Consultations begin on proposals to penalise some vehicle owners and to rewrite matters of public record

Various consultations were triggered in weekend announcements from the Beehive, among them a consultation on government proposals to hasten the public’s purchase of low-emission vehicles to help meet New Zealand’s 2050 carbon neutral target (and – of course – “to create jobs to support the economic recovery”).

Among the proposals are rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, to start on July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used.

Sounds good – and that’s no doubt what the spin doctors intended.

To pay for this, imported cars with high emissions will cost extra from January next year.

Ah – and there’s the catch. 

The Automobile Association reckons Kiwis will pay roughly a $3000 penalty for their favourite utes from 2022 under the new rules.

The penalty under the Clean Car Discount package will apply to the likes of the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger – two of the top selling cars – and will come into effect in January 2022.

Another set of consultations has started on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of New Zealand’s housing and urban development system.

The Government’s climate change policies and aspirations come into play here, too.

And so does the government’s acquiescing to the yearning among some Maori for their own programmes, shaped and administered by Maori for Maori, helping to create an “us” and “them” society. Continue reading “Consultations begin on proposals to penalise some vehicle owners and to rewrite matters of public record”

You are wrong, if you thought the One Billion Trees trough had been emptied – but a renamed agency will dish up the remnants

One of the latest Beehive announcements augurs changes in the tree-planting, tree-growing and tree-harvesting business, another will help you change information recorded on your birth certificate and (it is reasonable to suppose) on your family tree.   

The first involves the forestry sector.  Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) will be renamed Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service and shift its operational headquarters from Wellington to Rotorua. 

The second involves public records.  The government is increasing support for New Zealanders wanting to change their sex marker on their birth certificates.

The statement on the forest service, from Forestry Minister Stuart Nash, served the useful purpose of reminding us about the One Billion Trees programme.  We hadn’t heard much about this, and the goal to have one billion more trees planted by 2028, since New Zealand First’s Shane Jones – remember when he was Minister of Regional Economic Development and of Forestry? – was given the heave-ho by the electorate last year.

Nash noted that in the past three years forestry policies prioritised regional economic development, by supporting extensive tree planting and job creation. Continue reading “You are wrong, if you thought the One Billion Trees trough had been emptied – but a renamed agency will dish up the remnants”

Transgender rights – sorting out the myths (but not getting things quite right)

An article posted on the Stuff website is headed Transgender rights debate: Separating the facts from the fiction

The writer, one Cecile Meier, might usefully have consulted a recent Point of Order report before deciding she had put the misunderstandings to rights – at least on the political process.

Her article rightly says transgender people have to go through a long and costly process to change the sex on their birth certificate.  This involves an application to the Family Court providing proof they’ve had medical treatment to transition.

The process for changing a New Zealand licence or passport is much simpler: people need only make a statutory declaration, which involves an authorised witness or justice of the peace.

At issue is whether birth certificates should be changed as easily a driving licence or passport. Continue reading “Transgender rights – sorting out the myths (but not getting things quite right)”