Caucus neophytes may be keeping the govt from knowing what Kiwis in their electorates are wanting

Labour  backbenchers, conscious   that  recent polling shows their  political futures  could be  cut  short,  will  be  looking to  this week’s  budget  to replenish their  party’s  popularity with  handouts  to  swing  votes.

They  could  be  disappointed, if the Budget’s programme does not tackle voters’ concerns.

BNZ  economists  last week  warned  that the  chances of  a  recession  are “increasing  by  the  day”.  Economist  Cameron  Bagrie  says  controlling  government  spending  to  tamp  down the  factors causing high inflation should be  a  priority for  the  government, but  a  big-spending  budget is  already  locked  in.

Meanwhile  investors  in the  local  sharemarket, taking  a gloomy  view  of  NZ’s  economic  prospects,  are  already  reeling  from the  downward  trend  in  the  local indices.  Similarly   the  NZ  dollar  has  dipped  sharply against both  the  greenback   and the  Australian  dollar, as  New Zealand’s  main   export  market in  China suffers  from a severe Covid  lockdown.

This  then  could  be  the  moment for   Finance  Minister   Grant Robertson  to  produce  the  proverbial  from  his  hat.

Certainly   his  opponents have  been  generous  with  their  advice,  urging him to offer  tax  relief  and  in particular  to  reverse the tax  bracket  creep   which  is  adding  to  the  bruising from  the  wage-price  spiral. Continue reading “Caucus neophytes may be keeping the govt from knowing what Kiwis in their electorates are wanting”

Buzz from the Beehive: taxpayers to stump up $20m to boost growth of the IT industry (which already outpaces other sectors)

David Farrar, at Kiwiblog, usefully kicked off our coverage of news from the Beehive this week with a post headed Good summary from Joyce.

He was sharing the opinions of Steven Joyce, a former minister of Transport and of Communications and Information Technology, who has written:

There were more datapoints this week suggesting the public of New Zealand and its Government are currently inhabiting different planets.

Going on the statements from the Beehive, ministers are clearly focused on growing the public service, doling out a big climate change slush fund, taking the long handle to the public’s preferred means of getting around, implementing co-governance of public assets, and pouring another massive dollop of borrowed cash into the hungry maw that is their giant new health bureaucracy.

The public, on the other hand, are dealing with a runaway cost of living, shrinking household budgets, rising mortgage rates, diminishing asset values, a surge in aggressive criminal activity, long queues at the local hospital, a declining education sector and the growing realisation that economic activity is being frustrated by an obstructionist political class.

And:

The Prime Minister and the Finance Minister have made it quite clear that it is for everyone else to tighten their belts — not the Government.

One of two new announcements on the Beehive website this morning – a pe-Budget announcement from Digital Economy and Communications Minister David Clark – brings news of more exuberance in the spending department.    

He said Budget 2022 provides “an additional $20 million over four years” towards two key initiatives in the Digital Technologies Industry Transformation Plan (which sounds suspiciously like a programme devised in Stalinist Russia).

The government will support the growth of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Community and take ‘New Zealand’s Tech and Innovation Story’, a marketing initiative led by industry in partnership with government, to the world.

Clark said the government has been working with industry on this plan to help our tech companies fulfil their huge potential as generators of high-value jobs and export revenue.

But rather than describe a struggling industry, he said:

“In 2020, the digital technologies sector contributed $7.4 billion to the economy. Since 2015 it has, on average, grown about 77 percent faster than the general economy.”

Seriously – is  the private sector unwilling to invest in a sector recording that  level of growth?

The only other new Beehive announcement when we checked is that Trade and Export Growth Minister Phil Twyford has tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t travel to Timor-Leste today.

Twyford was to represent the Government at the 20th Anniversary of Timor-Leste’s independence and the inauguration of Dr Jose Ramos-Horta as Timor-Leste’s next President.  New Zealand’s ambassador to Timor-Leste, Philip Hewitt, will now represent the New Zealand Government at those events.

Let’s look on the bright side: perhaps this will result in some small savings to the taxpayer.

Latest from the Beehive

15 MAY 2022

Budget 2022 invests in tech sector growth

The Government is investing to support the growth of New Zealand’s digital technologies sector in Budget 2022, guiding the country towards a high-wage, low emissions economy.

14 MAY 2022

Phil Twyford tests positive for COVID-19

Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth, Hon Phil Twyford, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Buzz from the Beehive: Kelvin Davis does not mention the $5m cost of handouts (and we wonder what’s “trough” in te reo?)

The Point of Order Trough Monitor almost missed the handout of some $5 million to Māori tribes, the announcement of which was preceded by a press statement headline and 300 words of te reo.

Having found the English text a few paragraphs down in the statement, we were disappointed to find no monetary measure of the government’s generosity to the chosen tribes.   But who got how much can be found on the website of the Office for Māori Crown Relations,  an agency which – if ACT was to call the shots after the next election – would be abolished. 

That promise triggered Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson to demonstrate what he learned in Charm School by saying of ACT leader David Seymour: 

“It’s not about him being a useless Māori, it’s about him being a dangerous politician actually.”  

Kelvin Davis said the funding he was announcing was available for iwi Māori to develop resources and host events that focus on building greater awareness of te kāhui o Matariki. 

He might have started by explaining in the English-language bit of his press statement what “te kāhui o Matariki” means. He might also explain if funding is available for (a) non-iwi Māori and/or (b) Kiwis embraced by the “Crown” part of the Office for Māori Crown Relations,

The Matariki Ahunga Nui fund is the name  of this trough, by the way. It supports Māori-led kaupapa or initiatives celebrating mātauranga or knowledge about te kāhui o Matariki.

The Minister for Youth, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, was not so coy when it came to talking money.

She burst into life with her first press statement since March 25 to announce a $15 million boost over four years for youth development services, to be included in Budget 2022.

Transport Minister Michael Wood tossed a few million dollars into his press statement, too, when he welcomed the opening of the tender processes for Auckland Light Rail and the Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections project.

“We have seen just this week Auckland Airport announcing a $300 million-plus Transport Hub development, which will specifically cater for future mass rapid transit to the airport. By pushing ahead with this project, we are giving certainty to business to make important commercial decisions now, to plan around critical infrastructure.”

And:

“The Government’s investment in regional infrastructure is also continuing to deliver results with today’s opening of the Kawakawa roundabout, marking the official completion of $21.5 million in state highway improvements for Northland.”

Latest from the Beehive

14 MAY 2022

Prime Minister tests positive for COVID-19

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tested positive for COVID-19. She has been in isolation since Sunday 8 May when her partner Clarke Gayford tested positive.

13 MAY 2022

Budget 2022: Supporting our young people to thrive

Young people in Aotearoa New Zealand will be better supported with increased investment from Budget 2022.

Minister Phil Twyford to travel to Timor-Leste

Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth, Hon Phil Twyford, will represent the New Zealand Government at the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of Timor-Leste’s independence, and the inauguration of Dr Jose Ramos-Horta as Timor-Leste’s next President.

Kua pānuihia ngā kaupapa mō Matariki Ahunga Nui

Kua pānuihia ngā kaitono i angitu ā rātou tono pūtea hei tautoko i te iwi Māori ki te whakaora mai anō, ki te whakatinana anō i ngā mātauranga mō Matariki o te hau kāinga.

Key milestones reached on vital transport projects

Minister of Transport Michael Wood has welcomed the opening of the tender processes for Auckland Light Rail and the Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections project… 

 

 

Buzz from the Beehive: O’Connor should win farmer plaudits for action against Canada but lose them for new high-country law

Our ministers have been variously focused on issues involving New Zealand’s foreign relationships – a rebuke for Russia, Covid vaccines for poorer countries and the pursuit of a trade dispute with Canada – and the regulation of activities in space.

Coming back to earth in the high country, legislation has been passed to overhaul the management of 1.2 million hectares of Crown pastoral land.

On the Covid front, the government is providing an updated My Vaccine Pass from 24 May, has  released data on Government funding dished out to support organisations, jobs and livelihoods in the arts and culture sector, and is updating its Care in the Community response as the number of households needing support to safely self-isolate with COVID-19 reduces.

As Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor can expect criticism  from high country farmers after the Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill passed its third reading (visit the Parliament website).

The Nats say they will repeal the changes effected by the new law in its next term of government, maintaining they effectively end a decades-old relationship between the Crown and high country pastoral leaseholders.

Leaseholders who have been effective custodians of this land for generations will be subjected to a punitive regime devoid of any knowledge of practical implementation, the Nats say.  Environmental outcomes worsen rather than improve.

As Trade and Export Growth Minister, on the other hand, O’Connor is behind New Zealand’s initiation of dispute settlement proceedings against Canada regarding its implementation of dairy tariff rate quotas (TRQs) under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

New Zealand considers Canada’s dairy TRQs to be inconsistent with its obligations under CPTPP, impeding New Zealand exporters from fully benefiting from the market access that was negotiated under the agreement.

Latest from the Beehive

13 MAY 2022

Aotearoa New Zealand provides further funding for global COVID-19 response

Aotearoa New Zealand is providing more funding to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator for global efforts to respond to the pandemic.

Updated My Vaccine Pass for those who want it

New Zealanders who are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations will be able to download an updated My Vaccine Pass from 24 May.

Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill passes third reading

New legislation to modernise the management of 1.2 million hectares of Crown pastoral land primarily in the South Island high country was passed in Parliament today.

Aotearoa New Zealand condemns Russia’s malicious cyber activity against Ukraine

Aotearoa New Zealand strongly condemns the campaign of destructive cyber activity by Russia against Ukraine, alongside the EU and international partners, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.

Next steps signalled for space activity laws

The Government has released a review of the operation and effectiveness of the law controlling commercial space activities, and signalled a separate study on wider issues of space policy will begin later this year.

New Zealand initiates dispute settlement proceedings against Canada’s implementation of dairy quotas under CPTPP

New Zealand has initiated dispute settlement proceedings against Canada regarding its implementation of dairy tariff rate quotas (TRQs) under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Care in the Community pivots as NZ returns to greater normality

The Government is updating its Care in the Community (CiC) response as the number of households needing support to safely self-isolate with COVID-19 reduces.

Government’s support delivers path to recovery for arts and culture sector

The Government has today released data for three key Government support funds which were designed to support organisations, jobs and peoples livelihoods in the arts and culture sector.

Buzz from the Beehive: pre-Budget speeches, a border re-opening and a black mark for new Green List

Pre-budget speeches from the PM and her Minister of Finance feature in the latest posts on the Beehive website.  Both speeches mention  the re-opening (hurrah) of the country’s borders.

The re-opening was the highlight of a package of initiatives announced in a press statement in the names of four ministers, Jacinda Ardern (PM), Chris Hipkins (Education), Stuart Nash (Tourism) and Kris Faafoi (Immigration).

“New Zealand is in demand and now fully open for business,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“New Zealand’s international border will reopen to all tourists and visa holders two months earlier than planned on 31 July.”

The package included significantly simplified immigration processes intended to provide faster processing for businesses and a new “Green List” that includes over 85 hard-to-fill roles created to attract and retain high-skilled workers to fill skill shortages.  

Hipkins got a second lick at the border-re-opening with an announcement that international students are welcome back – from July 31 – and the Government is committed to help reinvigorate and strengthen the sector.

This statement further advised that Hipkins will travel to the USA, Chile and Brazil to promote studying here.

In his speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce today, Finance Minister Grant Robertson spoke of “our immigration rebalance” and border reopening

“… in a way that embodies our objectives as a Government. A green list will provide a streamlined pathway to residency for workers with skills that are in high demand. This approach will enable us to support the development of high-value industries and to alleviate some of the supply constraints that are present in areas such as construction.”

But the green list has earned the government a black mark from nurses and midwives and sparked an accusation of sexism: 

Nurses and midwives say an immigration shake-up privileges male dominated professions, is “sexist”, and will do little to help fill hundreds of vacancies in New Zealand.

It’s a completely sexist model, all the doctors are in the privileged group,” hospital midwives union co-leader Jill Ovens said.

Latest from the Beehive

12 MAY 2022

New Zealand poised to welcome international students back

New Zealand is fully reopening to international students and the Government is committed to help reinvigorate and strengthen the sector, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

Speech

Pre-Budget Speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce

I want to start by thanking our hosts the Wellington Chamber of Commerce who graciously do this every year as we lead into the Budget.

11 MAY 2022

Lower card fees on way for business, consumers

A Bill to help lower the fees charged when credit and debit transactions are made, will save New Zealand businesses around $74 million a year.

Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading – Kua hipa te Pire Whakataunga Kokoraho mō Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua i te pānuitanga tuatahi

I te whare pāremata ngā uri o Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua i tēnei rā kia kite, kia rongo hoki rātou i te hipanga o te pānuitanga tuatahi o te Pire Whakataunga Kokoraho mō Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua.

Poroporoaki: Harerangi Meihana (Harry Mason)

Kua hinga ngā kapua pōuri i runga i Taranaki maunga. Kua wehe atu rā te Tumuaki o te Hāhi Ratana, arā ko matua Harerangi Meihana.

Speech

PM Pre-Budget Speech to Business New Zealand

Thank you to Business New Zealand and Fujitsu for hosting us here today, and I am grateful to be joined by Minister Faafoi, and Minister Hipkins.

Fully open border and immigration changes speed up economic growth

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today announced a major package of reforms, which include an early opening of New Zealand’s border and a simplification of immigration settings, to address the immediate skill shortages in New Zealand and speed up the economic recovery from COVID-19.

Finlayson calls for a robust debate on co-governance – but then he disparages naysayers as “the sour right” and “losers”

Co-governance was aired by The Detail team on Radio New Zealand this morning in a broadcast which featured former Attorney-General Chris Finlayson, who also served as Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations.

Reporting on the broadcast, Newroom said The Detail had examined the question “what is co-governance?” and had found out it’s not a new concept.

Really?

Did they not know about the co-governing of the Waikato River as a consequence of the Tainui Treaty settlement, or about several similar arrangements that have accompanied other treaty settlements?

Having acknowledged the concept is not new, the Newsroom report further said

“… naysayers are being urged to get on board with it.”

But should we be urged to get on board in all circumstances without pausing to ask what purpose is being served and at what level of public administration co-governance becomes egregiously undemocratic?

Apparently not.  According to the Newsroom report: Continue reading “Finlayson calls for a robust debate on co-governance – but then he disparages naysayers as “the sour right” and “losers””

Buzz from the Beehive: $55 million for a bashful bunch of builders and a belated patch-up on the Solomon Islands

Another day, another Crown:iwi partnership, this time a deal between the Government and Toitū Tairāwhiti to build homes for families “who need them most”.  In this case ethnicity is the critical factor in determining this need.

On the international front, meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahua has named a new high commissioner to Solomon Islands, presumably (and belatedly) to repair the “relationship failure” she acknowledged when she confirmed that New Zealand, Australia and other Pacific nations were caught out by China’s security deal with Solomon Islands.

Mahuta said of the appointment:

“Alongside our Pacific neighbours, New Zealand remains committed to supporting stability in Solomon Islands and promoting a peaceful and secure Pacific region. We know ensuring strong diplomatic relationships is more important than ever as we continue to address the need for cooperation and cohesion across the region.”

The government isn’t telling us much about its partner in the housing venture in which it is investing $55 million..

Housing Minister Megan Woods gives us its name:

“Our commitment to working with partners like Toitū Tairāwhiti on the critical issue of improving housing for Māori is stronger than ever.”

And

“Through this innovative partnership, $55 million of investment from the Whai Kāinga Whai Oranga fund has been approved to enable Toitū Tairāwhiti to deliver up to 150 new homes.”

She further says Toitū Tairāwhiti were identified through the National Iwi Chairs Forum last year as an iwi ready to partner with the Government to deliver Māori housing in their rohe.

They have already built 51 new homes for whānau in the Eastern Bay of Plenty/Tairāwhiti region. This investment will help them to build 150 more.

But when Point of Order searched for Toitū Tairāwhiti on the internet, we failed to find a website with that name.  We did find a link to the Minister’s press statement, however – it was at the top of the list of Google’s responses.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development gives us a steer,  describing Toitū Tairāwhiti as six Iwi groups that stretch across the East Coast region which

“… has produced a plan to develop immediate housing outcomes where no current supply exists.”

News of the handout for housing and the diplomat headed for Honiara was among a handful of statements posted on the Beehive website since our previous report on what ministers are doing.

Others dealt with new sanctions targeting disinformation and those responsible for cyber attacks on Ukraine and the protection of whistleblowers.

Latest from the Beehive

11 MAY 2022

Government partners with Toitū Tairāwhiti to deliver up to 150 new homes for whānau

Up to 150 new homes will be built for whānau who need them most thanks to a new partnership between the Government and Toitū Tairāwhiti, Minister of Housing Hon Dr Megan Woods and Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing) Peeni Henare have announced.

10 MAY 2022

New sanctions target disinformation and malicious cyber actors

As part of the Government’s ongoing response to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced new sanctions targeting disinformation and those responsible for cyber attacks on Ukraine.

Government bolsters protection for whistleblowers

Significant improvements are being made in New Zealand workplaces to better protect whistleblowers.

New High Commissioner to Solomon Islands announced

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Jonathan Schwass as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to Solomon Islands.

Buzz from the Beehive: a reminder of a new ministry (but what will it be called?) and data on the state subsidisation of jobs

It’s always a special week for this, that or something, and this week it’s New Zealand Sign Language Week (NZSL), a nationwide celebration of NZSL as an official language of New Zealand.

This year’s theme is ‘New Zealand Sign Language is essential’, intended to spotlight essential workers who are Deaf, the Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni said.

Her press statement reminds us that last year the Ardern Government announced it will be launching a new Ministry for Disabled People on July 1.

“While the official name has yet to be confirmed, I’m excited by the fact that this will be New Zealand’s first Ministry with an NZSL name,” she said.

What’s the betting the new name will not be the Ministry for Disabled People?

It has been a busy time for Sepuloni’s media team because she also issued a statement as Minister of Social Development and Employment (jointly with Education Minister Chris Hipkins) to advise that Budget 2022 will boost support for trades training programmes.  It will –

  • Extend the Apprenticeship Boost to the end of 2023, supporting 38,000 apprentices
  • Support 1600 Mana in Mahi places to help people into work
  • Continue funding the Māori Trades and Training Fund, building on the 17 established partnerships that are supporting more than 800 people

A third statement in Sepuloni’s name drew attention to data giving a raft of measures of the help provided by government wage subsidies in response to the Covid pandemic.

The Ministry of Social Development’s new report on who received the Wage Subsidy last year shows 47% of jobs in New Zealand protected by at least one of the 2021 wage subsidies.

Sepuloni said 69% of employed men and 54% of women were supported by a wage subsidy in 2020, which fell to 54% and 41% respectively in 2021.

Forty-five per cent of all “unique jobs” held by Māori (excluding sole traders) were supported by at least one of the 2021 wage subsidies, a similar rate to jobs held by NZ Europeans (45%) and Pacific People (43%).

The report explains that the gender mix appears to be a function of industries where males and females tend to be highly represented. For example, males made up the majority of people employed in some industries that had a high proportion of jobs supported such as construction and wholesale trade. Females made up the majority of people receiving support in some industries with very low proportions of jobs supported such as health care, social services, education, and training.

Oh – and on the matter of ethnicity, the report records something which Sepuloni did not mention in her statement:  a greater proportion of Asian employees continued to be supported in 2021 (57%) than other ethnic groups. This was down from 70% in 2020.

One reason is that Asian employees make up a much higher proportion (37%) of jobs supported in the accommodation and food services industry, where nearly all jobs were supported, than they do in any other industry.  Additionally, 64% of all Asian employees supported were in Auckland, the region with the highest proportion of all employees supported.

Latest from the Beehive

10 MAY 2022

Budget 2022: Investing to eliminate violence in our homes and communities

Budget 2022 is delivering on the Government’s plan to eliminate family violence and sexual violence.

9 MAY 2022

New Zealand Sign Language Week 2022 recognises ‘essential’ workers

This week (9 – 15 May 2022) is New Zealand Sign Language Week (NZSL), a nationwide celebration of NZSL as an official language of New Zealand.

Government’s Wage Subsidies support people in nearly half of NZ jobs

The Government’s swift action to secure our economic recovery in the midst of a pandemic has seen 47 per cent of jobs in New Zealand protected by at least one of the 2021 wage subsidies, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said.

Budget 2022 supports 38,000 apprentices to accelerate recovery

The Government is extending support for trades training programmes that see tens of thousands of New Zealanders in jobs and training, helping accelerate our economic recovery.

Buzz from the Beehive: greenhouse gases are in the govt’s gunsights – and (good grief!) so are the gangs

Climate Change Minister James Shaw today announced New Zealand’s first three emissions budgets, describing this as another milestone on of the journey toward a zero-carbon future.

Having these binding budgets in place was a critical part of the government’s strategy to rapidly eliminate the pollution that causes climate change, he said.

Shaw also confirmed the Emissions Reduction Plan will be released on Monday 16 May, setting out exactly how the Government plans to deliver on the first emissions budget. The Minister of Finance will outline the first investments from the Climate Emergency Response Fund on the same day.

But despite the importance of the government’s assault on pollution, we were more fascinated by a pre-Budget announcement from  Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis, Justice Minister Kris Faafoi and  Police Minister Poto Williams. 

The law-and-order package further increases Police numbers, addresses gang violence and extends successful rehabilitation programmes to break the cycle of offending and entering a life of crime.

The budget number that matters is that the Government is investing over $562 million over four years into Police (“so they continue to have the resources they need to keep our communities safe”), which “is in addition to our already-record investment in Police.”

More cops are promised but the government also will invest $94 million in tackling gangs and organised crime while working with communities to address the social factors that lead to people joining gangs in the first place.

The timing is fascinating:  just a few days earlier a Newshub-Reid Research poll found most Kiwis think Police Minister Poto Williams is too soft on crime.

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is standing by her beleaguered colleague and Williams described the poll respondents’ judgement of her as unfair, saying:

“For me, you’re either soft or you’re a thug or you’re smart and I choose to be smart.”

National Party Police spokesperson Mark Mitchell (what did you expect him to say?) sees it differently.

“I think the result of your poll clearly shows that the public has lost confidence in this Government,” he told Newshub. “They are soft on crime.”

Point of Order remains puzzled that when the PM appointed her ministers after the 2020 general election, she bypassed Greg O’Connor, a former police officer who rose to the rank of Senior Sergeant but was more widely known as President of the New Zealand Police Association.     

Wikipedia provides a quick rundown on his career.

What would we learn if Newshub– or any other journalist, come to think of it – asked him what he thinks of the government’s performance on the law-and-order front and the public’s opinion of Poto Williams.

Latest from the Beehive

9 MAY 2022

Aotearoa sets course to net-zero with first three emissions budgets

Climate Change Minister James Shaw today announced New Zealand’s first three emissions budgets, another milestone on of the journey toward a zero-carbon future.

Speech

Building a low-carbon future

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Safety front of mind as new cycleway opens

As Road Safety Week officially commences, Auckland’s busiest cycling route has just received a $14.4 million upgrade, paving the way to get more Aucklanders out of their cars and onto their bikes.

Budget 2022: More police to target gangs

The Government has announced a major package of law and order measures that further increases Police numbers, addresses gang violence and extends successful rehabilitation programmes to break the cycle of offending and entering a life of crime.

8 MAY 2022

Rotuman’s strongly support their language revival in Aotearoa

Vetḁkia ‘os Fäega ma Ag fak hanua – Sustaining our Language and Culture is showcased in this year’s Rotuman Language Week – the first of nine Pacific Language Weeks.

Buzz from the Beehive – but is a $10.2m investment in a forestry management programme not worth shouting about?

It looks looks like visitors to the Beehive website are  being short-changed today. Point of Order is aware of at least one ministerial announcement that has yet to be posted.

It deals with a government investment ($10.2 million from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund) in  something called Precision Silviculture, a $25.5 million, seven-year programme led by Forest Growers Research Limited.

This is being hailed as an innovative high-tech approach to forestry management that is part of the Government’s wider plan to provide economic security to workers and businesses, with higher skilled and high-wage jobs that support a low-emissions economy.

While this news had not been posted when Point of Order checked this afternoon we did learn that $10 million is being spent on removing all remaining coal boilers in New Zealand schools, to be replaced with renewable woody biomass or electric heating.

We presume, therefore that coal-powered heating will be ruled out in planning for two new schools on the Bay of Plenty’s Ōmokoroa Peninsula.

And public feedback is being sought on proposed changes to improve management planning and concession processes in conservation legislation.

The Treaty of Waitangi, treaty principles and the importance of tangata whenua get plenty of mentions in the discussion paper (www.doc.govt.nz/cmap-2022-consultation for more information on it). Submissions close on June 30.

Latest from the Beehive

6 MAY 2022

Buses take to the road on Northern Busway

Northshore commuters now have access to congestion free travel to and from the city, as far north as Albany, thanks to the completion of the latest Northern Busway extension which was opened today by the Minister of Transport, Michael Wood.

All coal boilers to be removed from schools

Thanks to a $10 million dollar investment, all remaining coal boilers in New Zealand schools will be replaced with renewable woody biomass or electric heating sources by 2025 reducing carbon emissions by around 35,400 tonnes over 10 years.

5 MAY 2022

Proposals aimed at user-friendly, up-to-date conservation processes

Public feedback is being sought on proposed changes to improve management planning and concession processes in conservation legislation.

Next steps for two new schools for Ōmokoroa

Planning for two new schools on the Bay of Plenty’s Ōmokoroa Peninsula is underway as part of the Government’s comprehensive plan to support growth in the fast-growing Otumoetai catchment.