Whose turn is it for funding in the name of Covid-19 relief and the government’s sense of need to help people adversely affected financially by it?
Oh yes. Sport and recreation – but only in some parts of the country.
The Government is providing $4 million of support for sport and recreation organisations in the Auckland, Northland and Waikato regions financially affected by the extended COVID alert level restrictions between August and December last year.
An hour or so after this was announced, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced New Zealand was providing humanitarian aid to support the people of Ukraine.
This aid will help deliver essential humanitarian assistance, with a focus on supporting health facilities and meeting basic needs (such as provision of food and hygiene items) in a country being mercilessly bombarded and battered by troops unleashed by the despotic Vladimir Putin.
It amounts to $2 million, which is half the amount of financial assistance allocated to support local and regional sport and recreation organisations and providers.
The government’s help for Putin’s victims might also be compared with the $12 million from the Jobs for Nature fund for “a suite of projects” in the Hokianga Catchment area announced last week by Environment Minister David Parker.
Charity palpably beings at home, but fair to say, Mahuta said this is “an initial $2 million”.
Furthermore, New Zealand provides annual funding to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, which has announced it has allocated $20 million to help humanitarian agencies scale up their Ukraine response.
On the other hand, it should be noted that – yet again – Mahuta has denounced the Russian invasion of Afghanistan without mentioning President Putin.
In other Covid-19 news from the Beehive, Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio has delivered something headed “Intervention Speech delivered online for UN High-level Thematic Debate on Universal COVID-19 Vaccination”.
Intervention suggests he had to interrupt someone else’s speech, although speech-language pathologists use early speech intervention to tackle problems among children with speech impediments.
Sio told his audience that here in New Zealand,
“… we believe in — and are bound by — the value and responsibilities of whanaungatanga: this value speaks to our deep connections and sense of belonging as human beings and our geneaological ties. We share as whanau, or family, through history, experiences (good, bad & sad), cultures and working together.
“Whanaungatanga underpins our place in the Blue Pacific Continent, as neighbours, and as part of the Pacific family. It also underpins Aotearoa New Zealand’s place as part of a global family. And when our family suffers, we have a duty — a responsibility — to respond. Our elders often say – in times of crisis – we put aside our differences and support one another – for we are one body, we are flesh and blood.”
The team at Point of Order must confess we did not realise we believed in and were bound by something called Whanaungatanga.
We thus have been enlightened on this matter and appreciate that when our global family suffers, we have a duty — a responsibility — to respond.
But Sio wasn’t about to tell us about our response to the suffering being inflicted on Putin’s orders in Ukraine. News of that (as we noted earlier) came from Nanaia Mahuta, who said New Zealand stands by the people of Ukraine impacted by Russia’s unprovoked invasion.
“It is deeply disturbing to hear reports of the growing numbers of deaths and injuries from this conflict. The harrowing and horrific images of displaced, or suffering civilians, in Ukraine speak volumes of this unfolding tragedy, and underlines the consequences of Russia’s unprovoked aggression.”
New Zealand was providing an initial $2 million but:
“These are early days and we will continue to monitor events closely as the scale of the conflict, and the resulting humanitarian crisis, becomes clearer. We know the consequences of Russia’s actions will be significant, and tragically many of these will fall on innocent civilians.”
Sio, however, was speaking of New Zealand doing all it can to meet the World Health Organisation’s 70 per cent vaccination target by June, this year.
“And, we will continue to work alongside the World Health Organisation and COVAX to ensure all communities can access the vaccines they need. We encourage all donors and vaccine companies to do the same.”
The only other fresh announcement posted on the Beehive website today (at time of writing) came from Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.
They announced the horticulture and winegrowing sector will have access to 1,600 more workers this season after the Government agreed to increase the Recognised Seasonal Employment Scheme (RSE) cap to 16,000.
“We’ve increased the cap for the 2021/2022 season from 14,400 to 16,000 so employers in the horticulture and winegrowing sector can access more labour to help with planting, maintenance, harvesting, packing and winter pruning. It will also help set the sector up for the next season,” Damien O’Connor said.
Returning to the news which opened this post, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced the $4 million of support for sport and recreation organisations in the Auckland, Northland and Waikato regions financially affected by the extended COVID alert level restrictions between August and December last year.
The new fund, which has been allocated from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package comprises $4 million:
- $2.2 million for Aktive Auckland Sport and Recreation
- $485,000 for Sport Waikato
- $315,000 for Sport Northland.
A contingency of $1 million will also be available across all three regions if required.
The “investment” follows $5.3 million in funding announced last October to support sport and recreation organisations, outdoor education providers and whānau in Auckland and elsewhere financially affected by last year’s lockdown.
Latest from the Beehive
Aotearoa New Zealand announces initial humanitarian support for Ukraine
New Zealand is providing humanitarian aid to support those in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.
Further financial support for sport and recreation organisations
The Government is providing more support for sport and recreation organisations in the Auckland, Northland and Waikato regions financially affected by the extended COVID alert level restrictions between August and December last year.
Boost in RSE numbers to help hort sector grow
The horticulture and winegrowing sector will have access to 1,600 more workers this season after the Government agreed to increase the Recognised Seasonal Employment Scheme (RSE) cap to 16,000.
Intervention Speech delivered online for UN High-level Thematic Debate on Universal COVID-19 Vaccination
Tena koutou katoa, talofa lava, warm Pacific greetings to you all.
One thought on “Northern NZ 4, Ukraine 2: a measure (in millions of dollars) of Ardern govt’s help for Kiwi sport and for helping Putin’s victims”
I thought Grant had spent all the money? NOW HE is raiding my piggy bank. from Trevor.