On yer bike, Julie Anne – Minister’s conceit about coddling EV cars has collided (ouch) with Kiwi motoring predilections

It  seemed  like  a good  idea  at the  time it  was being  formulated  but  the government’s Electric  Vehicle   “feebate” scheme is  producing   the  kind  of  backlash  any ruling  political  party  going into  an election  should fear.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter  released the government’s plan for a “feebate” scheme to encourage a quicker uptake of EVs.  She  clearly   thought  it   would be  welcomed  on  all  sides, believing  – as  most Greens  do  –  it’s vital  for  NZ  to lead the world  in saving  it   from  climate  change  extinction.

But  one  of the  rules of  NZ  politics   is   “don’t  mess with the  average New Zealander’s  love affair with the  motor car”. 

Genter,  who makes   a  bit of thing   of  riding a  bike,  does  not appear to be  conscious of  how deeply Kiwis love their cars.  They  surely  hate  anyone, let alone a politician, instructing  them  on  the choice of  vehicle. Continue reading “On yer bike, Julie Anne – Minister’s conceit about coddling EV cars has collided (ouch) with Kiwi motoring predilections”

We strike a blow against the Herald paywall by bringing Phil’s article to a wider audience

The Spinoff’s daily newsletter to subscribers today reports an interesting note of feedback from a reader yesterday.  At issue was the NZ Herald putting comment pieces by politicians behind the paywall.

Reader John told The Spinoff it “seems antidemocratic” to do so, in referring to this piece by Phil Twyford being blocked.

According to the headline, Twyford contended his government was spending more on roading projects while prioritising safety.

But non-subscribers would have to cough up to read beyond the Minister’s first few sentences.

At Point of Order we wondered if we could skirt the paywall by asking the Minister’s press secretaries for a copy of the article.

No problem.  A copy could be found on the Minister’s Facebook page, we were advised – but here was a copy for us –   Continue reading “We strike a blow against the Herald paywall by bringing Phil’s article to a wider audience”

Welcome to Invercargill, Minister Jones – and we are delighted you haven’t come empty-handed

Yes, folks, Moneybags Minister has travelled the length of the country while dispensing  his goodies in the past week.

He was on his home patch of Northland last Friday (we reported his announcements here).

Today he is in Invercargill.

Mind you, he visits Northland much more regularly than he visits Southland.

He had been in Kaikohe on July 1 to launch a five-month intensive pilot initiative to prepare mostly young women for training and employment in the forestry sector.  The Provincial Growth Fund has invested $421,050 in the venture.

In June he grabbed the opportunity to celebrate the official opening of the new Bay of Island Airport terminal and the completion of the first stage of the Hihiaua Cultural Centre in Whangārei. Continue reading “Welcome to Invercargill, Minister Jones – and we are delighted you haven’t come empty-handed”

Jones (carrying our money) has gone south to enthuse about a rail investment and to seed more tree planting

Moneybags Minister Shane Jones has gone south to dish out more money for tree planting in Canterbury after visiting Greymouth to give an accounting of the goodies being generated by money invested on the West Coast. Southlanders will be blessed with the Munificent Marvel’s presence tomorrow.

West Coasters might have been disappointed that he essentially did no more than bandy numbers to justify the wisdom of a Provincial Growth Fund investment in TransAlpine, announced last November.

You could say he has been counting their blessings and visited Greymouth to let the locals know the good news.

But hey – it’s just over a fortnight since he visited the West Coast as Minister of Forestry to announce more than 70,000 native trees are to be planted over the next three years to help restore the Waimea Inlet.

More than $1 million was committed to the project, the money coming from the $240m grants and partnership fund as part of the Government’s One Billion Trees programme.

Jones was wearing his Forestry hat when he travelled to Canterbury (did he go by train?) to provide support for  native planting and restoration projects from the One Billion Trees Fund.

Here’s what we learn from the Point of Order Trough MonitorContinue reading “Jones (carrying our money) has gone south to enthuse about a rail investment and to seed more tree planting”

Govt has declared its aspirational (but uncosted) decarbonising goals – and the oil giants have their goals, too

The government is wrestling with the goal of decarbonising the economy—at a  cost  nobody  can guess at.   It  says  it wants NZ’s electricity system to  become 100% renewable.

But,  Energy Minister  Megan Woods insists,  “we  won’t  die in a  ditch over the last couple of percent if it places unreasonable costs on households and puts security of supply at risk”.

For those   eager  not to  join  her  in the   ditch  (or anywhere else),  it  would be  reassuring,  given the  government’s performance  other major policies (for  example  KiwiBuild),  to  have a   clearly defined  policy  rather  than aspirational  ministerial  hopes.

Let’s  face  it:  there  will be a   cost,  possibly a  high one,  to decarbonising the  economy.

But will   NZ’s  effort  make any  significant  difference to global warming?  After all,  NZ’s  greenhouse gas emissions  are  just 0.17% of  the  world’s  total ,  compared  with China’s  26%, the US  14%  and the  EU  9%.    Continue reading “Govt has declared its aspirational (but uncosted) decarbonising goals – and the oil giants have their goals, too”

Can’t cope with the pressure of international cricket? Put things in perspective by taking advice from Keith Miller

Psychologists, psychotherapists and what-have-you seem to be doing good business from helping players cope with something that – when all is said and done – is sport.

They are helping nerve-shattered fans, too, after the tense Cricket World Cup final between England and New Zealand, a game ultimately decided by the number of boundaries scored by each side.

On the strength of this, England won the cup.

Would the toss of a coin have been fairer?  Or should the title have been shared?

No matter.  The fact is a lot of Black Cap fans found their stress levels raised and the NZ Herald fretted:

“Kiwis have been left emotionally bruised today after New Zealand came just centimetres from winning the Cricket World Cup.”
Continue reading “Can’t cope with the pressure of international cricket? Put things in perspective by taking advice from Keith Miller”