Mahuta cracks down on crime at sea while Williams counts the cash and assets ($500m) seized from criminals on land

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta is another member of the Ardern government who believes in the power of the law to eliminate criminal or undesirable behaviour.

But she seems to be aware that laws have their limitations:  a Bill she introduced to Parliament yesterday “aims” to prevent serious criminal offending at sea.

Megan Woods, as Minister of Energy and Resources, earlier this week was much more confident about a Bill to stop taxpayers having to fund oil field decommissions”.

She insisted:

“The Government is preventing taxpayers picking up the bill for the decommissioning of oil fields …”

Preventing? Or discouraging?

While Mahuta cracks down on crime on the high seas, Police Minister Poto Williams has been cracking down on gangs and criminals on land.

She proudly posted news that the Police have seized $500 million in cash and assets  from gangs and criminals over the past four years.

But many New Zealanders would have been paying attention to another triumph –  the Black Caps’ victory over India in the final of the inaugural Cricket World Test Championship.

The PM and Sports Minister Grant Robertson both extended their congratulations.

On the health front, Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall (one of the busiest members of the government, if press statements are the measure of “busy”) announced the passage of legislation to help reduce the number of women who develop cervical cancer.

With more immediate effect, Alert Level 2 measures were imposed on  Wellington, Wairarapa and Kāpiti Coast to the north of Ōtaki.

Oh – and Nanaia Mahuta got to speak about the Covid pandemic in a speech to the India New Zealand Business Council Summit.  

She recalled that in late April, the New Zealand Government contributed NZ$1 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), who worked to provide crucial medical supplies in India.

She took the opportunity to reiterate her ambition to see New Zealand’s independent approach to foreign policy characterised by Māori values such as:

  • manaakitanga – kindness or the reciprocity of goodwill;
  • whanaungatanga – our connectedness or shared sense of humanity;
  • mahi tahi and kotahitanga – collective benefit and shared aspiration; and,
  • kaitiakitanga – protectors and stewards of our intergenerational wellbeing.

The implication seems to be that without incorporating Maori values in our foreign policy we would be lacking in kindness or the reciprocity of goodwill, connectedness and a shared sense of humanity – and so on.

Really?

Latest from the Beehive

Sport

Prime Minister congratulates victorious Black Caps

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Kane Williamson and the Black Caps for their victory over India in the final of the inaugural Cricket World Test Championship.

Congratulations to the Black Caps – World Champions

Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson minister congratulated the Black Caps as the winners of the inaugural World Test Cricket Championship.

“The Black Caps have pulled off a remarkable and deserved win in the World Test Championship final against India.  The final is the culmination of two years of hard fought games where the team has shown consistency, determination and exceptional talent,” Grant Robertson said.

Health

Further action to tackle cervical cancer

The Health (National Cervical Screening Programme) Amendment Bill, which has  passed its third reading, will ensure technology allows healthcare providers to directly access people’s cervical screening histories on the national register, Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said.

This would enable providers to have the most up-to-date clinical information when a participant attends an appointment for either cervical screening or follow-up of screening results.

The Bill will support the planned upgrade to the register with the development of a new primary cervical screening test. Budget 2021 included up to $53 million to implement the new screening method.

All four amendments to the Bill will enable improvements to front-line services for women.

They are:

  • Minor changes to the definitions of ‘diagnostic test’, ‘screening test’ and ‘specimen’
  • Changes that relate to the disclosure of information, for the purpose of enabling the compilation and publication of non-identifiable statistics from the cervical screening register
  • An amendment to the Kaitiaki Regulations
  • A new clause 6A provides clarity on the Ministry’s obligations to protect data that identifies Māori participants

Alert Level 2 in Wellington, Wairarapa and Kāpiti Coast

Alert Level 2 measures are now in place for Wellington, Wairarapa and Kāpiti Coast to the north of Ōtaki, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says.

These measures are precautionary, following the potential exposure of New Zealanders to a COVID-19 case from Sydney. The person visited a range of locations in Wellington from 19-21 June while they may have been infectious.

Alert Level 2 will be in place for the next four days while testing and contact tracing is underway.

This decision will be reviewed by Cabinet on Sunday.

The rest of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 1, but anybody who travels outside of Wellington must take Alert Level 2 behaviours with them.

Crime

$500 million seized from gangs and criminals

A significant Government milestone has been reached with $500 million in cash and assets seized from gangs and criminals by Police over the past four years, Police Minister Poto Williams announced.

For every $1 seized, $3.30 of crime is disrupted, and for every $1 forfeited, $3.50 of crime is disrupted, Williams said.  This means that in the last four years, about $1.6 billion has been removed from the illicit economy.

The government has previously announced it will amend the Proceeds of Crime legislation so those involved in organised crime would have to demonstrate their assets were obtained through legitimate means or lose them

“And our investment in putting a record number of Police on the frontline with a specific focus on organised crime continues to pay off. Last week Police achieved their largest ever forfeiture under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act, when the High Court approved a settlement enabling the forfeiture of over $70 million,” Poto Williams said.

Agencies to have powers to secure maritime domain

A Bill introduced to Parliament yesterday aims to prevent serious criminal offending at sea, including transnational offending and organised crime.

New Zealand’s maritime environment would be made more secure against threats like drugs trafficking, wildlife trafficking and human trafficking under the Maritime Powers Bill, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said.

The Bill will give power to Police, the New Zealand Defence Force, Customs and the Department of Conservation to stop, board, search and detain a ship in international waters, including New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, where they have reasonable grounds to suspect that serious criminal offending is taking place on board.

The Bill will go through a normal Select Committee process and is expected to come into force by the end of the year.

 Foreign affairs

Speech to the India New Zealand Business Council Summit

Addressing the question about India’s importance to New Zealand’s future, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta noted that the history of Indian settlement here dates back to 1809, with a significant increase during the period of 1879-1920 when many were transported for indentured labour from Fiji.

In her electorate there is a long proud history of horticulture in the Indian community in Pukekohe.

About  140 New Zealand companies are already active in India (either through agents and distributors, directly with customers, or through other structures such as joint ventures), with 23 having offices in-market.

RML Engineering is helping improve food safety for dairy farmers in India and Rakon is  providing technology to assist in India’s 5G mobile network roll out in the future.

And NZ education for international students has always been in great demand to Indian students.

Mahuta noted that NZ would welcome India becoming part of a formal trade agreement, either bilaterally or through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Wellbeing

Financial support for caregivers widened

Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis has welcomed changes that will make it easier for caregivers looking after children outside of the state care system to access financial assistance.

The Social Security (Financial Assistance for Caregivers) Amendment Bill will also allow these caregivers to access further benefits previously unavailable to them.

About 15,000 caregivers each day look after some 24,000 New Zealand children who are not able to be cared for by their parents.

There are two types of caregivers: those who look after children in state care, and those who look after children who are not in state care.

The first change to the law addresses the discrepancy between the support that these two types of caregivers get by removing the minimum period of care required for caregivers outside of state care to qualify for the Orphan’s Benefit or the Unsupported Child’s Benefit and associated payments.

The second change will give caregivers who receive the Orphan’s Benefit or the Unsupported Child’s Benefit access to annual Holiday and Birthday Allowances for young people in their care. These allowances previously have been paid only to caregivers of children in state care.

The Government made an investment of $57 million through Budget 2021 to remove the remaining disparities in standardised payments that different caregivers receive. These changes will be implemented in April 2022.

One thought on “Mahuta cracks down on crime at sea while Williams counts the cash and assets ($500m) seized from criminals on land

  1. Once the taniwha communicates these values to the dragon, there will be unicorns and rainbows over the South China Sea.

    Indeed, the Chinese might even say they got those Maori values first. Here’s Confucius from 2500 years ago:

    Tzu-kung asked, “Is there one word which can serve as the guiding principle for conduct throughout one’s life? Confucius said, “It is the word altruism. Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.”

    Hongi Hika and Te Rauparaha could not be reached for comment.

    Like

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