The Californian canary

Written By: - Date published: 11:54 am, May 2nd, 2015 - 42 comments
Categories: climate change, us politics, water - Tags: , ,

California is a climate change “canary in a coal mine” (the links with coal particularly apt). There are many other vulnerable regions around the world of course, but California is particularly important because it is an American canary, and (in general) Americans only care about American events.

The Californian canary is in trouble:

The End of California?

…Of course, there is nothing normal about the fourth year of the great drought: According to climate scientists, it may be the worst arid spell in 1,200 years. For all the fields that will go fallow, all the forests that will catch fire, all the wells that will come up dry, the lasting impact of this drought for the ages will be remembered, in the most exported term of California start-ups, as a disrupter.

“We are embarked upon an experiment that no one has ever tried,” said Gov. Jerry Brown in early April, in ordering the first mandatory statewide water rationing for cities.

The Golden State may recover, but it won’t be the same place. Looking to the future, there is also the grim prospect that this dry spell is only the start of a “megadrought,” made worse by climate change. California has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs. What if the endless days without rain become endless years?

In the cities of a changed California, brown is the new green. A residential lawn anywhere south of, say, Sacramento, is already considered an indulgence. “If the only person walking on your lawn is the person mowing it,” said Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board, then maybe it should be taken out. The state wants people to convert lawns to drought-tolerant landscaping, or fake grass.

Artificial lakes filled with Sierra snowmelt will become baked-mud valleys, surrounded by ugly bathtub rings. Some rivers will dry completely — at least until a normal rain year. A few days ago, there was a bare trickle from the Napa, near the town of St. Helena, flowing through some of the most valuable vineyards on the planet. The state’s massive plumbing system, one of the biggest in the world, needs adequate snow in order to serve farmers in the Central Valley and techies in Silicon Valley. This year, California set a record low Sierra snowpack in April — 5 percent of normal — following the driest winter since records have been kept.

Not that I wish any ill on Californians, but in the grand scheme of things it is probably good for our global chances of action to limit climate change that such a clear example of the damaging effects are playing out in the USA’s back yard.

42 comments on “The Californian canary ”

  1. weka 1

    I agree, a good wake up call hopefully. However this is as much about land use as CC, they go hand in hand (and it’s very misleading for that article to say that California’s problems are created by nature not man).

    The two things are instrinsically linked, and so are the solutions.

    eg turn lawns into food growing areas using water harvesting and passive irrigation techniques, and you do a number of things: produce local food (no food miles); rehydrate the land which in turn rehydrates the water tables; get rid of lawn mowers and all the oil and infrastructure involved in that; cool hot climates by having more vegetation etc.

    Some links on how to use water sustainably (applies to NZ too). Swales can be used on any scale (home garden to large farm).

    How swales rehydrate the landscape (1 1/2 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFeylOa_S4c

    Swales in drought ridden North Texas harvesting rainwater. This is how you hold water in the land instead of having it run off the top, which in a dry and now parched/hydrophobic landscape like Texas is radical (7mins but you can get the gist in the first few).

    • Alethios 1.1

      Excellent point Weka.

      It seems to me that much of the work that needs to be done to adapt is on a local scale – individuals, families and communities. Local measures to secure a reliable and inexpensive source of food and otherwise reduce the household costs of, say, commuting and consumption seem an intergral part of meeting the challenges of the wider scale.

    • AmaKiwi 1.2

      California is America’s front yard, not it’s back yard.

      It’s the USA’s media center so maybe California’s media will help to bury the money hungry climate change deniers. By contrast, a drought in Montana would go unreported.

    • Paul Campbell 1.3

      water law in the US is complex – Eastern states follow English riparian law – if it flows over your land you can do what you like with it. Western states inherited Spanish law – and tend to use prior appropriation – if you have a water right those upstream can’t take it away (they can’t dam a river, they can’t even collect tank water from their roof) – I suspect swales are a sneaky way to legally keep water without using a dam

      • weka 1.3.1

        Good point about sneaky swales (although I don’t think that’s the primary reason for using them). Is the water ban on harvesting rainwater old or new? I thought it was a new thing, but it might just be that it’s being policed now as the water extractive industry makes it obvious that water is a finite resource.

        • Paul Campbell 1.3.1.1

          it’s old – as I said it’s law that was inherited from the Spanish – I think going after people with roof tanks is relatively new though

          • weka 1.3.1.1.1

            ok, I had thought the water harvesting thing was coming from authorities rather than private land owners. Is the water right inherent in the ownership, or something that has to be granted?

            • Paul Campbell 1.3.1.1.1.1

              I believe you own a water right separately from land – some may be hundreds of years old – the farm downstream from your home may have rights to the water you’re trying to capture from your roof

  2. ianmac 2

    Wonder if the well meaning water retention in Texas means that normal flow no longer makes it to the rivers and thus to where it is needed?

    • cricklewood 2.1

      No I dont think so. A real problem with a cleared landscape is that rain water enters river systems before it can permeate the ground causing destrutive floods. By slowing the water movement through the use of swales etc a river will rise far more slowly and disperse the water downstream over a longer period of time. Effectivly the river becomes healthier because the massive peaks and troughs in water flow tend to be average out.

      • ianmac 2.1.1

        Yes. I get that. Cleared bush on hillside causes landslides and slumping and instant floods. Some farmers clear land overgraze and complain when the land in their care slips away. Saw a lot of that in the Gisborne area.

        Of course there is a plan afoot to dam and retain water in the hills to the west of Canterbury. Would that have the same effect as swales?

        • cricklewood 2.1.1.1

          Definatly not the same effect as a swale, a swale just slows water down and allows the soil to asborb more. A dam stores water and the effect it would have on a river depends I guess in how the dam was managed. If you took water during very high flow and then released it at a consistent rate during periods of low flow it would be beneficial to a river system. However most dams are built for the purpose of either power, town water suplly or irrigation and in effect any thought to the health of the river is secondary at best.
          The state of the Hutt River been a good case in point water gets drawn off over summer leaving it down to a warm trickle…

          • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.1

            The Hutt River is actually managed very well by GWRC.

            There is only one point where water is drawn off at the Kaitoke Weir. In the summer when the river is naturally low – a great deal of care has been taken to accurately measure the total river flow, and only abstract exactly the amount agreed to in the consent. There is always a minimum of 60 Ml/Day left in the river at that point, and this flow has a higher priority than the drinking water supply.

            Then there are at least 3 – 4 other significant catchments entering below this point. By the time it gets through the gorge and out to Te Marua there is almost always the quality and sufficient flow to maintain excellent river health

            Unfortunately lower down again where the Maymorn valley stream enters just upstream of Brown Owl is where most of the agricultural sourced pollution has entered in the past.

            What most people don’t realise is that downstream again, particularly in the Taita Gorge area, there is a lot of seepage from the river bed down into the Waiwhetu acquifer where eventually it emerges many decades later under the Wellington Harbour.

            This is why by the time the river gets below Tatia it naturally looks like a trickle in summertime. If we stopped abstracting water at Kaitoke you would see an almost negligible difference at Lower Hutt.

            It is true that Wellington depends heavily on the Hutt River; and no-one thinks it’s a good idea to be even more dependent on it. Which is why long-term plans look at collection and storage in other catchments.

            • cricklewood 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Whilst it is “well managed” the effect of allowing the river to drop to 400l or 600l per second before water take is ceased is not beneficial to the river.
              Whilst I understand the cities/people need the water my point around loss of flow been detrimental to a rivers health still stands.
              Interestingly an old boy that I worked for in Petone reckoned the volume of water bubbling up into the harbour has reduced greatly. He told me he had fished around what were visible upwellings not far off Petone beach for years he reckoned they all but dispeared in the late 80’s…

              • RedLogix

                You can of course claim that ANY amount of water taken is not ‘beneficial’ to a river – but in this case as the flows decline during the summer the amount being abstracted also decline, and treatment inflows are supplemented with stored water from the lakes. Which means that during the critical low flow periods the net effect of abstraction for drinking water at Te Marua where the river emerges from the gorge is 3/5th of sod all. Really.

                As you can probably tell – I used to be pretty closely involved – and I know how much effort has been put in to absolutely minimise the impact on the river. And how seriously we took that responsibility when the consents were put in place.

                Oddly enough it was only after the abstraction consents were put in place with the attendant public attention did the idea that the ‘river was being sucked dry’ get into the public minds. When ironically enough in the bad old days before the consent they really did just slam the valves wide open and actually suck the river dry at that point. And nobody downstream in the Hutt ever noticed.

                The Waiwhetu acqifer is modelled and monitored pretty closely too. The one thing the city cannot afford is to draw it down too low and risk saline harbour water backflowing up into the freshwater zone.

                The relative ‘age’ of the water as it flows under the valley is tracked using oxygen isotope tracking which also gives a pretty good idea of the health of the reservoir.

                The upwellings in the harbour are known to move around. There are a number of them, most near Sommes Is, but some right across the other side near Port Nicholson. Whether their relative activity indicates anything important is hard to tell.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          Of course there is a plan afoot to dam and retain water in the hills to the west of Canterbury.

          Better idea would be to reconstitute the wetlands.

    • weka 2.2

      “Wonder if the well meaning water retention in Texas means that normal flow no longer makes it to the rivers and thus to where it is needed?”

      I don’t think so. If we consider how a natural catchment system works, it’s normal for water to be held in the landscape. But this is where you would need to look at the whole catchment eg in Canterbury, you’d want the mountains and hills to be largely forested (forests act as sponges for all that West Coast rain overspill, and then release water into the watercourses in a slow, sustained way). The plains could be manage sustainably using many of the techniques in the link below, so rather than them being big, open, very dry spaces, they becomes places that need far less irrigation and which keep the streams and rivers healthy.

      In the situation of one property swaling amongst many that are convetionally managed, I also doubt it is a problem when compared to irrigation takes, which are massively wasteful because they dump huge amounts of water on the top of the land, much of which evaporates.

      http://permaculturenews.org/2014/12/15/drought-proofing-california-not-in-the-news/

      Here’s an example from Australia where you can see an explanation of rehydration of landscape degraded over decades, by slowing water moving through a river/creek system (which is how those creeks worked before the land was cleared).

      http://earthintegral.com/2011/11/10/the-dehydration-and-rehydration-of-the-australian-landscape/

  3. Macro 3

    Having just returned from 3 months stay in Perth WA I have to add that unfortunately for many people living in a continuing drought makes little to no difference in their appreciation of the impending catastrophic consequences. WA and Perth in particular is a centre for mining. You don’t have to go far to meet some one who works in, or is related to someone who works in mining. So they have a vested interest in keeping their heads firmly in the sand – and Perth by the way is largely built on sand.
    Inflows into the Perth catchments have been declining steadily since 1970.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214581814000251
    Perth now has the largest desalination water plant in the southern hemisphere and is building another. It draws water from a large aquifer – but the water level in that is declining. It amazes me when I visit that in the height of summer, with degrees of up to 40+C occurring regularly, that developers persist in trying to lay ready made lawns and planting trees! Day after day of cloudless sky’s and brilliant sun and no one wears a hat!
    As the linked article concludes

    As was found in analyses of previous climate model experiments, the latest set of climate model results (CMIP5, RCP8.5) all project a decline in annual rainfall by the end of the century accompanied by relatively large uncertainty. Some models (ACCESS1-3, BNU-ESM, CMCC-CESM, IPSL-CM5B-MR, IPSL-CM5B-LR, MPI-ESM-LR and NORESM1-M) exhibit time series that exhibit similarities to the observed SWWA time series in terms of a late 20th century decline. This confirms early interpretations that suggested that both natural variability and the enhanced greenhouse effect have contributed to the rainfall decrease.

    my bold.

    Regretfully I fear that even severe drought will have little impact on people’s attitudes until the consequences are so severe that they can no longer be ignored.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Regretfully I fear that even severe drought will have little impact on people’s attitudes until the consequences are so severe that they can no longer be ignored.

      Yep, that’s my reading of it and even then a lot of people will still blame someone or something else. It won’t have anything to do with them despite them owning large cars, boats and been actively encouraging more burning of fossil fuels.

    • RedLogix 3.2

      that developers persist in trying to lay ready made lawns and planting trees!

      Which is odd because over here in Ballarat (probably overall the coldest and wettest city in the Australian mainland) all the new developments are very water conservation minded. Most new homes are ‘hardscaped’ using combinations of rock, permanent mulches, pavers and a patch of synthetic turf for the kids to play on. Any larger plants are usually in planters or tubs of some sort. They’ve gotten really good at it and many are very attractive indeed.

      If you have a lawn you also have a sign on it saying “Bore Water in Use” to indicate that you are not keeping it green with town supply. And no-one – apart from the golf club that has it’s own sodding great storage lake, tries to keep acres of grass watered in the height of summer.

      Rain water storage and grey water recycling are boringly normal – as are solar cells.

      Then in the common areas of the subdivision there is usually some native re-vegetation and if possible a re-established wetland of some sort. These areas are really popular. The big drought Victoria went through between about 2005 – 2013 has definitely left it’s mark on people’s thinking.

      In some ways the Aussies are well ahead of NZ when it comes to environmental responses. And while it’s true that mining historically has a lot to answer for, these days they typically operate under tight conditions they spend a lot of time and money, monitoring and mitigating. Certainly way ahead of what is typical in many other parts of the world.

    • Shona 3.3

      When I lived in Perth in the late 1970’s lawns were rapidly becoming unfashionable and native plantings were all the rage. Landscaping with drought tolerant plants was actively encouraged by shire councils and there was a very high level of awareness of the importance of conserving water. Perth had population under 1million at that stage. Clearly the influx of Northern Hemisphere migrants has changed that. Perth is an awful city these days.

      • Macro 3.3.1

        Lawns are very much in fashion.
        As are roses and other exotics.
        My daughter and son in law are looking at purchasing a property which is unique in that it is has no lawns and is planted in indigenous plants. (5% deposit – makes home affordability within the grasp of many unlike our 20%)
        I find Perth in many ways a very beautiful city, and many of the suburbs are extremely well planned and set out. Parks abound, mature trees remain (where there have been no bushfires! – many deliberately lit), and the public transport system is improving all the time.
        Furthermore there are more and more Solar PV and Solar heating systems appearing all the time. The result of a generous Govt subsidy initially. Now 2.6 million Australians rely on Solar energy to power their homes. Still only a small percentage of total energy usage but the emphasis is obvious.
        The unsustainability of Perth as I see it, is in the attitude of Business as Usual. Much like in California. In California it’s “Let’s continue the Fracking and the industrial mono culture” and take no cognisance of the reality that we are now living in a place where the Climate has changed substantially.
        Water is fundamental to life. We cannot live without it.

    • AmaKiwi 3.4

      Perth swimming pools. Every suburban house has one.

  4. Paul 4

    These events remind me of a book I read a couple of years ago called Climate Wars by Gwynne Dyer. It looked at climate change and some plausible scenarios of how the world could be in the future.

    Here are two.

    By the 2040s, Canada is selling the contents of the Great Lakes to California, and the European Union collapses in the face of millions of refugees escaping from North Africa.

    Sounds familiar?

    • Bill 4.1

      2045, Scandanavian countries discover overpopulation and begins deliberate targeting and sinking of ‘boat people’ as N.African refugees join European refugees in a mad rush to more ‘livable’ northern climes.

      The governments make some unconvincing murmer about people smugglers.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        The Age of Stupid has a seen in it where New Zealand closes its borders in the 1920s. IMO, that’s a fairly good estimation. I know a few people are demanding that we take on more refugees but the fact is that we’re a small country and we can’t support many more people. I suspect that Europe will be closing it’s borders before us.

        There’s two catastrophes coming together here. The first is simple over population and the inevitable resource depletion that that brings. The second is climate change which is exacerbating the effects of the first.

        • Bill 4.1.1.1

          Wow! I slept that late!!! 1920’s you say…. 😉

        • Sanctuary 4.1.1.2

          According to the optimum population trust New Zealand has a sustainable population of 16.1 million. We are therefore -11.8 million on the overshoot index.

          Here is the latest index – http://www.populationmatters.org/documents/overshoot_index.pdf

          China and India in particular have overshot their sustainable carrying capacity by 1.4 billion!

          • RedLogix 4.1.1.2.1

            Thanks – that is a most interesting document.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2.2

            It’s a good place to start asking the necessary questions about sustainability but:

            The true balance between consumption and demand for resources will appear even more unfavourable when the progressive reduction towards zero use of non-renewables is factored into the numbers. A satisfactory way to do this has yet to be devised. It also assumes that 100% of biocapacity is allocated to humans, since there is no agreed figure for the necessary share needed to conserve biodiversity.

            I suspect that there’s more work that needs to be done on it and that the final figure will be lower and probably quite a bit lower.

  5. Bill 5

    One day before their presumed deaths from dropping through thin ice and drowning…

    In a voicemail on Tuesday, Dutch researcher Marc Cornelissen, founder of Cold Facts, an organization supporting scientific research in polar regions, laughed at his predicament. He explained that unexpectedly warm weather had forced him and fellow explorer Philip de Roo to complete that afternoon’s skiing in the Canadian Arctic in their underwear.

    🙁

    http://www.theguardian.com/vital-signs/2015/may/01/deaths-arctic-researchers-ice-climate-change-cornelissen

  6. Seen this?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11441247

    Hundreds of methane gas flares found off coast of Gisborne Apr 30, 2015
    A team of scientists have found around 766 individual methane gas flares within an area of seabed off the coast of Gisborne, in what has been described as a “major advance” for science and a first for New Zealand.
    —————————————–

    This could be abiotic methane, being close to fault lines and all.
    CH4 could be between 300 and 1,000 times stronger than CO2, depending on concentrations, these massive methane plumes could be why the east coast of NZ was something like +5 C above normal this summer?

    • Bill 6.1

      I’ve no independent or verifiable source for what I’m about to say.

      But down my way, word is that certain fish species have ‘disappeared’ and warmer water N. Island species are becoming more common.

      So, those flares. Have they ‘always’ been there? Or are they a product of general oceanic warming? There is my preferred thought and then there’s my ‘we’re fucking fucked’ thought.

  7. Sable 7

    Its a tragedy for the average person but maybe a wake up call for those making the decisions. That said from what I have seen from our home grown enviro-half-wits / political leaders and the baying 49% of drongos who think they are doing a good job, this may still be a wafer thin hope.

  8. Reddelusion 8

    Here we go again another leftiy crisis waiting to happen , as sure as night follows day expect the California drought to end shortly. There
    is a very strong negative correlation between level of left shrill to any perceived crisis and that crisis been no crisis at all

  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1ywB8132jc
    Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Climate Change Debate HBO

  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjOP3Y_JUX8

    Worst Case Climate Change (2008 TED Talk)
    Kevin Surace
    Published on May 18, 2014
    In February 2008 I gave a talk at TED in Monterey CA. It was a TED-U talk for about 20 minutes. That talk was recorded but never posted online. The idea was to take best case or nominal case climate change off the table, and just for the sake of it…discuss worst case scenarios. No one was giving a talk like this…it was a bit too scary. Many people left the session in tears.
    When I returned from TED we recorded the same talk in a studio even though I was sick (in this video). That was never seen or posted until now (May 2014), more than 6 years later. I remember being sick that day but doing it anyway.
    What is most interesting is to look forward from 2008 when this was taped and see what predictions have come closer to reality (arctic ice melt and antarctic as well) and which have not. Regardless of one’s beliefs or political convictions, the ideas and science here make for great conversation. Hopefully none come true.

  11. http://theartofannihilation.com/portfolio/test/

    The so-called environmental movement refuses to acknowledge, let alone discuss the fact it’s been bought, sold, muzzled and now lies in ruins in a pile of ashes. Civil society remains largely unaware of this truth, let alone the key factors behind it. And this in itself is tragic, because this issue is one of the key factors as to why we, as a global society, have failed to mitigate our environmental crisis, and why we continue to advance further to the very precipice. Yet, trained from birth to not challenge authority, to not offend, to be obedient, to be polite – we remain silent. Yes, impeccable manners, avoid conflict, and above all, do not question those who “know best”. Our deeply internalized passivism is as great a threat as the forthcoming climate apocalypse itself.

  12. Paul Campbell 12

    I lived in California for 20 years, mostly in Oakland and Berkeley – there’s a decided class issue that’s not raised here – I distinctly remember the last big drought, the water district tried to restrict water use in the poorer neighbourhoods so that people could only shower every other day so as to protect the lawns of the wealthier suburbs to the east (where the temperature is 10-20 degrees higher)

    Big chunks of California (especially LA) is desert,s omewhere that was never supposed to have lawns – I think if California wants to survive they’re going to have top change the way they use water, those lawns and golf courses are going to have to go

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    3 hours ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    11 hours ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    13 hours ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    17 hours ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    17 hours ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    3 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    3 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    3 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    3 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    4 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    6 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    7 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    1 week ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response

    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment

    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Questions from God

    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The politics of money and influence

    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity

    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago

  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins

    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended

    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance

    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones

    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress

    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government creates MAG for retail crime victims

    The coalition Government is establishing a Ministerial Advisory Group for the victims of retail crime, as part of its plan to restore law and order, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee says.  “New Zealand has seen an exponential growth in retail crime over the past five ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban

    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state

    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-07-21T11:17:32+00:00