We should brace for the boiler ban – but $22.88m has been handed out to help businesses decarbonise

Our Beehive bulletin

The Government’s ban on new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels perhaps ranked as the most important Beehive announcement yesterday.

It was the first major announcement to follow the release of the Climate Commission’s draft package of advice to Government in February and was accompanied by the distribution of dollops of corporate welfare to  the successful applicants in round one of the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund.

Fourteen companies will receive $22.88m in co-funding to help their businesses transition away from fossil fuels.

The ban on new coal boilers used in manufacturing and production will come into effect by 31 December.

A consultation document for other coal proposals can be found on the Ministry for the Environment website.

The energy announcement was one of several to emerge during a busy day in the Beehive, many of them enabling Ministers to bray about the big bucks (or small ones) they were throwing around. Continue reading “We should brace for the boiler ban – but $22.88m has been handed out to help businesses decarbonise”

Success for bereaved petitioners – Govt introduces legislation to facilitate roadside drug tests

A petition with 1300 signatures calling for random roadside drug testing on New Zealand roads had a rocky experience with our law-makers.  It was set to be submitted to Parliament on May 9 last year but this was scuppered when its main champion, National MP Nick Smith, was suspended from Parliament for 24 hours.

The petition was started by a family who lost their son to a drugged driver in a crash in Nelson on New Year’s Eve 2017.

Before it was re-submitted, the way we remember it, the Government announced plans for public consultation on the introduction of roadside drug testing. And yesterday the Land Transport (Drug Driving) Amendment Bill was introduced to the House.

Its first reading is intended next week.

The new law will allow Police to test if drivers are under the influence of drugs anywhere, anytime, just as they do now for alcohol, Police Minister Stuart Nash said.

Last year, 103 people died in crashes where the driver was later found to have drugs in their system.

The Bill allows Police to use oral fluid tests to check drivers for drugs which are likely to include THC (cannabis), methamphetamine, opiates, cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), and benzodiazepines. These – we are told – are the most prevalent and high risk drugs and medications used by drivers in New Zealand. Continue reading “Success for bereaved petitioners – Govt introduces legislation to facilitate roadside drug tests”