The news media have made much of the government’s firing a shot across the bows of the supermarket duopoly.
The Government has put supermarkets on notice that they must change at pace to increase competition and be prepared for regulation.
It will introduce an industry regulator, a mandatory code of conduct, compulsory unit pricing on groceries and more transparent loyalty schemes.
Not so much attention is likely to be paid to Megan Woods’ Cawthron Institute Centenary Speech, although it portends some key features to be incorporated in a shake-up of the country’s research, science and innovation sector.
Most contentiously, our Minister of Research, Science and Innovation signalled the government’s determination to further incorporate Mātauranga Māori in the country’s science system and to develop research priorities in a partnership with Māori. Continue reading “Buzz from the Beehive: Megan Woods signals no retreat from plans to incorporate mātauranga Māori in NZ science system” →
As India fulfils its long-held dream of becoming an economic super-power, New Zealand is again being left on the sidelines. First Australia and now the UK have beaten it to the punch in securing free trade deals with India, a country in Asia with which New Zealanders have always felt an affinity — and not just in cricket
As The Economist reported earlier this month, a vast national market is being created there and empires are being built on new technologies.
India is forecast to be the world’s fastest -growing economy in 2022. For India to grow at 7% or 8% for years to come would be “momentous”.
The Economist cited four pillars that will support growth in the next decade: the forging of a single national market, an expansion of industry owing to the renewable energy shift and a move in supply chains away from China, continued pre-eminence in IT, and a high-tech safety net for the hundreds of millions left behind by all this. Continue reading “Another challenge for Damien O’Connor: NZ has fallen behind Aussies and the Brits in striking free trade deals with India” →
National’s Gerry Brownlee had a free hit on Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta, whom he sees as missing in action as China makes its moves to become a dominant power in the Pacific. These moves – potentially – pose a security threat to Australia and New Zealand.
While foreign affairs experts are expressing alarm and calling on the government to urgently repair NZ’s run-down defences, specifically equipping our army with missiles and drones, there is silence from both Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare.
Brownlie says Mahuta
“….needs to front up and explain what she’ll be doing to salvage New Zealand’s relationship with the Pacific.
“Last week, we heard that China is seeking a sweeping agreement with ten Pacific Island countries, covering everything from national security to climate change and education. Three countries have already signed up or indicated their support; the Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Samoa. Continue reading “Yes, Mahuta has been mute on China’s Pacific manoeuvres, but maybe she awaits a steer from our White House-bound PM” →
We can’t but wonder whether China’s thrust into the Pacific – exposing our government to mounting criticism on the foreign affairs front – helps explain two of the latest announcements from the Beehive.
The shortcomings of the government in general and Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta in particular are spolighted today in an article by Geoffrey Miller for the Democracy Project.
It is headed Political Roundup: Nanaia Mahuta under pressure as Pacific’s geopolitical Great Game heats up.
Miller, the Democracy Project’s international analyst and writer on New Zealand foreign policy and related geopolitical issues, observes:
As a new ‘Great Game’ for control of the Pacific escalates, New Zealand’s foreign minister is coming under pressure from all sides.
For those keeping score, China has now signed co-operation agreements with Samoa and Kiribati, while the US has convinced Fiji to join its new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). Continue reading “Mahuta might have missed a trick but other ministers are braying about more millions for Pacific peoples’ employment” →
The latest post by my friend and former colleague, Karl du Fresne, draws attention to the paucity of mainstream media coverage of questions raised about an array of posts filled by members of the Mahuta family and payments made to companies with which family members are associated.
The Platform – for example – recently reported:
More questions are raised after two payments come to light from Ministry for the Environment to companies owned by Nanaia Mahuta’s family members for their roles in expert group
In another article, The Platform said:
Co-governance roles filled by family members of Minister Mahuta amount to the whānau wielding extraordinary influence on the restructuring of New Zealand’s governance.
In response to questions put to her by The Platform, Mahuta’s office has denied she had any conflict of interest over the appointments of members of her family to government roles.
But where are the mainstream media headlines and reports on these matters? Continue reading “Mainstream media may be checking claims about the Mahuta family – or maybe they hope MPs will raise the matter in Parliament” →
Oh, look. More goodies from the government.
Today we learn of a $10 million boost for landowners, a $27.6 million investment over the next four years in research and innovation and a $30 million investment for primary and community health care providers.
Budget 2020 is the budget that just keeps on giving.
But those announcements are competing for media attention with news that an independent assessment of stewardship land on the West Coast is delivering recommendations for revised land classifications.
“Stewardship land” is the term given for land that was allocated to DOC when it was formed in 1987 but had yet to be given a specific land classification. Panels were set up last year to reclassify stewardship land to ensure appropriate layers of protection for future generations to enjoy. Public notification will open next week on those recommendations.
But the biggie on the Beehive website today surely must be the PM’s Harvard Commencement Speech – Democracy, disinformation and kindness. You can watch her deliver it HERE and gauge for yourself the audience’s response. Continue reading “Buzz from the Beehive – the PM goes batting for democracy while her Maori ministers announce more Budget boosts” →
Labour MP Jo Luxton – in a Parliamentary speech about academic freedom in this country – referred to the recent shooting in the United States by a young person who had been “radicalised and emboldened” by the mosque attacks in Christchurch a few years ago.
These were actions based on hate for someone of a different race or religion.
She referred, too, to the 23-day occupation of the grounds of Parliament by protesters earlier this year.
“Our place, the people’s place, was desecrated while people had a platform to spread their mis- and disinformation, where they spoke about freedom, freedom of speech, and they also spoke about hate.”
In defence of censorship on campus, in effect, she said she wanted her children to go out and explore the world and to attend university and other learning institutions.
“But I want to know they are as safe as possible while they do so. I can’t tag along to uni with them too, so, as parents, we put a lot of trust in those places—that they will do all that they can to keep our children safe, and that means minimising the risk of mental harm, minimising the risk of physical harm, which they are obliged to do under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
“This proposed piece of legislation takes that away.”
Hence she opposed a private member’s bill intended to enhance the right to freedom of expression within our universities. Continue reading “Censorship on campus – academic freedom bill is voted down by MPs who fear exposure to some ideas can be damaging to our health” →
Ministers continue to beat the drum for the goodies dispensed in the Budget, a week after Finance Minister Grant Robertson delivered his Budget speech and the Government published a raft of documents and press statements to tell the nation who got how much.
Some of the ministerial post-Budget announcements relate to services that are being provided for all who need them. Or rather, all who need them until the money runs out, presumably.
In addition to the $15.5 million spent each year to help people battling with eating disorders, for example, $3.9 million in extra funding over four years has been secured as part of Budget 2022.
“This will help increase the capacity of eating disorder services and reinforces our continued focus and commitment to improve mental health and addictions support in Aotearoa,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Continue reading “Buzz from the Beehive: Budget announcements are still flowing but criminals will pay for Poto’s new law and order initiative” →
New Zealand has suffered several jolts in the past week, not least a higher interest rate regime as the Reserve Bank counters surging inflation. But at least one beacon of light shines through the gloom: the country’s leading primary export industry’s boom is moving to a second season of high prices.
Dairy giant Fonterra, which sets the pace for other dairy processors, has announced a record opening milk price payment for farmers next season amid expectations of continued strong demand for dairy products and constrained global supply.
The co-op expects to pay farmers between $8.25 and $9.75kg/MS for the season starting next month. The mid-point, on which farmers are paid, is $9 kg/MS.
That breaks the previous record set at this time last year, when Fonterra’s opening price for the current season was $7.25 – $8.75kg/MS, with a mid-point of $8kg/MS. Continue reading “Fonterra announces record opening milk price payment for its farmers next season as demand remains strong” →
Signatories to a recently launched petition are urging the Government to introduce civics education into schools nationwide.
Joni Tomsett, described by RNZ as a 28-year-old student from the Tasman region, launched the petition on the community campaign platform OurActionStation to make civics education a core subject in all secondary schools by 2026.
Tomsett also happens to be a member of the Motueka Community Board of Tasman District Council,
During civics lessons, students would be taught the basics of government, voting, and how the democratic process worked.
The idea is commendable.
Should it be adopted, Point of Order suggests Hutt City councillor Chris Milne contribute to the preparation of content for the local government component. He is especially enlightening on the numbing influence of the Labour Party on decision-making by councillors who have campaigned and been elected on the Labour ticket.
This article by Cr Milne was reproduced on Kiwiblog – Continue reading “Why is Lower Hutt’s Mayor over-riding local sentiment on Three Waters? Check out his party ticket and the pledge that went with it” →