Govt takes from the Mongrel Mob but gives (by the million) for waterways, wool, wildlife and women

The government is revitalising the wool sector, splashing out on freshwater restoration projects, relieving student stress and showing kindness to Muslims by extending the border exception criteria.

It is also increasing its support (in announcements from two separate Green Party Ministers) for women and for wildlife institutions.

And it is nobbling the Mongrel Mob.

Big dollops of taxpayers’ money will be redistributed to the government’s favourite causes – and if a trough dries up before all eligible troughers have had a lick at the contents, great news:  more money may well be poured into it.

Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced that funding for the COVID-19 Community Fund for women and girls will be doubled.

“Women and girls across the country have suffered because of the effects of COVID-19, and I am pleased to announce financial support for 155 community groups doing the much needed mahi.

“Initially, the Community Fund was set to allocate $1million, but due to overwhelming demand, the Government has now decided to double the fund to a total of $2 million.”

Dunno if she has noticed that the suffering from or because of the effects of Covid-19 does not discriminate between the sexes.

But the most bothersome aspect of Genter’s announcement was that if we want to dip into a government trough, we shouldn’t get too anxious about being nudged aside by bigger and pushier trough feeders.   The government is willing to borrow more money to meet a heavy demand for giveaways, handouts and vote-luring extravagance.

Mind you, whether it’s a $1 million trough or a $2 million trough, it’s peanuts compared with the help being dished out to wildlife institutions affected by a loss of visitor revenue during the COVID-19 lockdown.  They are set to receive $14.89 million for 2020-21 ,  administered by the Department of Conservation (DOC) to mitigate the risk of closure for vital wildlife protection facilities

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced:

“Eco-sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, and wildlife rescue, hospital and rehabilitation facilities provide crucial support for the recovery of Aotearoa New Zealand’s indigenous and threatened species. 

“The impacts of the COVID-19 response have severely reduced wildlife institutions’ revenue from visitor admissions and philanthropic donations. The continued closure of New Zealand’s borders means revenue is likely to remain low for the 2020/21 financial year.”

The funding for this support package comes from Budget 2020. Further information can be found at www.doc.govt.nz/wirf.

Sage also announced funding for a project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers.  This is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund.

But it’s a modest boost:

“The government is backing efforts to look after waterways with $199,400 for the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust from the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) Community Fund for the Trust’s nationwide NZWaterCitizens.co.nz project, collaborating with the National Advisory Group for Freshwater Citizen Science…”

Much more generously, Education and Health Minister Chris Hipkins announced the government is expanding and accelerating frontline mental health and wellbeing services at tertiary education institutes to help students manage ongoing stresses related to COVID-19.

The government is investing $25 million to boost mental health support for tertiary students.

A Request for Proposals (RFP) process led by the Ministry of Health will get underway from November to select services to deliver the support.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor brought money to the party, too, when announcing a plan to revitalise New Zealand’s strong wool sector to set it on a new, more sustainable and profitable path.

The Vision and Action for New Zealand’s Wool Sector was developed by the Wool Industry Project Action Group and sets out three recommendations to help the strong wool sector grow and thrive:

  • Develop a market-focused investment case and strategic roadmap for the strong wool sector.
  • Establish the capability necessary to get the sector match fit and ready for the opportunities ahead.
  • Establish a governance and coordination capability.

Earlier this week the PM and O’Connor announced they were bringing forward $84 million of SFF Futures funding for innovative and creative projects, to support delivery of a strategy grandely called the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential Roadmap.

O’Connor expects many innovative wool projects will benefit from this increase in available funding.

He proceeded to announce SFF Futures support for Woolchemy NZ Limited, an innovative New Zealand company that aims to transform wool into something more valuable, using sustainable, environmental and ethical processes.  Woolchemy will receive almost $80,000 to investigate a sustainable, intelligent non-woven textile that incorporates New Zealand strong wool for use in nappies.

But don’t get too anxious about undue profligacy, dear reader.  Finance Minister Grant Robertson says the Government’s books are better than forecast with a higher GST take as the economy got moving again after lockdown.

The Crown Accounts for the 11 months to the end of May indicate the year end results for tax revenue will be stronger than forecast.

Tax revenue was $1.5 billion above forecast, Core Crown expenses were $100 million below forecast, and the operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was $1.6 billion less than forecast.

Net core crown debt was 25.1% of GDP, compared to the average for advanced economies before COVID of about 80%.

Oh – and while we are discussing revenue, we note a promising source of income via the Police.

The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks.

“Senior leadership of the Waikato Mongrel Mob has been taken out as a result of Operation Kingsville, which resulted in 29 arrests,” said Stuart Nash.

“More than $1 million in assets like high-spec cars and motorbikes, property and jewellery has been seized. Illegal firearms, methamphetamine, stolen property and more than $200,000 in cash has also been recovered.”

On the kindness front, the government is extending the border exception criteria to enable some offshore victims and support people of the Christchurch mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the accused beginning on 24 August 2020.

“We want to support our valued Muslim brothers and sisters who were directly affected by this tragic event and understand that some who are now offshore do want to attend the sentencing,” says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.

Release

11 JULY 2020

New support package for wildlife institutions

Wildlife institutions affected by a loss of visitor revenue during the COVID-19 lockdown are set to receive government support with nearly $15 million of funding a

Hon Eugenie Sage

Conservation

Release

11 JULY 2020

300,000 students to benefit from free mental health services

The Government is expanding and accelerating frontline mental health and wellbeing services at tertiary education institutes (TEI) to help students manage ongoing stresses related to COVID-19.

Hon Chris Hipkins

Education

Health

Release

10 JULY 2020

Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato

The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks.

Hon Stuart Nash

Police

Release

10 JULY 2020

Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing

The Government is extending the border exception criteria to enable some offshore victims and support people of the Christchurch mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the accused beginning on 24 August 2020, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.

Hon Iain Lees-Galloway

Immigration

Release

10 JULY 2020

Boost for community freshwater restoration projects

A project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today.

Hon Eugenie Sage

Conservation

Release

10 JULY 2020

More support for women and girls

Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter today announced that funding for the COVID-19 Community Fund for women and girls will be doubled, as the first successful funding applications for the initial $1million were revealed.

Hon Julie Anne Genter

Women

Release

10 JULY 2020

Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending

The Government’s books were better than forecast with a higher GST take as the economy got moving again after lockdown, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.

Hon Grant Robertson

Finance

Release

10 JULY 2020

Govt releases plan to revitalise wool sector

A plan to revitalise New Zealand’s strong wool sector and set it on a new, more sustainable and profitable path was unveiled today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

Hon Damien O’Connor

Agriculture

3 thoughts on “Govt takes from the Mongrel Mob but gives (by the million) for waterways, wool, wildlife and women

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