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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the General Assembly of the United Nations last month. EPA/PETER FOLEY

One year on for Ardern’s coalition government in New Zealand

One year since Jacinda Ardern became prime minister, New Zealanders are refamiliarising themselves with the idea that the state can be a force for good.
Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Sequestration, known as BECCS, is one of the technologies we may need to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. from www.shutterstock.com

Bioenergy carbon capture: climate snake oil or the 1.5-degree panacea?

Delays on climate action to reduce emissions means that we may have to consider technologies that strip carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But that will come at a cost.
Lake Taupo, in the North Island of New Zealand, is a globally significant caldera of a supervolcano that formed following a massive eruption more than 20,000 years ago. from www.shutterstock.com

Explosive lies: how volcanoes can lie about their age, and what it means for us

New research shows that carbon dioxide in groundwater can affect the aging of volcanic eruptions. The findings could help predict future eruptions.
Professional female surfers have been advocating for decades for equal pay, access to events, visibility and sponsorship. Ed Sloane / EPA

Women’s surfing riding wave towards gender equity

The World Surfing League has announced that it will offer equal pay to male and female athletes. In a sport dominated by hyper-masculinity, this is a significant step.
A traditional haka held during the week-long coronation ceremony for the Māori king. Xavier La Canna/AAP

The kīngitanga movement: 160 years of Māori monarchy

The movement to establish a Māori monarch emerged following colonisation to protect land ownership and to bring otherwise independent tribal communities together.
A memorial by sculptor Margriet Windhausen depicts the life-size figures of Kate Sheppard and other leaders of the Aotearoa New Zealand suffrage movement. Bernard Spragg/Wikimedia Commons

Why New Zealand was the first country where women won the right to vote

125 years ago today women in New Zealand were the first to win the right to vote. Why did this global first happen in a small and isolated corner of the South Pacific?
Since California passed the first medical marijuana law in 1996, 30 US states and the District of Columbia have legalised medical marijuana. from www.shutterstock.com

Legalising medical marijuana shows no effect on crime rates in US states

People opposing medical marijuana are often concerned about increased crime rates, but analysis of city-level data across the US found medical marijuana laws have little effect on crime.
New Zealand’s emission reduction target for 2030 is to bring emissions to 30% below 2005 levels, and to be carbon neutral by 2050. from www.shutterstock.com

Why NZ’s emissions trading scheme should have an auction reserve price

With consultation underway to improve the New Zealand emissions trading scheme, experts argue that a reserve price on emissions units could help rebuild confidence in low-emission investment.
The industry selling honey and bee products is booming. from www.shutterstock.com

How better tests and legal deterrence could clean up the sticky mess left behind by fake honey row

The bee product industry is booming and in unregulated markets, there is a strong economic incentive to cheat. Self regulation combined with legal deterrence could help clean up the sticky mess.
Naomi Osaka is the first Japanese woman to claim a Grand Slam singles title. AAP

Women in sports: double standards a double fault

Sexism in sport plays out on and off the field. Differences in marketable qualities for endorsement deals as well reactions to male versus female athletes behaving badly are evidence of this.
The extinction of important animal resources such as the moa reverberated culturally for centuries after the birds’ extinction. John Megahan / Wikimedia Commons

Dead as the moa: oral traditions show that early Māori recognised extinction

Tracing extinctions that happened centuries ago is difficult. But in New Zealand, the last place to be settled some 750 years ago, ancestral Māori oral traditions retain clues about lost species.
Converting existing larger homes into smaller units could provide options for older people wanting to stay in their neighbourhood. from www.shutterstock.com

Flatting in retirement: how to provide suitable and affordable housing for ageing people

As the number of older people is expected to double by 2050 in most countries, architects are exploring how existing housing stocks could be turned into affordable shared retirement homes.

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