Update on the Thames Public Bus Trial

New smartphone app available to plan your ride !

The Thames public bus trial has been running since the beginning of December and is proving to be very popular. In the week before Christmas the bus recorded over 300 rides. Services were a bit disrupted during the 5 January storm surge, but in the last few days numbers are on the rise again. Today, the bus driver told me at 1 PM that he had already picked up over 60 rides, with a couple of hours to go. On one segment the bus was close to being full. Continue reading “Update on the Thames Public Bus Trial”


Trump-Like Climate Science Meddling by NZ Ministers

If you think Donald Trump’s interference with, and denial of climate science is outrageous you will be shocked at the disturbing level of Ministerial interference under the previous government around the publication of a Ministry for the Environment expert coastal hazard and sea level rise guidance report for councils. Publication of the report was delayed for 364 days due to Ministerial meddling.  Reporter Eloise Gibson from Newsroom has exposed “an almost farcical series of false starts. Many dates were penciled-in for the launch of the Guidance and then abandoned as it became clear – sometimes only a week or so beforehand – that ministers would not support the plan.” Continue reading “Trump-Like Climate Science Meddling by NZ Ministers”

Drowned Dreams on the Coromandel

Central government’s latest Coastal Hazard Guidance to local councils was released on Friday. Long overdue, the guidance describes the serious threats to our coastal towns, but also gives excellent advice on how our communities can adapt to rising seas.

The guidance could not have come soon enough. As outlined in a must-read Newsroom investigation,  Thames Coromandel District Council (TCDC)  has recently approved four risky major coastal developments which may not have been consented, had the previous government not suppressed the Guidance. Continue reading “Drowned Dreams on the Coromandel”

Could a Warmer Firth Harm Aquaculture

In the last few days, the sea temperature in parts of the Firth of Thames has risen to an astonishing 25°. This is about 5° or 6 ° above the average for December.


It’s not just the Hauraki Gulf which is warming so rapidly – large parts of the Tasman Sea between New Zealand and Tasmania are also 5° or 6 ° above the long-term average for this time of the year.


People may welcome warmer temperatures for swimming – not that anyone swims much in the Firth anyway. In reality, this warming trend is a serious concern. Scientists are becoming increasingly worried about the effect rising sea temperatures will have on marine life – particularly hard-shelled molluscs such as mussels and oysters, due to acidification of the ocean. Lower pH in seawater can make the shells of mussels and other shellfish much softer and brittle and there is increasing evidence of a drop in production for aquaculture due to this effect. Already the pH in waters in the Firth of Thames is higher than expected. Continue reading “Could a Warmer Firth Harm Aquaculture”

Latest Coastal Hazard Guidance Out Soon?

Briefing to Climate Change Minister James Shaw urges immediate action to release report

The failure of the previous government to release the latest Ministry for the Environment Guidelines to Local Authorities on Coastal Hazards and Climate Change before the election has meant that numerous dodgy coastal subdivisions, developments and infrastructure had been able to slip through the cracks.  Because the latest guidance was not officially released, councils such as the Thames-Coromandel District Council have had a convenient excuse for not imposing higher sea level rise and other climate-change-related controls on coastal development. Continue reading “Latest Coastal Hazard Guidance Out Soon?”