Tuesday 31 January 2023

After The Deluge.

On that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth.
Genesis 6:11-12

THE TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS that dumped a record-breaking amount of rain on Auckland this anniversary weekend will reoccur with ever-increasing frequency. The planet’s atmosphere is warming, and since warm air carries more moisture the likelihood of such extreme weather events is similarly increased. New Zealanders are no longer entitled to write-off the sort of deluge that flooded much of Auckland on 27-28 January 2023 as a one-in-500-year event.

Not that New Zealanders are particularly receptive to the dire warnings of climatologists and meteorologists. With considerable justification, they demand to know what they are supposed to do about it. How, precisely, are the human-beings at the end of “atmospheric rivers” carrying mind-boggling quantities of water supposed to prevent them from dropping it on their heads? The air and ocean currents which determine New Zealand’s climate are not subject to the will of its human population – or their leaders.

Indeed, for those Aucklanders who lived through the events of Friday and Saturday, the power and indifference of the natural world was terrifyingly reiterated. Ours is a proud and headstrong species, but in the face of what one Aucklander described as “apocalyptic” precipitation, our arrogance is swiftly beaten down. The images of men and women wading through floodwaters chest deep, their faces frozen in a rictus of fear and uncertainty were biblical in their eloquence.

On Friday and Saturday the natural world also plunged Auckland into a fast-moving political crisis. In extremis, people turn towards those in authority for guidance and reassurance. Sadly, “Authority’s” response left much to be desired.

Auckland’s Mayor, Wayne Brown, who should have been all over the mainstream and social media, dispensing such information as he possessed, publicly ordering all the relevant Auckland Council bodies into action, and gathering what intelligence he could concerning the intensity and destructiveness of the weather “bomb” that was devastating his city, instead maintained an frustrating radio silence.

Hour after hour of torrential rain went by. Streets became rivers. Homes were flooded. Parks became lakes. Cars were abandoned. People drowned. It was not until 10:17pm, however, that Mayor Brown declared a local state of emergency – thereby allowing the Central Government to swing into action on behalf of Auckland’s citizens.

Those who were following the unfolding tragedy on Twitter were soon made aware of the rising fury of those Auckland City Councillors struggling to assist the flood’s victims. Members of Parliament, too, some of them Ministers of the Crown, were equally aghast. The equivalent of cheers went up on Twitter when the Minister of Transport and MP for Mt Roskill, Michael Wood, peremptorily ordered Waka Kotahi to get its shut-down website up-and-running and to post transport-related up-dates every half-hour.

The Minister’s rage was entirely justified as first the state highways in and out of Auckland, and then the domestic and international terminals of Auckland Airport, succumbed to the floodwaters. The city’s bus fleet struggled to carry its passengers out of the rising waters. In some of them the murky-brown flood-water sloshed back and forth along the access-aisle as alarmed passengers willed the vehicle forward. Private motor cars were quickly overwhelmed and abandoned. Citizen journalists captured eerie images of cars floating: their lights still glowing in the failing light; their windscreen wipers still thrashing ineffectually against the unceasing rain.

Mayor Brown insists that he was guided by the advice of his “professionals”, and that the moment they asked him to declare a state of emergency, a state of emergency was declared. He has further avowed that, as the person responsible for organising the city-wide response to what was fast-becoming a full-scale disaster, he did not have the luxury of delivering hands-on assistance at the ward and community-board level. Someone had to remain at the calm centre of the crisis.

All true, but a leader must also be seen to lead. He must be there – or, at least, his voice and image must be there – consoling, inspiring, thanking and guiding his city’s people. But, on that frightening Friday night, Brown wasn’t there. Very few Aucklanders will be prepared to swear – hand-on-heart – that, in the Great Auckland Flood of 2023, their Mayor did all that was expected of him. The response of Christchurch’s Mayor, Bob Parker, when Mother Nature shook his city to ruins in 2011, offers the people of New Zealand a particularly telling contrast.

Certainly, the country’s new Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, did not need to be told that his place was in front of the electorally crucial voters of the nation’s largest city. Hitching a ride on an RNZAF Hercules transport, and then on an air-force helicopter, Hipkins was given a birds-eye view of the damage. But, even as he said all the right things and made all the right promises, the Labour Leader must have been asking himself whether the New Zealand state was up to a challenge of this magnitude.

New Zealand’s cities were founded and grew to their present size in the bounteous years before global warming was recognised as a problem. Their waste and stormwater infrastructure simply wasn’t built to cope with the sort of deluge that descended on Auckland.

“Flooding happens when stormwater can’t drain away fast enough”, writes James Fenwick in an opinion piece posted on the Newsroom website. “So what we need are bigger drains, larger stormwater pipes and stormwater systems that can deal with such extremes.” Except, as Fenwick notes: “The country’s stormwater drain system was designed for the climate we used to have – 50 or more years ago. What we need is a stormwater system designed for the climate we have now, and the one we’ll have in 50 years from now.”

Hipkins despair at being forced to confront even bigger challenges in managing New Zealand’s three waters (drinking, waste and storm) than the ones already on his plate is readily imagined. Also gnawing away at his confidence – as well, no doubt, as Christopher Luxon’s – will be the frightening conclusion that the highly-urbanised nation that is New Zealand is going to have to be rebuilt from top to bottom. Or, failing that, left to simply decline and decay for want of the billions-upon-billions of dollars needed to re-fit it.

After the deluge, the questions around climate change become even starker. This country’s contribution to global warming is infinitesimal – barely two-tenths of one percent. We could revert to the Stone Age tomorrow and not only would the rest of the world fail to notice or appreciate New Zealand’s sacrifice, but also – and much more ominously – those devastating atmospheric rivers would not stop turning warm air into disasters.

It would appear that the choice between rolling-back global warming, and seeking to mitigate its worst effects, is being made for us.

This essay was originally posted on the Interest.co.nz website on Monday, 30 January 2023.


Gary Peters said...

Of course the Tongan eruption and the billions of litres of water forced into the atmosphere had little to do with the distribution of water .....

While there is no doubt that climate changes throughout the millenia, there is little clear evidence that man, rather than nature, has any significant impact but hey, we all need a little religion in our lives so grab onto what rocks your boat.

Lastly, my understanding is that a recently elected mayor would be relying on his Council officers not elected representatives for advice on what to do and when but maybe that only applies when the media actually likes the mayor and isn't acting like drongos .....

Madame Blavatsky said...

"This country’s contribution to global warming is infinitesimal – barely two-tenths of one percent. We could revert to the Stone Age tomorrow and not only would the rest of the world fail to notice or appreciate New Zealand’s sacrifice."

This statement is much more of a scientific (i.e. testable and falsifiable today) statement than "if we don't keep global temperatures within X degrees of current temperatures, then in 50 years Y will happen." The latter is an untestable assertion, and is therefore completely unscientific, because it can only be confirmed as true by waiting 50 years. It makes no difference if a scientist makes this claim – it remains about as testable as the assertion that "Jesus will return next Thursday." At best, we won't know until next Thursday.

So why are we so determined to shoot ourselves in both feet when it will have zero effect on global climate? If we propose doing X, then there needs to be a justification for why doing X is a desirable course of action. Dogmatic ideology in the face of conflicting reality seems to be the only reason. Because "net zero" will achieve nothing in terms of climate, we can safely deduce that climate change mitigation is not the real goal.

Anonymous said...

Wayne Browns intolerance of the media is one thing as is his base angry man confrontational personality and he appears ill equipped to front the cameras, but try as I might I can't see what he would have done differently that would have made any difference. Was this another rainy Auckland day or what? Bob Parker knew straight off he had as disaster on his hands, Brown most definitely not.

The Heralds Simon Wilson whose every waking hour appears to be about penning vitriol laden articles against Brown simply turned the entire weather event into a blame festival squarely on the shoulders of Brown. Hard to see what "Fes" would have done different and we'll never know. The entire response from AC was less than ideal.

What is abundantly evident is Auckland Councils storm water system is woefully under maintained, if maintained at all. Case in point, Ranui was severely flooded not 18 months ago as streams taking the storm water were contaminated with debris. It looks exactly like nothing was done. A drain near my home blocked flooding two thirds of a main road in a small downpour on Tuesday. It was cleaned and coped with Fridays deluge without issue. How many other drains were similarly contaminated by a council who isn't interested in maintenance, only to fail.

That is where the blame game should begin, not an anti social Mayor whose been on the books 3 months. There are many councillors who have been getting paid by the ratepayer to manage Aucklands infrastructure who failed us! Maybe Simon Wilson should start there. Including Collins!

greywarbler said...

I think you are wrong Chris. Having become cynical after observing human ways for some years (I appreciate how you still remain thoughtful and hopeful) I think that the world would notice that we had gone back to the Stone Age, and we would become a choice spot for disaster tourism. Advertised to those who like gaping ghoulishly, or GG tourism as the cynics would label it. There is a silver lining to every cloud but I don't think any silver that would fall to us would be sufficient to enable us to smile.

Kat said...

For heavens sake, this country was built by the skill and sweat of our forebears who must be spinning in their graves at our stupid ideological neoliberal adherence to the dumb mantra that govt shouldn't be involved in shovel and spade work.

Well I have been commenting for years that we need to reinstate a 21st century Ministry of (Works/Infrastructure.......call it what you like) that is govt funded, govt run 24/7 and where the buck stops with a govt minister who is accountable for the delivery of works nationally on an industrial scale.

That is something worth voting for....

How many floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters do we have to go through before this mad dalliance with the neoliberal brain farts of Douglas and Prebble are given the boot.......

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I guess most of Brown's supporters haven't quite had time yet to get buyers remorse, but you'd think that the elections of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump might have shown a note of caution to people about electing a big mouthed populist.
Pretty much every leader from the US president on down shows their face at the scene of a disaster, trying not to get in the way of the emergency services of course, but Brown doesn't have a big enough entourage to do that – in order to provide reassurance that help is on the way. Trump and Johnson of course never bothered but then they WERE disasters.
People all over MSN are excusing him of course, stressing that this was a once-in-a-lifetime episode – but all he had to do was be seen, even if only for a photo op.
Brown doesn't seem to know anything about what the job of the mayor is, or judging by his treatment of the press, what the press is supposed to do. There used to be – 50 years ago – an expression that describes people like him. Up himself.
He and indeed his supporters, don't seem to realise that he is responsible to the people who elected him and of course even the people who voted against him, and the press's job is to ask questions on behalf of the people. And if you think he was treated badly by the press, you should look at how George Santos has been treated by the US press which does in fact try to do its job in the face of Conservative entitlement.
Ah well, I guess you get what you ̶p̶a̶y̶ vote for.

The Barron said...

Every time I see or hear Wayne Brown I envisage him on his doorstep, in a bathrobe, singlet and boxers, shaking his fist at those pesky neighborhood kids.

Even Rudy Giuliani was a mayor that could rise to a crisis.

David Stone said...

Quite True
The function of a politician is to talk. Mayer Brown doesn't want to spend his life talking, ha wants to do stuff. Not a good option for a mayor.

Trev1 said...

Your main premise is scientific nonsense. The high rainfall is an effect of the Tongan eruption in January last year. The eruption cast vast amounts of dust and water vapour high into the stratosphere, which has circulated over the Southern hemisphere including Antarctica where it has lowered temperatures over the continent. This in turn has constricted the circumpolar winds greatly reducing the number of southerly weather systems advancing on New Zealand which as a result has exposed us to the relentless flow of warm, wet tropical air. It's the volcano, Mate! These effects were predicted by Australian meteorologists in November last year. New Zealand scientists gave no warning. Too infected by climate catastrophism?

CXH said...

Any cuts in carbon from NZ will be of no consequence. We would be better off to refuse to deal with the major emitters, US, China and India for a start. However that would require accepting there is a real personal price to be be paid for trying to cause a real change.

Unfortunately, that would mean those pushing for ineffective changes that punish the poor more than themselves, would have to give something up. Never happen, so the same old mouthing vacuous platitudes while booking the flight to Europe for a much needed break.

Max Ritchie said...

Whatever the reason for it, Auckland’s drain system is plainly not up to the task, which we’ve know for ages. Auckland Council has known this for ages, so having a Ministry of Works would achieve nothing - it’s a matter of money. There is a good case for revising the way infrastructure is planned and funded. A Ministry might well be the answer, with the execution done by competitive tender. That was the problem with the old MoW (with which I worked) and the Railways - used as employment dumps for the unemployable.

Doug Longmire said...

Good article, Chris.
I saw an appalling headline on Stuff yesterday saying:-
"No the rain won't stop and Yes' it is our fault"

This is rubbish reporting. I can only imagine the feelings of flood victims who have lost their homes, their everything in their despair, being lectured by some noddie reporter that it is their own fault !!

Also the point that you made is that even if human emissions are a factor in causing the gradual global warming (which is taking place naturally as we move out of the Little Ice Age of a couple of hundred years ago), then let's get real - New Zealand's emissions are only 0.17% of total human emissions.
The other 99.83% comes from China, India, USA, etc.

There is NOTHING New Zealand can do that will have any effect on the climate or weather patterns !!

Shane McDowall said...

Come back Leo Molloy, all is forgiven.

Certainly Mr Molloy would have to work really hard to match the underperformance Wayne 'The Great Communicator' Brown.

Tom Hunter said...

Backing up Trev1's comments, this article from October 2021, How a Tongan volcanic eruption almost guarantees a 'flooded summer' for Australia’s east coast

I'm impressed not just by their predictions but that their reasons have held up along with the prediction. Their being right was not just flip-of-the-coin.

Meanwhile we have NIWA, who apparently looked only at La Nina:
“Everywhere except Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa are likely to see less rainfall than normal because of periods of excessive humidity and hot temperatures.”.

And that's months before the failed to predict this particular rain dump over Auckland.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"the huge amounts of water vapor from the eruption may have a small, temporary warming effect, since water vapor traps heat. The effect would dissipate when the extra water vapor cycles out of the stratosphere and would not be enough to noticeably exacerbate climate change effects"

I can't find anything that suggests more than a temporary increase in temperature and precipitation from the Tongan eruption – perhaps you could give us a link?

Wayne Mapp said...

Three out of nine contributions (8.00 pm) denying global warming. Are they representative of New Zealand? Would 33% of the adult population be deniers of human induced climate change?

I don't think so. In fact opinion polls now have around 78% saying climate change is an important issue and 91% expecting more extreme weather events (IAG Ipsos Climate Change poll 11/7/2022). I dare say that figure is now higher.

The deniers have become a rather shrill and noisy lot, particularly as they lose public support. They now completely dominate comment on conservative websites, such as KiwiBlog, pouring scorn on anyone who cares to differ.

in my view, on a site like Bowalley Rd, they should be moderated. At least to ensure they don't dominate. To be fair, three out of nine is a minority.

The issue is more of a problem for the political right (especially the moderate right) than the political left. Just about all climate change deniers are on the right, embracing a whole slew of hard right issues.

National has taken a moderate approach to the issue, and the new spokesperson, Todd Muller clearly accepts the science. Groundswell won't be able to find too many friends in National, at least not influential ones.

However, I can say it is a pretty wearying battle having to constantly fight rabid climate change deniers. At least Terry Dunleavy wasn't rabid. Passionate yes, but one could always talk to him in a reasonable way.

I guess that is the nature of politics. Serious people in both major political parties are constantly having to battle foes to their right (National) or to their left (Labour). The fact the extremists have alternative parties to go to (Act or the Greens) doesn't stop the intensity of the battle. Because the extremists still want to defeat the moderates. Often by humiliation tactics.

The saving grace, at least from a political battle perspective, is that you don't often meet the protagonists in person. They have long decamped the major parties. The battle is now primarily waged on social media. Almost a like an impersonal drone war in that ones opponents rarely identify themselves by an actual name.

Andrew Nichols said...

One can see in the comments why we are all screwed globally. The AGW denialists with their barely disguised rank selfishnesd and pseudoscience are depressing. Ironically, the coming nuclear war may well end the warming. We will deserve our extinction either way.

Barry B said...

Heavy rainstorms are nothing new. I recall the Tutikuri river in Hawke Bay regularly filling its floodplain. They built stop banks to stop the flooding and now the flood plain is full of hundreds if not thousands of houses. The river will break through one day and everyone will wail "climate change".
What is new is frequency. The media having a go at Browne is simply stupid. Since the 1980s NZ has become a bit stupid. Rogernomics followed by massive increases in welfare costs and Clarks opening the cash door for councils by giving them the power to spend money on any silly idea means that as a country weve spent billions on things that have no worthwhile effect. Eg: millions spent on consultants for auckland rail.
There has been virtually no money spent on infrastructure. No new drainage, patched up roads, over burdened health system, crap state housing, etc.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

We are suffering the consequences of climate change, and to coin a conservative phrase – the facts don't care about your feelings. And yet, we continue to concrete over places that are necessary for water to soak in and seep away. And we also I might add, continue to build on places where we pretty much shouldn't. I always thought that once Titirangi ceased to be a place where the eccentric/potters/artists hid themselves away and was discovered by the relatively wealthy, it would eventually be disastrous. I guess if we're going to avoid building on floodplains we are to some extent going to have to build on hills. But we really need to think about alleviating the problems associated with this before we plonk houses down on them.
Thank God for Wayne Mapp. A shining beacon in the midst of what the right has to some extent even in New Zealand become. I'm still hoping we have more sense than to become Trump or Boris supporters. Even so there is a streak of authoritarianism in the new right today that is quite scary. I continue to hope that we have more sense in the main, and that the loonies are a tiny minority. Oh for the days when they had to run off their nonsense on a Banda machine and spend their own money distributing it.

Madame Blavatsky said...

Wayne Mapp
Science isn't about democracy and how many people think that proposition X is true or false – it's about who is correct, and what the facts are. It doesn't matter if 99% of the public believe that AGW climate change is a concern, it only matters if it is a cause for concern. For example, at one time, only one man believed that the earth's cuts was comprised of several separate plates, but that one man was correct, and everyone else was wrong.

You think "deniers" should be moderated so they don't "dominate" forums such as this? How about advocates get better arguments for their AGW thesis? After all, if it is settled science, then you shouldn't have any problem rebutting the heretics, should you. Imagine a hypothesis that is so weak and tenuous that criticism of it had to be censored or opponents banned.

As I noted in a comment above, predicting what the climate will be like in 50 years if we do or don't do X is NOT science, because these claims cannot be falsified. On the contrary, "deniers" of AGW ( "denier" being a loaded term that presupposes that AGW is significant, which is the very topic at question) can point to millennia of climate data, chiefly in the form of ice cores, that conclusively show constant fluctuations in climate, being both much hotter and much cooler at times, with C02 levels fluctuating accordingly.

AGW advocates pretend that they are the ones "following the science," but I guarantee that most of them, probably yourself included, know only what people have claimed about the issue on Twitter and Redditt, and know nothing at all about the actual facts of the matter.

Gary Peters said...

For those of you who discount the Tongan eruption:


"The excess water vapor injected by the Tonga volcano, on the other hand, could remain in the stratosphere for several years."


And for those who attempt to censor or ridicule those of us that do not buy wholeheartedly in AGW, no one disputes that climate changes as we have records both written and analytical detailing those changes.

What many, including myself, dispute is that "man" is the trigger for these changes. What I also dispute is that the wrecking of our farming economy and therefore our country's economy in the pursuit of what could be accurately called "virtue signalling" is stupid.

The simple fact that we, as a country, produce food at a lower emission level than virtually all other producers in the world should encourage our leaders to encourage increases in our production to reduce the pressure in other countries. But hey, as Wayne has shown above, common sense is relative to your overall perspective.

Gary Peters said...

Yep, this guy believes and seems pretty het up about it.


And for balance,



So there are always contrary opinions Wayne and not "all" science is settled.

Kat said...

Wayne it is heartening to read your comment @1 February 2023 at 20:15.

@ Max Ritchie, I am not talking about resurrecting the 'old Mow' I am talking about a "21st Century govt run entity that is govt funded, govt run 24/7 and where the buck stops with a govt minister who is accountable for the delivery of works nationally on an industrial scale...." The private sector has proven they are just not up to providing that level of service.

I would rather see a few bods leaning on shovels at worksites than wielding crowbars, threatening lives, smashing windows and breaking into businesses.

David George said...

Reality is not a popularity contest Wayne, to be decided by public support - or by government fiat come to that. Shame on you for suggesting that dissenting views should be quashed.

It's hardly surprising that a majority of the public are concerned, even terrified, of human induced climate change; there has been a relentless multi media campaign with that intent. I don't believe anything the media say on this topic anymore - all our MSM sources have bound themselves to the shadowy Covering Climate Now outfit. https://coveringclimatenow.org/partners/partner-list/

I'm sure we can all recall the apocalyptic "reporting" of the Aussie 2019/20 bushfires. Permanent drought! Unprecedented! The Earth is Burning!
All lies - turns out there has been abundant rain ever since and the '74/'75 fire season (a time when the worry of the day was an impending ice age) consumed seven times the area.

sumsuch said...

What could we do? Address our whole attention to it as we should have from 1990.Or, Labour should have. If the 6 years of Rogernomics hadn't occurred, Bill Rowling would have addressed it.

I know, democracy can only do short-term, which can't do ... reality. A fuckload more of social-democratic talk for reality would have helped, rather than bowing down to focus groups like they were Aristotle or all the great modern talkers for the people and reality.

sumsuch said...

Wayne Mapp, we need a war govt.

Which is socialism.

National can pull more people into agreement with that. Are you certain about the present Nat lot on that logical line of thought?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

The problem the problem with having to debate climate change denialists is that you tend to run into Brandolini's law – or the law of bullshit asymmetry. They find some article about a dissatisfied Greenpeace guy who incidentally isn't a climate scientist but an ecologist, and who obviously has a political agenda - and decide that all of a sudden climate change is a myth. So to counter this you have to go and look at the article read it, find out who the guy actually is and his qualifications, and look at the publication to see what it's agendas are.
And you find that not only is the guy in question not a climate scientist but the site itself publishes articles on numerology for pets and other woo. Not to mention a certain amount of anti-Semitism in the guise of supporting Palestinians. All this takes more time by an order of magnitude than it does to post a nonsense article.
Science is not decided by public opinion certainly, but it is decided by the majority opinions of scientists, which may or may not change depending on what information is available. You see that's what climate deniers and the like don't understand. Science is constantly changing and constantly improving. So yes, years ago tectonic plates weren't a thing and now they are. So what? New information was found that supported the hypothesis.
So are these people relying on new information being found in the future? Or is there new information now that might support the AGW agenda?
What we have now is the best information available – if that changes which it will to some extent but I suspect not to the extent of rubbishing climate change, we will know better. Until then it's all we have to go on.

Just as a side note, I was thinking about the less moderate right and anti-Semitism and racism and so on the other day and it occurred to me that in certain sections of the right, anti-Semitism is the only racism that isn't allowed – then you cross some sort of invisible barrier somewhere and it becomes mandatory. Oh well, just a thought experiment.

No-Skates said...

Gary Peters said: "What I also dispute is that the wrecking of our farming economy and therefore our country's economy in the pursuit of what could be accurately called "virtue signalling" is stupid."

Ultimately your intent at discrediting AGW is from commercial interest, like most skeptics. That's why any efforts to mitigate climate change are still up for debate.

New Zealand's impact is small, but that's because we are small. Per capita, we're some of the highest emitters on the world stage. Not as bad as China, but that's cause we shipped all our heavy (and high polluting) industry over there.

Rather than backing myself up with a dreary report, here's a comic: https://xkcd.com/1732/

John Hurley said...

Blogger sumsuch said...

Wayne Mapp, we need a war govt.

Which is socialism.

National can pull more people into agreement with that. Are you certain about the present Nat lot on that logical line of thought?
An open checkbook for progressives and developers. Very much like the Slum Enabling Bill.

Wayne Mapp (12) Says:
May 25th, 2013 at 4:03 pm
An interesting post, and a particularly thoughtful comment by Auckland commercial lawyer. Knowing how public meetings go,they usually get the most concerned attending, especially if organized by opponents to the plan, as was the one in Takapuna. I was overseas so did not go.
However, I am not surprised by the level of opposition here. The traffic on Lake Road would not encourage any higher density. There is an easy fix to this – 4 lane the road from Hauraki corner to Belmont, improve the Takapuna motorway on ramp. Actually the motorway needs another lane south from Takapuna to the Bridge.
One thing is absolutely clear, Auckland will grow to 2.5 million in 30 years. Around the town centers there will be increased density. But in areas where the norm is townhouse and traditional housing there will be huge resistance to multilevel apartments. Mayor Len of course knows this, and the plan will be adjusted to take that sting out. Typically in these exercises you put your maximum position out for consultation to give some space to pull back. Of course some planners may not understand this political nuance, and probably not some councillors (i.e. Anne Hartley, judging by her reported comments at the meeting).
So what is reasonable for traditional suburbs. Well, we will see a lot more traditional sections of 800 m being divided into 400 m. Where there are larger sites we will see housing clusters, say housing units every 250 m. That will require terrace housing and duplexes and 3 level buildings (parking on bottom level and accomadation on top two). For instance in my area (Bayswater) Ngati Whatua now owns the Navy Housing, typically a small house on 1000 meters. In 5 years the existing 100 houses will redeveloped as a slick integrated concept with around 300 to 400 dwellings. At some point the marina will get approval for around 100 houses.

They aren't doing it for us.
Auckland will grow to 2.5 million in 30 years [nothing to do with government/media enablers]
The Greens are on board.

Barry said...

Chris - colonisation didnt keep one maori poor or underprivileged.
Data from the first about the first 40 years of the 20th century showed maori unemployment was no worse, and often less than , non maori.
Maori growth in the lower socio-economic status really got underway in the 1960s - and increased alongside increases in welfare. Yes I know thats not proof of cause but the same happened in Australia USA, Canada and the UK . The affected groups were not always colonised.
One major common thing in all these places is the victim mentality - usually proposed by politicians. " you are a victim of .......".

Any decision made on the basis of race or culture allways end in tears.

Gary Peters said...

"Ultimately your intent at discrediting AGW is from commercial interest, like most skeptics"

And those that push it so agressively have no commercial interest? Naive I think and wrong by the way.

You have your religion, I prefer to follow science. In times previous there have been carbon concentrations double our current level, long before humans inhabited this earth. I guess dinosaur farts were much greater.

Long before industrialisation we had active migration to Greenland for greener pastures and peace, something Vikings struggled to attain in their homelands.

Yet now, all fluctuations are down to "man". What arrogant nonsense!

My point stands though if you are a "believer". Our farmers have a lower emission rate than virtually any other pastural nation. Instead of "exporting" our emissions maybe we could reduce the strain on the planet by taking them of other more fragile ecosystems.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Chris - colonisation didnt keep one maori poor or underprivileged."
Nonsense. Colonisation destroyed the foundation of the Maori economy, which before all their land was taken away was pretty damned active – one might even say vibrant. I would also suggest that any statistics on Maori unemployment from the first 40 years of the 20th century would be – let's say incomplete, but even if not, Maori tended to work in rural areas doing relatively unskilled labour. The very sort of labour which has pretty much disappeared in the last 60 or 70 years.
If they haven't been deprived of most of their land, it's quite possible that there still would be a vibrant Maori economy. I mentioned it on another thread but apparently those areas in Spain which were the most affected by the Inquisition are still economically behind the rest of the country. Trauma can indeed be generational, particularly if it is as profound as what happened to Maori.

Scouser said...

"It would appear that the choice between rolling-back global warming, and seeking to mitigate its worst effects, is being made for us."

That was always going to be the decision. 1 billion Chinese, North of 1 billion Indians plus billions more in South East Asia, South America and Africa. The economics of energy are such that the choice for such countries is the likes of coal and oil\gas to generate cheaper energy as renewables are too expensive. Cheap energy is a fundamental requirement of developing countries. For example, India has the choice of hundreds of millions dying sooner now versus a potential issue in decades. It is a completely rational choice.

No-Skates said...

"And those that push it so agressively have no commercial interest? Naive I think and wrong by the way."

I suppose sustainability is a commercial interest of sorts. Can't make money when everything is dead.

"You have your religion, I prefer to follow science."

I would be very interested in this science that is so damning as to condemn 99% of the opposing climate science. I imagine it must involve a lot of astrology, alchemy and homeopathy.

"Yet now, all fluctuations are down to "man". What arrogant nonsense!"

Arrogance is not extinguishing someone on fire cause it's keeping you warm and cozy.

"Our farmers have a lower emission rate than virtually any other pastural nation. Instead of "exporting" our emissions maybe we could reduce the strain on the planet by taking them of other more fragile ecosystems."

From denial to bargaining? If anthropogenic climate change is a farce, heralding Kiwi farmer's low emissions and reducing strain on the planet is a bit redundant isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Guerrilla Surgeon is correct. "Science is not decided by public opinion certainly, but it is decided by the majority opinions of scientists, which may or may not change depending on what information is available".

This can be well ahead of, and at odds with, prevailing public opinion. The rise of rapid and cheap genome sequencing, coupled to advances in information technology, to handle the huge amount of data generated, has thrown up unexpected results.

Since 2015, it has been known all cultivated varieties of sweet potato, including kumara, are transgenic. An aggressive soil bacteria succeeded in inserting functional bacterial genes into the wild ancestor plant, before domestication. (Most wild relatives are not transgenic in this way). The scientists who discovered this called it a "natural GMO" and expressed the hope it would help win public acceptance of GMO food.

I share their hope, but it has not been, and will not be, quick or easy. But after initial discoveries such as that, scientists have been looking out for such horizontal gene transfer, and finding more and more examples.

Grasses are important plants in both agricultural and natural settings. Realizing horizontal gene transfer does occur naturally, scientists are finding more and more transgenic transfers between grasses.

This discovery cuts both ways. Biotechnology supporters can correctly point out nature used "genetic engineering" way before humans discovered the possibility. It's another source of natural variation, to be subjected to Darwinian natural selection. The recent discoveries undercut the presumption behind New Zealand laws on genetic engineering, that horizontal gene transfer can only be "unnatural".

Opponents of biotechnology can equally correctly point out that it was initially thought engineered crops could not spread their genes, only pass them on to their offspring. Turns out they can. Uncontrolled release into the wild by horizontal transfer may have been happening for some three decades already.

I share GS's expectation, that climate and weather are well enough understood that human caused global warming is clearly happening, and it's unlikely any new information will drastically change that view.

But that doesn't settle the question of what measures to take. I think engineering green plants to be more efficient absorbers of carbon dioxide is possible. But winning broad acceptance of that view, and using such plants, even if the science is with the idea? A challenge, and part of what decides it will be which people are more scared of, global warming or genetic engineering.