One new trough to hasten housing development and another to equip houses (but only some) with renewable energy

Latest from the Beehive – We had just finished digesting an outpouring of announcements from the Beehive over the previous 24 hours or so when the Point of Order Trough Monitor shrieked an alert.  A new trough had been established.

While we were inspecting the contents of this new trough, another warning was sounded and yes, another trough had been announced.

One of the new troughs is providing $28 million over four years to enable the installation of renewable technology, such as solar panels and batteries, on public and Māori housing.

This financial year $4 million of funding will be available, ramping up to $10 million in the 2023/2024 financial year.

But a question is raised about eligibility:  does “public and Maori housing” mean that privately owned non-Maori housing won’t get a look-in?

If you miss out on one trough, of course, you can always try lining up at another.

Filled with a $350 million swill, there’s one grandly labelled the Residential Development Response Fund, being established to support the residential construction sector and to minimise the economic impact from COVID-19.  It “will help to progress stalled or at-risk developments that support our broader housing objectives such as ensuring the supply of affordable housing and providing jobs.”

Oh, and let’s not overlook news of another adjustment payment being made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under the bemusing relativity mechanisms in their 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements.  Those mechanisms entitle them to come back for more and – unlike poor old Oliver Twist – to be given it to top up their treaty settlements.

The latest payments to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu are $2,700,000 and $2,600,000 respectively to – wait for it, folks –  “ensure the value of their Treaty settlements maintains their relative size compared with the total value of all Treaty of Waitangi settlements to date”.

Meanwhile ministers have been dipping into the millions of dollars (much of it borrowed) provided by a range of programmes to announce –

  • The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $3.78 million in Wairoa to create much- needed economic stimulus and jobs ($1.58 million of this is to carry out a range of renovations on 19 local marae).
  • Hokianga will receive $2.7 million to redevelop four wharves and upgrade its water supply.
  • $10.67 million will go into new infrastructure, part of the Resource Recovery Network across the Auckland region, as part of a broader plan to divert waste from landfill.
  • $45 million is being invested in the first stage of an urban development project for Tauranga “that will employ up to 250 people and help the region grow”.
  • The Infrastructure Reference Group has provisionally approved $20 million for a New Plymouth company, Hiringa Energy, to establish a nationwide network of hydrogen-fuelling stations. Initial stations will be located in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Manawatu, Auckland, Taupō, Wellington and Christchurch and will begin to supply zero-emission fuel to trucks, buses and commercial fleets from 2021.
  • The Government will contribute $10.84 million to a new trades training centre to upskill the local workforce in the South Waikato town of Tokoroa.  The balance of the funding for the $13.9m project will come from the South Waikato Investment Fund Trust.
  • A $1.5 million boost is being provided to “grow” primary mental health and addiction services for Pacific peoples in Auckland, Hamilton and Canterbury, to lead to “better outcomes for Pacific communities”.
  • Funding of $18 million will go into 22 projects to deliver practical knowledge to help farmers and growers use their land more sustainably, meet environmental targets, remain prosperous, and better understand and adapt to the effects of climate change in New Zealand.
  • Up to $30 million is being provided to help fund the NZ Campus of Innovation and Sport in Upper Hutt – an investment that will create 244 jobs. The sports hub is designed to be a world-leading shared service for a range of sports.

When they weren’t busy investing (the word they prefer to use), the politicians were busy legislating or introducing new legislation.

The government is proposing changes to aquaculture legislation to improve the process for allocating and transferring aquaculture assets to Maori tribes.

The Family Court (Supporting Children in Court) Legislation Bill has been introduced, described as another step in a programme of work to change Family Court reforms introduced by the previous government.   

The intention to repeal part of the Oranga Tamariki Act’s subsequent children provisions was announced.

These and other releases from a very busy Beehive can be found here.

7 AUGUST 2020

Relativity adjustment for Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu

An adjustment payment has been made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under the relativity mechanisms in their 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today.

Auckland rail upgrades pick up steam

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off the start of the Auckland NZ Upgrade Programme rail projects which will support over 400 jobs and help unlock our biggest city.

PGF support for Wairoa creates jobs

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $3.78 million in Wairoa will create much needed economic stimulus and jobs, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.

Public and Māori housing to trial renewable energy technology

Tenants in public and Māori housing may be benefiting from their own affordable renewable energy in future – a fund to trial renewable energy technology for public and Māori housing has today been announced by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Nanaia Mahuta.

$2.7m for Hokianga infrastructure

Hokianga will receive $2.7 million to redevelop four of its wharves and upgrade its water supply, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.

New fund to support housing and construction sector

A $350 million Residential Development Response Fund is being established to support the residential construction sector and to minimise the economic impact from COVID-19, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced.

Government investment to boost Auckland’s community recycling network

As part of a broader plan to divert waste from landfill, the Government today announced $10.67 million for new infrastructure as part of the Resource Recovery Network across the Auckland region.

Te Papa transformation starts at Cameron Road

The Government is investing $45 million in the first stage of an ambitious urban development project for Tauranga that will employ up to 250 people and help the region grow, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today.

6 AUGUST 2020

Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer

Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced.

New training centre to upskill workers

A new trades training centre to upskill the local workforce will be built in the South Waikato town of Tokoroa through funding from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced.

Subsequent children legislation to change

The Government has agreed to repeal part of the Oranga Tamariki Act subsequent children provisions, Minister for Children Tracey Martin announced today.

Funding to expand mental health support for Pacific peoples

A $1.5 million boost to grow primary mental health and addiction services for Pacific peoples in Auckland, Hamilton and Canterbury will lead to better outcomes for Pacific communities, Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says.

Funding boost for sustainable food and fibre production

Twenty-two projects to boost the sustainability and climate resilience of New Zealand’s food and fibres sector have been announced today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

Mature Workers Toolkit launched on business.govt.nz

Employment Minister Willie Jackson welcomes an initiative that assists employers to get mature workers into New Zealand small businesses.

Trans-Tasman cooperation in a COVID-19 world

New Zealand and Australia reaffirmed today the need for the closest possible collaboration as they tackle a global environment shaped by COVID-19, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said.

Pike recovery efforts now in unexplored territory

The recovery and forensic examination of the loader driven by survivor Russell Smith means the underground team are now moving into an area of the Pike River Mine that has not been seen since the explosion, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little said.

Government confirms CovidCard trial to go ahead

The Government has confirmed a community-wide trial of CovidCard technology as it explores options for COVID-19 contact tracing.

Enhanced process for iwi aquaculture assets

The government is proposing changes to aquaculture legislation to improve the process for allocating and transferring aquaculture assets to iwi.

Bill introduced to fix National’s Family Court reform failures

The Minister of Justice has today introduced the Family Court (Supporting Children in Court) Legislation Bill – the next step in the ongoing programme of work to fix the failed 2014 Family Court reforms led by then Justice Minister Judith Collins.

DOC takes action to adapt to climate change

A new Department of Conservation (DOC) action plan tackles the impacts of climate change on New Zealand’s biodiversity and DOC managed infrastructure including tracks, huts and cultural heritage.

Reduced international Antarctic season commences

A heavily scaled back international Antarctic season will commence this week, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods have confirmed.

New high performance sports hub for Upper Hutt

The Government is providing up to $30 million to help fund the NZ Campus of Innovation and Sport in Upper Hutt – an investment that will create 244 jobs.

 

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