Russel Norman
Is Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bill English a climate change denier?

Is the Deputy Prime Minister of our country a climate change denier? It may well be the case. During question time in Parliament yesterday I wanted to get into the lack of focus and inaction from this Government on climate change which is starkly highlighted by the suffering our drought-stricken farmers are going through. I […]

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NZ Green Party
The final word on bank profits

The Report of the Finance & Expenditure Committee on the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Statement for December 2012 is now public and contains the following gem on bank profitability late in 2012 (from page 9): Recent data released by the Reserve Bank updated information it had provided to us in November about New Zealand banks’ […]

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Russel Norman
Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Annual Reports

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Annual Reports are hard to find and don’t seem to be available online, so we’ve uploaded them. Here they are: 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Will post 2012 once available. Russel UPDATE 29/08/13: Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Annual Report […]

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Russel Norman
Open letter to Auckland councillors over the development of Te Arai beach

Posted below is an letter to the mayor and councillors of Auckland from concerned Aucklander John Shaw. John is a surfer who’s passionate about the stunning beauty of Te Arai beach north of Auckland and doesn’t want to see its natural character destroyed by development  like so many of our other pristine beaches.   Dear […]

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Russel Norman
Bay of Plenty Regional Council ready to ask the hard questions

I am encouraged to read today the Bay of Plenty regional council’s policy position on management and land use change in the Lake Rotorua catchment, which includes the recognition that land management changes alone will not be enough to achieve water quality targets. Lake Rotorua is seriously degraded and a huge reduction in the amount […]

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Russel Norman
Water pollution and debunking the Yale study

The Government is once again under attack for its lack of effective action to clean up waterways. The Cawthron Institute released a report stating that the Government’s National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management combined with the subsidies for new irrigation, and hence new cows and pollution, will mean our rivers won’t be cleaned up in the […]

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Russel Norman
Scientists respond to Feds’ claim that trout are cause of water decline

Invasive trout blamed for poor water quality — are farmers off the hook? Press Release by Science Media Centre at  6:49 am, 05 Jul 2011 Scientists are questioning claims by a prominent dairy industry representative, suggesting trout are a ‘disastrous species’ — no better than ‘freshwater stoats’ — and that farmers have been unfairly blamed […]

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NZ Green Party
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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Russel Norman
Outdoor industrial dairy factories in the Maketu swamp

On May 27th I visited the Lower Kaituna River and the Ongatoro/Maketu Estuary, just to the east of Tauranga. I met up with Ray Bushell and Maria Horne from Te Arawa, and Julian Fitter, a local conservationist. They are trying to save the Maketu Estuary and the Kaituna River, which are highly degraded ecosystems. The Kaituna River flowed through the Maketu Estuary […]

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Russel Norman
Aucklanders, you know you’re drinking the Waikato River

One in three New Zealanders (Auckland, Hamilton et al) have a very direct interest in the quality of the water coming down the Waikato River because their drinking water is extracted from that catchment. The more polluted that water is, the more expensive and difficult it is to treat it. So how bad is the water at the end of the Waikato river?

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NZ Green Party
Podcast: Russel’s Dirty Rivers Wrap-up

Russel is about to wrap his second annual Dirty Rivers Rafting Tour. Russel has been visiting rivers that are either dangerously polluted, or threatened due to large dam and irrigation projects, and rafting or kayaking them with local environmentalists, whitewater enthusiasts, iwi, farmers, and media. The purpose of the tour is to highlight the threats […]

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NZ Green Party
Greens’ concern over Parliamentary urgency gains widespread support

Last year, around the time the shameful Hobbit Bill was being rammed through Parliament in two days and without Select Committee scrutiny, Russel Norman posted here and here about his increasing concern over the National-led Government’s use of Parliamentary urgency to bypass normal Parliamentary process: The problem with urgency is that it often means that laws […]

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NZ Green Party
National is failing the people of Christchurch, and everyone else for that matter

This is really sad.  I would have thought that the National Party would care about rebuilding Christchurch following the devastation of their earthquakes.  And I would have thought that a compassionate, albeit conservative, major Government party would have agreed that a temporary levy on higher earning taxpayers living outside Christchurch is a good idea.  After […]

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NZ Green Party
Something stinks in iconic Southland lagoon

Recent monitoring of the Waituna Lagoon in Southland has revealed high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in sediments, largely attributed to dairy farming in the region. Environment Southland Chairwoman Ali Timms said it was at high risk of irreversible damage because of intensification of land use in the surrounding catchment, and that steps might be […]

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Russel Norman
Nats use EPA to de-protect Horokiri Stream to build a motorway on it

OK, how bad can it get. Currently Horokiri, Ration and Pauatahanui Streams near Porirua are strongly protected under the Wellington Regional Freshwater Plan. And for good reason – they are the home of a lot of endangered New Zealand fish.  But these streams and their gullies are also the proposed route for Transmission Gully motorway from Porirua to Kapiti.  So […]

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NZ Green Party
It’s Green Campaign Conference weekend

Blogging might be a bit slow here this weekend, as the Green Party’s Campaign Conference is underway. This is the start of the democratic process under which aspiring and current Green MPs get to present their credentials to the Party membership. After the Conference there will be an initial vote by STV ballot from electorate […]

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