Evidence Based Policy?

Last night I had a little conversation with one of my local elected representatives. Sure, I told him I wasn’t planning to vote for his party, but I was very interested in his party’s position on the environment, or lack thereof. Given how reliant New Zealand is on dairy farming (and food production in general), it is critical that we retain our “clean green” image, or risk a huge problem in the future when customers are turned off New Zealand products because of perception. Yes, perception, because reality has already overtaken us.

I pointed out Federated Farmers’ own research that points out that overall positive perception of the dairy industry is 65% and dropping (see page 13 of this pdf). The response? “Ben I don’t even believe in political polls let alone a poll on perceptions of dairying.

You don’t what? How can a politician come out and say they don’t believe in polling (aka research)? Is he saying he makes policy decisions from the seat of his pants?

I’ve left out the rest of the petty conversation, including the part where Tau referred to “people like you”. As someone who has voted ACT, National and Green in the past, I’m not sure who “people like me” are.

Please vote.


New Zealand Electric Vehicles Exempt from Road User Charges

Credit: Tom Parker
Credit: Tom Parker

As I mentioned over in the community, an acquaintance (who happens to be converting his Mini to electric power) points out that for the next four years, drivers of fully electric vehicles will pay no road user charges. The only cost will be the electricity, and vehicle registration (at about NZ$200 per year).

Additionally, after having issues with proprietary software and controllers, a NZ based EV builder (greenstage.co.nz) has recently kicked off the Tumanako Open Source project to create the necessary hardware and software to drive and charge EVs:
[quote]The Tumanako Project is an Open Source development effort to produce Open Source hardware and software to drive and recharge electric vehicles. Tu manako is M?ori for hope & togetherness.[/quote]
Sure, EVs are currently not cheap, whether you buy them complete or convert them yourself. Here’s hoping these announcements, combined with the small but growing EV enthusiast community in New Zealand will get our stators charged and our rotors spinning.

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