web analytics

Wellington bus debacle deeply damaging to Govt’s transport policy

Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, September 24th, 2018 - 66 comments
Categories: boycott, Environment, public transport, transport, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

The government needs to intervene in the Wellington bus fiasco if doesn’t want its bold metropolitan public transport policy to end in tatters.

Of all cities in Aotearoa, Wellington had by far the best public transport system, with a high percentage of commuters using trains and buses. The chaos that has followed the introduction of the hated hub-based bus system is sufficient for the coalition government to lose the overall argument of public transport versus cars.

The pro-public transport stance is central to its $28 billion programme in Auckland and $1.9 billion programme in Wellington to transform our major cities.

Greater Wellington Regional councillors, led by chair Chris Laidlaw are continuing to defend the transformation of the capital’s once well functioning service to the inconvenient hub-based system. But 10 weeks into the process and it becomes clearer every day the system is unfixable and the councillors are wedded to it.

Only central government intervention to reverse the implementation of this bizarre new network will work. That intervention doesn’t mean the whole GWRC needs to be stood down as the National Party did with ECan, but there needs to be a commissioner to sort out the mess.

Make no mistake, Wellingtonians are really angry about this fiasco. Surveys show over 80% believe the system is worse than before. At a Newtown meeting, a resolution to restore the former system was carried by 100 votes to four. Some people have advocated a civil disobedience campaign.

People have ridiculed initial figures that show patronage has gone up, pointing out that where in the past you took one bus, now you need to take two or three.

Myriad other issues have been raised from so called “ghost” buses (timetabled buses that never show) safety for women having to traipse to hubs at night, to disabled travellers being unable to use the hubs. Most relate to users no longer having a single bus to get them from A to B as the old linear network invariably did. Many who used to get buses direct to the hospital now need to take three.

In essence, the bureaucrats who advocated a hub system for a compact city such as Wellington, made a colossal blunder and Laidlaw and the now invisible chair of the sustainable transport committee, Barbara Donaldson, are just digging deeper down the hole.

Wellington lacks scale for a hub system. Waiting for one bus in Wellington’s often-inclement weather is off-putting. Waiting for two or three buses, stops people using them.

The original plan was to have a mind-boggling 25 hubs. This has been reduced to seven.

Laidlaw accepts hubbing is hated. But rather than accept responsibility for the fiasco of this system – both in design and implementation. He claims the letting of contracts means reverting to the previously functioning system is impossible.

Actually, it is the contracts and union-busting that lie behind much of this whole fiasco.

Tramways Union former Vice President, Chris Morley, (who died in July) laid this bare in a recent article in TS. Wellington was the only place in Aotearoa where bus drivers had retained pre-Labour Contracts Act penal rates. So long as the trolleys remained the GWRC could realistically only tender bus services to one main operator, as it was too complex to divide the trolleys among different operators. Once the trolleys were gone, it was open slather.

After the trolleys were scrapped, the GWRC sliced and diced the Wellington service between the former main operator, NZ Bus, Mana Transport, Uzabus and Masterton-based Tranzit . The latter, which had next to no experience with metropolitan services, was known as a hard-ball employer. It paid higher hourly rates but didn’t pay penal rates and used the odious split shift system, whereby drivers have to get up early for the morning rush hour, hang about for 3-4 hours, and then work the evening rush hour. As a former bus driver, I can tell you it is no fun.

Laidlaw and his henchman, Councillor Paul Swain, have washed their hands of responsibility of the new terms of employment, saying they only let the bus contracts, they are not the employer.

At meeting in Miramar, Tramways Union Wellington Secretary Kevin O’Sullivan made it abundantly clear the union is a ready for a fight and there is more disruption ahead for commuters. A union stop work meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.

In environment-conscious Wellington, scrapping the trolleys caused an outcry regarding the implications of swapping electric-powered buses for dirty diesels.

To counter this, Laidlaw and Co have taken a huge gamble which is certain to end in more tears and further financial disaster. They have opted for some completely untried fully electric buses, both single and double deckers. (The introduction of double deckers is also fraught with risk). The plan to convert the 60 not-so-old redundant trolley buses to Wrightspeed buses as fully electrics has already run into significant teething problems and watch this space for bus fiasco 2.0.

The concept of the hubbing system was ironically prompted by the success of the old system –increased patronage both from the north and the south caused bus congestion in the centre. Consultants were called in, and, as consultants inevitably do (so they become indispensible), they devised a radical revamp involving new routes and hubbing. A minor issue that could easily have been resolved by terminating some buses at the existing hubs of Courtenay Place and the Railway Station, instead resulted in abandoning a functioning system.

Peter Kitchenman, who has been involved in infrastructure projects in New Zealand and overseas, and has university degrees in business studies, development studies, psychology and civil engineering, says the council ignored the group which should have been its main consultants during the design process – the commuters.

The council says it consulted with commuters, but Kitchenman says it is “unthinkable” those commuters would suggest changing buses was a good idea. The problem is, he said, the council consulted with the public once the network had already been designed and put out for consultation, back in 2014.

“I’ve been involved in projects like this, and from my experience, once the plan is up, it’s easy to speak to that plan with a lot of spin,” Kitchenman explained. “That’s probably how they managed to get away with the bus hubs.”

Kitchenman says requiring anyone to transfer buses where they did not previously need to was a fundamental design flaw. Psychologically speaking, this effect was known as a “response cost”: the cost associated with removing something which encouraged people to use a product or service, and making them less likely to use it.

In the case of transfers, taking away a direct service and replacing it with a more disruptive journey was plainly a barrier to using the system. “They should be growing their customer base, not discouraging people.”

Lim Leong, a former KPMG executive, who has led complex design and implementation of nationwide data transport networks, said the GWRC has butchered a functioning network and replaced it with something which failed even basic design principles.

“It infuriates me to see all sorts of PR spin put on this new network which does not live up to professional engineering codes of conduct. The fallout of the debacle has affected badly a segment of society who can’t afford cars and rely on public transport.”

Before the new network was launched, GWRC general manager public transport, Wayne Hastie, claimed the existing network couldn’t cope with future growth. But growth was forecast to lift passenger journeys to just 42 million a year by 2024 from the current 38 million – an insipid growth rate of 10.5% over six years – – one that would get most sales executives sacked.

The new system would be “simpler, easier and more reliable”, said Hastie in a comment President Trump would proudly own. The timetable chaos, ghost buses and woeful performance of the Real Time Information system gives the lie to the reliability claim, while the only reason it is simpler and easier is there are fewer buses going to fewer places.

A preposterous claim was made that only 5% of users would need to use the new hubs. Similarly, Deb Hume, GWRC’s public transportation programme director, said: “People won’t experience, in the main, a drop in service.”

Laidlaw said many of the problems, such as most of the hubs not being built, or the fact that the integrated ticketing system won’t come into effect until 2021, are temporary. But Hume said the hub system has been planned for at least six years. So even if the plan was half baked to start with, there is no excuse for this to have gone off half-cock as it has done.

Councillor Ian McKinnon told the Miramar meeting that councillors were, and should be, accountable.

According to the annual report Laidlaw was paid $157,126 in 2016/17 for his GWRC position, while other councillors like Donaldson are paid $70,000 or more. These are important but not full time jobs.

In my books, accountability means more than making statements saying you are accountable. This has been a diabolical debacle from go to woe that threatens public confidence in public transport.

Even the former Labour cabinet minister Claire Curran has some notion of what accountability is, it’s past time Laidlaw, Donaldson and Swain understood it.

(Simon Louisson is a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal, AP Dow Jones Newswires, the New Zealand Press Association and Reuters and was a political and media adviser to the Green Party He was also, in the previous century a bus driver for the Christchurch City Council.)

66 comments on “Wellington bus debacle deeply damaging to Govt’s transport policy”

  1. Dukeofurl 1

    The contract to sign up a new company and change to new routes was done before the last local body by-election as it required a couple years to change.

    As well as the decision being made long before even the current government was in office it was done under ‘nationals Rules’ of lowest bidder wins always with no regard for the quality of service.

    As for the swapping of trolley for dirty diesels, it could at least show that the proposal was to switch from trolleys to electric buses ( without wires.)

  2. bwaghorn 2

    How hard can it be . ? Twenty odd years ago I lived in Aberdeen the buses were awesome . Just copy them! I can only assume a bunch of bubble speak consultants got hired and proved that they like most of their kind are very good at inflating their own abilities . Claw back every cent the fools charged.

    • OnceWasTim 2.1

      Indeed. CHRIST! it’s hard to know where to begin with what’s happened. Even worse, it’s hard to accept that not much has been done after 3 months – let alone what should have happened after the 1st month.
      You have to wonder too whether the burning of bridges that would have allowed a return to the status quo ante wasn’t intentional.
      After 3 months, the only concession is over an 18e as far as I can see.
      I ‘spose Mr Hastie didn’t get his name for nothing – but them there is a rather naiive Laidlaw who you’d have expected to be a little wiser, and worse still, a Ponter who I’d have expected a fucking sight more of.
      They (probably intentionally) destroyed the possibility of a ‘back out’ and reversion to something that would have worked given a few tweaks, to something that’s now going to be a lot more costly.
      I imagine it’ll become a case study among project managers on how NOT to do things.

      I wonder who will have the guts to stand at the next elections. Darran might just be able to save himself if he can get past his initial responses in the first 4 weeks.
      Somehow I doubt it though. And if I were LP thinking of elevating him to central government ambitions, I’d wait another election cycle – he’s going to be covered in shit for another year or two

  3. Dukeofurl 3

    My thoughts for the ‘start’ of these sorts of debacles is to see if a ‘new broom CEO’ had been appointed before the new contracts were let in 2014/15

    https://kcnews.co.nz/story.php?storyID=9414
    New Chief Executive begins at Wellington Regional Council Nov 2014- check

    Whether that person has some experience in marketing fluff etc …
    “extensive experience in the private sector, most recently as Chief Marketing Officer and Director at Vodafone New Zealand. Previous positions include Managing Director of The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company and General Manager, Products and Marketing, ANZ Bank. ” – triple check

    Often then a sweep out of long serving staff then occurs who actually know what they are doing and replaced by ‘clones from central bullshitmarketing’- yet to know the answer on that one.

    • greywarshark 3.1

      Dukeofurl
      You have reached deep wisdom on this matter I think – according to Confucius.
      What you describe is what frequently happens under the disruption of management and staff. It is, on a small plane, like an invading leader dismissing the culture of the place he has over-run and replacing it with his own different style which may be inferior, and the best of the old is lost.

      By three methods we may learn wisdom:
      First, by reflection, which is noblest;
      Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
      and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

      Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/confucius_131984

      And DTB I feel that you probably meant to put /sarc in comment no.4?)

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Surveys show over 80% believe the system is worse than before.

    But can they actually prove that it is?

    If they can’t then they can simply STFU.

    • alwyn 4.1

      As I resident of Wellington I can only give my views on what people are saying about the system.

      If you are in a group almost anywhere the first topic in any conversation is the shambles that is the bus system. I don’t know anyone who thinks it is as good as it used to be. I, personally, have pretty much given up on using the buses now and I drive. I am mildly handicapped in standing and walking and standing waiting for buses that either don’t turn up at all, or don’t stop because when they do arrive, late, they are completely full is too much for me.
      Combine that with the need to change buses at hubs on what used to be single trip journeys and it is the final straw. It is simply too hard for me. From now on, unless they fix the damn things I am through with the buses.
      You ask, about people’s belief that the system is worse, “But can they actually prove that it is”.
      What would you accept as “proof”? Obviously the fact that almost everyone says it is worse for them isn’t enough for you. What would be?

      Do you live in Wellington by the way. Can I suggest that if you don’t, and have no experience of what has happened you should perhaps take your own advice and simply STFU.
      If you do live here can you honestly say that the system is better than it used to be?

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        As I resident of Wellington I can only give my views on what people are saying about the system.

        In other words you’re simply talking your arse. But that’s normal for you.

        What would you accept as “proof”?

        A fairly simple statistical analysis showing decreased efficiency and lower services. Basically, people whinging about the changes aren’t good enough.

        • alwyn 4.1.1.1

          I guess it is silly to expect the Dumb T Bastard to actually discuss the subject properly.
          He simply reverts to talking out of his arse when questioned.

          How would you define “decreased efficiency” and “lower services” anyway. What do you mean by the phrases and how would you define them?
          Let your mind roam free.
          Tell us what you really think about the service and why peoples experience of what is going on is irrelevant rather than simply pour out you usual waffle and abuse.
          You don’t happen to work for the GWRC and were involved in planning this disaster do you? Or perchance you initials are used here in reverse order and they really are B D and you aren’t interested in what people say and you wouldn’t attend meetings of real users because they might say unkind things about you.
          http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=111511

          At the present rate the service will be dead in a year anyway.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1

            <blockquote… why peoples experience of what is going on is irrelevant rather than simply pour out you usual waffle and abuse.
            It’s irrelevant because it’s nothing more than anecdote and because it’s in the first stages of change. All we’re really getting is their perception of the change. We need actual data to make informed decisions on it. To see if those perceptions are valid.

            It’s neither abuse nor waffle to ask for that data.

            And, yes, it is rather stupid to demand changes just on the anecdotes.

        • Tuppence Shrewsbury 4.1.1.2

          For someone who hates profiteering management and capitalism, you sure know how to sound like a some corporate middle manager trying to suck up to his immediate boss for a raise with your efficiency babble

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2.1

            I understand economics and thus why efficiency is needed, why private motor vehicles need to be removed and how a little inconvenience can decrease resource use efficiently.

            The problem that we’re seeing here is people putting their convenience above the needs of the country. It’s part of the delusional me, me, me economy of capitalism that has us on the road to complete ecological collapse.

            • Tuppence Shrewsbury 4.1.1.2.1.1

              more likely we are seeing what happens when an unaccountable bureaucracy has a great idea

              • mikesh

                There is nothing new about having to change buses on a single journey; nor is there anything new about buses running late. The old system was not perfect, but we adapted to it. No doubt we will adapt to this one.

                Even so, I can understand the union being disgruntled.

        • mpledger 4.1.1.3

          I tried to get data throught an OIA but I wasn’t allowed it. Therefore we can only have GWRC’s word/analysis and our anecdote.

          Mostly I come out even-stevens in the changes – longer travel times but buses come more often.

          However, a trip of around 6km, to the after-hours doctors at the basin reserve requires 3 different buses instead of the 1 it did before – and if I lived in the north of Miramar, rather than the south, it would be 4 for the same distance – that’s a change in bus every 1.5km!!!!!!!!

      • AsleepWhileWalking 4.1.2

        I’m a Wgtn resident and agree with all your points. Other than the regional council trying to talk the thing up I’ve not heard anything positive.

        People are really pissed off.

        Also I have to travel into the CBD once a week (TG). If I had to use the car in the past there were plenty of carparks as I’m pretty early. Somewhere between 2-6 weeks after the new timetable started there are notably fewer spots left. Couple of weeks ago I was lucky to get one at all.

    • Dukeofurl 4.2

      Whats the point of your comment ?
      If the customers are dissatisfied then that speaks for itself.
      What do you expect a bus stop by bus top analysis ?

      Im not in Wellington but I can recognise bus company spin like – ‘only X% of services are late’
      Which is fiddling the numbers as its often the peak hour services where lateness is most harmful and in reality it could be ‘2X % services’ are late during peak .

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        If the customers are dissatisfied then that speaks for itself.?

        All it says is that people are upset with changes. It tells us practical.

        What do you expect a bus stop by bus top analysis ?

        Yes and over at least a year.

        As I say – doing things solely on belief doesn’t work. In fact, it’s usually very badly wrong.

        • Sacha 4.2.1.1

          In customer service, what people experience is all that really counts.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1.1

            In transport it’s the ability to get people moving efficiently that counts. We have major congestion because we tried the inefficient method of cars and ignored public transport. And our public transport became inefficient because people were whinging that they had to change buses/trains every now and then which changed how the PT was designed pushing the idea of really long runs from outer city to inner and back was what was needed/wanted. This resulted, inevitably, with massive duplication of routes and decreased efficiency because people actually don’t like being on a bus for so damn long.

            Thing is, what these people are experiencing ATM is probably just teething issues. Implementing such massive changes isn’t going to go perfectly no matter what. Once things have been in place for a while with a few minor changes to correct some issues and it will probably be better all over.

            What they’re seemingly doing ATM is simply whinging about changes because things have changed and people simply don’t like changes.

            • Ad 4.2.1.1.1.1

              That’s the ARC attitude that very nearly killed the entire public transport system in Auckland.

              AT’s customer-centric model for pt is driving patronage through the roof.

              • SaveNZ

                “AT’s customer-centric model for pt is driving patronage through the roof.”

                Priceless, perhaps it is the massive population growth so that people have zero choice… combined with petrol charges..

                Apart from the trains and ferries which don’t run enough services, everything else is pretty much shit for public transport in Auckland and takes 2 to 5 times longer to use public transport than driving.

                When you put in Auckland transport generally you have to walk about 30 minutes for start, wait copious amounts of time for the transport which does not run often, have to change or you can’t get where you want to go anyway as it is not served at all by transport, allow at least double or five times the time for the journey if it’s bus related and costs more.

                Auckland Transport are taking 1.45 billion a year to run a substandard service plus now the petrol charges, something is wrong.

                I’d say Wellingtons problems are just a follow on from how they have butchered Auckland. First screwing up population growth and expecting ordinary workers to bear the costs while celebrating how we have a rock star economy because banks and big business are happy with the extra consumers, having sky high rents and property prices, now screwing up transport to service the population growth that makes things worse for many people. Then public transport telling everyone how successful it is, wasting money on consultants and self promotion and refusing to listen and rectify commenters issues.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Apart from the trains and ferries which don’t run enough services, everything else is pretty much shit for public transport in Auckland and takes 2 to 5 times longer to use public transport than driving.

                  Public transport in Auckland is hugely better. Yes, it can take time to get across some of the less used routes but it’s mostly comparable for the well used routes.

                  Auckland Transport are taking 1.45 billion a year to run a substandard service plus now the petrol charges, something is wrong.

                  BS.

                  They’re not doing everything right but they are getting many aspects of transport in Auckland better. They’re still investing too much in roads and cars though.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Ah, no.

                You do understand that AT started the change to a similar strategy years ago (I’m pretty sure that you’ll find Wellington is copying the Auckland changes) and that it’s allowed them to increase the number of services for the same resource use right?

                That increased service is what’s driving PT patronage. Oh, that and along with the huge amount of congestion in the city.

        • greywarshark 4.2.1.2

          DTB
          You ruin your reputation when you go so robotic. People rely on the bus services as part of running their lives. They can’t wait for a year’s study you ass. Try and get with the reality of life will you.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.2.1

            People rely on the bus services as part of running their lives.

            It’s a new change that will likely make their lives better. There’s probably a few teething problems as can be expected at such times. They should be giving feedback to the WCC as such is needed along with actual study to help find solutions.

            What doesn’t help is people whinging.

            They can’t wait for a year’s study you ass.

            But it’s too soon and there isn’t enough data to make any decisions.

            Try and get with the reality of life will you.

            You’re the one who’s denying reality here. People can’t just snap their fingers and have everything become right because you demand it so.

            • mpledger 4.2.1.2.1.1

              People aren’t just whinging – they are taking action.

              These aren’t teething problems – my colleague at work, who works four days a week, arrived at the bus stop to find her bus had been cancelled (via the RTI) three times last week and the forth time it was listed as coming but never turned up. This is 8 weeks after the change-over!!

    • One Two 4.3

      …if they can’t then they can simply STFU…

      Delivery not a strong point is it…

      You’ve simply not though this through well at all…

      Who controls and manages that ‘proof/data’ Draco…and how would the burden be on the end user to provide it…

      It’s not…and they don’t…

      Leave Wellingtonians direct experiences and their right to express them, to those who have to live with the outcomes…

      STFU indeed…

  5. greywarshark 5

    I have a prejudice about sportspeople in positions of authority. It seems too often that they have one-track minds (inculcated by their training and field of action!) and while they can be good at reaching their targets, they adopt economics thinking as in – pushing aside annoying variables that upset the calculations.

    While it is called ‘mass’ transport, it is based on many one or few separate individuals of groups, each of whom has an important destination which is time-related, and who plays a part in the economy and has a complex life to lead. The minds of these efficiency and profit-seeking planners tend not to register this.

    It appears that in this bus debacle, apart from hubs (which i am sure they have seen work successfully, profitwise, overseas somewhere ie in one of the United States of A), they have also analysed where routes are under-utilised and re-organised those to ensure, possibly, 95% occupancy each trip on average. The figures left on the roadside when there is now no service, or a full bus, aren’t just blips on a screen but real people. And these people feel despairing that in a modern country, with a rock-star economy, the isolated highly paid planners and administrators are more interested in playing with a City equivalent of a War Games board than providing the adequate transport options that citizens need and should be able to expect to be provided.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      While it is called ‘mass’ transport, it is based on many one or few separate individuals of groups, each of whom has an important destination which is time-related, and who plays a part in the economy and has a complex life to lead. The minds of these efficiency and profit-seeking planners tend not to register this.

      And there you would be wrong.

      BTW, I’m pretty sure that the WCC isn’t a profit making venture.

    • Ad 5.2

      Grey you are dead right.

      With Hopcard and Goldcard to over 90% of pt journeys, every single journey and mode choice is analysed by ATMetro.

      The Auckland system is now heading I the right direction, and AT and NZTA are investing to support it.

  6. gsays 6

    It could also be seen as a failure of neo liberal theory.
    In that the race to the bottom service providers, trying to cut costs, control staff and turn a profit, end up doing a piss poor job.

    • Bg 6.1

      I would say it’s a failure of a centralised govt. The company has no competition, as it is given a monopoly to provide a service by the local govt, therefore can act with impunity.
      If it was a true market, it would have to pull up its socks or else fail to a better provider.

      Ironic that a true open market would increase the service experience.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        Current model is “fail fast- then keep failing”, with a side order of patronage “creative destruction”.

      • gsays 6.1.2

        Great theory there, but unlike text books, failed companies mean real people, your neighbours, lose their jobs.
        Also those ‘market driven’ companies are not flash at paying holidays and redundancies.

        Maybe it is a failure of government in that they don’t take ownership of busses and run a public service.

      • mpledger 6.1.3

        But the problem with letting companies fail on critical infrastructure is that the economy is disrupted.

        Imagine if one (of the 4 companies now doing Wgtn routes) just stopped without notice on one day. There is no company waiting in the wings with unused buses sitting idle to fill the gap. People would turn up to a bus stop, find no buses coming and have to drive, bike or walk – the roads would grind to a halt. And it would take weeks for a new provider to sign up, get buses, train drivers and get going.

  7. Joanne Gail Perkins 7

    DTB regardless of your declarations the fact is the 2 of the poorest suburbs have been left without any bus service outside of peak and only minimal services in peak, some services have in fact not run at all since July 18, people are constantly missing connections at the hubs and being late for work or school or medical appointments. People in some areas have to change bus up to 4 times where in the past it was one journey, Karori, one of the richest suburbs in NZ had its bus service in peak reduced by 30% and to compensate the operator was forced by the regional council to remove seats to increase loading by making passengers stand. I could go on but these are not anecdotes, they are factual repercussions of the changes ill devised by the regional council.

  8. Ad 8

    If Twyford steps in, National will remind the government of all its previous opposition to the Environment Canterbury intervention.

    Twyford could use this as a subtext to unlock the grip of Infratil over Wellington, since Infratil runs Snapper, owns the airport as a core pt driver, and runs services.

    NZTA would I think welcome this as they seek a nationwide card system.

    Twyford stepping in would have large intended and unintended consequences, many of which will end up in the High Court.

    If I were Twyford I would send in Stiassny first. He knows where the bodies are buried, and how to bury them.

  9. miravox 9

    It’s like the project team of this hub system thought the aim was to move buses more efficiently. When really, the main purpose of any public transport system is to move people (it is, after all, in the name).

  10. Chris T 10

    I have to take my car into the shop Thursday which means I will be busing in for 2 days.

    First time since the changes.

    From what I hear it might be quite “interesting”

    The bus I need to catch is the same one as the one where the driver went up the completely wrong gorge and ended up in the wrong suburb.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      Up the creek without a paddle, sort of. Could be an analogy for NZ. Where is our country drifting to? Can we turn around if we are squeezed into a narrow space?

  11. Kay 11

    Also being heard around town is how the GWRC has achieved what is usually politically impossible, by uniting the entire citizenry. Face it, it’s very hard to simultaneously piss off people of all political leanings, ethnic, gender and socioeconomic groups over a single issue but they’ve managed to do it.

    • KeithWellington 11.1

      Kay: GWRC councillors will see your comments as a compliment ! Just as their CEO has complimented his staff on a job well changing a bus system with a few flaws, to one in almost total disarray.

      We need to remind ourselves that in government and local government circles any project is deemed a success if it doesn’t get the level of complaints the managers of it projected it would.

  12. Simon Louisson 12

    Latest according to Stuff is that the council is in the process of abandoning the dreaded hub system https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/107319138/wellingtons-controversial-new-bus-hubs-to-be-reviewed-as-some-are-still-being-built – such is the power of The Standard!
    The next interesting questions are whether they will completely revert to the status quo ante and reinstate popular useful routes such as the Miramar #2 and by how much the budget blowout for this entire fiasco will cost ratepayers?

    • veutoviper 12.1

      Sorry Simon – nothing to do with “the power of the Standard”! Which is probably just as well as I have seen some comments here that bear no resemblance to the reality of what is actually happening here in Wellington. LOL

      Sure, people are always reluctant and critical initially when it comes to change; but this time it is much more than that and Kay says it well at 11 above. She and I (and possibly other Wellington based TS commenters) have been part of the citizenry who have been taking action to try to sort this disaster out in consultation with other citizens, suburban groups, Councils, Metlink etc, etc. I am coordinating reasonably good constructive dialogue with Metlink and others over certain specific issues in my suburb rather than participating in shouting matches as has happened at some of the public meetings.

      It is also the flow-on effects of the fiasco. It is actually quite funny watching the double decker buses navigating the IB current cycleway street design.

      More seriously, I have also seen the results of the hubbing fiasco and need for people to now change buses to get to Wellington Hospital. I have had a series of hospital day appointments over recent months, and although I would normally use the bus to get there, even though it is still only one bus for me, I have taken my car rather than risk late or ‘no show’ buses. At most visits, however, there have been other people who were late or no shows for appointments. According to hospital staff, this is becoming quite usual and causing problems for the flow etc of appointments, day surgery and similar procedures (colonoscopies, for example).

      I personally am cringing at how much the fiasco will cost ratepayers, and I am from the suburb who have seen major planning/spending fiascos in relation to our so-call cycleway.

      I am also wondering how on earth Tranzit, being one of the major bus service providers, is managing to survive financially and whether we will see them crash. The unexpected costs of having to hire buses to fill in as they are still waiting for some of their bus stock to meet their route/timetable commitments must be considerable, as must the costs of having had to bring in drivers from outside Wellington and pay not only them but also for their accommodation etc.

      • OnceWasTim 12.1.1

        Simon L seems to have covered the issues well in the main article, but I agree with both you and Kay at 11). I also have to wonder whether the planners (‘planners’ used very loosely) intentionally stuffed up the possibility of returning to the status quo ante. Why for example did the entire overhead system have to be removed, especially when, as Simon alludes to – much of the alternatives have not been proven to be reliable long term? I realise that the traction supply (at substations) were nearing the end of life although apparently 3 remained serviceable and the remainder (collectively refurbished to a reduced number) might have been used in order to use trolleys on a reduced number of routes.
        By the way – do you know what they’ve done with it all? Probably flogged it off as quickly as possible to pay for a few hubs and/or consultants.

        And as I look out a Mt.Victoria window, I STILL see bugger all buses along the golden mile with its bus lanes and prioritised traffic signals, and I still see a high number of buses showing ‘Not In Service’ running down the Quays and back routes – probably trying to get back on schedule.

        Like you, I’ll be interested in the final cost of this fiasco for ratepayers, and while a lot of this is going to reflect badly on 2 or 3 local body politicians, those in Council(s) admin shouldn’t escape accountability.

        • veutoviper 12.1.1.1

          Yes, I should have made clear that I thought Simon L’s post was excellent – and I presumed his comment re power of the Standard was tongue in cheek!.

          Re buses showing “Not in Service” – I am surprised you are seeing them in town. I thought they were all holed up here in IBay. They are everywhere here! LOL. Eating pies from Tricia’s Pies! The drivers, not the buses, are eating the pies.

          • OnceWasTim 12.1.1.1.1

            🙂 I see the bloody things everywhere, including heading south on Ngauranga Gorge travelling in convoy at various times. (That’d be the No1 route stuff up that you’re at the other end of)

            • greywarshark 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Sounds as if the commenters here would like Flanders and Swann take on buses. It’s always enjoyable.

              • OnceWasTim

                I have to admit, I did once drive the WCTransport ‘Big Reds’ and Cable Car for 4 years during the ’70s. One could comfortably pay a mortgage, eat properly, pay the MED electricity bill and support a family at the time.

                Funnily enough, Cable Car drivers at that time were known as ‘Gripmen’. It’s possibly a title that could now be applied to the likes of Mr Hastie

                • greywarshark

                  OncewasTim
                  I rather regard bus drivers as stars, special people. It seem a hard job and recently i was in the Airport Flyer and noticed the narrow twisty city roads it travels and marvelled as the driver completed a right hand turn clearing a post or corner with aplomb and a couple of cms.

                  So good on you for following in the line of very much appreciated service providers. I would say that everyone who has climbed on a bus and been given a fairly smooth ride and perhaps some advice on stops near the destination would praise them highly, almost as high as dentists!

              • alwyn

                No, no.
                As I remember this item, and yes that pair were wonderful, they talk about a “diesel-engined” omnibus.
                Most people commenting on the site would scream in horror about pollution and want to know why it isn’t electric.

          • alwyn 12.1.1.1.2

            “Not in Service” buses.
            People in Karori have suggested that they are going to move to the suburb called “Not in Service”.
            It is considered to be the only one that actually has a reliable and frequent set of buses these days.

        • William 12.1.1.2

          GWRC are spinning the problems as being mainly due to NZ Bus, primarily on the new No2 route. I live at the south end of the Island Bay No1 route which now extends to Johnsonville and beyond and is run by TranzUrban.
          The problems I see are due to buses getting behind schedule and then bunching up and leap frogging because the number of passengers the lead bus has to collect is greater than it would normally be. An example, a couple of weeks ago at about 2:30 pm I was up Milne Terrace where there is a clear view along the last km of the route. There were four double deckers in view heading south. They should be 10 minutes apart so there should have been 30 minutes between the first & the last, instead there was about four minutes. Lesser examples is not uncommon.
          Their implementation of the hub model seems weird. eg Miramar shops is a hub for North Miramar services, but Kilbirnie is also a hub and only about three km’s further along on the route passengers have just had to transfer to. Johnsonville is a hub and yet the No1’s continue past there to three different destinations instead of terminating at the hub. There’s also a train service to Johnsonville so why a competing bus service?
          Some services have increased frequency, the new No29 travels a convoluted route between Brooklyn & Newtown on a 30 min/7 day schedule. It goes past my front door, the most I’ve seen are six passengers on board, sometimes zero. Maybe it will pickup enough to justify its existence.

          What improvements could they have made instead? The main justification was to reduce the number of buses travelling along the golden mile. Back in the seventies there was an inner city route along Willis & Lambton, & an outer city route along either Featherston and Victoria/Wakefield (I don’t recall when that became one way) or the quays. Maybe it’s time to reconsider the one way system so that greater priority is provided for public transport, whether bus or LRT.

          • OnceWasTim 12.1.1.2.1

            Howdy @william.
            Yep, a little ‘friend of mine made the very same points in a letter to Paul Eagle and Gareth Hughes recently.
            Reducing the number of buses travelling along the ‘golden mile’. That ‘golden mile’ where a helluva a lot of people actually want to go as their destination – with its dedicated bus lanes and prioritised traffic signalling – along with the universities and regional hospital.
            And as that ‘little friend’ also pointed out in the email/letter, before implementation of that Inner CIty (Green)/Outer City (Red) system. WCT did actually consult with people and drivers on the ground who were witnessing the problems that they were trying to overcome.
            From my little friends memory. two names that were consulted were Tom Cole (an ‘old hand’ driver who also did driver training, and a guy called Norm Catchpole – one of those bus inspector types who did training and ran defensive driving courses. I imagine both have now passed away).

            I no longer catch buses. I used to either try and walk or catch buses everywhere, but even today as I walked along that ‘golden mile’, I noticed a fairly long queue of people waiting outside Burger King for a Number 2 (yep – they looked like it as well – if you were to take a Number 1 for its entire journey, you’d definately need to take a pee first).

      • Kay 12.1.2

        Well said @VV. An interesting recent observation, I wonder if you’ve encountered it yet- I’m still continuing proving “feedback” to Metlink via their website over every negative experience that’s directly related to the new system. And they continue to respond, but more recently it’s gone from personalised replies to glaringly obvious form responses, even referring to issues that weren’t part of my complaint.

        One can only assume the poor front line workers charged with this miserable task (and I do have a lot of sympathy for them) are now so overloaded on the complaints front they’ve given up?

        Surprisingly, a few days ago I was able to get a direct bus from A to B and back again- both arrived at the time stated on the real time board and there were no dramas along the way. After recovering from the shock I debated providing some positive feedback but didn;t want to provide Metlink with any reason to say look, the public is happy!

        • veutoviper 12.1.2.1

          I haven’t been in touch with them for a couple of weeks, as health has had to take priority. Trying to bring myself to get back on track with the bus issue but need some encouragement etc! I actually realised last week when I had to go into the city that I personally had not actually used a bus for almost two months … I am being more a facilitator/coordinator of other peoples’ concerns than a user in my dealings.

          • Kay 12.1.2.1.1

            VV, same thing here, been housebound a lot recently, but even on the good days I’m avoiding going out of my suburb unless I really have to, in other words becoming more and more isolated which is happening to a lot of bus dependent people, especially those with disabilities. I’m really dreading my GP/hospital appointments just over the hill in Newtown- where I could once confidently walk out the door 1/2 before the appointment to be there in time, now it has to be at least an hour, just in case. Then of course a bus actually showing up early means having to kill a lot of time in Newtown before the appointments…

      • greywarshark 12.1.3

        Was there something wrong with the old bus system that was totally unsatisfactory? Why was a new bus company brought in? Is that part of the insane neolib economic system? Couldn’t one company stay on a regularly reviewed contract which if meets reasonable requests for change continues to hold the contract?

        • OnceWasTim 12.1.3.1

          Try asking Mr Fuxit Joyce 🙂

        • Kay 12.1.3.2

          @ Grey-
          Public transport= very bad
          Cars = good
          And some warped idea that there’s money to be saved, at least short term.
          Screw people who can’t drive or can’t afford to they should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get a job or cure their disability.

          So yeah, classic neo-liberal thinking.

          • greywarshark 12.1.3.2.1

            Kay
            Yes. I think that planning and management training is all about choosing a system and following it, like a recipe, and if all is done right it will be a success.

            But if the aim is not to provide the best service that can be achieved on x amount of money, to the most people, then the whole bloody effort is a waste of time and expenditure. When Nasa shoots off a rocket to the moon, they don’t feel good if it lands on another planet away from their target. This isn’t rocket science eh!

    • alwyn 12.2

      Did you notice the poll in the article you linked to?
      84% said that the hub system had made things worse.
      10% said there was no difference.
      6% said things were better.
      I am generally suspicious of self selecting polls but this one certainly seems in line with the comments of all the people I meet. Only the 6% surprises me. I would have sworn it was a lot less than that.

  13. Antoine 13

    One could also mention various events that have shaken confidence in cycleways

    A.

    [lprent: Perhaps if you left some relevant links to these ‘events’ or even an actual argument so that people could judge for themselves. Then I’d have some confidence that this isn’t what it looks like – a really stupid gamed astroturf to get the first comment to divert the debate from the post. So I’m adding to the bottom and banning you for a week for trolling. ]

  14. DrZimmer 14

    Restore the trolleybus system and trolleybuses under a new BIG RED agency. It’s the only way forward. Make sure to dump Lester and the City Council politicians at the next election as they voted to support the junking of the trolleybus overhead infrastructure!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 hours ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    10 hours ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    13 hours ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    2 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    2 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    4 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    5 hours ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    6 hours ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    6 hours ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    5 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    6 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago