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The climate action momentum

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, September 21st, 2019 - 33 comments
Categories: activism, climate change - Tags: , , ,

The day before the Global Climate Strike, the Guardian published an open letter from a large number of Australian academics, declaring their support for Extinction Rebellion,

It is unconscionable that we, our children and grandchildren should have to bear the terrifying brunt of this unprecedented disaster. When a government wilfully abrogates its responsibility to protect its citizens from harm and secure the future for generations to come, it has failed in its most essential duty of stewardship. The ‘social contract’ has been broken, and it is therefore not only our right, but our moral duty, to rebel to defend life itself.

We therefore declare our support for the Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement and the global week of non-violent civil disobedience and disruption planned for October. We stand behind XR’s demands for the Australian government to declare a climate emergency and to establish a citizens’ assembly to work with scientists on the basis of current evidence to develop a credible and just plan for rapid total decarbonisation of the economy.

In addition, we call on all Australian universities and other major institutions to immediately divest funds from all fossil fuel and other industries which are contributing to the climate crisis, and to redirect investments urgently toward the renewable energy sector and other climate enhancing technologies.

We also recognise the crucial role First Nations people in Australia and across the globe, have played for tens of thousands of years, and continue to play, in maintaining species, and caring for the land, water and air. We therefore declare our support for the urgent establishment of a treaty with First Nation Australians, to recognise Indigenous sovereignty and to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to continue protecting what they have already cared for, for so long.

The day of the strike, Australia led the world with near record numbers.

These are heartening numbers in one of the key growing movements for climate activism. The current public awareness and willingness to act compared to even a few years ago makes me think we are approaching a tipping point. I’m not keen on timed predictions around big societal change, but I expect that this time next year the landscape will look very different again. With things moving this fast, there is great opportunity to influence which direction we tip. 

September 20th marked the start of the Global Climate Strike week. New Zealand’s strike will be at the close of the week on the 27th. Organised by the School Strike 4 Climate people, this is a strike for everyone. SS4C NZ are calling it a general strike. 

Ten days after that the International Rebellion begins on the 7th October. This is a fortnight of actions from Extinction Rebellion designed to non-violently disrupt societies to sufficient extent to force governments to listen to what the people want and to take meaningful, timely action. 

Extinction Rebellion has been getting a fair amount of valid criticism from some activist quarters for its organisational culture and tactics, but there is no doubt that they have radically changed both the narrative around climate change, and the actions we can now expect to take. This has been one of the critical pushes we needed to get mass awareness of the urgency of the climate crisis. 

The strikes this year are mass protest marches. Schools are now starting to give students permission to take the day off to attend and there is general acceptance of the validity of students doing this. One value here is in the kind of medium term change we can expect as institutional power holders start making better decisions about priorities (I look forward to when the need to prevent runaway climate change becomes paramount across society). But I can’t help but feel that striking is something people do as an act of empowerment in the face of injustice. They don’t require permission. 

Mass mobilisation via marches is necessary. It builds solidarity amongst people who take part, and it gives hope and the sense that acting matters. It raises wider public awareness, and gives clear signals to politicians that they need to pay attention. So the marches are necessary but probably not sufficient in the immediate term, which is where we also need accelerated change.

Hence the wonderful timing of Extinction Rebellion’s next set of disruptions. Here we have the opportunity to shift the narrative again. With the IPCC and the mainstream media now publicly declaring the need for urgent action, people are increasingly scared and looking for what to do. ER actions focus attention in the places where it hurts those who still deny the need for immediate change. These actions are likewise necessary and not sufficient. We also need, very soon, clear pathways that many people can act on effectively and from a place of empowerment. 

This is effort on as many fronts as we can manage. Marching, rebelling, planting trees, driving less, talking to our neighbours, these are the collective activisms that push change and the individual acts that underpin societal change. But we’re not yet at the point of conceiving of the system change needed to prevent the worst of climate disaster.  Coming up next, we also need to fast decide how to transition off fossil fuels in ways that are just, timely, and ecologically sustainable. This is the discussion we need to be having now.  

In the meantime, writing radical poetry on pub walls is as good an activism as I’ve seen:

33 comments on “The climate action momentum”

  1. AB 1

    Big crowds in Australia,  yet that electorate still preferred Scomo the coal hugger, because they were scared that their personal economic circumstances would deteriorate if action is taken. The 'just transition' that the Sanders programme talks about is essential to widespread buy-in. It is hard though to see how a"just transition" works without serious economic redistribution (or rather 'repatriation' as I prefer to call it) from the top down. This is where the massive sh*t  fight occurs.

     

    • weka 1.1

      I think what we need in NZ is for Labour to get with the messaging around a just transition. That requires them to change policy. Maybe there's an opportunity here for climate activism to reform the Labour Party 😉

    • Bg 1.2

      How many protestors in Tianimin Square? 

      • greywarshark 1.2.1

        Just a letter short of big – that's a good point but why don't you look it up and come back and tell us?

  2. Koff 2

    "At the end of her speech, Thunberg emphasized that the strikes around the world are just the start of change.

    “If you belong to that small group of people who feel threatened by us, we have some very bad news for you, because this is only the beginning,” Thunberg said. “Change is coming whether they like it or not.”

    Greta's speech to an estimated 250,000 people in NYC. 

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2019/sep/20/climate-strike-global-change-protest-sydney-melbourne-london-new-york-nyc-school-student-protest-greta-thunberg-rally-live-news-latest-updates

     

  3. MickeyBoyle 3

    I like your enthusiasm but in reality it's a tiny percentage of the population protesting. I personally believe there is not the political or societal will to actually do anything meaningful in regards to the climate. Yes we get the woke stories and activism, but come election time who are people voting for?. The Greens are struggling to poll above 5% and the green movement worldwide is also struggling to sell their story to voters. Our emissions continue to rise, we need a massive shift in policy and mindset to achieve real results. Unfortunately for us and our planet, there seems to be a lot of talk but no real action, people are voting selfishly,  and frankly they always will. It's all very well having stories like this, but I guarentee we will be in a similar position in a decade. We are screwed, it looks like a few hopeful idealists just havent realized it yet.

    • weka 3.1

      I see a lot of change in the past ten years, and it seems extremely likely there will be none in the next ten.

      The thing about tipping points is that change can happen fast, but it can take time to build up to that. The rate of change has increased. When I was first writing about CC  on TS three years ago (or commenting before that), there was still a large degree of denial, far less understanding of the kind of change needed, and few people were on board with the urgency of the situation. All those things have changed. There were some big pushes last year, especially ER, and the IPCC report on urgency.

      MSM coverage has also changed in that time, with many outlets now committed to presenting CC as a crisis. Some also moderate to not allow denialism.

      If we look at how change happens, these are the right things to be happening. MSM influence is huge. Big protests lead to political change (they're necessary but not sufficient). All of this might not be enough, but it might be. We can build on what has changed and assist the tipping point and make choices about which way we want it to go.

      Even in a worst case scenario, when the shit hits the fan, having a well educated and prepared population puts us miles head of where we were ten years ago.

       

      • Pat 3.1.1

        change can happen fast but its worth remembering that the 1.5 carbon budget is already gone and at current rates the 2 will be gone in 6 or 7 years as well

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          Yep. The one that worries me is that as we get on board with natural systems carbon storage, we will think about it as increasing our budget. This one really needs addressing and quite soon.

          I don't follow the maths that closely, because I think the problem here really is one of how we relate with nature, and once we sort that out, the analysis of the situation and what the solutions are will change.

          Looking at % chance of staying below a certain degree or PPM, while useful for communicating science, is not the only way to respond here. My own view is that no matter how bad it gets we should be doing what we can. It's never too late.

          I have some ambivalence about the 12 years left thing, because once we get to 12 years, what will happen to the narrative? Probably a risk worth taking to wake people up, but we really need better stories and better pathways in the next few years. Despair and intentional dissociation are probably one of the next big challenges.

          • Pat 3.1.1.1.1

            Thats a misunderstanding of the 'budget'…the budget is fixed (with a degree of uncertainty)…carbon storage whether natural or otherwise dosnt change 'the budget' it may however assist in achieving a slowing of output and potentially (though unproven at scale and problematic) a net negative production…however as always the constraint is time and we will see increased impacts regardless of the success  of negative emissions as the systems will take time (considerable) to adjust.

            And then theres the other forcing gases and feedbacks

            • weka 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I'm working off something like this,

              Global emissions budgets are calculated according to historical cumulative emissions from fossil fuel combustion, industrial processes, and land-use change, but vary according to the global temperature target that is chosen, the probability of staying below that target, and the emission of other non-CO2 greenhouse gases (GHGs).[6]

              Lots of variables there and it's still probabilities. If we stopped all fossil fuel burning today, the changes to the climate are going to be different than if we take 30 years to stop burning them. If we pick 2C as a target, then there are still variables within that,  and the budget for staying under 2C is based on making choices about those variables.

              Scientific estimations of the remaining global emissions budgets/quotas differ widely due to varied methodological approaches, and considerations of thresholds.[10] Most estimations still underestimate the amplifying climate change feedbacks.
               

              "carbon storage whether natural or otherwise dosnt change 'the budget' it may however assist in achieving a slowing of output and potentially (though unproven at scale and problematic) a net negative production"

              My point was that people will (already are) treating natural sequestration as a way of adjusting the budget. It's the same mentality that brings us carbon credits – take a plane and plant a tree to make up for it. Natural sequestration shouldn't be relied on to keep burning fossil fuels, we need it to mitigate the damage already done.

              I agree about time, it is the immovable force we ignore at our peril.
               

              • Pat

                 "If we stopped all fossil fuel burning today, the changes to the climate are going to be different than if we take 30 years to stop burning them."

                Totally agree

                "If we pick 2C as a target, then there are still variables within that,  and the budget for staying under 2C is based on making choices about those variables."

                The 2 deg C target has been determined as a point which if exceeded  the risk of irreversible impacts and feedbacks becomes unacceptably high…the IPCC budgets (RCPs) all have an element of carbon capture and storage involved in their modelling (except perhaps 8.5)…that is indicative of how important the 2 degC target is considered…they are willing to use some  sleight of hand to maintain the 'target'….none of that matters in the real world of ppm carbon or choices.

                Its pretty cut and dried, atmospheric carbon reaches x ppm and we will breach 2 deg C in the future and all that entails regardless…short of divine intervention

                 

      • MickeyBoyle 3.1.2

        I agree with the second part of your first sentence. 

        • greywarshark 3.1.2.1

          What 'none in the next ten years'?    Of change?   Of climate change?   I foresee kaleidoscopic change in the next ten years.   I'll bet a chocolate fish on that, if there are any still in the next ten years.    Who knows what is going to happen, but both huge societal change and climate change there will be.

          • MickeyBoyle 3.1.2.1.1

            I'll take that bet. We are simply fiddling around the edges so to speak. Emissions continue to rise and I honestly cannot see any of this governments policies let alone the required worldwide policies that are needed, coming to fruition. The time to act was 20 years ago, we are kidding ourselves that real change can be made now. The will is simply not there.

            • weka 3.1.2.1.1.1

              3 million people and climbing beg to disagree.

              ER is based on the historical experience that small numbers of people relative to population size can effect radical change even where most of the population apparently disagree. In this case, most people agree, most people want more govt action on climate change.

            • greywarshark 3.1.2.1.1.2

              I can't take that MB.   There is a risk of terminal illness for peoples and our world as we know it, but like all those dead cancerer sufferers have in their death notices – we must 'battle bravely' to stay alive and keep helping each other and being kaitiaki to our beautiful planet.   That is the beautiful thing to do, to keep on and trying for a nobility of soul, resisting sneers from those who have been debased by our throwaway society of constant excitement and wonders. 

              Those people are never able to take an overview of their life and their world, and the amazing opportunity of being in it with so many possibilities for them.  All need to give time for quiet appreciation of what they have had, and still could if they could be in tune with the real world.   I must start saying 'grace' in a quick quiet and meaningful way before my meal, as we used to.    It is rare now, as the habit has grown of taking our world and comforts  for granted.

              Tl:dr?

        • Koff 3.1.2.2

          Maybe you should join a climate strike near you next Friday, Mickey. Better being in a deluded bubble than sitting at home morbidly depressed and depressing the rest of us! 

  4. weka 4

  5. joe90 5

    The kid[s] are alright.

  6. This pale, stale and increasingly frail male supports the climate strike on 27th September and will be there in solidarity with the youth of this country in their attempt to wake up our politicians.

     

    I apologise for shouting, but this needs to be said very loudly: we baby boomers have fucked up the world (the vast majority of us quite unwittingly) and we OWE IT TO THE YOUNGER GENERATIONS TO SHOW THEM OUR BACKING!

  7. greywarshark 7

    Meanwhile when is the idea of regional councils going to be thrown out.  They just seem to be distant from the people and national goals and away in their own bubble.   That seems to be particularly true of the Greater Wellington Regional Council that brought the people of Wellington City the new bus system that was so much better than the previous one.   Yeah right.   

    And knowledgable citizens and responsible ones like Maori, who could perform a kaitiaki control role are under-rated and over-ruled.  And in council terms I hope their rates are not being artificially manipulated down by getting quick profit from misusing valuable environmental lands needed for sustainability, and healthy land practices to serve climate change objectives.

    Now:   https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/399199/council-defends-leasing-wetlands-to-farming-company

    The Greater Wellington Regional Council is defending its decision to lease out almost 200 hectares of wetlands to a farming company…

    Russell Bell from the Kapiti Coast group Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park said it was unbelievable that in the midst of a climate crisis, wetlands were being farmed.

    "Greater Wellington, having declared a climate change emergency … these are great climate change opportunities. They'll become fantastic carbon dioxide sinks, and they will help our biodiversity.

    "The other thing is in Wellington, we've only got 2 to 3 percent of our wetlands left compared to 10 percent nationally. So, Wellington's got this great dearth of wetlands."

    The Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) said there were no wetlands of significant value being farmed, but Mr Bell said that was because they had been drained for so many years they no longer had wetland characteristics.

    He said there's approximately 200 hectares of land that could be turned back into a wetland – an obvious 85 hectares, named the Raumati wetland, and another hundred which has been so converted over the past 150 years of farming, it looks like pasture.

     

  8. Glenn 8

    For the sake of life on earth we must put a limit on wealth.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/19/life-earth-wealth-megarich-spending-power-environmental-damage?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0Jlc3RPZkd1YXJkaWFuT3BpbmlvblVLLTE5MDkxOQ%3D%3D&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=BestOfGuardianOpinionUK&CMP=opinionuk_email

    Tomorrow, I’ll be joining the global climate strike, in which adults will stand with the young people whose call to action has resonated around the world. As a freelancer, I’ve been wondering who I’m striking against. Myself? Yes: one aspect of myself, at least. Perhaps the most radical thing we can now do is to limit our material aspirations. The assumption on which governments and economists operate is that everyone strives to maximise their wealth. If we succeed in this task, we inevitably demolish our life support systems. Were the poor to live like the rich, and the rich to live like the oligarchs, we would destroy everything. The continued pursuit of wealth in a world that has enough already (albeit very poorly distributed) is a formula for mass destitution.

     

    Monbiot

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    There needs to be “adult strikes” patiently organised too. Mass direct action hitting the 1%ers, Corporates, Farmers, and Governments where it hurts, is what it will take to achieve meaningful results. 

  10. Sacha 10

    Pressure on political mechanisms is the next step: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/399350/young-climate-activists-seek-step-up-from-streets-to-political-table

    Young climate change activists demanded a greater role in decision-making today as they met leaders at UN headquarters, saying that their growing voice on the streets had yet to earn them a seat at the political table.

    Gabriela Cuevas, a Mexican legislator, urged youth leaders to search for ways to "translate your activism into policy and legislation".

    "Do not expect the same people (in power) will change everything," she said. "So, welcome to politics."

     

     

  11. Formerly Ross 11

    The scientific consensus is that climate change is doing more good than harm and will continue to do so for several more decades.

    “The accepted consensus among economists is that every £100 spent fighting climate change brings £3 of benefit.”

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2013/10/carry-on-warming/

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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    45 mins ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago