New data out this week from Statistics NZ paints a concerning picture of energy use across the economy under this National Government. You won’t be surprised to hear that there is some seriously worrying information here about how dirty our economy is becoming, but the good news is that with some decent political leadership, there […]
Gareth Hughes says the public should get a say on Nova Energy’s proposed big new polluting power plant in Waikato
Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was an exact replica of his lost leg. Using scanning technology almost any body part can […]
We’ve had some pretty decent solar spills lately and, unlike the Rena spill, the impacts are simply a lovely day and clean energy. Greenpeace has a good write-up on Stuff Nation on why solar is a great technology for New Zealand. In New Zealand, like many other countries, we’ve seen stunning growth in solar panel […]
It’s the place where the world’s largest whales feed and the smallest dolphins live, so why would we risk it with experimental seabed mining? Submissions are currently open on Trans-Tasman Resources’ (TTR) application to mine the seabed of the South Taranaki Bight, TTR’s second attempt second attempt after the first one was turned down. The […]
How is it that New Zealand is supposed to be playing our part in the global mission to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, yet Nova Energy is proposing to build more fossil fuel-burning power plants that emit greenhouse gases?
A collection of chambers of commerce, electricity lines companies, Federated Farmers, and businesses have just released a survey showing 56% of Kiwis wouldn’t want to pay less for power if others had to pay more.
Today I met with locals living rurally near Otorohanga, south Waikato, who will be affected by Nova Energy’s plan to build a new 360MW gas-fired power station. In a bit of a tag team, James Shaw asked questions in Parliament about the same thing.
This year, the block offer proposes opening more than 500,000 square kilometers to onshore and offshore drilling and mining. That’s bigger than Spain!
Today at Parliament, I accepted a petition signed by more than 6,000 people calling for a moratorium on seabed mining. This is also the day Trans-Tasman Resources’ (TTR) second application attempt to mine the seabed of the South Taranaki Bight opens for the twenty days of submissions period under the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) rules. […]
The Green Party launched a campaign on Friday to stop the proposed construction of a new gas-fired power plant in South Waikato that would increase greenhouse gas emissions, causing climate change. Nova Energy has applied for resource consents to build a gas-burning power plant near Otorohanga. I’m asking Environment Minister Nick Smith to “call in” […]
It’s fantastic to hear today Dunedin-based game developer RocketWerkz has received substantial investment from the Chinese company Tencent and looks to employ an additional 125 people. You could say they’ve unlocked the next level. I’m a big supporter of our fast-growing game development sector and very glad to see Kiwis in creative tech jobs. RocketWerkz […]
You know your proposal has probably got something seriously wrong with it when you have councils, lines companies, businesses, chambers of commerce, Federated Farmers and the Green Party opposed. Does the Electricity Authority know it though? Today, a group of businesses, local government and electricity sector participants has come out in support of a legal […]
Recently I spent a couple of weeks in the United States on a personal research study tour. No, I didn’t get to see Donald Trump speak but I talked to plenty of Americans who were horrified and embarrassed he was an official candidate. I put the trip together to touch base with some leading thinkers and research policies. Here’s a quick snapshot of the trip.
This week is Conservation Week. We all benefit from conservation, so we all must play a part in protecting our future. 10 questions with Green MP Gareth Hughes.
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?