Take that, Mr Putin: More support for Ukraine is to be provided by NZ

Buzz from the Beehive

Sticking it to the Russians by providing more support for Ukraine  was the most significant news item officially posted on the Beehive website since our previous report.

An announcement about immigration regulations and visas might have nudged it as a headline grabber, butit didn’t mention “nurses”.

The latest posts tell us our hard-working ministers have been –

Appointing the next Ambassador to Argentina announced

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced the appointment of Kathryn Beckett as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Argentina.

Kathryn Beckett has most recently served as the Unit Manager of the United Nations, Human Rights and Commonwealth Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She has also served as Counsellor at the New Zealand High Commission in Vanuatu and as First Secretary at the New Zealand Embassy in Viet Nam.

She will be accredited to Uruguay and Paraguay, based at New Zealand’s Embassy in Buenos Aires and takes up her position in April.

Extending and enhancing our assistance to Ukraine

The names of the PM, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare are attached to this announcement.

They said New Zealand is extending its defence commitments and providing further support and personnel to assist Ukraine, as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion.

New Zealand will contribute $1.85 million to the World Food Programme for emergency assistance across the globe.

“This builds on earlier food security support to other countries in early 2022,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

The decisions made:

  • Training: Extend New Zealand’s support to the United Kingdom armed forces-led operation to train Ukrainian personnel, with the deployment of one infantry training team numbering up to 66 NZDF personnel from 30 November 2022 to 31 July 2023.  At present the NZDF has two infantry training teams totalling 120 personnel training Ukrainian personnel in the UK.
  • Intelligence: Extend the NZDF’s existing intelligence contribution of up to 12 personnel in the UK, as well as New Zealand-based open source intelligence staff, from 30 November 2022 to 30 June 2023. In addition the NZDF will provide two additional support positions to the UK for the same period.
  • Command and administration support: The deployment of up to eight NZDF personnel to Europe from 30 November 2022 to 31 July 2023 to assist deployed NZDF personnel throughout Europe supporting Ukraine’s self-defence efforts.
  • Logistics: Recommence the deployment of four personnel from 30 November 2022 to 30 June 2023 to a logistics hub in Europe to support Ukraine.
  • Liaison: Extend the NZDF’s existing liaison officer contributions in the UK and Europe from 30 November 2022 to 30 June 2023.
  • Global food security support: $1.85 million to the World Food Programme to help address global food insecurity, which has been exacerbated by the crisis in Ukraine.
  • NATO Trust Fund: Additional $1.85 million contribution for non-lethal military equipment and supplies for Ukraine’s self-defence during the northern winter.

More information about sanctions, travel bans, and export controls against Russia; as well as diplomatic, military and economic support to Ukraine can be found on the MFAT site here.

Granting  more visas through a resumption of the parent category

Immigration Minister Michael Wood announced the Government is ensuring skilled migrants can resettle in New Zealand with their families

It  is resuming selections of the Parent Category Expressions of Interest (EOIs), to make New Zealand an even more attractive destination for high skilled migrants looking to resettle long term.

The first selection of EOIs has been made and will continue to be selected in date order with the oldest EOIs being selected first. Selections will take place every quarter, with up to 2,000 visas a year granted to people with existing expressions of interest.

More information on the Parent Category and EOI process can be found on the Immigration New Zealand website.

Appointing a Judge and Associate Judge of the High Court

Attorney-General David Parker announced High Court Associate Judge Peter Andrew has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, and Tauranga King’s Counsel Grant Brittain has been appointed an Associate Judge of the High Court.

They will take up their appointments on 21 November 2022, sitting in Auckland.

South American curbs on beef exports bode well for NZ’s prospects

New Zealand’s beef exports may suddenly be  in high demand from  overseas  markets, in   the  wake  of  the world’s largest beef exporter, Brazil, suspending its beef exports to its No. 1 customer, China, after confirming two cases of “atypical” mad cow disease in two separate domestic meat plants.

China and Hong Kong buy more than half of Brazil’s beef exports.   NZ’s  sales are relatively  modest, by comparison, but  reached  36%   of  our total  beef  exports   last  season. 

The  other  big exporter  to  China,  Argentina,  in  June  decided  to   restrict  exports, with the  aim of  boosting domestic  supply.  Argentinian beef exports are to be  limited to 50% of the average monthly volume exported from July to December 2020.

Because  Argentina was the fifth largest beef exporter in 2020 and the second largest supplier to China, its cut in export volumes has the potential to have a significant impact on global beef trade.

NZ   producers  who  were  reported  to be  heading  into spring  with some confidence could  find  prices — which were  already  strong — climbing  even  higher. 

Rabobank,   in  a  recent  report,  says  pricing remained elevated over the past three months. This high pricing comes off the back of strong demand from China and suppressed beef export volumes from Australia,.

The report says Argentina’s restrictions will be reviewed at the end of this month.

Meanwhile   China  is   facing  its  own  problems  through its  poor  job  of  curbing  swine  fever. With  one  of the  world’s   highest rates  of  pork  consumption,  China’s  failure has   wrought  havoc in  its  domestic  supplies,  costing  between $50bn  and $120bn, according  to the Asian  Development  Bank.

If  China   faces  years-long  disruption in  pork  supplies, as  some reports  suggest,  ,  the  outlook for    beef producers, here   and  with other  exporters,   should  shine  even  more  brightly.  

Nth time lucky for Argentina

“Centre-left opposition candidate Alberto Fernández has been elected president of Argentina in a vote dominated by economic concerns”, according to the BBC.

Well yes – as far as it goes.  

Since his election in 2015, right-of-centre incumbent president, Mauricio Macri, had tried, with limited success, to put Argentina on a stable growth path.  The economy stuttered.  So the Peronist Justicialist party stormed back in to resume its historical mission. Continue reading “Nth time lucky for Argentina”