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Style over substance: no real answers

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, December 13th, 2007 - 58 comments
Categories: same old national - Tags:

In a continuation of Key’s “style over substance” policy approach, his consultants have found him a new buzzword – “infrastructure”.

“Australia’s been more productive because they’ve invested in infrastructure… they’ve made sure they’ve got private sector capital going in there as well as the public sector investing… we need to deliver that infrastructure

he said last week in a Radio Dunedin interview. Infrastructure was even mentioned part way through his ill-fated DVD:

“…look at the traffic building up here in Auckland. We need to do something about New Zealand’s infrastructure“.

I thought it might be interesting to check the Nats’ record on something like roading infrastructure. Turns out it’s so poor I’m not really sure why they’d want to draw our attention to it – perhaps their shameful past is why John Key keeps imploring us to look forward…

The graph below shows National Land Transport Programme infrastructure spending – National in blue and Labour in red:

transfund_auckland.gif

Maurice Williamson – you might remember him from this post of Tane’s – was National’s sleepy Minister of Transport from 1993-1999.

Instead of actually developing any infrastructure during his time as Minister, Williamson fell asleep at the wheel. He spent nearly a full decade, stuck in the slow lane, trying to figure out a way to involve private enterprise in highway construction – primarily because National didn’t want to fund the roads themselves.

Nearly a decade and Williamson couldn’t figure it out.

Ask him how he’d accelerate transport spending now and he’ll still tell you “private enterprise” – and still without a real plan.

The Trans-Tasman said of Williamson only last week:

“Great debater. Strong on Auckland’s transport problems – no real answers. Star may be waning.”

Recycled policies, recycled MPs – sounds like the same old National to me.

58 comments on “Style over substance: no real answers ”

  1. the sprout 1

    good point AYB, although let’s face it – investing in infrastructure would hardly be a “recyled policy” for National, it’d be a radical departure from its past history

  2. all_your_base 2

    I stand corrected sprout 😉

  3. lemsip 3

    I think Sprout needs remedial history lessons. Think Big anyone?

  4. As I read that graph, National’s funding for auckland land transport programmes was rising at about 15% a year between 1993 and 1998.

    Labour appears to have cut off the growth in funding when it came to power, and only started to play catch up with the funding needs in 2002. Labour underfunded land transport in Auckland for three years, and the taxpayer is facing the consequences of that.

  5. all_your_base 5

    15% of “piss all” is still “piss all”.

    Williamson was a waste of space.

  6. lemsip 6

    It also appears to be nominal not real expenditure. Construction costs have risen alot in recent years.

  7. the sprout 7

    “history lessons. Think Big”

    hmm yes, about 30+ years ago, Muldoon’s over-capacity white-elephant monument to himself that nearly bankrupted the national economy and left debts for generations yet to be born. if you think Think Big is anything to be proud of it’s hardly eusprising you have such poor political judgement.

  8. lemsip 8

    Who said anything about being proud of Think Big? Just pointing out your mistake.

  9. the sprout 9

    fair enough. how about then “investment in useful, effective, nationally beneficial as opposed to National-friendly contractors, infrastructure would be a radical departure for National”?

  10. ayb:

    If you factor in growth in Auckland, rising construction costs, inflation, and the costs of building infrastructure, then that graph doesn’t show a considerable improvement at all. National was adding 15% a year to the budget between 1994 and 1998. If they had remained on that track, they would be ahead of where Labour is now.

    Labour spent three years starving Auckland of infrastructure expenditure. We’re paying the costs of it now.

  11. Robinsod 11

    I’ve gotta say the problem we have with infrastructure investment is economic capacity. There is simply not enough space in the economy to invest much harder. The best thing we can hope for in terms of infrastructure is a bit of a downturn so labour becomes available and money can be spent without inflationary impact. If increased spend comes as a smooth transition timed well to coincide with such a downturn (and we may be looking as a US driven one) we’ll get a win/win situation in that infrastructure spending will be able to increase and we’ll avoid the trough we may otherwise have faced. I don’t trust National to manage the economy that well.

  12. Prisoner Porter 12

    Our roads to our prison are fill of pot holes and my Auntie Edna is always crashing her Hummer because of the roading money is going to fix the problems in retard city -Dorkland !!

    Urgency bills red hot today , quick lets get EFB through before mid night deadline . Go girls . Oh dam , feminazi lockdown again – bye -bye !!

    [Tane: Dad, you’re not fooling anyone with your new identity.]

  13. Matthew Pilott 13

    IP you can’t really spin stats when they’re freely available – it’s a bit too transparent to lend your analysis any credibility.

    For example, National went from just under $100m to just over $200m in eight years. With an extra $100m in another eight years, they’d be spending $300m now – just over half of teh current spend.

    You’re lucky, Auckland would be a real dog’s breakfast had National cuntinued to underspend on infractructure for the last eight years.

    You can also look at the average spend of the parties and Labour’s is easily three times that of National’s…

  14. uk_kiwi 14

    What’s the bet the Nats start threatening the long-dead idea of PPPs (so-called public-private partnerships)

    These have been a complete failure nearly everywhere they have been used, the flagship one in the UK to fix the London Underground cost taxpayers 6 billion dollars and collapsed in very expensive fashion, after the private sector had stripped as much money as possible from the public purse. The project was almost a total loss.

    That actually does sound like a continuation of National policy.

  15. lemsip 15

    Matthew what is the percentage increase between $100m and $200m? If you were to apply this same percentage increase to $200m what would the answer be? Now what would happen if took into account inflation and rising construction costs?

  16. Matthew Pilott 16

    Yes Lemsip, exactly my point you can’t just spin the stats your way and expect that to be the be-all and end-all of teh topic.

    However in answer to your question, National’s spend would be $400m by now, still less than Labour’s. With inflation and rising construction costs, well, however you look at it, $400m buys less that $600m 🙂

    Bandy stats about all you wish, but it’s pretty obvious with that graph who’s funded transoprt in NZ more… the only way IP managed to spin it was to ignore half of the National Party’s spending.

    Why not ignore all but their last two years? We’d still be under $300m!!!

  17. Lampie 17

    HAHA love the spin on this crap, regardless of who spent what and increases and crap, the objectives were never met. We now have huge investment into a much needed roading which has been overdue longer than 1990.

  18. Phil 18

    The costs of “other construction” – Roads, bridges, railways etc have increased 35.7% between Sept 1999 and Sept 2007 (see Statistics NZ’s Capital Goods Price Index – CGPI)

    So, the $550-odd million in 06/07 is really only $405, when you consider what that additional spending actually gets you – in real terms, double.

    During the 1990’s, the CGPI remained pretty much static, so the roughly nominal doubling during the term of National govt works out in real terms to also be roughly a doubling of expenditure.

    Hardly a damming criticism of either party…

  19. Sam Dixon 19

    All your base , if those are financial years and the year you’ve written indicates the end of the year (ie 2000 = June 30 2000), then the first one that Labour had control over was 2001.

    or if the graph indicates the start of the financal year then Labour’s first year should be 2000.

    so, depending on whether thats start or end of the financial year – you need to move the start year to 1991 or 1992, respectively and the changeover year to 2000 or 2000, respectively.

    a slight correction of the graph and it shows a better story for labour

  20. lemsip 20

    So Matthew you got your figures, fail to account for inflation and rising construction costs and then suggest other people are spinning the stats? You also fail to account for historical context i.e. the government being in a very difficult fiscal position in the early 1990’s – both Labour and National governments. Undoubtably Labour have spent more than National did but it isn’t so simple as Labour good, National bad. Unless your a partisan fool.

    Also don’t you find it ironic that a government who is so keen to tackle climate change is spending so much on roading?

  21. Good of you to crunch the numbers, Phil.

    What you’re saying is that in real terms, National roughly doubled roading expenditure in Auckland, and in real terms, Labour has roughly doubled roading expenditure in Auckland?

    That would tend to make AYB’s conclusion an act of spin.

  22. Matthew Pilott 22

    Lemsip I did no such thing. I suggested that $400m, a figure arrived at by running the stats under the way you suggested I look at it, would buy fewer products and services in the transport area, than $600m would.

    Do you disagree with that statement?

    I also said that Labour has spent more money on transport, do you disagree with that or have you some more words you’d like to put in my mouth/keyboard?

    What’s the term for someone putting words in your mouth on a blog anyway? Maybe that’s a question for the ‘sod or someone else…

    Also don’t you find it ironic that a government who is so keen to tackle climate change is spending so much on roading?

    That’s like asking if I find it ironic that a government for the workers hasn’t nationalised all industry and means of production in the coutry, and given them to the workers. But sure, why not?

  23. Matthew,

    What the graph actually shows, thanks to Phil’s number-crunching, is that National doubled expenditure on roading in real terms during its term, and so has Labour.

    It is legitimate political conjecture as to whether enough money is being pumped into roads in Auckland, given the level of growth and congestion in the city. I have to admit, some parts of Auckland have done pretty well over the last eight years–the north western until about Great North Road has seen a massive improvement. The lack of an Eastern corridor sees all of the Eastern suburbs in a shambles. Esmonde Road has been improved, and the motorway network south is reasonably good, but the arterial routes are generally in an outright mess.

    Traffic levels in Auckland aren’t improving. They’re getting worse. Much of that is a function of growth, for sure. But for all the Labour Government’s rhetoric about plugging a lot more money into the system, they haven’t resulted in any better traffic outcomes.

  24. Matthew Pilott 24

    IP, have you asked Phil where his CGPI stats from the 1990’s came from or are you happy to take them for granted since they support your views?

  25. Tamaki Resident 25

    The lack of an Eastern Corridor is not really a central govt issue – I’m sure most people will remember that it was one of the reasons that John Banks lost the mayoralty to Dick Hubbard 3 years ago. Yes, traffic volumes are increasing, but so are the numbers of train and bus travellers.

    You’re arguing that black is white if you’re trying to say that Maurice Williamson was really doing anything about infrastructure (roads, telecommunications…) in the time he was in cabinet.

  26. PhilBest 26

    uk_kiwi, tell us if there have been any miserable failures in Public-Private-Partnerships for ROADS?

    Commuter Rail is a disaster everywhere, whether public or PPP. There is NO fully private commuter rail anywhere (at least not without massive public subsidies), because it is just not economically viable – period.

    National OR Labour, not enough money is being spent on ROADS in NZ. Annual subsidies to public transport are NOT “investments in infrastructure”. They are money burnt for which the benefits are gone the moment they are spent.

    Here’s something VERY INTERESTING about infrastructure investment:

    http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB118826651510210572-lMyQjAxMDE3ODI4ODIyNjg2Wj.html

    What kind of “infrastructure investment” most helps the poor and disadvantaged?

  27. Tamaki Resident 27

    “National was adding 15% a year to the budget between 1994 and 1998. If they had remained on that track, they would be ahead of where Labour is now.”

    IF THEY HAD remained on track… – what track is that? 1999 should really be blue on the chart – the expenditure for that year would have been approved by the blue team, and that year shows a DECREASE in $ terms (even more in real terms). Even for 2000 it could be said that much of that expenditure was planned for under the previous administration. Large infrastructure projects don’t just start overnight – they requie a lot of planning before the big dollars start getting spent.

  28. Phil 28

    Matthew/IP

    The CGPI figures come direct from SNZ’s INFOS system, and show an 11% rise from Sep90 to Sep99.

    The reference, if you’re interested, is “CEPQ.S2GC – Other Construction”

  29. Matthew Pilott 29

    Thanks Phil – that wasn’t a dig at you btw, I was interested and nitoced the linked stats site said their info started from 1999.

  30. Lampie 30

    I agree Tamaki, regardless how much they (National) have increased expenditure, nothing was been achieved. It is only in 2002 we see a big injection that was needed which just really show that the so called 15% increase over the 1990’s was not enough to address the issues. Inflation increases tax takes

  31. The Double Standard 31

    What happens when Teh Parties carbon-neutral theme collides with this massive increase in transportation spending?

    Or is it a case of more taxes to pay for more roads, then more petrol taxes to pay for the carbon emissions? Doesn’t seem that sensible to me.

  32. lemsip 32

    “For example, National went from just under $100m to just over $200m in eight years. With an extra $100m in another eight years, they’d be spending $300m now – just over half of teh current spend.”

    Where does that say $400m Matthew? Sloppy sloppy sloppy

  33. lemsip 33

    Lemsip said “Undoubtably Labour have spent more than National did but it isn’t so simple as Labour good, National bad”

    Can’t you read Matthew?

  34. Tamaki Resident 34

    Actually TDS, the road improvements will make the existing journeys more fuel efficient, so it’s a win-win situation.

  35. lemsip 35

    “That’s like asking if I find it ironic that a government for the workers hasn’t nationalised all industry and means of production in the coutry, and given them to the workers. ”

    Actually its not Matthew. There seems to be scientific consensus that carbon emissions are directly related to climate change. This means that policies which allow more carbon to emitted are ceteris paribus going to increase climate change.

    In your example it does not necessarily follow that nationalisation will result in better outcomes for workers.

  36. Pascal's bookie 36

    tell us if there have been any miserable failures in Public-Private-Partnerships for ROADS?

    Funny you should ask…

    SMH 13/12/07:

    “TOLLS from the Harbour Bridge are being used to prop up the privately owned Sydney Harbour Tunnel, it emerged yesterday as the NSW Auditor-General warned the tunnel was struggling financially because of rising costs and fewer cars using it….

    …The tunnel company’s expenses are more than $95 million a year while toll receipts have fallen to $43.7 million, a report from the Auditor-General said, leaving a shortfall of $52 million which is picked up by those use the Harbour Bridge.

    In the latest blow to public-private partnerships touted by the Iemma Government as a fix-all for funding the state’s infrastructure, the Auditor-General has found that the tunnel company could struggle to repay its loan to the RTA.

    The RTA lent the company $223 million in 1992 to be repaid in full in 2022, but the Auditor-General urged the RTA to reassess whether the company would be in a position to repay it in light of its losses.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/bridge-toll-props-up-harbour-tunnel/2007/12/12/1197135558243.html

  37. The Double Standard 37

    Recycled policies

    Remind me again, who introduced and passed legislation in 2003 providing for public/private partnership funding of roading?

    http://www.transport.govt.nz/facts-ltmb-partnerships1/

    “Road controlling authorities will be able to use private sector financing and expertise to develop large-scale projects. This will speed up improvements to our land transport system, and encourage further innovation.

    At present, roading projects are paid for in the years of construction which means current road users bear the full cost, even when the benefits arise years into the future. Public/private partnerships (PPPs) are a useful way to spread the cost of infrastructure over time.”

    Oh, I forgot Labour Good, National Bad?

  38. Robinsod 38

    DS – I recognise Nat research unit work when I see it boy. If you are IP then you should not have mixed business with pleasure. Not a good idea to use your personal handle to do party work, eh?

  39. Billy 39

    I thought I was TDS.

  40. Robinsod 40

    No Billy, you’re Robinsod. I’m not sure who I am yet but y’know what they say – life is a journey of self discovery…

  41. The Double Standard 41

    Robbo – Are you still drunk from last night?

    Here’s a little tip for you – it’s not that difficult to use google these days. In fact most 7 year olds could do this search:

    http://www.google.co.nz/search?q=public private partnership site:.beehive.govt.nz

    Did I get my punctuation right?

  42. James Kearney 42

    There goes double with his personal attacks again.

  43. The Double Standard 43

    James – are you a new reader?

    Robbo thrives on personal attacks. However he has a small delusional issue, think that I work for the Nats, or that I’m IP.

  44. Robinsod 44

    Double – you either get paid to do this or you lead a sorry, sorry life. I hope for your sake you’re in the Nat’s research team.

    Oh and I puked early, had a kebab and woke up fine this morning. I’m nothing if not durable…

  45. Matthew Pilott 45

    Lemsip, back to 3:48 (apologies for ze delay) the $400m was in the following post, with an alternte method of figuring out the amount National would be funding as per your suggestion at 11:41 (you were referring to the wrong post of mine, 11:33 instead of 11:52):

    However in answer to your question, National’s spend would be $400m by now, still less than Labour’s. With inflation and rising construction costs, well, however you look at it, $400m buys less that $600m

    Hope that clears it up, bit sloppy on your part though 😉

    Lemsip said “Undoubtably Labour have spent more than National did but it isn’t so simple as Labour good, National bad”

    Can’t you read Matthew?

    I sure can. What does my literacy have to do with your statement?

    Here’s a hint – I didn’t say Labour Good National Bad at all, I was purely looking at levels of funding. You can draw whatever inference from that you wish.

    Road funding vs climate change – I am happy to admit that functioning roads are a requirement of our society. No earthshaking admission there eh? So it follows that roads require funding to remain viable. No dilemma, s’long as there are are other plans to fight the Evil Karbon. Which there are. All happy?

  46. Robinsod 46

    Oh and double it’s not that difficult to use google these days. No it’s not but there’s skill in from knowing where to look and what to look for to get fast results.

    For example, to get the link you posted you first have to know (or have a suspicion) that PPP’s were introduced under labour (that’s institutional knowledges) then you have to know where that information is likely to be held (ie knowledge basket, clerk’s office, beehive, etc).

    You pulled it up quickly and by the looks of your provided search you knew exactly what you were looking for and where to look. That’s not amateur material bro, that’s research unit. I know journo’s who would struggle to get to that info that directly.

    So how how much are they paying you? No, let me guess, I hear the research team’s banded from $60k – $70k nowadays and you’re a web monkey so I’m guessing… $60?

  47. PhilBest 47

    Good on ya Matthew Pilott. Let’s get a nonpartisan thing going on this shall we? Roads good, congestion bad. For the prosperity of everyone. AND the environment. There ARE ways in which the evil carbon will be and is being defeated, just as the buildup of horse shit and its threat to health 100 years ago was defeated.

    PLEASE NOTE the article I linked to above. Infrastructure investment of the basic kind (roads, drainage, energy, etc) is a major driver of the prosperity of the poor and disadvantaged sectors of society. Here it is again, just in case.

    http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB118826651510210572-lMyQjAxMDE3ODI4ODIyNjg2Wj.html

    Pascal’s Bookie, fair comment, although an underharbour tunnel may not represent the general “rule” here, eh?

  48. The Double Standard 48

    I know journo’s who would struggle to get to that info that directly.

    I’m flattered that you think so highly of me Robbo. Of course, it can’t be that hard to get a job as a journalist, given the unemployment levels.

    I know it gives you a thrill to suggest that I work for a research unit, but I can assure you that I don’t.

  49. Phil 49

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I agree (partially) with Robinsod on this one.

    Part of my job involves dealing with the journalists who use data my team publishes, and the level of ignorance from some of them about how to find something (and what they’re looking for) is truly startling. However, I’ve found that once you figure out HOW to quickly find one thing on a govt website, the rest falls into place fairly quickly. You don’t need to be a professional researcher to be net-savvy in that respect.

    But if TDS really is a researcher earning $60k then I’m really in the wrong job…

  50. Robinsod 50

    I know it gives you a thrill to suggest that I work for a research unit, but I can assure you that I don’t.

    Well you obviously have some experience in political research and working knowledge of some pretty obscure political stuff. I think you’ve been around the political block (knowing to look for stuff like who was in power when PPPs were first legislated for is a good sign of institutional knowledge).

    You’ve not been around for that long though, you seem to have gaps pre-2000ish and you don’t show a really deep knowledge of the game. Perhaps you’ve done research as a public servant, or perhaps you work on the campaign side of things? Actually, yeah I’m starting to tend toward the campaign advisory side of things, you run a lot of tropes that are spin-related such as your by-the-book misdirection and that would give you access to research too. You also seem to do a lot of holding-pattern trolling – it’s as if you’re just keeping up the white noise and, like Tane says, you don’t seem to have your heart in it.

    The question is would National really employ someone to attack a blog? I mean I know it’s on the radar and it’s put some good hits on the Tories but let’s face it, it’s just a blog.

    I guess they’ve got a lot of money though, and it looks like they’re gonna have to find novel ways to spend it, hell it’d possibly fall under parliamentary staff spending depending on how it was described and it wouldn’t need to be a sole focus – you could easily be running your cut and paste comments in between fact checking press releases or making the boss coffee.

    That make you unlikely to be IP by the way. He is a punter.

    On the other hand you’re probably just a random loon. Who knows?

  51. uk_kiwi 51

    “legislation in 2003 providing for public/private partnership funding of roading?”

    And exactly how many times has this been used in the intervening 4 years? A nice round number (zero)?

    The devil is in the detail with PPPs, the problem is that the government usually ends up negotiating a deal with sharks who then proceed to rape the taxpayer and bail on the deal. Even better if the sharks are paying off the ministers involved .

    The business of business should be business, not trying to find ways to pillage the public purse for their own gain.

    Hence the strong opposition toward PPPs; in real life they fail due to fraud and corruption.

  52. Pascal's bookie 52

    PhilBest
    Pascal’s Bookie, fair comment, although an underharbour tunnel may not represent the general “rule” here, eh?

    Perhaps not. But I couldn’t resist, I’d just read about it this A.M.

    “It was the same day David!”

  53. The Double Standard 53

    Robbo – “Who knows?” Who indeed. I can say the same about you, or in fact pretty much any of the posters and commenters here.

    UK_Kiwi – AFAIK it hasn’t been used yet. However Teh Party was trumpeting it at the time, and they did pass the legislation.

    I suspect it is better used on small scale activities rather than large ones. It’s got to be cheaper for the govt to borrow anyway and it’s a long time since the ministry of works existed to do large scale construction anyway. It’s all done by private companies now anyhow.

    I dunno that the ‘fraud and corruption’ angle is entirely fair. It is more likely that they fail through optimistic assumptions at early stages about costs and timeframes.

  54. Pascal's bookie 54

    It is more likely that they fail through optimistic assumptions at early stages about costs and timeframes.

    Fair enough. Who should wear the costs then, taking into account Public Choice Theory and the rest, the taxpayer or the Private Partner?

    We wouldn’t want to create a moral hazard.

  55. Robinsod 55

    Robbo – “Who knows?” Who indeed. I can say the same about you, or in fact pretty much any of the posters and commenters here.

    Y’see I gave you that out bro, but I’m still curious. ‘Cos you can’t say that about many of the commenters here, or me for that matter – we don’t have the figures at our fingertips like you do and most of us post comments based on opinion, or have a bit of biff or a bit of a laugh. You seem to either comment with research or just disrupt. I’ve had blues with commenters like Barnsley Bill but also the odd laugh at them. You on the other hand, don’t act like someone who is here to interact with people. You comment like you’ve got a project or a job to do. I can’t figure out if that’s because you are delusional and think you’re doing “god’s work” or if you’re actually a pro with some kind of investment in this. Care to elucidate?

    Oh, and you should have a question mark at the end of “Who indeed”.

  56. Robinsod 56

    laugh at them

    Freudian slip there – I meant to say laugh with them.

  57. all_your_base 57

    Quite right Sam. Will update the graph tomorrow – x-axis labels were the starting years. Cheers.

  58. Draco TB 58

    The business of business should be business, not trying to find ways to pillage the public purse for their own gain.

    That’s what it should be but that isn’t how it’s done.

    Business tends to think that its job is to accrue as much money as possible for the least effort possible and that the best way to do that is to pillage the government coffers. I don’t know why people are surprised when they discover this to be the truth as business has been doing it for centuries – Adam Smith wrote about it quite extensively in his “Wealth of Nations”.

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  • 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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: ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 days 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
    3 days ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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. ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    6 days ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days 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
    7 days ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    1 week ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
    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 What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week 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
    3 hours 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 hours 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 hours 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
    6 hours 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
    6 hours 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
    9 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    4 days 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
    6 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week ago
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