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The Essential Forest-Gardener – what grows in the forest?

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 am, November 13th, 2016 - 49 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, food, sustainability - Tags: , , , , ,

The following is a Guest Post from Robert Guyton and is part of a series appearing over 12 Sundays. Other parts can be seen here.

Robert is a sustainability pioneer who along with his family grows the oldest food forest in NZ. A long time organic gardener, permaculturist and heritage orchardist, he’s a columnist, a regional councillor for Environment Southland, and an early climate change adaptor. 

There’s a subtle difference between a forest garden and a food forest and that’s a matter of intent; it depends on what it is you are aiming to achieve with your forest. People who love food, and they are legion, will title their fruitful garden a food forest and fill it with plants that produce leaves, stems, fruits, roots and everything else that can be served up on a plate, tastefully arranged, garnished and decorated with edible flowers or grated this or that. The epicure’s version of the sort of garden I’ve grown would be different, not only in purpose but also in looks.

The food forests I’ve visited have all been more intensely managed than my rambunctious forest garden and their plate-ready produce a wonder to behold. I’ve watched the children of one food forester browse their way through their backyard, nibbling constantly on parsley, lettuce, carrots and kale in the same way less fortunate children might like to sample sugary treats at a chocolate factory. They even stripped a Brussels sprout plant of its small green globes and ate those there and then, raw and crunchy. That’s not something you see every day.

My garden is shaped more by my love of plants for their own sake, than for what they can provide to feed me, and in this I differ a little from others in the forest gardening movement. So long as I can find something to eat beneath the canopy that stretches across my garden, I’m satisfied. That said, my garden is very productive and more fruitful than I can manage. In autumn, ripe fruit falls from the pear, apple and plum trees in such volumes that I’m unable to harvest it all and have to abandon a percentage of my crops to the birds and the creatures of the soil that welcome the sugars of those fruits. And that fruitfulness is increasing quickly. As each of the fruit trees matures, its crop grows in volume. That applies to the varieties that are common to our region, along with those that are both slightly unusual and very rare in Southland; Chilean wineberry, Chinese hawthorn, Himalayan Strawberry and so on.

With the increasing heaviness of crop and the need not to be too wasteful, we’ve learned novel ways to preserve what food our forest provides, the most popular of those methods being the brewing of ciders from the apples and pears, from which sparkling perry can be made. Our few demijohns with their airlocks bubbling sit over autumn on the kitchen table, and produce as much cider, or apple cider vinegar, as we can possibly use. More exotic fruits, such as the orange Chinese Dogwood berries and Guelder Rose fruits are combined in jams and jellies to capture their unusual tastes and fragrances.

There are others, such as the huge haws that decorate the Chinese Hawthorn that are best dried and chewed-upon through the winter. Odd-bod fruits such as those that hang from the branches of the medlar, require bletting; rotting for the un-initiated, and eating with a spoon and a hearty dollop of cream. Their over-ripe figgy taste is an acquired one, but familiar to fruit lovers from past centuries.  Quinces have to be cooked before they can be processed into butter, crab-apples have to be boiled and drip drained through cloth into a bowl then reboiled until they set to jelly. Many of the fruits we grow are out of the ordinary and have to be eased into our traditional Kiwi diets gently, but that’s part of the allure of finding and growing something different from the usual; a new discovery that pleases our eye might also please our taste buds.

We are not frutarians, of course, and gather and eat the edible parts of almost everything that grows in our forest garden; the pearly-white roots of the daikon radish, knobbly Jerusalem artichoke tubers and the finer Chinese artichoke,  juicy stems from the umbelliferous alexander and cardoon, the seeds of sweet cicely, fennel, peas, beans and corn, flowers of evening primrose and daylily. There are even plant-parts that we eat that defy description. The tasty bits of the Japanese raisin tree are not in the slightest like the dried fruits you might imagine, but more a swollen, forked stem. All up, despite my not planting with the kitchen in mind, there’s no question that we eat well from our forest.

guyton-6

 

49 comments on “The Essential Forest-Gardener – what grows in the forest? ”

  1. greywarshark 1

    Hello Robert
    Just had an idea. Thinking about bees and their united and collective behaviour for the good of the hive. Ants too are very busy in that way but are not as positive, more users and thieves of food, not so much an aid to the food of the world as bees are. I think that bees have a lifestyle that we need to adopt so that we get away from ant-like behaviour.

    I suggest that we adopt a new greeting that people will use to establish their standing for a caring society. Instead of saying Hello or Hi we will say Buzz, and it will also be used for goodbye. It will be like Kia Ora in Maori, saying goodbye in Italian Ciao. But this will be a greeting for the aware and future oriented people who want to know the standing of who they are talking to, what group they commit to, like a transparent Mason’s handshake. People who want to make changes in themselves and society to help the good, practical, humane society we need to grow to the vast majority of people instead of a large minority have to coalesce.

    So buzz Robert. Have a good day. Thanks for this instalment of Food for the Mind.
    And try it out on people. They will laugh, and be intrigued. Tell them to do the same to others and have a little explanation in mind of why they say it.

    I haven’t thought of a short sentence that does that and it will be needed. So if you could come up with one I would appreciate it. This thing will spread, become a topic for discussion, and every time it is said will remind the people concerned about the important topics of the day. It will be the in thing!

  2. Ha!
    The Mongolians say, Баримт, the Turks, vızıltı. In Denmark, you’ll hear summen and in Estonia, põrin. Buzz in Galician is zumbido and in Icelandic, suð. The Italians say, ronzio and the Swedes say, surr. Every where you go, greywarshark, people are talking your language 🙂
    I did feel for the ants though. Their role in the wild world is as pivotal as the bees’, I’m betting but I take your meaning. There’s a famous work by a revered writer/philosopher whose name escapes me presently, on bees and the model they offer to mankind. He urges us to shape our communities around that of the bees, though is sounds pretty prescriptive at first hearing; freedom of thought and action and all that. It does seem that we humans have adopted a parasitic model for our recent development; one that isn’t especially symbiotic and looks to be exhausting its/our host. That model is a closed one and needs to be quickly shed if we are to continue as a species in any significant number; poisoning the host with unnecessary waste is not the action of a successful organism, imho.

  3. Manuka AOR 3

    I just want to say a massive “Thank you!” for this series of posts. I haven’t found time to comment but I draw strength and calmness from reading these. I am very lucky to live in a quiet rural area where I wake to the sound of tuis arguing, and call out “‘Morning!” when the kereru flies past; when my arguments at night are with the lone possum that has so far eluded the trappers and slips in through the window if given half a chance. Across the valley, wekas call at night, as do peafowl in the evenings. Occasionally when I wake, deer have come down to the stream.

    It is all that that keeps me sane in a world that seems to be wobbling on its axis, and at times threatens to spin out of orbit. Anyway, “Thanks”.

    • You are most welcome, Manuka AOR. You are fortunate indeed, to live in such a place as you describe. I’d be having to change my ways a bit if I lived in a similar situation to you; possums can create anguish where fruit trees are valued highly, as can kereru, especially during the fruit-set and bud-burst periods. I have some resident kereru but my resource can absorb their actions without showing signs of harm, so I am able to enjoy their presence. Weka would be a challenge, I’m thinking, as I have many ground or low fruiting shrubs, as well as perennial vegetables that they’d doubtless enjoy. My hens approximate weka but are gentle by comparison, I guess. Guinea fowl, even from a distance, get on my nerves; it’s that squeaky door sound the make ad nauseum 🙂 As to that wobbly orbit, it pays to be nimble to stay up-right; adroit of body and mind and so I thank you for your supportive comments, manuka.

      • Manuka AOR 3.1.1

        possums can create anguish where fruit trees are valued highly

        I know – they stripped my ancient apple tree, annually, at the last place I lived, and were very raucous and unfriendly – I hated them. Then I moved here to wake in the night and find this lone escapee reaching up to the fruit bowl, and when I told him or her to leave, she looked pointedly at the dog and then at the cat, who were both curled up and sleeping peacefully, and looked back at me as though to say, “Why them and not me?” I think previous tenants must have half-tamed it. But it already has a bounty on its head – I told the one neighbour and she’s threatening to trap it. (She has a small orchard.) Ah well…

    • greywarshark 4.1

      Apart from any other moon induced response, it would seem a good idea – planting by full moon. The light would be sufficient to locate area, with a lantern highlighting your immediate site, and then the plants would be influenced by the low light and start drawing through their roots and have 8 hours or so to recover.

      • That’s an interesting comment, greywarshark. I’ve read that cultivating and planting during the night means fewer weed seeds strike. I’m not sure about the idea, but just sayin’, someone’s claimed it.

    • I do plant by the moon, on occasion. I have to really, being the author of the moon calendar published monthly in the NZ Gardener magazine 🙂 I have mixed feelings about the practice and like to remain open to discussions about planting by the moon. Most especially, I’m interested to hear from people who are applying the calendar, be that a simple one or more complex, like that of the biodynamicists. I’m looking forward to the Super Moon – I hope the skies are clear and that there is a discernible difference to the eye.

      • Manuka AOR 4.2.1

        I have to really, being the author of the moon calendar published monthly in the NZ Gardener magazine

        Ahhh… my ignorance, sorry.

        I hope the skies are clear and that there is a discernible difference to the eye.

        There is a difference already where I am – With still couple of days to go, it already seems as bright at night as during some other completely full moons.

  4. Manuka AOR 5

    Also, and I apologise if you have already covered this, but I’m wondering about growing Kawakawa. Is it easy to get going? I’ve just got some to use as a tea.
    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/14593/kawakawa

    • I’m growing it here, Manuka AOR, but it’s a challenge in my southern climes. Cold weather in wintertime knocks it back, though it recovers every spring. I rate it highly as a tonic tea, to be taken daily. I don’t know where you are but if you’re north of me, you should be able to grow it with ease, unless you are frost-prone. It grows easily from seed, which you can buy online, but collecting it is simple and it’s easy to post in an envelope. Down here, it doesn’t get holey, the way it does further north; the caterpillar doesn’t live here (yet).

      • Manuka AOR 5.1.1

        I’m in the Bay of Plenty, at highish altitude. Heavy frosts in winter, though brief – looks like snow (breathtakingly beautiful). Rest of the year it is mild to warm to quite hot in summer. I might try it next year and cover if necessary during the frosts, if possible.

        • Robert Guyton 5.1.1.1

          Hmmm…nice. You will need to cover though 🙂

        • mauī 5.1.1.2

          Its an understorey plant in the wild so you could plant it underneath a large tree to give it some shelter. Or keep it in a pot for a couple of years to make sure you have the right location first.

          • Robert Guyton 5.1.1.2.1

            Mine are under the skirts of my native riparian “grove”, mauī and look great there but they’re not quite sheltered enough when there are more than a couple of frosty days in a row. The flowers are charming. Tasty too, I’m told.

          • Manuka AOR 5.1.1.2.2

            Thanks Maui, might try that.

  5. Chuck 6

    A few years ago I had to relocate from a nice bush block to suburbia. Your posts bring back wonderful memories! while I was not at your level, it was getting back close to nature that helped after a hard day.

    I have brought a few plants with my move to suburbia, some of my favourites are Guava and Cape Gooseberry’s the kids (and birds) love them.

  6. I’m glad, Chuck. Cape gooseberries are also a favourite of mine; such a curious taste and they’re part of the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes etc.) that suit some and not others. There’s a beauty about their flowers, even the those of the potatoes, which are surprisingly various. We grow about 30 different, old-style varieties, my favourite being kowiniwini, with le ratte coming in a close second.

  7. weka 8

    This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body….

    Walt Whitman “Leaves of Grass” 1855

  8. adam 9

    Oh OH so many questions from your post Robert Guyton.

    1. Do you have a wart growing for the apple cider vinegar? Or are you grabbing a new one each year from the sediment of the previous year?

    2.Have you ever had Jerusalem artichoke chips? Pan fried in a mix of butter and olive oil, just heaven. Add a touch of salt, it goes so well with a fresh salad.

    3. Cider, as in non-alcoholic?

    4. Do preserve some of the fruits whole?

    5. Do you make relishes and pickles?

    And thanks again for a great post

  9. Hi, Adam. I’m not the best cider maker around but mine’s good enough for me and I’ve gallons of the stuff – far from non-alcoholic it is too. I don’t know how you’d do one that didn’t have alcohol, as the process involves the conversion of fruit sugars into alcohol by the yeasts that arrive in the mixture on the skins of the apples. My cider vinegar, and that is very good, I would say; clear and pleasant to taste (when mixed with rainwater – too strong to drink straight and tough on tooth enamel), results from the random arrival, from the air, of the particular yeasts that turn cider into vinegar. Washing the bottles from the previous year only casually would transfer the vinegar yeasts, I expect. I employ the same practice as I do with plant pots – a quick rinse and she’ll be right. I like to keep the microbe populations alive, rather than sterilize the life out of my world. I do clean the cider gear well though, but only with water. When I see what I’ve written there, I think it’s amazing I can produce anything other than vinegar, but I do! Preserving fruits “whole” – we store apples, wrapped in tissue and separated by pressed paper-pulp dividers, in boxes, in a space that cool. Plums we bottle. Pears we slice and bottle. Freshly picked apricots don’t get past the mouth. Quinces I freeze. Medlar I eat straight away. Our excess berry fruits (red, black, white currants, gooseberries of all stripes, worsterberries, blueberries, cranberries, Chilean wineberries, etc. become jam or get frozen. Chinese hawthorn and some apples I dehydrate and store in jars. I don’t do relishes and pickles but I trade with those who do. I’ve not yet eaten jerusalem artichoke chips but will do now, thanks, adam. Have you tried raw Chinese artichokes? Crunchy and tasty.

  10. Molly 11

    Following on from one of your earlier posts, have randomly stuck the apple tree prunings around the property and have been rewarded with small leaves. Will mulch and watch.

    I really enjoy reading your Sunday posts, Robert. A calming end to the week.

    • Molly – I’ve tried the same here this year – 300 of them in fact and each from a different “heritage” tree growing in the region. It was a big task; keeping track of what came from where, but the labeling’s on and they are in the soil. I’ve no idea whether it will work, but your results encourage me, thanks. I’m really pleased that you enjoy these posts, Molly. If I’d not got any positive feedback, I’d be a little anxious about the value of my efforts; I think we are all like that, aren’t we; needing encouragement from our peers? As to them being calming, I like that and wonder if you’ve ever read a children’s story called “Valerian Hare”? It’s gorgeously subtle and features a peaced-out hare , tormented in his town by the coarser animals for his calmness and composure, who saves the good burghers from a rampaging stag, by calming it with a gesture of non-aggression, seated cross-legged on the main street as the wild thing careened about, creating chaos. Valerian Hare became the toast of the town, though he showed no signs of change in his demeanor. Eventually the townsfolk went back to tormenting him, once the excitement of the event wore off or was forgotten. Valerian remained clam throughout. Beautiful story, that. I wish I could find it again. It was written by a European man, possibly Polish. Quirky as.

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        You mentioning the story of Valerian Hare with good attitudes, and an unshakeable calm is interesting. It may be a poor psycholigical ploy in real life, as well as the story, as the hare might have had a tipping point to make a change in attitudes of the towns animals. People who don’t get passionate in any way lack something. Finding a position just off balance, but not too far, is I think the meaning of life and a life’s work.

        I’ll just tell you about one of my great finds in children’s books that tell about ways that things can happen and change. Saw about it on goodreads.com
        The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig
        by Eugene Trivizas, Helen Oxenbury, Ευγένιος Τριβιζάς
        4.16 · Rating Details · 9,448 Ratings · 516 Reviews

        When it comes time for the three little wolves to go out into the world and build themselves a house, their mother warns them to beware the big bad pig. But the little wolves’ increasingly sturdy dwellings are no match for the persistent porker, who has more up his sleeve than huffing and puffing. It takes a chance encounter with a flamingo pushing a wheelbarrow full of flowers to provide a surprising and satisfying solution to the little wolves’ housing crisis.
        Eugene Trivizas’s hilarious text and Helen Oxenbury’s enchanting watercolors have made this delightfully skewed version of the traditional tale a contemporary classic.

        • Robert Guyton 11.1.1.1

          I’m going to search that one out, greywarshark, thanks. Further to my reference to Valerian Hare, I recall a poem in another book by the same author (Janesh?) where he writes a short poem titled, “April showers” and illustrates it with a little pig, peeing on the flowers, but subtly, so you (or the child reading) would not notice. Very cute.

          • greywarshark 11.1.1.1.1

            Robert
            You’re a wag. You bring fun to the blog along with the serious and practical stuff.

      • Molly 11.1.2

        Firstly, hope all is well with you and yours after the quakes last night.

        Just read your reply Robert, and will have a look for the story, but it an interesting premise.

        Talking with an old friend last night and today, whose job is to act as a change facilitator for Health providers in Australia. We are having a lot of conversations about how to approach the fear based views of others with an intent to enter into genuine dialogue. She stated the need for a non-partisan (preferably two) facilitator to work with every group, and that the concerns of some manifest in aggressive ways when you endeavour to give equal voice to all members.

        Interesting parallel with your story.

        • greywarshark 11.1.2.1

          Molly
          I thought this on Radionz sounded klike a promising discourse on relationships communication gaining understanding, persuasion to open minds etc.

          10 Nov 2016
          Stopping smart people from doing dumb things
          From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:25 pm on 10 November 2016
          http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201823286

          How do you stop smart people from doing dumb things? Our guest says ‘workplaces encourage smart people to not use their brains’… and so he’s created what he calls ‘pop-up philosophy’.

          And all it takes is a deck chair. Andre Spicer is professor of organisational behaviour and the founding director of ETHOS: The Centre for Responsible Enterprise at Cass Business School, City University of London.

          He is an expert in the areas of organisational behaviour, leadership and corporate social responsibility.

        • Robert Guyton 11.1.2.2

          That’s interesting to think about, Molly. A people-whisperer is what you’d need to be. Those spooked colts respond amazingly to the subtle movements of the horse-whisperer and humans are creatures too.

  11. Red Hand 12

    “I’m unable to harvest it all and have to abandon a percentage of my crop to the birds and creatures of the soil” How about cooperating with other human beings to gather that percentage of your crop and give, trade or sell it ?

    • greywarshark 12.1

      @Red Hand
      Don’t take that tone with us you superior twit. You mention co-operation and actions that actually are the basis of approach of people who regularly write on TS, and certainly underlies what Robert and his wife do. If you had any idea of true community spirit you would know that. But you sound as if you fall into the role of being the prating outsider jumping to criticise and condemn, judgmental and negative.

      Go on prove me wrong, tell me about your warm and generous side where you do lots of things for others who are struggling, helping them with things they need, going out of your way to be kind in a regular fashion, advocating for more humane treatment of all citizens bottom up. Living with others in as friendly and helpful a fashion as is possible, not making cutting comments based on your own skewed life outlook.

      • Robert Guyton 12.1.1

        Tone, eh! Hard to discern sometimes and easy to mistake. I enjoy the sort of approach taken by Red Hand; it’s sassy and I’m mindful of the fact that he/she read the post and took the time to respond. I’d engage with Red Hand any day around his/her question and anything else he/she might want to say or know. His/her idea of “cooperating with other human beings” is spot on, imo.

    • Deva 12.2

      I too have a Guava garden. Some part of the yield is left to parrots and squirrels. Even more, birds and animals are more thankful than humans.

      • greywarshark 12.2.1

        What location is your garden in Deva? I guess not in NZ as we don’t have squirrels here – they haven’t found their way through our biosecurity borders yet I think.

  12. Quite right, Red Hand and in fact, I do. All manner of friend and visitor harvest while they are here and my parents-in-law come at the same time every year to pick currants and gooseberries which are transformed by them into perhaps the world’s best jams. A percentage of our apple crop goes to the organic cooperative in the town and another sizable load goes on display at the Harvest Festival and is given away to people who attend. Last year, an elderly woman found an apple whose name she remembered from her childhood and when we pressed her to taste it, despite her not wanting to impose, she burst into tears at the rush of memories that flavour brought. I have two other ‘wild’ orchards in this village, both of which are open to visitors who are welcome to take all they can carry in their hands whenever they visit. Humans do much better from my orchards than birds or worms do, but still I’m happy that some cycles back through the wild creatures.

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  • Spain is (still) not a democracy
    The list of Spanish abuses of Catalonia's democracy is long. When Catalans voted for independence, Spanish riot police seized ballot boxes and beat them in the streets. When they elected leaders to represent their views, Spain refused to allow them to take their seats, or jailed them for "sedition". And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Crusher threatens Nicky Hager
    Crusher Collins - National Party LeaderEverybody should know by now that Judith (Crusher) Collins is a very malicious person. She is perhaps the most vindictive MP ever to disgrace our halls of power.Some of her unprecedented nastiness over the decades has been well documented in the book Dirty Politics: How ...
    2 days ago
  • The Confident Traveller Led Astray – A Poem For Winston Peters.
    Quo Vadis, Winston?Where are you going, Winston, Son of the winterless north? We have lost count of the summers Since first you ventured forth. This track on which we find you, Unmarked on any map, Leads travellers to strange places. Do you not fear mishap? Countless roads I’ve travelled, Oh ye ...
    2 days ago
  • Racism loses in Switzerland
    Over in Switzerland, the racist "People's Party" tried to have a Brexit-style referendum on ending freedom of movement with the EU, so they could stop the "flood" of foreigners. But the Swiss people said No: Swiss voters have resoundingly rejected an attempt to tear up the country’s agreement with ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • International Right To Know Day
    Today, 28 September, is International Right To Know Day (or, as the UN puts it, the "International Day for Universal Access to Information"). The Ombudsman is celebrating with a poll showing that while most people don't know about their freedom of information rights, those that use them mostly get what ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • One way or another, we’re paying for this
    Back in July, when foreign polluters (and archaeological criminals) Rio Tinto announced they planned to close Tiwai Point, I was dancing on its grave. Why? Because the carbon subsidies alone were more than enough to fund alternative jobs - or even just to pay everyone dependent on it a reasonable ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • End of life – it isn’t so easy
    In a few weeks, New Zealanders will make a choice whether we implement into law the End of Life Choice Act 2019.  My scientific expertise includes developing and validating methods to predict future events of ill people including death. There is one section of the Act that concerns me deeply. Section ...
    SciBlogsBy John Pickering
    3 days ago
  • Democracy Under Threat
    My wife and I are at an age when we have begun to think (and worry) about the kind of world we will leave behind for our children and, particularly, our grandchildren. We have experienced during our own lives, like others of our generation, our fair share of hard times ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Why it’s important to be open to relationships with people who vote differently
      There are few things written more deeply on the human heart than religion. Differences between us on the purpose and ultimate destiny of human existence have sometimes inspired great intolerance and even wars. But what would we make today of a Catholic who refused to countenance a meaningful relationship ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #39
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The Warming Climates of the Arctic and the Tropics Squeeze the Mid-latitudes, Where Most People Live Melting Arctic ice sends ...
    3 days ago
  • Where in the world will the next epidemic start?
    Naomi Forrester-Soto, Keele University Viruses jumping from animals to humans have been the starting point of numerous outbreaks, from Ebola to Zika. Given the similarity of SARS-CoV-2 to coronaviruses found in bats, this probably marked the beginning of COVID-19 too. We know that viruses have passed from animals to humans ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Fiscal Maths with Paul “Goldie” Goldsmith
    Mr Thinks has asked me to come onto the blog today to outline a few concepts in fiscal mathematics. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #39
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 20, 2020 through Sat, Sep 26, 2020 Editor's Choice Climate Disruption Is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Crucial A crack on the Amery Ice Shelf in ...
    4 days ago
  • National behind the times
    When Todd Muller resigned as leader of the National Party and allowed for Judith Collins to assume command, you could tell the blue “team” was desperate and in search of past glories. After all, Crusher is towards the end of her political career and from a bygone era where dirty ...
    5 days ago
  • Coronavirus: the road to vaccine roll-out is always bumpy, as 20th-century pandemics show
    Samantha Vanderslott, University of Oxford If you have been following the media coverage of the new vaccines in development for COVID-19, it will be clear that the stakes are high. Very few vaccine trials in history have attracted so much attention, perhaps since polio in the mid-20th century. A now ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • PREFU: The State of Government Accounts
    The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update’ (PREFU) tells us something about the future of the Public Sector but it requires careful analysis to assess how it is going. The 2020 PREFU is the most important economic statement during any election campaign. Unfortunately the commentariat tends to treat it briefly ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Predatory delay
    Farmers are whining again about being expected to clean up their act: Canterbury farmers want politicians to stop painting them as climate change villains, listen to their needs and allow them more time to boost environmental standards. [...] “The targets are necessary for the environment, but do we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to nowhere sends the wrong message in climate crisis
    Qantas Airlines’ 7-hour “flight to nowhere”, that sold out in 10 minutes with prices from A$787 to A$3787, seemed like a sick joke to climate advocates. Apart from the waste of fuel and the pointless emissions, passengers would be able to see first-hand, from a plane just like those that ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: The cannabis referendum – a doctor’s perspective
    Cannabis is part of our culture: 80% of adults have tried it sometime. Intuition tells us that legalising cannabis will increase use – science suggests that is not likely. Our Dunedin and Christchurch studies show that cannabis use peaks in our 20s. Older people are less frequent users whether it ...
    6 days ago
  • First steps: Jerry DeSilva on the evolution of bipedalism
    Yesterday morning I got up (at the rather early and unaccustomed hour of 3.30am) to listen to a webinar by paleoanthropologist Dr Jeremy DeSilva¹. Titled “First Steps”, his presentation was about the origins of bipedalism in the human lineage. It was a fascinating session & I thought I’d turn my ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    6 days ago
  • True Believers In A False God.
    Down The Rabbit Hole: "Social psychologists have found that when fearful people contemplate potential misfortunes, they tend to feel helpless and pessimistic, but when angry people contemplate the same, they feel a sense of optimism and control. And one simple way to transmute fear into anger is to perceive an evil ...
    6 days ago
  • Majority Rule Requires Majorities That Are Real.
    Fifty Percent Plus One: New Zealand’s genuine-majority-delivering two-party system endured for five elections only (1938, 1943, 1946, 1949, 1951) a period of just 16 years. Very few New Zealanders alive today can boast of participating in an election which delivered a true majority to either Labour or National. Someone who ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour super exploitation
    This is the second in the lecture series by Andy Higginbottom on superexploitation. Here he looks at Marini’s theory of labour super-exploitation and Capital ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Small asteroid to make near-miss of Earth in NZ skies tonight
    Sorry for the late notice on this one, but I only just heard myself, in common with most of the human race. A small asteroid, somewhere between the size of a truck and the size of a house in dimensions, will hurtle past the Earth tonight, dipping closer to ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    7 days ago
  • This is not what accountability looks like
    When someone commits trespass, assault with a weapon, and kidnapping, you'd expect them to be prosecuted, right? But apparently the rules are different if you wear a blue uniform: A police investigation has found officers in Northland trespassed on a man's property, then unlawfully pepper sprayed him and arrested ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Cycling: head injuries ignored because of entrenched macho culture
    Howard Hurst, University of Central Lancashire and Jack Hardwicke, University of Winchester Competitive road cycling is a demanding and unique sport. One where crashing is inevitable – especially at the professional level. While the risk of head injury is relatively low in cycling – approximately 5-13% – compared to contact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • The coming US shitshow
    Today President Trump once again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the US election. Coincidentally, The Atlantic has a long article on exactly what that means, from voter suppression by armed thugs in the name of "ballot security", to refusing to allow the vote ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A moral void
    That's the only way to describe the SIS, who - like their British counterparts - decided to look the other way on child abuse: The SIS knew a young woman was being sexually abused by her father but failed to lodge a complaint with the police, effectively allowing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • When will Goldsmith resign?
    The National Party’s campaign has gone from bad to worse with a further two large miscalculations being uncovered in their alternative fiscal plan. Firstly, National’s economic spokesperson and list MP, Paul Goldsmith, used May's Budget figures instead of last week's PREFU numbers, and came up with a whopping $4.3 billion ...
    1 week ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Part IX
    The initial session was a struggle. Annalax and Magni tried sorting out the details with the Isaac twins (the people pursuing the mountain trip). Annalax happened to mention his devotion to Lolth… whom the Isaacs, being ...
    1 week ago
  • This is bullshit
    On March 13, three plainclothes police officers kicked in Breonna Taylor's door under a no-knock warrant targeting another person. When a person inside reasonably assumed they were home invaders and (this being America) started shooting, they shot up the place and everyone around them - killing Taylor. Today, one of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The case for tax (more of it, much more)
    Laura O’Connell Rapira | Contributing writer, the spinoff, 21 Sept, 2020. Let’s put tax at the core of this election. Sharing wealth is how we share care and responsibility for this land and all of the people in it, writes Laura O’Connell Rapira It’s election season in the middle of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water
    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    1 week ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    1 week ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    1 week ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago

  • Modern hospitals, quality care: Labour’s record on health
    We believe that when New Zealanders need healthcare, they deserve to have it delivered in a safe and healthy environment. Patients and staff shouldn’t have to worry about mould or rot in hospital walls – but that was the reality when Labour came into Government in 2017. We inherited a ...
    19 hours ago
  • Why we support increasing the minimum wage
    Labour has a proud history of standing for fairness at work, supporting the development of high-quality, high wage jobs and for improving the quality of life for New Zealand workers. ...
    19 hours ago
  • Working with farmers for a better future
    Farmers play a key role in our economy and in our communities, and will be at the forefront of our COVID recovery. Labour has worked in partnership with Kiwi farmers over the past three years and together we’ve tackled Mycoplasma bovis, worked through droughts and flooding, started cleaning up our ...
    19 hours ago
  • Is National really better than Labour with the economy? Yeah, nah.
    National tells New Zealanders to trust them with the economy, but recent data shows they’re not the strong economic managers they like to claim. Labour has a strong track record of keeping debt under control. We’ve worked hard over the past three years to pay down the debt we inherited ...
    20 hours ago
  • Minimum wage increases vs. tax cuts – what really boosts the economy?
    This election, Labour and National have set out very different proposals for growing our economy and supporting New Zealanders through our COVID recovery. But when it comes to real results, the experts are clear – only our plan will keep New Zealand moving. ...
    20 hours ago
  • Do Kiwis trust Labour more than National on the economy? Three polls say yes.
    As our economic rebuild gets underway, New Zealand needs a strong, responsible government to lead our recovery. National bills itself as the Party with economic credibility, but that’s not what the numbers show or what voters believe. In the past five months, three polls have consistently shown that more New ...
    22 hours ago
  • Better healthcare for Kiwis
    From mental health support in every primary and intermediate school to more publicly-funded medicines, Labour’s plan for health will ensure New Zealanders can get quality care. ...
    2 days ago
  • Green Party responds to NZ First Foundation SFO charges
    Green Party spokesperson on Electoral Issues Golriz Ghahraman said: “We’re glad to see the SFO has laid charges before the election, so voters have more clarity on what is going on before they cast a vote. ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens announce bold transport plan for Auckland to tackle climate change and congestion
    The Green Party has today outlined a major transport plan for Auckland including new investments in light rail, busways, an expansion of regional rail services, and quick improvements to buses. ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens announce bold transport plan for Wellington to tackle climate change and congestion
    The Green Party has today outlined a major transport plan for Wellington including investments in light rail, an expansion of regional passenger rail, and fast-tracking improvements to buses. ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens announce bold transport plan for Christchurch to tackle climate change and congestion
    The Green Party has today outlined a major transport plan for Christchurch including new investments in commuter rail, a high frequency bus service to the airport, and cycleways. ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens announce bold plan to ensure NZ transport tackles climate change
    The Green Party will transform how New Zealanders get around to address the climate crisis, with a comprehensive climate-focused transport package.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Reports of great whites finned alive cement case for cameras on boats
    Claims of illegal fishing and live finning of great whites in New Zealand waters show once again that cameras on fishing boats are long overdue, and must be urgently rolled out. ...
    3 days ago
  • We must investigate COVID-19 retraining support that skews towards men: Greens
    The Green Party is calling for a review into the gender split of training programmes offered by government to help New Zealanders retrain following COVID-19 job losses. ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s plan for plastic and waste
    As part of our plan to build back better, we’re taking action on waste and improving recycling to protect our environment, create jobs and future proof our economy. ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s plan for plastic and waste
    As part of our plan to build back better, we’re taking action on waste and improving recycling to protect our environment, create jobs and future proof our economy. ...
    4 days ago
  • Week that was: Three weeks to go!
    Today marks three weeks until the election, and the campaign is ramping up. This week, we’ve continued to focus on our economic recovery, announcing our plan to reduce costs for farmers and growers. We also set out our commitment to continuing our partnership with Māori as we rebuild together. ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Māori Manifesto: Working together in partnership
    Together, Māori and Labour have walked a new path in our first term of Government. Based on the articles of the Treaty and the promise of equality, this path has been one of partnership and collaboration. Our Māori Manifesto builds on the work we’ve undertaken with Māori during our first ...
    5 days ago
  • Healthy, affordable homes a Green Party priority for Wellington
    The Green Party would push to ensure everyone in Wellington has a warm, safe and affordable place to live as part of the next Government. ...
    6 days ago
  • Environment and climate will be decimated by National’s dangerous agriculture policy
    The Green Party is slamming National’s agriculture policy as a huge step backwards which puts future generations at risk. ...
    1 week ago
  • Reducing costs for Kiwi farmers
    New Zealand’s farmers and growers play a key role in our economy and in our communities. Labour has set out a clear vision to transition to a carbon-neutral economy and today we committed to supporting our farmers and growers to achieve this goal. ...
    1 week ago
  • Jacinda Ardern sets out Labour’s plan in first TV debate
    Tonight was the first Leaders’ Debate, broadcast live on TVNZ 1. It was the first time New Zealanders have seen Jacinda Ardern side-by-side Opposition Leader Judith Collins this campaign. ...
    1 week ago
  • Helping Kiwis into homes
    Everyone deserves a warm, dry place to live. As part of our plan for housing, Labour’s making sure more New Zealanders have a healthy place to live, while tackling long-term issues like homelessness and housing affordability. Here’s how we’re helping Kiwis into homes. ...
    1 week ago
  • Our plan to keep New Zealand moving
    Last updated 30 July 2020. The whole world is battling with COVID-19, and no country is immune. In New Zealand, our focus is getting the latest resurgence under control and making sure we put in place immediate financial supports to cushion the economic blow. As before, the best economic response is ...
    1 week ago
  • Our Achievements
    Led by Jacinda Ardern, our strong, stable government has delivered results and put people first every step of the way. In health, housing, education and more, we've got a strong track record of delivering for New Zealanders. Now, we’re continuing to put people first with our decisive response to COVID-19. ...
    1 week ago
  • Why should I vote for Labour?
    Labour has a strong track record of making progress on the big issues facing our country. Now, as we recover and rebuild from COVID-19, we’re rolling out our plan to grow our economy, support businesses and communities, and keep New Zealand moving. If you’re still undecided ahead of this year’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan to create jobs
    Creating jobs is a key part of our plan to grow the economy, support communities and seize the opportunities created by our world-leading COVID response. We’ve already started rolling out initiatives that are creating thousands of jobs right around the country, and we’ll keep up this momentum as we continue ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan to tackle unemployment
    New Zealand is not immune to the global economic impacts of COVID-19, but our strong health response means we’re now in a better position than many other countries. We’re taking advantage of this headstart by rolling out our plan to protect jobs, create new ones and grow our economy – ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan for reducing child poverty
    Child poverty is a complex issue that won’t be fixed overnight, but so far under Labour’s leadership seven out of nine child poverty indicators have already started to improve. Under National’s nine years of neglect, seven out of nine indicators got worse. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s health response to COVID-19
    We went hard and early in our health response to COVID-19 – and it worked. After a short period of lockdown, we were able to safely ease restrictions and open up our economy much quicker than many other countries. We had a plan in place to combat a resurgence, which ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan for managing our borders
    As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, robust border controls are essential to protect New Zealanders and keep our economy moving. Labour will continue to carefully manage our borders to keep New Zealanders safe, while ensuring businesses can access the skilled workers they need for our recovery. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s infrastructure investment
    One of the key ways we’re keeping New Zealand moving through our COVID-19 response is by investing in shovel-ready infrastructure projects. No country is immune to the economic impact of COVID-19, but with targeted infrastructure projects throughout New Zealand, we are creating new jobs and ensuring our communities have the ...
    1 week ago
  • Who should I vote for?
    It’s now less than one month until election day. If you still haven’t decided who you’re voting for, check out our handy guide below to help you make up your mind! ...
    1 week ago
  • A vote for National is a vote for putting on the brakes
    Thinking about voting National in this year’s election? Here are five reasons you might like to reconsider ahead of 17 October. ...
    1 week ago
  • How Labour’s team is leading New Zealand
    During our time in Government, the Labour team has worked hard to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders while making progress on the long-term challenges facing our country. There’s still more to do, but our track record shows that our team is leading New Zealand in the right direction. Read ...
    1 week ago
  • What’s the difference between National and Labour?
    Still weighing up who to vote for in this year’s election? Here are five key differences between National and Labour to help you make your decision. ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens call for a bus lane to bypass congestion on Harbour Bridge
    The Green Party is calling for Waka Kotahi the NZ Transport Agency to convert a lane over the Auckland Harbour Bridge to bus-only and make buses free to use across the bridge until all lanes are back in operation. ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens to protect Aotearoa’s oceans with marine sanctuaries, bottom trawling and set-netting restr...
    The Green Party has released its Thriving Oceans Plan, which would dramatically increase marine protected areas and ban bottom trawling on seamounts.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week that was: Jobs, trades training and supporting Kiwi workers
    It was another busy week out on the campaign trail, with Labour focused on jobs, training, and supporting Kiwi workers. As we continue to roll out our five-point plan for recovery, we’re investing in our people, businesses, communities and vital services, so we can keep our economy moving as we ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour is backing our regions for recovery
    Our regions are a vital part of our economic recovery plan. They’re home to innovative and creative businesses, and the backbone of our export economy - which is why Labour will continue to support our regions to grow as together, we rebuild better. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Residential building sector growing stronger
    Figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show healthy growth in residential building consents in an environment of Government support for the sector during COVID-19, says Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods. Statistics New Zealand reported today that a record 10,063 townhouses, flats, and units were consented in the August 2020 ...
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  • PGF helps Bay of Plenty youth find jobs
    Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) support for a pathways to work hub in Tauranga will help address high youth unemployment in the Bay of Plenty by connecting young people with training and meaningful employment opportunities, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau has announced. “Priority One Western Bay of Plenty ...
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    22 hours ago
  • Government confirms new acute mental health facility for Lakes DHB
    A new acute inpatient mental health facility at Rotorua Hospital will provide more patient-centred and culturally appropriate care to better support recovery, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says. “Improving mental health and addiction services remains one of the biggest long-term challenges facing New Zealand,” says Chris Hipkins. “Lakes DHB’s existing Whare ...
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    1 day ago
  • Community Languages Fund to increase support for Pacific community language projects
    Round two of the Community Languages Fund (CLF) will provide even more support for Pacific grassroots community and family language projects with the introduction of a second funding tier of $10,000, in addition to the $2,500 tier, says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  During the first round of the ...
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    1 day ago
  • Government puts teacher wellbeing at the centre
    The Government is committing nearly $9 million to ensure educators in early learning services and schools get the wellbeing support they need. Education Minister Chris Hipkins made the announcement, which includes providing frontline counselling and advice services for educators, during his address at the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) annual ...
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  • Pasifika churches gain from PGF funding
    Pasifika churches around the country will receive a total of nearly $10 million in government funding for renovations and improvements which will improve facilities for the communities they serve and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio have announced. The funding will ...
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    2 days ago
  • Job numbers up in August
    New data from Stats NZ today shows a rise of more than 9,000 filled jobs from July – driven mostly by the education and training sector, Grant Robertson says. Filled jobs were up 9,147 to 2.2 million in August 2020 compared with July – with 7,409 of those in education ...
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    3 days ago
  • Māori development receives funding
    Māori development projects across the country will receive a total of $18.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund that will create infrastructure and permanent jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “These projects will support economic development in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Manawatū-Whanganui, Waikato and Southland to ...
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    3 days ago
  • Hand-up for owners of earthquake-prone units
    From today, owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings can apply for financial support to fix their homes, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing financial hardship over earthquake strengthening costs. “We understand how complicated ...
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    3 days ago
  • PGF backing successful Māori enterprise
    Whanganui will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment in a local food-processing company which will help the company increase production and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. Kii Tahi Ltd, which is owned by South Taranaki iwi Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi, will receive a Provincial Growth Fund ...
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    3 days ago
  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
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    5 days ago
  • Town halls and war memorials in PGF renovation programme
    Town halls, war memorials and other community landmarks across the country will be renovated thanks to grants totalling just under $12.4 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says more than 1000 jobs are expected to be created during the renovation programme. “Town halls, other ...
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    5 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
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    6 days ago
  • Early help for whānau who need extra support
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  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
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  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
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  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
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    6 days ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
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    6 days ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
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    6 days ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
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  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
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    7 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
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    1 week ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
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    1 week ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
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    1 week ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
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    1 week ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
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    1 week ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
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    1 week ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
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    1 week ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
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  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
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  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
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    2 weeks ago