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” →
Buzz from the Beehive
Hard on the heels of Stats NZ telling us about greenhouse gas emissions rising 1.7 per cent in the March quarter, largely driven by electricity, gas, water, and waste services, the Government has published the terms of reference for its New Zealand Energy Strategy.
Correction: it’s the Government’s “landmark” New Zealand Energy Strategy, setting out “the ambitions and next steps for transitioning the energy system to a high performing, low emissions future”, as Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods described it.
Her press statement can be found on the Beehive website, along with news that her colleagues have been … Continue reading “The Govt’s journey: it is shaping a “landmark” energy strategy and has passed a “milestone” with one-stop transport ticketing” →
Buzz from the Beehive
A further slew of trade bans and sanctions has been announced by the Government to put further pressure on the Putin regime and the Russian economy as part of the Government’s ongoing response to the war and illegal annexations.
Here’s hoping we have not run out of things to sanction. And especially we hope we can respond appropriately to punish Putin if – or should we say when? – he carries out his threat to use nuclear weapons.
The latest measures are
- New sanctions and trade bans on Russia and Belarus in response to Putin’s attempts to illegally annex parts of Ukraine
- Sanctions target 51 oligarchs including New Zealand-linked Alexander Abramov and 24 Russian-backed office holders in annexed areas of Ukraine
- New bans on exports and imports of luxury goods like NZ wine and seafood and Russian vodka and caviar, as well as strategically important products like oil, gas and related production equipment
- Extension of 35% tariff on Russian imports till March 2025
- New Zealand condemns Russia’s overnight missile strikes on civilians
This punitive action has been announced on the Beehive website along with news that our ministers are… Continue reading “Putin should have seen it coming – our Govt announces further trade bans and sanctions to squeeze the Russian economy” →
Finance Minister Grant Robertson didn’t get the cheers he likely was expecting from the government’s spending of $2.1bn to ensure Kiwibank remains fully Kiwi-owned.
The fact that two of Kiwibank’s existing shareholders, themselves New Zealand entities, wanted out immediately cast doubt on Robertson’s claim it was a win-win for the Crown.
And then the critics fired up, with one of NZ’s most formidable business leaders, Kerry McDonald, declaring that government ownership “rarely leads to success”.
Sam Stubbs, CEO of KiwiSaver provider Simplicity, said he feared Kiwibank could become “a local zombie bank”
ACT’s leader David Seymour said that if shareholders wanted out of Kiwibank it should have been floated on the open market, but instead the Government is making it taxpayers’ problem.
“I get that ACC and NZ Super don’t want to own it, but why is the taxpayer on the hook?” Continue reading “Robertson (we suspect) was banking on more plaudits for his balancing act to keep Kiwibank in Kiwi ownership” →
It’s a great day for change or the prospect of change – of the Earthquake Commission, the teaching of history in our schools, the work of the ACC and gambling regulations. It’s a great day, too, for the Ardern government’s programme of sanctifying the Treaty of Waitangi.
Earthquake Commission Minister David Clark announced that making a claim following a natural disaster will be easier soon thanks to a Bill introduced today.
Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti announced a review of pokie machine regulations to “reduce harm to vulnerable communities” (or people who gamble money when they can’t afford to lose).
Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced every young person in school will soon start learning about how New Zealand’s histories have shaped our lives.
ACC Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced the Government is taking steps towards delivering on a key manifesto commitment and seeking feedback on a review of occupational diseases for which ACC can provide cover.
Other announcements included handouts of public money to help South Island tourism operators. and provide students with an opportunity “for life-changing education experiences overseas”. Continue reading “Buzz from the Beehive: Brace for more change and for the Treaty to be further sanctified in public policy prescriptions” →
Monitoring the Ministers
We suspect women don’t aspire to gain equality with men in all measures of gender disparities.
Prison musters provide an obvious example.
In September this year males accounted for 94.3% of the prison population.
This clearly means women were far behind with just 5.7% – and that percentage was lower than the 7% recorded in September 2018.
Elsewhere in our criminal justice system, changes to help women are being effected through the passage of the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill, which will:
- entitle sexual violence complainants to use alternative ways of giving evidence, including by pre-recording their cross-examination evidence in appropriate cases;
- ensure evidence about a complainant’s past sex life is off limits, unless it is clearly highly relevant; and
- require judges to talk to the jury to dispel any misconceptions relating to sexual violence (often called ‘rape myths’) that might be brought into a case.
Mind you, Justice Minister Kris Faafoi dispelled any impression there is a gender bias in the legislation. It includes changes to benefit all witnesses, not just those in sexual cases, he said. Continue reading “Sepuloni tackles a matter of gender imbalance – but do women really want a bigger share of payments from the ACC?” →
Carmel Sepuloni has triggered two Point of Order monitors – our Trough Monitor and Jobs for the Boys (and Girls) Monitor – in the past 24 hours.
As Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister, she called the hogs to sample the goodies in something she called “The Cultural Activators Pilot”, which implies this is a brand-new trough.
As ACC Minister, she announced the appointment of a former Labour Cabinet Minister as a new member and next chair of the board of the Accident Compensation Corporation.
But wait. There’s more.
As Social Development and Employment Minister, Sepuloni was caring for the wellbeing of more than 1 million New Zealanders in the form of the Winter Energy Payment.
But she wasn’t the only Minister kept busy in the Beehive’s Wellbeing Department.
The Associate Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs, Aupito William Sio, issued a statement jointly with Fiji Health and Medical Services Minister Ifereimi Waqainabete. This was to announce New Zealand has offered, and Fiji has accepted, sufficient doses of AstraZeneca for 250,000 people from New Zealand’s domestic vaccine portfolio.
The Ministers “met virtually last week” – does this mean they chatted on the phone or via some internet wizardry? – to discuss New Zealand’s offer, which includes $2 million of Official Development Assistance to support Fiji’s vaccine rollout. Continue reading “Sepuloni (on the cultural side of her duties) creates a new trough while at ACC she finds more work for Steve Maharey” →
Julie Anne Genter, Minister of Women and self-appointed minister for culling old white blokes from board rooms, brings performance into considerations when she champions a policy of government intervention to get the gender mix right in the public service workplace.
She has brought the fairness argument into her rhetoric (having more women in leadership “is the right thing to do”) but further asserts
“… diversity helps organisations function more effectively”.
“More women in leadership means better decision making, better organisational resilience and better performance.”
Better performance by what measure?
Point of Order wonders about this in the light of Genter’s performance at Question Time in Parliament yesterday. Continue reading “Genter stalls on question about NZTA safety campaign costs – so what does this tell us about her performance?” →