National restarts logging in West Coast forests

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The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming Labour Government directed SOE and government forestry company, Timberlands West Coast Ltd to end its […]

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Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee

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Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle when they grow up. Let’s break that cycle, lunchbox […]

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New York Green Bank off to a $1B start

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green Bank involvement and will result in an annual estimated reduction of 522,000 tonnes of carbon […]

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Police Association off target with call to arm Police

Arming our Police will lead to more crime, more violence, and more killings – by criminals, and potentially even by police. The Police Commissioner is correct in pointing out that the Police Association’s recent call to arm all officers is not backed up by evidence, and could indeed be counter-productive. Statistics show assaults on Police […]

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Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture

Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming systems compatible with our markets seems to be beyond Federated Farmers current voice. Earlier this […]

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The OIA Abuse

Yesterday, the Prime Minister admitted that his government withholds Official Information Act (OIA) requests for longer than necessary when it suits his government politically to do so. This is not allowed under the Official Information Act. The OIA is an integral part of our democratic system.  It was designed to increase participation of New Zealanders […]

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Councils need to better protect our drinking water

Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to the proposed Land and Water Plan and I popped along to listen. Variation 1 covers […]

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Pentagon links climate change and terrorism

Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was referring to climate change. Launching a 20-page Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, US Defense Secretary Chuck […]

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Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere

In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for Fresh Water: New Initiatives Fund. This was “to address the problem of poor freshwater quality […]

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Swedes Spray and Southland

Some farming leaders and agricultural companies in New Zealand seem hell bent on maintaining a slide into the lowest commodity level of production, threatening both our marketing reputation and the health and safety of stock and consumers alike. The latest casualties from this unsustainable kind of farming are several hundred stock, mainly dairy cows, that […]

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Biggest increases in wages go to the wealthiest blokes

Today’s business section of the NZ Herald features a two-page spread by Christopher Adams with the results of their survey of the country’s 50 top chief executives. Their research is based on the 2013 annual reports of companies and state-owned enterprises and it shows that their average income was $1.4 million, having risen by an […]

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The hidden legacy of debt – our nation’s health

Healthcare is expensive. National has lost no opportunity crowing about ‘record spending’ of $14.7 billion in this year’s Budget. Unfortunately, that’s not enough. This National Government has in fact continually underfunded health care relative to real need, this year alone by $232 million. How so? We are getting older, more overweight and more unequal year […]

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