Govt allocates $13.1m to buy 400 cars – but they will be climate-friendly and help drive the public service to carbon neutrality

Good news for car dealers – if they are in the business of selling electric cars, at least.  Some of them are about to strike it lucky:  the Government is going on a $13.1 million shopping expedition to keep civil servants mobile while helping the public service become carbon-neutral.

Good news for teachers in the early-learning lark, too.  Some of them will get a pay rise in an initiative aimed at achieving pay parity, announced in the same week that the government is sorting out who will and who won’t get pay rises under the policy (clumsily announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson) of curbing state wage increases. 

And good news for people looking for housing in Christchurch (but only if they are Maori, apparently).  The government has converted an old hostel into apartments in another initiative to deal with the housing crisis.   

Finally, the government is arranging annual gatherings to discuss ways of keeping us safe from terrorists (although the shocking experience of shoppers at a supermarket in Dunedin this week showed it’s not only terrorists who threaten our wellbeing).

Here’s what we have learned from the latest Beehive announcements.

Hundreds of new electric cars for state sector

While Energy Minister Megan Woods was enthusing about wind energy, Climate Change Minister James Shaw was announcing funding for more than 400 electric vehicles.

He highlighted these figures:

  • Total of 422 new electric vehicles and charging infrastructure across the state sector
  • $5.1 million for the Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure
  • $1.1 million to help Kāinga Ora buy 40 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure
  • 11,600 tonnes of carbon emissions saved over 10 years

The grand total is $13.1 million of funding “to ensure more state sector staff can get around while also helping the planet” – and, of course, to help reach the government’s goal of carbon neutrality in the public sector within five years.

He reckons the conversion of Government fleets will result in more electric vehicles flowing through into the second-hand market when the public servants want new ones, “making electric vehicles more accessible for everyone.”

Funding for the electric vehicles and charging infrastructure will come from the Government’s $200 million State Sector Decarbonisation Fund. The fund is a key tool for supporting public sector agencies to be carbon neutral by 2025.

A full list of which departments are getting how many cars can be found at the end of this post. 

Major step to pay parity for early learning teachers

Certificated teachers on the lowest pay in early education and care services (Education Minister Chris Hipkins proclaimed in a pre-Budget announcement)

” … will take another leap towards pay parity with their equivalents in kindergartens.”   

We suspect this won’t make them so plush with the spending stuff that they will be rushing out to buy new electric cars.  

Existing education and care service funding rates will be increased from 1 July 2021 alongside the minimum salary required to be paid to qualified and certificated teachers. The minimum moves from $49,862 to $51,358 a year.

Hipkins said pay parity for education and care teachers is a manifesto commitment for Labour and is reflected in the Government’s Early Learning Action Plan.

It addresses the obvious pay gap between teachers in early education, child care centres and their equivalents in kindergartens.  

“We started the process last year and will continue to work towards it over successive Budgets this term.

“It’s only fair that teachers with the same qualifications carrying out the same work get paid equally. These changes will address difficulties with recruitment and reduce turnover in education and care services as fewer teachers leave for higher pay elsewhere. This will help enable teachers to provide the consistent and secure relationships children need.

“This Government is committed to delivering salary increases to lower paid workers and supporting pay parity, while carefully managing the books and paying down debt. The goal is to lift wages and address historic inequities in the workforce while protecting jobs,” Chris Hipkins said.

Another set of higher funding rates will be made available from 1 January 2022, if services agree to pay teachers in line with the first six pay steps of the same collective agreement kindergarten teachers belong to. Such a change would benefit teachers earning from around $50,000 to around $65,000, with some getting increases of as much as 17%.

Budget 2021 funding of $170 million over four years to help deliver pay parity builds on the $151.1 million provided for improving teacher pay in Budget 2020.

Funding has also been set aside to work with kōhanga reo to improve pay.

Curiously, the rationale is not one of a fair deal for all whereby all teachers doing the same work should be paid the same.  Rather, in the case of kohanga reo, the Treaty has been brought into the Minister’s rhetoric.

“Improving pay for staff in kōhanga reo is also important in light of the Crown’s Treaty obligations. The Crown intends to work collaboratively with Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust to agree how best to make this work in kōhanga reo.”

More information can be found at https://www.education.govt.nz/early-childhood/employment/pay-parity-for-certificated-teachers-in-education-and-care-services

Apartments give new life to former Trade Training hostel

The old Māori Trade Training hostel, Te Koti Te Rato, at Rehua Marae in Christchurch, is to be redeveloped into six rental apartments, made up of one and two-bedroom units.

Ethnicity will determine the eligibility of applicants who want to live there.  Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson said:

 “Māori are disproportionately living with serious housing deprivation. But this is an example of by Māori for Māori solutions to our housing crisis.”

 The former 33-bed hostel was built in 1966 for young Māori who came from all over the country to learn a trade as part of the Māori Affairs trade training scheme.

Te Puni Kōkiri has invested $2.4 million in the $3.38 million project and Te Whatu Manawa Māoritanga o Rehua Trust $333,000. Additional funding has come from the Department of Internal Affairs ($350,000) and the Rata Foundation ($200,000).

 

He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism

This announcement brings news of New Zealand’s first national hui on countering terrorism and violent extremism.  It’s another initiative – if more talking can be called an initiative – in the Government’s agenda to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain.

“Hui” suggests it will be a meeting of some sort, but what sort of meeting – a conference, a symposium…? 

What we do know is that it will be an annual one. 

It has been given a te reo name which means ‘a land or country at peace’ and it will meet in Christchurch on 15 and 16 June, and yearly after that.

Andrew Little made the announcement as Lead Coordination Minister for the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission’s Report into the Terrorist Attack on the Christchurch Mosques.

“The first annual He Whenua Taurikura hui will bring together communities, civil society, academia, private sector and government to look at the security risks that New Zealand faces from terrorism and violent extremism.

“It will promote research on radicalisation; challenges from hate-motivated violent extremist ideologies; and promote discussion on what to prioritise to keep New Zealanders safe.

“The hui will also develop options for the National Centre of Excellence for preventing and countering violent extremism which the Government will establish later this year.

But one gabfest of this sort – obviously – is not enough. 

“Everyone in New Zealand deserves to feel included and safe. The annual He Whenua Taurikura will be an important contributor to building a safer and more inclusive Aotearoa,”

Does that mean we are all invited – and if we can’t make it this year, well, there will be another chance next year?   

More information on the hui can be found on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website.

Who gets new electric cars

Earlier in this post we reported on the government’s electric car shopping list.  The full list of vehicle projects announced yesterday shows:

  • $5.127 million for Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure. The Department of Conservation will invest $5.127 million from its own budget. EECA estimates this will reduce carbon emissions by around 4,900 tonnes over the next ten years (around 490 tonnes per annum on average over ten years)
  • $4.306 million for Northland DHB to lease 150 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure. Northland DHB will invest $4.306 million from its own budget. EECA estimates this will reduce carbon emissions by around 3,840 tonnes over the next ten years (around 384 tonnes per annum on average over ten years)
  • $1.126 million for Kāinga Ora to buy 40 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure. Kāinga Ora will invest $1.126 million from its own budget. EECA estimates this project will reduce carbon emissions by around 860 tonnes over the next ten years (around 86 tonnes per annum on average over ten years).
  • $0.096 million for Scion to buy three electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure. Scion will invest $0.105 million from its own budget. EECA estimates this will reduce carbon emissions by around 65 tonnes over the next ten years (around 6 tonnes per annum on average over ten years).
  • $0.084 million for Ministry of Education to lease three electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure. The Ministry of Education will invest $0.084 million from its own budget. We estimate that this will reduce carbon emissions by around 64 tonnes over the next ten years (around 6 tonnes per annum on average over ten years).
  • $0.758 million for ACC to buy 25 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure. ACC will invest $0.758 million from its own budget. EECA estimates this project will reduce carbon emissions by around 350 tonnes over the next ten years (around 35 tonnes per annum on average over ten years).
  • $0.493 million for Te Puni Kōkiri to buy 16 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure.  Te Puni Kokiri will invest $0.511 million from its own budget. EECA estimates this project will reduce carbon emissions by around 363 tonnes over the next ten years (around 36.3 tonnes per annum on average over ten years).
  • $0.108 million for Statistics New Zealand to buy four electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure. Statistics New Zealand will invest $0.108 million from its own budget. EECA estimates this project will reduce carbon emissions by around 78 tonnes over the next ten years (around 7.8 tonnes per annum on average over ten years).
  • $0.029 million for Hawkes Bay DHB to buy one electric vehicle and install charging infrastructure. Hawkes Bay DHB will invest $0.032 million from its own budget. EECA estimates this project will reduce carbon emissions by around 36 tonnes over the next ten years (around 3.6 tonnes per annum on average over ten years).
  • $0.983 million for New Zealand Defence Force to procure 32 electric vehicles (a mix of leasing and buying) and install charging infrastructure. New Zealand Defence Force will invest $1.380 million from its own budget. EECA estimates this will reduce carbon emissions by around 1,050 tonnes over the next ten years (around 105 tonnes per annum on average over ten years).

 

One thought on “Govt allocates $13.1m to buy 400 cars – but they will be climate-friendly and help drive the public service to carbon neutrality

  1. A purchase based on fake accounting that does not include the substantial emissions incurred in the production and eventual disposal of EVs and their highly toxic and flammable batteries, nor the fact that our electricity supply is increasingly dependent on imports of Indonesian coal thanks to the natural gas exploration ban. It also undermines the logic of the ETS. Well done.

    Like

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