Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility

Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at our borders to stop new pest incursions, but prevention, eradication and control programs nationally, regionally, […]

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

Fair-society-BLOGFEATURE

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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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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Solving child poverty in New Zealand

Fair-society-BLOGFEATURE

The Green Party has announced plans to raise the top tax rate on any income earned over $140,000 to 40 percent. This will have an impact on 3 percent of all taxpayers. We will redirect all new revenues raised into measures that will directly alleviate the causes of child poverty in New Zealand. We don’t believe […]

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Our Green vision and policy – my speech at Kumeu

The Green philosophy is about sustainability. It takes, as its worldview, the environment, within which human society and its economy operate. It places the soaring human population within Earth’s finite capacity for resource-use and waste-disposal. If there is one thought that underpins Green belief, it is that we have one planet, to share. The Green […]

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Exports continue to simplify under National

Export data released today from Statistics New Zealand shows a continuing and disturbing trend in the New Zealand economy — we are exporting less high-valued manufactured goods (down 12.5 percent) and less high-valued manufactured goods as a proportion of total exports. The chart says it all: Compared to other small, developed economies — some of […]

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National’s innovation policy in three charts

If Steven Joyce is such a believer in innovation, why is he planning to cut his investment in innovation so dramatically? Here, in three charts, is what National’s long-term commitment to innovation looks like: 1. National will cut their investment in science and innovation by 21 percent, in real terms, out to 2023/24. 2. The […]

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Govt backs Green plan for a second internet cable

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 […]

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Double win for Greens in economics this week

National has finally relented to years of Green Party pressure to put the Government’s banking contract to competitive tender. This banking contract – the largest, most lucrative banking contract in the country – has been held by Australian-owned Westpac Bank since 1989 and has never been retendered since then. In 2010, we disclosed this cosy […]

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Guest Post – Cr Paul Bruce – Don’t Scrap the Trolleys

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.

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Blueprint for the future: a Digital Manufacturing Strategy for New Zealand

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 […]

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How a carbon tax shift worked in British Columbia

OECD Secretary-General, Mr. Angel Gurría described the implementation of British Columbia’s carbon tax “as near as we have to a textbook case, with wide coverage across sectors and a steady increase in the rate”. British Columbia’s centre-right political party, the Liberal Party, implemented a broad-based low rate carbon charge in 2008 of C$10 per tonne […]

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Defining the Election Issue: National and Green climate policy

At its AGM last weekend, the Green Climate Protection Package was rolled out. –    It contains the over-riding goal of net carbon-neutral economy by 2050, with a National Carbon Budget comprising a series of five-yearly budget components to get to that goal. –    There will be an independent Climate Commission to advise the Government on […]

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The right to Internet access

The Internet has changed our world. It is now a major part of how people access information, express themselves, engage in financial transactions, and participate in the democratic process. UN Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue “…believes that the Internet is one of the most powerful instruments of the 21st century for increasing transparency in the […]

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Giving money to beneficiaries – if only.

Yesterday in another attempt by the government to distract us from their rapidly accumulating list of dodgy deals they announced a $3000 relocation grant to beneficiaries who can get a confirmed job offer for over 91 days in Christchurch. This seems to be a very poorly thought out response to a genuine problem in Christchurch. It shows us what happens when […]

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Whose tree is it? Whose farm is it?

Whose tree is it? Whose farm is it? The announcement of the sale of Carter Holt Harvey’s pulp and paper and packaging businesses to Japanese interests, consolidates New Zealand’s forestry interests into foreign ownership. Over 70% of plantation forests are already owned by overseas interests and now all the major forest products processors are foreign […]

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Green bonds set to help finance green economy

Twenty-five of the world’s largest banks – including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley – recently released the governance framework for a green bond market which is seeing billions of dollars flow into green economic opportunities around the world. While there are still some concerns with […]

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“Stick to your knitting”…Gratuitous insult from Minister Groser to NZ scientists

Climate Minister Groser continues to insult the New Zealand people – this time through our leading scientists. On Monday the IPCC released Working Group III’s section of its 5th Assessment Report.  Building on Group I (science) and II (impact), this one addresses strategy (see my blog-post of 15 April). In a possibly unprecedented action, leading […]

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IPCC 5th Assessment Report – exposing NZ on climate policy

The IPCC’s 3rd Working Group has just released the final section of its 5th Assessment Report.  Following WGI report on the science and WGII on impact, this one focuses on a response strategy. The Report recalls that annual global emissions were 38 Gt. (billion tonnes) in 1990 and 49 Gt. in 2010.  Some 40% of […]

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Permitted musings on climate change

My blog-post of yesterday on the spiritual-philosophical dimension of climate change evoked a particular response, pretty much uniformly positive.  Today I allow myself even freer reign.  Next week I shall revert to the normal practicalities of daily politics. In yesterday’s comment I recalled the yearning of some official delegations in the IPCC process to evoke […]

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