Goodies for Northland: the gravy train – and Shane – ride in again

Yesterday was Friday so Shane Jones and his bag(s) of goodies should have been in ….

Oh, yes.  Back on his home patch of Northland and (no surprise) he returned to distribute  money.

Meningitis was there, too, as a political rival , Whangarei MP Shane Reti, pointed out.

An agenda item for next week’s Northland District Health Board meeting confirms that there has been another case of Meningitis W in Northland, Reti said in a press statement. 

“This brings the total to two this year after a seven month old child contracted the disease earlier in the year. There were seven cases of Meningitis W in Northland last year and an outbreak was declared on 8 November, resulting in one death.”

Reti had “grave concerns” that meningitis would flare up again over winter.

He called for the Ministry of Health to release the thousands of unused meningitis vaccines “that are slowly expiring” and make them immediately available free of charge to all Northland children. Continue reading “Goodies for Northland: the gravy train – and Shane – ride in again”

Handouts for waste reduction, grants for marae expansion – and scholarships for health and safety optimisation

The announcements from the vociferous and big-spending Shane Jones, Minister of Munificence,  are apt to draw attention away from the many other government troughs  into which oinkers can dip their snouts.

Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage – for example – has been providing goodies from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced the Government’s investment of an extra $12 million over four years to expand the Oranga Marae programme, intended to support whānau-led development of marae.

Then there are scholarships, created for an array of purposes.  Iain Lees-Galloway has just called for applications for scholarships worth up to $10,000 from such a trough under his stewardship in the health and safety domain. These include scholarships for which non-Maori need not bother applying.

Oh – and let’s not forget that Jones administers more than one trough.  In the past few days he has given an accounting of what is being done with the taxpayers’ money poured into the One Billion Trees Fund.

The Point of Order Trough Monitor has registered these handouts and/or top-ups in the past week – Continue reading “Handouts for waste reduction, grants for marae expansion – and scholarships for health and safety optimisation”

$56.1m to sort out Maori land ownership – but Mahuta will be cheered if the land remains undeveloped

Delivering for Māori and the whenua.  

In this, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced that Budget 2019 has allocated $56.1 million over four years towards implementing the Whenua Māori Programme which Mahuta announced in February.  

She described this as “a strategic investment into the development of whenua, Māori freehold landowners and their whānau.”

Among the objectives, the programme will support Māori landowners, trustees and whānau including those who are ready to apply for further  public funding through the Provincial Growth Fund.  Continue reading “$56.1m to sort out Maori land ownership – but Mahuta will be cheered if the land remains undeveloped”

Yes, there’s lots of money in the PGF – but keep an eye on all the other troughs

The Point of Order Trough Monitor has drawn attention to a fresh batch of handouts from the public purse, reminding us that the Provincial Growth Fund isn’t the only trough in the capital.

Fair to say, in the case of Education Minister Chris Hipkin, the press statement which triggered the trough monitor related to the government’s spending on tertiary fees in the past year.

The statement was deftly crafted to camouflage the cost to taxpayers.  Rather, it brayed that first-year students have been spared the repayment burden that would have resulted from hundreds of millions of dollars in loan borrowing.

On the other hand, Winston Peters unabashedly has announced fresh handouts from a fund in his Racing ministerial bailiwick and encouraged racing clubs to apply for a place at the next serving from this trough. Continue reading “Yes, there’s lots of money in the PGF – but keep an eye on all the other troughs”

Tax Freedom Day is being celebrated today – but the Taxpayers Union says we should wait a few weeks

Americans celebrated it on April 16.  New Zealand is celebrating it today, although the Taxpayers’ Union says this is a few weeks too soon.

We refer to Tax Freedom Day, when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for the year.

For the rest of the year every cent we earn goes into our own pockets. Whoopee.

Each year, accounting and business advisory firm Baker Tilly Staples Rodway calculates Tax Freedom Day, the date when all our taxes are theoretically paid and every cent we earn for the rest of the year goes into our own pockets.

In 2018, the actual day fell on May 10, three days later than originally forecast, because GDP of $274 billion was lower than the expected $282 billion.

The latest numbers show Tax Freedom Day has been pushed back around five days since the Labour Government took control of the purse strings.

Continue reading “Tax Freedom Day is being celebrated today – but the Taxpayers Union says we should wait a few weeks”

Muneficent ministers go south with their millions (and demonstrate their prowess with te reo place names)

Was that the Easter bunny?

No – and there was more than one delivery of Easter goodies.

This lot did not go to the Far North.

The Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau, delivered his largess (paid for by taxpayers) to the top of the South Island.  The Point of Order Trough Monitor was immediately alerted.

His press statement referred to a region he called Te Tauihu (not to  be confused with Wellington’s Te Tauihu, the name of Wellington City Council’s te reo policy. Continue reading “Muneficent ministers go south with their millions (and demonstrate their prowess with te reo place names)”

We didn’t hear a howl for more money, but community cohesion is being bucked-up anyway

Pouring more taxpayers’ money into one of many government troughs was not high on the list of priorities (at least, not in Point of Order’s  analysis) in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosques atrocity.

 But urgency is being given the handouts of cash to community groups for spending on social cohesion.

The Point of Order Trough Monitor alerted us at the weekend to the priority being given to providing more giveaways.

At time of writing the announcement had not been posted on the Beehive website.  But our emailed copy was headed …

Responding to the needs of ethnic communities after terror attacks Continue reading “We didn’t hear a howl for more money, but community cohesion is being bucked-up anyway”