Moratorium on seabed mining needed

Gareth Hughes accepts petition on Parliament steps

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. […]

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Greens call on Minister to “call in” new polluting power plant

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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” […]

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Time to halt flawed, ideological electricity grid pricing proposal

Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes at Meridian's the West Wind farm

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 […]

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Gareth Hughes: Budget 2016 – Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger

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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 […]

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Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto

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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 […]

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Mega media merger is bad news

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 […]

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Peering through the Huntly coal smokescreen

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 […]

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Trillion dollars wasted on coal

Huntly Power station - New Zealand's last big coal-fired power plant

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 […]

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Blueskin Bay: community wind

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 […]

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Why a fair go for solar isn’t hot air

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 […]

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New technology and paying for power

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 […]

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Gareth Hughes’ solar tour highlights

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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 […]

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Should it be a cyber-bullying offence to be offensive?

I welcome the Law Commission’s cyber-bullying report which contains recommendations for reducing harm. As anyone who has been through it knows, bullying is a horrible experience and in New Zealand we have had some tragic examples leading to suicides. It’s important that we discuss the problem and come up with solutions that work. The Law […]

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Transport funding CONsultation

A few months ago I wrote a draft submission on the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport funding and encouraged members of the public to send it in. Normally, I generally don’t encourage people to make form submissions on a topic but because the issue of land transport funding is pretty technical I wanted to […]

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Why won’t National listen to Auckland on CBD rail link?

I was astonished that a few weeks back Auckland MPs voted against inviting the Auckland Council to submit on the CBD rail link debate. I can only talk about it now because the report containing my minority report was tabled in Parliament today. The Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee was discussing my petition to […]

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Many questions, but no answers on Telecommunications bill

Green MP Gareth Hughes had some questions for Communications Minister Steven Joyce in Parliament yesterday: Here was Steven Joyce’s reply: Nothing to say here. Nothing to say here. Nothing to say here. Nothing to say here. So Gareth tried again: Steven Joyce still wouldn’t take a call to respond. As Toad, one of our regular […]

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UN: Internet termination breaches human rights

One of the main reasons the Green Party opposed the new controversial file-sharing law passed under urgency was that it still contained internet termination as a potential remedy. I argued at the time it was disproportionate, wouldn’t work, and took away a modern human right. More and more of our democracy, interaction with Government departments, […]

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