The wonder of e-bikes and e-scooters

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 6th, 2019 - 20 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, Economy, local government, Politics, public transport, Social issues, tech industry, transport, uncategorized - Tags: , , , , ,

Since I got back from scooter laden Singapore in mid-November, I’ve been looking at the Lime scooter experiment in Auckland. I have to say that it has been interesting seeing their use go deeply into the culture of the central Auckland area that I inhabit. Overall, and subject to some regulatory / legislative / tax considerations, it looks to me like e-scooters are here to stay.

Lime e-scooters’ Auckland trial extended until the end of March

Lime e-scooters will be on Auckland pavements for at least another three months.

Auckland Council plans to extend the e-scooter sharing service’s street trading licence, which was set to expire on January 14, until the end of March.

The extension would give the council and Auckland Transport (AT) more time to assess Lime’s trial and decide whether Lime and other similar services would be able to operate in the super city long term – and whether any more safety restrictions would be rolled out.

The trial of the e-scooters was granted in the expectation that other e-scooter companies would put in scooters as well, allowing for a comparative trial. That didn’t happen. Onzo and Wave who were expected to jump in as well did not, presumably so they could look at what to avoid.

I seldom use transport for “fun”, which appears to be the only criteria that out-of-touch economically dimwitted pundit parasites like Mike Hosking and Heather du Plessis-Allan ever seem to apply to transport. That plus their natural inherent stupidity probably why they always diss every mode of transport apart from apparently motorways and cars.

I mostly use transport to commute to and from work.

For the last 15 months when I have been in Auckland, I’ve been mostly using a e-bike to commute. I love using the bike, it just makes life so damn easy for me as I’ll explain later. It looks to me like e-scooters, especially rental ones, offer the same for most people at a much cheaper price.

Looking at the e-scooters they don’t look likely to to be able to help drag my aging and a bit overweight 120kg body and assorted computers up the 85 vertical metres over 3.3km route from work to home each day. In fact they look pretty damn pathetic on any sort of steep grade – as I pass Lime scooters being walked up my least favourite cardio-vascular slope.

But I’ve been talking around various people who have been using both their own e-scooters for a while and renting the Lime scooters since they became available. Plus I see them in use just about everywhere around central Auckland and the inner city suburbs. They are obviously a boon for commuters in those areas, and that is what I see most people using them for during the work day.

Renting e-scooters just gets rid of the tedious long walk. They then substitute some other issues, like finding a scooter when you need one. But essentially the rent on a e-scooter is way less expensive than almost any inner-city parking. Which is a huge plus.

But mostly e-scooters achieve what I have found to be one of the biggest benefits of e-bikes. They give a reliable commute speed that you can’t get in a car around the inner suburbs.

Consider my work-day commute these days. I travel 3.3km each way. The total rise between work and my apartment up on the K-Rd ridge is about 85 metres vertically. It takes me between 10-12 minutes to ride it depending on the lights on the roads and cycleways and at any time of the day or night. I often go to work early or work late depending what I’m working on. But it is absolutely reliable for the commute time.

Now I’ve been driving a car for since I was 15, and that was 44.5 years ago. So I’m a pretty competent driver. That same commute that I can cycle in 10-12 minutes is a complete crap-shoot by car. It takes between 8 and 45 minutes.

It mostly depends on the time of day. In the rush-hours it routinely takes between 15-20 minutes. If I drive to work first thing on sunday morning I can do it in 8 minutes. But if there is a rush hours blockage anywhere on the motorways that backfills the inner city roads, as seems to happen at least once a week, it can take 45 minutes.

That is because cars are a complete waste of road space. They seem to exist to jam up the roads. Like me on my car commute, almost all cars have a single occupant and are bulky. Even stopped at the lights they’d take up at least 21 square metres. That same fat footprint is also why I have to pay for parking when I take the car to work.

Whereas a person on a bike would take up something like 1-1.5 square metres and a scooter less than 1 square metre. In a crowded inner city that translates directly into more people for the same area, both on the road or cycleway and when parking. And I haven’t had to pay for cycle parking.

But the biggest turn off with a car is that it is just plain boring in a car stuck in traffic. I can’t read, txt, program, or do anything much except for listen to waffling morons like Mike Hosking and bad music. It is simply dead time for me done. To do it in my work day is purely done for the benefit of my employer. It is dead wasted time for me..

That explains why over the the last 44 years, since I got a license, I have seldom commuted using a car if I can help it. And when I totalled it up, it looks like this.

  • About 8 years walking to work and university where that was feasible.
  • About 10 years working from home and using the net daily to manage my teams, co-workers and employers.
  • About 4-5 years using public transport.
  • About 2 years using taxis where the cost of parking was higher than the taxi fares.
  • And in the last 15 months when in Auckland, I have used my e-bike.

In other words in aoo of my commuting time, I have commuted with a car less than half of the time. The only reason I have ever commuted with a car is a lack of viable alternatives. Which is a searing indictment of our crap public transport systems in Auckland.

For instance to get to my current work, the fastest public transport takes about 30-40 minutes. I either walk half of the distance with a large toe with problems and wait for bus, or I have to take bus that does almost 8km (rather than 3.3km) and often takes nearly an hour in rush hour. That is a pain because there used to be a good public transport from Ponsonby to over to the university. But it got trashed in one of the route restructures.

Now I’d admit that because of my rather diverse skill sets I have a fair bit of ’employee power’. I definitely use it to my advantage – it allows a selectivity of who I choose to be employed by.

Skilled tech workers for the last three decades have been steadily driving the high value and large jobs sector of the tech export economy. This is important to our economy. The high tech sector became the 3rd largest export industry in 2017. It is also one of the fastest growing export areas with the top 200 tech businesses exceeding $11.1 billion in revenue in the last year. It is a sector that, unlike the commodity industries, has been growing in profitability faster than it is growing in revenues. It also directly employs a hell of a lot of well paid people and indirectly pays for a lot of urban jobs. Like most tech workers, I strongly prefer not to have my time wasted in traffic or by having my skills being splattered by an idiot driver. Watching tech people moving jobs, there is a distinct trend to always move closer to their homes unless there is a hell of a job on offer.

I tend to look for firms that are near to where I live and/or where there are cycleways, walkways, or decent public transport routes that don’t involve jumping buses and long walks. I often eliminate possible employers if I have to drive to work and especially if it is on the motorway. They’d have to have some seriously interesting work before I even consider them.

Which is why public transport wasteland suburbs like Albany and Birkenhead are pretty much off my possible employers list. The indutries cluster for cars. Not for public transport that I can read on. There are no bus-lane to most of South or West Auckland and I so I won’t work there unless there is some seriously interesting work or they aren’t close to the cycleways. But I’ll work in Takapuna for a decent job – the Northern busway makes it palatable..

This is an ever increasing trend amongst the kinds of tech workers I work with. We’re really uninterested in the strange archaic transport views of economic parasites like the advertising selling flacks like Mike Hosking or Heather du Plessis-Allan. They’re just part of the inefficient and rather bloated boring crony capitalist local economy. We want to work – not to waste time in commutes. I can guarantee that we bring far more income, profit, and taxes into NZ and Auckland than unproductive opinionated hacks like media hacks who seem to be only interested in supporting old businesses who advertise with them and not exporters.

But what makes working here in Auckland to be viable (rather than offshore) for this overweight and aged programmer and many other technical geeks is the rapid spread of cycleways and separated bike lanes. Either that or better public transport. Then I don’t have to worry about the ever increasing dangerous stupidity of Auckland drivers and crowded roads. That brain and skill set that my employers pay so highly for is pretty safe on a fast cycleway or a bus. It doesn’t pushed into parked car by drivers overtaking too closely and parked fools opening driver side doors. And I can’t get ramming from behind from some distracted commuter talking to their passenger. Like happened to me in a parking lot called the Harbour bridge once.

I’m hardly alone. So what I see when I ride the new cycleways that have appeared in the last few years around central Auckland is a exponential increase in cyclists. Over the last 15 months, the Newton gully cycleway has gone from only having occasional riders on it to having many on it. I now pass or get pass other cyclists all of the time now.

On that cycleway most of the cyclists I see are e-cyclists. That is understandable. There is a bit of steep grade in Newton Gully and it’d be hard work on an unassisted bike. But when I visit people on the north-western cycleway, there are a lot of unassisted bikes.

Bit the other trend is that the e-cyclists are getting older and it isn’t hard to see why. I literally couldn’t ride the Newton Gully from work to home without a machine assist.

Plus it gives me my daily exercise…. And as much as I hesitate to admit it, riding on safe cycleways with a machine assist is also a hell of a lot of fun. Especially when you’re whizzing down Newton gully on a clear cycleway at 55km/hour on a crisp morning, wet or dry. Of course riding up that rise is a pain. But that puffing at the top gives the old heart and it’s stent a great workout.

With separated footpaths and cycleways plus high density batteries to assist the elderly tech heads like me can keep productively increasing our tech exports and paying people to make me decent coffee and turkish food.

But I’m really uninterested in my high taxes going to pay for the truck damage required for our local roads. Pay for cycleways once and expect them to ever need more than minimal maintenance. That is a cost effective and economic way to use my taxes. Whereas roads are a waste of time while car drivers are subsiding truck maintenance rather than fixing problems.

Of course there are a few things that should be more strongly regulated in our e-vehicle era, and a few strange vagaries of our existing legal structures that need fixing. I need to write another post… 

20 comments on “The wonder of e-bikes and e-scooters ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Lithium Titanate. 10c charge and discharge… Available now.

  2. Kay 2

    There’s some mixed massages out there as to whether or not a valid drivers licence is required to ride e-scooters. Stuff says yes, Herald says no, dig into the LTSA website and no if they’re under 300 watts which the Lime scooters apparently are. The latter are the ultimate authority of course, but people banned from driving anything, or choose not to have a licence really need to this basic fact correctly publicised with everything else. E-bikes are fine unless they have something specifically motorised attached to them.

    I’m not sure about e-scooters in Wellington, there’s not enough room on our roads for buses and bikes to co-mingle very safely already and very few places the footpaths could be divided up for duel use. Do something with traffic free areas in the CBD and that might help. Personally, I haven’t encountered them yet, just heard the horror stories but were they to become more user friendly I’d be tempted in the city and in certain flat suburbs (ok, somewhat limited here but there’s places they could work like Eastern suburbs). It’s closer to the ground for me if I fell off one of those than a bike. I really miss cycling 🙁 I think they could also be of use for people who aren’t quite ready for a mobility scooter but finding it more difficult to walk everywhere and get off the bus routes so more time could be spent out and about and participating in society.

    I’m up in Auckland from time to time, I used to cycle around when I lived there 25 years ago, often down Ponsonby Rd, it was easy then. Plenty of space, felt quite safe, no near misses. I’m terrified as a car passenger going down there now- anywhere around Auckland for that matter- and wouldn’t even consider cycling anywhere. Auckland drivers are homicidal and that’s being nice to them. Separate areas from traffic are definitely needed for non-motorised vehicles. I’d cycle there (if I still could) with that in place, and scooter around.

    • Unicus 2.1

      Absolutely get limes off the footpaths – pedestrians have no defence against these silent bully machines

      If you want to ride one use the road way – and risk your chances with other transport machinery not threaten vulnerable human beings

      That goes for bikes and e- bikes as well – morally entitled idiots barging through pedestrians on two wheels is a menace and becoming more prevalent .

      In the US the footpath is sacrosanct running into a pedestrian is very very expensive for the perpetrator . It should be the same here – but of course that’s as likely as Simon bridges winning an election.

  3. Jenny - How to get there? 3

    My son who lives in the inner city not far from you, thinks the Lime Green Scooters are great. His biggest gripe is their expense, according to him, to get from Newton to the University by Uber, is cheaper than hiring a scooter over the same distance.

    His other gripe is that all the profit goes to a big overseas multinational. In his opinion the council should be supplying this service.

    • soddenleaf 3.1

      buy your own? or better, start a uni stu company that rents a batch of them, reward students for bring them back…. etc.

  4. veutoviper 4

    lprent – off topic but no Open Mike today?

  5. Jim 5

    Totally agree with your thesis
    ifify “expect them to never need more than minimal maintenance”

    I am a 62 yo refugee from Auckland. Shifted ~30 years ago to Raglan to escape the Auckland traffic, after enduring biking from Albany to Auckland Uni for 10+ years, many of which involved lobbying for ferry and Harbour Bridge access. (I biked the “upper harbour” route ~50km a trip.)

    PhD Physics and Maths 1990 involving a LOT of computer fiddling.

    Now work from home looking across the Raglan harbour with a >$100K income (still involves lots of computer work).

    An e-bike is in my future for the regular down-town grocery trip / weekly coffee club meeting 🙂

  6. Observer Tokoroa 6

    A great piece Lprent

    The fact of the matter is that the Car has become the Elephant.

    We really should be thinking of putting them in the Zoo.

  7. James 7

    I disagree- to a point. I also have the choice of where i work and where I live but I have a long commute and car is my only option for the days I go to the office.

    I think it’s a mind set – I listen to music or podcasts and make it a bit of “me” time.

    Living in a lifestyle area – public transport isn’t an option. Even if I did the bus from Albany – I then have to get to another part of Auckland- the time would be considerable.

    So I just accept it and enjoy my time in the car.

    When I’m the city – I use Uber for everything.

  8. WeTheBleeple 8

    I spent about a month in Auckland traffic and vowed to never have a 9-5 job here again.

    e-transport is great. But big corporations moving in to cash in before the locals even get a foot in the door… they can fuck right off. 30c a minute. $18 an hour for that battery toting chunk of alloy? Seems cheap on the surface. But an absolute rort is what it is.

    Bikes that could pay for themselves barely out of the wrapper, and then $$$$$$$ offshore forever. Yay, gee, so enthusiasm.

  9. Ad 9

    in case anyone needed further encouragement to start the new year differently, Aucklands Nelson Street is down to one lane and Quay Street is a nightmare for months.

    And real traffic hadnt even started for 2019.

    Great moment for Aucklanders to give up their car commute.

  10. esoteric pineapples 10

    Blessed are the cyclists, for they shall inherit the earth

  11. David Mac 11

    The business models struggle. Some people like to refer to the crazy money Uber are making The reality is: Uber lose about 12 million a day.

    “No venture has ever raised more capital, grown as fast, operated more globally, reached as lofty a valuation — or lost as much money as Uber.” Forbes.

    They turned a profit last year but this was due to selling off some sectors of the business.

    The margins are all so skinny, nobody is making money and they should be. They need to be. Being an Uber driver should be a handy little earner, not break down to an after overheads wage of $4.35 per hour. The Lime Chargers, collecting scooters through the night, recharging them and placing them before dawn should pay better than being behind the counter at Caltex. It doesn’t, by a long haul.

    Without any subsidies these inexpensive ways to get around the city come at a price. That price is somewhere someone is being paid Bangladesh sweatshop money. The ‘Contractor’ employee model is a soft target for exploitation. It is how it is possible to legally pay someone $4 an hour in New Zealand.

    A possible solution could be the rise of freelancers. Rather than Uber Inc. or Lime Inc. sitting at the top. The guy that collects and charges the scooters, could own them. 100 Auckland Uber Drivers could operate their own app, as we did with taxi Co-ops, the drivers own the business.

    There is one school of thought that feels that the Uber business is merely being shaped to be the Coca Cola of the future’s autonomous vehicle business.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      A possible solution could be the rise of freelancers. Rather than Uber Inc. or Lime Inc. sitting at the top. The guy that collects and charges the scooters, could own them. 100 Auckland Uber Drivers could operate their own app, as we did with taxi Co-ops, the drivers own the business.

      These things really only work when its a government service. Government has the scale that the private sector doesn’t that allows them to provide the service cheaply or even free while still paying good wages.

      For taxis the government owns and runs the app and servers while the drivers own and run the cars.

      • David Mac 11.1.1

        Waiting for a government to make everything fabulous hasn’t worked out very well for me.

        Lime are headquartered in the US. With a shuffle up I think the Auckland electric scooter scene could provide a worthwhile profit to providers.

        I think Aucklanders would support a company that was owned by those that invested a few $k, own 10 scooters and commit to charging up to 10 of the Co-op’s scooters each night. With the neoliberal aspect gutted out of the overheads and the lion share of profit being returned to those that make it happen it stands a much better chance of being a viable opportunity for Kiwis than it currently does.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1

          Waiting for a government to make everything fabulous hasn’t worked out very well for me.

          The past isn’t always a good gauge to the future. Particularly if we bothered to look at what went wrong and fix it rather than whinge about it, throw our hands up in the air and declaim that its all too hard.

          I think Aucklanders would support a company that was owned by those that invested a few $k, own 10 scooters and commit to charging up to 10 of the Co-op’s scooters each night.

          /facepalm

          It’s not about supporting a company – it’s about having a reliable service available. And if the company isn’t, as you say, paying enough then we don’t have a reliable service.

          With the neoliberal aspect gutted out of the overheads

          Your description of how it should work is pure neo-liberalism.

          • David Mac 11.1.1.1.1

            I think you systemically offer a contrary view to mine simply because you like to debate.

            The business model thumbnail of mine is almost verbatim Draco.

            A co-op whereby those that make it happen share the spoils. It’s a cornerstone of the Draco Manifesto bro.

            You’re just looking for a fight.

            ps: This ‘facepalm’ innuendo is beneath you. Say what you really mean. eg: “God you’re a stupid fuckwit Dave.”

  12. Sabine 12

    i am living proof that one can live without a car in NZ.

    One of the reasons i always lived central in AKL was my reasoning that what ever i paid more in rent would be easily offset by not having to own and maintain a car.

    Essentially i walked everywhere, and AKL is a good walking town once one gets to know the area, and every now and then use a bus or taxi.

    For everything else there is plane or train or overland bus.
    And it also helps with fitness, and a thing that i miss now that i don’t live in AKL anymore, picking up food for dinners on K-Road.

  13. NZJester 13

    Napier is having problems with its new cycleway with some cyclists still using the footpath and the road in places with one part starting to crumble just months after completion and is bumpy compared to the footpath and road making some users avoid it. A lot of it in other parts of the country was done cheaply and rushed under Nationals funding. I wonder how much of it is actually going to last the long run without needing more investment to fix a lot of it?

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=12185665

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    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    4 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    4 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    5 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    5 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    Kāinga Ora’s “independent review” was carried out by the same National Party leader whose own administration’s inadequate housing build – and selling of state houses- had caused Kāinga Ora to embark on its crash building programme in the first place. To use a rugby analogy, this situation is exactly like ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • “Laser focused on the cost of living crisis”
    Cartoonist credit: Christopher Slane ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the elections in France, Iran and Britain
    As Werewolf predicted a week ago, it was premature to call Emmanuel Macron’s snap election call “a bitter failure” and “a humiliating defeat” purely on the basis of the first round results. In fact, it is the far-right that has suffered a crushing defeat. It has come in third in ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The UK needs proportional representation
    Like a lot of people, I spent Friday watching the UK election. There's the obvious joy at seeing the end of 14 years of Tory chaos, but at the same time the new government does not greatly enthuse me. In order to win over the establishment, Starmer has moved UK ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Chorus for Monday, July 8
    TL;DR: Thanks for the break, and now I’m back. These are the top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so:Chris Bishop’s pledge to ‘flood the market’ with land to build new houses both out and up remains dependent ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • French Left Wins Big
    Usually I start with some lyrics from the song at the end of the newsletter, to set the mood. But today I’m going to begin with a bit of a plea. About six weeks ago I decided to make more of my writing public with the hope that people would ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Satire: It's great our Prime Minister is so on the ball
    ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • This is the real reason David Seymour needs to reinterpret the Treaty of Waitangi
    This is republished from an earlier write upDavid Seymour is part of the ACT Party. He's backed by people like Alan Gibbs, and Koch money. He grew up as a right wing lobbyist - tick tick tick. All cool and fine - we know.What's also been clear is a fervent ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Going for Housing Growth: Filling the housing donut?
    Hot take: it should be affordable to live in Auckland. You may not be surprised to learn I’m not the only one with this hot take. Indeed, the Minister of Housing recently took the notable step of saying house prices should come down, something common wisdom says should be a politically ...
    Greater AucklandBy Scott Caldwell
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Monday July 9
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 9, the top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so are:Scoop: Probation officer sacked for snooping is linked to alleged spy Jian Yang. Corrections dismissed Xu Shan over his ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What has the Government done for you so far?
    List effective 1 July 2024Consumer and household (note: road and car costs are under infrastructure)Cancelled half-price public transport fares for under-25s and free fares for under-13s funding, scrapping the Labour government-era subsidies. The change will not affect pre-existing discounts funded directly by councils.Cut funding for free budgeting services. One third of the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 8
    Photo by Amador Loureiro on UnsplashTL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 8, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days were:Local Government Minister Simeon Brown announced the Coalition Government would not be responding to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is travelling to Washington this week to attend a NATO meeting running from Tuesday to Thursday. Parliament is not sitting this week.The RBNZ is expected to hold the OCR on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 30, 2024 thru Sat, July 6, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is brought to us by Dr. Ella Gilbert, a researcher with the British ...
    7 days ago
  • The Great Splintering: Thoughts on the British Election
    I can remember 1997. Even living on the other side of the world, having a Scottish father and Welsh grandfather meant I acquired a childhood knowledge of British politics via family connections (and general geekery). And yes, I inherited the dark legends of that evil folk-devil, Margaret Thatcher. So when ...
    7 days ago
  • 2% royalties for mining? Deal!
    Snapshot postToday, Shane Jones was courageous enough to front Q&A with Jack Tame. Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Jack Tame is a bit of a legend. And that’s only because he strikes me as a good journalist i.e. well ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Aotearoa Says – No Diggity.
    Strictly biz, don't play aroundCover much ground, got game by the poundGetting paid is a forteEach and every day, true player wayOne month ago tens of thousands of Kiwis took to the streets to protest against the coalition’s Fast Track legislation. Concerned that it would prioritise some people making a ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Strangers and others
    For a moment yesterday I thought I might have been trailing my old friend Simon Wilson across the Danube, over cobbled stones, and into the old town square of Linz. Same comfortable riding style, same jacket, same full head of hair, but no, different friend of cycling.There is a kindred ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Killing the Golden Goose of New Zealand's economy
    IntroductionIn New Zealand, the National party generally retains a reputation of being pro-business and pro-economy.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.The underlying assumption is National are more competent economic managers, and by all accounts Luxon and his team have talked ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today thanked the outgoing Secretary for Education. Iona Holsted was appointed in 2016 and has spent eight years in the role after being reappointed in May 2021. Her term comes to an end later this year.  “I acknowledge Iona’s distinguished public service to New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has concluded the Future for Local Government Review and confirmed that the Coalition Government will not be responding to the review’s recommendations.“The previous government initiated the review because its Three Waters and resource management reforms would have stripped local government of responsibility for water assets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
    A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says. “New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Mr Peters says. “We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
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