When Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa announced the Cabinet decision to have ethnicity data collected for candidates appointed to State sector boards and committees, she said the government every year makes appointments to 429 state sector boards and committees.
This works out at around eight lots of appointments each week (8.25% if you don’t like rounded numbers).
But Point of Order’s weekly monitoring of Beehive press statements shows ministers had a lax week, when it comes to dispensing jobs since last Monday. We found none.
Maybe the pace will pick up when those who were overseas come back home.
The Trough Monitor at Point of Order keeps an eye on how taxpayers’ money is being invested, spent, given away or squandered by the Ardern Government.
Ministers typically get a warm glow from announcing spending decisions, grants or the establishment of new troughs within the authority of their portfolios – and from providing photo opportunities to promote themselves.
Troughers aren’t the only recipients, it’s fair to say. But separating prudent spending – the sort which all taxpayers expect from a good government – from the more questionable sort can be very much a matter of opinion. We’ll leave it to readers to decide.
One new trough has been opened for the rural sector – the $40m a year Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures fund.
Other spending is portended, such as the legislation to establish a Criminal Case Review Commission and a report which recommends Māori be given more influence in biodiversity matters.
But the biggie this week is the portent of costs up to $2bn to raise the standards of wastewater treatment plants that discharge into rivers and lakes across the country.
This post was updated on 29 October to include an item we didn’t spot earlier, related to the planning and building of a new new Multi-Use Arena in Christchurch.
Here’s what we spotted on the Beehive website … Continue reading “The Trough Monitor: where did the politicians spend our money this week?”
Did Energy Minister Megan Woods just get lucky? In the week she signed up to work with Japan in developing hydrogen technology in the move to a low- carbon economy, the big transport firm TIL Logistics Group says it is working with New Plymouth-based Hiringa Energy on hydrogen fuel cell technology transport solutions in NZ.
The project has the potential to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from TIL’s national fleet of 900 trucks, 310 forklifts and 170 light vehicles.
Woods has been under fire for the ban she imposed on offshore oil and gas exploration. But with TIL leading the way on hydrogen fuel cell technology, it may be the transition away from fossil fuels may go faster than even the government could have expected.
The cooperation agreement between NZ’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reached in Tokyo on October 23 by Minister Woods and Hiroshige Seko, Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister, is the first of its kind that Japan has signed Continue reading “TIL Logistics paves the way for reducing emissions with hydrogen fuel cell technology”
New Zealand this week ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, despite the opposition of the Green Party. It is the fourth country to ratify the pact which has been under negotiation for the best part of a decade.
But exporters shouldn’t break out the champagne – not yet. It needs six countries to ratify the pact and then it enters into force 60 days later. NZ expects Australia and Canada to ratify it soon—though Australia now has a minority government, with other parties in that country opposing ratification.
Trade Minister David Parker, celebrating his achievement this week, reckons the importance of CPTPP has grown over recent months with the rapid escalation of protectionist measures around the world. Continue reading “Exporters expect goodies to be generated by the CPTPP – but the Greens are grouching”
A warning about pseudoscience threatening to take hold of New Zealand if curious children don’t pursue science in schools is sounded today in an article on the Stuff website.
House of Science chief executive and founder Chris Duggan is quoted as saying primary teachers don’t have the confidence to teach students science because of inadequate training and a lack of resources,
The extent of the threat to science teaching had become ominously plain a few days earlier in an item headed Schools to axe core subjects as shortage of specialist teachers reaches ‘crisis point. This report says secondary schools across the country could be forced to drop subjects as a teacher shortage becomes critical.
A lack of applicants for teaching positions in core subjects such as mathematics, science and technology is forcing schools to encourage older teachers out of retirement to teach, or use untrained teachers teaching students. Continue reading “Sir Ernest Rutherford today could go to university and learn how to synthesise his science with Māori belief”
Is the next recession on its way? Government ministers have brushed aside reports of falling business and consumer confidence. They argue the economy is trucking ahead on a solid growth path.
Ominously, though, investors sniffing the breeze feel a chill in the air: the sharemarket’s top 50 index has slumped 7% in the last 10 days.
And the government’s own action in raising petrol taxes has been the trigger for consumers to pull back spending. The latest OneNews Colmar Brunton poll found 57% of respondents had either adjusted their spending patterns or reduced their driving.
People also spent less on essential items like groceries and electricity. Spending on non-essential items dropped by 44%. Continue reading “Businesses are losing confidence – here’s hoping world leaders don’t lose theirs”
An item of news from the Office of Trade Minister David Parker yesterday was headed NZ first country to ratify PACER Plus trade deal.
It would be good news in some quarters that NZ had completed the domestic procedures required to ratify the PACER Plus trade and development agreement. In others the response would have been indifference – but we imagine the Green Party was somewhat soured, because all its MPs opposed the legislative changes that were part of the ratifying process.
Their eight votes against the Tariff (PACER Plus) Amendment Bill at its third reading last month were the only noes, and with a whopping majority of Parliamentary support Parker could get on with doing what needed to be done before he declared yesterday:
Continue reading “Yeah! NZ is the first to ratify PACER Plus (but don’t expect the Greens to celebrate)”