We should brace for the boiler ban – but $22.88m has been handed out to help businesses decarbonise

Our Beehive bulletin

The Government’s ban on new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels perhaps ranked as the most important Beehive announcement yesterday.

It was the first major announcement to follow the release of the Climate Commission’s draft package of advice to Government in February and was accompanied by the distribution of dollops of corporate welfare to  the successful applicants in round one of the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund.

Fourteen companies will receive $22.88m in co-funding to help their businesses transition away from fossil fuels.

The ban on new coal boilers used in manufacturing and production will come into effect by 31 December.

A consultation document for other coal proposals can be found on the Ministry for the Environment website.

The energy announcement was one of several to emerge during a busy day in the Beehive, many of them enabling Ministers to bray about the big bucks (or small ones) they were throwing around.

  • Sixteen projects together will get $3.9 million through the 2021 round of Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund (which the government says further strengthens its commitment to Māori knowledge in science and innovation). It received 78 proposals.  The fund supports the implementation of “a kaupapa Māori approach” to research, development and innovation, while ensuring cultural knowledge is maintained, protected and still owned by Māori or iwi.  A list of Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund successful applicants can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.
  • The first round of Ngā Puninga Toi ā-Ahurea me ngā Kaupapa Cultural Installations and Events has been opened. Cultural sector practitioners, creatives, collectives or organisations can apply for funding to create events and temporary or permanent installations. Projects led by Māori and Pacific cultural sector organisations and practitioners are being prioritised along with projects that support access for people with disabilities, provide skill development opportunities for emerging and established cultural practitioners, and create employment in the regions. This initiative is part of the $70 million Te Tahua Whakahaumaru Creative Arts Recovery and Employment (CARE) Fund within Manatū Taonga’s Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme.
  • Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio drew attention to the reopening of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ Languages Funding, provided via the Wellbeing Budget 2019’s $20 million package over four years to support the revitalisation of Pacific languages. Three types of funding are ujp for grabs this year: The Community Languages Fund, the Provider Languages Fund, and the new Pacific Youth Language Fund. For more information, visit MPP’s website:https://www.mpp.govt.nz/community-funding/
  • Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), on behalf of the Crown, is to give a Vogel Street house to a local trust in Christchurch to run on behalf of the wider community. Located on Crown-owned red zone land in the Otākaro Avon River Corridor, the house experienced minimal earthquake damage. The Trust will be responsible for bringing it up to public-use standards and for any ongoing costs.
  • Six projects, collectively valued at over $70 million are delivering new schools, classrooms and refurbished buildings across Central Otago and are helping to ease the pressure of growing rolls in the area, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. The projects, some funded by the National Education Growth Plan, are in various stages of construction, design or master planning in the Wānaka and Wakatipu Basin catchment areas.
  • Two more schools are now complete as part of the Christchurch Schools Rebuild Programme, with work about to get under way on another.
  • The Crown loan facility made available to Air New Zealand in March last year has been extended to a debt facility of up to $1.5 billion (an additional $600 million) available to 27 September 2023 (an extra 16 months). The interest rate will be adjusted to reflect current market conditions. Air New Zealand has decided to defer its planned equity capital raise until 30 September 2021.
  • Six Māori scholars have been awarded Ngārimu VC and the 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial scholarships for 2021. The awards, a tribute to the heroes of the 28th (Māori) Battalion, were established to assist outstanding Māori scholars to go on to influence future generations. They provide financial assistance to exceptional Māori who are undertaking tertiary study and who demonstrate leadership, a strong commitment to educational success and a desire to give back to their communities, families and tribes.

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi posted a  communique, after a video conference involving the Home Affairs, Interior, Security and Immigration Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (the ‘Five Countries’).  They had discussed the impact of COVID-19 on migration and borders, enhance cooperation on violent extremism, and discuss other key national security areas of shared concern.

And then there’s the speech delivered by Energy Miniser Megan Woods to the Electricity Retailers of New Zealand: ERANZ.

Removing fossil fuels from our electricity system, while we increase electricity demand, is among the challenges she discussed.

The other announcements were :

  • Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs – the Drug and Substance Checking Legislation Act 2020, known as the Drug Checking Act –will be made permanent. The legislation allows voluntary organisations such as KnowYourStuff to test drugs at events like music festivals to verify they are what people think they are, without running foul of the law.  Victoria University research found 68 per cent of surveyed festival-goers who used drug-testing services changed their behaviour as a result.
  • Public feedback is sought on proposals to improve the regime for freedom camping, to protect the environment, remove unfair burdens on locals in some destinations, and lift the quality of tourism. A discussion document has been released with ideas to better manage freedom camping to reduce the negative impacts on local councils, communities, and our 100% Pure brand.
  • A strategic public health advisory group has been set up to provide independent advice and analysis to the Government on its next phase of its response to the Covid-19, informed by their expertise in epidemiology, infectious diseases, public health, and modelling on these future decisions. The Government will be seeking its advice on issues such as how much of our population needs to be vaccinated before we can relax our border settings, evidence for transmission blocking properties of the vaccine, strategic public health controls when the borders reopen and public health responses to any new variants that aren’t covered by our current vaccine options.

Latest from the Beehive

9 APRIL 2021

Five Country Ministerial Communiqué

Inspiring creativity through cultural installations and events

Drug-testing law to be made permanent

Better rules proposed for freedom camping

Government backs Air New Zealand as Trans-Tasman bubble opens

8 APRIL 2021

Building gifted for new community hub in Richmond red zone

Pacific languages funding reopens

Strengthening Māori knowledge in science and innovation

Government delivers next phase of climate action

Continued investment in Central Otago schools supports roll growth

Independent experts to advise Government on post-vaccination future

7 APRIL 2021

Supporting Māori success with Ngārimu Awards

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