You’ve got to know to ask the questions that matter

Written By: - Date published: 2:51 pm, February 16th, 2009 - 41 comments
Categories: economy, Media - Tags:

When I heard Shell is looking at selling its service stations in NZ and its shares in Fulton Hogan, my initial thought was that the Government should look at buying – to keep profits in NZ, to help ensure competition in the market as Kiwibank has for banking, and so there is a publicly-owned network of service stations that can used to lead the way on future ‘refueling’ (battery charging or battery replacement).

And while I still think there may be some merit in that, then I heard One New’s Heather du Plessis-Allan repeat Shell’s explanation for why it was looking to sell. The company claimed it needs cash for investment in exploration and high growth markets. That raised alarm bells for me and if we had enough quality journos they might have picked up the problem too.

Shell is awash with cash. It made a profit of US$41 billion last year, probably twenty times what it would hope to make from selling its NZ interests. It returned $3 billion in dividends each quarter to its investors last year and spent $3 billion on share buy-backs (basically, what a company does when it has nothing else to do with its money). And it’s still sitting on a huge pile of cash. It doesn’t need to free up money from NZ for investment elsewhere, if it needed the cash it already has it.

So that leaves two possibilities two my mind. Either Shell thinks that service stations aren’t a money-maker in the long-term and wants to get out while the getting it good. Or it thinks New Zealand isn’t a good prospect in the long-term. The first implies a belief that people aren’t going to be going to service stations in the reasonably near future either because the technology has moved on or the supply of petrol is falling. The second, more worryingly, suggests it doesn’t think the New Zealand economy will be a good place to be compared to the rest of the world for some time, which may also link into peak oil.

Maybe those aren’t the real reasons but would be really interesting to know why Shell wants out of New Zealand. A pity the question wasn’t asked.

41 comments on “You’ve got to know to ask the questions that matter ”

  1. mike 1

    Comrad pierson – the Governments job is to govern. Not to run petrol stations. silly post..

  2. Mike,

    That would be Comrade Pierson actually.

    If the commercial private oil companies no longer find NZ interesting as a market and want to move to “growth” countries then perhaps it would be wise to make sure as a people to make sure that we keep supplies of petrol distributed to the places where we need petrol.
    Those petrol companies might think that providing 4.3 million people with petrol isn’t very interesting but those 4.3 million might disagree.

    The Government which should be by the people for the people might very well be tasked by the people to keep petrol supplies coming.

  3. An astute question Clint. It does not smell quite right. Having said that the oil price has dropped substantially and Shell has had some reasonably massive structural shocks over the last few years. You will recall it was forced to write down its reserves by 25% + a year or two ago. It is likely that a strategic review has identified that Shell NZ does not meet its cost of capital and is unlikely to in the medium term. The reason companies like Shell make so much money over the long term is that they have a ruthless attention to financial performance and believe their analysis. If the projected returns even under positive scenarios was less than cost of capital they may well make the decision to exit on that basis.

    That said there has been a comfortable downstream oligopoly in New Zealand for many years which would suggest they should have been extracting high returns. Consistent poor local management is a more likely explanation.

    The getting is not good now. Oil price is low and equity not highly available unless you think they are trying to sucker the government into buying.

    Also bear in mind that they may simply be exiting ownership of the franchise. Shell is still a value brand and it is unlikely any buyer would change that. Owning service stations is high cost and regulation intense. They may still make most of their margin in the wholesale price. I did not see any reference to selling out of Marsden point. Which means they keep the refining margin and get rid of low added value distribution.

  4. rave 4

    Well I know what we should do.
    Nationalise Marsden Point and use it to refine Venezuelan crude which we could swap for much needed high protein food.
    Shell, Mobil, Caltex etc could then take a massive cut in profits or piss off leaving their monstrous eyesores to be redeveloped as bike shops, car pool centres, discos and fast food outlets.
    Alternatively we could bypass Mitsubishi and swap our food for lithium in Bolivia to power locally constructed electric cars that would dispense with oil. The bosses would need to take some also to calm down. Lithium that is.

  5. Redbaiter 5

    “Nationalise Marsden Point and use it to refine Venezuelan crude which we could swap for much needed high protein food.”

    Dumb fuck. There won’t be any Venezualan crude very soon. The country is broke destitute and its citizens will soon be starving, as another commie scumbag whose mind is as fucked as yours drives another country to destruction, as they have done again and again and again throughout history.

  6. Redbaiter 6

    ooops- forgot the asteriks..!!

    “Nationalise Marsden Point and use it to refine Venezuelan crude which we could swap for much needed high protein food.’

    Dumb fuck. There won’t be any Venezuelan crude very soon. The country is broke destitute and its citizens will soon be starving, as another c*mm*e scumbag whose mind is as fucked as yours drives another country to destruction, as they have done again and again and again throughout history.

  7. Redbaiter,

    You are seriously getting on my wick now. I’ve been following your attacks and rants and you are one seriously sad and ignorant puppy. You might want to hook up with Billy and Higherstandard. They’d really appreciate you.

    FYI.
    South America is finally escaping you crummy capitalist greedy pigs and it is countries like Venezuela where populations finally get a fair share of the oil proceeds in the form of healthcare, education and infra structure.

    That is contrary to the disgusting profits oil companies have been making in your capitalist dominated Western world. This is what Stiglitz, Nobel price winning economist has to say about Venezuela. Oh, and Chavez just succeeded by popular vote to change the law so he can be elected again. Doesn’t sound like the Venezuelans feel they are getting a bad deal to me.

    Calling Rave a dumb fuck shows you ignorance and your angry denial of the reality. Your Capitalist system is collapsing around your ears and your banking scum mate John Key and his Companeros (Capitalism for us poor smucks and Socialism for the rich) are to blame.

    That reminds me: John Key signalled today that he was willing to look into bailing out Fisher and Paykel. Would that be the same F&P who dumped their factories here and in Brisbane in favour of Mexico and Thailand?
    You know what, I say let the Mexicans and the Thai pick up F&P’s tab, they wanted them they’ve got them.

    But tell you what I reckon JK loves Socialism. Just so long as it bestows wealth on him his bankster mates and his rich mates the owners of F&P and that means that us, the taxpayers cane cough up for the likes of F&P. That’s what JK said in his APEC speech anyway.

    So now the party is over and the taxpayers of the world are left to underwrite in one form or another the liabilities and obligations of banks and, by extension, their hedge-fund clientele.

    That’s you and me Bubba.

    The rest, that’s us, can get fucked as usual

  8. Redbaiter 8

    “You are seriously getting on my wick now. I’ve been following your attacks and rants and you are one seriously sad and ignorant puppy.”

    Snicker…

  9. Chess Player 9

    Rave, can you please pass a large dose of that Lithium on to Travellerev,

    Much obliged…

  10. Tim Ellis 10

    Redbaiter, there’s no need for that kind of personal abuse.

    Ev, Higherstandard doesn’t go around abusing people as far as I’ve seen. S/he debates civilly and on point. The same can’t always be said for you. Case in point is you calling redbaiter a “crummy capitalist greedy pig”. It’s nice to see you back though. You offer a refreshing, if unorthodox view of the world.

  11. Felix 11

    Trav,

    Redbaiter is a long-time troll. He’s been copying and pasting the exact same comments across the net for years with no intent other than to wind people up and destroy genuine debates – as evidenced by his reply to you above.

    I have no idea why the authors here are putting up with his vandalism don’t just ban the prick – he’s never, ever contributed anything of any value to any website and never will.

    Ever.

    He’s reading this assessment now and gushing with pride.

  12. higherstandard 12

    Tim

    I’m not adverse to offering abuse to those who I think need it …

    Interesting word ‘refreshing” before completely dismissing redbaiter’s abuse of Rave out of hand I would suggest you have a peek at his site, Eve’s is almost mainstream by comparison.

    captcha Netherland 18 (Eve have you been lying on your birth certificate 🙂 )

  13. Redbaiter 13

    “Redbaiter, there’s no need for that kind of personal abuse”

    This isn’t a classroom dipshit and you’re not the teacher. Keep your arrogant condescending crap to yourself.

  14. Redbaiter 14

    “He’s reading this assessment now and gushing with pride.”

    I’m not actually. I ‘m merely thinking “another brain damaged anti freedom of expression control freak leftist unable to tell the difference between opinion and fact, and so insane irrational and bigoted that any appraisial of anything or anybody is completely worthless”.

    IrishBill: You’ve made no argument for days. All you have done is abuse other commenters. Make an effort to present a cogent argument or you will be banned.

  15. wil 15

    thats a good point Ev about F&P sending their manufacturing plants offshore, dumping their workers here. In that case, why should taxpayer dollars prop them up? When I threw out my old F&P 400 I put my back out. It was the bloody concrete block in it.. bastards..

    speaking of bastards.. redbaiter/whalegirly whatever your name is, you’re an asshole, but I’m sure you already know that.

  16. Felix 16

    Rb:
    “another brain damaged anti freedom of expression control freak leftist unable to tell the difference between opinion and fact, and so insane irrational and bigoted that any appraisial of anything or anybody is completely worthless’.

    Nothing further.

  17. Redbaiter 17

    “IrishBill: You’ve made no argument for days.”

    That is bullshit. The moron above suggests Venezuelan oil is a potential source of income when anyone with any real information on the issue knows that Venezuelan oil production is likely to grind to a complete halt soon due to contractors not being paid and a lack of drillable prospects. The whole oil industry in Venezuela is in free fall and therefore so is Venezuela’s economy. The argument is to prove those facts wrong, and not one leftist here dares to pick up that baton and run with it.

    They seek refuge from the truth by attacking the messenger- as leftists always do, because they cannot ever face truth, and Redbaiter is hated by leftists because he constantly brings them the truth that shatters their delusions and that they have no answer to.

    I have produced stats and references (on other threads on other issues) to back up my claim that progressives and their ideology are the root cause of violent and crime ridden society. Once again- no response other than hate and disparagement. (oh, and of course the weak claim the stats must be wrong, even tho they’d need to be 1000% wrong for the error to be significant)

    Your boys are the ones without facts and arguments Bill. They’re the lamers. Go on, ban me. Prove everything anyone has ever said about the left to be true, (and I’ll take the utmost pleasure in referencing that banning all over the net.)

  18. No Tim,

    HS, only ridicules and belittles and oh, he will abuse when he thinks someone needs it. How droll.

    LOLOLOL. “HS, debates civilly and on point.” Fucking Hell Tim, I just fell off my chair laughing on that one. No, again he belittles and ridicules but civilly of course. That’s the rule.

    And Tim,

    Redbaiter, there’s no need for that kind of personal abuse. coming from you is rich and to be honest I don’t give a flying fuck whether you like me here or not.

    As to you calling my input here refreshing if somewhat unorthodox, the last time I offered my refreshing unorthodox view you couldn’t wait to pummel it into the ground (very civil and politely worded of course) so if it’s all the same to you why don’t you just fuck off OK?

    I’m glad all you trolls are out there just waiting for a chance to pounce. I missed Billy and Lucas but I’m sure they will show up.

    Someone I don’t consider a troll I miss also though. I wonder what happened to T-Rex. I have something to tell him and I miss his comments here.

    Felix,

    I know but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get up my wick sometimes. Besides what are trolls for but to vent some steam over sometimes. LOL.

  19. @ work 19

    Sorry red “every one knows…” arguments arent going to cut it here.

  20. Redbaiter,

    The worlds oil trade is in freefall. The OPEC countries just decided to cut oil production to keep the price up but the pending hyperinflation will put a stop to that too. Why hyperinflation? Because the Banking scum “Morons” are printing money like there is no tomorrow and they are not even lying about it any more and our fiat money system is running of the rails. Why don’t you just ask your pall John Key why that is, eh?

    I mean two trillion here or there to bail the banksters out, what the heck, we’ve got that in our back pocket and under our pillows. Oh oops, we don’t that’s why the bank of England thinks it’s a good idea to start printing it. LOL

    If the bank of London can print money out in the open you tell me, why can’t we?

    You know you should try reading something other than the National mouthpiece, the NZH.

  21. Redbaiter 21

    “Sorry red “every one knows ‘ arguments arent going to cut it here”

    Which isn’t what I said. Close down your computer and commit yourself, time waster. Take a course in reading and comprehension while you weave those baskets.

    See Bill- this moron will not take up the baton, instead he prefers childish off topic attempts at a put down that only show how bad his comprehension is. Your site would be much improved if rather than banning Redbaiter, you banned anyone with an IQ less than 65. @work, Blip and so many other boring retards with nothing but doctrinal responses would be absent, and there would be a much improved level of discussion.

  22. Redbaiter 22

    Travellerev, is depending upon Venzuelan oil for income a good idea or a bad idea?

  23. lukas 23

    Trav-

    I’m glad all you trolls are out there just waiting for a chance to pounce. I missed Billy and Lucas but I’m sure they will show up.

    Sorry, missed the text message, shoddy reception at my home at times!

    By the way, are you Catherine Delahunty?

  24. Will,

    LOL.

    That reminds me. We converted an old F&P washing machine to a broody nest. Very sustainable. You just take everything out, cut the corners of the bottom half and fold them inward to serve as the bottom and cut a round hole on the side as an entrance.
    Use the concrete slab to weight the top flap.

    Result a save little Chicken coop to nest in and our chickens loved it. LOL.

    Keep it in the shade though cause steel gets hot.

    By the way thank you for your vote a little way back.

  25. Rudith 25

    Hi Catherine,how about another lovely song?

  26. @ work 26

    Redbaiter:
    See Bill- this moron will not take up the baton, instead he prefers childish off topic attempts at a put down that only show how bad his comprehension is. Your site would be much improved if rather than banning Redbaiter, you banned anyone with an IQ less than 65. @work, Blip and so many other boring retards with nothing but doctrinal responses would be absent, and there would be a much improved level of discussion.

    And still your unable or unwilling to tell us, fully explained, how less government, or less people, help to warn more people that bush fires are heading thier way?

  27. Redbaiter,

    Wow, that almost sounded like an invitation to reasoned debate.

    Read my previous comment. Depending on oil for income as a country isn’t very profitable on the whole at the moment, be it Venezuela or OPEC.

    The answer to that question puts paid to your assertion that Chavez somehow is responsible for the demise of the Venezuelan oil price.

    Big oil companies still make indecent amounts of money though.

    My question to you is therefore: Is it even remotely possible those selfsame oil companies have been manipulating the global oil prices in say oh, the last 8 years.

    Surely their profits went up the moment the US supported by their coalition of the willing killing went on a warring spree.

    Lucas,

    So glad you could join us. I haven’t got a clue who Catherine Delahunty is.

    Now all we have to do it to await Billy’s arrival and our trolls are once again one big happy trolling family.

    Captcha: short-term-loan Wells. I don’t think even a short term loan is going to save Wells-Fargo from their financial demise LOL.

  28. lukas 28

    Thanks Trav, by the way, I think you should head down to your local Dick Smith and get a new keyboard, your “k” key seems to be typing “c” when you hit it.

    I’m a touch busy today, can you let me know what lines you are running so I can set up an auto reply of some sort?

    How are the levels of depleted uranium going?

  29. Lucas,

    Ah Lucas. Still the droll remarks man I see.

    DU? What does that have to do with the tread? tuttut, my man. You’re so predictable.

    If you want to learn about DU visit my site.

    This tread is about Shell not finding NZ interesting enough to keep their petrol stations going and its related topics.

  30. lukas 30

    oh dear, now your ‘h’ key seems to be on the blip.

    Pretty much.

    I figured you of all people would be able to draw DU into this or any conversation, perhaps there is some link with Bush, DU, September 11 and Shell that you could educate us on? LOL

  31. Felix 31

    lukas, if you’re bored why don’t you go outside and play with your little friends? It’s a lovely day.

    Oh, have you found anyone to talk to about Delahunty yet? Didn’t think so. Off you go.

  32. wil 32

    Ev yes another old F&P 400 case holds up one end of my heavy workbench in the shed still. So F&P you are not bastards after all. Recycleable, so good.

    Steve Pierson, what an inspired idea you have floated here. If Shell are selling their petrol stations, these being used by govt for recharging/battery exchange. The coming era of electric cars is ideal for our abundant electricity, the fact that the bulk of daily motoring is sub-100km commuting and already well within a single charge range at present, and the need for battery exchange stations for longer travelling. Charge rate technology is also getting to almost the same wait time as an average busy petrol station.

    Great possibilities in developing viable electric commuter vehicles here in NZ. Like our railways which are already much electrified.

    Local engineering expertise built our railway system away back in the steam era, most designed and built here. In those days people didn’t sneer like the trolls here today, they just got on and did it. Sounds like those days (1890s depression) are coming again. Hopefully the local work, engineering inspiration and make-do ethic remains, although so many lawyers so many economists! Not many engineers… able to write eloquent shite and lift lattes but not work in metal and plastics and inspired engineering concepts.

    Shame the magic that is kiwibank wont be repeated for quite a while. I just hope ingenious kiwi engineers are inspired to design viable electric cars in their sheds right now. Even on a bench held up by the F&P 400 case.

  33. Bloody hell Will,

    That’s not a bad idea at all. If Shell thinks that NZ is not going to make them much money than perhaps they will leave us the hell alone and we can get on with developing energy saving technology.

    I’m sure we can find simple jobs in the real world to do for our latte drinking office boys. lol.
    Who knows if they get hungry enough they might even do them for food and a bed.

    Captcha: $5 immaterial. Hmmm.

  34. SeaJay 34

    Woah, should I be worried that redhater writes of itself in the first person? Its i.q of 66 is not enough to maintain a constant character and context?

    IrishBill: I can’t really give RB grief for attacking other commenters if other commenters attack him just as baselessly. You’ve been warned.

  35. lukas 35

    Thanks for that suggestion Felix, but I have work to do today. The view outside over the five acres of bush is pretty nice to look at though.

    Yeah I have found other people who are amazed that our tax dollars pay for Ms Delahunty thanks, quite a few left wing people in that mix too.

  36. Felix 36

    Pleased to hear you’re busy, lukas. How is your paper round going?

  37. lukas 37

    if there was a paper boy where I live I would be surprised. As for the production and sourcing of products out of China, thats going great. No recession in China or in the agriculture supply game.

  38. Lucas,

    FYI, China is collapsing too. The Chinese leader are scared shitless for social unrest (a nice the description of mayhem for when 50 million people revolt) So I would enjoy it while you can.

  39. lukas 39

    Trav, I have a fairly good idea of what is going on over there. Some of the bad factories are going under, the good ones are doing fine as domestic demand hasn’t really gone down all that much.

    The company that I contract too is finding it hard to fill staff vacancies and to find enough suppliers for some of the products we manufacture.

  40. rave 40

    Redbaiter

    The problem isnt that Venezuela is dependent on oil, but rather that it doesnt own its oil yet. Adam Smith said produce what your good at, and buy the rest. But if someone else owns the oil and pumps out the income then their isnt much left to buy food. Chavez is well down the road to taking ownership of the oil back. We should do the same to key sectors of the NZ economy.
    Swapping the stuff we need to live on makes sense as the capitalist system crashes and is only kept alive by using the state to force us to pay for its bad debts. Why should it get rewarded with that future income stream from the people who do the work when it doesnt?
    I say let the system crash and burn and lets nationalise what we need to live on and trade what we don’t need and others do, for what we do need and they don’t.
    We would run much better with the lithium in the cars and not in our brains.

  41. Lucas,

    Dream on and enjoy while it last. 30 million unemployed people represents an awful lot of “bad” factories.
    Those 30 million are the people of the rural communities which send on or two of their unwed young family members (mostly girls to the big city. Their earnings represent 65% of the income of those families. That’s 30 million families who are loosing 65% of their annual income. That, whether you like it or not will lead to the collapse of local demand one way or the other.

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    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    3 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    3 days ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    4 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    5 days ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    6 days ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    6 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
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