Labour go into overdrive to make Helen Clark look better

[Labour MP Sua Mr William] Sio has just returned from a trip to [Kiribati and Tuvalu] to look at the impact of rising sea levels.

He says the main impact is the concentration of population putting pressure on scarce resources like drinking water which is in turn being affected by the rising sea water table.

Currently New Zealand has an immigration quota of 75 for Tuvalu and Kiribati.

“On Tuvalu there’s a total population of 12,000 and 6000 of them live on Funafuti (the main island) and there’s just not enough room,” he said.

“The Prime Minister (of Tuvalu) said to me, the numbers are small but they can have a really striking impact.”

He is proposing what he calls a programme of ”Migration with Dignity” which could see New Zealand assist with education and pre-immigration training in the islands for people without the skills and qualifications to easily qualify for immigration.

“They don’t want to lose all their brightest and smartest,” he said.

“They still need them to run the Government.

“So the Government Ministers I met agreed that we need to grow the education skill base and look at the mobility of labour.”

He said that both governments of Kiribati and Tuvalu regard migration as a last resort.

“Notwithstanding that I think that for a future Government which wants to stand and support the Pacific you have to plan for that emergency and that disaster but hoping that the disaster doesn’t happen and allow for the gradual movement of people.”

He said he was surprised because had expected that the Governments would be saying everybody wanted to leave.

“But they actually didn’t.

“Yes, they want to migrate but they also want to be able to come back to their homes.

“They want their homes protected.”

But on the bigger picture of the impact climate change is having on the sea levels he said that if New Zealand wanted to stand with the Pacific it had to walk the talk and be bigger and braver about reducing its carbon emissions.

Mr Sio’s trip is an interesting move by Labour which has been accused of taking the Pacific vote for granted.

Looks like another Helen Clark inspired move to make NZ look palatable to the UN.  Because here’s another view, which won’t be popular with those holding the begging bowls. 

Climate scientists have expressed surprise at findings that many low-lying Pacific islands are growing, not sinking.

Islands in Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia are among those which have grown, largely due to coral debris, land reclamation and sediment.

The findings, published in the magazine New Scientist, were gathered by comparing changes to 27 Pacific islands over the last 20 to 60 years using historical aerial photos and satellite images.

Auckland University’s Associate Professor Paul Kench, a member of the team of scientists, says the results challenge the view that Pacific islands are sinking due to rising sea levels associated with climate change.

“Eighty per cent of the islands we’ve looked at have either remained about the same or, in fact, gotten larger,” he said.

“Some of those islands have gotten dramatically larger, by 20 or 30 per cent.

“We’ve now got evidence the physical foundations of these islands will still be there in 100 years.”

But, the article continues [bold mine]:-

Dr Kench says the growth of the islands can keep pace with rising sea levels. [such as they are – WO]

“The reason for this is these islands are so low lying that in extreme events waves crash straight over the top of them,” he said.

“In doing that they transport sediment from the beach or adjacent reef platform and they throw it onto the top of the island.”

I also love the call from the Kiribati government for countries like NZ to take just their dumb people, as their “best and brightest” will still be needed back at home to plug up the holes as the atolls “sink”.

With respect to the article on March 7 by Paul Chapman [Telegraph, Wellington, NZ] on the future of Kiribati, I have to protest and urge all readers to consult the only “hard facts” there are, viz. the tide gauge record of the changes in sea level.

The graph reveals that there, in fact, is no ongoing sea level rise that threatens the habitation of the islands. This is the hard observational fact, which we should all face before starting to talk about future flooding and the need for evacuation.

If the president of Kiribati, Anote Tong, claims that the islands will soon be flooded and that there is an urgent need to buy new land for possible future refugees, it is the president’s own tactical idea in order to raise money from abroad. Let us respect the observational facts and stay away from invented disasters.

Troughs.  Free money, and promotions at the UN.


– Richard Harman, Politik / Anthony Watts, Watts up with That?


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  • Hard1

    Both these islands support Taiwan. If they shifted allegiance to China, watch the aid money pour in. Perhaps an airbase or two. . NZ and Australia have their hands tied here. To support the islands or lose them to China.

  • Mark

    Just give them citizenship and absorb their country into ours. More fishing quotas and a nice new destination for kiwis. And they can then have the best of both worlds

    • Orca

      Let’s not do it like the Cook Islands though, where they have full NZ citizenship rights here, but we have no rights whatsoever there.

  • Seriously?

    It is good to know that Labour have refound their respect Ms Clark. I look forward to their support of the TPPA which Ms Clark so strongly supports.

  • Orca

    So what Mr Sio is saying, after his trip to look at climate change effects, is that there aren’t really any, and the problem is simply that Kiribati is overpopulated. His answer to that is that NZ should educate them all, and then take away all the ones that we didn’t educate, so as to reduce the overpopulation. Did I miss anything?

    • Day Day

      Sell it as over population (which it actually is) to New Zealand. And ‘Climate change refugees’ to the UN. No need for NZ to be bolstering this shallow UN narrative.

  • Kiwi Sapper

    “Running out of room’? .SImple answer, stop breeding until the island growth catches up, an dif they can’t don’t expect to come to NZ with the family for welfare payments.

  • cows4me

    Hardly surprising the socialists are pushing for this migration of the dim, only another 990,000 to find.

  • Doc45

    Most interesting. Had there been even the tiniest smidgen of evidence of rising sea levels they would have been all over it like a rash . Truth is there is no evidence. The wheels are coming off AGW.

  • Ruahine

    Just need to get in touch with those people running the dredges in the South China Sea. They know all about making islands bigger and even ‘creating’ new ones.

  • WBC

    It is simple common sense and logic that the islands are not sinking… Well technically they are, but not because of sea level rise. The volcanoes that the reefs first grew around are now well and truly sunken, however the island persist at the height they are because that is where the end up with stable balance of accretion and ablation with coral growth and the dumping and removal of debris due to weather as seas.

    The problem as I am glad has at last been raised, is that there a too many people. You can’t increase your population by %1000 in 80 years and expect that the resources will last. The salt water table is indeed rising, but that is not because of sea level rise, it is because of the sucking dry of the fresh water lens beneath the atoll, one that will never keep up with the pressure of too many people. Plain and simple. It is not a world problem, it is a local one and before it can be solved it must be owned.