APEC gets our PM as its new leader (along with an overhaul of its Vision to improve the wellbeing of all its people)

The PM moves fast.  Yesterday she announced she would attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and associated events “virtually”.  Early today – the second and final day of this event – she announced she has taken over the leaderhsiup of APEC.  

We imagine she has done this with much less difficulty than Joe Biden is having in taking over leadership of the USA from a highly aggrieved and capricious Donald Trump.

These APEC announcements were among several posted on the Beehive website since Point of Order last reported on how our ministers are earning their keep.

Most of the others assured us we were prudent not to turn off the Point of Order Trough Monitor simply because Shane Jones no longer can dispense handouts from the $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund and/or the One Billion Trees programme.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor is a dab hand at dispensing, goodies, too, and has stepped up to the plate to announce more than $6 million will be spent on helping farmers improve the health of rivers, wetlands, and habitat biodiversity in Canterbury and Otago as well as improving long-term land management practices.

Four farmer-led catchment group Jobs for Nature projects have been allocated between $176,000 and $2.3 million over the next three years to fund environmental improvement work across dozens of sites in their regions.

These projects will also employ between 15 and 20 people as well as specialist contractors over that period.

Damien O’Connor says most of the initiatives are being led by established catchment groups with hundreds of farmer members. The work will involve fencing and planting around water bodies, clearing of unsuitable trees, and pest control. Projects also include building a wetland board walk, and structures to protect endangered fish from predator species.

The link between wetland board walks and farming is not obvious. 

Education Minister Chris Hipkins was even more generous, announcing –  

  • Forty one schools from the Far North to Southland [that’s the whole country, isn’t it?] will receive funding for projects that will reduce schools’ emissions and save them money. A total investment of around $2.5 million has been allocated to the successful schools in the second round of grants from the Sustainability Contestable Fund, adding up to $5 million across rounds one and two.    
  • Major school building projects across the South Island are part of the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. Of the $32 million in this announcement, $20 million will be for a new primary school in Rolleston East.

It looks like taxpayers will be dishing out, too – or have dished out –  to –

  • Help the Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman and Northland which (says Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio) will benefit from the expansion of the Tupu Aotearoa programme.  The programme provides sustainable employment and education pathways and will be delivered in partnership with three providers in Northland and two servicing the Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman regions.
  • The winners of this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards – the first year in which this farming event has been dedicated to horticulture enterprises. Neither Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson nor Damien O’Connor mentioned the source or size of the money involved but the Ahuwhenua Trophy website says the competition trustees are the Minister for Māori Development, the Minister of Primary Industries and the Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri, who delegate their authority to the Ahuwhenua Management Committee to manage and supervise the competition.  
  • People on temporary work, student or visitor visas who can’t return home and or support themselves.  They may get an Emergency Benefit from the Ministry of Social Development from December 1. Previously, temporary visa holders in hardship because of COVID-19 have had support from a temporary programme delivered by Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs and the New Zealand Red Cross.

The PM has picked up a great accolade, too.

She announced her leadership of APEC  earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting.

She received the mantle of APEC leadership from Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin.

A significant aspect of her statement is that APEC Leaders launched a new Vision “which will provide APEC’s guiding mandate for the coming decades”.

 The Vision will succeed APEC’s 1994 Bogor Goals, which set an ambitious objective of free and open trade in the Asia-Pacific by 2020.

“The new Vision commits us to working together across the region to achieve prosperity for all our people by 2040, in a way that is sustainable, innovative, and inclusive”, Jacinda Ardern said.

APEC was established in 1989, and in 1994 adopted the Bogor Goals – a vision of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2020. 

APEC’s 21 members aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration.

The new Vision aspires to “an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations” based on three drivers of growth: Trade and Investment; Innovation and Digitalisation; and Strong, Balanced, Secure, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth.

APEC brings together Leaders, Ministers and officials from around the Asia-Pacific region for a series of meetings and events between December and November each year. 

The first APEC meeting hosted by New Zealand will be the Informal Senior Officials Meeting (ISOM) between 9 and 11 December 2020, followed by a first formal gathering of officials in February 2021.

Latest from the Beehive

21 NOVEMBER 2020

New Zealand ready to host APEC virtually

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting.

 20 NOVEMBER 2020

Revival of Māori Horticulturists

The rapid revival of Māori horticulture was unmistakeable at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards, with 2020 marking the first time this iconic Māori farming event was dedicated to horticulture enterprises.

Emergency benefit to help temporary visa holders

From 1 December, people on temporary work, student or visitor visas who can’t return home and or support themselves may get an Emergency Benefit from the Ministry of Social Development. 

 School sustainability projects to help boost regional economies

Forty one schools from the Far North to Southland will receive funding for projects that will reduce schools’ emissions and save them money, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.

 Farmer-led projects to improve water health in Canterbury and Otago

More than $6 million will be spent on helping farmers improve the health of rivers, wetlands, and habitat biodiversity in Canterbury and Otago, as well as improving long-term land management practices, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

 Tupu Aotearoa continues expansion to Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman & Northland

Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman and Northland will benefit from the expansion of the Tupu Aotearoa programme announced today by the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio.

New primary school and classrooms for 1,200 students in South Island

Education Minister Chris Hipkins unveiled major school building projects across the South Island during a visit to Waimea College in Nelson today.

Minister of Māori Development pays tribute to Rudy Taylor

Today the Minister of Māori Development, alongside other Government Ministers and MP’s said their final farewells to Nga Puhi Leader Rudy Taylor. 

Prime Minister to attend APEC Leaders’ Summit

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and associated events virtually today and tomorrow.

 

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