Govt reports it is doing nicely, thank you, at getting us into houses – but it warns it must also find ways of getting us out of our cars

Whoa, there – she’s bolted!

We refer to Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson, who this morning dropped another media statement into our email in-tray as Associate Housing Minister.

It was her third while she has been wearing the Housing ministerial hat.

She did issue another statement as recently as May 6 but that was as Minister responsible for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence and – in the same capacity – she has delivered two speeches.

In her statement today she didn’t actually announce anything. Rather, she said the Government welcomed the release of the second progress report on the Homelessness Action Plan and the progress it records.

More politically provocative was a statement from Climate Change Minister James Shaw and Transport Minister Michael Wood, although they, too, did not announce a new policy.

Rather, they invited public feedback on a range of policies being mooted to reduce emissions and make big big changes to our motoring habits and lifestyles.  They grimly warned “there will be some hard choices to make…” but “it’s obvious we can’t continue with business as usual.”

There’s an implicit threat that if we don’t get out of our cars and on to our feet, our bikes or public transport, the Ardern government will force us to do so.

One more statement has emerged from the Beehive since we last reported.  This was a tribute to David McPhail (11 April 1945 – 14 May 2021), comedian, actor, producer and writer who has died.  What would he make of the Ardern government, we wonder.

The Government has welcomed the release of the second progress report on the Homelessness Action Plan, which was launched in February last year and was “ramped up in response to COVID 19”

Davidson said it is the first time a comprehensive central government-led and cross-agency plan has been developed

“ … to deliver on the Government’s vision that homelessness is prevented where possible, with a focus on the need for collective action.”

The six-monthly report outlined the progress to date, including:

  • Providing urgent support to those in the most need, by continuing to increase Transitional Housing places, delivering 1,005 places as of February 2021.
  • Completing round one of the Local Innovation and Partnership Fund with around $4 million supporting the development and implementation of seven initiatives across the country to respond to and prevent homelessness.
  • Delivering investment though the He Taupua fund to support 37 projects to  assist whānau experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.
  • Piloting a rapid rehousing approach to support individuals and whānau into permanent housing. As at February 2021, 342 households had been engaged in the service and 140 households had been successfully housed.

“We know more needs to be done to support whānau facing housing pressures, especially those experiencing homelessness,” said Marama Davidson. 

“The Government is working on long-term enduring solutions working with our partners – including iwi, including the community housing sector, including local government – to get as many people into a warm, dry home.”

Oh – and she reminded us the government has more than one plan.

“The Homelessness Action Plan is supported by the Public Housing Plan which sets out the Government’s public housing supply intentions for the next four years, Housing First – a housing and support approach that supports people facing homelessness, the Progressive Home Ownership Fund, the First Home Loan and First Home Grant, and the Housing Acceleration Fund.”

The progress report can be found here: 

Climate Change Minister James Shaw and Transport Minister Michael Wood have released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi – Transport Emissions: Pathways to Net Zero by 2050, a Ministry of Transport report outlining potential policies and pathways to a net zero emission transport sector.

We  are reminded the transport sector produces 47 per cent of New Zealand’s CO2 emissions and between 1990 and 2018, domestic transport emissions increased by 90 per cent.

“The pathways laid out in the new  report show it’s possible to meet our emission reduction targets, but big changes will be needed in the coming decades. There will be some hard choices to make, but it’s obvious we can’t continue with business as usual.”

Wood said reaching New Zealand’s goal of net zero carbon by 2050 would unclog our cities, clean up our air, support the creation of new businesses in low-carbon industries, and create sustainable jobs across the country.

The pathways outlined in Hīkina te Kohupara are not Government policy, Wood said.  The intention is stimulate a national conversation about the changes that must be made.

“We want to hear from the public over the coming weeks, and we will then consider the suggestions in Hīkina te Kohupara. Our Emissions Reduction Plan will be released by the end of the year,” Michael Wood said.

Consultation is open for six weeks until 25 June 2021.  More information can be found at https://www.transport.govt.nz/area-of-interest/environment-and-climate-change/climate-change/

Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, paid tribute to David Alexander McPhail (11 April 1945 – 14 May 2021) – New Zealand comedian, actor, producer and writer.

She noted he had a comedy career that spanned four decades, across both television and theatre.

He began his career as a television journalist for the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation, went on to report on Town and Around while working also as a producer and actor, and fronted one of the earliest New Zealand comedy shows, A Week of It.

His McPhail and Gadsby, made with long-time comedy partner Jon Gadsby, ran for seven successful seasons.

McPhail went on to co-write and act in other television programmes such as Letter to Blanchy before turning to the stage, acting at Christchurch’s Court Theatre.

His most famous impersonation – of former Prime Minister Robert Muldoon – was inspiration for his one-man play, Muldoon, which toured the country in 2003.

In 1992, David McPhail was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for public services, and in 2008, he was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to television and theatre.

The Point of Order team agree he did a wonderful thing:  he made us laugh.

Mind you, the government and its agencies can make us laugh, too.  David McPhail could not have conceived a farce as absurd as the one recently disclosed by the Taxpayers Union regarding the travels of a dead turtle.

One thought on “Govt reports it is doing nicely, thank you, at getting us into houses – but it warns it must also find ways of getting us out of our cars

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