Buzz from the Beehive: NZ is warned to brace for climate warming and its costs

From a self-interest perspective, one of the latest Beehive announcements was warmly welcomed by the veteran scribes in the Point of Order newsroom.  It was the news of the Government’s Older Workers Employment Action Plan, aimed at supporting older people to stay in the workforce and transition their skills as they age and their circumstances change.

Recognising that older workers make up around a third of the New Zealand workforce and almost half of all New Zealanders aged 65 to 69 are employed, the plan focuses on people aged 50 and over.

But the announcement with the most significant nation-wide implications was the invitation to all New Zealanders to have their say on a proposed National Adaptation Plan to help communities across the country adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

The consultation document is HERE. 

The draft plan outlines the actions the Government will take over the next six years in response to the priority climate-related risks identified in the 2020 National Climate Change Risk Assessment, so that all sectors and communities are able to live and thrive in a changing climate. The consultation also outlines proposals for flood insurance and managed retreat policies.

Oh – and Climate Change Minister James Shaw warned that councils and property owners must shoulder some of the costs.

On the other hand, the Government will spend $1.4 billion on infrastructure for five Auckland suburbs.  Around 400 urban renewal projects in Mt Roskill, Mangere, Tāmaki, Oranga and Northcote will receive funding from the Government’s $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund (HAF) to develop build-ready land to enable up to 16,000 homes in the suburbs over the next five to 16 years.

Latest from the Beehive

28 APRIL 2022

Government supports extra housing development

The Government is funding further infrastructure for five Auckland suburbs undergoing regeneration to support new and existing housing for New Zealanders and their families, Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced.  Around 400 urban renewal projects in Mt Roskill, Mangere, Tāmaki, Oranga and Northcote will receive funding from the Government’s $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund (HAF) to unlock more housing.

27 APRIL 2022

Government puts port safety under the spotlight

The health and safety practices at our nation’s ports will be investigated as part of a range of actions taken by the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety in response to two

New Government plan helps support older workers

Supporting older people to stay in the workforce and transition their skills as they age and their circumstances change is a key part of the new Older Workers Employment Action Plan.

Flora, fauna and communities set to flourish through Jobs for Nature

An initiative that has provided tourism workers with alternative employment into the lead up to New Zealand’s borders reopening is being extended to ensure staff are retained.

Supporting communities to prepare for climate impacts

From today New Zealanders can have their say on a proposed National Adaptation Plan to help communities across the country adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

The trade news is good, the climate-warming news is grim – and a bellbird is enlisted in rhetoric to pacify a tyrant

Developments overseas account for much of the latest ministerial announcements and speeches posted on The Beehive website.

The good news (at first blush) is that New Zealand and the United Kingdom have signed a Free Trade Agreement.  The two governments are aiming for this to enter into force by the end of the year, after both partners have ratified it through their respective parliaments.

The bad news – grim would be a better word – is that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report is a stark reminder of why New Zealand should brace for the worst effects of climate change.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta meanwhile has posted New Zealand’s Statement to the UN Human Rights Council which condemns Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.  And again,  Vladimir Putin has not been named, as if denying him the oxygen of publicity might change things.

Back on the home front, the Government has announced it is removing the self-isolation requirements for vaccinated travellers to New Zealand and enabling Kiwis to come here from the rest of the world sooner.

It also is stepping in to support local communities build up tourism facilities through a new funding round with a special focus on Matariki commemorations. The sum of  $16.5 million was allocated for this funding round in the $200 million Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Reset Plan last year.

And the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available to people aged 18 and over, following Cabinet’s confirmation yesterday. Continue reading “The trade news is good, the climate-warming news is grim – and a bellbird is enlisted in rhetoric to pacify a tyrant”

Highway tolls looked like a Shaw thing, in the light of grim climate change report, but Wood was listening to the community

A toll, we imagined, might be introduced to discourage unnecessary motoring and reduce emissions on the new Ara Tūhono – Puhoi to Warkworth motorway north of Auckland.  And this, we supposed, would gel with the government’s aim of creating a carbon-neutral New Zealand.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – authored by thousands of scientists and reviewers from more than 100 countries, including New Zealand – provides a grim warning of the risk facing our children, our planet, and future generations, unless urgent action is taken.

It prompted a press statement from Climate Change Minister James Shaw in which he called for a collective effort involving every sector of the economy, every community, and almost every government agency and their Minister to avert a climate crisis.

But Transport Minister Michael Wood issued a statement, too, to say the new Ara Tūhono – Puhoi to Warkworth motorway will not be tolled when it opens next year. Continue reading “Highway tolls looked like a Shaw thing, in the light of grim climate change report, but Wood was listening to the community”