Latest from the Beehive
Cabinet’s preoccupation with the re-emergence of Covid-19 in the community – we suppose – explains why there has been a lack of pronouncements from the Beehive over the past day or two.
We found only three new posts on the Beehive website since we last reported. The Deputy PM released two of them.
The other announced government help to deal with the housing shortage in Taumarunui.
Taumarunui? A housing shortage?
We went looking for media reports to give us an idea of the extent of it.
True, our googling was somewhat cursory. But we learned only that a Taumarunui landlord in September last year had been ordered to pay almost $6000 to tenants from two separate tenancies after evicting them both when they complained about mould and a woman was being evicted from her Taumarunui home in January after illegally renting out the garage to a man who allegedly had frequent visits from gang members.
More to the point of the wellbeing of the good people of Taumarunui, we learned that getting medical treatment might be more challenging than finding a home.
A retired doctor said people in Taumarunui were waiting three or four weeks to see a GP.
Whatever the magnitude of the housing shortage, the Government is on the case. For Māori residents, at least.
Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare announced new emergency and transitional homes to help ease the shortage and have officially opened five two-bedroom units at a community celebration. Three more units are due to be completed by December.
The homes are part of a total Te Puni Kōkiri investment of almost $3 million from the Community Development Investment Programme.
“These are the first newly built affordable rental homes in Taumarunui in some years,” Henare said.
The Ruapehu District Council provided the land for five houses through a low tender and the Taumarunui Community Kōkiri Trust Trust contributed land and funding.
Te Puni Kōkiri is supporting six community development housing projects – in Taumarunui, Tākou Bay, Papakura Marae, Raupunga, Kaingaroa, and Ōtautahi.
Peters meanwhile was doing his thing for law and order, delivering a speech at the graduation of 56 constables at the Police College. .
He brought Covid-19 into considerations:
“With the New Zealand Police force supporting our team of five million, we have overpowered this virus before.
“As new constables you will have a role to play in supporting the effort to combat the pandemic.”
He also indulged in some politicking:
“At this time, and every three years, you’ll hear a lot of talk about law and order. When you do, perhaps you should ask yourself this question – “but how do we get law and order without the resources, and the men and women in sufficient numbers in our police force, to make sure there can be law and order”.
“We have been a strong supporter of our Police Force, especially for it to be resourced properly.
“It is why we negotiated in the 2017 Coalition Agreement the creation, in three years, of 1800 new frontline police.
“We exceeded expectations.”
- With this graduation, 2,309 new officers had graduated since the Government was formed on 24 October 2017.
- The police workforce is now the largest it has ever been with a total workforce of 14,000, and a low attrition rate of approximately 2.3% a year.
- The number of Māori Police officers exceeds 1000 for the first time, female officers exceed 2000 for the first time and Pasifika officers exceed 500 for the first time.
Peters’ second contribution to our appreciation of what the coalition government is up to was a press statement chiding the Nats for “undermining democracy”.
“New Zealanders are sadly being fed a steady stream of misinformation about the pre-election period from the National Party,” said Mr Peters.
“Its effect is to sow doubt about the legitimacy of the current government as it focuses solely on protecting the health of New Zealanders.”
Rebutting any notion there was a convention for power sharing between now and the election, Peters drew attention to the Cabinet Office circular, a public document which is freely available on the government website, and accused the Nats of misrepresenting the constitutional position to the public.
13 AUGUST 2020
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters today called for National Party and Opposition leader Judith Collins to stop undermining democracy.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is a privilege to be here today to celebrate the graduation of Wing 340.
Transitional housing provides much needed support for Taumarunui whānau.