Trough Monitor alerts us to farmers (of all people) getting Govt funding to help deal with waste

We had never regarded the Green Party’s Eugenie Sage as a friend of farmers, but as Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage she has announced $381,000 in Government funding to enable farmers and growers to better deal with waste.

It’s a modest sum, fair to say.  Almost negligible.  But it was big enough to be registered by the Point of Order Trough Monitor (which leaves it to readers to determine if this is good or bad government spending).

The funding, from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund, will mean farmers and growers can more easily recycle or safely dispose of a wider range of on-farm waste such as agrichemicals, scrap metal, soft plastics and used oil.

Rural recycling programme Agrecovery will manage the project by offering one-stop-shop events where farmers and growers can drop off waste.  The events will accept a wide variety of waste over and above what Agrecovery’s existing agrichemical scheme accepts. Continue reading “Trough Monitor alerts us to farmers (of all people) getting Govt funding to help deal with waste”

The police are prepared to pay top whack to be – guess what? – “marketed” and “branded”

The NZ Herald tells us the Police are seeking a top public relations person in a salary packet better than Winston Peters is paid as deputy PM.

Police are offering between $256, 700 and $347, 300 for a job to be grandly known as deputy chief executive:  media and communications.

The appointee obviously will need a double-door entrance to his or her office for the job title to be put on it in a readable font.

The Herald notes that the pay packet compares with a starting  salary for a police officer of about $70,000 including allowances and overtime.

This news was delivered around the same time as David Farrar, at Kiwiblog, did us all a service by reporting that within the executive branch of the government, we have two fewer Ministers but the same number of staff to support them. Continue reading “The police are prepared to pay top whack to be – guess what? – “marketed” and “branded””

The Mueller report – it all began with the FBI in an impossible position in 2016

US CORRESPONDENT

The Mueller report on alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government is with the US Justice Department.  The Attorney-General (with every degree of plausibility) says that there is no case to answer on the main charge.

Do we know who has won and whether it matters?

In an environment where the middle ground has narrowed to vanishing point, it looks like a big victory for Trump.  His opponents had charged him with quasi-treason. The charges could not be sustained.  Their over-reach raises questions about their judgment and sustains Trump’s narrative that political and media elites are out to get him.

The half of the country that is sympathetic to Trump has been given a reminder of why they might want to support him for re-election in 2020. Continue reading “The Mueller report – it all began with the FBI in an impossible position in 2016”

PM’s China visit will show us if there are political benefits in a global halo

Prime  Minister  Jacinda Ardern’s  mission  to  Beijing is  crucial   for  the  relationship  between  the two  countries,  not  just because it  could give a vital  nudge  to the negotiation  of a  revamped  free trade agreement.

But it  will  offer  an  insight into   whether the global halo  effect on  Ardern   as a  consequence of  her  actions in the wake of the appalling  Christchurch massacre  translates  into  a  solid   political  influence.

Even though  she has had  to pare  back  the mission, eliminating  visits to  two other Chinese  cities,   she  is still due to  meet  President  Xi  Jinping  and Premier  Li  Keqiang,  (and she will  open  the  new  complex housing the  NZ embassy). Continue reading “PM’s China visit will show us if there are political benefits in a global halo”

The Trough Monitor: Nanaia Mahuta dishes out $1.2m housing investment to community near Wairoa

The Point of Order Trough Monitor tells us Nanaia Mahuta has been dishing out our money under one of the Government’s many redistribution programmes.

She announced the handout in a statement headed Minister congratulates Raupunga on commitment to housing initiatives.

Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further $1.2m investment in the small community of Raupunga, in the Hawkes Bay.

This investment will be used to construct a five home papakāinga on the Lemuel Te Urupu Whānau Trust’s ancestral land along with much needed housing repairs.

The land is substantially Māori freehold with some general title land returned to Ngāti Pāhauwera as part of a Treaty settlement.

Mahuta congratulated Raupunga on making significant steps towards its vision of being a confident, vibrant and prosperous community. Continue reading “The Trough Monitor: Nanaia Mahuta dishes out $1.2m housing investment to community near Wairoa”

Transgender rights – sorting out the myths (but not getting things quite right)

An article posted on the Stuff website is headed Transgender rights debate: Separating the facts from the fiction

The writer, one Cecile Meier, might usefully have consulted a recent Point of Order report before deciding she had put the misunderstandings to rights – at least on the political process.

Her article rightly says transgender people have to go through a long and costly process to change the sex on their birth certificate.  This involves an application to the Family Court providing proof they’ve had medical treatment to transition.

The process for changing a New Zealand licence or passport is much simpler: people need only make a statutory declaration, which involves an authorised witness or justice of the peace.

At issue is whether birth certificates should be changed as easily a driving licence or passport. Continue reading “Transgender rights – sorting out the myths (but not getting things quite right)”

Anyone else want to weaken local government democracy? Oh, yes – the Hastings District Council

The Hastings District Council is about to decide if it, too, should debase its democratic governance system and grant voting rights to unelected members who will sit alongside elected councillors on its standing committees.

A proposal to amend constitutional arrangements and weaken the council’s lines of accountability to citizens and ratepayers will be considered by the council at its next full council meeting on Thursday.  

After how much robust public debate?

Good question.

The aim – according to a council press statement – is to

” … bring about more informed, inclusive, effective decision making.”  Continue reading “Anyone else want to weaken local government democracy? Oh, yes – the Hastings District Council”