On the National side of the political divide, the caucus yesterday voted to be led by a bloke reported to have fantasised in his childhood about being elected vice-president, becoming president “upon the very unfortunate death of the then-President”, and proceeding to serve 13 consecutive terms.
The Daily Blog has drawn our attention to this fantasy, which Todd Muller – the new leader – included in his maiden speech in Parliament.
The Daily Blog’s Martyn Bradbury then insists that National are going to lose the next election “because Jacinda is a phenomena” and no matter who led National the party would STILL be polling 30%!
Whether the promotion of Muller to the leadership will result in the political death of Simon Bridges remains to be seen, but yesterday was a good day for the government to announce something unpalatable – while the media’s preoccupations were with happenings in the National Party.
The government does not seem to have done this and its publicity machine released just a few statements – run-of-the-mill stuff, actually, except that millions of dollars of our money are involved.
But even on a quiet day for the Beehive Ballyhoo Brigade you can count on Shane Jones pushing to win some media space.
A joint statement in the names of Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said the Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working.
But aren’t all regions economically hard hit?
We believe so and Twyford seems to agree:
“Workers throughout New Zealand have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.”
But some are being harder hit than others and he proceeded to say:
“Our aim is to put in place measures to soften the impact on workers and businesses in some of the most affected areas.”
The initiatives he and Jones announced are intended to create more than 400 local jobs in the regions and help redeploy displaced workers into alternative employment over the next three to six months.
Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker redeployment package, announced in March, to create employment for people who have lost their jobs.
The package consists of:
- Northland – $9.51 million for various local roading projects including roadside and vegetation clearing, maintenance and construction work. About 165 jobs will be created.
- Hawke’s Bay – $15.24 million for various local roading projects, including roadside and vegetation clearing, maintenance and construction work. About 220 jobs will be created.
- Queenstown Lakes – $1.4 million to support local worker redeployment and labour market activity.
- Rotorua – $1.12 million for local roading projects relating to vegetation control. About 25 jobs will be created.
- Ministry for Primary Industries – $6 million to develop and establish a national primary industries workforce package.
- Ministry of Social Development – $3.45 million for training to support workers to take up the redeployment opportunities.
An outfit called the Provincial Development Unit is involved in these projects and – according to the press statement – is a beneficiary :
Funding for the Hawke’s Bay, Northland and Rotorua projects includes just under $500,000 of funding for the PDU to monitor and administer these projects.
Another spending announcement was made by Education Minister Chris Hipkins, to enable Taita College in the Hutt Valley to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs.
The investment of around $32 million not only will boost learning at the school; it will also provide work for local building companies and suppliers.
“Projects like what we’re announcing at Taita College today are an important part of kick-starting the economy.
“Last month I announced $160 million of upgrades for 600 small or remote schools. More than $100 million in other school projects are getting underway. These projects will deliver a real boost across New Zealand.” Chris Hipkins said.
Further announcements will be made about investments in school property in the coming months.
The only other news on the Beehive website came from Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni, who launched a five-part web story on the 25th anniversary of the Taikato-Tainui Treaty settlement.
It tells the story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its impact on the community.
The Waikato-Tainui series includes interviews with principal negotiator Sir Robert Mahuta, and then-Prime Minister Jim Bolger regarding the negotiations that led to the signing and settlement with the government. Further historical footage has been incorporated, including interviews with Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu from the 1995 settlement signing.
The web story also looks at the future plans of this iwi as a collective.
The first chapter of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty Settlement story is available now at: www.teara.govt.nz/en/te-tai
It wasn’t mentioned.
22 MAY 2020
The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.
22 MAY 2020
The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni.
22 MAY 2020
Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.