the state of our environment | September 2013
the state of our environment | September
It’s been a promising start to spring
with plenty of moisture in the ground and in our waterways
as we strike what are typically our drier months of the
year. September last year kicked off an entire spring,
summer and autumn of low rainfall so it’s good to notch up
at least one month of widespread substantial rain – though
hopefully it doesn’t herald a big swing the other way. All
parts of the region received above normal rainfall in about
equal measure and all our rivers are in positive territory
compared to normal flows. Apart from a couple of nippy
mornings, strong nor’westers kept temperatures mild and
late frosts at bay. In a pretty convincing attempt to blow
all of us into the bay, average wind speeds hit strong gale
(83 km/hr) and gusts ripped through at 165 km/hr in parts of
the region during the month. So spare a thought for the
Chatham Islanders, who by the end of spring will probably
have a motley stash of broken pegs, random socks and holey
undies that have blown off Hawke’s Bay’s clotheslines.
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Jane Kelsey: "Shock Trade-Offs", No Deal At TPP Talks
A three-paragraph statement issued at the end of the ministerial summit was appropriately bland, given the complete void of any official information during the four-day meeting. Reading between the lines, it reveals four points about the current state of play.
First, ministers say they identified ‘potential landing zones’ for ‘the majority of key outstanding issues in the text’. Some of these decisions are hugely significant. New Zealand, Australia and Canada appear to have surrendered to an as-yet-undisclosed version of US-based demands on intellectual property that they have consistently deemed unacceptable.
Second, ministers were unable to reach even ‘potential’ outcomes for other key issues in the text...
Third, the US made no significant offers on market access for agriculture in Singapore. Japanese media reported a breakdown in the US-Japan talks on agriculture...
A final piece of hypocrisy in the statement is the promise to ‘further our consultation with stakeholders and engage in our respective political processes’. More>>