Thursday, November 11, 2010

100% Pure? Not Even Close

Nearly a third of New Zealand's lakes are unhealthy, according to a NIWA report and pastoral land use has got a lot to do with it.

The quality of healthy lakes is declining because of nutrients coming off of livestock farming, New Zealand's fresh waters are paying a heavy price for industrial dairying and intensive agriculture - according to a press release issued by the NZ Green Party.

New Zealand needs urgently to establish clean water rules to protect freshwater, emphasis ours:
Delayed report shows need for clean water rules
Thursday, 11 November 2010, 10:44 am
Press Release: Green Party
A new report showing the poor health of New Zealand’s lakes demonstrates why we urgently need clean water rules to protect our waterways, the Green Party said today.
“Almost a third of all lakes in New Zealand are unhealthy, and many are getting worse,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said.
“New Zealanders love our rivers and lakes, and we want to protect them. Our kids have a birthright to swim and fish in our waterways, but this legacy is at risk.”
Dr Norman was commenting on Lake Water Quality in New Zealand 2010, a report by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). The report was due to be released by the Ministry for the Environment last week, but was held back until today.
“One can only speculate about the reasons for the delay,” Dr Norman said.
“It is interesting timing that the report’s release was delayed during the World Dairy Summit in Auckland, when the report concludes that pastoral land use is associated with the ecological deterioration of our lakes.
“This report is further evidence that we need clean water rules to set standards, limits, and targets for water quality as soon as possible.”
Based on monitoring of 112 lakes between 2005 and 2009, the report’s authors projected that nearly a third of New Zealand’s 3820 lakes are unhealthy. They also make clear conclusions about the cause: “The most significant finding from this study […] is that pastoral land use in New Zealand is associated with eutrophication and ecological deterioration. Furthermore, the condition of some lakes currently in good condition is declining, likely as a result of nutrient enrichment from livestock farming.”
Dr Norman said New Zealand’s rivers and lakes were bearing the ill effects of agricultural intensification and industrial dairying.
“It’s time we took action to turn this around by introducing clear rules for clean water.
In many areas, the situation is getting worse. Between 2005 and 2009, twice as many lakes were deteriorating as were improving.
“This report provides yet more evidence that we urgently need clean water rules. The water measurement regulations announced today are a start, but they are well short of what’s needed.
“Not only did John Key’s Government sit on this report, it’s sitting on a draft National Policy Statement (NPS) on freshwater management. This is ready to go and would set clear targets and timelines for improving the state of fresh water in New Zealand.
The Land and Water Forum reported that we need an NPS, and quickly. This report shows there is no more room for delay.
“We need clean water rules and we need them now,” Dr Norman said.
Lake Water Quality in New Zealand 2010: Status and trends:
A short while ago we blogged about another strike at the foundation's of New Zealand's 100% pure myth with the revelation that 20% Of Kiwis Have Unsafe Drinking Water.

The drinking water quality figures were released in a report (allegedly ‘buried since June’) that one in five people in New Zealand has unsafe or unregistered drinking water that has not been classified.

The report, which is bound to promote further ‘NZ is third world‘ criticism, was released by the Ministry of Health after a 2008-2009 review of drinking water showed that quality in New Zealand was deteriorating.

Paul Gorman in the Press commented on the report, saying
About 849,000 people, or 20 per cent of Kiwis, were supplied with water that either failed to meet bacteriological standards or had not been classified because sources were unregistered.
That was a rise from 712,000 New Zealanders in the corresponding 2007-08 period.
Unacceptable levels of E. coli were in water supplied to 93,000 people, down from 118,000 the previous year.
However, 247,000 people received water that did not comply bacteriologically with standards because sampling was too infrequent to show compliance.
That was up from 194,000 people in the 2007-08 period…more here
The quality of the water that Kiwis and holidaymakers swim in is a lot worse.
In July we pointed out that in less than two years the number of unsafe bathing places had increased from 29% to to 43%, if a report was The Herald was anything to go by:
Many popular swimming spots contain high levels of bacteria that cause diarrhoea or infection, a new report shows.
Of 206 rivers, lakes, lagoons and estuaries tested regularly by councils during summer, only 57 per cent were safe for swimming most of the time. The Ministry for the Environment report showed that one in nine freshwater swimming spots, including popular west coast lagoons, often had too much faecal matter in the water to be safe for bathing.
Piha Lagoon, where young children often swim, was Auckland’s worst spot…
Bethells Lagoon was above the safe threshold for bacteria in a quarter of its tests…
Northland region had the most spots – 10 out of 23 – that were consistently too polluted to swim in. The intensification of farming in that area was believed to be responsible for its poor freshwater quality…." more here
Clean?  - definitely not, Green? is that referring to people who believe advertising slogans, or the colour of the water?

100% pure ? - not even close.

You may also like to take a look at our Green Credentails, or Green Wash page and other posts tagged 100% Pure Myth

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Women's Rights Slip Further In New Zealand

The New Zealand Human Right Commission has just released of their 2010 Census of Women’s Participation, a biennial survey, published today.

It follows the progress, or the lack of it, for women across the corporate and private sectors at governance and management levels in New Zealand.

You may like to read the following blog in conjunction with an earlier blog we posted in March 2010 for International Women’s Day titled - Women’s Rights Slipping Away in New Zealand.

The 2010 Census of Women’s Participation opens with:

Chapter 1 Sex and Power – A Report Card
“The bad news is that in a number of significant areas, women’s participation has stalled and is sliding backwards. Significantly, this is occurring in the state sector which has traditionally been a leader for women’s advancement in public life.
New Zealand made a promise internationally of 50% gender parity in government-appointed bodies by 2010, which has not been met and has now slipped to an 8.5% gap.” read the full census report here
A NZPA press report said “The National Government is failing women” according to Labour MP Sue Moroney.
“It says women comprise 32 percent of MPs, 30 percent of Cabinet, 72 percent of teachers and 47 percent of school principals.
There are only three female editors out of the 26 daily newspapers, while 26 percent of the country’s judges are women, as are 29 percent of the New Zealand Police force.
Although 59 percent of the workers in public service are women, only six out of 34 public service departments have a woman chief executive.
The report identifies a 15.4 percent gender pay gap in the public service, which is greater than the total labour force gender pay gap of 13 per cent.
Equal Opportunities Commissioner Judy McGregor said in some areas women’s participation had stalled and was sliding backwards. read the full report here
Here are some press releases that have already been issued today by interested parties:

Pay and Employment Equity Coalition
The findings from the Biennial Census of Women’s Participation show that gender pay issues are moving in the wrong direction in the public sector, said Pay and Employment Equity Coalition Spokesperson Angela McLeod today. “The Human Rights Commission is doing a good job monitoring the gap but is working in a vacuum caused by government inaction,” she said.
There is clear evidence of serious slippage in the state sector with 24 public service departments having gender pay gaps greater than the total labour force and the highest reported one being 39 per cent. “This is appalling,” said McLeod. “The state sector is vitally important for leading the way in improving gender equity. And so it should be given more than half its workforce are women.”
“The Government’s dismantling of the Pay and Employment Unit has derailed progress and is likely to have contributed to these results. We were seeing some good progress being made in the state sector. The effects of government abandoning this issue are now coming home to roost.”
“Minister Pansy Wong may claim she is taking action on gender equity but the limited amounts of tinkering she is overseeing are not effective in improving the gender equity for the three-quarters of a million women now in the New Zealand workforce. They have no real plan for ensuring that women get the same rewards and workplace conditions as men,” said McLeod.
“This census report is very comprehensive and provides valuable and specific information but it has to be a spur to action,” said McLeod. “The Minister needs to meet with pay equity experts, trade union leaders and public and private sector employers to develop a plan of meaningful action to improve gender equity and reduce the gender pay gap.”
“We are ready and willing – is she?”
New Zealand Nurses Organisation:
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO), as a professional organisation and trade union with a 95 percent women membership, is appalled at the deterioration in female participation in governance, professional and public life, as revealed in a Human Rights Commission report released today.
The 2010 Census of Women’s Participation shows that gains made in past decades are being eroded and it shows that women in the public service earn 15.4 percent less than men for doing the same or a similar job.
“The census shows that unless the government takes a very active role in gender equity issues, women’s position in the workforce deteriorates. This Government disbanded the Labour Department’s Pay and Employment Equity Unit and the results in this report indicate that decision has had a negative impact on working women’s rights,” NZNO president Nano Tunnicliff said.
“Nurses working in district health boards (DHBs) have had to fight to boost their pay rates to those of comparable professions and they have to remain vigilant to maintain that equity. Many nurses and health workers in other areas of the health system still do not have these pay rates. Nurses know that unless there is a real commitment at government level to ensure equity for working women, it doesn’t happen,” Tunnicliff said.
These equity issues are even more acute for Māori women workers, Te Runanga o Aotearoa NZNO kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku said. “We have been campaigning for years for nurses and health workers in Māori and iwi health providers to get the same pay as nurses and health workers in DHBs. We still haven’t achieved that.”
Tunnicliff and Nuku believe that if this Government is genuinely committed to pay and employment equity for all women, it will develop a comprehensive plan dedicated to achieving that goal.
New Zealand Educational Institute
A new report showing women losing ground in terms of pay and employment equity should shame the government into action, says the education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa.
The Census of Women’s Participation by the Human Rights Commission shows that women’s participation in governance, professional and public life has slipped. It also shows that women in the public sector are paid 15% less than men for doing the same of similar work.
NZEI says the figures are particularly disheartening as the Government has clear evidence of pay inequity for thousands of education workers, yet refuses to do anything about it.
A pay investigation involving around 800 Ministry of Education support workers who work with special needs children, found they are significantly underpaid when compared to male workers in other sectors who have similar skills levels and responsibilities.
A separate report of the Pay Equity Review of the Compulsory Schooling Sector found that across all occupational groups in schools, there were areas where women were not being treated fairly or were being discriminated against in terms of pay, career advancement and value of their work.
NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter says “it is astonishing that in 2010 New Zealand finds itself in a position where equality for women in the workplace is actually slipping rather than improving and the responsibility lies squarely with the Government.”
The National-led government has undone a lot of the progress made by scrapping the pay and employment equity unit and halting all further pay and employment investigations in the public sector.
The Human Rights Commission Report says New Zealand is unlikely to meet its international obligations to have pay parity in the public sector by the end of the year.
“Failing to address pay and employment equity marginalises women and shuts them out of the economic recovery. The government should be ashamed,” says Mr Goulter.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Eden Park Four Nations – “Disgraceful” Behaviour Slammed

Earlier today we wrote about the alcohol fuelled mayhem at last night’s Four Nation’s match at Eden Park. Read Drunken fans marr Eden Park’s Four Nations

This is a video of one of the bottle throwing incidents at the match, it appeared on YouTube today

Eden Park November 6th. New Zealand V Australia. Unfortunately when the convicts took a convincing lead half way through the second half, the crowd went feral, chucking bottles and everything onto lower bays and the field. This was about the fourth time around, so most of the f-wits had exhausted their supply of missiles, but as you can see, they were still throwing quite a lot of stuff. It was like being at a Canterbury Bulldogs match.”
League Ambassador Sir Peter Leitch is reported to have criticised security staff for not being quicker to deal with “rowdy people”
Fights and bottle-throwing at last night’s league test has brought criticism of fans and security this morning.
The match between the Kiwis and the Australian league teams was a rehearsal for next year’s Rugby World Cup.
League Ambassador Sir Peter Leitch has criticised security staff, saying they should have acted quicker and thrown rowdy people out. He’s also taken a swing at the fans. “I was appalled at the behaviour” He told Newstalk ZB “people who threw bottles, be they plastic bottles, disgrace. Very disappointing.”
He says the behaviour put the game into disrepute.
Perhaps the consumption of alcohol on sale at the match and its ‘delivery system’ (bottles) was more to blame than the security staff. Look at the video – it’s hard to see how staff could’ve stopped the bottle throwing.

Comments left on this YouTube video
“The crowd was a disgrace. There was no way the security could stop everyone from acting like they did. It was terrible! Check out all those bottles! That Mexican wave of doom went around 3 times. I was seeing little kids get nailed in the head by half full bottles of beer.”
“Until alcohol is banned from sporting events, I will never take my kids to watch these games. Atre you there to watch 2 teams of athletes play or get pissed, start a fight and injure an elderly fan with a half full bottle of beer.
New Zealand supporters are disgusting, oafish animals.”
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Drunken Kiwi Fans Marr Eden Park's Four Nations

Today’s Herald is reporting that drunken league fans marred last night’s Four Nations match between the Kiwis and Australia at Eden Park, when hails of beer bottles rained on to the pitch.

This is but one of the  consequences of selling alcohol in bottles -sooner or later drunk people are going to use them as missiles and even plastic ones have the potential to cause injury, someone should have ‘seen this coming.’
Booze-charged rugby league fans threw bottles on to Eden Park and booed during last night’s Four Nations clash between the Kiwis and Australia.
Six people were arrested inside the ground for disorder related behaviour.
New Zealand Rugby League chief Jim Doyle said he was disappointed in fans’ behaviour but he believed Eden Park management would have learnt a lot from last night’s test…
…Meanwhile, the roads around Eden Park became chaotic when cars tried to merge with pedestrians after the match. Roads were closed to ensure fans got into the park smoothly, a key aspect of the planning for the RWC. Read more here (link opens in new window)
The Sunday Star Times adds the following information
“RUGBY LEAGUE’S foray into Eden Park ended in disgrace with a bottle thrown at an Australian player and ugly scenes of crowd unrest which led to numerous arrests in Auckland last night.
As an early dress rehearsal for the rugby world cup, which will conclude at the same venue in less than a year, the double-header league match (England v Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand v Australia) was logistically successful but the crowd misbehaviour tarnished the event.
A bottle was thrown at Australian captain Cameron Smith as he lined up a kick at goal and the game was briefly halted after bottles were hurled during a Mexican wave. More here
But the situation is likely to occur again during the Rugby World Cup next year.

Some elements of the crowd could be heard booing during the Australian national anthem, Prime Minister John Key was disappointed at the “loutish behaviour”
“We’re disappointed at some of the loutish behaviour last night and hope it won’t transfer over to the Rugby World Cup,
At the end of the day people are going to pay a lot for Rugby World Cup tickets and they’ve got to realise if they engage in that sort of behaviour their actions are going to be taken seriously and they will be tossed out. “[Internationally] it’s not a good look.” source
The shameful behaviour also attracted international attention, this from
One other things from this game, the crowd behaviour was terrible. Bottles were thrown on the field (One apparently hit Petero Civoniceva  in the back) (ed. an Australian), people ran onto the playing surface….just ridiculous stuff in this day and age.
You may remember our blog Price gouging and cleaning up at the rugby world cup written in May.  In that blog we said:

Beer to be sold in cans despite opposition from police.
“Be sure to pack a hard hat and body armour if you’re attending any matches in New Zealand. If you’re playing on the pitch you’d better learn to duck:
Police pushed for beer to be served in plastic cups to minimise the risk of them being used as missiles by intoxicated fans, but it is understood there was also opposition to that from principal sponsor, Heineken…
“arranging tap beer facilities would have been costly for 9 of the 13 stadia which didn’t already have such facilities.” source*
Score so far: Sponsors 1, Police 0.”

If this can’t be controlled at Eden Park, what hope is there for the regional stadia?

Perhaps it’s time to put aside the interests of the principal sponsors and get tap beer facilities into every stadium asap.

*unfortunately that link is no longer active as the article has been withdrawn, however it is discussed on the forum at
RWC fans trusted to behave with beer cans
Rugby World Cup organisers have settled on a deal to allow beer to be served in cans at matches during the tournament, despite initial opposition from police and Police Minister Judith Collins.
Police pushed for beer to be served in plastic cups to minimise the risk of them being used as missiles by intoxicated fans, but it is understood there was also opposition to that from principal sponsor, Heineken.
Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully told Radio New Zealand the stakeholders in next year’s tournament had discussed the issue of how to serve beer, and tried to “steer a middle course” while allowing for cans to be served.
The way forward was to put some trust in people who would be paying a lot of money for tickets, and give police the capacity to deal with the minority who may step out of line.
Mr McCully said arranging tap beer facilities would have been costly for nine of the 13 stadia which didn’t already have such facilities.
He was confident fans would want to make the most of a unique experience in attending rugby World Cup matches and not risk being thrown out because of intoxicated behaviour.
If fans did step out of line, police would have enhanced capability to deal with them, he said.
Ms Collins said she had considered the proposal to allow the sale of beer in cans and was now comfortable with the arrangement.
Is Mr McCully still feeling confident?

A poster on the UAFC forum hinted at a possible solution:

Re: Watching rugby in New Zealand not all it’s cracked up to be

by mikerob » Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:39 pm
IMO the RWC in NZ is bit of a waste of time… won’t make money or develop the game globally… but at least you can get beer. In France 2007, they only had alcohol free drinks in and around the grounds.
 Catch an update to this story and video here
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