Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre


Election 2017 – SMC science Q&A with political parties

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 24th, 2017.

The Science Media Centre put questions on key science-related issues to the political parties ahead of the General Election scheduled to be held on September 23. This is the fourth time the SMC has canvassed political parties on their science-related policies; you can access previous election Q&As on our website – 2008, 2011, 2014. Click […]

Will NZ’s future energy be clean? – Expert Q&A

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on February 16th, 2017.

Approximately 80 per cent of New Zealand’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources. But is this the full picture behind NZ’s clean and green reputation?  This week the University of Otago’s Centre for Sustainability releases ten policy briefs from its Energy Cultures research. The SMC asked experts how New Zealand’s energy usage compares to the […]

SMC BRIEFING: Climate change and the Pacific

John Kerr posted in on February 17th, 2016.

With a warmer future set to hit our Pacific neighbours hardest, is there still a chance to turn the tide? The first ever conference on climate change and the Pacific, ‘In the Eye of the Storm‘,  is being held this week in Wellington at Victoria University. The conference brings together Pacific community representatives, scientists, artists, politicians […]

Low oil prices and the environment – Experts respond

John Kerr posted in on January 27th, 2015.

Cheaper petrol prices may be great for Kiwis filling up at the pump, but what are the wider implications of cheaper oil? The global price of crude oil has more than halved in the last year to US$49 per barrel, offering fuel savings for consumers and businesses alike. But could cheaper fossil fuels undermine efforts […]

Lockheed Martin announces nuclear fusion power advances – experts respond

Laura Goodall posted in on October 16th, 2014.

US defence technology firm Lockheed Martin Corp says in a press release that it has made major technological advances in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion. The first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready in a decade, Lockheed Martin says. It also claims that it has shown it […]

NZ should become green economy – RSNZ Paper

John Kerr posted in on March 24th, 2014.

New Zealand should strive to become a green economy – low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive – according to an ’emerging issues’ paper from the Royal Society of New Zealand. The paper, released last week, outlines research on the resource and consumption challenges facing New Zealand and the rest of the world, and the […]

‘Hotter and deeper’ – geothermal energy exploration

Dacia Herbulock posted in on May 24th, 2011.

Geothermal energy now generates around 13 percent of New Zealand’s electricity, but scientists gathering this week in Taupo will explore options for vastly expanding the resource’s potential. A two-day workshop (25 – 26 May) “HADES: Hotter and Deeper Exploration Science” will bring together engineers and geothermal specialists from 10 countries to discuss the international context […]

IPCC report on Renewable Energy

John Kerr posted in on May 11th, 2011.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources. Dominion Post reporter Kiran Chug covered the story and spoke to Massey University Professor Ralph Sims, an expert who contributed to the report. (The report was also covered in the New Zealand Herald, and a full IPCC press release […]

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NZ Herald: Watchdogs explain giving dam go-ahead

Peter Griffin posted in on April 8th, 2010.

Eloise Gibson writes in the New Zealand Herald about the explanation by commissioners of why they gave consent for an 80m-high hydro dam in the Mokihinui Gorge. The Gorge, while beautiful, was not felt to be particularly unique, and the hydro-dam to be implemented would give locals a more reliable power supply and help reduce […]

NZ Herald: Sea to provide power for 250,000 homes

Peter Griffin posted in on January 11th, 2010.

A New Zealand Herald piece about plans to harness power generated by sea turbines. An excerpt: (read in full here) “Crest Energy plans to spend $600 million on sinking 200 tidal power turbines to the seabed of the harbour entrance, creating New Zealand’s first tide-driven power station. “The project will start with 20 turbines. “Last […]

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