Kiwis are going solar in record numbers to escape rising power bills and get a degree of energy freedom, but the electricity industry is using a host of tactics to try and discourage them.
If you read the news there are a lot of terrifying climate change reports being published but a new global resurvey of clean energy just out should give us some hope. Last year was a record year for clean energy globally according to the latest annual Renewables Global Status Report published this week. We are […]
Budget 2016 once again left our only public broadcaster, Radio NZ (RNZ), worse off. After eight years of funding freezes, you have to wonder if RNZ is being iced-out for ideological reasons.
This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once upon a time in our history they were events, where everyone tuned-in to hear how […]
New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system so we have a single provider, a monopoly called Transpower, which is meant to be […]
Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips paper” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Australian media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their New Zealand businesses (NZME. and Fairfax NZ) which could lead to what’s being […]
Energy Minister Simon Bridges revealed in Parliament this week he has no idea what majority state-owned power companies are up to, when he wrongly claimed that Genesis Energy would not burn coal at Huntly unless there was a shortage of renewable electricity. Was it ignorance or a smokescreen? Responding to Genesis Energy’s decision to backtrack […]
This week, Fonterra’s application to expand its milk-drying factory and burn more coal at Studholme, in South Canterbury, is being put to the test. The local council is considering the application and hearing from people who’ve asked to make submissions. It might come as a surprise to many people that Fonterra is one of New […]
If you had a trillion dollars to spend on energy, would you invest it in burning coal for electricity? Well that’s exactly what is slated to happen internationally, according to a new report. The report, published by Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and CoalSwarm, explains that coal-generating capacity equal to 1,500 coal plants is either in […]
They glide quietly through our streets, but if Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) has its way, our electric trolley buses could glide into the history books. They are an iconic feature of our city and the debate on their future should be more prominent than the current quiet discussions. In June last year GWRC decided […]
New Zealand is famed for its wind and it’s used to power our homes and businesses. Often wind electricity comes from large wind farms and huge turbines, but down south a community has worked together to produce their own power from the wind. Blueskin Bay Community Trust has applied for resource consent for their own […]
Geoff Simmons, who works with Gareth Morgan, has published a blog post about my Fair Go For Solar Bill. I welcome the debate. I hope tomorrow Peter Dunne will break the 60/60 vote tie in Parliament so we can continue the solar conversation and hear from all those involved around a select committee table. Simmons […]
The Electricity Authority (EA) has just issued a new consultation report on the implications of evolving technology for pricing of electricity distribution services, in other words how you pay for your local lines. This isn’t some far-away future: new technology like solar is already changing how we use and consume power and I welcome the […]
I’ve seen the future and it’s electric! Over the October Parliamentary recess I traveled to Oregon and California for a personal study tour and discovered we have some way to go towards clean energy, electric vehicles and a smart grid. I learnt that New Zealand has much the world desires, like our 80% renewable electricity […]
The Government has just announced another $10m for petroleum data to be secured and supplied to the oil industry, paid for by, yes you. If it looks like a subsidy and acts like a subsidy – it is a subsidy. In this case a subsidy to find more oil we can’t afford to burn if we don’t want to cook the climate.
I spent my parliamentary recess looking at roofs. Sounds like an Instagram account, I know. There was one thing that the Christchurch suburban bungalow roof; the fancy new-build in Karaka, Auckland roof; the Waikato dairy shed roof; and the Gisborne orchardists’ family home roof had in common – they all had solar photovoltaic (PV) panels […]
My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to create a fair system for setting the price of solar power without Government subsidies.
In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change.
Yesterday the Government annouced their climate target. It’s not good news. They have officially pledged that, by 2030, New Zealand will reduce our greenhouse pollution by 30% compared to 2005 levels. In reality this target is just spin and is only an 11% cut on 1990 levels, which is the baseline previously used. That’s only […]
This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by our Government? TISA is another so-called trade deal, negotiated in secret, aiming at a liberalisation […]
It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used by some New Zealand ISPs and consumers to circumvent geoblocking and give Kiwis open access to global media content.
This November access to the Student Loan scheme will be cut off at seven years seriously harming medical students. Studying to become a doctor takes years of hard work, dedication and intense study and it’s a blunt tool and completely counterproductive for Steven Joyce to pull the rug from under medical students and remove access […]
This week in Parliament I questioned Energy Minister Simon Bridges about the high prices facing some of our most vulnerable families who use pre-paid electricity. The Government is fond of telling people to shop around to get a better power deal – in fact, that’s pretty much their only policy to help households lower their […]
Tomorrow, Far North tribal representatives for the Te Hiku o Te Ika tribes will be travelling to the head office of Statoil to discuss the opposition to its oil exploration program in Te Reinga Basin. Statoil have decided to begin conducting petroleum exploration in New Zealand waters. The New Zealand government has given Statoil permission […]
Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. But what about National’s tax breaks and subsidies for Big oil?
The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The big impact will be on student and staff representatives who will see their numbers and […]
“…if you find yourself in a coal hole, it’s probably time to stop digging and think of a plan to get out.”
Nations in the coming months will be submitting individual emissions reduction contributions. I urge you to support emission reduction targets based on the science, to avoid dangerous climate change.
We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign and trying to be a good MP while also trying to be a good dad […]
Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It looked phenomenal; Jan Logie wins style points for her acrobatic version! The event was organised […]
Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data was criticised by some and in this blog post I wanted to respond to their points.
Today I made my oral submission to the Environmental Protection Authority on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine phosphate from the seabed approximately halfway between the mainland and the Chatham Island. In a nutshell this application is for the deepest mining project in the world using mining equipment never used before, to vacuum up the […]
More and more New Zealanders are putting solar panels on their roofs and tapping in to cleaner, cheaper power, despite zero Government support. Solar installations have jumped 330% in the last two years along, according to a new report out this week from GREEN grid research. As one happy solar customer put it: “Why wouldn’t […]
Politics is a battle of ideas, values and ultimately in a democracy, the collective power of the group to determine a course of action. It doesn’t have to be negative: it can be empowering, uplifting and positive.
This is yet another example of National’s disregard for our treasured places, along with permitting drilling and seismic testing in the Maui’s dolphin sanctuary, and logging and mining in our conservation estate
I’m cautiously optimistic of news that the government-owned company Research and Educational Advanced Network New Zealand Ltd (REANNZ) has signed a $65 million anchor tenancy contract with Hawaiki Cable Ltd for its proposed new second internet cable. We announced in December 2012 our plan to fund a much-needed second internet cable. The Green Party plans […]
Lets be clear about this – the scrapping of the trolley buses is nothing to do with age of the fleet and power supply…it has nothing to do with the standard of the overhead wiring…it has nothing to do with the performance of the power stations or under powered trolleys…it has nothing to do with the age of the chassis – they were new 7 years ago.
The decision to scrap the trolley fleet is based on prejudice and the false belief that new tenders with multiple bus companies can not include trolley bus routes.
Today over in the US, John Key is drumming up support for a UN Security Council seat and Murray McCully is attending John Kerry’s Oceans conference but it seems no one in National has thought of joining the two issues up.
Yesterday I launched a component of the Green Party’s smart green innovation package, Blueprint for the Future – a digital manufacturing strategy for New Zealand. It deals with a range of technologies but the most notable, disruptive, and headline grabbing is 3D printing. My personal interest in 3D printing started about a year ago. I had read a bit […]
Yesterday I kicked off a nationwide solar-powered roadshow showcasing what local businesses and communities are doing to help kiwi households achieve cheaper and cleaner power. I visited Phil Wood, a homeowner in Dairy Flat, Auckland who showed me how his family are managing to live off the grid on solar power. Despite having a power […]