Wise response

Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, March 8th, 2013 - 80 comments
Categories: activism, climate change - Tags: ,

“Wise Response” is an Otago based group set up to advocate for a serious and considered response to climate change – check out their website (and coverage in the ODT).

Wise Response are calling for a “Risk Assessment for NZ in our Deteriorating World”:

Therefore, in the name of all our children and grandchildren we, the undersigned, call on the New Zealand Parliament to face up to this situation now by dispassionately assessing risk levels in the following five areas. Then, if found necessary, and with public input, design coherent, robust cross-party strategies and policies to avert these risks and give future generations the very best chance of security, peace, social justice and opportunity for all.

1. Economic security: the risk of a sudden, deepening, or prolonged financial crisis. Such a crisis could adversely impact upon our society’s ability to provide for the essentials, including local access to resources, reliable supply chains, and a resilient infrastructure.

2. Energy and climate security: the risk of continuing our heavy dependence on fossil fuels. Progressively restricting their extraction, importation and use could promote a switch to genuine renewables and encourage smarter use of existing energy and energy systems while creating better public transportation. Such responses would simultaneously lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

3. Business continuity: the risk exposure of all New Zealand business, including farming, to a lower carbon economy. To mitigate this risk, all businesses could explore both market and job opportunities in reducing the human ecological footprint, finding substitutes for petroleum-based goods and services, increasing efficiencies and reducing waste in food and resources. This would position New Zealand as a market leader in low-carbon technologies and living arrangements.

4. Ecological security: the risks associated with failing to genuinely protect both land-based and marine ecosystems and their natural processes. We believe that such protection is essential for both the maintenance of indigenous biodiversity and ultimately, all human welfare.

5. Genuine well-being: the risk of persisting with a subsidised, debt-based economy, preoccupied with maximising consumption and GDP. An alternative is to measure progress by means of indicators of community sustainability, human well-being, more equitable wealth-sharing and environmental resilience, and to incorporate full-cost pricing of harmful environmental impacts.

The group are holding their launch today at the Otago Museum reserve 1:15 – 3pm. All political parties have been invited (David Clark will be there for Labour, the local Nat sent his apologies).

NZ_Risk_Assessment_Appeal_Launch_Poster

80 comments on “Wise response”

  1. fenderviper 1

    This is a good initiative, I wish it luck and success.

    No suprise National won’t take part, they will need to offer more than apologies by the time they have finished.

  2. Peter 2

    There’s something consistent that I am noticing on the Standard – and that’s that any posts with an environmental topic tend to get very few comments, whereas those with more of a social or economic focus receive far more.

    It’s a bit disappointing to be honest.

    • r0b 2.1

      We have had some very active comment threads on climate change posts – but mostly when these involve “personalities” like Monckton and so on. In general you’re right.

      However, not every post is designed to generate comments (otherwise the blog would look very different indeed). There is room for posts that are just spreading the word.

    • McFlock 2.2

      most of the political posts are controversial. People disagree. Not so much on CC.
      And it’s an unwary CC trool that raises their head hereabouts, because the physical sciences have a bit more evidence than social sciences or the religion of economics.

      • Peter 2.2.1

        Well, yeah, CC in general is pretty irrefutable. However, the assumptions behind the CC scenarios are quite refutable, and there are some big holes in some of these.

        • Murray Olsen 2.2.1.1

          In your view, which assumptions are quite refutable? I thought most of the basic physics was pretty well understood, with the problems coming in at the level of modelling nonlinear systems with feedback mechanisms. Maybe we’re talking about the same thing, but can you clarify?

          • lprent 2.2.1.1.1

            The physics is fine when you’re looking at a black body basis. You can get nice coarse overviews with that (and those are quite accurate).

            The questions have always been about the chaotic mixing inside the interactions or atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere affecting how soon effects become manifest. Just think of the way that the oceans sucking up CO2 and heat have been stabilizing the land over the last couple centuries. Even as recently as the early 90’s we weren’t sure of how much C02 actually went into the cold deep sea currents at the poles.

            There are literally hundreds of such variables that are either not in the models or have best guess ranges. They can shift significant effects that we can see at a human level (ie weather and climate) by decades.

            • Murray Olsen 2.2.1.1.1.1

              We’re talking about the same things. These are what I’d call input parameters. Some of them are measurable, but many are, as you say, just best guesses. If all the details were known, all the climate scientists would be looking for other jobs.

        • lprent 2.2.1.2

          However, the assumptions behind the CC scenarios are quite refutable, and there are some big holes in some of these.

          Yeah. Pretty much define the holes in our knowledge base. Who’d have thought 40 years ago that measuring the unconstrained (ie no sea ice sheets) ice movement rate of glaciers with increased fluid water in Greenland, Iceland, and the Antarctic would have been so important. Why didn’t they start measuring ALL glacier movements then when they first pushing the earth watch sats up?

          That is the problem with science is that you’re never sure when you’re going to need a long base line of data.

          /sarc

          Mostly I’m just impressed at how close they have been hitting. If you go back to the IPCC 1 & 2 and consider that they were done with 80’s science it is amazing that they predicted as closely as they did.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Great initiative, and I’d be all for it if it was 20 years ago. Now we are deadly short of time, and we simply have to get on with the hard work of building and changing for the future.

    • Pete 3.1

      It’s a shame because we are starting to see ozone recovery now since the adoption of the Montral Protocol in the 80s. Which shows that in time such international agreements can work. If only the work around carbon through Kyoto had come earlier and been given longer to demonstrate results. I agree, though. We need to use the remaining fossil fuels to build a resilient infrastructure for a post-carbon world.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Yep. That to my mind is the only responsible and morally allowable use of fossil fuels at this time.

  4. outofworkkiwi 4

    It’s too late.
    It doesn’t matter now what we do the die is cast for a hotter planet. So this initiative is a typical cosy middle class bs effort to give status to the pathetic participants. In a word typical do nothing kiwi rubbish while we get fucked up the arse by key boys and climate change. Enjoy. 🙂

    • Colonial Weka 4.1

      You (and we) have no way of knowing if it is too late or not. Such negative defeatism, while tempting, is chicken shit IMO. I’d like you to go find the child in your life you are closest to and explain to them that are not willing to try and save them from extreme suffering later in their life.

      Yeah, Wise Response are a middle class group, a mostly Caucasian middle class group. Good. About time those people made a stand.

  5. Colonial Weka 5

    I liked the one where the woman is saying “it doesn’t feel urgent. But it is”.

    btw, r0b, I didn’t think this is just a CC initiative – looks like it’s covering many bases (Peak Oil/everything, GCF, local political and social issues as well as CC). Which is what we need, looking at the connections between all those things, and how the solutions intersect.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      if we just looked at NZ we already know all the technical and infrastructure answers.

      What no one understands however are what social and cultural answers will be required. Will people accept change, what they might perceive at times as a loss of freedom (eg loss of a personal road vehicle), or what they see as a lowering of the standard and convenience of their lives.

      This social and cultural aspect is what has got the engineers and scientists flumoxed. And it’s not surprising because many of them sincerely believe that if the right evidence and the right technical solutions were presented people would, rationally, accept them as being in their own (and everyone elses) best interests.

      Doesn’t work like that of course. Irrational and unconscious behaviour are far stronger drivers for most people than the rational weighing up of evidence and options.

      • Colonial Weka 5.1.1

        And it doesn’t help that we’ve now had 3 decades of collective socialisation encouraging selfishness.

        “Will people accept change, what they might perceive at times as a loss of freedom (eg loss of a personal road vehicle), or what they see as a lowering of the standard and convenience of their lives.”

        Many people are willing to give up or lessen car use now, if there were alternatives in place. I’ve been noticing how many couples are becoming one car households again (economic factors mostly, but some also for environmental reasons). Biking is on the upswing. I’m in my late 40s so I remember when a household having one or no car was normal. I think we can begin those transitions ok, but we lack the political will around public transport. Chch is classic example of wasted opportunity.

        “Irrational and unconscious behaviour are far stronger drivers for most people than the rational weighing up of evidence and options.”

        I think they are more intertwined than that. Once people are educated about the real situation, fear becomes a potent motivator. The big problem there is that no-one really knows what is going to happen: when and how the shit will hit the fan. But we know that the economic issues are happening to us already, and Chch has taught us the necessity of resilience within nature. Both those things are already potential drivers of change, if we just tap into them in the right way.

      • RedLogix 5.1.2

        The single biggest inhibitor of change is possibly a much simpler thing CV. One word … debt.

        Because so many people are effectively locked into repaying debt, either directly via a mortgage, credit card or HP, or indirectly via rent…. their options around change are become very constrained. You become locked into an economic system in order to maintain the cash flow required to service the debt each week or month.

        If we could show people a safe way forward without debt, I’m certain we would find within a few short years a critical mass of people engaging in the kinds of change we need.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1

          And with a dramatic sorting out of debt loading…a lot of farmers might suddenly become much more amenable to meeting tighter environmental requirements.

          All many of them are doing now are polluting NZ waterways in order to pay Australian bankers.

        • Colonial Weka 5.1.2.2

          Isn’t that a circular argument? If we found a way to alleviate mass debt, people would mobilise. But we need people to mobilise in order to find a way to alleviate mass debt (finding that alleviation via politics is as likely as finding appropriate responses to CC etc).

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.2.1

            Not quite so unlikely. Debt alleviations via politics have happened many many times before in history i.e. debt jubilees.

            • Colonial Weka 5.1.2.2.1.1

              Some NZ examples? How could you see that happening here now, given the state of NACT and Labour? Or do you think it would come from the banks?

              • Colonial Viper

                I should add that debt jubilees can happen politically because they promise an improvement in standard of living for the great majority of people, even business people and middle class home owners. (Not so with most steps to prevent CC).

                Some NZ examples?

                In the late 1890’s and 1900’s the Liberal Government allowed small farmers to refinance debt away from private banks to what eventually became the Rural Bank at very low government provided interest rates.

                While not a debt jubilee per se, it largely avoided the problem of onerous interest bearing debt.

                In the 1930’s the NZ government avoided debt by building thousands of state houses (during an economic depression) using state credit ie govt printed money. While this was also not a debt jubilee per se, it avoided additional bank debt.

                More recently, our bankruptcy laws, ability to write off bad debts and IRD writing off money owed to it are examples of debt jubilees which happen on a regular basis.

                In the US, the pricks in government have made it so that you cannot escape student debt by declaring bankruptcy. IE that shit now follows you to the grave. Pretty soon, I think they’ll make debts intergenerational. Back to the days of indentured servitude.

          • RedLogix 5.1.2.2.2

            Yes I guess that’s right CW; the way I’ve put it is a circular argument. So where is the circuit breaker?

            Why is it that we are locked into a cultural and political system that now seems increasingly incapable of solving any problems?

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.2.2.1

              “Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change a nation. Do you know why?”

              “Yes. Because that is all that ever has.”

            • Colonial Weka 5.1.2.2.2.2

              I think some systems inevitably evolve down dead ends. eg civilisations. Some things just aren’t fixable and eventually break down or fall apart. Our best hope is that enough of us are prepared and awake when the avalanche starts that we can make some use of the momentum to make change.

              IMO, collapse is inevitable, but we still have some choices about how that goes and where we end up. Maybe we don’t have to create debt relief, maybe we wait until the financial system collapses further and in the meantime we build the tools and networks to help people manage in the context of that (rather than trying to think of solutions to an unsolvable situation).

              The mortgage one is interesting. Taking on that kind of debt makes sense if the end of the world isn’t nigh. But in the face of CC, PO, GFC etc, it just doesn’t make sense (unless you can pay it off fast).

              And how much debt exists because people want stuff?

              • Colonial Viper

                mortgages (death contracts) are the main contributor to private debt in this country. And a large chunk of that is farming debt.

                But in the face of CC, PO, GFC etc, it just doesn’t make sense (unless you can pay it off fast).

                Well…a law making it impossible to evict someone from their home just because of an unpaid mortgage sorts that out pretty instantly.

                • Colonial Weka

                  I have to admit I am struggling a bit with ts at the moment because so much of the discussion is around statements like that. We seem very good at the bright ideas, but realistically, is that ever going to happen (such a law change)? I feel like we engage in wishful thinking too much (no offense intended).

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Agreed.

                    I make these statements to point out, perhaps frustratingly, that the solutions are not technically that far out of reach, or even that outlandish.

                    I do tend to go with Greer on these things, from a bigger perspective. Power in politics has become so diffuse and stagnant that it’s now difficult and slow to accomplish anything particularly substantial (for the good or the bad).

                    Mind you kudos to National for being determined and effective in pushing through unpopular shit. They know how to play the game of politics.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      “I make these statements to point out, perhaps frustratingly, that the solutions are not technically that far out of reach, or even that outlandish.”

                      Yes, and that’s a good thing to do. We just also need more focus on things that can actually happen now.

                      Maybe we should be focused on local body politics. I can’t see any hope at the national level unless there is a coup within Labour, or it falls apart.

                  • Grant

                    You absolutely should focus on local body politics most New Zealanders take no interest in their local councils and even less in their regional councils. However if you dissolusioned with Central Government politics local body politics will make you want to go and jump of the bridge. This is where the real waste is going on in New Zealand and this needs a huge shake up but all political parties will need to be onboard for it to be effective

                    • Colonial Weka

                      yep, and in the mean time NACT are gutting the community and environmental focus out of local bodies (such as they were). The next scariest thing about them is that people vote and they have no idea who they are voting for, way worse than national elections.

        • Rogue Trooper 5.1.2.3

          Yep R.L, Debt!

      • Populuxe1 5.1.3

        (1) build tidal barriers.
        (2) Significantly beef up our defense forces, particularly our navy.
        (3) Go from 76% to 100% completely sustainable and renewable energy (and the middle class NIMBYs in the Greens will just have to suck it).
        (4) Renationalise all infrastructure.
        (5) Diversify our agricultural sector so that we can fill all our own needs.
        (6) reactivate the national rail network.
        (7) establish alternative fuel sources like biofuel production or or Fischer–Tropsch synthesis

        That’s all just for starters

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.3.1

          Cripes I agree with everyone of those. Even the much maligned coal to liquids (as a back up).

          • Populuxe1 5.1.3.1.1

            You shouldn’t be THAT surprised. They’re the pragmatic things to do. As Michael Oakeshott observed “reputable political behavior is not dependent upon sound or even coherent philosophy.”

            Basically the only way vulnerable little sea-locked liberal democracies on their own are going to survive is by adopting our own kind of Juche.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.3.1.1.1

              Yep pretty much. I’d also go with local public broadcasting up and down the country as necessary infrastructure as times get tougher.

              • Populuxe1

                Ironically it’s Greens policy that I think would be most disastrous in relation to climate change with all their whining about reducing the navy to a sort of state-run Sea Shepherd with air rifles, and dams ruin rivers and wind turbines kill birds (yes, they do, but there are slightly bigger issues here). The environment is going to have to take a back seat to the survival of some sort of intact technological society. By the way, have you ever read the novel The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi? It’s set in Thailand in exactly the sort of dystopian future we could be facing.

                I don’t support carbon taxes or credits mainly because they don’t actually achieve anything because they’re too easy to get around.

                • Grant

                  If you’ve got nothing to do one day take a real close look at the Green polices and you will find out that they are absolute hypocripts when it comes to the environment. Their name is their biggest asset as they don’t have to talk much about the environment while people think they are all for the environment but they are not really they are just another socialist party. There name is also their achilles heal as once their environmental credentials are busted they are history.

                  You mentioned the birds in the turbine not to mention the bats which they kill without the blades even touching them not really that envrionmentally friendly. The wind turbines were in their election posters last election but they were so anti mining where do minerals come from to make the steal to make the turbines – thin air? They are just using the environment to get votes which would be okay if they would benefit the environment but they won’t this in my view makes them unethical and hypocripts.

                  • Colonial Weka

                    How do you propose that a party gets votes if it says we have to stop using all forms of industrial power given they all damage the environment?

  6. Bill 6

    Went down there. Brief summationof my (obvioously) personal take. Well meaning people. No idea of how to structure stuff and move things on.

    Of the political party presence. Labour’s Clark was a fcking embarassment trying to take cheap shots at ‘no show’ Nats. He got a flat zero response for his efforts from attendees. Greens (can’t remember name of individual) gave a heartfelt and sincere response to ‘the challenge’ laid down. NZ first…know what?…surprisingly streets ahead of the Labour Party response.

    Jist sayin’.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Who represented NZF? An MP?

      • Bill 6.1.1

        Shite with names I am. Recognised his face. From North Shore – ex mayor? Just looked at website – Andrew Williams. Kennedy Graham from the Greens?

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Cheers. This country is in big trouble. Not as big as some others, but big nonetheless.

          Our political class aren’t up for this.

          • Bill 6.1.1.1.1

            I don’t believe it is possible to have an adequate Social Democratic response. Social Democracy could, perhaps, form a part of a response. But there is no way can constitute one. We, the people, have to rediscover politics – we are all there is that could possibly constitute a major component of any necessary reaction/solution – us.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I agree: mild variations of the status quo are not sufficient now. I read something a few days ago which said that major establishment parties have by definition, no interest in doing much else other than continuing the established status quo.

              What we require now is a permanent revolution in how citizens re-engage in politics at every level.

              That is what Chavez has accomplished in Venezuela by the way. IIRC the country’s constitution and it’s importance is taught in every school. Election turn out has increased from the 60-ish% range in the 1990’s to 80% or more now.

              But neither National nor Labour will countenance such a re-engagement. The 50 most influential power players within each party have no wish to see the riff raff gain real effective power in those parties.

              • Bill

                Yeah, I’m not sure what any ‘re-engagement’ (with present political structures) would achieve. Way I see it, we need a new engagement…a political engagement that doesn’t rely on the traditional structures and habits of Social Democracy.

                Like you say, the major establishment parties have no interest in change. That makes sense. But it also (surely) ought to be viewed as utterly unacceptable – and therefore they and their interests rejected, sidelined and consigned to the dustbin of history.

                And that’s going to take engagement- serious political engagement.

    • r0b 6.2

      my (obvioously) personal take.

      Indeed.

      Clark spoke well and was warmly received, as did/were the Green and NZF MPs. The event convener also noted the absence of the Nats at the start, as did (I think) one of the several speakers before Clark, so it wasn’t exactly a “cheap shot”.

      • Bill 6.2.1

        Yeah r0b, sure. But Clark thought he could score points by having a go at National’s absence. He was fishing for ‘audience appreciation’. And in a scenario where the stated objective/challenge was for cross party consensus. Fucking dick witted was all it was.

        • r0b 6.2.1.1

          in a scenario where the stated objective/challenge was for cross party consensus.

          That’s exactly right. The politicians were challenged to achieve consensus and act. Clark was being honest about how difficult achieving consensus was going to be – case in point the Nats can’t even be bothered to show up for this event. It wasn’t an unreasonable point at all.

    • Colonial Weka 6.3

      “No idea of how to structure stuff and move things on”

      Do you mean that they have a Big Idea, but no strategy?

      The thing I liked about it (from the website) is that it will appeal to the classes with excess resources, people who are not going to be moved by the grassroots activists but want to do something. They recognise that something is wrong, but they’re not uncomfortable enough to take action on their own yet.

      • Bill 6.3.1

        What I mean is that, well meaning as it is, it is privileged liberals wringing their hands and it will end with privileged liberals wringing their hands. I know that might sound like a cheap shot, but this is a comment section of the blog, it’s late and I’m tired. That sounds like a cop out, dunnit? But…(sigh) I’ve given it thought – I observed and extrapolated with reference to experience of both failed and successful organisational structures . Their structure – and this is basic stuff, stuff they are blissfully unaware of – is self defeating and they simply will not be capable of achieving one of their principle aims; that of generating any type of mass participation.

        • Colonial Viper 6.3.1.1

          Maybe they just need to present more convincing evidence and data.

          😈

          • Bill 6.3.1.1.1

            Thank fck you put the evil face of mischeviousness at the end there CV. You might have had me worries otherwise 🙂

        • Colonial Weka 6.3.1.2

          “one of their principle aims; that of generating any type of mass participation.”

          Is that one of their aims? I thought they were a lobby group.

          • Colonial Weka 6.3.1.2.1

            I don’t think the upper middle classes aspire to political mass participation (at least not in the way I am guessing you mean). They want someone else to do the hard yards, and they will write a cheque to support it (or sign an online petition, or repost something on FB, or go out and listen to a speech at one of the Uni’s lecture theatres). So if a group of respected and prominent kiwis can put together a challenge to the govt of the day, and follow that up with some decent lobbying, that will/might get supported. And those supporters will use their influence in different spheres in their lives to promote the Wise Response strategies and recommendations.

            I do agree that it has potential to be a big wank fest that fades into the status quo. But I’ll wait a bit and see what they are planning I think.

            • Colonial Viper 6.3.1.2.1.1

              I don’t think the upper middle classes aspire to political mass participation

              Sure. But they do aspire to mass energy and resources per capita consumption.

              • Colonial Weka

                Stating the obvious. Your point?

                • Colonial Viper

                  The Wise Response appeal is very well put together and demonstrates a lot of understanding of the predicament modern civilisation is in.

                  What it does not demonstrate great understanding of however, is the path to changing our political economy. Who really holds and wields power in this country?

                  Looking to “The New Zealand Parliament” as the focus of power needed to change things is going to largely fail IMO. Why? Because the big parties present in parliament are focussed on the maintenace of the status quo, both their own and the country’s. (and perhaps polishing it up a bit here and there).

                  Those political parties are not about the permanent revolution which would be needed to even modestly achieve the aims of the Wise Response appeal. As we have seen, the political parties are from time to time more than happy to diss and disregard their own membership.

                  To achieve the revolutionary change required in the NZ political economy, you would need to have political parties present willing to represent revolutionary ideas. Labour of 1935 and 1984 was of that mindset.

                  Given the math, Labour of 2031 might be again.

                  • Colonial Weka

                    yes, yes, but the value in Wise Response isn’t that they are trying to get the govt to change. It’s that they can put the issues on the middle class agenda. If all those people start talking about this shit as if it is real and urgent, that will affect their peers and they will have an influence in many spheres, not just with the govt. That influence is far more important than their attempt on govt policy, but they have to focus somewhere.

                    I don’t know why they chose the govt to target – naivety or lack of options or strategy. But it’s still useful. If they get it right, they will at the least be exposing NACT for the bunch of environment and social structure rapists and pillagers that they are.

                    2031, far too late. I’m not waiting for, nor expecting the revolution. Time to be making changes now.

                    I don’t know if WR will be successful at what I have outlined, but naysaying them at the start of the game hardly ups their chances.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      True. When you look back on the history of westminster democracies, positive change has usually required the assent, even grudgingly, of the middle upper, and elite classes.

                      Maybe if they start talking about these issues at dinner parties, in addition to whether or not there are still investment opportunities in Herne Bay, we might have a chance.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      “Maybe if they start talking about these issues at dinner parties, in addition to whether or not there are still investment opportunities in Herne Bay, we might have a chance.”

                      The middle classes deserve to be taken to task for abusing their privileges and refusing to share power, no doubt about it. But in this conversation I don’t think it’s helpful to characterise them solely in such disparaging and belittling terms.

                      Looking at the make up of the WR group I’d say their influence is pretty wide within their peers. That’s influence in many aspects of society not just ‘dinner parties’. The disparagement also renders invisible the middle class people that are working hard to make changes. You only need to get the right people in positions of power to start affecting things at the council level or in the university or workplaces or the many other places that the middle classes have power and/or excess resources and are wanting to make good use of them.

                      We should be looking at how that assists us, how we can make use of it.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      generalisations are both helpful, and unhelpful; it’s all cultural memes anyhoo for the majority.

                  • Pete

                    On a local level, I do like the Transition Towns movement, and remember, in respect of local food New Zealand was a lot more resilient as late as WW2. Market gardeners (generally Chinese New Zealanders who were performing an essential but unappreciated function in NZ society) supplied their local communities with a diverse range of crops. Of course, populations were a lot smaller then and you can only do so much on a local level but NZ has ample rich land to feed the population and then some. The defence of the realm and our fisheries is always going to remain with central government, though.

  7. rosy 7

    Does anyone know if there are any links between wise-response and Pure Advantage? If there’s not, there probably should be. Their focus is different, but there’s plenty of crossover in the objectives of the two groups.

  8. TEA 8

    This group would have been better to promote there ideas in Wellington “The Green City of New Zealand”.
    In Dunedin these type of groupies are normally the 0.005%’ers based out of Otago University, and the rest of the Dunedin City think they are academic dreamers or dropouts from society, mostly grey haired and are a laugh a minute.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      0.005%’er?

      That’s like the richest person out of every 20,000 people?

      Newsflash: you really don’t get paid that much teaching at a university.

    • Murray Olsen 8.2

      Are you saying it’s best not to listen to them because they may actually have studied what they are talking about? Or that they make too much money? They make a hell of a lot less than the leading deniers. I welcome their contribution and don’t care much at all about the colour of their hair. Sometimes I wonder why we even have universities in Aotearoa – is it just so that idiots like Slater can have someone to feel intellectually superior to?

      • felixviper 8.2.1

        Are you saying…

        Oh come now Murray, you know he has absolutely no idea what he’s saying.

  9. TEA 9

    You are dead right only $120,000. Not enough to live on.

  10. Ugly Truth 10

    “Therefore, in the name of all our children and grandchildren”

    You do not speak for my children or grandchildren.

    “we, the undersigned, call on the New Zealand Parliament to face up to this situation now by dispassionately assessing risk levels in the following five areas.”

    Wise Response? True irony.

    If you are looking for meaningful risk assessment, then perhaps you should try asking people who don’t lie to you about the basics.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      You do not speak for my children or grandchildren.

      Why do you promote the resource depleted, extreme climate world, that you are handing to your family?

      There’s no reason to be so ignorant and callous.

      • Ugly Truth 10.1.1

        “Why do you promote the resource depleted, extreme climate world, that you are handing to your family?”

        Please feel free to continue to pull factoids out of your arse. It’s freakin hilarious.

        “There’s no reason to be so ignorant and callous.”

        The ignorance is yours. Parliament lies about the basics of law, specifically common law.

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    Today’s GDP figures reflect an economy that the National Government has allowed to drift along on the basis of growing population rather than improving productivity and adding value, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is important to recognise that ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s campaign of deception an affront to democracy
    Voters this week have a clear choice between Labour’s optimism and honesty, or rewarding National’s campaign of relentless lies, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Day after day National has been deliberately spreading lies about Labour, our intentions and what ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s economy scorecard: D for drift
    New Zealand’s economy is failing the very people it is supposed to uplift, characterised by stalled productivity, exports going backwards and a Government content to let it drift, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Voters have a clear choice ...
    6 days ago
  • Another day – another health crisis
    News today that the emergency department at Waikato has turned 180 patients away is another crisis for the Government and its besieged health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “It’s astonishing that the Government has had to rely on ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on loan sharks
      Labour will take a tough stance on loan sharks and make sure that the Commerce Commission is properly resourced to protect Kiwi consumers, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Michael Wood.   “People on low incomes must be protected from ...
    6 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    7 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    7 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    7 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    7 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    7 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    7 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    7 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to www.labour.org.nz/calculator and see how much better off they ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    3 weeks ago