Oops – our climate change emissions have risen (at the last count) but we are leading the way with financial reporting legislation

Whoopee – another first for our nation.  According to the headline on a Beehive press statement, NZ becomes first in world for climate reporting.

This drew attention to the announcement that New Zealand has become the first country in the world to introduce a law that requires the financial sector to disclose the impacts of climate change on their business and explain how they will manage climate-related risks and opportunities.

Not so praiseworthy, the latest annual inventory of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions shows that both gross and net emissions increased by 2 percent in the 12 months from the end of 2018.

This prompted an exhortation from Climate Change Minister James Shaw that we must strive to do better.

Those two statements emerged from The Beehive along with news that – Continue reading “Oops – our climate change emissions have risen (at the last count) but we are leading the way with financial reporting legislation”

Govt goes into partnership (again), this time to better deal with young Maori offenders

Our Beehive bulletin

Has anyone been keeping tabs on the number of race-based “partnerships” established by the Ardern government?

Another one popped up today, proudly announced by Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis. It’s an “innovative’ as well as new Youth Justice residence “designed in partnership with Māori” to provide “prevention, healing, and rehabilitation services for both young people and their families.

It was one of three new posts on The Beehive website since Point of Order last checked on what our Ministers are doing.

The others are

  • An accounting for what is being accomplished under the Construction Skills Action Plan (it has delivered early on its overall target of supporting an additional 4,000 people into construction-related education and employment, says Minister for Building and Construction Poto Williams).
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s expression of New Zealand’s sorrow at the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Ardern noted that The Duke of Edinburgh held several New Zealand honours and appointments.  She mentioned some of his NZ gongs along with some of the organisations – more than 780, the press statement said – of which he was patron or a member. Continue reading “Govt goes into partnership (again), this time to better deal with young Maori offenders”

We should brace for the boiler ban – but $22.88m has been handed out to help businesses decarbonise

Our Beehive bulletin

The Government’s ban on new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels perhaps ranked as the most important Beehive announcement yesterday.

It was the first major announcement to follow the release of the Climate Commission’s draft package of advice to Government in February and was accompanied by the distribution of dollops of corporate welfare to  the successful applicants in round one of the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund.

Fourteen companies will receive $22.88m in co-funding to help their businesses transition away from fossil fuels.

The ban on new coal boilers used in manufacturing and production will come into effect by 31 December.

A consultation document for other coal proposals can be found on the Ministry for the Environment website.

The energy announcement was one of several to emerge during a busy day in the Beehive, many of them enabling Ministers to bray about the big bucks (or small ones) they were throwing around. Continue reading “We should brace for the boiler ban – but $22.88m has been handed out to help businesses decarbonise”

Govt invests our money on aerospace studies and on boosting the food and fibre sector

Our Beehive bulletin

Boosts for the food and fibre sector, one of the country’s oldest industries and a major export earner, and the fledgling aerospace industry were announced yesterday.

Megan Woods put her Housing duties aside to enthuse about a development in her research, science and innovation portfolio and the potential for New Zealand to lead joint space missions.

Twelve New Zealand organisations have been chosen to work with world-leading experts at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) to complete feasibility studies related to propulsion, space communications and remote sensing technologies.

Government spending of about $900,000 is mentioned about two-thirds of the way down the press statement.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced the Government is backing more initiatives to boost NZ’s food and fibre sector workforce, including spending of up to $240,000 on an on-the-job mentoring programme. Continue reading “Govt invests our money on aerospace studies and on boosting the food and fibre sector”

Besides creating a travel bubble, the govt was heaping more parental costs on taxpayers and easing the rates burden on Maori land

Our Beehive bulletin

The mainstream media – after eagerly awaiting the announcement – have made much of the news that quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will start on April 19.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins made the announcement, confirming that conditions for starting to open up quarantine free travel with Australia have been met.

The Dominion-Post gave it front-page treatment today but Point of Order  staff are sifting through its columns to find reports of Parliamentary action on other fronts, including the passage of legislation to give effect to another Treaty settlement that corrodes the country’s democracy with a new co-governance arrangement.

The “Treaty partnership” (a modern-day construct of judges and politicians that divides the country into Maori and non-Maori) was invoked in some of the day’s ministerial statements.

The announcements include –  Continue reading “Besides creating a travel bubble, the govt was heaping more parental costs on taxpayers and easing the rates burden on Maori land”

A prisoner’s lot will soon be a better one (in Waikeria, anyway) in partnership with local iwi

Our Beehive bulletin

So what has Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis been up to during the Easter holiday?

Among other things, we learn today, he has  gone to prison.

Waikeria, to be specific, to check on progress on a prison development which will boost mental health services and improve rehabilitation opportunities for the people banged up inside.

The statement drawing attention to what Davis has been doing was posted on the Beehive website along with news that –

  • The Government is expanding its Pregnancy and Parenting Programme, which tailors services to women who are pregnant, or with children aged under three, who experience issues with substance abuse, “and who are not well connected to health and social services”.
  • Temporary COVID-19 immigration powers will be extended to May 2023, providing “continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages”.
  • An Independent Expert Panel on Drug Driving has proposed criminal limits and blood infringement thresholds for 25 impairing drugs to reduce the trauma of road crashes caused by drug impaired drivers.

Continue reading “A prisoner’s lot will soon be a better one (in Waikeria, anyway) in partnership with local iwi”

Take the heat off Megan Woods, folks – we must all pitch in and help nail (or fund) a resolution to the housing crisis

Housing Minister Megan Woods perhaps hopes to take the political heat off herself and the government on the matter of the shortage of houses, rampant real estate prices and soaring rents.

She acknowledges there is a crisis.   And – in a speech to the Palmerston North Housing Forum 2021 -she said it’s up to all of us to fix it.

The speech was among several items posted on the Beehive website since Point of Order last monitored what Ministers of the Crown are doing and how they are spending our money.

Further north, Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson was demonstrating that the housing crisis has been resolved for six families in Pāpāmoa, in the Bay of Plenty.

And his press statement reminds us that, if we are paying taxes, we already are doing our bit.

We are funding a raft of government programmes, several of them tailored to help people based on their ethnicity. Continue reading “Take the heat off Megan Woods, folks – we must all pitch in and help nail (or fund) a resolution to the housing crisis”

The High Court finds fault with the Waitangi Tribunal (and a breach of The Treaty) while Jackson is congratulating it

Our Beehive bulletin

While Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson was addressing members of the Waitangi Tribunal,  the High Court was setting aside a tribunal decision to return $800m in state-owned land to an iwi because it had failed to follow tikanga Māori and breached the Treaty

Good grief!

The tribunal breached “the Treaty”?

Apparently so.

According to Newsroom:

Crucially, Justice Francis Cooke declared the tribunal had been in breach of the Treaty of Waitangi and not followed tikanga when it decided lands transferred to state-owned enterprises or in Crown forests in the central North Island should be returned to the Ngāti Kahungunu iwi.

The disputed tribunal ruling on the $800m of public lands accordingly has been overturned (although the judgement may be appealed).

Jackson’s speech to the tribunal members, telling them what a splendid job they were doing and giving them an idea of the future work that lies in store for them, was posted on the Beehive website along with – Continue reading “The High Court finds fault with the Waitangi Tribunal (and a breach of The Treaty) while Jackson is congratulating it”

Critiques of Govt’s contentious housing package raise questions about whose advice was sought

So  what happened  to  “go hard, go  early”?  Does  anyone  expect house  prices  (which have risen   more than $100,000  since  early 2020) to  start falling?

The  Ardern government’s   housing  package aroused  curiously mixed  reactions, hardly  any  of them  providing  a  glimmer of  light  to  would-be first-home buyers that house prices will  be  falling  any time  soon.

From one side, the warning came that rent controls could not be far behind. From the other,  “market forces” and the evils of neo-liberalism had  at  last been corralled.

Over  on the  Left, Chris Trotter  sees a housing crisis ripping apart the country’s weakest and most vulnerable communities.

“While the detail of the Labour government’s housing package has been sufficient to unleash the very worst impulses of NZ’s landlord class – whose screams of rage and wild threats of social vengeance have pretty much confirmed the rest of NZ society’s worst fears concerning‘property investors’ – it is the rank insubordination of the nation’s elected leaders which most rankles neo-liberalism’s true believers”. Continue reading “Critiques of Govt’s contentious housing package raise questions about whose advice was sought”

Beware, Mr Big – we are being encouraged to blow the whistle on anything suspicious under new Customs initiative

Our Beehive bulletin

Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri officially launched Customs’ new outreach campaign, Border Protect, in Opua at the weekend.

This campaign is aimed at encouraging Kiwis to blow the whistle, if they suspect something untoward is going on – they should report potential suspicious activities to Customs “and help protect New Zealand”.

The only other news on the Beehive website told us the PM has unveiled a new Memorial to acknowledge the contribution of Pacific nations to military conflicts and the bonds shared with New Zealand.

The Pacific Islands Memorial Te Reo Hotunui o te Moana nui a Kiwa recognises the close relationship between Aotearoa New Zealand and other Pacific nations, acknowledging the region’s contribution during times of conflict and the shared history that strengthens our bond today, Jacinda Ardern said.

The Memorial is an addition to the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

Whaitiri went further north to speak to community and industry representatives at the Bay of Islands Marina, where she emphasised that Northland remains a key focus for Customs because it has one of the most accessible parts of New Zealand’s coastline and Opua is the main hub for international yacht arrivals and departures.

Opua was a splendid choice for the  launch.    Continue reading “Beware, Mr Big – we are being encouraged to blow the whistle on anything suspicious under new Customs initiative”