What future for Christchurch?

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, June 15th, 2011 - 35 comments
Categories: disaster - Tags: ,

Lack of certainty is killing the spirit and economy of Christchurch. Before the latest quakes there were already threats of protests because Brownlee has failed to announce which areas can’t be rebuilt on. That information is even more needed now. Brownlee says it’s ‘blindingly obvious’ which areas must go. He needs to drop the arrogance and inform people.

There are tens of thousands of households who are stuck right now and can’t move on. They have mortgages on munted houses and land which may never be rebuilt on. But until the government announces which land is to be abandoned, the people can’t get payouts and move, nor can they invest in rebuilding. Statements that which suburbs will be abandoned is ‘blindingly obvious’ without naming them only heightens the distress.

This stuff is obviously hard and the government can’t stop the aftershocks but people need solid information conveyed to them as unambiguously and quickly as possible to plan their futures and assure themselves.

For all I can see, the main activity of the government has been to spin, rather than act. Just in the past couple of weeks Brownlee, Key, and Bennett have started spouting a line that things ‘aren’t as bad as the doomsayers predicted’. They based that on the fact that the number on unemployment benefits hadn’t risen much in Christchurch by the end of May. But that is because, until the start of June, people were getting the special earthquake benefits. These have now stopped and the jobs are disappearing fast. The government must have known this would happen but, rather than do anything, they just distorted the facts for the purposes of spin.

Now, after the latest quakes, the government’s behaviour hasn’t changed. They spin that ‘we will stand beside you’ and tell people not to leave Christchurch but they don’t give them any reason to stay or any firm hopes.

Nearly 10% of schoolkids had left the city before the latest quakes, which suggests a similar portion of the population has packed their bags. The negative feedbacks of so many people leaving will force more people out of jobs and out of the city. Unless the government provides some leadership.

Don’t hold your breath.

35 comments on “What future for Christchurch?”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    It’s sad to see that this country is leaving tens of thousands of Cantabrians in ghastly financial and physical living arrangements full of uncertainty. We seem to be unable or unwilling to come up with any answers.

    Options including the mass resettlement of people and businesses to the edges of Christchurch or perhaps nearby centres like Timaru must be put on the cards and publicly debated.

    Someone tell the banks that everyone in the most heavily effected areas needs to go to interest only mortgage payments with interest rates halved. Steps for rentals as well.

    Why is our leadership and our systems so fucking slow. These are not hypothetical refugees living in a hypothetical war zone; these are our own people 30 minutes drive down the road. WTF.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Someone tell the banks that everyone in the most heavily effected areas needs to go to interest only mortgage payments with interest rates halved.

      Nope, the mortgages should have been put on hold until the house fixed up, declared safe/liveable or condemned and the insurance was paid. This should have been done by government decree after the first earthquake and reiterated after the second.

      Why is our leadership and our systems so fucking slow.

      Because it’s NAct in government and they’re more worried about how much of our wealth that they can transfer to themselves and their rich mates.

  2. Jeremy Harris 2

    Lack of certainty is killing the spirit and economy of Christchurch.

    BS. Citizens not having access to their property and businesses due to pencil pushing morons is killing the spirit and economy of Christchurch.

    But hey why not use a crisis as an excuse to have a delusional swipe at the Nats?

    • Andy-Roo 2.1

      Who is in control of the pencil pushing morons then?

      I mean, that IS the obvious response.

      • Jeremy Harris 2.1.1

        There are plenty of valid reasons to swipe at the Nats. The delusion is that the problem is the Nats aren’t telling people what to do enough or what to do fast enough.

        • bbfloyd 2.1.1.1

          get a grip jerry. people are smarter than that. the fact that the govt is engaging in nothing more than politiking and blame shifting is causing a bad situation to become an insurmountable one..

          nobody living in the real world expects the govt to do more than facilitate the recovery process that should have been moving at a much faster rate. the issue for most is that brownlee has become part of the problem.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            nobody living in the real world expects the govt to do more than facilitate the recovery process

            I do.

            Because the NZ Govt should always have kept a strategic, highly capable $2B p.a. Ministry of Works tasked with building up our national infrastructure, building state housing, etc. This capability would have swung into action within days of the original quake and we wouldn’t be buying kitset homes from China for gawdsakes.

            Instead we broke down our capabilties and sold it off, and now the Government has very little operational ability left except make speeches and sign cheques for the private sector.

            Oh yeah and “facilitate” whatever the hell that means.

            • johnm 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Hi CV
              That’s the Neo-Liberal reduce government to a bathtub madness we’ve bought hook line and sinker.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.2

          The delusion is that the problem is the Nats aren’t telling people what to do enough or what to do fast enough.

          Plan-less, clue-less, leadership-less National is hardly a delusion for Christchurch, it’s a very stark reality.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    They had an interview with Brownlee this morning on Nine to Noon that I caught on my way to work.
     
    Brownlee was very convincing. He said they must only release all of the information once it is all together, because whatever decision they make some people are going to be upset about it. Releasing full information together lets the upset people know that they have actually gone through a thorough process.
     
    He also made another very salient point – this is the first real test of EQC land insurance, which is unique in the world. How the situation is dealt with here will set a precedent for the future, so it must be done properly and rigorously. The specific outcomes are also likely to affect insurance premiums across the whole country, not a thing to trifle with lightly. If it is handled badly there’s also the possibility that land re-insurance could be scaled back or dropped altogether if international companies no longer wanted to re-insure us because of lack of faith in how it was handled this time.

    • Bunji 3.1

      Interesting, Brownlee wasn’t scheduled to be on…

      Did you hear the Bexley Residents Association dude who spoke just after 9? He was very convincing too – I’m guessing Brownlee must have got in touch to put the other side, because the Bexley guy made some very strong, logical points about how slow it is, how those who are left in limbo feel powerless as various organisations and the govt have the knowledge but refuse to share it. How they feel they’re likely to be presented with a solution, rather than consulted, or given options about what happens to their own lives.

      I’ll post the link to the audio once it goes up.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.2

        I heard some of that but didn’t really listen to it, as I had to get dressed and ready for work (yes, I get out of bed at 9:10 am!).
         
        I can see his concerns, but I’m perhaps not quite so pessimistic about it as he is (easy for me to say, of course). They seem to be talking about entire suburbs being abandoned, as in 1000’s of homes. This means that the process is *not* going to be quick in any aspect whatsoever. Because it’ll take so long, there will be lots of time for them to complain, and on the flipside lots of time for them to be consulted.
         
        It would be quite difficult for a bunch of bureaucrats to make a decision that affects 10,000+ people that is iron-clad and immutable for 3 years before is it ultimately all implemented.

        • vto 3.1.2.1

          Lanthanide, fellow quake-shaker, you are very considered.. what about a good bit of heated yelling and cursing. I can give you some lessons if you like hee hee.

          Couple of things. Firstly, the EQC land insurance issue is probably very important as you outline however it is not as important as the tens of thousands waiting to hear. These people should not be kept waiting until those details are sorted. It is entirely possible to get on with things prior to sorting out issues of liability, payment and other obligation.

          In fact, in proof of this I take my hat off to the Council who last week decided to do exactly this with regard to some significant earthquake repair work on land on part of the port hills. They said “we are getting on with the work now and not waiting to first sort out issues of who should pay and who is responsible. We will sort out issues of liability, payment and other obligation later”.

          I applaud that thunderously. Central govt, CERA, Brownlee, Key, take note of Council’s approach in this.

          Secondly, I do not accept Brownlee’s assertion that all i’s must be dotted and t’s crossed before telling people. The people of Chch are grown adults who have been through several life-threatening earthquakes. They can handle stuff. Key has admitted that they know which areas are to be abandoned. Tell us. If there are some remaining issues, tell us what they are too. Bloody condescending arrogance of Key and Brownlee. For evidence, see council example above.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.1

            They said “we are getting on with the work now and not waiting to first sort out issues of who should pay and who is responsible. We will sort out issues of liability, payment and other obligation later”.

            I think it’s even easier. Get in, do it and then send the insurance companies the bill after. If they don’t pay up, seize their assets and close them down.

            Secondly, I do not accept Brownlee’s assertion that all i’s must be dotted and t’s crossed before telling people.

            The people need to be informed as the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.2

      Don’t think anyone wants all decisions made instantly, but it would be nice if they could actually make some decisions by the end of this year. The government makes the laws of NZ not the insurance companies. Are we really that dependent on Lloyds of London that we can’t make any decisions without their say so?

      • Lanthanide 3.2.1

        “Are we really that dependent on Lloyds of London that we can’t make any decisions without their say so?”
         
        If we want to have future business dealings with them, then yes, it pays not to simply run roughshod over them.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.2.1.1

          How long can a negotiation like this take? Its mid-June and the big quakes were in Nov. and Feb.

          IMO the whole structure of CERA is the problem. Instead of having an independent board (which is what an authority normally has), a politician was put in charge. This means every decision gets made in a political context. Not really conducive to good evidence based, decisive choices. Why they chose to do this who knows?

          The insurers will fight tooth and nail not to pay up. We can’t just roll over and gve them what they want.

          • Lanthanide 3.2.1.1.1

            The big quakes were Sept and Feb.

            The negotiation wouldn’t have taken that whole time period. The negotiation would have started (in earnest) once the geotech report was actually completed, which was probably only in the last 4-6 weeks.

            Also, Gerry Brownlee is not in charge of CERA, Roger Sutton is. Before that, John Ombler was the temporary head. Much the same as government departments have CEOs and responsible ministers, so does CERA.

      • hate rocknroll 3.2.2

        Finally today it seems that the Government will say honestly what areas are going to be irrepairable. Its job as Government is to come up with a range of solutions so that those most affected get the most say.

  4. vto 4

    I firmly agree that if the govt knows which areas are which then they should so advise. Key’s woeful responses on Nat Radio last evening were pathetic. He actually sounded like he did not knwo what he was talking about. Had no grasp. All he could do was repeat “b;ah blah, there are a number of factors b;ah blah”. If you listened carefully you could hear thinking as he spoke ‘shit I’m outta my depf here’. Hopeless.

    Anyways, Key also kept saying the reason for the delay now is the “negotiations” between the govt, eqc, the insurers and the re-insurers”. Well FUCK THAT. That shit can follow. Announce the decisions. It does not require those negotiations to be completed first. It can follow. They are big boys aren’t they? They can sort it out later can’t they? Or can they… perhaps they really are buffoons. The proof is in this particular pudding right fucking now.

    Anyways again, I agree that Chch now has a larger problem, hinted at pre-June earthquakes.. namely loss of population and confidence. You simply must bet that there will be another earthquake of the same intensity and producing as much damage again. If you do not then you bet against the odds. I deeply fear that this has been a form of death-knell. I know that for us, our confidence in the stability of the location is gone until a number of months pass without earthquakes. Many will not be prepared to put families at risk of injury and death. Again.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      “Anyways, Key also kept saying the reason for the delay now is the “negotiations” between the govt, eqc, the insurers and the re-insurers”. Well FUCK THAT.”
       
      Um, I’ll give a simple example of why they have to wait.
      GOV: Lets abandon Bexley. EQC, what do you think?
      EQC: Sounds like a good idea to me. I better check with my re-insurers though.
      GOV: Great! Let’s announce it to to the public
      — 2 days later —
      EQC: Right, my insurers have gotten back, and they say abandoning Bexley is going to be very difficult, unless you do X Y and Z.
      GOV: Oh shit, we just promised we were going to abandon it!

      • vto 4.1.1

        But lanthanide, the govt has already said they have the required information.

        The stall at the moment is clearly around who pays what, not where can be built and can’t be built. The information around land physics is in, the decisions have been made. Any dispute from some laggard insurer is around payment, not what land is liveable.

        Those decisions around payment can be sorted later.

  5. freedom 5

    There was a very interesting Stuff Poll yesterday ( that i am unable to locate  today) that was for residents of CHCH.  Certainly others may have contributed but i chose to respect the Poll Question. At the time i viewed it, the data showed  18% of people had left, 16% were seriously thinking of leaving, and 13% were unsure of what to do and a staggering 24% admitted being stuck by financial situations and lack of information

    for clarity- i do not recall the other two categories that made up the 100%

  6. I’d just like to point out that CERA is subject to the OIA: http://fyi.org.nz/bodies/cera

    You might be able to get some information out of them, albeit after up to 20 working days’ delay.

  7. What would happen here if Labour said that it will compulsorily acquire land at its own valuation to provide replacement sections and also provide no-interest state advances loans to cover any insurance shortfall to rebuild on low risk land adjacent to ChCh, and do a state-to-insurance Co deal to cover some of their loses? Don’t you think that would shift the NACTs from their micromanaging the election run up into a huge backdown in meeting the immediate needs of ChCh workers? It would expose just how cynical and self-serving this bankster ruling class is and knock them off their coasting to victory on the back of ‘national’ emergencies.
    But of course Labour doesnt have the imagination or interest to do this having long been defenders of capitalism and trapped into a Blairite celebration of neo-liberalism and its balanced budgets and individual responsibility.
    What a surprise. Looks like we need a revolution here too.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      But of course Labour doesnt have the imagination or interest to do this having long been defenders of capitalism and trapped into a Blairite celebration of neo-liberalism and its balanced budgets and individual responsibility.

      /agreed

      Labour have been a party of the capitalist elite for near on thirty years now.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Here is a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

    Set the distance to 25, the number of days to 7 and the magnitude to 4+.

    As can be seen, the larger quakes seem to be fairly rapidly moving away from Christchurch. If you I heard a geotec guy on the TV saying that the stresses were being transferred eastwards. That wasn’t very good for the east the other day. However, it caused a lot less damage around the rest of the city because it was further away from the city than the Feb 22 quake.

    As can be seen, the quakes we have had today have been around the Pigeon Bay region, which is getting a bit further away. The 5 we had this morning felt a bit more like a 3 or 4 I guess due to the increased distance.

    Hopefully this trend away from the city will continue. Looking at the trend on the map I don’t know that I would want to be living in Akaroa though. 🙂

  9. Just Right 9

    I can imagine the outcry of Big Jeeza turned up to a meeting with the people of Bexley (for example) and announced that their sections are now worthless and won’t be able to rebuilt on. Then said ‘that’s all the info we have for now Folks’ Can you imagine the outcome?

    It is right & prudent to go into that meeting with all of the ducks in a row. Give the bad news, then outline the solutions that have been negotiated on behalf of the people affected. Either way, it is a shit sandwich for all concerned, but at least they will leave the meeting with a plan and some idea of what next.

    These are complicated issues which set precedents, and involve commercial, public and private parties. Everyone has a stake and an interest they wish to protect. Those interests need to be balanced fairly. Rushing in is to be avoided no matter how tempting it is to give half the information.

  10. David 10

    As a Parklands resident it would be great to get some answers but big gerry is in a no win, he needs to get a deal with banks,insurers and availability of land to build on while looking after us and not welding the NZ taxpayers. Frustrates the hell out of me but I would prefer he got his ducks in a row first and had all the answers rather than going off half cocked.

  11. Just watched Campbell live, on about Chch and the EQC not looking at houses or paying out to people obviously due it.
    The govt and TPTB are saying there are X dollars in so called ‘funds’, these ‘funds’ have been doing what every fund has been doing these past 10 years or so, which is investing in the stock markets, then the dodgy banking industry (think John Key, and derivatives etc) so all the so called saved ‘money in the bank’ bullshit is just that bullshit, the money doesn’t exist, or most of it is in US mortgages, or Greek statues, or maybe Irish housing estates.
    So there is simply not enough money to start paying out. At least our earth quake refugees aren’t living in tents on pallets that are sinking into the mud, like the buggers in Haiti. … give it time though. ?
    The EQC has got enough money to keep the front office open, and the spin spinning, but when it comes to parting with some real money … yeah right.
    I guess there will be a time when you can’t fool most of the people most of the time …. maybe this never before moment is near/ 😉

  12. RedandBlack 12

    The EQC’s CEO should be fired and their modus operandi overhauled. Brownlie is not up to the job either but who could replace him? Collectively Cabinet seems to have about one brain between them.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      EQC have gotten quite a bit better in the last month or so, at least from their public relations standpoint – doubling the number of staff dealing with tradesmen invoices, and they’re ahead of schedule for inspections.

      • RedandBlack 12.1.1

        There is no evidence of this happening at all with EQC – they are not delivering. They are just getting better at spinning the truth. Since when has Brownlee been convincing? In the eye of the perceiver I think.
        Admit it – Brownlee does not have the mental capacity for the job.

  13. Speaking to a contractor from Chch, yesterday, asked him if had been paid, yes he had, then he said that EQC were using the interest on investments to pay out. Which kind of confirms my thoughts that their ‘investments’ would be worth way way less if they tried to cash them in, and just like someone mortgaged to the hilt, they fear placing their house on the market, just in case it proves to be worth way less then the value they placed on it when ‘stacking’ the mortgage.
    So considering EQC have no real money they are doing a great job of postponing the inevitable, that is why they have Homer G Simpleton in charge, no one will be surprised when he doesn’t deliver.

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    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for food
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    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    7 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    1 week ago
  • An odious bill
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
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    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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