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Zero Carbon bill announced

Written By: - Date published: 4:44 pm, May 8th, 2019 - 40 comments
Categories: climate change, Conservation, disaster, Environment, farming, global warming, greens, labour, national, nz first, science - Tags:

The long awaited Zero Carbon bill has now been released.

From Henry Cooke at Stuff:

The Government’s flagship climate change policy will treat biological methane far more softly than all other greenhouse gas emissions – but still mandates a large reduction.

Governments will be mandated to reduce biological methane by at least 10 per cent by 2030 and between 24 and 47 per cent by 2050. All other emissions would be reduced to “net zero” by 2050 to limit global warming increases to 1.5C.

Despite the softer approach to methane, which mainly comes from agriculture, the Government has not managed to win the full support of the National Party, although the party is supportive of the main structure of the bill.

The overall change is welcome.  The bill will aim for net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.  Again from Stuff:

The bill would set greenhouse gas emissions targets into law and force future governments to come up with plans to meet “stepping stone” targets on the way there, with an endpoint target of net zero long-lived emissions in 2050 and a large reduction in biological methane emissions – somewhere between a “provisional range” of 24 per cent and 47 per cent in gross reductions. The main enforcement mechanism each Government has is envisioned to be the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Biological methane emissions, which largely come from livestock belching, would need to be reduced by 10 per cent by 2030 from 2017 levels. The “provisional range” will be reviewed by the independent Climate Change Commission, which this bill sets up, in 2024.

All other greenhouse gases – including carbon dioxide from power production and transport – would need to be reduced to “net zero” – meaning offsetting methods like forestry will be key.

National has reserved its position on the bill.  So no consensus on this most important of issues.  –0And the farmers are not happy.  From DairyNZ’s website:

New Zealand is already one of the lowest emissions producers of dairy nutrition in the world but, right now, the dairy sector is responsible for 22.5 percent of all New Zealand’s emissions. We are committed to playing our part in addressing climate change for the emissions we produce on-farm.

The Government’s Zero Carbon Bill will put in place targets to reduce all greenhouse gases:

  • Carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide have to reduce to net zero by 2050.
  • Methane has a 2030 target to reduce by 10%, and a provisional target of 24-47% reduction by 2050

DairyNZ does not support the provisional range for the 2050 methane reduction target. Throughout the select committee process this year we will be seeking an amendment to the 2050 target so that it is aligned with the recommendations made by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, of 10 – 22 per cent reduction in methane.  When combined with our commitment on nitrous oxide to net zero, this is an equitable, yet ambitious and challenging target, that is grounded in science.

Greenpeace have the opposite concerns about the legislation, that it may not have sufficient power. Russell Norman said this:

Greenpeace Executive Director, Dr Russel Norman, says The Zero Carbon Amendment Bill has no ability to enforce its climate change targets.

The Bill, released today, aims to outline a framework for New Zealand to develop climate change policies that contribute to the effort under the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees by 2050.

But Norman says the Bill will have little direct effect because it has specifically written out any mechanism that would hold any person or body to account for not adhering to it.

“What we’ve got here is a reasonably ambitious piece of legislation that’s then had the teeth ripped out of it. There’s bark, but there’s no bite,” he says.

“The Bill sends some good signals until you get to the section at the end that negates everything else you’ve just read. This section states there is no remedy or relief for failure to meet the 2050 target, meaning there’s no legal compulsion for anyone to take any notice.

“The most anyone can do is get a court to make a ‘declaration’ that the Government isn’t achieving its climate goals, but this declaration doesn’t make the Government actually do anything.”

He is referring to section 5ZJ of the Bill which says this:

5ZJ Effect of failure to meet 2050 target and emissions budgets

(1)  No remedy or relief is available for failure to meet the 2050 target or an emissions budget, and the 2050 target and emissions budgets are not enforceable in a court of law, except as set out in this section.

(2)  If the 2050 target or an emissions budget is not met, a court may make a declaration to that effect, together with an award of costs.

(3)  If a declaration is made and becomes final after all appeals or rights of appeal expire or are disposed of, the Minister must, as soon as practicable, present to the House of Representatives a document that—

(a) brings the declaration to the attention of the House of Representatives; and

(b) contains advice on the Government’s response to the declaration.

No doubt the boffins will be checking into this overtime.  But the basic premise, that New Zealand should have reached carbon neutrality by 2050 is a worthy goal.

Let us hope that it can meet this goal.  And that this will be sufficient.

40 comments on “Zero Carbon bill announced”

  1. Pat 1

    now lets see how much more time they waste getting some policy to achieve said goals

  2. patricia bremner 2

    Jacinda Ardern said "Consensus is my job".  Unfortunately others are thinking of their personal supporters requirements,  not NZ's or the Planet's needs.  So Farming has won.

    Sad day.  The voters have to give more votes to Labour and Green to bring in the needed changes.  This will not be easy and it will go badly for us if we try to "Hedge our bets"

     

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      Patricia – I/S says:

      " The variable methane target will be determined by a review in 2024, but the minimum level stabilises the level of warming from methane, while the upper limit would reduce it significantly. And even the interim 2030 target is going to mean reducing the number of cows, with flow-on benefits for water quality.

      (As for that review in 2024, I would argue that we need to go harder on methane rather than softer. Because the goal isn't to "stabilise" warming, but to reduce it. Reducing methane is the fastest and most effective way of doing this in the short term, and cutting it hard will help buy us time for reducing longer-lived gases. We're in real danger of "positive feedback", existing warming making it worse, so anything we can do to reduce heat as quickly as possible is good. This is a crisis and we need to act like it)."

      • patricia bremner 2.1.1

        Robert,  They argued methane was "less harmful"  because it didn't last as long.  Wrong Wrong. Reducing is the answer.

        • Robert Guyton 2.1.1.1

          What, Patricia, does Jeanette Fitzsimons say about methane, do you know?

          • patricia bremner 2.1.1.1.1

            Robert if I have remembered…   Jeanette said something like, methane 120 times the warming of the same volume? of carbon dioxide.?   We should cut methane hard to take us back to 1990 levels and hold it there to give time to lower the slower degradation of  other gases such as the carbon dioxide.  Remembering natural emissions continue .

            I fear it appears we may have really reached a tipping point and the twelve years could be wishful thinking. 

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    I reckon "things" are coming into focus. That's good.

    • patricia bremner 3.1

      100%  At least we are talking and making a start, and  not saying "What climate change?"

      • Robert Guyton 3.1.1

        Yes. I don't think we'll make much difference to The Change, but we'll be in a better space for taking action as it happens 🙂 For that, I thank The Greens.

  4. WeTheBleeple 4

    We've passed toothless legislation full of hot air statements from Paris and now yet another long and tedious round of getting nothing.

    Nobody will be held to task.

    Thus nobody will give a flying f***.

    You've been living in a dream if you think the average NZ'er will act altruistically because a bill says so.

    Farmers, landlords, bankers, that's who this bill is for. Reassurance that the hippies can fuck right off.

  5. cleangreen 5

    The "Zero carbon bill"

    It's not ground shaking stuff that the greens settled on, but I hope the science comes along soon to show we need to speed up our changes before the planet goes into irreversible meltdown.

    Transport will need to change radically and a shift from road to rail needing to be at the centre of the changes now as roads use high amounts of VOC's in both repairs and asphalt that are at the centre of the emissions of carbon along with the use of oil based synthetic tyres. 

    This was our press release today to scoop.

    Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre, CEAC supports Zero Carbon Bill.

    Press release by Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre.

    8th May 2019.

    We at CEAC support the Zero Carbon Bill as New Zealand’s actions are going to help change the climate.

    We may only account for just a few per cent of global emissions but we are widely respected as a “clean green country” so we need to lead by example here to encourage others to follow.

    ACT Leader is not voting for the Zero Carbon Bill and seems to want to just to be a follower or sit on the fence on such an important issue facing our young and old citizens going forward’

    NZ is a flood prone country with a very large exposed ‘coastline surrounded by one of the largest areas of sea around it, that is subject to flooding on future’ and if we don’t lower our climate emissions collectively, many properties and lives are at seriously stake here.

    TRANSPORT CARBON EMISSIONS ‘COMMON SENSE’

    This has been our focus since 2001 to lower the use of fossil fuels and climate emissions when we had solid support for using more rail from Helen Clark’s Labour Government, as they gave support of our calls for “common sense” multiple transport modalities in our submissions to Government and councils as we were asking to use more rail freight and lower the truck gridlock & carbon emissions, but sadly now we are again facing truck gridlock as National ran ‘rail down’ in their last term.

    Labour coalition again need to pick up where in 2002 Helen Clark wrote to our Environmental Centre offering to support us by sending us her Minister of Finance and the CEO of Transit NZ (now NZTA) to try and find resolution to lower the truck freight problems.

    These and others agreed to place a rail service transport link into “Watties” (now/Watties/Hienz as the largest cannery export business in HB that are supporting our community.

    The Watties press release in the HB Today claimed it would remove over 12,000 trucks a year from our roads in HB, and this was a large successful commitment then, so we need to encourage more examples of this by adopting the Zero Carbon Bill to save lives and the climate also.

    Also RNZ news announced that In support of this year’s Road Safety Week theme of Save Lives, #SpeakUp, Julie Anne Genter told RNZ that the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is actively looking at reducing the speed limit on some roads to reduce fatalities.

    https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/other/genter-confident-nz-supports-more-appropriate-speed-limits/ar-AAAXot3
    So as to road safety, we at Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre want rail to strongly feature also in the transport modality choices that our councils and government with us all make in future for those reasons of ‘road safety and climate change emissions reductions’, that associate Minister of transport Julie Anne Genter has now advocated for the same logic.

    Our narrow winding roads are not designed for those ultra-heavy trucks nor their increased speeds, and we support the Zero Carbon Bill for “common sense” policies that it encourages.

    We have always advocated for rail passenger and freight services to be restored since the public became the owner once again of the rail system, so Government needs to be encouraged to take action to get rail going again to lower carbon emissions in our provinces during their term of Government.

    Secretary.
    Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre. (CEAC) 2001.

  6. AB 6

    Voluntary adherence means people accepting that they will have less money, less stuff and lower material living standards (as conventionally measured). Given that self-sacrifice does not sit high in the list of contemporary values – fat chance.

    Enforcement means 'coercion' – cue screams of outrage that make the anti-CGT apoplexy look like a mild disagreement.

    I try not to despair – but some days it's tough.

  7. Ad 7

    Shaw has done exceedingly well to get National to "reserve" position rather than usual "oppose" position.

     

    This is much stronger policy and execution response than the welfare and tax policy outcomes.

     

    Great start James, and all power to you for the months ahead.

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      He's achieved the maximum that is possible under current realpolitik.  NZF & National are competing for the farmer's slice of the electorate pie.  MMP is his handicap.  So I agree with your appraisal. 

      Prior negative comments are correct – but they apply only to what the situation requires.  They don't factor in that politics is the art of the possible.  Democracy is part of the problem, but James is forced to use it as if it were part of the solution.  Castenada's controlled folly applies (have faith that it works, hope for the best, it ain't over till it's over, etc).

      • BM 7.1.1

        He’s achieved the maximum that is possible under current realpolitik

        James and the Greens could bring the government down at any point, why are the Greens so dickless? why do they roll over and show their bellies on absolutely everything?

        They could cut this governments throat and they’d be guaranteed to get well over 5% of the vote at the next election, my guess is that the baubles mean more to James and the Greens then trying to save the earth.

        Facts are, like the Greens, Labour has nowhere to go, not like they’re going to go into coalition with National, there’s no need for the greens to be such simpering weaklings.

        • Ad 7.1.1.1

          The Greens are not dicks. They are pussies. 

          That's according to America World Police. 

          They would much rather subtly getting things done than fuck things up. 

          And I respect them for that. 

          Guaranteed they'll and for more and get more at the next coalition talks, now that they can see what can be asked for. 

          • BM 7.1.1.1.1

            Good one fella, you respect the Greens only because they do what Labour says, they're useful idiots, that is all.

            This carbon bill is utter shite, you know it and every other person who's concerned about climate change knows it as well.

             

             

            • Ad 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I respect them because they are an effective part of the government. Which indeed is led by Labour. 

            • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.1.1.2

              This carbon bill is utter shite, you know it and every other person who's concerned about climate change knows it as well.

              It's nowhere near what the Greens would like the government to have introduced, no.  However, that's not surprising when you consider the Greens' share of the vote, and the fact that their government's coalition includes an anti-environmentalist party.  They were never going to get the bill they wanted, so the real question is, given the difficulty in getting NZF to agree to any environmentalist legislation whatsoever, how well have they done?  Hmmm.  Fucking, that's how well.

              Anyway, you're being disingenuous.  What legislation would any National-led government pass to lower our emissions?  The last one had an environmental policy of increased fossil fuel extraction, intensification of farming and running an ETS scam using fake east European carbon credits, so absolutely anything whatsoever this government does re the environment will be streets ahead of its main competitor.

            • Wayne 7.1.1.1.1.3

              BM

              That is a very below par statement by you.

              I think the bill is very credible in terms of setting the goals. And even if National is reserving its position now, they will ultimately sign up to it. Basically a bill like this effectively gets entrenched. Even if a party votes against it, they find when they get into government they can't practically change it. Not unless they are led by a Trump like figure.

              Of course having goals is not the same as having action. So the government is going to have to come up with practical action.

              What will they do about electric cars, which I write about in the Spinoff? Will the ETS be strengthened so the price signals around moving industry toward climate change technologies are clearer? Will there be incentives for homeowners to install solar cells? Will the government partner with farmers to get wider stream margins?

               

              • millsy

                Electric car use will not increase until a Henry Ford-like disruptive figure comes and sells EV's at a fraction of a price of Teslas, Priuses and Leafs.

          • Pat 7.1.1.1.2

            quarter of a billion tonnes of carbon later….

        • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.2

          James and the Greens could bring the government down at any point…

          To what purpose?  Shits and giggles?

           

    • Pat 7.2

      his time (and target) compromises have achieved nothing….despite the compromises and delays National still do not support the Bill….wasted opportunity and more importantly time,…Norman spotted it months ago.

    • patricia bremner 7.3

      Yes well done James,  though we are fearful it will not be enough.

  8. gsays 8

    I see a need for an effective narrative demonstrating 'this is what leadership looks like' and  negating 'we are a small contributor to global warming'. 

    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      Each of us is "a small contributor to global warming".

      Those wishing to follow can smell a leader from a mile away.

  9. Exkiwiforces 9

    Well the way I see it, is that old Jandals and co must be doing something right when you have both the farmers and Greenpeace complaining about the bill. For me it’s a step in the right direction while the some may not like it all, it’s a different story over here in Oz atm as the pollies are doing SFA about. 

     

  10. Stuart Munro. 10

    No sign of the speed up every real indicator is telling us events require in response to the coming challenges. It's like we have a government led by some horrific mutant lovechild of Stan Rodger and Gerry Brownlee.

  11. Koff 11

    The Bill, despite misgivings over the response to methane not being tough enough and lack of accountability, is about as good as you expect the Coalition to come up with. Have to say that I feel the planet;s present trajectory is a bit like the feeling on the Titanic when they realised the ship was bearing down on the iceberg – too little action, too late, with most of the world's population still dancing away in the ballroom, or below decks, oblivious to what is about to happen.

  12. Jenny - How to get there? 12

    The dead rubber chicken bounce. Though it is definitely bouncy it is hard to describe something that was never alive to begin with, as 'dead'

    Greenpeace Director Russel Norman declares this rubber chicken to be "toothless".

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/388789/government-s-zero-carbon-bill-already-facing-heavy-criticism

    No surprise there, action on climate change is as rare as hens teeth in a rubber chicken

  13. marty mars 13

    This is important and is being ignored.

    Mr Smith said Māori not only need to be consulted but be determining policy around climate change.

    "We want our views not only to be consulted, but we want our views to be implemented and when it comes to things like climate change and environmental degradation if this society had been built on the tikanga of our tupuna we wouldn't be in the mess that we are in now. So for very practical reasons that Māori viewpoints are taken into account."

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/388797/maori-seek-direct-input-into-govt-s-climate-change-policy

     

  14. millsy 14

    What we really need is a Think Big v2.0. Legislating a few targets isnt really going to do things.

    We are going to have to have the government doing and owning stuff for this all to work. It might be un-PC to some people, but that's the way it is.

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  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    5 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    7 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago