The Meathead tax

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, February 2nd, 2019 - 85 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, farming, food, global warming, health, jacinda ardern, making shit up, national, same old national, Simon Bridges, spin, sustainability, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

It’s summertime.  The economy is improving, unemployment is down, major corporations are signing up to be living wage employers and our leader dazzles where ever she goes in the world.

And the opposition leader is clearly not cutting it.  And his social media team are that bad they think creating a cartoon character of him will be a hit with the young people.  Maybe but only if they are under the age of 5.

It is a decidedly warm summertime but people are basking in the climate change induced heat.  People are feeling optimistic. So what is an opposition to do?

How about make up fake news about how the Government intends to tax meat eaters?

The proposal actually came from the Lancet Commission on Obesity, a joint venture between World Obesity, Auckland University, George Washington University and UK based The Lancet.  Participating commissioners are from throughout the world.

The commission has made what should be the uncontroversial point that eating too much red meat is bad for our health and our environment. Stuff has the details:

A report by The Lancet Commission on Obesityreleased on Monday, said a tax on red meat was an example of the urgent action needed to address the greatest threats “to human and planetary health” – obesity, under-nutrition and climate change. 

University of Auckland population health professor and commission co-chair professor Boyd Swinburn said national and international responses to all three problems had been “unacceptably slow”.

Agriculture production accounted for about 50 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand and foods high in saturated fats, sugar and salt, including red meat, were the biggest cause of ill health and premature death, he said.

“We need to consider these together so we have food systems that continue to give us wealth, but don’t promote ill health and death, and inequalities and drive up climate change.”

I am astounded that this should be thought to be controversial.  The health benefits of a reduced meat diet have been known about for decades. And reducing the amount of meat that we eat is one of the most important things that a Western individual can do to reduce the creation of greenhouse gasses.

The situation is summarised in this Guardian article:

Recycling or taking the bus rather than driving to work has its place, but scientists are increasingly pointing to a deeper lifestyle change that would be the single biggest way to help the planet: eating far less meat.

A swathe of research released over the past year has laid bare the hefty impact that eating meat, especially beef and pork, has upon the environment by fueling climate change and polluting landscapes and waterways.

Industrialized agriculture and the onset of the worst species extinction crisis since the demise of the dinosaurs means that livestock and humans now make up 96% of all mammals. But despite consuming the vast majority of farmland, meat and dairy accounts for just 18% of all food calories and around a third of protein.

The mighty hoofprint of farmed meat isn’t just inefficient. Deforestation to make way for livestock, along with methane emissions from cows and fertilizer use, creates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all the world’s cars, trucks and airplanes. Meat rearing practices risk mass extinctions of other animals, as well as spawn significant pollution of streams, rivers and, ultimately, the ocean.

In October, scientists warned that huge reductions in meat eating are required if the world is to stave off dangerous climate change, with beef consumption in western countries needing to drop by 90%, replaced by five times more beans and pulses.

Consumption of pork, milk and eggs will also need to decline sharply, all as the world’s population balloons by an extra 2 billion people by 2050. Researchers said there will need to be a global shift to a “flexitarian” diet to help keep the global temperature increase from breaching a 2C limit agreed by governments.

In a clumsy attempt to conflate the report with the work of the Tax Working Group, whose final report is due to be published soon, the story started to circulate that the Government wanted to tax meat consumption.  I can safely predict that the report will not contain a recommendation that meat be taxed.  The interim report does not mention the word “meat” once although it does explore the concept of environmental taxes.

Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter was asked about the possibity of a tax on meat and was reported as saying this:

Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter​ said the Government did not plan to tax red meat “at this stage”, but an increase in awareness about climate change was affecting people’s behaviour. 

“Obesity and climate change are often framed as problems for individuals to change. This report shows it has been a failure of public policy and we need government action to protect our health and our climate.” 

The usual suspects climbed in however and interpreted “not at this stage” as something more sinister. National MP Simeon Brown in particular should reflect on the contents of the eighth commandment because he has told a doozy.

Elements of the idiot media chimed in.

And it looks like the campaign may have some international coordination.  As evidenced by this recent tweet from the UK:

And this from Canada:

To get back to the basics of this.  The Government is not proposing to impost a tax on meat.  The proposal came from an international committee of academics.  But if we are going to address climate change we have to address how much red meat we eat.

Toad’s tweet sums it up in a way that even a National back bencher should be able to understand.

85 comments on “The Meathead tax”

  1. Ad 1

    Its not as if the govt is going to lose any farmer votes.
    Their real target is the Zero Carbon bill.
    Coming to a Parliament near you ….

    They need more fear of the Greens to push them under 5%. It’s do-able.

    The tax recommendations are for the 2020 election as a full anti-Labour campaign.

  2. JustMe 2

    What exactly is in the drinking matter albiet it water or alcohol of the National Party MPs when they bring up the Trumpism of ‘fake news'(aka lies)?

    There are a number of physically observable National MPs that are morbidly obese and which need to seriously look at THEIR diets. A few less meat pies would suit one of them right down to an Airport Departure Door whilst claiming he was running late for a plane..

    Meanwhile back at the National Party ranch Simon Bridges is manipulating data by inferring that EVERYONE IN NZ is on the average wage when reality points otherwise. NOT EVERYONE IS ON THE SIMON BRIDGES EXAMPLE OF THE HAMISH WAGE OF $52,000. In fact more NZers are on much less than fictitious Hamish. But Bridges doesn’t see that reality. Talk about a lunatic living on cloud cuckooland(once referred to as Toilet Free Planet Key).

    But a man grasping at straws like Simon Bridges needs to draw attention away from the fact he isn’t so popular let alone logical whilst at every turn Jacinda outshines him and National. And so jealousy pervades through-out National because somewhere along the way they have just lost touch with what NZers are going through. They live with arrogance and exist with arrogance, greed, corruption, lies, etc.

    Oh and by the way I hardly eat red meat and so a tax on the product will hardly make me lose sleep at night. I am almost vegetarian as I eat chicken and fish.

    • cleangreen 2.1

      Just Me,

      I eat fish mostly now too although i have 30 sheep on my 10 acres now.

      Just family pets mainly and they are effective lawn mowers..

      • Andre 2.1.1

        You ever thought about the climate impact of keeping 30 methane-belching ruminant pets just to keep your patch of monocultural ecological desert from growing unattractively high?

        I’m sure Robert Guyton or WtB would have plenty of advice should you wish to turn that into lower-emission diversely productive garden. Or even just turn it into something the local beekeepers will love along with a whole bunch of other small critters.

        • cleangreen 2.1.1.1

          Andre,

          Just to put your actual ‘wrong impressions’ of our sheep into the picture here, firstly the sheep are dieting on mainly reject citrus fruit grown in Gisborne with abundance, we save that fruit from rotting on the ground in some hole or landfill emitting lots of emissions from decomposition and fermentation that emits climate changing chemicals as you know.

          Just in case you try to use the old “but you transport the fruit to your farm ‘trick’ using carbon” – the answer is that a trailer on the back of our car is carrying it every week we go to town for other supplies.

          I hope you support our rail use increasing due to dirty use of trucks as rail uses steel wheels, ; – consider this; –

          So Andre, I hope you point the finger at our ‘pet hate’ seeing Government’s allowing 6 to 12% more ‘brand new trucks’ increasing yet more use onto our roads every year?

          Just consider the effects of each truck carrying freight has 32 tyres on average emitting Tyre dust containing chemicals such as SBS (nylon/plastic containing cancer/nervous system damaging) 1.3.butadiene/styrene and many other chemicals onto our roads and into our lakes rivers and water supplies.

          Dirty little secrets are here that need fixing.

          Also you must include the amount of energy and use of oil in each tyre produced.

          No we actually have sheep that both molt every season and produce milk so you need to know that we keep the sheep for our self sustaining lifestyle, which e may one day all need.

          We operate an organic farm free of chemicals.

          “two sides to every story sunshine”

          • Andre 2.1.1.1.1

            The message that comes through from this response is that you seem to think you’re exempt from even thinking about doing your bit to change because mumble mumble organics mumble mumble trains.

            It’s the kind of attitude that really alienates people that need to be persuaded there really is a problem that requires us all to change.

            • cleangreen 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Andre,

              Keep eating that bacon and keep enjoy the slinging off at others as you relish it; – and do enjoy to alienate many doing it, but that is your preference not ours.

              We offer solutions, not just criticisms, which is the focus of this site.

            • patricia bremner 2.1.1.1.1.2

              He is doing his bit Andre. Growing his own lawnmowers using discard fruit, no extra travel, and turning wasted items into useful items, using grazing instead of mowing!! Being organic means no fertiliser. Looking for further projects to meet the goal of lower carbon or making carbon production do 2 or more jobs. Your comment shocked me.

              ” You seem to think your’e exempt from even doing your bit because mumble mumble organics mumble mumble trains.
              It’s the kind of attitude that really alienates people…..” Really? How??

              Wow, who got out of bed on the wrong side?
              Name a change you have made so we can decide whether you are trying or not?
              See how off putting that is.

              • Andre

                My parents were doing much the same thing – getting discard fruit and pressings from squeezing juice to feed their deer. I did the research, ran the numbers, had the discussion with them as well. From a climate change perspective, it really is much better to let that stuff rot directly to CO2 than feed it to a ruminant that will belch out quite a bit of it as methane. If you really must keep animals, horses, pigs, chickens really are much less climate damaging than goats, sheep, cattle and deer.

                Even running a petrol-powered lawnmower over that grass every few weeks is less climate damaging than keeping ruminants. The methane belched by ruminants really is that bad. Of course, Robert Guyton and WtB set a much better example by devoting the land to growing plant-based food and managing the flow of nutrients through the system to retain them on the land. As well as making the land much more bio-diverse for critters as well as plants than a monoculture grass paddock for grazing animals.

                Me personally, I’ve severely curtailed my travel. Haven’t flown anywhere in over 4 years. I do about 1/3 the driving I did 10 years ago. And fuck, I do miss going to different places. I’ve also done a major efficiency drive at home, so I’m now using 40% of the electricity I did 5 yrs ago, and 25% of 10 years ago. And done the same kinds of improvements for my rellies’ places. I eat very little meat, occasionally using it as a minor ingredient and almost never as a major part of a meal. Until some sanctimonious prat really gets up my nose by hectoring us about how meat-eating is killing the planet and how meat is murder.

              • Andre

                Forgot to mention probably the most painful sacrifice of all: no more little furry friends in my house after I called time on my best feline buddy ever around the middle of last year.

  3. Tuppence Shrewsbury 3

    denying a tax that hasn’t yet been announced makes it seem like a tax as about to be announced

  4. Incognito 4

    Oy, waitress! Tell the cook that I want my Angus burger Bleu, not Bleu-Green! And loads of Watties.

  5. Mister Smokey 5

    The Red Meat & Porkies Man, that’s Simeon Brown

  6. WeTheBleeple 6

    In my experience the way to successfully eat a lot less meat is twofold: gardening and cooking.

    When the veg are free, and you up-skill in the kitchen so the food is good, it’s a no brainer to eat the good free food. But I’ve had times in the past I’ve tried to swear off/cut down meat and gave it up pretty fast. No decent/affordable options.

    I can’t imagine how expensive it would be to eat like I do if i bought it all. Large handfuls of fresh herbs daily, fresh organic everything… The other day I made a batch of macadamia/basil pesto and tomato/herb sauces that are off the chain. Better food than the local cafe.

    That’s another hot tip. Sauce. Make a great sauce the rest of the dish falls in line.

  7. patricia bremner 7

    Talk about yell and scream about research findings before any Government plans are announced.

    This is a “Telling you what kind of light bulb ” moment…I hope we have naturally moved on, and most people are doing the light bulb and shower head thing. It is the divide and conquer tactic. It worked last time so hence the repeat?

    People are making a less meat choice anyway. $30 to $40 a kilo is a natural deterrent to buying red meat. Pork is cheaper but is 40 to 60 per cent fat. People are more health conscious now, and know to add more vegetables done in interesting ways.

    Beans work in our house. Stews are bulked up with red kidney beans added half and half. We love nachos and the kidney beans is king. (Try Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.) Beans can be “Whizzed” for 15 seconds to break the skins down for better digestion.

    Substituting can be done subtly. Over time reduce the meat and add the substitute in greater proportions. Keeping flavour in some dishes means using herbs and spices cleverly.

    Like the tobacco and sugar industry, meat producers have to look at their effects on health and the environment. As we gain scientific proof of unhealthy choices Politicians need to consider the greater good… not what can win them power.

    Lobbying for excess land water and transport for a product that is harmful means I do not see meat producers changing easily. They have invested interests in the status quo and will try to influence any way possible, even jumping the gun.

    This a warning “Don’t even think of asking us to change”

    We all will have to change the way we use resources, our lives depend on it, and our children’s future. The clock is ticking.

    • WeTheBleeple 7.1

      I actually cut right down on meat reading The Standard, and some of Ed’s in your face materials got to me. Not the animal welfare stuff, the fact it was climate related stuff. That’s something I can’t justify my way out of.

      There are so many great tasting things to eat but we are making fake meat trying to substitute it that way. I think it’s misguided. Why do we need a thing to pretend to be meat? If we eat a lot less meat we don’t need pretend sausages, just have something else most times and real sausages sometimes.

      We’re not giving up, but gaining much more. If we allow ourselves to stop grieving over beef and start appreciating a diverse and healthy diet we’ll get over it soon enough because we will feel better and realize our previous diet was kind of boring.

      How I did it was relatively simple with my set up. I just stopped buying meat. If I really want some the butcher’s only a couple hundred yards down the road.

      I like Roy’s comment below though. Game vermin are fair game.

      Oh and ‘on-topic’, Nats are talking shit again. Boring to me but fair enough call them on it.

      I read the Lancet stuff, the proposed dietary ideas weren’t so bad.

  8. Roy 8

    The only meat I’ll bother eating now is pests. There are plenty of wild game vendors who sell wild goat, deer and pigs which are stuffing up the enviro and muscling out native species.

    • Roy 8.1

      Oh yeah, and they sell it for about $20 a kilo. No-brainer.

      • Ad 8.1.1

        I was in Haast 3 weeks ago and there was this little portable wheeled kitchen.

        She sourced the venison for her very generous venison steak burgers from a guy in Fiordland who sources them from hunters straight out of the National Park. Apparently the supplier was some ex-Policeman who had awesome sources.

        It was sweet and strong and ridiculously tender.

        Some things I won’t turn vegetarian for, and that was a pretty good reason all round.

        • Rae 8.1.1.1

          I think I know exactly who you are talking about. I miss that place and the venison

          • Ad 8.1.1.1.1

            She didn’t used to need to go elsewhere for it.

            on the side of her little caravan was a narrative with pictures about her father who used to go hunting for the venison in Westland National Park. A good touching story, which made her carrying on with a new sustainable source after here dad passed even more meaningful.

        • patricia bremner 8.1.1.2

          Ad that is lean natural meat, for an introduced species lol lol, meat rather like kangaroo in AUS.

          • rod 8.1.1.2.1

            Love kangaroo meat, gets you jumping for joy all day, no good for Nat supporters though, they are miserable all day and all night,

  9. cleangreen 9

    Micky,
    An excellent article you wrote about the coverage of National taking a swipe at labour/NZ First new year speak up and how National are scheming “about make up fake news about how the Government intends to tax meat eaters”

    I liken the our ‘media’ coverage and the national; opposition party to a ‘hollowed out tree’.

    First it makes a hollow noise for some time.

    Then as it weakens and looses it’s wooden strength it fallls over broken up on the ground.

    We now have seen the media doing the same as ‘mother nature’ did to any tree that had exceeded it’s natural life cycle.

    National are rotten to the core, and will fall over in the end.

  10. bwaghorn 10

    The lies must work .a nat cocky I know muttered something about labours meat tax the other day . Had know idea what he was on an out . No I’ll know to call bullshit if he mentions it again.

    • patricia bremner 10.1

      At their local meetings of the faithful they pass on the “Grumble of the day.”
      interpretation….
      At their local meetings of the faithful they pass on the “Crosby Texter” of the day.

  11. Stuart Munro 11

    The Lancet’s recommendation of a tax is probably not be the best way to approach the issues around meat production and consumption. It is an essentially neo-liberal measure, and, like proposed the sugar tax, a poor substitute for regulation. It wasn’t so very long ago that there was much talk of a plastic bag tax, but the regulation adopted instead is much less cumbersome.

    The lying remains a problem however. I suspect making formal complaints against any media source that repeats the lie will gradually wear it down, but it is frankly astonishing that a profession like journalism, which depends on a public perception of reliability, should lend itself to such fatuous nonsense. Perhaps journalism degrees could be revoked for lying, but as an interim measure to appeal to neoliberals, the poetic justice of a lie tax seems appropriate in this instance.

  12. mary_a 12

    First I’ve heard of a potential “meat tax!”

    Lies still pouring out of the fetid mouths of Natz MPs at a rapid rate of knots it seems. Diversionary tactics perhaps? Maybe.

    I think Simon is attempting to woo his cartoon buddy Hamish as a potential friend for Natz in time for the 2020 election.

  13. bwaghorn 13

    A tax wouldn’t make blind bit of difference to meat consumption. Most of our meat goes over seas.
    And it will just force poorer kiwis onto worse diets.

    • left_forward 13.1

      Oh no!
      Like…. vegetables!!

      • bwaghorn 13.1.1

        $10 of mince feeds a few needy kids

        • left_forward 13.1.1.1

          $2 of beans does it better – avoids slaughtering sentient beings, has significantly less environmental impact,, contains more protein and nutrients, does not cause cancer or diabetes, and does not cause obesity.
          What don’t you get?

  14. Bewildered 14

    “ Our PM dazzles “ Think Mickey May have a bit of a teenage crush going on here 😊 Big year for labour to really stuff up, 100000 houses ain’t happening, billion trees ain’t happening, GDP slowing. 2019 year of delivery, yeah right, lots of material to beat the coalition up on for non delivery on, lt should be fun. This Govt is big on virtue signalling but give it to them also the balls to set specific targets so success simply a fail or pass To date it’s an an almighty F as student idealism meets reality

    • bwaghorn 14.1

      Some houses will be built .some trees will be planted .
      Hospitals will start being repaired. Wages will rise.
      Climate change is finally being accepted .
      Things are heading in the right direction.

    • patricia bremner 14.2

      So among all that negativity what do you think should happen? Pining for Key?

    • AB 14.3

      I can forgive you the partisan wishful thinking ‘Bewildered’.
      What’s contemptible is the obvious relish you feel at the thought of these initiatives failing, despite them being aimed at making life better for the majority. That’s a pretty foetid moral swamp you are rolling round in.

  15. Gabby 15

    Maybe kiwibuild should go underground, fallout shelters dewnchnew.

  16. Kay 16

    As Patrica (7) pointed out, meat is practically unaffordable for low income people now anyway so we’ve gone vegetarian out of necessity. Frozen veg mostly- wrapped in plastic and shipped from some unknown country because there’s no legal requirement for us to be told where our food comes from- because fresh veg and fruit is also unaffordable and most of us are hostages to our nearest supermarket. Fortunately beans are cheap, but they do get boring and some of us do need a bit of red meat in our diets, even 1-2 times a week.

    With benefits and low wages still being cut in real terms, and grocery prices skyrocketing- meat especially, for all practical purposes there’s already a tax on meat so it’s moot. Just my 10c worth.

    • patricia bremner 16.1

      Yes Kay we have meat twice a week.
      An aside, years ago I read that most Americans ate hamburger meat. Then when I commented to a friend she explained “the rubbish bits of beef minced up.”
      Minced beef or minced lamb. Now we also have minced pork or chicken.
      I thought that fits with who could afford medical help.It possibly indicates wealth today.
      Meat, minced meat, no meat at all. Needs must…..

  17. SPC 17

    It’s an attempt to create a wedge between the coalition partners over bringing agriculture into ETS and stop it happening.

    The amount of good quality meat people eat is going down here already.

    Population growth and growing numbers of middle class in the developing world (able to afford it) means rising prices for such meat and lower consumption per person. All those choosing not to eat meat do is slow this process down a tad.

    So more in the developing world eating quality meat and less in the first world struggling to pay rent or mortgage.

    As for discouraging our grass fed meat exports with cost, encouraging grain fed competitors to take over the markets – it would increase farm emissions and reduce grain available for human food, increase world prices and cause hardship to the poor. So it not being included in the ETS is not the worst thing that will happen.

  18. Ah yes ,….. the ChiNational party…

    Meatheads…

    All In The Family – Meathead – YouTube

  19. …foods high in saturated fats, sugar and salt, including red meat…

    What the serious fuck? These guys are supposed to have academic expertise in this area? My kids wouldn’t say something that stupid and they’re only high-school educated…

    • SPC 19.1

      Yup, and a consequence of the rising price of beef steak and lamb leg steaks is resort to cheaper sausages which have more fat and salt and higher cancer risk.

  20. timeforacupoftea 20

    Tax’s never work, it goes into inflation, which up’s the living wage, benefits, NZ superannuation, wages and salaries.

    Vegetables are far to expensive unless you grow them yourself causes your farts to be full of methane.

    A good feed of meat keeps a man going all day errrrmm and night and not to the loo

    • Robert Guyton 20.1

      Which, if you had too, would you prefer to step, barefoot, in; the poo of a herbivore (rabbit, Guinea pig etc) or that of a carnivore (lion, hyena etc)?

    • Red meat my backside… a little lamb and a lot more fish yes,… but vegetables keep you virtually covered in all nutritional bases. And its no coincidence that those cultures that traditionally had a grain and vegetable rich diet tended to live the longest- and without the accompanying chronic health problems of the modern day west.

      That said ,… there were the Innuits and Native Americans… but the huge difference there was that their diet was also supplemented by vegetable matter and importantly the meat was lean [ despite seal blubber ] and didn’t have artificial diets , weren’t pumped full of antibiotics and didn’t have the same deep intramuscular fat striations as domestic animals. Wild animals work any excess off.

    • patricia bremner 20.3

      Fair taxes do work. History shows that. This is to stir up “The Tax Report” reception

      This attack is to make Labour and the Greens come out fighting and to put NZ First in a “support them or us position.” hoping to peel some of their votes away.

      We are going to get divisive subjects thrown into the debate… true or not.

      The Gnats want to lower NZ First or the Green’s vote. The aim is to isolate Labour.

    • left_forward 20.4

      Constipated values!

  21. Rae 21

    The Nats and Sean Plunkett know exactly who they are talking to. It’s called pushing buttons.

  22. SHG 22

    Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter​ said the Government did not plan to tax red meat “at this stage”

    Genter stepped in this one good and proper.

    • Chris T 22.1

      Agree

      The whole idea for this country is stupid and will never happen, but the Minister doesn’t exactly help her own credibility by stupidly putting that at the end.

    • Being from the Green Party, she probably isn’t used to thinking of “not at this stage” as Nat politicians do: weasel-words for “Yes we are going to do this but we’re not willing to admit it yet.” Nat spin doctors probably know the difference but it wouldn’t matter to them – they turn it into a propaganda lie anyway, that’s their job.

      Of course, when it comes to Nat spin doctors and “gotcha” journalists (odd – sudden image of Tova O’Brien’s face in my head just then), Genter’s on a hiding to nothing. If she’d categorically ruled out this government ever considering any form of tax on red meat, the propaganda would have been “Genter rejects findings of leading health scientists!”

      • SHG 22.2.1

        She’s a politician and should know that her public statements will be analysed in ways she hasn’t predicted and interpreted in ways she doesn’t intend. She said something stupid not realising what would happen.

  23. cleangreen 23

    National always wander into the fictitious world and lie through their teeth.

    Question; – How do you know when a National MP is lying?

    Answer; – “every time their mouth opens and their tongue moves”

  24. millsy 24

    All this talk about meat taxes makes me hungry.

    • Andre 24.1

      Yeah. Just like Ed’s diatribes against farming always gave me a hankering for a big thick juicy burger. With lots of cheese. And bacon.

      • cleangreen 24.1.1

        Andre;

        While you are still ranting on about the meat tax, just look at my response to your ‘diatribe’ of our sheep back on 2.1.1.1 just to settle the score on your accusation of us being a ‘patch of monocultural ecological desert’

        We are operating a chemical free organic operation. Read the other side which has been explained clearly to you. on – 2.1.1.1

      • left_forward 24.1.2

        Not really a thinker then Andre?

      • left_forward 24.1.3

        All this talk of abolition makes me wanna go out and thrash a slave.
        All this talk of smoking and cancer makes me wanna go out and smoke two packs.
        All this talk of climate change makes me wanna go out and burn plastic.

        • Andre 24.1.3.1

          It’s all in the presentation.

        • Psycho Milt 24.1.3.2

          Nope. More like:

          All this talk of alcohol harm makes me want to crack one open.
          All this talk of abstinence makes me want to go out and fuck someone.

          In general:
          All this sanctimony makes me want to do something profane.

          • In Vino 24.1.3.2.1

            Very good, PM

          • left_forward 24.1.3.2.2

            In general:
            All this talk about something I don’t want to try to understand (because I might need to take some responsibilty for) makes me wanna go out and, well I don’t know…. stick my head in a hole somewhere, I don’t care where.
            That’ll show ‘em.

  25. AB 25

    How thick is Sean Plunkett?
    “It is all about restricting your freedoms and making moralistic judgment calls about how you live your life.”
    Ah – no Sean, that’s the law (criminal, civil etc.) you are describing right there, not a meat tax.
    A non-existent meat tax, if it wasn’t non-existent, would be about making people pay for the true public health and environmental costs of their nutrition decisions. You could think of it as a form of encouraging personal responsibility through the use of price signals. Both of these are concepts loved by your right-wing economic masters whom you assiduously brown-nose.
    Though there is the possibility that (nudge, nudge) they really only approve of these concepts when they run in their favour.
    Despicable plonker.

    • rod 25.1

      How thick is Sean Plunket ?
      You should know by now, he’s been around for dickheads, sorry, I meant decades.

  26. tabletennis 26

    there is excise tax on cigarette because….,
    ACC levy is higher for worm farms and forestry workers because…
    health insurance for over 60 yrs higher because…..
    health insurance for smokers is higher because….

    why not pay the true cost for what eating meat brings, rather than to socialise this cost. I can’t see no difference in the reason ‘why not’ to the above examples.
    Other than it will be very difficult to implement on a personal level, but somehow it must be possible to reflect the true cost (to the environment) and health between producer and user.

    • DJ Ward 26.1

      You paying extra for the CO2 created by the “concrete” jungle.
      A offsetting driveway vs grass tax.
      A human breathing out CO2 tax. Extra for exercising.
      A breeding more polluting humans tax.
      A dog shit tax. High % meat diet.
      A cat killing everything tax.
      A lawn mowing tax.
      A tax on methane producing rice.
      A blocking plants from the sun roof area tax.

      Where do you wish to tax and not tax?
      When you don’t pay!

  27. timeforacupoftea 27

    A methane tax on Hydro Power Stations.
    When the water lowers in these hydro dams water weed is exposed which rots releasing methane and grass / weeds grow the the lake fills grass drone decomposes water weed grows better from the grass / weeds decomposition = plant nutrients.
    Lake water recedes and the process of methane spewing into the atmosphere.
    Let’s TAX this Jacinda

    The greens are very quiet on this one as they know it would hurt them and the lower unproductive people who may vote for them.

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/nov/14/hydroelectric-dams-emit-billion-tonnes-greenhouse-gas-methane-study-climate-change

    Cat amongst the pigeons !
    TFACOT

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  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
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    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
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    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
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    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
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    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
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    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
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    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
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    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
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    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
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    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
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    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
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    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
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    4 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
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    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
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    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
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    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
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    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
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    7 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
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    1 week ago