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Why we save rivers

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, August 29th, 2019 - 47 comments
Categories: Conservation, sustainability - Tags: , , , , ,

The Minister for the Environment, David Parker, announced yesterday that an application from Westpower to divert the Waitaha River for hydo-electric power generation had been declined. Forest and Bird were delighted with the decision.

It’s a very good decision for a number of reasons.

One is that the conservation estate should be off limits for development unless there are compelling conservation reasons. We’re still struggling to maintain and restore native ecosystems and species, and every new road brings in more problems. 



There are cultural and spiritual values here too. We should keep some places in nature for their own sake, not our uses. The shift in mindset from nature being a resource, to nature having rights is challenging for many New Zealanders, but it’s the one that will avert climate catastrophe.

Mainstream responses to climate change are now pushing us hard towards green tech BAU, but this is still an extractive, exploitation-based paradigm, a lesser evil that makes us feel better and enables us to ignore the deeper changes needed. It’s useful as a transition but it’s not sustainable in the sense of the primary criteria being that the system regenerates itself.

Nature can absorb a certain degree of non-regenerative components in a system, but these shouldn’t be the base of the system nor excessive in use. If the Waitaha were dammed and the West Coast economy grown, which is the next river that would be damned to continue that growth?

This is the essential problem with exponential growth that New Zealand, and the whole world, is grappling with as we hit the limits of nature. We still tend to see the environment as lots of unused or under-utilised resources, and this view leads to extractive, depleting approaches.

When looking at how to meet human needs, instead of ‘how much can we get away with taking?’ we can start with ‘how do the natural systems of this place already work?’ (nature is resilient and regenerative by default). We can then ask ‘how can we fit into those systems so they continue to regenerate?’

Chopping a river in half, and reducing its flow by up to 85%, is a big fail in those terms. It stems from the world view that leads inevitably to mass extinctions and runaway climate change, because ignoring the limits of nature produces bad design.

Photo – LawrieM

Ad pointed out the economic implications for the West Coast communities: that Westpower are big employers, that Coasters need better paid jobs than tourism is offering, that monolithic power generating companies are sucking the lifeblood from us. We’ve been hearing these arguments from the traditional left for a long time, and this is the new greenwashed version of jobs before environment. There is no good reason that we can’t meet human needs and protect nature. 



Coasters being paid low wages is a social justice issue and exploiting nature won’t solve that, it just keeps a game of musical chairs going. Wasn’t tourism supposed to solve this problem? Never mind that moving to near zero carbon is going to require massive change to that industry, a conversation we’ve barely begun. Time we started creating sustainable economies and the beauty here is that if we start with a conservation and regenerative ethic, then the jobs created will be more resilient and less impactful. Inherent in that is a fair wage because social and environmental justice go hand in hand.



Monolithic power companies come from neoliberal, money-grabbing, trickle-down theories. As others have pointed out, there is plenty of scope for wind power on the Coast. Best case scenario is to create generation systems that are quake and climate resilient and that feed into the local economy.

While I think there is probably potential for small scale, local hydro generation in specific places in NZ, I think we are past being able to enslave rivers simply in the pursuit of more growth. The problem is the growth itself coupled with the idea that somehow life will end if humans don’t keep expanding, when the truth is exactly the opposite.

 

Postscript: Speaking of conservation, now that we have a somewhat less neoliberal government perhaps we can take a long hard look at the Department of Conservation and why it is aligned with and actively supports development within the conservation estate.

In return for the concession, Westpower would have paid DoC a market fee set at 6 per cent of gross revenue annually.

Photo – Andrew Buglass

47 comments on “Why we save rivers”

  1. tc 1

    We have sufficient sustainable generation already. What we don't have is a robust well maintained network thanks to the Bradford 'reforms'.

    Its a distribution and political issue involving an aluminum smelter. 

    Auckland cbd got a second feed some 15 years after the 97 blackout…..if that’s market efficiency something is clearly not working.

    • Andre 1.1

      Well, no, looking at how much electricity is coming from Huntly and other fossil-fired power stations, no we don't have sufficient sustainable generation. We have a huge number of sustainable generation schemes (that don't affect the conservation estate) that have been consented, but aren't getting built in this time of flat demand because the economics don't stack up.

      So what we have is a lack of will to make whatever combination of regulatory, structural, taxation, and whatever other changes needed to build the new sustainable generation facilities enabling the closure of fossil generators.

      One of those possible changes is indeed taking a cold clear look at how Tiwai Point really fits into the national interest, and how to help Southland through the transition following its closure. But the coming wave of electric transport will still require new generation beyond freeing up Manapouri's output.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Hence my point about growth.

      • fustercluck 1.1.2

        If you want electric cars AND want to stop burning coal, the only practical solution is nuclear. Pebble bed reactors and thorium salt reactors do not have the same potential for disaster as water-cooled reactors.

        Even lefty icons are beginning to see the light. Michale Moore's new movie "Planet of the Humans" sheds light on the fallacies of wind generation, battery & solar panel production, etc. 

        If NZ got rid of the smelter and invested in safer, low residue nuclear technology, we would have the energy economy solved for generations.

        If we continue to defile the environment with wind farms (that consume huge amounts of fossil fuel and mining resources to develop and have very short service lives) and insist on current EV technology similarly burdened with Earth-destroying battery technology, we will contribute far more to environmental degradation worldwide.

        I personally think that continuing to upgrade NZ's vehicle fleet with highly efficient internal combustion vehicles is a far better and more practical step to be taken as opposed to subsidising EV technology dependant upon vast mining of rare earth minerals for batteries with short service lives, etc.

        And I agree that ditching the smelter is the only sane way forward for Manapouri's power resource.

        • Andre 1.1.2.1

          New Zealand has such an abundance of renewable capacity I'd be astonished if we ever got to the point of having nukes feeding electricity into our grid. Even if small modular reactors start getting produced in huge quantities elsewhere in the world. I just can't see them being cost competitive with wind and solar, where costs for new schemes are going under USD0.03/kWhr. But I'm picking if the world ever gets serious about going zer-carbon, then shipping will go to small modular nukes, which are ideal for providing steady power in the range of 10MW to 100MW, exactly what a ship requires.

          As far as rare-earths goes, there's a ton of R&D going into ways to eliminate their use in motors and generators. See here, or here.

          There's also a lot of effort going into eliminating cobalt from batteries. Tesla has been pretty successful, getting theirs down to around 3% cobalt, where competitors are above 10% (as were Tesla's early efforts). There's also others looking at alternative chemistries that are completely free of stuff like cobalt, such as lithium-sulfur batteries, or further down the track, room temp sodium sulfur batteries.

        • JohnP 1.1.2.2

          It's not just the cost of building a nuclear power plant or two, which would easily power the whole country – there's the additional cost of the surrounding industry required to maintain, supply and keep them safe – which given our location would need to be in the country. 

          It's cheap, if you look in terms of power produced – but expensive when you consider everything else that's needed to produce the power.

          And that's before we get to where you put a nuclear power station in a country that's geologically active and the most inland point is about 120km away from the sea in Otago.

          • fustercluck 1.1.2.2.1

            Pebble bed reactors do not require the same kind of infrastructure as breeder reactors (used to produce power plus material for bombs). 

        • Craig H 1.1.2.3

          Agreed in world terms, although I think NZ could just dump the aluminium smelter and that would go far enough with solar, wind and existing hydroelectric.

    • Dukeofurl 1.2

      "Auckland cbd got a second feed some 15 years after the 97 blackout"

      Thats not true , Auckland always had 3, they put an extra one in from Mt Roskill soon after  and the tunnel from Penrose you mention came was finished  in 2000 . Not 15 yrs  as you claim

  2. vto 2

    If you want to limit the incentives for DOC to turn the conservation estate into a gigantic business resource then the income that activity generates for DOC needs to be wiped.

    I see it is pointed out that DOC would have taken 6% of gross revenue. My own business interests with DOC involve them taking 7% of gross revenue.

    Anyone in business will know that taking a 6-7% slice off the top like that is massive. It is in fact more than most businesses operating in the DOC estate would make in profit… Just let that sink in for a bit.

    DOC may as well own all the businesses in the DOC estate, such is the massive return it gets.

    This needs urgent cancellation. Otherwise the incentives will remain running against what you are trying to achieve.

    • Dukeofurl 2.1

      So you want  free acess – no way. Just pay up.

      • weka 2.1.1

        Tying concession fees to profit is clearly about revenue generation for DOC rather than simply about fairness of commercial access. Looks like a clear conflict of interest given DOC are going involved in consent processes for development with National Parks.

        This is why people have been so dismayed at DOC giving the go ahead to industrial projects. It doesn't make sense for an org whose primary objective is conservation. Unless you are neoliberal and believe that conservation should be paid for by conservation generating its own funding (which is daft).

      • vto 2.1.2

        No that is not what I said, try reading better, egg

        • Dukeofurl 2.1.2.1

          "6% of gross revenue. "

          Do you know how  franchises work ?  You are getting off lightly.  If you are paying yourself , thats before profit.  Do you know what UBER charges.

          The concession is based on  total revenue , as it should  be . It baffles me why  6% is such a burden ,  if its not a great business  , it is what it is.

          No reason the taxpayers  support smaller  less popular business who USE  conservation land to make money

          • vto 2.1.2.1.1

            yeah yeah I know all that…. but it wasn't the point. The point was that DOC is incentivised to industrialise the estate by this structure.

            And this structure is about money-making. It is not about cost recovery, or any such thing like that. If it was about cost recovery fees would be a flat rate covering time by staff and some small overhead only. 

            It is solely about money-making from the estate. = problem

            • Dukeofurl 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Industrialising it , that would fees of 12-18%

              Its only 5c in every dollar. How much do you pay for  places that book your  service for tourists  ? 15 or 20%?

            • weka 2.1.2.1.1.2

              Vto, are all concessions now charged at a % rather than flat fees? Do you know when that happened?

      • KJT 2.1.3

        Individuals should have free access to the conservation estate and facilities. After all, we pay for it.

        Businesses being allowed to restrict access or having sole rights to any part, is simply, wrong.

  3. vto 3

    weka, a stat on the amount of revenue generated by commercial activity would be useful. Other useful associated stats would also include the number of concessions related to that revenue, by region, and the profit made by those concession holders.

    I would wager that the businesses make less than DOC out of commercial activity in the DOC estate…. and that is the front page headline… the headline that may make the politicians take notice ….

    • weka 3.1

      The DOC revenue should be available somewhere? Or OIA request? Might be worth someone looking on Newsroom, they do good coverage of issues like this. Or Charlie Mitchell.

  4. vto 4

    How much does a chopper cost per hour? 

    How many of them are operating right now in the DOC estate? There are about 50 in Franz alone.

    Take that number and multiply it by 7%.

    It will surprise.

    • KJT 4.1

      Once upon a time, choppers were not allowed on most conservation land.

      A clear example of commercial interests being allowed to override conservation values.

      • Dukeofurl 4.1.1

        How many tourists came to NZ back then  and  now they are all headed to the South Island.

        Once I remember a small turbo prop landing at MT Cook airfield, and no one  could imagine what Queenstown  has become.

    • Dukeofurl 4.2

      Ahh that your real gripe 

      Too much competition  , you want numbers reduced so prices rise.

      • weka 4.2.1

        Vto has clearly stated his position and concerns and clarified them. If you start making shit up about people's points you'll be out. Don't start flame wars under my posts.

      • bwaghorn 4.2.2

        It would be a great way to  ut the carbon emmisions caused be tourism.  Make it so dare on the wealthy come here. Not very socialist if me but fuck it if tourism was cut to 2 million visits a year it would be much better for all except maybe the low paid staff servicing the masses.

        • weka 4.2.2.1

          Cutting mass tourism seems inevitable to me. Even the tourism industry knows this although they don't like to talk about it.

          I'd want NZer access to conservation land to be protected somehow.

  5. Ad 5

     

    Here's the full Assessment of Effects if anyone's interested, with maps and facts and actual qualified analysis and stuff:

    http://www.westpower.co.nz/news/article/application-concessions-and-assessment-effects

    Support from Conservation Board, support from iwi, support from DoC, support from regulators.

    It's Minister Parker alone who killed this job.

     

     

    • weka 5.1

      "More than 3000 people submitted on the concession application by Westpower Limited in November 2016. The vast majority were against the proposal."

      F and B

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1908/S00698/waitaha-river-saved-from-hydro-scheme.htm

      As mentioned above, support from DOC needs questioned.

    • Bearded Git 5.2

      Most of that info comes from Westpower-the applicant.

      My experience of resource consent hearings is that the so-called facts presented by the applicant often fall apart after analysis by expert witnesses and knowledgeable locals and other knowledgeable people. Many people submitted in opposition to the proposal.

      DOC's position is still being heavily influenced by the horrible Key government's comercialisation of the conservation estate.  

  6. bwaghorn 6

    At only  12000 homes worth of power it's a  no brainer to not do it . 

    • Matiri 6.1

      There's also Trustpower's Arnold scheme which is already consented, at Dobson which is  just 30 minutes drive away. At 46MW more than twice the size of this Waitaha scheme. Trustpower haven't done anything with it because the economics don't stack up at the moment.

      • mac1 6.1.1

        In Parliament today, Minister Wood replied to Maureen Pugh that the Waitaha scheme was rated at 20 Mw, but in NZ there was another 3 Gw which had been consented but not yet built, and Waitaha was therefore not needed.

         

    • Ad 6.2

      That's Greymouth and surrounding townships covered forever, no more coal fires to stay warm.

  7. Stuart Munro. 7

    Waitaha had some merit, from a generation perspective, being on the wet side of the main divide, unlike the other perennially depleted lakes. It's lovely country though, mildly goated and dotted with ultramafics here and there – I carried rocks for a geologist there back in the day.

    The argument was rather optimistic though – DoC should have got 60% of the earnings, not 6%. And, although I'm sure there are plenty of construction jobs, assuming irresponsible government didn't hand out work permits like sweeties to all and sundry, the long term jobs would be no more than the Waitaki power dams provide – a mere handful.

    • Ad 7.1

      A handful of $100k jobs is all you heed on the West Coast to flow a lot of service jobs beyond.

      • Stuart Munro. 7.1.1

        Not sure I agree with that – but it has all the hallmarks of a modest scheme appropriate to local needs. Near Dunedin we have the similar sized Waipori scheme, which proved a very sensible piece of work for the DCC – until it had to be protected from scavenging privateers. How those thieving motherfuckers escape imprisonment is a mystery to me.

  8. Graeme 8

    The Coast is sitting on what may be a major geothermal resource.  In a geological borehole at Whataroa,  

    "At 630m deep they discovered water hot enough to boil. Such temperatures would typically be found at depths greater than 3km"

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=11858291

    GNS is currently doing work to quantify the resource

    https://www.gns.cri.nz/Home/News-and-Events/Media-Releases/geothermal-potential

    There's a bit of geothermal use on the Coast already, Westland Produce have quite large heated glasshouse producing eggplant and chilies year round, bit in the link above, and Gloriavale are evidently looking into geothermal energy (they are right on the fault)

  9. gsays 9

    Great post Weka, thanks for the thought provoking opinion.

    I am intrigued by the tensions that arise around the hydro electric schemes vs conservation.

    I am aware of Derrick Jensen and his endgame thesis. Seeing it as his duty to allow fish to return to their spawning grounds, by destroying dams if need be.

    Contrasting this is our proud boast as a country with a high % of renewable electricity generation.

    Energy conservation has to be part of the answer along with the sea change away from biggering and biggering.

    Making it easier and more equitable for dwellings to generate power and feed to the grid.

    This probably means nationalizing the power companies and undoing Bradfords perverse 'reforms'.

    • weka 9.1

      thanks gsays. I'm with Jensen on this, although I don't have a good sense of our equivalent of the salmon run and its critical role in the ecologies of those watersheds. Eels are affected here, but their roles are more subtle. I'd love to know if anyone is writing about NZ in that way.

      Decentralising seems a no brainer to me when looking at the Coast. I was disappointed to see even Forest and Bird talking about the national grid as if it was resilient and future proofed. The first thing to go when the Alpine Fault shifts will be the SI power supply. If that happens in the middle of winter, then the Coast will be well served by decentralised systems backed up by the grid for when it gets restored. We learned this from Chch. It's even more important when we consider that the Coast will infrastructure damage that we've never had to deal with in NZ before.

      And in that conservation.

      Bradford has a lot to answer for.

       

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    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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    1 week ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    1 week ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    10 hours 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    1 week 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! ...
    2 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.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is defending Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after it instructed officials to stop granting visas as an exception to instructions. He has also lashed out at immigrant leaders upset with the tightening of the rules, saying they had an “elevated sense of entitlement”. Members of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
    A change to the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in Parliament, meaning if politicians decide to vote for the law it must be approved by the public first. A binding referendum was a condition insisted on by New Zealand First, and Jenny Marcroft’s supplementary order paper (SOP) successfully ...
    3 weeks 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
    25 mins 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
    5 hours 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
    7 hours 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
    7 hours 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
    8 hours 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
    8 hours 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
    9 hours 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
    9 hours 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
    11 hours 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
    22 hours 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 day 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 day 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 day 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 day ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
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