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Toll by Stealth

Written By: - Date published: 4:17 pm, July 13th, 2019 - 51 comments
Categories: infrastructure, law and "order", police, public transport, transport, uncategorized - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

You may not know this, but about one in every 400 cars that go through the Waterview tunnel pay toll to go faster than the legal speed limit of usually 80 km/h. Thing is, these drivers often don’t know it either till they get the speeding ticket (AKA infringement notice) in the mail.

All approaching motorways to the tunnel have variable speed limits. However, they don’t seem to be enforced or ‘policed’ at all. Certainly, on the North-Western motorway (SH16) you’ll find drivers doing all sorts of speeds when the signs state 80 km/h as the limit; it’s much worse during the School Holidays. No radar control, no speed cameras, no nothing.

Little wonder then that when they race into the tunnel some forget to slow down to avoid the fine. Regular commuters are familiar with the point-to-point speed cameras, possibly because they have been stung once or because word of mouth; that sort of ‘news’ travels fast. However, in the holidays, many non-regulars use the tunnel and the number of breaches of the speed limit shoots up. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work that one out.

I have never quite understood why you are not allowed lane changes in the tunnel. If everybody is doing the exact same speed there would be no point, would there? Again, the range of speeds inside the tunnel is not quite as ‘impressive’ (more like hair-raising) as on the approaching motorways but there still are the ‘slow pokes’ and the compulsive ‘speedsters’ with limited self-control and even less foot-eye coordination (AKA lead-foot syndrome).

Some interesting stats about the tunnel use can be found here. I have no idea why this is the only article (syndicated here) in which one can find this info but no doubt there’s a reason for it; NZTA logic defies common sense at many levels and NZTA is apparently not a happy place to work. This should raise some concern because they’re tasked with looking after our safety on the roads.

I don’t have a problem with speed reduction and better enforcement of the law. It can save lives, it saves petrol, and it reduces wear and tear and thus is better for the environment all around and our pockets. However, some people react to such proposals as if they are an acute threat to their lives. As if they have a God-given right to speed, and kill. Well no, they don’t, but don’t tell them that, or they go OTT. In my opinion, the reaction to curbing someone’s sense of entitlement is always the same. For example, listen to all those wannabe Rambos who have to sell back their priced and beloved MSSAs to the Government, with inscriptions and all. As if the world as we know it is ending – it is, but guns won’t help much in the long run.

Anyway, it is great to have the Waterview tunnel and it would be even better if/when we have a properly designed and functioning Public Transport in and around Auckland, including a railway connection to the Airport. In another post, I might write about the shambles that is Auckland International Airport and the Koru Lounges. Then again, maybe not, because I would have to confess that I have never set foot in one of those – it is not on my bucket list either, shock horror, nor is valet parking at the airport. You know that you have failed in life when you have lost the will to set foot in the revered Koru Lounge at Auckland International Airport. The meek shall inherit the Earth but not the Koru Lounge nor are they allowed to speed in the Waterview tunnel, which is only for those who pay the toll.

Ok, this post lacks focus and direction but Micky’s occupied with and by chookogeddon in Titirangi, which in reality is a social, community issue, and not an animal welfare one. I have nothing much to say about Assange, Clinton, Brexit, Corbyn, Trump, NZ talkback radio, or Mike Hosking, for example, and I’ll leave that to others. Sorry about that.

51 comments on “Toll by Stealth”

  1. Drowsy M. Kram 1

    'Chookogeddon' laugh – it's an original! ‘Chickageddon’, however…
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530130-600-clucking-hell-the-nightmare-world-without-chickens/

    I'm not in too much of a hurry these days, and have no problem being 'stuck' behind drivers travelling 20% under the speed limit.  After all – "It's a limit, not a target."

    http://saferoaduse.unhcr.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/ENGLISH_SRU_speed_2019_03.pdf

  2. Sam 2

    But if you go the way of the Autobahn, you must accept strict penalties both legally and insurance.

    Or in American airports they don't have lines unless you travel chartered, every just gets chucked into the same queues. There's no special line you can pay to get into that moves faster. Get asked the same stupid questions by TSA they ask every one else. Why are you here? Could ask myself the same question.

    Should always sniff and ask stupid people with one job what that damp smell is. Most times they'll ask what smell? Then I reply that's the smell of socialism. 

    • Obtrectator 2.1

      "Or in American airports they don't have lines unless you travel chartered, every just gets chucked into the same queues. There's no special line you can pay to get into that moves faster."

      Try carrying a walking-stick (even if you don't actually need one) and making obvious use of it.  Just a chance they'll whisk you through for fear of being sued. 

    • Infused 2.2

      What there are queues. You pay to get on first. They queue in groups

      • Sam 2.2.1

        Road users are already taxed to the max, and have insurance. The government should not be flipping the current system without actually doing anything to provide an alternative.

        I could understand if other methods of transit were being expanded and improved, but they're not really. The idea here is simply to make driving combustion engines a luxury for only the rich. Our economy is a service economy, and if everyone can no longer reach and use those services it all falls apart like a house of cards in a fucking hurricane. Keeping it budget neutral is a great way to take a bit of money that isn't really doing much and expanding EV's and other parts of the economy. 

        • Incognito 2.2.1.1

          What insurance? Third-party is not mandatory in NZ, which is absurd IMO.

          • Sam 2.2.1.1.1

            Theres a few different types of financial products out there that are mandatory, all loans require 3rd party insurance, tradies and delivery drivers would certainly get caught up in that. But I was thinking about sovereign risk insurance. All these really long multi year projects are priced in today's money. It could be a couple of years before you sign up with a project management team and work actually begins and inflations gone up 1%-3% per year and by the time of delivery date Y'know you're paying billionz more than projected. So there's insurance against those risks. Or if your national credit rating is down graded and the cost of borrowing spikes you can get insurance for that. So effectively what ever the budget blow out is you can pay it down at a different rate over time than just paying up front, which is important I guess when your borrowing for roads and cities.    

            • Incognito 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Right EO, Sam. I thought you were talking about car insurance!?

              Road users are already taxed to the max, and have insurance.

    • Paul Campbell 2.3

      I was pretty amazed to discover that Auckland Airport has special fast lanes thru  immigration/etc for their business class passengers – seems so un-kiwi that NZ Immigration provides that service

      • David Mac 2.3.1

        It's part of the unwritten attraction of flying Business Class. To be able to to sit there and pretend to be doing something important with your iphone prototype while the unwashed shuffle past on their way to their 8 hours of levitated contortion.

        Business Class = about 6 inches of legroom, 1 inch of seat padding, a better quality of plastic food and the cabin crews' very best attempt at a genuine smile. Despite their early start with the journey, arrive about .05 seconds before me.

        • Sam 2.3.1.1

          yknow business class is about 60% of the profit and premium economy is like 30% of the profit. So effectively the ones at the back should be saying thanks for the free ride.

      • Sam 2.3.2

        Airlines have this secret they do. They add on half an hour to the flight time just in case there are late check ins, missed departure time or what ever. So if the flight is late or what ever the captain can make up the time or go a bit slower and save a bit of fuel in flight and still arrive on time. 

        So that's why I like Singapore's Changi airport. You can literally go from the arrivals gate to the taxi in 50 meters and it's like the smart gate at Auckland Airport, you just walk through. 

        Y'know what makes me sad about Auckland / New Zealand. The slight racism, the anti intellectualism. Y'know we can just be so unsatisfied. New Zealand could be a great economic power but continues to be mired by its Neo-feudal to Neo-conservative neoliberalism which creates endless amounts of cash with out checking if it will end in disaster like the housing bubble. 

        It is also sad to see the moral life it has rejected by its homogenous christian history casually inserted into a lost Māori arts and culture. That just leaves New Zealand a bit lifeless and sad.

        • Paul Campbell 2.3.2.1

          Unless you arrive at just the right gate it can be way way more that 50m to leave Changi

          Actually the thing I really hate about Auckland Airport is the way it turns the NZ experience into exit-thru-the-giftshop – all that duty free, the perfume sales alone mean that I am literally in tears whenever I arrive in the country – I want a "duty free bypass" channel for people who find duty free physically uncomfortable

          • Sam 2.3.2.1.1

            If we are shitting on the way customs does business then I think they should have a scanner you can shove 40ft conex shipping containers through so they don't have to rip into them on a hunch. That and I really dislike AirNZs business class seat layout. For $10k there's no privacy.

  3. Andre 3

    Having trouble finding it now, but about a month ago there was a fluffy of articles about the NZTA MegaMaps tool saying most roads should have their speed limits reduced. But they were showing 100 km/h as the safe recommended speed limit through the tunnels. Go figure.

  4. greywarshark 4

    The idea of a toll/ fine on top of other expenses when youre a visitor to a strange place is annoying and I have never forgiven Dunedin for an unreasonable fine, which they wouldn't lift.   I think it's just the fines and the university that keeps that place going.

    And the way that people carry on about speed limits, even when they are very reasonable, is amazing.   We have a major road running near the sea that small suburbs also use as their access road.   So there is quite a lot of traffic turning onto it and when the suggestion of bringing the limit down from 100 to 80 over a few kilometres, a few people were very vocal.    It would make a tiny addition of time into town.   I know the people and they are seniors who are very focussed on anything they take up, and apparently once an idea is accepted, it can't be changed.

  5. Ad 5

    80kms per hour is what the tunnel is safety audited for. 

    Don't want to pay a fine? Pull your foot off the accelerator.

    Easy.

    • Andre 5.1

      Well, yes, that is the "submission to authority" view. And further, the time difference between travelling the section currently restricted to 80 km/h at 80 vs at 100 is only around 40 seconds.

      But is the authority based on sound principles, or is it arbitrary and capricious? The fact that the NZTA's own modelling suggests 100 km/h as a safe and appropriate speed through the tunnels (see nzherald link above) suggests the authority is being arbitrary and capricious. Particularly when that same modelling tool suggests ridiculously low speeds as being "safe and appropriate" for other roads around the country. Being arbitrary and capricious does nothing for general respect for authority.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        Very little of the Auckland network is safe at 100kms. 

        Waterview is safe for that about 5 hours of the day – at night. Even at that point it is incredibly heavily managed. Last night it was fully shut down for preventive maintenance. 

        The reason why they have so few fatalities and injuries on that section is because it is incredibly heavily managed – and those speed limits change every day with variated speed restrictions on the big electronic boards. 

        Those variated speeds are guided by a team of people with PhDs in traffic and fluid mechanics  who tilt the algorithms one way or the other every 5 minutes or so at peak. 

        On no other part of the network can your radio be broken into by the control team on any and every band to instruct you what to do. Maybe they should.

        It's now almost as critical a part of the network as the Harbour Bridge in terms of managing the whole system. When Waterview goes down – usually for cars pulling over – SH1 and surrounding networks just halt.

        There's a control room something like Star Trek's bridge on the North Shore where all of this is live. There is not a single arbitrary or capricious element to any part of managing the system. 

        So slow down. It's good for your life, and the lives of others.

        • Incognito 5.1.1.1

          So slow down. It's good for your life, and the lives of others.

          QED

          Thank you for that insightful comment.

      • Sacha 5.1.2

        The risk tolerance in a tunnel is less than the rest of the roading network. Hence the ban on lane-changing too. The consequences of any crash are more extreme and a lot of the delay in opening that tunnel was testing the systems that deal with the aftermath.

        Sometimes following the regulations without quibble is the smart thing to do.

        • greywarshark 5.1.2.1

          Knowing about the reason and intent of controls and laws is necessary, so thanks for explaining Sacha.

          • Sacha 5.1.2.1.1

            Cheers. I wish our transport agencies did a better job of explaining their work – might help improve our political discourse.

            • Ad 5.1.2.1.1.1

              +100

              Aucklanders spend about 20% of their lives in the transport system, and it is by a long way the most regulated and enforced part of their lives.

    • bwaghorn 5.2

      The ultimate idiot tax ! 

      The only one you should and can avoid .

      Suck it up whingers and learn to drive properly 

    • Incognito 5.3

      Yet, over 100,000 tickets suggest it is not quite that simple. There is some behavioural modification before entering the tunnel, e.g. traffic signs and other warnings, but the best modifier is what other drivers do on the approaching motorways. This is where many get ‘swept along’, so to speak; they go with the flow. I reckon the flash of a speed camera is one of the best deterrents and modifiers of behaviour on the road.

  6. Infused 6

    Our roads are too slow in some parts.

    Not being able to change lanes is good. Dont have to worry about idiots not looking and whacking into you

    • Marcus Morris 6.1

      I live in the Bay of Plenty and make frequent trips to Auckland along SH2.  There is a speed restriction of 90km/h from Te Puna to Whakamarama,  an 80km/h limit through the Karangahape Gorge and another 90km/h stretch from the intersection with the Thames turn-off and Pokeno. All are eminently appropriate. Before the restrictions on that latter stretch, fatal accidents around Maramarua were frequent. I cannot recall one since it was designated a "safer speed zone".  Apart from short interludes through settlements there are no speed restriction for the entire length of the drive around the Coromandel Peninsula. For one of the countries busiest and most tortuous highways, I find this astounding. IMO there are very few sections of roading throughout NZ where the the open speed limit, 100m/h is sensible.

  7. fustercluck 7

    This is a great article. Completely non-ideological. It could just as easily have appeared on Whale Oil. It is a great criticism of government overreach and caprice.

    • Incognito 7.1

      Thank you for the compliment. I’m looking forward to a syndication request on and by WO. The non-partisan approach is the way of the future.

  8. Chris T 8

    80kph is 22.22 meters per second

    The tunnel is 2.4km

    So that is 1 minute and 48 seconds to just do the right speed that the massive signs saying 80 kph as you enter and while you are in there say.

    I know these days every body goes on about being "time poor", but this doesn't seem the greatest sacrifice to make time wise

    • David Mac 8.1

      There is a way to travel a complete journey at 160kph. Set off earlier. Leaving 5 minutes earlier makes a huge difference.

      Heading South on State Highway 1 there is T intersection and a stop sign just after Hunderwassar's public convenience at Kawakawa. It's 100 kms from my place. So many times motorists scoot past me like demons possessed. So very often, there they are, 5 cars ahead of me, creeping up to the Kawakawa stop sign. I could jump out and beat them to the road to Paihia walking.

      • Ad 8.1.1

        6.45am to 9am, and 4pm to 6.30pm, leaving 5 minutes earlier makes almost no difference in Auckland. 

        • David Mac 8.1.1.1

          Little difference time wise but you're 500 people further up the queue to town.

          Yes Ad, unfortunately the best solution anyone has come up with for Auckland's congestion woes is……. nothing really. The harbours are spectacular, shame about the skinny little bits of land. The final push that pushed me out of Auckland and up to Fabulous Far North about 11 years ago was a watershed moment one gridlocked afternoon on the Northwestern motorway. Fabricating lies in my head, on my way to a job interview for a job I didn't really want.

          • Ad 8.1.1.1.1

            Yes I'm heading for Wanaka full time. 

            But for Aucklanders:

            take the train or Express Bus. More journey confidence than any other  mode. 

          • David Mac 8.1.1.1.2

            I didn't get the job, they spotted my heart on my sleeve. I got the good bad news at Matai Bay. God didn't rest on the Sabbath, she sculpted Matai Bay. Twin horse-shoe shaped waves are as good as butterfly kisses.

            Speeding motorists are usually in a mad rush to do not much. It's a crappier risk/reward scenario than Lotto.

            There's a fair bit of the machismo wank going on with driving I fear. "How dare you overtake me, my penis is not small. I shall pull out into the fast lane and go round you and pull back in,  thereby indicating that neither of us have a dominant penis."

    • Incognito 8.2

      The human mind and psychology beg to differ. Did you know that time is slower at bus stops? Something to do with Relativity Theory AKA human patience.

      • David Mac 8.2.1

        Yeah, it's an annoying bastard of life best highlighted with birthdays.

        When I was 11, turning 12 took forever to arrive.

        At 48 it's "What I'm 49 already? I was blowing out candles yesterday!"

        Life is a shit deal, when we need it to stretch out a bit, we’re having a birthday yesterday. When we can finally afford a chick magnet, our Porsche is a Menoporsche.

        Shit happens backwards, I want to be this smart and 18.

  9. David Mac 9

    Wanaka is beautiful Ad, cool. Waking up every morning to look at a vista like the lid of a box of Christmas edition Griffins Assorted Creams, nice.

    • Ad 9.1

      Last August we had a hard snow to lake level for two days.

      I cycled to Hawea and we had it horizontal.

      Everyone endures a major city for as long as they can. 

      Everyone who can then leaves.

      • David Mac 9.1.1

        I think family and friends is what keeps people in cities.

        It's the most common response I hear to the question "Why don't you move to where there are no traffic lights?"

        We all place family first, if they're mainly in a major centre, moving away can hurt more than many of us want to bear.

        • Incognito 9.1.1.1

          I think family and friends is what keeps people in cities.

          That, but for many recent immigrants and others it is also schools, facilities, work, hospitals, universities, et cetera. And it becomes a self-perpetuating process.

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  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    3 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago

  • FAQ – Everything you need to know about the Big New Zealand Upgrade
    Today, our Government announced the biggest infrastructure investment in a generation. We’re investing $12 billion to upgrade and build rail, roads, schools and hospitals across the country – modernising our infrastructure, preparing for climate change and helping to future-proof our economy. Find out everything you need to know about the ...
    13 hours ago
  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    7 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    7 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    1 week ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Statement on evacuation of New Zealanders from Wuhan
    “I spoke with Prime Minister Morrison again this afternoon and we have confirmed that we will work together on a joint ANZAC assisted departure of Australians and New Zealanders from Wuhan,” Jacinda Ardern said. “Specific details of the evacuation plan, including the medical protocols that will be applied to returning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • The New Zealand Upgrade Programme
    Rail, roads, schools and hospitals will be built and upgraded across the country under the new $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The programme: Includes investments in roads, rail, hospitals and schools to future-proof the economy Will give a $10 billion boost to New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • School infrastructure upgrades ramping up
    The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is already underway, with schools busy getting building work started over the Christmas break. The Coalition Government announced just before the end of last year $400 million in new funding for most state schools to invest locally in building companies and tradies to fix leaking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Flicking the switch on a clean powered public service
    Our Government’s programme to upgrade infrastructure and modernise the economy will help more communities to be part of the solution to climate change through a clean-powered public service. Minister for Climate Change James Shaw today announced the first group of projects from the New Zealand Upgrade Programme’s clean powered public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government of Infrastructure delivers for New Zealanders
    Infrastructure and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says today’s capital investment announcements show the Coalition Government is the Government of Infrastructure. $7 billion in projects have been announced today as part of the Government’s $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme, which will see capital spending at its highest rate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Boost for child, maternity and mental health
    $300 million dollar capital investment in health, divided among four focus areas: Child and maternal health - $83 million Mental health and addiction - $96 million Regional and rural service projects – $26 million Upgrading and fixing aging hospital facilities - $75 million Contingency of $20 million The New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Transport infrastructure upgrades to get NZ moving and prepared for the future
    $6.8 billion for transport infrastructure in out six main growth areas - Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury and Queenstown. $1.1 billion for rail. $2.2 billion for new roads in Auckland. The Government’s programme of new investments in roads and rail will help future proof the economy, get our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Growing and modernising the NZ economy
    A new programme to build and upgrade roads, rail, schools and hospitals will prepare the New Zealand economy for the future, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “The $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme uses our capacity to boost growth by making targeted investments around the country, supporting businesses and local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Future proofing New Zealand’s rail
    Minister for State Owned Enterprises Winston Peters says the funding of four major rail projects under the New Zealand Upgrade Programme is yet another step in the right direction for New Zealand’s long-term rail infrastructure. “This Government has a bold vision for rail. We said we would address the appalling ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Delivering infrastructure for a modern NZ
    Roads, rail, schools and hospitals will be built and upgraded across the country under the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in New Zealand – modernising our infrastructure, preparing for climate change and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • $1.55m support for Hawke’s Bay three waters services review
    The Government is pleased to announce a $1.55 million funding contribution to assist Hawke’s Bay investigate voluntary changes to the region’s three waters service delivery arrangements. “Over the last 18 months, the five Hawke’s Bay councils have been collaborating to identify opportunities for greater coordination in three waters service delivery across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes report of nation’s household plastic rubbish, recycling practices
    A new report on New Zealand’s plastic rubbish and recycling practices is being welcomed by the Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage.  “The report by WasteMINZ provides a valuable insight into what’s ending up in household rubbish and recycling bins around the country. It highlights the value of much ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government considers retirement income policy review recommendations
    The Government is now considering the recommendations of the Retirement Commissioner’s review into New Zealand’s retirement income policies. “The review raises a number of important issues in relation to New Zealanders’ wellbeing and financial independence in retirement, particularly for vulnerable people,” the Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • PM announces election date as September 19
    The 2020 General Election will be held on Saturday 19 September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the Government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into constructionProvincial Growth Fund supports Waika...
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced New Zealand’s support for a Pacific-led hub that will strengthen public services across the region. “Strengthening public services is a core focus of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, as efforts to improve democratic governance in the Pacific contributes to a strong, stable and more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
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