Some within the local fishing industry who own fishing vessels have been protesting loudly at the unfair competition that foreign fishing charter vessels pose. Of late, they have been joined by environmentalists, trade unionists and local human rights activists deeply concerned about the on-board abuses. It’s an intriguing partnership, but one with confused objectives, mixed […]
In the pieces on fishing we published here before Christmas we looked at the challenges that face the global fisheries and New Zealand’s unique response. As we have seen, our fisheries management system is no longer the best in the world; we have stuff to attend to. Yet even if we were the best, we […]
In its election campaign Labour promoted a capital gains tax. That at least recognises that we have a terrible hole in our tax base, and what results is a misallocation of capital to the detriment of the economy. Investors quite rationally invest to maximise their after-tax returns, and when you have a hole in your […]
The biology of our far south – the southern ocean, the sub-Antarctic islands, and that slice of Antarctica known as the Ross Protectorate – is changing. On our sub-Antarctic islands, populations of rockhopper penguins are down by 94 per cent, southern elephant seals down by 97 per cent, and there’s been an 85 per cent […]
Yesterday, we looked at how the race for resources is heating up in the Antarctic. That’s not the only thing getting hotter. In our 2009 book Poles Apart, written with John McCrystal, we surveyed the evidence for global warming. The balance of evidence points to warming as a result of burning fossil fuels. To our […]
Prime Minister John Key’s newly elected government should be bold enough to confront the message from a December 5 OECD report. It confirms rising inequality in developed economies is a major problem that needs addressing urgently – and yes, New Zealand was included in the study and yes, we’ve had pretty much the greatest increase […]
Two weeks ago in this column we described how New Zealand bravely confronted the tragedy of the commons that was destroying our $200-million-a-year (0.2 per cent of GDP) commercial fisheries. That came in the form of the quota management system which assigned rights to catch fish. While the system was efficient and helped save our […]
Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons, Authors of Health Cheque Prescription One: Managing Demand – reducing the demand for healthcare services by improving prevention, catching problems early and improving the information on the downsides of treatment. Investing in prevention is a massive challenge, as shown on the recent Inside New Zealand documentary on child poverty. New […]
In general, National has been focused on improving the efficiency of service delivery, and ploughing those savings back into training more doctors and doing more elective surgery. No-one doubts that this has resulted in more operations, and kept health off the front pages of the newspaper. Whether or not it is making us healthier is a whole other matter.
Out on the waves, the vast blue of the ocean dupes us to believe it to be a limitless source of food and a bottomless receptacle of our waste. Yet as instances of abuse of our oceans accumulate we are slowly realising that this free-for-all can’t continue – unless we’re happy to leave the ocean in a worse state for our grandchildren.