web analytics

The Eyjafjallajökull opportunity

Written By: - Date published: 12:53 am, April 19th, 2010 - 47 comments
Categories: climate change, International, public transport - Tags:

As I’m sure everyone already knows, Europe is now in the fourth day of an extraordinary paralysis of air travel caused by the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. We haven’t seen anything like this since the grounding of (almost) all flights in America following 9/11. Hundreds of thousands of passengers have been affected, a large proportion left stranded by cancelled flights.

Contrary to early hopeful predictions, there is no immediate end in sight. At time of writing the front page of Newsroom leads: “TRAVEL CRISIS: New Ash Plume – The global air travel crisis is deepening with latest satellite imagery showing a new ash plume spreading southwards from Iceland as large swathes of European air space remains closed”. The Guardian is warning that “Volcanic ash cloud travel chaos could last all week”. The New York Times sums up:

Britain’s Met Office meteorological agency said that the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano was continuing as of early Sunday morning ‘and possibly intensifying,’ with the ash plume rising to 30,000 feet. …

While the closing of the airways has already laid waste to the immediate plans and business of industry, the arts and world leaders, the possibility that it could drag on for days, if not weeks, is raising concerns about the longer term consequences for public health, military operations and the world economy.

The disaster is estimated to be costing airlines $200 million a day, but the economic damage will roll through to farms, retail establishments and nearly any other business that depends on air cargo shipments. Fresh produce will spoil, and supermarkets in Europe, used to year-round supplies, will begin to run out.

But unless flights are disrupted for weeks, threatening factories’ supply chains, economists do not think the crisis will significantly affect gross domestic product. ‘If it really drags on another week that could be really serious,’ said Peter Westaway, chief economist for Europe at the Nomura investment bank. The air travel shutdown could affect productivity, he said, if hundreds of thousands of people miss work or are not able to do business because they are stuck in limbo somewhere.

It is worth pondering the implications of the fact that the last time that Eyjafjallajökull erupted it was active for over a year (December 1821 to January 1823). What if the current event lasts for a similar time? What if world air traffic is disrupted or unreliable for a year or more?

Whatever the eventual duration of the event, the huge impact of the disruption so far creates an interesting opportunity. Passengers have already worked it out. There are alternatives to air travel:

Stena Line, the ferry company, said it carried 5,000 extra passengers to Ireland, and P&O cross-Channel ferries said they were fully booked until Monday. Every Eurostar train was full yesterday, carrying more than 46,000 passengers. Network Rail had cancelled some engineering works to allow train operators to run more services over the weekend, particularly on the east and west coast main lines and on routes to the channel ports.

In the medium term, air travel as currently conducted is doomed by peak oil. So now is the time to start building the capacity of the alternatives. Rail travel is much more fuel efficient (per passenger or unit of cargo) than air travel, and consequently also has (after initial infrastructure costs) a much lower carbon footprint: “Eurostar, the high-speed train service that connects London with Paris and Brussels, advertises a tenfold reduction in each traveler’s carbon footprint by comparison with an airplane trip over similar distances”. According to this academic study:

A comparison of the marginal values of particular burdens/emissions and their costs (externalities) … [has] shown that significant mitigation of the impacts and savings of costs could be achieved by substitution of air passenger transport by high-speed rail.

Now is the time for European leaders to turn the frustration of stranded air travellers into a constructive mood for change. The Eyjafjallajökull crisis is also the Eyjafjallajökull opportunity for rail. Now is the time for huge investment in rail infrastructure and other preparations for the end of the commercial aeroplane. Now, before peak oil makes the current disruptions look like a picnic in the park.

47 comments on “The Eyjafjallajökull opportunity”

  1. Luxated 1

    I agree with the basic premise here, that rail infrastructure needs to be developed and improved to replace a lot of current air travel. Europe is of course ideally placed to learn from this event and thankfully most (Western) European nations have fairly well developed networks already. Normally I’d mention something about NZ learning from what is happening in Europe but with the Nats in power I feel like I’m just pissing in the wind.

    I do however disagree that air travel will disappear, there are a number of reasons for this:

    1) Air transport produces a fraction of the carbon emissions that road transport does (in total). Although there is concern that the altitude of the aircraft having an effect I would think that the political pressure will focus on the headline figures.

    2) Continued investment in alternative fuel sources (mainly biofuel at this stage) and fuel consumption improvements. Unlike the car industry there is a very strong push from the clients (airlines) to decrease fuel use as it dramatically decreases their costs.

    3) Impracticality of ship or rail to certain locations, either too difficult or too slow.

    To quickly sum up, while we may well (and should) see a drop in the amount of air travel undertaken I do not see it consigned to history any time in the foreseeable future.

    Eyjafjallajökull: Now I know why Icelandic is considered to be so difficult!

    • r0b 1.1

      To quickly sum up, while we may well (and should) see a drop in the amount of air travel undertaken I do not see it consigned to history any time in the foreseeable future.

      I quite agree. I was careful in the post to talk about the decline of the aeroplane, not air travel. I think we’ll see the rise of the airship to replace travel over water. But travel over land should all be rail.

      Eyjafjallajökull: Now I know why Icelandic is considered to be so difficult!

      Glorious isn’t it. Is there any recorded case of a (non Icelandic) presenter saying it on air? Everyone just says “the eruption in Iceland” or similar. Whimps!

      • Lew 1.1.1

        I think the redoubtable Nicola Wright — she of the ability to pronounce almost anything — gave it a fair crack on NatRad late last week.

        L

      • Peter Williams managed last week in an episode of Breakfast I caught some of.

        Though I don’t really see why more can’t manage it. Five syllables, each reasonably easy to say (the most complicated being fyut). Get someone in the know to say it slowly, and play it on loop a dozen times. You might not sound like a native-speaker, and it might be a little laboured, but Deborah Coddington will like you =)

    • Marty G 1.2

      Eyjafjallajökull = island mountain glacier. seems like it’s a bit more efficient than english 😉

  2. illuminatedtiger 3

    Just switched over to Breakfast after getting tired of the TVNZ7 presenters inability to use the auto queue and was pretty shocked about some of the feedback:

    “Who cares about European regulation? Air New Zealand don’t come under their jurisdiction and should be able to takeoff and land at will”

    Don’t you just love how quickly tories are to lose their grasp on reality…

    • QoT 3.1

      Oh sweet Jesus. I watch a lot of Air Crash Investigation. I am now filled with such horror I may need to read some HP Lovecraft to settle down.

      Captcha: sequences – EXACTLY.

  3. Lew 4

    It’s a bit frightening how dependent the world is on air travel — such that the Merkel and Sarkozy wouldn’t make five-hour and fourteen-hour trips by road (respectively from Berlin and Paris) to the Polish president’s state funeral. Some of those attitudes are going to have to change, I think. Anand Satyanand had a decent excuse; but not those two.

    I agree with Luxated; there’s no prospect of air travel being replaced as the predominant mode of medium-long distance transport. If this persists, what we may see is adaptation of air travel technology and norms to this new reality — commercial aircraft flying at much lower or higher altitudes; a change in the types of aircraft being used, etc. This will dramatically decrease the number of flights available, and increase the cost of such flights as are available, probably driving a lot of people and freight to other transportation means, especially for shortish flights — so the sorts of developments r0b mentions are still necessary.

    But I think the most serious outcome if this looks like persisting is that Western Europe will suffer as an economic and diplomatic centre. The cost of doing business there, and getting goods to and from there in a timely fashion, will simply be higher than next-best alternatives, and companies and industries which were already somewhat marginal will begin to operate elsewhere — perhaps relocating to the Subcontinent, China or Eastern Europe. That’s a very long-term thing.

    L

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      Merkel was stuck in Italy and would be taking a long bus trip just to get back to Germany

      • Marty G 4.1.1

        would have thought a big german BMW could have got her there quick smart… or the train

        • Lew 4.1.1.1

          Yeah. If John Cleese can get home from Oslo, you’d think the leader of a major regional power could figure something out.

          L

  4. jcuknz 5

    What I don’t understand is why it is permitted to cancel the flights …. if it was a military exercise I’m sure the planes would fly to the airport still open for traffic and land transport take over from there. Maybe if the volcano and winds continue to be uncooperative this will happen. The organisations do seem to be rather sluggish and lacking in enterprise.

    • Lew 5.1

      jcuknz, what part of “planes which fly through this shit fall out of the sky” is unclear to you?

      L

      • Marty G 5.1.1

        lew. you used a two syllable word there. be fair on the guy.

        personally, i am surprised that a relatively small eruption could create a density of ash over such a huge area that would be dangerous. Some of the airlines have taken test flights and are checking the results but seem positive on first look.

        passenger jets have flamed out (ie their engines stopped working) in the past due to volcanic ash.

        • QoT 5.1.1.1

          Not to mention the windshield can be so blasted that pilots essentially lose all visibility.

          • Rich 5.1.1.1.1

            I actually thought Holmes’ copy on that subject was quite interesting and informative.

            A bit of a first – I guess aerial dicing with death is his special subject.

  5. Cnr Joe 6

    Ahh, my childhood dream of airships carrying freight – mainly…Now I hear it around..

  6. Eyjafjallajökull’s eruptions (don’t you love copy and paste) if they carry on for a period of time will cause considerable cooling in the Northern Hemisphere through the stopping of sunlight hitting the ground.

    No doubt our friends on the lunatic right will claim indignantly that any such reduction is conclusive proof that climate change is not occurring and is in fact a fraud.

  7. vto 8

    Well isn’t it in December 2012 that the planets line up causing a ‘tidal’ effect on the molten lava under our thin crust leading to many more volcanoes playing up like this?

    We shouldn’t be so smug – we of course are the ones loaded up with volcanoes after all… do do do do…

  8. Bored 9

    Couple of things to note:

    1. Ship and train travel may take a while but you can take time to relax and look around……so much nicer especially if you dont fall out of the sky from 10,000 meters spliuttering volcanic ash.
    2. Icelands volcano is just a baby compared to Taupo,if that went up it would really put the kibbosh on air travel world wide, big time, and when the air clears a new land would emerge.

    My point is that we have very complex systems with many single points of failure. These are easily interrupted by natural events, the volcano is teaching us a lesson in what happens when we put too many eggs in one basket in the name of efficiency, modernity, technology etc.

  9. Evidence-Based Practice 10

    What would happen if one of our volcanoes erupted to this extent (quite plausible considering our geological history). Say just before the rugby world cup?
    Bring back sailing ships now! We also need more effective public transport like trains.

    [Captcha: Chances]

  10. Bill 11

    Who needs high speed air travel? People or business?

    I’m suggesting that business needs and demands high speed air travel and it is this that will ensure that no development of rail or any other mode of travel will be anything beyond a short term quick fix project.

    Airlines subsidies will increase….they will be bailed by us just as the banks were.

    Meanwhile, I suspect I am one of a silent majority who would rather live in a slower world of Zeppelins anyway. Dreaming is free…

  11. Ianmac 12

    The pattern amongst business and political leaders has been to jump on a plane for face to face talks.
    The importance of reliable fast Broadband is to make such meetings redundant. Large screens, faultless sound, even 3D.
    For example the 40 World Leaders meeting recently about nuclear matters, could have each leader meet from their own offices. They could be seen and heard. The only things missing would be expense, air poluution, and being actually touched by you know who.
    It will happen and I expect there are some such meetings going on right now.

    • Bill 12.1

      “The only things missing would be expense, air poluution, and being actually touched by you know who”……and opportunities for back room dealing and threatening or bribing and talking ‘off the record’…the nods the winks and the general fawning to the big cock in the room…. the photo ops and spinning of the perception that individuals possessing great intellect are at work on problems of the world as opposed to the muddled reality of armies of loyal diplomats, acquiescent bureaucrats and international financial institutions with far reaching hands shoved up the rectums of the domestically generated puppets who are pushed to the fore for our delectation and titillation.

      Doesn’t lend itself to video conferencing that.

      • Ianmac 12.1.1

        I take it, I think, that you are agreeing that video-conferencing meetings instead of travelling, would be a very good thing then Bill?

  12. Fisiani 13

    Alaska is close to Russia (remember Palin’s comments.) There are several islands between Russia and Alaska. Imagine a rail/ road tunnel connecting Asia with North America. Then you could take a train from Glasgow to New York or vice versa via the Channel Tunnel and the Trans Siberian railway. Bet it would be opposed by the Greens. Every step of progress is opposed by the Greens.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      Every step of progress is opposed by the Greens.

      I’m in no mood for this kind of medacious crap from Tory dogs this morning. You are a brain dead lying arse … fuck off back to the sewer.

      • Rich 13.1.1

        Word.

        This site needs a thumbsdown icon like Frogblog.

        • lprent 13.1.1.1

          Looked at it at kiwiblog. It tends to lead towards bully behaviour

          Fomenting happy mischief. Indeed!

          It does work well on frogblog from what I can see, but I suspect that there’d be exclusions behaviour here. I prefer to just monitor peoples behaviour and to provide some more direct incentives against bad behaviour.

          • RedLogix 13.1.1.1.1

            Errmmm… sorry about the above. Not one of my finer moments.

          • BLiP 13.1.1.1.2

            Looked at it at kiwiblog.

            I wouldn’t have thought that cohort would represent a normal blog community.

            • lprent 13.1.1.1.2.1

              You’re correct, it isn’t. However it is close to being the worst case, and like all programmers I think that Murphy was optimistic…

    • “Then you could take a train from Glasgow to New York or vice versa via the Channel Tunnel and the Trans Siberian railway.”

      And travel 20000 kms getting there by rail when Glasgow and New York are only 2500 kms apart by ship across the Atlantic Ocean. Two words for ya, Fisi. Atlas. Education.

  13. RedLogix 14

    Slightly tangential, but in the meantime our own rail system continues to be run down. Last weekend for instance while work was being done on the main trunk line between Palmerston and Wgtn, about ten freight trains were sent down the now little used line between Woodville and Featherston. This was a good thing as it’s useful to have some diversity in any system and having the line available to use was certainly better than not having it.

    But here is the kicker. The bridges on this line are now all over 80 yrs old. Most are still old wooden trestle designs, some propped up with extra stacks of buttressing timbers at each end. You have to picture this: your driving 190 tonnes of loco (two DFB’s) and on approaching these bridges you button off completely and coast over under no power at less than walking speed.

    Get it?

    And because of the potential for damage, the normal Wairarapa line passenger service has to go over all the bridges at reduced speed until an engineer inspects them later that week.

    This is shameful. Asking people to drive over bridges with a thousand tonnes of freight at walking speed because there is a real risk damn thing might collapse. And all the while Joyce spends billions of useless fracking holiday motorways and roadworks that are nothing but a subsidy to the trucking industry that has him in it’s pocket.

    • Bored 14.1

      Red, I am appalled, suppose when a train goes down the gully alongside the man checking the bridge it will be put down to user error.

  14. Hilary 15

    Trains making a comeback in the US supported by Obama. We could too.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/international/3596318/Fed-up-flyers-turn-to-trains

  15. Zaphod Beeblebrox 16

    Haven’t the Chinese talked about a Beijing-London hi speed train? You could connect up dozens of countries.

  16. jcuknz 17

    Lew / Marty G …. your sarcasm is un worthy of you normally sensible and intelligent writers and you should read what I wrote properly before shooting off your rudeness. I did not suggest that planes should be flying through the ash clouds, although subsequently we find that to a degree this is possible and apparently safe from the test flights undertaken recently, but rather that airlines continued to fly to the edge of the affected area …. Spain, Turkey, Ukraine perhaps, from where and to where people would travel by surface transport. I assume that the volcano is quite likely to continue spewing ash for several years and with the normal average probability the wind will blow them south east rather than north east to flow over the UK and adjacent countries.
    It seems to me that the authorities were very quick to say ‘NO’ without organising an alternative, which was the crux of my earlier post. There is also the concern that the decision was based on theoretical rather than practical evidence with the ‘safety’ angle being the excuse by timid left wing [ most likely] bureaucrats.

  17. arch 18

    labour policy and greenpolicy and other party/s have used carbon footprint. it/s been fed to us all cut your driving by 5 miles aday take less flights use less electric icould go on. and i will tax 4×4 cars fuel hikes to bleed us dry. well now the price must have been paid in full no flights no cars going to airports etc etc our footprint must be shiny clean

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April
    Benefit settings rise in line with wages as of 1 April   Main benefits will increase by over 3 percent, instead of 1.66 percent, on 1 April with the Government’s decision to annually adjust benefit rates to increases in the average wage. The Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, said ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Foreign and Trade Ministers to lead business delegation to India
    Strengthening New Zealand’s political and business ties with India will be the focus of Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters’ and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker’s visit to India this week. The Ministers are co-leading a high level business delegation to India to support increased people and economic engagement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Minister champions more Pacific in STEM – Toloa Awards
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio continues to champion for greater Pacific participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers with the announcement of the Toloa Awards, with 8 recipients of the Toloa Community Fund and 13 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships. “The Toloa Programme encourages more Pacific peoples ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Submission period for whitebait consultation extended
    Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has extended the date for people to have their say on proposed changes to improve management of whitebait across New Zealand.   Submissions were due to close on 2 March 2020 but will now remain open until 9am on Monday 16 March 2020.   “I have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New international protection for frequent fliers
    The endangered toroa/Antipodean albatross has new international protection for its 100,000km annual migration, thanks to collaborative efforts led by New Zealand, Australia and Chile.   Today, 130 countries agreed to strictly protect Antipodean albatross at the Conference of Parties on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to regulate vaping
      No sales to under-18-year-olds No advertising and sponsorship of vaping products and e-cigarettes No vaping or smokeless tobacco in smokefree areas Regulates vaping product safety comprehensively, - including devices, flavours and ingredients Ensure vaping products are available for those who want to quit smoking   Vaping regulation that balances ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Justice Minister represents New Zealand at Berlin nuclear disarmament summit
    Justice Minister Andrew Little will travel to Berlin tomorrow to represent New Zealand at a high-level summit on nuclear disarmament. This year, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) celebrates 50 years since it entered into force. “New Zealand’s proud record and leadership on nuclear disarmament is unwavering, so it’s important we are present ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister to visit Fiji and Australia
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit two of New Zealand’s most important Pacific partners, Fiji and Australia, next week. The visit to Fiji will be the first by a New Zealand Prime Minister in four years and comes during the 50th anniversary of Fijian independence and diplomatic relations between our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps in Criminal Cases Review Commission announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little and New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball, have today announced the appointment of the Chief Commissioner of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the location, and the membership of the Establishment Advisory Group. Colin Carruthers QC has been appointed Chief Commissioner of the CCRC for an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Horticultural Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists announced
    Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Hon Damien O’Connor co-announced the first horticultural finalists for the Ahuwhenua Trophy celebrating excellence in the Māori agricultural sector.  The three finalists are Ngai Tukairangi Trust from Mt Maunganui, Otama Marere Trust from Tauranga, and Hineora Orchard Te Kaha 15B Ahuwhenua ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New support for students with dyslexia
    A new kete of resources to strengthen support for students with dyslexia will provide extra tools for the new Learning Support Coordinators (LSCs) as they start in schools, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Minister launched the kete in Wellington this morning, at the first of three induction ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rental reforms progress to select committee stage
    The Government continues to make progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the First Reading of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill and its referral to the Social Services and Community Select Committee.  “Now is the opportunity for landlords, tenants and others who want ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Papua New Guinea Prime Minister to visit New Zealand
    Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Hon James Marape will visit New Zealand from 21-25 February, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have a warm and friendly relationship. I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Marape here and strengthening the relationship between our two countries,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Free school lunches served up to thousands
    Thousands of children have begun receiving a free lunch on every day of the school week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. The Government’s free and healthy school lunch programme is under way for 7,000 students at 31 schools in Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti and Bay of Plenty / Waiariki, extending ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Social Wellbeing Agency replaces Social Investment Agency with new approach
    The Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni today announced a new approach that continues to broaden the Government’s social sector focus from a narrow, investment approach to one centred on people and wellbeing. Minister Sepuloni said redefining the previous approach to social investment by combining science, data and lived experience ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to strengthen protections for whistleblowers
    The Government is strengthening the Protected Disclosures Act to provide better protection for whistle blowers, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. “The Protected Disclosures Act is meant to encourage people to speak up about serious wrongdoing in the workplace and protect them from losing their jobs or being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PM speech at Parliamentary Chinese New Year celebration 2020
    Nǐn hǎo (Hello in Mandarin). Xīn Nián Kuài Lè (Happy New Year in Mandarin) Néi Hóu (Hello in Cantonese). Sun Nin Fai Lok (Happy New Year in Cantonese) Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you for your invitation to attend this celebration today. I would like to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 2020 IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tougher penalties for gun crime a step closer
    Tougher penalties for gun crime are a step closer with the passage of firearms reform legislation through another stage in Parliament. The Arms Legislation Bill has tonight passed its Second Reading. “The changes have one objective - to prevent firearms falling into the wrong hands,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Arms Legislation Bill: Second Reading
    Introduction Mr Speaker We all know why we are here today. It has been a long journey. The journey did not actually begin on 15 March 2019. It began on 30 June 1997. Almost 23 years ago, Justice Sir Thomas Thorp told us what was wrong with our firearms legislation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New era for vocational education
    The Government’s work to put trades and vocational education back on the agenda took another major step forward today with the passing of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is a watershed day for trades and vocational education. These law changes formalise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to Amend the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act
    Speeding up the return of Christchurch regeneration activities to local leadership is behind the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today by Minister Megan Woods. “As we approach nine years since the February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, and with the transition to local leadership well underway, the time ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Milford Track to partly reopen after storm damage
    Hundreds of New Zealanders and international visitors will be able to get back out into nature with the Milford Track partially reopening next week, after extensive assessments and repairs, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The popular Great Walk has been closed since 3 February after an extreme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government drives low-emissions transport momentum
    Up to 110 new EV chargers nationwide in cities and regions 50 electric vehicles for ride-sharing The Government is helping deliver more infrastructure and options for low emissions transport through new projects, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. Tauranga, Nelson, Levin, New Plymouth and Oamaru are just some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for Southland flooding
    Southland residents hit by flooding caused by heavy rainfall can now access help finding temporary accommodation with the Government activating the Temporary Accommodation Service, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare announced today. “The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bridges: Over-hyped and under-delivered
    “Is that it?” That’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response to Simon Bridges’ much-hyped economic speech today. “Simon Bridges just gave the most over-hyped and under-delivered speech that I can remember during my time in politics,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s not surprising. Simon Bridges literally said on the radio this morning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police to trial eye in the sky in Christchurch
    A trial deployment of the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will test whether the aircraft would make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety. “The Bell 429 helicopter will be based in Christchurch for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links
    The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker. Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Coalition Govt’s investment in Customs nets record drugs haul: 3 tonnes stopped at borders in 2019
    The Coalition Government’s investment in a strong border and disrupting transnational organised crime produced record results for stopping drugs in 2019, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The illegal drugs were seized at the New Zealand border by Customs, and overseas by Customs’ international border partners before the drugs could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Separated scenic cycleway starts
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off construction of a separated cycleway alongside Tamaki Drive. A two-way separated cycleway will be built along the northern side of Tamaki Drive, between the Quay Street Cycleway extension and Ngapipi Road. There will be a separate walking path alongside. Phil Twyford said giving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Earthquake-Prone Building loan scheme: eligibility criteria announced
    Owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings will have certainty about the financial support they’ll be eligible for with the release of criteria for an upcoming assistance scheme, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Travel restrictions to remain in place as coronavirus precaution
    Temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Over $1 million to help Tairāwhiti youth into employment
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today that Tairāwhiti rangatahi will benefit from an investment made by the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme. The funding will go to the Tautua Village, Kauneke programme and the Matapuna Supported Employment Programme which will fund 120 rangatahi over two years. “Both programmes work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago