Media watch – Tuesday

25 September 2018


Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

Previous Post


  1. Blazer

     /  September 25, 2018

    moral virtue is for mere mortals not for ‘NZ’s foremost law firm’.

  2. High Flying Duck

     /  September 25, 2018

    Good to see the Government virtue signalling is only going to cost us billions, while actually increasing our carbon footprint:

    Allowing future offshore oil exploration to be banned could cost the country billions and may increase greenhouse gas emissions.
    It could also increase the price of gas and consequently the price of electricity.

    “The MBIE report presents a range of potential losses to the New Zealand economy of ending offshore exploration.
    For the period up to 2020, a best-case scenario would see a loss of $44 million and a worst case of $1.9 billion but MBIE says a midpoint in their analysis would put the potential loss at $1.2 billion.
    If the offshore ban were continued from 2020 to 2050, then the midpoint of forecast losses would be $9.8 billion.
    But MBIE doesn’t stop there.
    It says all gas produced in New Zealand is consumed in New Zealand.
    The proposed changes may result in a decrease in the security and affordability of supply of gas and electricity in New Zealand.
    “As gas becomes increasingly scarce over time, it can be expected that gas prices will rise although the timing and scale of any price rises remain uncertain,” it says.
    “In addition, it is possible that increased gas prices may flow through to an increase in electricity prices.
    “The extent of this will depend on the continued role of gas in New Zealand’s energy mix and the uptake of renewables.”
    “The underlying assumption is that a reduction in future gas supply from existing levels will be covered through curtailment of output by Methanex in the first instance,” the report says.
    “Methanex consumed 41 per cent of New Zealand’s total gas demand in 2017.”
    There is, however, a catch with Methanex closing up.
    “In the case of methanol, the marginal source of global methanol supply is coal to methanol produced in China which has an emissions’ intensity at least double (but typically three to four times) that of gas to methanol,” the statement says.
    “All other things being equal, a decline in methanol produced in New Zealand would result in increased methanol production from China (which accounts for approximately half of global methanol demand, and two-thirds of Chinese methanol production is derived from coal).”
    Gas is also used to produce urea fertiliser. New Zealand produces about 250,000 tonnes a year and imports another 650,000 tonnes.
    The statement says that when combined with shipping the imported urea has a higher emissions footprint than the urea produced in New Zealand.”

    • Blazer

       /  September 25, 2018

      MBIE are an unreliable source.

      Over a million a week spent on consultants,show they have N.F.I.

    • Griff.

       /  September 25, 2018

      Dont you love it when “could” becomes “will” in the right wing world .

      Acting concisely now on climate change could end up saving NZ 30 billion .

      This report is endorsed by more consultants than NZ can muster and has the same message.

      “The MBIE report presents a range of potential losses to the New Zealand economy of ending offshore exploration.
      For the period up to 2020, a best-case scenario would see a loss of $44 million and a worst case of $1.9 billion but MBIE says a midpoint in their analysis would put the potential loss at $1.2 billion.

      That fails the basic sniff test for bullshite
      We dont and never will spend billions on oil exploration.
      We still have the 2018 permit auction set to commence next year. It takes years to actually prospect a new area not one year. The existing prospecting permits will be under exploration for many years to come yet. The existing exploration industry is not going to collapse because they dont have more permits over the next two years.
      How can one year of not issuing permits cost 1.2 billion when the total contribution to GDP for all activity in the entire oil and gas sector with its proven production wells built up over decades is worth only $2.5 billion a year?
      Oil exploration is a gamble with odds of a commercial find at about 1 in 5.
      Spending money for zero return is a cost not a benefit. Why are the numbers quoted so high when exploration could very easily be a loss to the economy not a gain?

      • High Flying Duck

         /  September 25, 2018

        I think the losses stem from taxes, not exploration. Thankfully Labour are starting to backtrack somewhat…

        A “use it or lose it” policy, which removes oil and gas exploration permits from companies if they’re not used, has been put on ice by Energy Minister Megan Woods.

        The Green Party is disappointed by the decision, saying it will give mining companies with existing exploration permits more time to consider drilling.

        Woods’ decision came at the same time as the introduction of a Government bill to halt new offshore oil exploration.

        Under the current oil exploration rules, if a company holds an exploration permit but does not start drilling on it within four years, it is forfeited.

        • Griff.

           /  September 25, 2018

          The upstream oil and gas sector contributes over $2.5 billion to New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Government collects approximately $500 million in royalties and income tax from the sector annually, and oil exports are worth approximately $1.5 billion per annum.

          Thats the industry”s own numbers for the industry’s contribution to gross GDP.
          Yet the mbie report say we lose half in 2020 just by halting new permits,

          • High Flying Duck

             /  September 26, 2018

            Methanex are strongly predicted to cancel a $1.5B investment in their plant in Taranaki due to the likelihood of supply dwindling before they can get payback.

            It is these flow on effects that are costed in, and that you are ignoring:

            “A briefing paper from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, one of a number of documents on the oil and gas industry released today by Energy Minister Megan Woods’ office, said Methanex would not be able to operate at full capacity from 2021 and would stop completely after 2026.

            “Methanex will require a new discovery if it is to continue operating in New Zealand over the medium to long-term.”

            Methanex’s managing director Dean Richardson declined to comment on the MBIE paper today.

            Methanex last year had 270 staff in New Zealand, earning twice the average Taranaki wage, and about 100 contractors.

            It contributed $640 million to the Taranaki economy, accounting for 8 per cent of the region’s economy, and $834m to the national economy.”


            I believe there were other flow ons such as the inability to manufacture fertiliser using gas, or the necessity to use higher greenhouse methods.

            However, I’m sure you know more about Methanex than Methanex does, and more about Fertiliser than Ravensdown.

            You also know more about solar installation costs than the solar market does in NZ – they must be a cartel!

            • Blazer

               /  September 26, 2018

              ‘“Methanex will require a new discovery if it is to continue operating in New Zealand over the medium to long-term.’

              Do they want a Govt guarantee that they will find one?

          • High Flying Duck

             /  September 26, 2018

            “The government’s decision to reduce the incentives to explore for and produce oil and gas in New Zealand makes a potentially unstable situation worse, Kidd says. “In our view, it will serve to increase the risk to security of forward gas supply and potentially accelerate any future decision by Methanex to withdraw from part or all of its New Zealand operations as a response to gas availability.”

            Elsewhere, Kidd rubbished a claim by Energy Minister Megan Woods that Methanex closing its New Zealand plant would not have a negative impact on the environment. There has been concern that if Methanex stopped production, China would increase methanol supply to fill the gap. Because Chinese producers use coal not natural gas, this could boost greenhouse gas emissions.

            Woods claimed China’s cap and trade system for pricing emissions would limit the ability of Chinese producers to ramp up methanol supply. But Kidd says that the system applies only to electricity production.

            Chinese methanol production operates as the world’s ‘swing’ supplier, he says, stepping in to shore up supply when demand rises.

            Kidd’s critique comes after a report on the Stuff website saying ministers were told by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment that there had been growing interest among oil and gas explorers to take new acreage in New Zealand this year. This follows a period of low demand for exploration territory.

            Kidd suggested in his analysis that MBIE officials were kept in the dark about the government’s decision not to offer more offshore oil and gas exploration licences until about four days before the April 12 announcement, leading to a “burst of four pieces of advice on 10 April, each of which was clearly prepared under urgency”, Kidd says.

            “The string of advice the minister cites as having informed the decision was prepared on the basis of officials not having any awareness that the decision was even an option. The only piece of policy advice that did address the decision was extremely negative in both its analysis … and its conclusions,” says Kidd.”


      • High Flying Duck

         /  September 25, 2018

        At least we can use solar!

        “Consumer NZ is warning it can take decades for a solar power system to pay for itself.

        It has released a new report that looks at the time it takes to pay back the investment in a system of PV panels on a house roof. Greenpeace has called for the Government to offer an interest-free loan scheme to help people install the systems.

        Consumer NZ tested households in Auckland, Hawkes Bay and Christchurch.

        In Auckland, the best quote, at $7400 from Solar Group, would take 24 years to pay for itself in power bill savings.

        In Christchurch, the $9250 best quote, from Jinko, would take 24 years to pay off, and in Hawkes Bay, payback took 13 years on the best quote of $6845, from Freenergy.

        Consumer NZ said the payback time would vary according to how much power the panels on the roof generated, how much power the household used and how much had to be sold back to the retailer.

        “Getting PV panels installed on your roof is only part of the equation,” the advocacy group said. “You also need to make best use of the power produced.”

        “Batteries are often promoted as part of the solution to store the power when it is created, for future use.

        But the report said that was not a foregone conclusion. “Two Auckland installers recommended including a battery now. However, we think the payback time for the battery is far longer than its lifespan. The other installers in Auckland and all of the installers in Hawke’s Bay and Christchurch told us batteries weren’t economical, and didn’t recommend we install one.”

    • Gezza

       /  September 25, 2018

      Seems in need of psychiatric treatment, on the face of this tweet?
      Kate Marvel is a climate scientist and science writer based in New York City.

  3. Gezza

     /  September 25, 2018

    Seven Sharp will feature an item on the bongkers Otago University bong-stealing Proctor tonight.

    • Gezza

       /  September 25, 2018

      Interesting. He gave an interview. Very much looked and sounded like an ex-cop. He said parents send their kids there for a world class education. Not to get into trouble. That he acted like a parent. He was walking past & saw the bongs – he was thinking of the students – what could happen if the police came by?

      He apologised. He said he’s human, he realises he made a mistake. The door was open but he shouldn’t have gone into the flat. What he should have done was come back later when the students were home and had a talk to them.

      Jeremy and Hills had a different view when they discussed the item afterward. Hills wasn’t sympathetic to the Procotor & indicated she mightn’t confiscate a bong if she found one in her kid’s bedroom; Jeremy accepted his apology as genuine and was more equivocal about that situation.

  4. I must admit I’m a bit ‘whatever’ about all the media coverage of Ardern, and i wonder about how wise it is to display her baby around the UN, New York and the world, but there must be some benefits for New Zealand in the publicity.

    • PDB

       /  September 25, 2018

      “First female world leader to bring an infant to the meeting in New York”.

      A bit harsh for them to be calling Clarke Gayford that don’t you think?