A guide to local government in NZ

A useful guide to how councils and other local government bodies work in New Zealand. Aimed at journalists but readable for anyone interested. Created by Local Government NZ. LGNZ publishes the guide under the following copyright policy: “This site provides users with easy access to publicly held information. You may copy, print or download any […]

Map of New Zealand’s Māori iwi in 1869

This 1869 map of New Zealand’s North Island shows Māori iwi (tribal) boundaries, confiscated land, location of armed police and military bases, and where gold was found. It’s fascinating in many ways, not least because it shows the staggering amount of land confiscated in the Waikato – more than 1.2 million acres. The confiscations were made under the […]

Interactive map of global shipping routes

Kiln and the UCL Energy Institute have created shipmap.org, a fascinating interactive map that tracks global shipping for a year (2012). Here’s how it works: The merchant fleet is divided into five categories, each of which has a filter and a CO2 and freight counter for the hour shown on the clock: Container (e.g. manufactured goods): […]

Juno reaches Jupiter’s magnetosphere

NASA’s Juno spacecraft entered Jupiter’s magnetosphere and recorded what it sounds like: Juno’s Waves instrument recorded the encounter with the “bow shock” over the course of about two hours on June 24, 2016. “Bow shock” is where the supersonic solar wind is heated and slowed by Jupiter’s magnetosphere. It is analogous to a sonic boom on […]

“Innovation is about saying no to 1,000 things”

I came across this Steve Jobs quote in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s tremendously entertaining book, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, and it struck a chord. I notice it’s a fairly popular quote on Goodreads too, as are quite a few from Taleb’s book. People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. […]

The governance gaps that armed insurgents fill

A brief but interesting TED talk by policy analyst Benedetta Berti about when and why armed groups (insurgents, militias, terrorists) get involved in politics and start providing social services. She notes that war has changed: it less often involves a state fighting a state. “Of the 216 peace agreements signed between 1975 and 2011, 196 of them were between […]