As regular posts have demonstrated, Point of Order keeps an eye on how taxpayers’ money is being invested, spent or given away by the Ardern Government.
Ministers typically get a warm glow from announcing spending decisions, grants or the establishment of new troughs within the authority of their portfolios – and from providing photo opportunities to promote themselves.
Troughers aren’t the only recipients, it’s fair to say. But deciding which spending is prudent – the sort which all taxpayers expect from a good government – and which is questionable can be very much a matter of opinion.
Our Trough Monitor recorded these announcements over the past week. We’ll leave it to readers to decide the merits of the spending.
24 APRIL 2019
Boost for services to veterans and their families
Minister for Veterans Ron Mark announced additional funding to support the wellbeing of New Zealand’s veterans and their families.
The funding will go towards health and wellbeing assessments for veterans to ensure that when they leave the Defence Force they are linked to the right support services.
The review of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 published by Professor Ron Paterson identified the need to do more for our veterans and their families, Mark said. This new funding package will address some of his key findings, and help meet increasing demands for services.
The Minister also announced a capital injection for an upgrade of Veterans’ Affairs’ client management system. Better IT systems will ensure routine transactions can be carried out electronically, while freeing up staff to spend more time on complex cases.
In total the announcements represents an additional funding package of $4.1 million over four years for Veterans’ Affairs. The extra money comprises an extra $2.1 million in operating funding and a capital injection of $2 million to upgrade the existing client management system.
27 APRIL 2019
Minister congratulates Ākarana Sarah whānau on housing
Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta, who also is Associate Minister of Housing, congratulated whānau from Bridge Pa, near Hastings for their vision of building homes on their ancestral land.
Te Puni Kōkiri invested $376,661 towards infrastructure costs to assist the Ākarana Sarah Whānau Trust with their seven home papakāinga development near Bridge Pa, Hastings.
The papakāinga needed power and telecommunication services and an internal roadway to connect the homes. Whānau will own and build their own homes and are now well on the way to achieving this objective.
1 MAY 2019
Fresh funding to reduce waste
Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage, opening a fresh round of Waste Minimisation Funding, said the Government is backing New Zealanders with innovative ideas to solve the waste crisis
The fund backs New Zealanders with innovative ideas for new projects that help tackle our mounting waste problem, she said.
New Zealand businesses and community organisations are being invited to work with the government to find new solutions to old problems.
The Waste Minimisation Fund is only one part of the Government’s programme to help turn around New Zealand’s poor track record on waste.
The Waste Minimisation Fund varies each year based on money raised from the landfill levy. In 2017, $9.1 million was approved to fund 15 projects, and in 2018, $16.3 million was granted across 49 projects.
Funding is available for quality projects which will help achieve the Waste Minimisation Fund’s strategic outcomes. These are:
- Move towards a circular economy in New Zealand
- Encourage product stewardship
- Build a more resilient resource recovery sector in New Zealand
- Develop a sustainable plastics lifecycle.
All applications that are innovative and will have a positive impact on a variety of waste streams will be considered. Projects with secondary benefits, such as considering climate change impacts or economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits, will be given greater priority.
Applications close on May 29.
For more information on the Waste Minimisation Fund go here.