of time – eg the ocean ideas.

              The simplest (and easiest) is to reduce the dependence on burning fossil carbon. That is more of failure of will than a technical issue.

  4. Bored 4

    Interesting stuff, the on the ground effects are going to be the interesting bits….

    From a weather viewpoint last spring we had a hugely windy time here in the Capital…cooler and wetter. I saw an item in November describing the El Nino event and that water temperatures mid Pacific were several degrees higher than average creating a big hot spot. In laymans terms this warmed air above it rose to be replaced by cooler air sucked in from the Southern ocean. It all seemed to come through Cook Straight giving us a crap spring.

    I would be interested to see some follow up on this like a regular report so we can track what effects actually happen, does the base information come from a regular source?

    • lprent 4.1

      Should be pretty standard data sources. I picked large chunks of this off NASA after I read a yahoo post. The sunspot data is ultimately from the collection point in Belgium. All of the data is pretty much available on the net these days. (of course there is the underlying question of the net handling the subject 🙂 )

      Hang out for wordpress 3.0 with its multi-site goodies. I want to set up a scitech.thestandard.org.nz that this type of post would be perfect for – along with my rants about iTunes – and anyone else who can write.

      Politics as a continual diet isn’t all that fulfilling 😈

      • NickS 4.1.1

        If I haven’t got a blog up and running by then, I might have a piece on 1080 and general pest control and fluoridation stupidity, and conservation/ecology stuff that I could chuck your way for it.
        /evil grin

        • lprent 4.1.1.1

          The delays are getting to be a bit of a pain – April, May, and now June for WordPress 3.0. But it should be soon. You’re welcome to come on as an author (because you can write) – the same relaxed rules as the political blog for authors. Since we’re not writing papers but more communicating scitech, I’d prefer pseudonymous.

          The blogs will cross-reference posts in the Community tabs on the right, because politics is science and vice-versa. Traffic and number of posts will probably be somewhat smaller than the political side.

          • NickS 4.1.1.1.1

            Awesome and thanks, but since I’ll probably be cross-posting stuff on my own blog I’ll use my current name. Though I’ll save the more esoteric, “what the hell/my brain hurts” stuff for my one 😀

            • lprent 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Cool. The stuff will be more science and tech overview – like the stuff that various of us have been writing. But with resource pages as well (so i can do things like put up example code).

              • NickS

                Neat, I just need to keep my present upswing motivation rolling then, though with the downtime due to dropping down to one course next semester and the temp-agency job-dance I should have plenty of time to pull together some good posts.

                I might try some brain storming tomorrow then and see if I can build up a bank of science topics related to present political issues, and finally get started on the 1080 thing.

                Which has been sitting on the back-burner for a year now.

                And I look forward to the iTunes rant.

      • Bored 4.1.2

        Excellent idea, I am really interested in posting on ecology, environmental issues that raise to raise awareness, would be good as it i see a lot locally but theres a hell of a lot more to be known / seen / discusssed etc.

      • travellerev 4.1.3

        Hi LPrent

        I’ve managed to secure the name “Subversive Foodie” and I’m working on my Diary Of a Subversive Foodie blog. I have you see, an extremely sinful hobby. Making my own fermented meats (Hams, Bacon sausages and all the Charcutery stuff you can’t get here) and cheeses (all the down and dirty un-pasteurised European style cheeses you can’t get here either) and growing my own foods etc. (I’ve stopped fermenting my own booze because it was just to good and to easy, Sigh)

        Anyway this seems to be almost subversive these day hence the name. LOL.

        • Santi 4.1.3.1

          Do you wear a tin-foil hat while preparing all these delicacies, Dutch Einstein?

          • RedLogix 4.1.3.1.1

            These ugly, misery gutted little noises you are dropping all over the threads don’t add much signal. Lift your game.

          • travellerev 4.1.3.1.2

            I don’t get it Santi,

            Sometimes you actually say sensible things. So why the vile stupidity in the face of real tangible discrepancies and mis-information in and about the official story and why here when we are talking about things absolutely not related to what you call conspiracy theories?

            Could it be you’re suffering from Cognitive dissonance?

  5. Oscar 5

    Solar Maximum also coincides with the planets lining up with the black hole in the centre of our galaxy.
    No idea what effect, if any, this will have. As it is the first time these two events coincide in nearly 2000 years, there is no recorded knowledge of what happens on earth.
    Will our seasons be affected? Will the poles shift even more, knowing that the north pole is shifting rapidly from hudson bay? Who knows.

    • NickS 5.1

      There will be no effect, why? Because your dealing with very, very small levels of gravitational attraction, that only really impacts on large masses, like stars. Where as planets generally are influence by objects within far smaller interstellar distances, mainly local large bodies of mass, like local stars, and heavier objects, along with planets, dwarf planets, moons and rocks. All of which can be worked out via basic Newtonian gravitational equations for two bodies, and forecasting techniques for three + bodies.

      Also, our star orbits the central black hole, which means we come into “alignment” with it regularly. aka we would have probably seen effects within human time scales already.

      Oh yeah, people, please quit it with the 2012 nonsense already, or at least explain it to your kids/other people’s kids that it’s a load of bullshit:
      http://skepticblog.org/2010/06/08/kids-fear2012/

      And next person to spout 2012 nonsense will be cluebatted with

    • Bright Red 5.2

      I’m pretty sure that’s not right.

      a) the planets won’t be ‘lined up’ any time soon http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/Solar

      b) when, as must very occassionally occur, the planets are all in a line from the sun, the odds that they will be pointing towards the centre of the galaxy are (literally) astronomical. In fact, I’m not even sure the Solar plane intercepts with the Galactic plane in such a way that they could point towards the centre of the galaxy.

      c) even if it did happen the forces are minute. The effect of gravity from the Earth on us is 10 metres a second squared, the effect of the Sun is 0.0006 of that. The other planets have a combined mass about 1% of the Sun’s. And the gravitational attraction of the galaxy on us is (by my reckoning) 0.00002 of earth’s gravity on us.

  6. NickS 6

    Personally, while the biological systems may have evolved to handle the increased flux during the flip…

    bork

    Nyet, infrequent events like that only drive selection during the event, rather than in-between events, meaning that other selection pressures alter what ever traits were selected for. And even then, dealing with it might be as simple as plain old phenotypic plasticity in terms of up-regulation of protective proteins and DNA repair enzymes 😛

    /bio-geek

    • really 6.1

      Translation, more birth defects and aborted pregnancies during these events?

      • NickS 6.1.1

        No, your talking about a jump in background radiation that is presently thought not to be a big driver of cancer-causing mutations per studies of populations living around (well maintained) nuclear power plants*. Will it cause a statistically significant increase in background radiation that will cause an increase in mutation rates? Yeap, but as I said there’s ways of dealing with this that involve up-regulating DNA repair enzymes, and not all mutations lead to malignant cancerous cells (many genetic roads, more oft than not rather biochemically twisty), or mid-late term miscarriages and abortions due to fetal abnormalities. To put in perspective, you’re much more likely to end up with cancer via working with radiation sources or mutagenic chemicals (and not following all the safety requirements) than you are from a slight increase in background radiation.

        And on the miscarriages, from memory I don’t think we have a good idea about the early term rate of them (clinically apparent vs non-apparent or non recorded), which is the first hurdle to generally clear. However I don’t have recent stuff lurking in my memory, and wikipedia isn’t much help.

        [Edit]
        ugh, stupid wikipedians not sticking relevant info on the right page:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion#Spontaneous_abortion

        So basically, our electrical stuff is more at risk from solar flares and magnetic field reversals than organic life is, unless you happen to be in an unshielded space craft/station, in which case you’re going to get more than the recommended dose.

        *What the authors failed to do was link the rates of blood cancers to viral diseases via anti-body tests + a few other controls if memory serves me right.

        • really 6.1.1.1

          Thanks Nick. Looking forward to your posts on the scitech blog.

          Should be a good addition to the NZ blogosphere.

          Can I humbly suggest that the scitech blog does not focus predominately on Climate Change, the reason being that it is a politically charged topic and will attract nutjobs of all colours.

          • lprent 6.1.1.1.1

            Hey I’m a programmer writing this on my brand new iPad. There is a limit on how much tech stuff I can write on a political blog. Same for the science (my first degree).

            I suspect that climate change will still be there because I am interested in the science. But it comes up here because the science is pretty well defined. The problem is political

          • NickS 6.1.1.1.2

            Thanks Nick. Looking forward to your posts on the scitech blog.

            Should be a good addition to the NZ blogosphere.

            Thanks, I just need to try and deal with motivation fun from my (treated) depression, but that’s what my student union fees pay for with really cheap counselling sessions. I just need to avoid the usual symptom of not breaking things done and pick up on some of the writing tricks the most excellent Ed Yong uses, and less like Darren Nash as I tend to…

            Hmmn, might need to actually start using that thread again to keep myself sane while I try and get some part time work.

            Can I humbly suggest that the scitech blog does not focus predominately on Climate Change, the reason being that it is a politically charged topic and will attract nutjobs of all colours.

            It comes down to the Emissions Trading Scheme and whatever succeeds the Kyoto Treaty, and the political opposition to it from ACT*, but also National’s pathetic modifications to the ETS and seeming incapability to be bothered with climate change. An issue that should not be, in my view, allowed to slip quietly out of sight.

            On top of that, I’m of the opinion that the IPCC is being far too conservative on feed-back effects, primarily the methane being released as methane clathrates decompose, though I’m more interested in ecological feed-back effects, such as changes in vegetation patterns and animal ranges.

            *And no mention of ACT’s braindeadness on climate change is complete without posting the following link about how ACT effectively sold out their previously sensible (for ACT…) climate change policies for some political funding:
            http://deepclimate.org/2009/08/01/meet-alan-gibbs-builder-of-amphibious-humvees-and-climate-science-coalitions/

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.2.1

              Thanks, I just need to try and deal with motivation fun from my (treated) depression,

              Best wishes with that. My older daughter whose just graduated from Vic (in an Earth Science) has also been hit badly by it as well. From what she says its seems a ridiculously common after-effect of completing a degree course these days.

              • NickS

                …And before I forget again…

                Thanks, though I’ve had this since before getting my BSc, so around 5 years, 3 years without knowing about it, and the 2 I did doing the ye olde NZ male stupidity of not getting proper help for it.

                And I hope your daughter gets through it.

  7. Jenny 7

    I remember reading somewhere that a severe electromagnetic storm struck the earth in the 1890’s with enough force to seriously damage the nascent hard wired telegraph system.

    Considering that such early communications technology was by it’s nature far more robust than modern electronic based communications, and even electricity supply systems, the consequence of a an electromagnetic storm of similar strength hitting today because of our reliance on these systems would be far more damaging.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    2 hours ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    3 hours ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    3 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    2 days ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    3 days ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    3 days ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    3 days ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    3 days ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    4 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    4 days ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    5 days ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    5 days ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    5 days ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    5 days ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    1 week ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    1 week ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    1 week ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    1 week ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    1 week ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First’s Ron Mark confirms bid for the Wairarapa seat
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First MP and Minister for Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Ron Mark has confirmed his bid for the Wairarapa seat.“The Coalition Government has done a lot of good work throughout the Wairarapa, but many constituents have told ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes second tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its next tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. We’re proud to announce these hardworking New Zealanders that have put their hand up to fight for a commonsense and resilient future.Jamie Arbuckle – Kaikoura Mark Arneil – Christchurch Central Jackie ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint effort under way to repatriate stranded Vanuatu nationals
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence A massive joint effort between New Zealand Government agencies, employers, and the Vanuatu Government is underway to repatriate over 1000 Vanuatu nationals stranded in New Zealand, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    56 mins ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    60 mins ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
    A new five-year funding agreement for the Reserve Bank will mean it can boost its work to protect New Zealanders’ finances, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand has a strong and stable financial system. Financial stability is an area that we are not prepared to cut corners for, particularly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Forgotten funds and missing money
    A law change has been introduced to make it easier for forgotten funds in institutional accounts to be returned more easily to their rightful owners. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has introduced an amendment to the Unclaimed Money Act 1971. It will update the rules controlling forgotten sums of money held ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago