Seems a sensible move on solid fuel burners but won’t change anything

NZ Herald overhypes a sensible move to eventually phase out inefficient wood and coal burners: Government moves to ban old-style wood and coal-fueled burners to improve air quality

The Government is cracking down on old-fashioned wood and coal-powered heating as it looks to improve New Zealand’s overall air quality.

Although New Zealand’s air quality is already fairly high, Associate Environment Minister Nanaia Mahuta said there were still areas of the country where there were issues, particularly during winter.

To tackle the issue, the Government is looking at getting rid of all solid-fuel fires – such as older style wood and coal-fueled fireplaces.

Sounds like a big move – but it would allow them to continue to be used. It would just require eventual replacement with cleaner burning fireplaces, and most (90%) that are now for sale are compliant anyway, and many local bodies already require compliance.

The announcement from the Beehive: Proposed new measures to improve Aotearoa’s air quality

Improved air quality to support better health and environmental wellbeing is the focus of proposed amendments to air quality regulations, says the Associate Minister for the Environment, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.

“Under the proposed amendments, households already using solid-fuel burner appliances for heating can keep using their existing burners until they reach the end of their life. If they choose to replace their burner, under the proposed regulations they may need to replace the appliance with a lower-emission burner. Households on large properties (over two hectares) will remain excluded from these requirements,” said Hon Nanaia Mahuta.

“We are not proposing the removal of existing burners because we need to balance air quality improvements with the ability of households to maintain warm and dry homes.

“At present over 90 per cent of the burners currently on the market would meet the proposed standard and large retail chains already include compliant models in their lowest price bracket. A list of authorised wood burners can be found at: 

There is a large number (looks like hundreds) of compliant burners.

Christchurch City Council (who have had strict requirements for yonks) are already getting tougher: Solid or liquid fuel burner

  • From 1 January 2019 any new burner installed must be an ultra-low emission burner.

Otago Regional Council: Clean Heat Clean Air – Subsidy Information

Inefficient burners (coal burners, pellet fires and wood burners) are burners that cannot be lawfully installed or used under ORC’s Regional Air Plan rules.

In towns that have had air quality problems they even subsidise new heating at up to $2500.

If you are a homeowner in Arrowtown, Cromwell, Clyde, Alexandra or Milton, you may be eligible for financial assistance to switch to a more efficient, clean heat source for your home under ORC’s Clean Heat Clean Air programme.

The Clean Heat Clean Air programme helps qualifying homeowners replace their old, inefficient burner with a new, ultra-low emission wood burner or other clean heating appliance such as a heat pump, gas fires or pellet fires.

Modern efficient burners produce more heat and require less fuel so are cheaper to run, and are a no-brainer if replacing a burner.

So little will really change, apart from when old inefficient burners are replaced they will have to be replaced with new ones that comply with standards that many councils already enforce.

NZ First promise: a wooden Christchurch stadium

I think this was from Winston Peters: Transition to a better future – Multi-purpose stadium

Covered stadium – multi-purpose arena – NZ First proposal

New Zealand First asks also, why can’t Christchurch and Canterbury have a decent covered multi-use sports stadium to be used for top rugby and other events?

You missed out on having a Lions rugby test this winter for the first time ever.

You are being treated like a backwater and falling behind.

With the Crusaders you have the Super 15 champions.

But you’ve got a second rate temporary stadium not worthy of you or your  champions.

New Zealand First will back a covered multi-use stadium being built in Christchurch.

We realise the cost should not fall entirely on ratepayers and so we will look seriously at the government contributing.

But we make two provisos:

One, that you build a 24/7 revenue earning, multi purpose complex where sporting and entertainment events occasionally happen.

The emphasis is a 24/7 revenue stream where sport happens sometimes.

Two, that the stadium is built with wood – and wood grown in New Zealand – as a serious preference.

You have the technology and know-how here to make it happen, as shown with the Pres-Lam technology developed at the University of Canterbury.

A wooden covered sports stadium – it’s different I guess, it might attract attention, but, ah, are the nuts?

Labour MPs lukewarm support of forest/wood policy

Labour’s promotion of it’s forest/wood policy yesterday was mixed from the party and David Cunliffe – see Labour’s forest/wood policy on social media.

How well was it supported by Labour’s caucus? Some did their bit but most didn’t join the promotion. Overall the caucus support was underwhelming.

Deputy leader David Parker doesn’t operate his Twitter account and doesn’t seem to be on Facebook.

Grant Robertson supported the policy on Facebook…

Great announcement from David today. Forestry and the wood sector is a great example of how Labour’s economic approach will differ from National. We want to get alongside the sector and ensure that we don’t just export logs, but add value here in New Zealand and create secure, sustainable jobs.

…and on Twitter…


Labour will support move from volume to value to create sustainable jobs with decent wages- starting with forestry …

…but gave more attention to his ongoing attacks against Judith Collins.

Annette King is only an occasional user of Facebook. She tweeted three times yesterday but they were unrelated niggles.

Shane Jones was quiet on it apart from a re-tweet a backbencher MP:


@NewstalkZB I went along to tautoko @DavidCunliffeMP and @matuashane . It’s a sound policy. Tax breaks, techno innovation, more logs #nzpol

That suggests Jones attended the event. Whether under orders or not staying quiet may have been wise for him.

Jacinda Ardern was quiet on Facebook yesterday. She tweeted several times but on unrelated things.

Clayton Cosgrove rarely uses Facebook, the last time in June last year, and while he has a Twitter account he has never tweeted.

Chris Hipkins was on Facebook…

I’m sick of seeing raw logs shipped off overseas when we should be putting Kiwis into work. David Cunliffe has announced an excellent package of measures that will boost our timber industry and create local jobs. We won’t get rich as a country by constantly increasing the volume of raw products we export. We need to add value to them first.

…and on Twitter he retweeted Cunliffe’s promotion and followed up with two tweets with links to the policy:


I’m sick of seeing raw logs shipped off overseas when we could put Kiwis to work here at home. Labour will fix that.

Forestry is a great example of the opportunity NZ industries have to move from volume to value.

Nanaia Mahuta hardly uses Facebook. She was active on Twitter yesterday but on other matters.

Sue Moroney posted National attacks on Facebook on Tuesday but was inactive yesterday. She tweeted once and retweeted once yesterday but nothing related to the policy launch.

Phil Twyford was active politically on Facebook on Tuesday but only changed his profile pic yesterday. He was also active on Twitter on Tuesday but not yesterday. This silence is curious – Twyford is spokesperson for Housing which must have some interest in the timber industry.

Maryan Street is inactive on her Facebook page and hasn’t tweeted since last week.

David Shearer is inactive on Facebook and barely active on Twitter.

Su’a William Sio was active on Facebook on unrelated topics. He doesn’t seem to be on Twitter.

Phil Goff is inactive on Facebook and doesn’t seem to have a Twitter account.

Louisa Wall is inactive on Facebook and doesn’t seem to have a Twitter account.

Andrew Little posted a parliamentary speech of his on Facebook. His two tweets were unrelated to the policy launch. He is spokesperson for Labour but was quite on a policy promoting “Better jobs. Higher wages”.

Moana Mackey was quiet as usual on Facebook and her only tweets yesterday were digs at Bill English and John Key.

Damian O’Connor doesn’t seem to be on Facebook or Twitter.

David Clark linked to the policy on Facebook, saying…

Great announcement. Otago saw-millers can look forward to a more promising future and higher-value jobs for the region.

He also retweeted and tweeted:

Labour’s Forestry policy announcement great news for the regions @nzlabour @matuashane

MT “@NZStuff: Labour: good for the regions; good for Otago

@keith_ng something about square pegs in round holes? #WoodFirst

English can’t see the wood for the trees #nzqt #WoodFirst

He’s the only person to use the #WoodFirst hashtag.

Iain Lees-Galloway has sometimes promoted Labour on Facebook but not yesterday. Two unrelated tweets.

Kris Faafoi posted something unrelated on Facebook but hasn’t tweeted since last week. He has a media background and is Spokesperson for Broadcasting and Associate Spokesperson for Communications and IT, but doesn’t seem to practice what he is supposed to preach.

Carol Beaumont hasn’t posted to Facebook since last week. She tweeted once yesterday but only on home ownership.

Megan Woods doesn’t seem to be on Twitter but linked to the policy from Facebook and said:

Innovation critical to making this happen.

Darien Fenton was active in Facebook but on unrelated political matters. She retweeted the Labour announcement of the forestry policy.

Ross Robertson is inactive on Facebook and doesn’t seem to be on Twitter.

Trevor Mallard posted something unrelated on Facebook. He was active on Twitter but nothing related to the policy.

Ruth Dyson had two unrelated tweets but posted a link to the policy on Facebook and said:

New Zealand keeps exporting raw logs instead of creating value-added exports which create jobs and better living standards for everyone.

Labour’s investment, innovation and industry approach to the Forestry and Wood Products sector will make a real difference in upgrading the whole country’s economy.

Clare Curran hasn’t posted to Facebook since Monday. She retweeted Cunliffes link to his speech.

Rajen Prasad had two unrelated posts on both Facebook and Twitter.

Raymond Huo hasn’t posted to Facebook or Twitter since last week.

Rino Tirikatene hardly uses Facebook. He tweeted:


@NewstalkZB I went along to tautoko @DavidCunliffeMP and @matuashane . It’s a sound policy. Tax breaks, techno innovation, more logs #nzpol

Meka Whaitiri rarely uses Twitter but posted a link to the policy on Facebook and said:

Labour’s Economic Upgrade policy focussing on Forestry and Wood Products will create real sustainable jobs in Ikaroa Rawhiti.

Poto Williams is not active on her Facebook page and was inactive on Twitter yesterday.

While there was some support of the policy launch from Labour MPs most did not promote it. This was not a team effort and overall was lukewarm and underwhelming.

Labour’s forest/wood policy on social media

David Cunliffe announced major policy yesterday. How well supported was this by the Labour by social media?

When I went to Labour’s website I got their “I’m In” campaign page urging to be “part of the movement to change the government…”.

This was a redirection:

On the bottom of that sign-up page there are two links,  …or continue to see how Labour’s economic upgrade will provide opportunities for all New Zealanders, and right at the page footer you can Return to the page you came from… – this is an odd way to get access to their main web page. I’ve seen the recruitment page numerous times and don’t want to be forced there all the time.

One of the golden rules of website design is the less clicks the better, the harder you make it for anyone to see what they want the less likely they are to persevere and get to it.

Labour websiteUnder this was a list of Labour’s media releases for the day, with two on the policy now several down from the top.

Deputy leader David Parker pre-launch: Labour to boost forestry with pro-growth tax reform

And David Cunliffe with the main media launch: Economic upgrade for forestry and wood products

It took a bit of careful examination to realise that some of the main page highlights were related to the launch.

I thought Labour will upgrade New Zealand’s economy was a previous speech link but the fine print reveals that it is actually topical – Click here to learn how partnership with the Foresty and Wood Products industry will make a difference to incomes and living standards for all New Zealanders.

The middle graphic below that links to the same page. It’s labelled Forestry Upgrade but the graphic doesn’t stand out, the image is vague and reds and pinks don’t relate well to forests and wood.

If you follow that link you finally get to a clear message…

…although the messages is different – there’s been a lack of focus on what Labour are trying to sell.

The rest of this page is very good if you want details. It leads with…

The main points

With Labour’s Economic Upgrade the forest and wood products industry will create skilled, well-paid jobs, and help grow New Zealand’s economy by capturing a greater share of our resource value and keeping it at home.
Encourage investment in the processing component of the industry to move the focus from logs to higher-value products:

and then lists all the key points.

That’s followed by…

David Cunliffe, speech to the ForestWood 2014 Conference

…which has an embedded video of the speech…

…followed by a transcript.

Labour’s Facebook timeline has this same graphic with links to the website (posted at 1:49 pm) , and they posted at 7.:00 pm , finally, a graphic with obvious connections to forests:

Labour didn’t back this up much on Twitter with a single tweet:

Labour forest tweetThis was overshadowed by a previous day attack on National using a prominent graphic.

Cunliffe’s twitter was only a little better:

Cunliffe forest tweets.
Labour are using social media but this launch shows they lack consistency and focus and coordinated promotion across media. It’s early in the campaign though, time for them to learn some lessons off the Greens who are much more on top of and slick at using social media.