web analytics

This is what the climate crisis looks like in New Zealand, so far

Written By: - Date published: 1:26 pm, August 19th, 2022 - 66 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, global warming, nature, sustainability - Tags: , , , ,

Metservice and NIWA aren’t going to say this is climate change, because any of these floods and slips could have and have happened without AGW. But, the point here is that extreme weather events will get more extreme and more frequent. We already see this with the Buller region having now 4 major floods in a year. The climate crisis is on our doorstep, literally in the case of Nelson people this week.

Things that stand out. At the start of this particular atmospheric river, the forecast was for 56 hours of heavy rain for the upper West Coast from 9am Tues to 5pm Thurs. Two and a half days is a long time to be sitting waiting to see if you’re going to lose your home (again).

That’s in an area already saturated, and that’s had multiple serious floods since the pandemic started. There are now cumulative effects on people’s hearts, minds, bodies and homes. Fortunately for the Coast, they were spared the worst of the deluge, as the rainfall headed over the Nelson area instead.

As you look at these images, understand that more heavy rain is expected over the weekend.

Before,

After,

Hattip Joe90 for the before and after photos.

Stuff’s helicopter view video of the extent of the flooding in Nelson.

This RNZ video shows the spread of flooding in just one area. Of note here is how much vegetation is standing when tarmac isn’t, and the fact that shrub and tree ecosystems slow and spread water and thus limit damage. This looks exactly like flooding in the bush on the west side of the divide, and we should absolutely be learning from this in how we design suburban spaces.

This from this morning,

 

There are also flooding and slips in Wellington, Taranki, Gisborne and Northland. RNZ live updates here.

This twitter events feed is worth following to get a grasp of the breadth and complexity of what is happening.

While atmospheric rivers aren’t new and are in fact important aspects of our normal weather patterns, this one was acknowledged as being unusual,

Tristan Meyers, Meteorologist, NIWA, comments:

“Atmospheric rivers are huge plumes of moisture that move from the tropics to the mid-latitudes (where we are!). Atmospheric rivers are most common in the southwest of New Zealand, but can occur anywhere in New Zealand. New Zealand sees our peak atmospheric river activity during summer, and our lowest atmospheric river activity during winter. When these atmospheric rivers encounter other weather features or New Zealand’s mountainous terrain, the vast amount of water vapour within these atmospheric rivers can get ‘squeezed’ out, falling as heavy rain or snow. Atmospheric rivers are important to New Zealand’s water supply; for the West Coast of the South Island, atmospheric rivers bring 78% of total rainfall. However, they are also responsible for extreme rainfall events; up to 94% of extreme precipitation on the west coast of the South Island are from atmospheric rivers.

“This current atmospheric river is pretty exceptional; it’s long lasting (> 3 days) and has a very anomalously large moisture content. Current forecast models indicate that this would be classified as an ‘extreme’ to ‘exceptional’ atmospheric river – indeed, an analysis we undertook indicates that the amount of moisture in the atmosphere for this particular event is unprecedented for August in climatological data going back to 1959. As a caveat – we’d need to go back and analyse this to confirm whether or not that shapes out to be true after the event.

Insurance companies are saying that change is coming to premiums and coverage. Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton on RNZ in July,

…there was no doubt climate had arrived with the cost of weather-related insured losses doubling in the last five year period.

Grafton said the focus for society now had to be on reducing, controlling and avoiding the risks posed by future extreme weather events.

Stopping developers building houses in “dumb places” such as flood plains would be necessary to avoid increasing these risks, he said.

Common sense. But also a signal that insurance companies will be looking hard at where houses are being built and how they will or won’t insure them. New Zealand has been largely ignoring what’s been happening on the West Coast, parts of which are now leading contenders for the need for managed retreat, but I suspect that the Nelson floods are waking people up to the fact that the climate crisis isn’t just some sea level rises some vague time off the in the future. It’s houses, our houses, in valleys and all the unwise places that developers have been allowed to build where nature will now take over again.

Two days ago on RNZ,

Properties worth $1 million on Wellington’s Petone foreshore could reach $100,000 a year to insure in 20 years, a climate risk expert says.

A treasury report citing research by Aon from September 2021 said 5 percent of New Zealand properties (nearly 90,000 homes) had risk that, if fully priced, would be mean their flood risk premiums would be 1 percent of the property’s value.

That was potently $5000 a year for a $500,000 house.

Meanwhile, nearly 2 percent of homes – about 38,500 properties – faced premiums of 2 percent or more, meaning more than $10,000 a year for insurance.

Auckland, Christchurch, Lower Hutt, Napier and Palmerston North cities were the most exposed to flood hazards in absolute terms. But per head of population Buller, Thames-Coromandel District, Wairoa, Central Otago and Gore districts were the worst affected.

No mention of Nelson. Would love to know what criteria they were using and if that will now change.

Yesterday, RNZ,

The country’s largest insurer IAG says building in flood prone areas has to stop.

IAG has released a three-part plan to try speed up efforts to reduce flood risk from rivers.

It says there have been 10 major floods in Aotearoa in the past two years with insured losses of around $400 million. But the wider economic and social costs are into the billions.

We cannot say we were not warned.

The damage from this one event is mindboggling. But here’s the thing we haven’t got to grips with yet. Eventually we won’t have the financial, logistic, materials and labour capacity to keep repairing the damage.

If we keep doing what we are doing (not acting on climate), then at some point there will just be too many of these events to keep up with. Factor in international issues like oil supply, or collapse of the global food chain, and it’s not hard to see just how bad this could be.

Here’s the good news. It’s not too late for us to both mitigate (reduce the risk of runaway climate change that would collapse civilisation) and adapt (change how we design and run society so that we can take into account the changes happening in our environment). We can also reduce the ongoing cost to society of both of those if we act now.

Acting now means being willing to change, quite radically. All of us. The sooner we do this, the better chance we have of averting disaster.

Also good news is that systems thinking, sustainability, and whole system design are adept at solving these kinds of interwoven problems. We’re not there yet, but it is one of the choices available.

66 comments on “This is what the climate crisis looks like in New Zealand, so far ”

  1. weka 1

  2. PsyclingLeft.Always 2

    Susan joins me to discuss how a sustainable future is possible by starting with engineering principles. Rather than focusing on politics and economics, which can only react in the short-term, engineering provides long-term vision, planning and design which will reimagine a sustainable world—and drag politics and economics into the future.

    https://www.planetcritical.com/p/transition-engineering-a-sustainable?triedSigningIn=true#details

    "the accelerant of fossil fuel poured on it"

    Prof Susan Krumdieck….talks Sense

  3. Adrian 3

    Those photos are just evidence of bad engineering, the houses are above the road on both sides therefor the roadway is running down the watercourse, any farmer could tell you what was going to happen. The fact that the road has torn up is just really bad road building, not compacting the service trenches properly and making the asphalt far to thin. Cheap as.

  4. DB Brown 4

    Adrian's got a point. Roads ideally sit on a ridge. While we can't put the extreme rain event down to poor engineering we can design better.

    If this rain event had followed a drought it could have been a lot worse, bad as it seems.

    Israel is leaning hard into climate adaptation with large scale desalination plants to refill the (freshwater) Sea of Galilee.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2022/08/19/middleeast/israel-water-desalination-climate-cmd-intl/index.html

    They've clicked that water is the engine of their economy, and now they trade it with Jordan for solar power.

    • weka 4.1

      I'm looking at the bare hills above the housing slipping away too. Lots of factors in this.

    • Adrian 4.2

      This one is a bit different DB, in TeTau Ihu we were already at field capacity, actually exceeding it at over 30%, this water had no where to sink into and just headed flat out for the nearest watercourse or ephemeral stream. You are right about bone dry land, that shrinks and the water skids over the top but does lose a portion to soakage along the way.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    Gosh!!

    It's mind boggling!

  6. lprent 6

    The last best hope for starting to deal with climate change is going to be the insurance system.

    Especially if they get a Minksy moment, something that seems to be getting more and more likely.

    Economist "Could climate change trigger a financial crisis?"

    of this one from 2019 "Changing weather could put insurance firms out of business"

    Our largest insurer certainly seems to pushing very hard on it. "IAG commits to three-step plan for hazard-prone Aotearoa".

    Seems like a good way to shift the doubters and shiftless – increase cost.

    • weka 6.1

      I think so. Also the fear of god that one could lose one's retirement investment.

    • Poission 6.2

      Insurance has not done much for poor decisions in either words,or professional liability.

      Liability Professional & Defamation, Directors & Officers and Public Product & Other 12 months to September 167,186,378 (claims)

      67% increase 2017-21

      https://www.icnz.org.nz/media-resources/market-data

      Munichre's biggest cost to profits has been the instability on the financial markets with a billion$ hit on investment losses.

  7. Chess Player 7

    I think people are finding that flat land near to the ocean is not a good place to build their house.

    I think people are finding that cutting down the trees that hold the cliff up, and building a house on top of the cliff, is not a good idea.

    I think people are starting to realise why streams and rivers actually exist in certain places, having developed and embedded over millions of years.

    I think people are finding that the authorities that they voted for, and trusted to ensure they would be safe, are scarcely competent.

    I think people are not thinking.

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      "I think people are starting to realise… "

      "I think people are not thinking."

      What??

    • DB Brown 7.2

      I'm sure I read a report parts of the shallow Moutere aquifer had been blocked…

      Here it is.

      "Based on hydrogeological investigations, three aquifers have been delineated in the
      Moutere Valley, i.e. Deep Moutere Aquifer (DMA), Middle Moutere Aquifer (MMA) and shallow Moutere Aquifer (SMA). Hydrogeological data shows that the aquifer system is a leaky one, with there being a low permeability zone between the DMA and MMA and another between the MMA and SMA. The SMA is confined at the surface by reworked valley infilling. "

      I might be barking up the wrong tree, but have we disconnected the shallow aquifer from feeding into the medium aquifer? Not purposely, of course…

      https://icm.landcareresearch.co.nz/knowledgebase/publications/public/Waiwhero_recharge_report.pdf

      • DB Brown 7.2.1

        I'll just repeat what I see to be a major issue with drainage in case it was missed:

        a low permeability zone between the [medium Moutere aquifer and the shallow Moutere aquifer]

        and

        The [shallow Moutere Aquifer] is confined at the surface by reworked valley infilling.

        This is what I think I'm looking at…

        The shallow aquifer has been disconnected ("confined at the surface") from being able to drain into the medium aquifer. If the medium aquifer and deep aquifers are also at capacity I have no real point (until they're less than full, then it's valid again).

        When the ground is wet water should soak relatively easily down into aquifers until the aquifers are full. If the shallow aquifer can't drain this possibly exacerbates any flooding in the region of the shallow Moutere aquifer.

        I’m having trouble locating data on aquifer levels in NZ. Are they simply very infrequently measured? Or my guess is I am missing something right under my nose?

  8. pat 8

    Its not too late to attempt to adapt…but that still means there are thousands of properties that will need to be abandoned (one way or another) and a ton of infrastructure that will need to be either moved or upgraded and then there is the ongoing repairs….no easy solutions .

    Even if we make the effort, which is by no means guaranteed.

  9. Macro 9

    Certain sectors of the Insurance industry have been warning of the serious consequences of an increasing warming Earth caused by human activity for over a decade now. I cannot find the original assessment by Munich RE now – it was around 2008 IIRC. but here is one of their many assessments and warnings on climate change from 2017. Munich Re Group or Munich Reinsurance Company is a German multinational insurance company based in Munich, Germany. It is one of the world's leading reinsurers.

  10. PsyclingLeft.Always 10

    West Coast landowners hit by piles of flood debris were then hit with a council notice for clearing it from a nearby stream, highlighting bureaucratic problems as climate change causes more severe weather events.

    The Russells – by now stressing over a potential fine, appealed to council chair Allan Birchfield who drove up to the Cronadun farm with his daughter – council engineer Paulette Birchfield – to take a look.

    They concluded the Russells had done what was needed to get the creek back within its banks.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/after-the-flood-the-council-ticket

    West Coast Regional Council chairman Allan Birchfield again expressed his doubt about the government prediction.

    "The sea level is not going to rise so don't worry about it," Birchfield said.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/465207/west-coast-councillor-continues-denying-sea-level-rise

    Climate change caused by human activity, sea-level rise and the need to prepare for it – it is all a load of hogwash, according to the chairman of the West Coast Regional Council.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/ldr/416440/climate-change-a-rort-west-coast-regional-council-chair

    Ol' Al Birchfield …climate change denier. Didn't realise his daughter was a Council Engineer. An "Interesting" connection…

  11. weka 11

    Buller's Mayor Jaime Cleine says repeated flood events in Westport are being driven by climate change and infrastructure neglect from previous councils.

    Good. Because he said earlier in the week that it was mother nature.

    https://rnz.liveblog.pro/lb-rnz/blogs/62ffd8c7957b5adbd6ab2555/index.html?liveblog._id=urn:newsml:localhost:2022-08-19T21:18:53.569218:5852b1b4-d90e-4665-845f-19a1227d3abe-%3Eeditorial

    • Mike the Lefty 11.1

      The infrastructure neglect is one of the things that Three Waters aims to fix and it would have had positive results if it had been implemented one or more decades ago.

      So will the West Coast mayors now support Three Waters?

      • weka 11.1.1

        I still need convincing the the loss of democracy trade off is worth it.

        • Descendant Of Smith 11.1.1.1

          Many, but not all, of the infrastructure systems were originally funded and/or built by central not local government. It isn't that long ago water boards existed.

          They were not undemocratically built and maintained then any more than they will be now.

          What has handing those assets over to largely right wing councils over the years got us – lots of rhetoric about councils should only be involved in core business – the roads, rates, rubbish type mantra – then when services such as council housing, etc were cut, staff laid off and services once run by councils privatised large sums went to subsidise the private sector – Hamilton's motor racing, Napier's Art Deco buses, Auckland's yacht races, conference centres all over the place, dams for small cadres of farmers and horticulturalists, etc rather than actually spending lots of money on the core business infrastructure.

          In many places the council handling of the three waters has been poor. The notion of local democracy loss as a reason for not doing this I don't think has any substance = it is just part of the right wing mantra of local involvement e.g. school boards is better. It ain't necessarily so and often just enables capture by vested interests.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always 11.1.1.1.1

            What has handing those assets over to largely right wing councils over the years got us

            dams for small cadres of farmers and horticulturalists, etc

            Damn Right ! The real reason behind groundswell and their angry reaction. They see their vested "ownership" of "their" Water becoming threatened.

            And they have been SHIT at looking after it. Reality : their main interest is, and always has been, extracting as much money from it as possible. That is all.

        • Descendant Of Smith 11.1.1.2

          The shocking scale of the problem was finally outed by the NZ Herald in December and January and came as a shock to most Aucklanders. Its due to stormwater-driven sewage overflows from the Western Bays, Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Arch Hill, Mt Albert and Mt Eden areas. Areas especially targetted by pro-Unitary Plan advocates for intensification. These are some of the oldest parts of Auckland, some 16,000 dwellings served by what is called the ‘Combined Sewerage Area’. Built in the early 1900s and designed for a much smaller population it connects to the larger and (somewhat newer) Orakei sewer line which extends eastward to the Eastern Interceptor which then turns southward to the Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant. The combined sewerage system is decrepid and increasingly overloaded. Local sewage overflows especially contaminate urban streams like Cox’s and Meola Creeks and inner harbour beaches from Point Chevalier to St Mary’s Bay. While the sewerage system which conveys human waste is within capacity – barely, when it rains as much as little as 5mm, which it does often in Auckland, it increases the volume in the pipes some 40 times over. The system is quickly overloaded with the result that surges of diluted human sewage pop open manholes in suburban streets and on peoples’ properties, spewing into urban waterways and the inner harbour.

          https://www.mikelee.co.nz/2017/03/aucklands-dirty-secret-can-we-handle-the-truth/

        • Mike the Lefty 11.1.1.3

          I'm not convinced that allowing Maori groups to have a say on the way drinking water, stormwater and sewerage is funded and operated is a loss of democracy at all. I think it is mostly right-wing scaremongering.

          • weka 11.1.1.3.1

            Dude, I support co-governance. The loss of democracy is to local communities.

            This whole left wing simplifying of the debate to soundbites is shocking. There are important issues here that need working through.

            • weka 11.1.1.3.1.1

              and, just to be clear, I'm well left of most of the people talking about this here. This isn't a right wing argument.

              • Mike the Lefty

                My argument is that until recently most people wouldn't have given a continental about how it is all done provided their drinking water is clean, the drains work and the sewerage system works – and somebody else gets to pay for it.

                Now the spotlight is on who actually controls what, who pays for it. how it has all been put on the never never for political gain and the whole system has been shown to be flawed.

                The new-found concern for "local democracy" shown by some pop-up civic leaders makes me laugh. It's not local democracy they are concerned about – it is how many votes they will get at the coming elections.

        • gsays 11.1.1.4

          While I take yr point about 3 Waters, my reckons say democracy will largely have to be ignored if we are to get serious about changing behaviour in regards CC.

          I don't see a population that is ready to surrender it's coffee habit, their trinkets and baubles from Ali Baba, or a seismic shift in spending ability (an end to drive-thrus, $5 pizzas, the whole industrial conveinience junk food addiction).

          • weka 11.1.1.4.1

            So Labour puts through 3 waters, National gets in in 2026 and monkey wrenches it. Can't just repeal it because too much work has been done by that time, so they start the process of privatising.

            We've been down this track before, and it ends badly. In the 80s Labour forced through a bunch of change, without taking people with them, and it created very long term problems. Democracy is fundamental to everything else.

        • Graeme 11.1.1.5

          Unfortunately it's democracy that has got us into the situation that 3 Waters has become the solution.

          No one gets elected to local government on a platform of putting the rates up (or reducing visible services) to dig up the streets to upgrade or repair pipes that no one can see and most likely aren't causing any trouble yet. There's not many votes in that.

          Council voters vote for politicians who say they are going to spend money on things voters can see and use directly and personally. Pipes are out of sight and don 't make a mess in my pretty street.

          The same dynamic applies in roading where NZTA / Waka Kotahi have incrementally taken over responsibility form TAs. That hasn't been as visibly dramatic a change because Waka Kotahi always administered and funded the State Highway network 100%, and funded TA roading by varying amounts. Now the boundary between SH and TA roading is quite blurred at a funding and operations level with very little input from Councils.

          It's democracy that's given Gore one of the best municipal Art Galleries in country, but a 19th century sewage system

          Time to explore other governance structures that combine benevolence and delivery with a strong focus on environmental outcomes. I think the 3 Waters structure meets those objectives and haven’t seen a better proposal presented in the debate.

          • weka 11.1.1.5.1

            Unfortunately it's democracy that has got us into the situation that 3 Waters has become the solution.

            no, it really hasn't, it's people that have done that not the system we use for governance. That we have such a poor form of democracy in local bodies is a sign to increase democracy not lessen it. Central and local governments could be doing the mahi of increasing participation. By that I don't just mean getting people to vote, although obviously that's a major issue. I mean actually participating in democracy for the other 1094 days of the three year term.

            Paternalism is attractive to the people in charge. It's less charming when it's NACT selling stuff or privatising.

            I support Labour's moves towards co-governance, in part because it breaks the hegemony of thought around what democracy and governance can look like. I hope that non-Māori will learn some thing and start thinking 'how come we aren't that well represented' and then figure out what to do about it. Three Waters works against that.

            Time to explore other governance structures that combine benevolence and delivery with a strong focus on environmental outcomes. I think the 3 Waters structure meets those objectives and haven’t seen a better proposal presented in the debate.

            Maybe Labour should have started with asking communities what they want. Instead of saying 'this is how it will be' and asking for feedback. It blows my mind that a model that will work for Auckland is considered appropriate to Gore or Te Anau or QL.

            And even if I am wrong about all of that, you still have to bring people with you, and that's not happening.

            (strengthening the local bodies legislation back towards community would be another thing that could be done).

        • Robert Guyton 11.1.1.6

          21 August 2022 at 8:58 am

          What gsays says.

          • weka 11.1.1.6.1

            who should be the dictator? If we're going to take the position that people will have to be forced to change (a la gsays' point on climate), then we should be talking about who gets to be in charge and force that to happen.

            Personally I think we should just hand everything over to the aunties, let them run the show. But I've been suggesting that for a long time now and haven't had many takers.

            • Robert Guyton 11.1.1.6.1.1

              I support the "aunties solution" but with a proviso and that is that the aunties petition all beings who will be affected by their actions; humans, crustaceans, cetaceans, cacti, comets te mea te mea.

              • weka

                agreed. A major benefit of having the aunties in charge is that they will be inclined to do exactly that.

                • weka

                  still leaves us with the problem of how to enforce that.

                  One of the great failings of anarchism is that despite its other desirable attributes, it appears to have no plan for how to get others on board.

                  • arkie

                    Mutual Aid is one such plan:

                    Kropotkin argued that mutual aid has pragmatic advantages for the survival of humans and animals and has been promoted through natural selection, and that mutual aid is arguably as ancient as human culture.

                    Building towards Dual Power:

                    Dual power is important because it prioritizes direct action, decentralized organization, and mutual aid now instead of perpetually waiting for some mythical, singular, and centralized mass revolution that never comes. It also creates a foundation to be built upon once capital and the state fall instead of starting from scratch.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Nephews 🙂

  12. Hunter Thompson II 12

    Nature holds the whip hand. I guess that was always the case but humans failed to see it (or pretended not to) and have racked up a large bill.

    Now the demand for payment has arrived.

  13. AB 13

    Only tax cuts can save us. If I drown horribly in a muddy deluge, I will be happy because 'my money' is in my own pocket.

  14. Jenny how to get there 14

    This is what the climate crisis looks like in New Zealand, so far….

    This is what the symptoms of the climate crisis look like.

    The real climate crisis is a political crisis.

    The real crisis is a human crisis.

    Like a rabbit transfixed by the approaching headlights, the real climate crisis is our inability to act.

    The real crisis is not the approaching catastrophe about to crush the rabbit, the real crisis is the rabbit that refuses to move.

    Business as usual:

    "As we stare down the barrel of a climate emergency, our Government seems to think it's just fine to let a foreign-owned company extend its coal mine to let our dirty dairy industry carry on burning the stuff," spokeswoman Cindy Baxter said.

    "Whatever happened to our 'nuclear free moment' – seems it's business as usual."

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/116214332/bathurst-coal-buys-land-to-expand-mining-for-dairy-factories

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/447679/new-zealand-likely-to-have-record-high-imports-of-coal-in-2021-officials

    https://environment.govt.nz/news/nzs-greenhouse-gas-emissions-have-increased/

  15. pat 15

    So in effect the quality of the decisions is directly related to the quality of the decision makers….as it ever was. Co-governance dosnt provide any path to improved decision quality, but it does reduce the pool of potential decision makers.

    Does changing the pool of decision makers necessarily change the quality? Especially when the technicalities remain unchanged.

    There has been a commonly stated refrain around co-governance that 'what is good for Maori is good for NZ'….that statement is about as valid as saying 'what is good for farmers is good for NZ', or 'what is good for property investors is good for NZ'….when the reality is 'what is good for NZ is good for all those groups'

    If we are to improve our water infrastructure it is the technical/resource limitations that need to be addressed and the governance form will follow.

  16. Robert Guyton 16

    "There has been a commonly stated refrain around co-governance that 'what is good for Maori is good for NZ'"

    I don't think that's true.

    The better refrain might be, "When Maori and non-Maori cooperate, the outcomes will be optimal".

    This is what co-governance is about, imo.

    • weka 16.1

      nice framing.

      I'd add that Māori have perspectives, values and cultural practices we desperately need in the overculture, and the bringing into right relationship the Crown and Iwi/Hapū will create something that builds on the good of both sides.

  17. Stephen D 17

    And remember Auckland’s Queen Street is built on top of the Waihorotiu Stream. Waters gonna do what waters gonna do.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Cost of Living Package: More families to receive childcare support
    54 per cent of all New Zealand families with children will now be eligible for subsidised childcare assistance. Over 10,000 additional children eligible for support. Nearly every sole parent in New Zealand will be eligible for childcare assistance Increasing the income thresholds increases both the number of families eligible and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New Zealand leads new global sustainable agriculture declaration
    New Zealand has agreed a declaration along with other members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that commits members to working together to boost sustainable agriculture and food systems, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said today in Paris. The ‘Declaration on transformative solutions for sustainable agriculture and food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Practical changes to modernise arms licensing legislation
    The Government is taking action to ensure responsible gun owners with an expired licence due to a predicted peak in applications aren’t penalised, Police Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Arms Licence Holders’ Applications for New Licences Amendment Bill will be introduced to the House in the next week. It makes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Eastern Region surf lifesaving centre ready for summer
    The Prime Minister has officially opened the Port of Tauranga Rescue Centre today, which with $2.9m of Government funding from the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF), will secure surf lifesaving facilities for what is one of New Zealand’s most popular stretches of coastline. “As the largest Surf Life ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis step up to the challenge for innovative transport solutions
    Kiwis up and down the country have stepped up to the Government’s call for innovative solutions to the country’s transport challenges, highlighting the strength of kiwi ingenuity, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced. “The Government is upgrading New Zealand’s transport system to make it safer, greener, and more efficient for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Dozens of new innovative projects awarded funding
    113 new projects funded More than $77.391 million invested over the next three years Universities to receive almost 90.5% of the funding Over a hundred new research projects will be funded over the next three years, supporting researchers to explore new ideas, Research, Science, and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New video to help whānau through Coroners Court
    Minister for Courts Aupito William Sio welcomes a new video resource to guide whānau through the first stages of the coronial process. The Ministry of Justice has created the video as part of a work programme focused on improving the experience from when a death occurs and is reported to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to CEOs of BusinessNZ’s Major Companies Group
    It’s a pleasure to be with you tonight. At this time of year, as we head into Christmas and summer, you could reasonably expect a bit of entertainment. Instead you have me, and the light subject matter of workforce shortages, supply chain disruption, geopolitical tension, and a high inflationary environment. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better protections for Kiwis using Buy Now, Pay Later
    Better checks to stop vulnerable consumers landing themselves in Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) debt traps are on the way, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark announced today. “This is the right thing to do. As the global cost of living crisis puts pressure on New Zealanders and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government support for rural water suppliers
    Associate Minister of Local Government Kieran McAnulty was in Eketāhuna today to announce the Government is accepting applications for a programme to support rural drinking water suppliers meet Taumata Arowai water standards. “The Government is committed to addressing rising water costs and improving water infrastructure,” Kieran McAnulty said. “This programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt delivers more wellbeing support to university students
    More mental wellbeing support than ever before is now available to tertiary students at university, thanks to the Government’s $25 million Budget 2020 Tertiary Student Wellbeing package. Health Minister Andrew Little announced the start of enhanced mental health and addiction services on campus at Hamilton’s University of Waikato today - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Increased health and safety representation for workers
    Workers in small and lower-risk businesses will have greater choice about how they are represented on health and safety matters, Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Wood has announced. “Our Government is committed to supporting New Zealanders to feel safe when at work. Today I can confirm that we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Nuclear weapons – where are we at? The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the Nuclea...
    It is a pleasure to be with you today and to have the opportunity to talk to you about New Zealand’s disarmament efforts, in particular our advocacy against nuclear weapons. For some of you it may be surprising – and no doubt incredibly disappointing – that some 77 years after nuclear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to New Zealand’s Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism – He Whenua Taurikura
    Tēnā koutou, tēna koutou, tēna tātou katoa I te tuatahi, kei te mihi atu ahau ki te mana whenua, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. Tēnā koutou katoa Greetings to you, greetings to you, greetings to us all. First, I acknowledge the mana whenua, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Greetings to you all.    Ki ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More equitable abortion care and support available from today
    The Government has launched a new telehealth service today that will see women in their first 10 weeks of pregnancy able to access medication for an early medical abortion over the phone, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced. “People seeking an abortion will have better access to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tackling invasive pests using environmental DNA tops the NZ Biosecurity Awards
    Exceptional biosecurity leadership and its role in protecting our economic security were celebrated tonight at the 2022 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards, said Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. Wilderlab's innovative technology, eDNA, won the Mondiale VGL Innovation Award, and took out the Supreme Award, at the 2022 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards prize ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ suspends human rights dialogue with Iran
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced Aotearoa New Zealand is suspending its bilateral Human Rights Dialogue with Iran. “This decision sends a strong signal that bilateral approaches on human rights are no longer tenable with Iran, when they are denying basic human rights and violently suppressing protests of those who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New sanctions target Russian defence networks
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta has announced further sanctions on supporters of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, this time focusing on the Russian defence and security sectors. “Russia’s illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine and its continued acts of aggression are enabled by its extensive military-industrial network, which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Damien O’Connor to co-chair OECD Agriculture Ministerial Meeting
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor will travel to Paris tomorrow to co-chair the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Committee on Agriculture Ministerial meeting. “The OECD Committee on Agriculture Ministerial meeting is an excellent opportunity for New Zealand to highlight how we are addressing climate change at the farm-level and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Uptake of Government’s Training Incentive Allowance skyrockets
    600 per cent increase in uptake of the Training Incentive Allowance 4,848 people have been supported since the allowance’s reinstatement (1 July 2021) 3,909 people have accessed the Training Incentive Allowance during the period 1 January 2022 to 30 September 2022 As at the end of Quarter Three 2022, 42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Thousands of workers on the way for summer
    Thousands of working holiday makers overseas now have new visas and are set to bring key skills to the New Zealand economy over the next three months, after the Government took action to extend the visas of offshore working holiday makers, Immigration Minister Michael Wood has announced. “All the new ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Support Package to build new homes in Te Taitokerau
    Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing) Peeni Henare has today announced a new investment partnership with Te Pouahi o Te Taitokerau to build up to 100 houses in the North. “The housing challenges we face in Te Taitokerau are significant. But this Government is taking action,” Peeni Henare said. “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Joint statement: Closer Economic Relations Ministerial talks in Queenstown
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, joined by Hon Stuart Nash MP New Zealand Minister for Tourism, hosted Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Australian Minister for Trade and Tourism, in Queenstown on 29-30 October to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better conditions on the way for bus drivers
    The Government is supporting the transport sector’s efforts to stabilise the public transport workforce with funding from Budget 2022 to help standardise base wages, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced. “Our Government is committed to making it more affordable, easier and attractive for Kiwis to use public transport, so it’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Communities given greater powers to reduce alcohol harm
    The Government is fixing alcohol legislation that has been used by the alcohol industry and retailers to stop local communities from putting in place rules around the sale of liquor in their area, Justice Minister Kiri Allan announced today. The amendments to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown apology delivered to Ngāti Maru (Taranaki) | Kua tukuna te whakapāha a te Karauna ki a Ngāt...
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little has delivered the Crown Apology to Ngāti Maru for its historic breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. A ceremony was held at Te Upoko o te Whenua Marae at Tarata, hosted by Ngāti Maru, where the Crown also returned land titles to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Local government review panel releases independent draft report
    The local government sector has taken the next step in its work on the future shape it wants for regional, district and city councils, with the release of the second report by an independent panel, says Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta. “The Government acknowledges the work of the Independent Panel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Toitū Builtsmart to deliver homes and jobs to Tairāwhiti
    Toitū Tairāwhiti Builtsmart facility to create 18 full-time jobs The new facility will have the capacity to build up to 24 homes simultaneously The facility to become a training site for Toitū Tairāwhiti Māori trades training Delivering over 50 homes, creating 18 full-time jobs, while providing a site for Toitū ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Summer with international tourists off to a strong start
      Around 145,250 overseas visitors arrived in the four weeks to 26 October Over 10,000 Working Holiday Visa holders have now arrived in New Zealand International card spend at 88% of pre-COVID levels (from 26 August to 22 September 2019) in the four weeks to 25 September (i.e. 29 August ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports better drinking water for rural kāinga and communities
    Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced applications are open for a programme to support rural access to clean and safe drinking water. “The Government is committed to keeping a lid on rate rises by addressing the rising costs of water on households and fixing our critical water infrastructure,” Nanaia ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PR LITTLE AND HENARE: First nationwide health plan to deliver healthy futures for New Zealanders | T...
    Health Minister Andrew Little welcomes Te Pae Tata | the Interim New Zealand Health Plan jointly developed by Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority. “We have consolidated the public health system and now we have a plan to achieve national ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First nationwide health plan to deliver healthy futures for New Zealanders | Te Rautaki Hauora ā-mo...
    Health Minister Andrew Little welcomes Te Pae Tata | the Interim New Zealand Health Plan jointly developed by Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority. “We have consolidated the public health system and now we have a plan to achieve national ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inspector-General of Defence Bill introduced
    The Government has today introduced the Inspector-General of Defence Bill designed to provide independent oversight of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).   This was a recommendation from the Operation Burnham Inquiry which identified significant shortcomings in the way NZDF dealt with allegations of civilian casualties, resulting in a series ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
    The Government today announced the appointment of former Auckland Mayor, Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister, and Labour Party Leader Phil Goff as the next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “Aotearoa New Zealand has an exceptionally strong relationship with the UK based on shared values, history and culture. We are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government backs strategy to improve water quality in Amuri Basin
    The Government continues to deliver on efforts to restore waterways through the backing of a farmer-led strategy in North Canterbury’s Amuri Basin to boost water quality, Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “Our goal is to restore our waterways within a generation and this project will help farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ backs conditional moratorium on seabed mining in international waters
    The Government has announced Aotearoa New Zealand will back a conditional moratorium on deep sea mining in areas beyond national jurisdiction, until strong environmental rules can be agreed and backed up by robust science. The decision follows a review of progress on regulations for deep sea mining in the area managed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • And we’re rolling on Government’s Screen Sector Review
    The Government is taking action to secure the long-term future of the film and television industry through proposals released today for public consultation as part of the New Zealand Screen Production Grant review. “New Zealanders can be very proud of our reputation, stories, culture and home-grown talent and content that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt launches new chapter for 18,000 social services
    Faster, clearer and more effective delivery of social support to communities Strengthening of social sector’s ability to respond to communities needs Government agencies to develop transformational plans about how to work more effectively with social services Governance group for social sector commissioning to drive transformation of commissioning The Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Awapuni on track for regional racing boost
    A new synthetic track surface at Awapuni Racecourse has set the course for a regional economic boost with a great summer of events now on the cards at the Palmerston North racing centre. “Upgrading regional and sporting facilities is an important part of supporting communities to sustain their economies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Aotearoa puts preparedness to the test
    Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty will be joining students at Waimea Intermediate School in Nelson this morning to practice what to do when an earthquake or tsunami hits, as part of ShakeOut. “ShakeOut is New Zealand’s annual earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi and is a chance to put your ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago