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Spring Creek & the Government’s priorities

Written By: - Date published: 7:54 am, September 5th, 2012 - 42 comments
Categories: jobs - Tags:

I’m no fan of coal mining, obviously. We need to reduce the amount of carbon we put in the atmosphere dramatically and stopping digging it up would be a good start. But the Nats have no such concerns. They want more jobs in hydrocarbon extraction. So, why the lack of any kind of response from National to stop job losses at Spring Creek?

Nearly 400 jobs at a state-owned mine are on the line just due to a cyclical downturn in the price of coal, yet National does nothing.

Lets look at National’s 3 big economic policies:

  • Sell assets
  • Trade gaming law for a convention centre in Auckland
  • Encourage more mining and drilling

Asset sales creates no new jobs (unless you count all the contractors Treasury is hiring). There is no permanent employment boost as a result of that policy.

The dirty pokies deal is meant to create 200 jobs in return for creating hundreds of new problem gamblers, with all the attendant social and economic costs of that.

National has added just 600 mining jobs in the past four years. And that gain will all be lost after Spring Creek closes on top of the job losses elsewhere in Solid Energy’s operations.

So, you’ve got a policy that creates no jobs, a policy that might create a few hundred jobs, and a policy that will have created no net jobs in four years if National lets Spring Creek close.

You would think, given National’s insistence that mining is the salvation of the economy and the great creator of jobs (despite the facts), that they would jump to save the jobs at Spring Creek. After all, they’re spending tens of millions on giving away seismic data to oil companies. How much can it take to keep the jobs as Spring Creek going? A few million for a couple of years until the coal price rebounds?

It’s just astounding that National will spend piles of money and political capital on policies that it claims will create jobs but it won’t do anything to save jobs that already exist at a state-owned company.

What is wrong with these people’s priorities? Where is Steven Joyce – who is always talking about wanting more mining jobs – when the chance is there to save some? Where is John Key – who said he would have a relentless focus on jobs? Where is Paula Bennett – who says she will always back Kiwis into work? Where is Bill English, who promised 170,000 more jobs?

David Shearer is right – this is a Nowhere National government.

42 comments on “Spring Creek & the Government’s priorities ”

  1. Eddie you forgot the John Key memorial cycleway!

    Does anyone have any idea if these job losses are to tidy up Solid Energy’s balance sheet to make it more attractive to purchasers? 

    • tc 1.1

      Yup, you always clean up the house before putting it on the market.

      Their IR moves also create a more friendly environment for the would be purchaser.

  2. Dv 2

    One of the ironies is that Spring Creek is developed. We know there is coal there and there is an infrastructure associated with it.

    New mines have to be found and developed at a cost.

    • aerobubble 2.1

      Yes, what about that. Obviously coal prices will rise again. Its just cyclical. Hire
      workers on as temporarily as possible, then when they are sacked deny them as
      much as possible the benefit to tied them over. It crushes the economy, it forces
      people to lose their homes, borrow more, and its know to be reckless for long
      term prosperity. Why does National hate prosperity?

      • Plastic Tolstoy 2.1.1

        National doesn’t hate prosperity, well they clearly hate universal prosperity but they looove prosperity when it is themselves and their like prospering off the backs of others.

        • georgecom 2.1.1.1

          Prosperity is a clear priority for the Nat Govt. The important thing however is into which pockets that prosperity is tucked.

  3. Bill 3

    Wasn’t there something somewhere that showed the 200 pokie/convention centre jobs was a gross over estimate? Or am I getting confused with something else?

    • Te Reo Putake 3.1

      Both overestimated and not permanent or even fulltime work. The number thrown around was the lpool of casual workers who could be called on to work the occasional shift. Hardly winning the jobs jackpot.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      I thought the number that John Key was using was 1000 jobs that was shown to be complete bollocks with the actual number closer to 200.

  4. Newt 4

    I think the whole thing is because it is an SOE mine. If they close it then SE might just have to sell it off cheaply… to a private company that can then run it to the ground for a profit. Why sell the SOEs when you can gut them with less public outcry?

    • aerobubble 4.1

      Same argument applies to asset sales, kiwirail sales. National sell them at the bottom of the
      market, Labour are forced to buy them back once they have been roundly screwed for every
      bone of profitability. Then National claims Labour paid to much, while rushing to sell off
      energy assets when prices are so deflated. What a nasty piece of fiscal public taxpayer
      scamming!

  5. Policy Parrot 5

    “I’m no fan of coal mining, obviously. We need to reduce the amount of carbon we put in the atmosphere dramatically and stopping digging it up would be a good start.”

    Such a doctrinaire statement does nothing to allievate the concerns of the West Coast community, whose livelihoods are threatened currently, and also by such talk. I don’t think coal mining is a particularly good thing, for the reasons you have mentioned, but there are other factors here to think about:
    – 1. That the coal is largely mined for demand; and the way to attack climate change is to persuade energy dependent industries to switch to renewables rather than attack the mining industry. Of course, for every coal mine that is closed, it becomes more viable and lucrative to extract it in terms of smaller volume = higher prices.
    – 2. Sure, if there is going to be a transition, there needs to some serious thought given to what would replace the jobs that the community is dependent on. Too many small towns largely reliant on one employer/industry have died because of a change in the policies of central government, without any thought on the part of central government to its economic impact on that town. Some examples include:
    * Patea in 1980s with the close of the meatworks.
    * Motueka in 1990s with the end of the NZ tobacco industry
    * Putaruru in 2000s with the close of the Putaruru mill.

    I’m not saying don’t pursue these policies, but look at them in a wider sense, and their impact on communities, not simply in isolation.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Such a doctrinaire statement does nothing to allievate the concerns of the West Coast community, whose livelihoods are threatened currently, and also by such talk.

      But that’s just it, they don’t have to be.

      1.) And one way to do that is to stop mining the coal.
      2.) That’s why the government needs to step in with support that allows the people to continue their lives while encouraging them to do what they want to do. You never know, they could become the Silicon Valley of New Zealand.

  6. Matthew 6

    Key’s a real nowhere man
    sitting in his nowhere land
    making all his nowhere plans
    for nobody

  7. Bored 7

    I am not sure what left leaning Standardistas really want here? I would suggest the first thing might be a repeal of the SOE Act.

    It is fairly obvious to me that the issue at heart is employment of our miners. Under the SOE model the whole thing is commercial, the intent of the legislation was to make it “market” based and remove the whole enterprise from “interventionism” by politicians. Since Roger every NZ government has slavishly adhered to this model: Labour had 9 years to repeal this and sat on their hands.

    We will soon see these miners joined on the dole queue by returning miners from Aussie, the whole thing is about coal prices and demand crashing worldwide (and in China in particular).

    • tc 7.1

      ‘Labour had 9 years to repeal this and sat on their hands ‘ yup, love or despise the NACT they sure know how to get things done.

      Take notes green/labour/etc and learn, you’re going to have plenty to get done if you get to the gov’t benches next time..

  8. Solid Energy are abandoning the Coast and coming to the Waikato (Coal seam gas) and Southland (lignite). That’s all.

  9. Roy 9

    Gotta keep the peons scared and hungry, so that they accept rotten pay and rotten working conditions.

  10. vto 10

    Well, as I said the other day, if the mine needs to close because it makes no money then sell it to the Coasters.

    Solid Energy bought Pike River for $7 million, and the families of the miners killed by outright human and management and board of director and chairman negligence said that if they had known that was the price they would have bought it themselves. Spring Creek must be worth a similar amount.

    So come on Solid Energy – sell it to the locals. Go on. And if you wont do that then why? Is it because it is expected to be immensely profitable over the longer term? And if that is the case then how can you argue that you cannot afford to keep the workforce on? Answers please ….. (ha, what a joke. Silence is the only thing these people know. They are pathetic human beings).

    • Te Reo Putake 10.1

      Spring Creek has recently been revalued at $73 million. This is a significant downgrade (it had previously had a book value of double that). The downgrade, and the mothballing, are to lower the value of the business to make it more attractive in a privatisation float.

      No need for Coasters to buy it, not just because they already own it, but because it’s a viable business that just needs to be run properly in the interests of shareholders and stakeholders. At the moment its being run (down) in the interests of the National Party.

      • vto 10.1.1

        Of course Te Reo, that is par for the course when it comes to the duplicitous nature and tricks and scams and lies of the National Party.

        However, the Coasters should still buy it. After all, the government is encouraging all the rest of NZ to buy it via a float, so owning it must be worthwhile ….

  11. Maybe National is not willing to start mining itself but just wants to sell them off as well, new start with new owners to set the rules and wage and working conditions.

    Funny how they seem to forget they are buying labour to increase their wealth, if they are not going to pay for our labour in a decent manner then no one is going to give 100% of their energies and time for below the cost of living wages.

    In the end this is also why National’s policies won’t work, you can lead a horse to water….

  12. mike 12

    Relax people! Back in May last year Key and English said they would create 170,000 new jobs!

    That their net job creation since then is zero, that the unemployment rate has gone up, and that 1 in 5 kids are living in poverty are not important. It’s what they say that’s important. 170,000 new jobs sounds pretty good to me!

    Pot smoking dole bludgers – what about that then eh? Did you give them permission to buy that tinnie? Neither did I! That’s what we need to get on to. Let’s start talking about that instead ok?

    • vto 12.1

      Exactly.

      Where are the 170,000 jobs Key said last year would be created?

      • tc 12.1.1

        It’s a dinimic world and ackshully what i said there’d be 170 housings for Joel as his dad’s an old banksta buddy of mine as he’s loaded and loves buying housings.

  13. Fortran 13

    Am still waiting for some comment from Shearer as to what Labour would do with the mine in the circumstances.
    Tired of hearing bitching – David what about something positive – tell us – what would Labour do ?

    • tc 13.1

      Dunno why not bitch as it keeps the focus on the abhorrent policies and actions, or lack of, from this gov’t.

      Alternatives can be produced closer to a vote, when our PM can get away with calling positive suggestions ‘a joke’ why give him any material to make the funny ha ha with.

    • georgecom 13.2

      I guess elect them into power and it does become Labours issue to resolve. At present however National is the government. Waiting to see what they’ll do, if anything.

  14. Wayne 14

    So instead of having SOE’s we would have a Govt Deparment employing miners, even though there is no work for them – sound like New Zealand Rail prior to 1984.

    But if the Coast (presumably the West Coast Development Fund) wants to buy the mine, let them. I wonder if they would.

    By the way how does a devalued Solid Energy become a good prospect for sale. I thought one of the Standards positions was that since uncertainty reduces value then it is a bad idea to sell. In any event I presume the Govt wants to get as high a price as is practicable, not the the way round.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      By the way how does a devalued Solid Energy become a good prospect for sale.

      It doesn’t but it does become a good prospect for the buyer and it’s the buyers that NACT are interested in helping.

      In any event I presume the Govt wants to get as high a price as is practicable, not the the way round.

      That would be an assumption that goes against everything this government has done to date.

  15. BernyD 15

    This is a hard one, I really feel sorry for those people.
    Mining for coal was never the answer, it was gold/copper that they should have been investing in.

    If you could build a plant that could extract 99.99% raw mineral , possibly different minerals even, You theoretically could source the ore from the whole world.

    Now if you had a good rail system, you could move tonnage, but the plant would have to be very efficient.

    Otherwise it’s “wait for the Oil prices to drop”

    Has anyone in this Country looked at making High Quality Electrical cables for instance ?
    Megawatt lines need copper / au / aluminium

    • Carol 15.1

      It was a similar situation during the 1980s miners strike in the UK – but that was because Thatcher wanted to replace industry/manufacturing with the finance industry. She should have been working towards different kinds of industries.

      Our government should be working to develop areas of sustainable production in environmentally-friendly industries, and aiming to retrain workers that lose jobs in environmentally damaging industries.

  16. xtasy 16

    The Greens have to accept that there will always be some mining and some may make sense for longer term economic development.

    Look at much more technologically advanced countries like Germany in Europe, they push strongly for the sustainable, environmentally friendlier and yet a bit costly option to invest immensely in wind, solar and tidal energy generation. They (their companies and state agencies) have done their research, calculations and homework. So they do take risks, but they plan LONGER TERM. That also means, they do NOT gove up coal and steel just like that, they just use and produce it more efficiently and in the most environmentally acceptable way.

    That is also, what the Japanese, and increasingly the Chinese and Koreans do, no matter what they invest in.

    That is SMART planning, to look at medium to long term benefits!

    Sadly NZ has for decades followed the folly approach, believing that “free enterprise”, allowing competition at the LOWEST costs, at the highest pressures and with the SHORTEST TERM thinking to dominate. That is the “ChicagoBoy” approach, taken up by idiots like Reagan, Thatcher and others, which really, in hindsight, ruined previously “industrial” countries to become pizza and haircut exchange economies!

    Bloody hell, what did Thatcher ask Kohl, or whomsoever, why Germany was doing so well? They are still DOING THINGS OR MAKING THINGS, was the answer.

    Who is MAKING THINGS in the world today? China! Outsourcing by corporate profit seekers got them the opportunity, so hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost in previously “industrial”, manufacturing and “devoloped” countries.

    Now we get cheap goods for rip off prices, have no jobs and cut each other’s hair to make a living. Sounds damned stupid to me, somehow!

    So get a constructive economic approach working, which will of course also involve some “measured”, sustainable and environmentally aceptable mining, but hopefully also more value added production. To condemn every single mining activity does not make any sense, same as the idiot economic non planning approach by dumbed down Key government!

  17. xtasy 17

    I lke to top it off with “idealism”, not aways possible, but at least “inspiring”:

    Viva el pueblo Chilena and others!

  18. xtasy 18

    My increasing impresion is, that Solid Energy and the present state rulers want to pressure the workers to accept lower working conditions, for the supposed reason of better “competition” with low wage economies overseas. So we are back to square one: what kind of “economy” do NZers want? A low wage selll out turf the burger environment for tourists from low paying China, or to actually dare to “smarten up”, develope” and move on, independent of the foreign markets, but of course to do some trade with them. The loal market needs to be developed, not the one favouring big investors to sell more of the same!

  19. xtasy 19

    What SHOULD happen is to have unions and the companies that depend on their labour, from South Africa, across Latin America and down to here, to align themselves, and to set minimum working and and other conditions, so that the cut throat competition to the lowest pay levels gets bloody stopped. There is no sense in it, and all workers are losing. Bring about fairness by same rights, standards and so for all. Draw the bloody line. Once workers like even on the West Coast start thinking, oh, we can do it better and cheaper, they start betraying their working mates overseas. But then again, it is the bloody stupid “American Dream” and pseudo “NZ dream” bullshit fed to their brains, as if they one day can sit down with Bob Jones and talk about equal terms. So bloody dumb that is, but some are so dumb to fall for it.

  20. hellonearthis 20

    “Paula Bennett – who says she will always back Kiwis into work”.

    I think Paula has been reading the ‘Sun Tzu’ AoW, that ancient Chinese military treatise.
    As her backing people into work. Is alike to the Sun Tzu of placing your troops so they have no escape but to work to live.

  21. Jenny 21

    How much can it take to keep the jobs as Spring Creek going? A few million for a couple of years until the coal price rebounds?

    EDDIE

    Why is there is no National Party, or Labour Party Plan for any transition to Clean Energy?

    Why are the Greens silent?

    Are we all being blind to an opportunity to set an example to the country and the world?

    Eddie’s question echoes calls from the right of the political spectrum for taxpayer funded corporate welfare for Spring Creek coal mine. At the community march in Greymouth, the Mayor of Greymouth Tony Kokshoorn called for the government to gift Spring Creek mine some $70 million.

    But why is no tax payer’s money being considered for investment in alternative green jobs for the Greymouth area?

    Coal has been identified as the number one cause of climate change.

    With the current global crisis in coal price…..

    This is our chance!

    Let’s not miss it.

    The closing of Spring Creek coal mine instead of being a calamity could be an opportunity!

    Let us grab this opportunity to plan the transition away from coal.

    “Most Countries Fail to Plan for Cleaner Energy”

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=most-countries-fail-to-plan-for-cleaner-energy

    “Not much has changed. You get the sense that psychologically, and we may just be exquisitely designed not to deal with climate change, everyone is focused on their little piece of the pie. You’re doing what you can day by day. And the problem is that if you really think climate change is a problem, you need to start looking at solutions that are revolutionary.

    “What we’re doing right now is not revolutionary, and frankly, I don’t know what’s going to get us out of this equation,”

    Kevin UmmelCARMA Project Manager

    Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) is the brainchild of former World Bank economist David Wheeler, CARMA has operated for about five years. Ummel said he spent the past year and a half bringing the site up to speed with new global data and a new online interface on which users can do everything from mapping the world’s dirtiest and cleanest power plants to digging deep on utilities in places as far-flung as Juliette, Ga., and Changshu City, China.

    If we are to ever have any chance of transitioning away from fossil fuels. This is our chance!

    With the closing of the Spring Creek coal mine the government and the opposition should be investigating ways in which this workforce can be redeployed. The lessons learnt in the Greymouth community could be the template that could help us plan for the eventual and necessary shut down of the whole coal industry in other mining communities across the country in the least painful way.
    If nothing is done. Nothing will ever be done. We will learn nothing. Repeating the Business As Usual cycle at this stage of natural and human history means staggering from one crisis, on to the next, each crisis worse than the last.

    The boom and bust BAU profit cycle

    It’s odd how the market works. Logically you would think that with the massive global drop in the price of coal this would see the coal industry expanding, in fact the opposite is happening.

    This is because the coal companies imperative is profit, it is not jobs, it is not sustaining communities, it is not the long term effects on the economy, or the climate.

    And while the drop in coal prices (and coal profits) is seeing this deadly industry retrench on a global scale.
    Eventually if we don’t take this opportunity to act – as other fossil fuels become more expensive – cheap coal will become more attractive, and we will witness another restart of the boom bust cycle in coal, probably even more destructive to jobs, communities, and the environment, than anything that’s ever been seen before.

    So let’s take this opportunity for government investment in WWS to save Greymouth.

    Late news: Coal miners are to be deployed to the Christchurch rebuild. This too is a good idea.

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  • Cycling: head injuries ignored because of entrenched macho culture
    Howard Hurst, University of Central Lancashire and Jack Hardwicke, University of Winchester Competitive road cycling is a demanding and unique sport. One where crashing is inevitable – especially at the professional level. While the risk of head injury is relatively low in cycling – approximately 5-13% – compared to contact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • The coming US shitshow
    Today President Trump once again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the US election. Coincidentally, The Atlantic has a long article on exactly what that means, from voter suppression by armed thugs in the name of "ballot security", to refusing to allow the vote ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A moral void
    That's the only way to describe the SIS, who - like their British counterparts - decided to look the other way on child abuse: The SIS knew a young woman was being sexually abused by her father but failed to lodge a complaint with the police, effectively allowing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will Goldsmith resign?
    The National Party’s campaign has gone from bad to worse with a further two large miscalculations being uncovered in their alternative fiscal plan. Firstly, National’s economic spokesperson and list MP, Paul Goldsmith, used May's Budget figures instead of last week's PREFU numbers, and came up with a whopping $4.3 billion ...
    5 days ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Part IX
    The initial session was a struggle. Annalax and Magni tried sorting out the details with the Isaac twins (the people pursuing the mountain trip). Annalax happened to mention his devotion to Lolth… whom the Isaacs, being ...
    5 days ago
  • This is bullshit
    On March 13, three plainclothes police officers kicked in Breonna Taylor's door under a no-knock warrant targeting another person. When a person inside reasonably assumed they were home invaders and (this being America) started shooting, they shot up the place and everyone around them - killing Taylor. Today, one of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water
    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    6 days ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    6 days ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    6 days ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The Looming Fight.
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    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    1 week ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    1 week ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    1 week ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Pasifika churches gain from PGF funding
    Pasifika churches around the country will receive a total of nearly $10 million in government funding for renovations and improvements which will improve facilities for the communities they serve and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio have announced. The funding will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Job numbers up in August
    New data from Stats NZ today shows a rise of more than 9,000 filled jobs from July – driven mostly by the education and training sector, Grant Robertson says. Filled jobs were up 9,147 to 2.2 million in August 2020 compared with July – with 7,409 of those in education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Māori development receives funding
    Māori development projects across the country will receive a total of $18.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund that will create infrastructure and permanent jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “These projects will support economic development in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Manawatū-Whanganui, Waikato and Southland to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Hand-up for owners of earthquake-prone units
    From today, owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings can apply for financial support to fix their homes, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing financial hardship over earthquake strengthening costs. “We understand how complicated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PGF backing successful Māori enterprise
    Whanganui will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment in a local food-processing company which will help the company increase production and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. Kii Tahi Ltd, which is owned by South Taranaki iwi Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi, will receive a Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Town halls and war memorials in PGF renovation programme
    Town halls, war memorials and other community landmarks across the country will be renovated thanks to grants totalling just under $12.4 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says more than 1000 jobs are expected to be created during the renovation programme. “Town halls, other ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Early help for whānau who need extra support
    The Government is investing in a new, whānau-centred early intervention prototype designed to strengthen families and improve the safety and wellbeing of children. The new programme, Ngā Tini Whetū, is a collaboration between Oranga Tamariki, Te Puni Kōkiri, ACC and the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency (WOCA) and was announced today ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
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