Monitoring the ministers
Science has been to the fore in Point of Order’s considerations in recent days and it’s been high in Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s considerations, too.
The Government is backing two new research projects to investigate the impacts of “regenerative farming” practices. This is a contentious issue in science circles, raising questions about definitions and about the need for zealous champions of regenerative farming to base their arguments on New Zealand science, not on science results from countries with different conditions and farming methods.
O’Connor announced the government is contributing $2.8 million to a $3.85 million five-year project involving AgResearch with co-investment by Synlait Milk and Danone. This aims to understand how to measure and manage soil health to boost environmental and economic performance on New Zealand farms.
The second project sees the Government contributing $2.2 million to a five-year research project aimed at boosting New Zealand farm yields by attracting beneficial insects to farms using specifically designed native planting.
On another sector front, the government is reporting on the outcomes of money invested in the past: the construction sector is now the fourth biggest employer in the country and infrastructure activity is forecast to reach $11.2 billion in 2026.
The Minister for Building and Construction Poto Williams highlighted those points while saying the National Construction Pipeline Report 2021 released today shows the construction sector has held up well during the COVID-19 pandemic and the future outlook is positive.
The annual report provides a projection of national building and construction activity through to 31 December 2026, based on current settings. It includes national and regional breakdowns of actual and forecast residential building, non-residential building and infrastructure activity.
The employment of more than 281,400 people for the year ended September 2021 had been helped by the Government’s ongoing investment in skills and training with the Construction Skills Action Plan exceeding its target of supporting an additional 4,000 people into construction related education or employment since it as launched in 2018, Williams ehused.
Infrastructure activity is expected to grow steadily, from $9.2b in 2020 to reach $11.2b in 2026. Growth is expected to be particularly strong in Auckland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty.
The PM and te Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, Marama Davidson, meanwhile have launched the country’s first National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence.
Government agencies are tasked
“.. with leading actions that require government changes and we expect everyone to be focused on how they need to work differently across government and with communities, to give effect to the Strategy.”
The language is flowery:
“Te Aorerekura [the name of the strategy] sets us on an intergenerational journey towards wellbeing. This work is the result of significant public engagement and reflects the kōrero we’ve had with people all over the motu. A key message from that engagement is that tangata whenua, the sectors and communities must be supported to lead and develop new ways of working.
“Te Aorerekura sets out the principles that will guide how people work and the shifts that will move us toward: strength-based wellbeing; mobilising communities; skilled, culturally competent and sustainable workforces; investment in primary prevention; safe, accessible and integrated responses; increased capacity for healing; and learning and monitoring.
“This is an opportunity for all people to come together to create a stronger and more peaceful society. Over time, we will achieve change by working together: government, tangata whenua, the sectors and communities across Aotearoa. This will involve us holding each other to account, so we can deliver meaningful change.”
Inevitably, the Treaty has been invoked:
“Te Aorerekura helps give effect to Te Tiriti by continuing to build relationships between Māori and the Crown, enabling Māori to have more of a role in their own wellbeing and working to strengthen protective factors and achieve equitable outcomes.”
Colonisation and racism?
Yep. They are there too:
“We need to address the intergenerational impacts of colonisation and racism in order for us to eliminate violence. Violence that impacts whānau is rooted in the marginalisation of tangata whenua and societal changes enforced during the colonisation of Aotearoa. There are solutions within the promotion and strengthening of whānau ora that require a focus on healing, restoration, redress and a return to a state of noa – being without limitations.”
Cabinet has agreed to establish a Tangata Whenua Advisory Group to provide independent advice and guidance to the Minister on family violence and sexual violence.
“This governance input is a crucial improvement to the system and will ensure that te ao Māori informs our implementation of the Strategy.”
The name for the Strategy- “Te Aorerekura”- was developed by the Tāngata Whenua Rōpū.
According to Māori lore, Aorere comes from a cluster of stars that navigates humankind to gain knowledge and comprehension. Aorere is responsible for ensuring the safe journey of her whānau as they travel across the celestial skies.
Aorere is intrinsically connected to whatumanawa (supreme subconscious), pūmanawa (intuition) and manawa (heart). Aorere transmits healing energy through the whatumanawa to restore balance and harmony to all aspects of a person’s toiora. Te Aorerekura weaves wairua into the fabric and foundations of the Strategy.
To be successful, the implementation of the Strategy and actions must align with the tikanga of Te Aorerekura:
- Affirm that people impacted by family violence and/or sexual violence are not alone. People are connected to and sustained by the aroha of their ancestors, whānau, and communities.
- Provide a beacon of hope to the people and communities who want and need it most. It is an enduring call to protect the inner spirit and to nurture and grow the potential inside every person.
- Provide the guiding light, energy and knowledge every person impacted by violence will need on their personal journey
What were we saying about science, earlier in this post?
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Kua pahure te Pire Whakataunga Kerēme a ngā Hapū o Ahuriri i tōna pānuitanga tuatoru i te pāremata – he pae nunui i te hātepe whakataunga Tiriti o Waitangi hītori mō ngā Hapū o Ahuriri.
I am incredibly grateful that you could all join me today to launch Te Aorerekura – our country’s first national strategy and action plan to eliminate family violence and sexual violence.
Today the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Marama Davidson joined tangata whenua and sector representatives to launch Te Aorerekura, the country’s first National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence.
New Zealand has secured supplies of another medicine to treat COVID-19, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today.
The National Construction Pipeline Report 2021 released today shows the construction sector has held up well during the COVID-19 pandemic and the future outlook is positive.
The Government continues to invest in farm sustainability, this time backing two new research projects to investigate the impacts of regenerative farming practices.