Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Calls for curbs on NIWA “scaremongering”

Former Science Minister calls for curbs on NIWA “scaremongering”

The Minister of Research Science & Technology, Hon Wayne Mapp, has been asked by a former science minister to direct NIWA (the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) that its remit does not extend to “scaremongering about climate change”.

The latest NIWA press release concerning an increase in atmospheric methane has been described as “highly politicised” by Barry Brill, Minister of Science in a former National Government, now a spokesperson on political affairs for the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.

He noted that the president of Federated Farmers, Don Nicolson has called on NIWA to retract associated incorrect statements that livestock are responsible for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions.

“NIWA’s announcement is hardly breaking news, as the global methane figures for 2007-08 were placed on the website of the NOAA (US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) on 21 April 2009,” said Mr Brill. “NIWA's measurements are forwarded to NOAA, where they are combined with inputs from 59 other worldwide sites to provide a meaningful annual statistic on global methane concentrations.

“NOAA’s report says that global methane levels rose in 2007-08 after a 10-year lull, but notes that increases during 2008 are slightly less than those measured in 2007, and fall well within the range of yearly fluctuations from natural changes.

“Why is NIWA now talking about Baring Head when it has not for some years reported on results from that station? Why is it now putting out media releases on 12-month old samples? And why is it calling an 18-month period ‘the beginning of a trend’ when it habitually asserts that climatic trends are meaningless unless they persist for 10 years or more?” enquired Mr Brill

“The timing of the media release appears to be an attempt by NIWA climate scientists to assert their continued relevance, following the disappointment of the Copenhagen conference a few days earlier. The release coincided with Q&A on NIWA’s website and had all the polish of a well-honed PR exercise.

“Although ostensibly about a science news item, the media release serves solely as a vehicle for NIWA’s Dr Lassey to rehearse arguments about human-induced global warming in support of the lobby for policy action. This ‘news’ even extends to allegations regarding methane quantities during such obscure eras as an 800,000-year period up to 1699.

“NIWA is a taxpayer-funded agency that has an uncontested monopoly on climate advice to the government. New Zealanders have a right to expect that NIWA will consistently remain objective and balanced, observing the highest standards of empirical science. Unfortunately, in this methane example, as in other aspects of climate science, NIWA has taken to itself an advocacy role”, Mr Brill concluded.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Westpac: Sets Out Plan To Go Cheque-Free

Westpac NZ has announced details of its plan to phase out cheques, after signalling in May that it would be supporting a move to other forms of payment. Cheques will cease to be available as a means of payment after 25 June 2021. Westpac NZ General ... More>>


NZTA: Major New Zealand Upgrade Programme Projects Go To Tender

Two major New Zealand Upgrade Programme projects are beginning tenders for construction. The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is a $6.8 billion investment to get our cities moving, to save lives and boost productivity in growth areas. The first Auckland ... More>>

Reserve Bank: RBNZ Seeks To Preserve Benefits Of Cash

The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua is taking on a new role of steward of the cash system “to preserve the benefits of cash for all who need them”, Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby told the Royal Numismatics Society of New Zealand annual conference ... More>>


Economy: Double-Dip Recession Next Year, But Housing Rolls On

New Zealand's economy is expected to slip back into recession early next year as delayed job losses, falling consumer spending, and the absence of international tourists bites into growth. More>>


Microsoft New Zealand: Microsoft Expands “Highway To A Hundred Unicorns” Initiative To Support Startups In Asia Pacific

New Zealand, 14 October 2020 – Today Microsoft for Startups launches the Highway to a Hundred Unicorns initiative in Asia Pacific to strengthen the region’s startup ecosystem. This follows the initiative’s success in India, where 56 startups were ... More>>

Fonterra: Farmers Taking Another Step Towards New Zealand’s Low Emissions Food Production

They’re hot off the press and intended to help take the heat out of climate change. Fonterra farmers are already among the world’s most sustainable producers of milk and now have an additional tool in their sustainability toolbox. Over the last few ... More>>


Courts: Businessman Eric Watson Sentenced To A Four-Month Jail Term

New Zealand businessman Eric Watson has been sentenced to a four-month jail term in the UK for contempt of court, TVNZ reports. More>>

OECD: Area Employment Rate Falls By 4.0 Percentage Points, To 64.6% In Second Quarter Of 2020

The OECD area employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – fell by 4.0 percentage points, to 64.6%, in the second quarter of 2020, its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2010. Across the OECD area, 560 million persons ... More>>

Spark: Turns On 5G In Auckland And Offers A Glimpse Into The Future Of Smart Cities

Spark turned on 5G in downtown Auckland today and has partnered with Auckland Transport (AT) to showcase some of the latest in IoT (Internet of Things) technology and demonstrate what the future could look like for Auckland’s CBD with the power of 5G. 5G is ... More>>

Stats NZ: Monthly Migration Remains Low

Since the border closed in late-March 2020, net migration has averaged about 300 a month, Stats NZ said today. In the five months from April to August 2020, overall net migration was provisionally estimated at 1,700. This was made up of a net gain ... More>>

University of Canterbury: Proglacial Lakes Are Accelerating Glacier Ice Loss

Lake Tasman, New Zealand | 2016 | Photo: Dr Jenna Sutherland Meltwater lakes that form at glacier margins cause ice to recede much further and faster compared to glaciers that terminate on land, according to a new study. But the effects of these glacial ... More>>


Dairy: Fonterra Sells China Farms

Fonterra has agreed to sell its China farms for a total of $555 million (RMB 2.5 billion*1), after successfully developing the farms alongside local partners. Inner Mongolia Natural Dairy Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of China Youran Dairy Group Limited ... More>>