The Gisborne rail line

Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, April 25th, 2012 - 42 comments
Categories: transport - Tags: ,

Zetetic’s recent post on the Gisborne rail line generated a lot of comment. Almost a week later a final comment was added clean.air (a new contributor). Clean.air has an insider’s knowledge of the issues, and the comment deserves a wider audience, so here it is as a guest post. If you need to refresh your memories on the issues go back and check out Zet’s original post first.


Gosman, & Richard, do what Mc Flock suggests, come up to Napier and Gisborne to see the sheer lunacy of relying on Heavy Goods Vehicles, (HGV’S) are causing to the roads and suburban way of life with the noise vibration & pollution that is causing a public health crisis in Napier and Gisborne.

Read the facts, from IPENZ rerport to Government, in their study it reveils the cost of rail freight is paid 77% by the users, private road users, 66%, and the road transport industry only 56% so trucking is heavily subsidised by by the public, and to toll trucks you will get a powerful fight there, as the road transport lobby is very veryt powerful.

Back to the issue of HGV;s causing diesel particulate pollution, and tyre dust pollution (which is cancer causing) look up on the web what tyre particulate pollution does to humans living near truck corridors.

Go get a copy of the PCE (Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment) on their website entitled “HB Expressway Kennedy Rd noise and air quality issues. 2005”

His year long study summarised states that HGV’s causing health issues to residential communities can be mitigated by more freight moving back to rail, funny that!! rail is much much lower in per tonne carried per Km and also there is a Ministry of Transport study from 1999 Entitled Impacts of Rail Transport on Local air Quality.

It was buried in the archives because nothing on this subject has ever been done since, but we found it, and if anyone wants a copy drop me a line, I can send one. It essentially shows in almost every case, be it short haul, or long haul that rail emits virtually no pollution compared to truck freight, so if you want to breathe poisonous air go ahead but I aint’.

Several large world wide studies have confirmed that rail frieght is 5 to 9 times more efficient than road freight, so if you want to use inefficient road freight only you will see the cost of your goods bought spiralling, due to trucking cost increases, and it is happening here in Gisborne now.

This leftie bashing is interesting, your right wing mates are cossying up to a very large Communist Country right now, China to be axact, what do you say about that, I as a moderate are uneasy to see a torry Government geeting into bed with the largest most oppressive Communist country in the world.

Anyway, when it comes back to rail Vs road, there are many more “cost externalities” to consider than the narritive “economic model this lot are singing, ask yourself what cost is the public health services paying, (your tax dollars) due to 2500 trucks passing by your door every day and polluting your entire airspace, causing you to get chronic disease?

This is happening right at the HB expressway at Kennedy Rd every day, and is now according to a letter we have now become a public health risk. This truck count increase is directly caused by the closure of the Gisborne rail link, now creating more heavy truck movements.

About the potential freight carrying on the Gisborne line, we have located 10 new large customers that want to use the Gisborne to Napier rail line, two wood products companies, two aggregate companies with btheir own quarries, two trucking companies, (one is Main Freight) two meat processing plants, a second fertiliser company and a feedstock supplier, so guess what was holding them using the rail line before it was washed out? A lack bof rolling stock, locomotives and staff to handle the massive extra freight, so y6ou can place the blame right at the Government door with the lack of regional funding for rail infrastructure.
Lastly think about what happend here, just as our group in Gisborne was getting frieght up and running on the line nature deals us a cruel hand right?

Wrong, because Kiwirail’s communications Manager has admitted in the press up here on the 17th April, Quote;

Last Friday KiwiRail cited a combination of factors leading to last month’s catastrophic and costly dropout.Ms Brady said the geography in the area of the slips was very challenging and experienced unusually high levels of rain in a short space of time, she said.

This combined with some old, damaged and blocked culverts is what caused the huge slips.
Many culverts needed replacing, not just the debris
removed, and that would come at a high cost.
Kiwi Rail has been actively upgrading the long-neglected
national rail network for the past three years, but funds were limited and needed to be allocated elsewhere.

unquote,
So here’s the facts,
“Many culverts needed replacing, not just the debris
removed, and that would come at a high cost.

Government screwed us when they directed KiwiRail to to send the provincial rail maintaintence funds elswhere, and Gisbornites now feel cheated that a large increasing export lead recovery that was occurring is now being screwed by a Government that wants to close their only choice for transport other than road down, because they caused the rail closure and now wont fix the rail line they destroyed, infact thay feel as though Government sabotaged the rail, because we were showing that so many companies wanted to switch to rail, and their road lobby mates wanted to shut the treat down.

Believe what you want but we are at the coal face.

— clean.air

42 comments on “The Gisborne rail line”

  1. hellonearthis 1

    Well said, it seems like this government wants to help make Gisborne a geto/poor region of NZ.

  2. marsman 3

    Sneaky Steven Joyce sabotaged Kiwirail, that has long been my contention. Did he not also take away the Govt. subsidy Kiwirail was getting? He’s in thrall to the trucking lobby. He is one of a number of people without whom NZ would be a much better place. And now we have that lump Gerry Brownlee to carry on Sneaky’s nasty agenda.

    • marsman 3.1

      PS Great post clean.air. I like what you said about rail being 5 to 9 times more efficient than road transport, would love to be able to quote the actual studies to rail-bashers.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        would love to be able to quote the actual studies to rail-bashers.

        As long as the objective is for your own self satisfaction, not a (futile) attempt to change their minds with rational evidence.

    • Fortran 3.2

      Why did Michael Cullen/Helen Clark buy Kiwirail at three times its value.
      – to make life difficult for the incoming Government, as it knew it would be soundly beaten, so this would embarrass the Nats.

      [lprent: Book value has little or no relationship to actual value or a sale value. I am personally tired of hearing that old troll assertion that has no basis in fact. Never has a supporting link. And simply reveals the person making it to have no understanding of the topic.

      Take two weeks holiday for being a stupid troll. Come back refreshed, with better lines, and a renewed determination to provide valid links to your assertions of fact. ]

      • r0b 3.2.1

        Why did Michael Cullen/Helen Clark buy Kiwirail at three times its value.

        Huh? Proof for this assertion please.

      • Chris 3.2.2

        I would assume he is talking about this:

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2553607/KiwiRail-only-worth-369-million 

        This is based on fair value which is based on actual value rather than book value. 

        Still the rest of the point was still stupid wasn’t 3 times the value and definitely wasn’t purchased to difficult for an incoming government. 

        • RedLogix 3.2.2.1

          And replacement value (the price you would pay to build it from scratch today) would probably in the order of $10b.

          The crucial point is simply that Dr Cullen had only three practical options open to him:

          1. Do nothing and keep on subsidising the Australian private sector company Toll Holdings to the tune of $200m a year or more via OnTrack.

          2. Negotiate a market price to buy it back. Bear in mind Toll’s opening bid was $1b. He opened around $500m After 18 months of tough negotiation they settled on $690m.

          3. Or he could have nationalised the whole caboose.

          Even then the difference between the $690m purchaase price and the $360m ‘fair value’ price … is pretty much the cash input the govt was putting into OnTrack for over just one to two years.

  3. Sanctuary 4

    Where is Labour on this? $4,300,000 is chicken feed, and saying they’ll restore the line means Anne Tolley can kiss the East Coast electorate goodbye in 2014 if the Nats don’t repair the rail link.

  4. jcuknz 5

    I think you should give Burt some brownie points for the humour, ridiculous as it was.

  5. prism 6

    Only a crazy short sighted irresponsible government would allow an important rail link with an export producing area go down when oil is due to go up as it becomes scarce. We have a lot of sunk costs in the rail line. Kiwi Rail said in one interview that earlier this year they widened the rail line which allows the carriage of containers that the previous narrower line couldn’t manage and that volumes are increasing but don’t show up in the historical tonnages being quoted.

  6. Draco T Bastard 7

    Several large world wide studies have confirmed that rail frieght is 5 to 9 times more efficient than road freight…

    That’s the telling bit. If costs were properly allocated long distance trucking would disappear overnight.

  7. ianmac 8

    Trucking up and down the East Coast of the SI is heavy. The road between Blenheim and Picton is being constantly resealed. This must be hugely expensive but I bet that the trucks pay almost none of the true cost. So in Gisborne the case to make better use of the rail link has the same validity.
    The historical reasons for lifting the old embargo on Trucking included slowness of rail, losing of goods and so on. Today technology would easily solve the old problems.

    But can you see National (or Labour) making a case for rail at the expense of trucking? Joyce? Ha ha ha!

  8. The Surface Transport Costs and Charges study commissioned by the last government included a specific case study comparing infrastructure costs and externality costs and charges for road and rail between Napier and Gisborne.

    What it found was that there was no great distortion in charging between trucks and rail on the route, in that trucks on the highway paid more in RUC that it cost to maintain the road.

    IPENZ selectively quoted the overall results of that study, but failed to quote the specific case study (another two case studies in that report indicated road freight was undercharged in one case, overcharged on another) which is what is relevant here.

    In short, sadly given I have a nostalgic affection for the line, there is no economic case for retaining it, particularly given that most of the road freight movements in the region don’t have origins or destinations that could remotely be served by it – and those that could face the high cost of double handling.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      The economic case is diesel going to $3/L.

      What it found was that there was no great distortion in charging between trucks and rail on the route, in that trucks on the highway paid more in RUC that it cost to maintain the road.

      EXCEPT that RUC charges aren’t assigned to areas in that way.

    • RedLogix 9.2

      Well if the trucking companies are being overcharged for using the public highway system, why don’t they build and maintain their own private roads? Make a lot more money that way…

      • Libertyscott 9.2.1

        No. On that route, the RUC revenue generated is notably in excess of the long run capital costs for maintaining the road that can be fairly attributed to those paying it.

        On some routes the RUC revenue is in excess, on others it is inadequate. As it is a national price for using all roads, that is to be expected, but the study specifically investigated three routes to test these issues. It so happens Napier-Gisborne was one of them (and no coincidence since the issues with the viability of the rail line have been around for over 30 years – 1978 being the first time a study was done about it).

        There actually are extensive networks of private forestry roads in the North Island, paid for and maintained by the forest owners, with them setting the weight limits for the vehicles and no RUC paid on those routes.

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1

          There actually are extensive networks of private forestry roads in the North Island, paid for and maintained by the forest owners, with them setting the weight limits for the vehicles and no RUC paid on those routes.

          Of course they pay for them its ON THEIR PRIVATE LAND and they are making a PRIVATE PROFIT from activities on that land.

          No. On that route, the RUC revenue generated is notably in excess of the long run capital costs for maintaining the road that can be fairly attributed to those paying it.

          Totally irrelevant.

          RUC’s and the roading costs they cover are not assigned in that way, except theoretically in very narrowly focussed management consulting reports.

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.2

          And give us a link to your bullshit reports

          • Libertyscott 9.2.1.2.1

            It is hardly totally irrelevant that the revenue generated from trucks for using the network that competes with the railway more than covers the infrastructure costs when you are arguing that taxpayers pay for the railway infrastructure costs rather than the users of the railway.

            If you can’t see that there is little hope for a rational debate. Given that you are calling something that challenges your own view of the world a bullshit report, it doesn’t bode well.

            The study is no longer on the MoT website. It is called Surface Transport Costs and Charges, dated March 2005, published by MoT. It was undertaken by Booz Allen Hamilton with the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds. There have been follow up studies undertaken which do not include that specific case study to update the data.

            I suggest you contact MoT and be asked to be posted a copy, there were plenty in storage when I was last there.

            • McFlock 9.2.1.2.1.1

              Don’t be a doofus. You know the title of the report, oh wow let’s google it. Is this the report you’re referring to?

            • Bored 9.2.1.2.2.1

              Bloody hell that is a mindless document i.e it shows no vision or any reference for anything outside of known parameters.

              I think this Gisborne rail issue actually shows the end result of “leaving it to the market” which as then been distorted again by powerful lobbying by interest groups. And it is related to a whole pile of other issues like the sale of state assets, port labour conflict etc.

              Here is a brave cure (that I have not heard Labour advocating)…
              * Give the Economic Development Ministry (or whatever it is called) control of a national integrated “energy and infrastructure” organisation that would:
              1. Take total control of electricity generation and the grid….replacing the “competitive” companies. The mandate would be for the electricity generation body to supply at cost plus future investment commitments (no profit).
              2. Nationalise all of the Ports: Centralise negotiation with shipping companies, uniformity of costs and again, no profit above reinvestment.
              3. Mandate that rail is both electrified where possible, and built locally where possible. Zero balance pricing.
              4. Remove any road user subsidies / tax write offs etc, make trucking pay true cost of use.
              5. Review coastal shipping as alternative to rail and road, invest from tax until it becomes part of integrated model.

              Dont get me started on banking and finance and the other “rentier” groups who hold back true economic performance in NZ. What I am advocating is a productive business friendly environment, as opposed to a big corporate business subsidising economy. Wake up Labour.

    • Macro 9.3

      All well and good!
      But your comment completely misses the point that clean air is making; and that is the cost of the externalities that are being passed on by the trucking companies to the local communities. Were the analysis, which you refer, to also take into account all the other costs to the community of this form of transportation, the result would I’m sure be somewhat different. Unfortunately economic analysis as always is somewhat blinkered to externalities as they are “unreal” (ie can’t be measured easily in dollars and cents) and therefore aren’t worth considering; and anyway they only apply to poor people. Rich people can move to a more salubrious location.

      • Libertyscott 9.3.1

        Sorry, I forgot to be more thorough. The study was not blinkered to externalities at all. Bear in mind this study was commissioned under the last government.

        RUC has always been about recovering infrastructure costs, which it does more than adequately in this case. The rail line users can’t pay for those costs and so the argument goes whether the externalities saved are sufficient to justify those costs being cross-subsidised.

        The study also included environmental externalities. Table 3.6 in the main report outlines the case study. Revenue per freight tonne km from trucks on the route came to 4c. Infrastructure costs were 1c per tonne km. Although these costs have gone up, so has RUC.

        It assessed congestion costs, being the delay caused by the trucks in towns and also uphill sections affecting cars. That cost was measured at 0.3c per tonne km. Given some money has been getting spent on the road to provide passing lanes (and a lot spent in Napier on the expressway by both governments), this cost is being mitigated by modest infrastructure investment.

        Accident costs were much higher, at 1.8c per tonne km, as the route has death/injury rates three times the national average. Accident costs were measured by records according to the proportion of accidents including trucks.

        Environmental costs, despite the claims by CleanAir were negligible at 0.2c per tonne km. The primary reason being the very limited exposure of people to the emissions. With the exception of Wairoa, the route is rural. The remainder being exposure in Napier and Gisborne where the trucks on this route add to the general level of emissions from all other traffic, and in Napier’s case particularly bad winter emissions from domestic fireplaces.

        All up, whilst RUC generated 4c per tonne km, all of the costs including maintenance, environmental externalities and accident costs came to 3.3c per tonne km.

        Rail was measured as well. As the network was private at the time, infrastructure costs were excluded, all that mattered was externalities. The accident externality was virtually zero, but the environmental one was 0.2c per tonne km. Why? Because the large locomotives when they haul freight, create similar levels of exposure given the average tonnage of trains on the line at the time to trucks doing the same job.

        I stress this was that case study – indicating the case for the Napier-Gisborne line is poor.

        However, the parallel case study for freight between Auckland and Wellington gave a different result, indicating that, including externalities, trucks are undercharged. This is hardly surprising, given the volumes of freight involved, the relatively higher levels of congestion on parts of the network and the higher exposure to people for emissions. Rail environmental costs were interesting higher per tonne km than Napier-Gisborne, also reflecting exposure to emissions from Auckland to Hamilton, and Palmerston North to Wellington.

        In short the point I am making is that it is erroneous to claim a blanket assertion that one mode is always inferior/superior to the other on environmental grounds, or indeed that one is always disadvantaged by the other due to government policy, rather than the inherent features of the mode itself. i.e. rail is well suited to high volume long haul freight, not low volume short haul freight. The threshold for rail to start to be competitive is typically trips of over 150km, and is seriously competitive over 250km.

        • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.1

          Thanks for the regurgitation.

        • Macro 9.3.1.2

          And the cost of increased GHG’s?

        • Macro 9.3.1.3

          “Environmental costs, despite the claims by CleanAir were negligible at 0.2c per tonne km. The primary reason being the very limited exposure of people to the emissions. With the exception of Wairoa, the route is rural. The remainder being exposure in Napier and Gisborne where the trucks on this route add to the general level of emissions from all other traffic, and in Napier’s case particularly bad winter emissions from domestic fireplaces.”

          Which just goes to show you just how shonkey these figures are! Obviously the authors have never lived alongside a road used by heavy trucks day in, day out! I did once when posted to Singapore in 1984. Admiralty Rd had about the same number of movements that are being talked about here. 2700 per day. Doesn’t sound like much – but that is in fact one truck every 30 seconds. Try living alongside that day in day out and contending with the dust and noise they create. 0.2c per tonne! pfffft!

  9. seeker 10

    @marsman10.48am
    He’s in thrall to the trucking lobby. He is one of a number of people without whom NZ would be a much better place. And now we have that lump Gerry Brownlee to carry on Sneaky’s nasty agenda.

    So many in thrall to someone else. Jim Quinn to the government, Len Brown on the way, judging by his ‘contemplation’ of the pokie sell out, John”slippery’ Key possibly in thrall to Goldman Sachs and in league with Michael Ashton, Steven ‘sneaky’Joyce probably in thrall to the truckers and both slippery and sneaky probably in league with McDuck from Sky ‘sin’City. A right nest of vipers.

    And now to begin a list of ‘important’ people New Zealand could really do without. I felt such a cathartic need to do this having read marsman’s comment and especially on Anzac Day when so many wonderful and truly honourable men gave their lives so we could exist and progress into a better world as humans rather than sink back into the darkness of cruel times of history where poverty, disease and despair were rampant for so many.The people I am about to list appear to to be trying to rekindle such times.

    So….New Zealand could really do without the likes of: dishonourable John Key, Stephen Joyce, Bill English, Gerry Brownlee, Paula Bennett all who have broken the law, told untruths or done things for cronies. Phil Heatley is added too for his Uriah Heepedness which is causing him to ‘heep’ agony on the vulnerable in state homes. Tony Ryall for his horrible highhandedness and tau henare just because he is a bully. Anne Tolley is too silly to worry about, Judith Collins is too vain and pearlset Kate W. should go on a long, long bush walk in an attempt to become rehabilitated to the environment, if nothing else. Nick Smith and Rodney have already been put out to the thistle paddocks and John Banks and Peter Dunney should follow.

    Were it not for this National Government, Kiwirail, the Gisborne Rail line, our public utilities and New Zealand would be safe, just as, I believe, those brave and honourable men who gave their lives for us intended.

    • I’ll add that if this government was completely in thrall to the trucking lobby it would have abolished RUC in favour of diesel tax, which RTF was pushing for, because RUC charges trucks undertaking long distance heavy freight more than diesel tax ever will.

      There was much pressure to do that, but thankfully the economic case for RUC – which NZ was a pioneer in back in 1978, is compelling.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        The more compelling case is to reduce the RUC on private passenger diesel cars, and increase it signficantly on heavy trucks.

        I’ll add that if this government was completely in thrall to the trucking lobby it would have abolished RUC in favour of diesel tax

        Nah, too obvious. Shonkey knows he doesn’t have the political capital to waste on this.

  10. millsy 11

    If Libertyscott had his way, we wouldnt *have* a rail network.

    Anyway, KR decide tomorrow.

  11. freedom 12

    and in other really wise and rational moves by kiwirail
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6800150/Services-cut-in-Overlander-overhaul
    So many of the issues facing passenger rail are, i suspect, wrongly centered on a costing model that is not focused upon the practical and necessary challenges of an everyday person trying to travel in NZ. Closing the Paraparaumu stop on the Overlander is a blatant example of Kiwirail’s impaired vision. Now a person in Paraparaumu will have to travel an hour south just to catch a train that is travelling back whence they came. Considering the recent addition of shorthaul flights into Paraparaumu Airport we have lost yet another opportunity for networked travel.

    Kiwirail want to go and build more new purpose-built carriages, mmm where could they go to build new purpose-built carriages, Hillside? oh that’s right it’s being sold/closed/discarded like anything of practical worth, it is unwanted refuse. Kiwirail’s owners are not interested or apparently aware of a time when rail in this country was an aria of our abilities, now rail is just an ongoing wail of excessive and debilitating capitalist dogma. We built a mining railway on a cliff face for gawdsake, We shifted hundred tonne kauri logs through ravines that most rail would run screaming from, we built locomotives that were envied around the world, even if our PM believes otherwise. That makes four or is it five major rail contracts that hillside could have been used for. Roughly a billion dollars that could have stayed in the NZ economy.

    to quote Clare Curran (via pete george)
    http://yourdunedin.org/2012/04/23/curran-sticking-up-for-your-city/
    ” There’s more at stake than the nearly 130 jobs, the loss of wages, taxes, skills and the more than 137 year history of a competent and valued rail manufacturing plant to the city of Dunedin. There are more than 70 engineering businesses clustered around Hillside. It’s the backbone of our city. It’s becoming more high tech. It’s a hugely important part of our local and regional economy.”

    The wide-reaching affects of stuffing up what any reasonable society would admit to being a basic and badly needed main trunk line rail service? Overlander’s ever diminishing services have resulted in amongst other things a skyrocketing increase in Bus travel costs. Sure the main trunk line has some competition thanks to Naked Bus and the big boys offer some scraps of cheap seats between Wellington and Auckland but the spin-off from that move is the regional changes it spawns. The Levin to Napier fare for example, has effectively doubled in the past year alone. The market as always shifts to devour any available resource and those who used rail to travel are getting royally screwed for no other reason than to allow freight to be shifted at a lower cost to the supplier. A cost saving that is not passed on to the consumer. A cost saving that is as short sighted as it is ignorant of the diversity and economy offered by rail.

  12. Lloyd 13

    Its worth remembering that millions of dollars are being spent clearing a slip in the Manawatu Gorge whilst the rail lines on the other side of the Gorge are clear. Sure as John Key won’t be reallocating tax breaks to the poor, the Manawatu gorge Road will be hit by more slips in future. In other words this bit of road will be a constant cost to the taxpayer. You could say the road is not profitable, that it should be closed down and anyone with freight or a desire to travel to the other side of the range should use rail. Will this happen? Hell no! It wouldn’t make sense.

    Neither would taking out part of the rail network. With petrol costing $20 per litre within a few years we will need all the rail network we can install now, while we can still afford it.

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    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    6 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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