Buzz from the Beehive – but you will need a translator (increasingly) to find out what ministers are saying

You can quickly tell from the headline and/or first paragraph of a press statement – sorry, most press statements – what the government is up to.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta clearly stated in the opening sentence of a statement in the past 24 hours that further sanctions are being imposed on Russian politicians and defence entities supporting Putin’s actions in Ukraine, as part of the Government’s ongoing response to the war.   You can learn more on the MFAT website: www.mfat.govt.nz/Russia-Sanctions

COVID-19 Response Minister made plain in the first few sentences of a statement today the Government is broadening the ability for residence class visa holders to re-enter New Zealand.   Residence class visa holders not vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to enter New Zealand from 6 May. New Zealand Permanent Residents, and Australian Citizens ordinarily resident in New Zealand then will be able to travel in and out of the country.

Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson posted a statement headed Strategy highlights pathway to reduce infrastructure deficit. 

So far, so good.  But he proceeded to say the Government has welcomed Te Waihanga/New Zealand Infrastructure Commission’s first infrastructure strategy as a major milestone in building a more prosperous, resilient and sustainable future for all New Zealanders.

Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa – New Zealand Infrastructure Strategy 2022–2052 set out the infrastructure challenges and opportunities facing New Zealand over the next 30 years. It draws on research, consultation and the views of more than 20,000 New Zealanders to set a path for this future.

More detail can be found in something headed Speech to Te Waihanga Symposium.

But if you didn’t know Te Waihanga and the NZ Infrastructure Commission are one and the same – well, you may well have moved on to something more readily digestible.

But the speech told us something – about the tabling of the document in Parliament – that we had missed (if it’s there) in the press statement:

Today we are tabling in Parliament and releasing Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa, the 30-year New Zealand Infrastructure Strategy from Te Waihanga, the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission. 

Then there was the joint statement from Maori Crown Relations Minister Kelvin Davis and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Kiritapu Allan headed Mānawatia a Matariki – te whakanui i a Matariki.

Matariki comes to the Manawatu, perhaps?

Maybe the first par will give us a clue.

Then again, maybe not:

I tāpaea i te rangi nei Te Tohu o Matariki ki te iwi tūmatanui e te Minita mō te Kōtuinga o Ngāi Māori me te Karauna: Te Arawhiti, Kelvin Davis rāua ko te Minita Tuarua mō te Toi, te Ahurea, me te Tukuihotanga, a Kiri Allan.

The first 428 words were in te reo, which means they could not be understood by the great majority of citizens.

Were we enlightened when the ministers eventually tried reaching out to an English-speaking audience?

Not immediately.  The first paragraph said:

Te Tohu o Matariki was presented to the public today by Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti, Kelvin Davis and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture & Heritage Kiri Allan.

What exactly was presented?

The linguistically challenged team at Point of Order admits defeat.

Latest from the Beehive

3 MAY 2022

Broadened criteria for returning visa holders

The Government is broadening the ability for residence class visa holders to re-enter New Zealand, Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins has announced.

Mānawatia a Matariki – te whakanui i a Matariki

I tāpaea i te rangi nei Te Tohu o Matariki ki te iwi tūmatanui e te Minita mō te Kōtuinga o Ngāi Māori me te Karauna: Te Arawhiti, Kelvin Davis rāua ko te Minita Tuarua mō te Toi, te Ahurea, me te Tukuihotanga, a Kiri Allan.

Speech

Pre-budget speech to Rabobank breakfast

I want to thank Rabobank for hosting us this morning, and all of you for making it along for an early start.

Budget 22: New fiscal rules to be put in place

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has unveiled new fiscal rules to ensure New Zealand continues to maintain a world-leading Government financial position.

Strategy highlights pathway to reduce infrastructure deficit

The Government has welcomed Te Waihanga/New Zealand Infrastructure Commission’s first infrastructure strategy as a major milestone in building a more prosperous, resilient and sustainable future for all New Zealanders.

2 MAY 2022

More political elites and defence entities sanctioned, and prohibitions extended

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has today announced further sanctions on Russian politicians and defence entities supporting Putin’s actions in Ukraine, as part of the Government’s ongoing response to the war.

Speech to Te Waihanga Symposium

Today we are tabling in Parliament and releasing Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa, the 30-year New Zealand Infrastructure Strategy from Te Waihanga, the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission.

One thought on “Buzz from the Beehive – but you will need a translator (increasingly) to find out what ministers are saying

  1. I do not think you are linguistically challenged; I think what currently passes as a government has lost the plot.

    Both of the examples, from Ministers Robertson and Davis, make no useful sense to me and will simply not be read. Just pointless word soup not even slightly enhanced with the mix of written language. Naming of things is important but the names being used are not adding sense or value.

    Peter Williamson ________________________________

    Like

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