Govt curries favour with farmers with climate change investments – but a collaborative strategy (don’t forget) led to Five Waters

Buzz from the Beehive

Governmental news for the farm and forestry sectors flowed too fast from the Beehive for your Point of Order team to quickly grasp all the implications.

At first blush, we are tempted to wonder if something that looks like good news for farmers has been deftly released to camouflage the not-so-good news buried in these announcements or in some yet to be released.

Many millions of dollars of government funding were among the goodies that might distract farmers from programmes designed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by reducing their output – and incomes.

The latest Beehive releases tell us the government is …

Expecting the newly launched  Climate Action Centre to help farmers to maintain their international edge

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, launched the Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions alongside the primary sector partners today at Mystery Creek Fieldays.

 The bullet points emphasise

  • New Climate Action Centre launched to support farmers reduce ag emissions through R&D investment
  • 50:50 joint venture between Government and agribusiness to accelerate product development
  • First Centre projects launched to get farmers the emissions reducing tools sooner
  • Indicative funding commitment rising to $35 million per year by Joint venture partners, seeing at least $170 million invested over the next four years

Continue reading “Govt curries favour with farmers with climate change investments – but a collaborative strategy (don’t forget) led to Five Waters”

Govt has a busy day dishing out funding to causes it deems appropriate but a fog shrouds crime-fighting costs

Buzz from the Beehive

Biggish lumps of money featured in each of four announcements posted on the Beehive website, since Point of Order last checked on what our hard-working and big-spending ministers are doing.

The government will spend

  • $10 million on public housing in Raumati (and there’s lots more where that came from);
  •  $2,876,500 (from a trough labelled Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund) for a boiler conversion project which used woodchips to make potato chips, while slashing emissions.
  • $1.48 million to keep AM radio on air in the Northland region;
  •  A “multi-million- dollar package” to tackle retail crime and reoffending. The exact cost to taxpayers is hard to fathom because it includes the provision of $4000 for all small shops and dairies in New Zealand who want a fog cannon installed, with shops to pay the balance. How many retailers will apply? Who knows?
  • A new $4 million fund to support local councils in Auckland, Hamilton and Bay of Plenty with crime prevention programmes (which might  be the trough for the fog cannon funding);
  • The expansion of eligibility to dip into a $6 million Retail Crime Prevention fund to include aggravated robberies, including those committed during the past 12 months.

Guess whose name pops up in connection with the law-and-order funding package?

None other than the PM, keen to get her name into the crime-fighting headlines alongside Police Minister Chris Hipkins. Continue reading “Govt has a busy day dishing out funding to causes it deems appropriate but a fog shrouds crime-fighting costs”

Too much fun is coming out of Otago – so the govt has put $2.25m into a trough for other regions to have a lick

Buzz from the Beehive

It’s a toss-up to decide which is more unnecessary –  the investment of $2.25 million of public money in an industry which has almost doubled its revenue over the past year or the drafting and legislating of a bill to have things done that could be done without a statute.

The investment is in the rapidly growing game development sector.  The latest data from the New Zealand Game Developers Association shows the total revenue for the industry is $407 million, compared to $276 million a year ago.

But hey. The government can’t stand by and let so much of this development take place in the city of Dunedin.

The public therefore is being called on to chip in to spread the workload to other centres.

This will be done by establishing a new trough:  the $2.25 million will help to establish new regional hubs to provide contestable grants and skills development to game development studios across the country. Continue reading “Too much fun is coming out of Otago – so the govt has put $2.25m into a trough for other regions to have a lick”

While the PM and O’Connor were announcing VIP visits, Mahuta was pouring out some thoughts on the wretched water bill

Buzz from the Beehive

News of the government hoovering the red carpet for VIP visits and cleaning up the environment by advancing the green cause emerged from the Beehive yesterday, including another announcement of Māori mātauranga being to the fore in the government’s conservation programme.

And there was a speech from Nanaia Mahuta which affirmed the Water Services Entities Bill is a done deal and (she expects) the bosses of the four new co-governed water entities will be appointed before the end of the year.

This means before Christmas, bearing in mind the country then goes on holiday.

The green agenda is being promoted by initiatives headed-

Faster, cheaper, better resource management law given first reading

New laws that will deliver a faster, cheaper, and better resource management system had their first reading in the House today. Continue reading “While the PM and O’Connor were announcing VIP visits, Mahuta was pouring out some thoughts on the wretched water bill”

Clark has a new Bill to back up his threats to supermarkets – let’s see if Mahuta can similarly bring Putin to heel

Buzz from the Beehive

Who will blink first – Russian oligarchs or Kiwi duopolists?

We ask because our government has further tightened the thumbscrews on both.

It has introduced a bill to crimp the powers of the supermarkets in this country and it  has imposed further sanctions to express this country’s disapproval of Russian and Belarusian military action  in Ukraine.

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said the supermarket duopoly has been given plenty of warning.

“If they fail to adequately open up their wholesale market voluntarily, government will make it happen,” he said.

If Putin fails to pull out of Ukraine voluntarily, it is unlikely the Ardern government can pass a bill to make it happen. Continue reading “Clark has a new Bill to back up his threats to supermarkets – let’s see if Mahuta can similarly bring Putin to heel”

Ministers tackle various issues overseas while Kiri Allan extends the Human Rights Act to combat religious bigots in NZ

 Buzz from the Beehive

Two ministers are overseas, combating climate  change (in the case of James Shaw) and Russian invaders  (in the case of Defence Minister Peeni Henare).

Another minister is bound for Paris, to combat mental ill-health among other things, according to his press statement.

And back home, Justice Minister Kiri Allan is combating religious discrimination.

We learn this from the Beehive website, where the latest posts tell us our ministers are –

Warning it is crunch time to take domestic action on climate change

Climate Change Minister James Shaw marked the end of COP27 negotiations in Egypt by saying it is crunch time for counties to step up and take urgent action at home. Continue reading “Ministers tackle various issues overseas while Kiri Allan extends the Human Rights Act to combat religious bigots in NZ”

Govt goes to war against pokies but gambles on Putin keeping his hands off the button and takes a punt with business investments

Buzz from the Beehive

At first blush, our protection and wellbeing was high in the Ardern government’s considerations in the latest batch of statements posted on the Beehive website.

One statement was posted in the name of the Minister of Internal Affairs, who is determined to protect us from the evils of gambling; the other was posted in the name of the Minister of Defence, whose portfolio title implies a commitment to protecting us from a menace much greater than pokie machines..

One other announcement came from the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio.

In this case, the minister is promoting the interests of favoured Pacific business people, rather than protecting the populace generally.

Sio draws attention to $15.5 million in Budget 2022 that is being used

… to meet community demand volumes for services to support Pacific businesses and Pacific social enterprises across Aotearoa.

Continue reading “Govt goes to war against pokies but gambles on Putin keeping his hands off the button and takes a punt with business investments”

Little announces booster shot for Maori health while welcoming figures that show the benefits of a targeted approach

Latest from the Beehive

Point of Order’s Beehive monitors were treated to a double dose of Health Minister Andrew Little’s rejoicing today.

Little and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare announced what they called a record funding boost for Māori primary and community healthcare providers as part of $71.6 million in commissioning investments by the Māori Health Authority.

Some would call this discriminatory spending.  Little prefers to call it targeted.

The bullet points in the press statement show:

  • $29.3 million for interim New Zealand Health Plan priority areas
  • $13 million for Māori primary and community providers
  • $17.6 million for te ao Māori solutions, mātauranga Māori and population health
  • $11.7 million to support innovation, workforce development, and whānau voice.

In a second press release, Little seized on fresh New Zealand Health Survey data and told  us this shows his government’s policies are improving the nation’s health and general well-being. Continue reading “Little announces booster shot for Maori health while welcoming figures that show the benefits of a targeted approach”

THOMAS CRANMER: King Tut – the Tuhoe strongman who boasts of the National Park that disappeared

“We made a national park disappear” are the words of the Te Urewera chairman, Tamati Kruger – or as his iwi call him, King Tut.  Kruger’s triumph is an ominous portent to the consequences of the co-governance concept which the Ardern government champions.  THOMAS CRANMER writes – 

The High Court ruling last week that ordered an immediate halt to the burning of the huts in Te Urewera revealed some astonishing detail about what has gone wrong with the co-governance arrangements that were agreed in 2014.

The principal iwi negotiator for Tūhoe at the time was Tamati Kruger. Since then, he has gone on to be the chairman of Te Uru Taumatua (TUT), the Tūhoe governance body for Te Urewera. Kruger is a divisive figure – even within Tūhoe. In fact, the applicant for the emergency injunction to stop the huts being destroyed – Wharenui Clyde Tuna – is Tūhoe himself.

One of the revelations to emerge from last week’s injunction was that the Department of Conservation and TUT had not agreed their annual operational plan as required by the Te Urewera Act. That is primarily down to the fact that Kruger – the Tūhoe strongman installed by John Key’s government – has refused to engage with the department for the last two years. Continue reading “THOMAS CRANMER: King Tut – the Tuhoe strongman who boasts of the National Park that disappeared”

Govt cheerleaders whoop the good news (at last) of resource management reform – but keep an eye on the Treaty’s role

Buzz from the Beehive

It was rather like listening to ministers crowing about the goodies being distributed to programmes within their portfolios before, on and after Budget Day.

It was the joyous response from a gaggle of cheerleading ministers to the unveiling of legislation to replace the wretched Resource Management Act.

Environment Minister David Parker made the key announcement and summed up its features under these bullet points:

  • The system is broken, consent fees have almost doubled, and consenting time frames increased by 50%
  • New standardised conditions will see fewer “bespoke” consents and speed up the process
  • Time to consent will shorten, and fast track process retained
  • On a conservative estimate costs will fall 19% a year ($149m) or $10b over 30 years
  • Environmental protection increases, based on new targets and limits.
  • The National Planning Framework will provide consistency and certainty
  • 100 RMA plans will reduce to 15

Continue reading “Govt cheerleaders whoop the good news (at last) of resource management reform – but keep an eye on the Treaty’s role”