Buzz from the Beehive
Two of five press statements issued from the Beehive over the past 24 hours have a Treaty of Waitangi focus, two include the interests of Maori in their considerations, and the fifth mentions the presence of local iwi at a sod-turning ceremony.
The Associate Minister of Transport, Kieran McAnulty, was joined at the ceremony by the Mayors of Carterton and Masterton, local Iwi and members of the Wairarapa community to turn the first sod on a package of “crucial” safety improvements for State Highway 2 in Wairarapa.
The work which started today includes three new roundabouts, flexible safety barriers in various locations on the highway between Masterton and Carterton, road widening and new signage.
McAnulty will be hoping his press statement is given a good airing by media in the region and that voters are reminded:
“As the local MP for Wairarapa I’m incredibly pleased to see this work begin and to have played a role in ensuring the concerns of Wairarapa community are addressed. Continue reading “Politicians nail down a plan for the construction sector – and there’s a role to be played by social engineers” →
Monitoring the ministers
Science has been to the fore in Point of Order’s considerations in recent days and it’s been high in Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s considerations, too.
The Government is backing two new research projects to investigate the impacts of “regenerative farming” practices. This is a contentious issue in science circles, raising questions about definitions and about the need for zealous champions of regenerative farming to base their arguments on New Zealand science, not on science results from countries with different conditions and farming methods.
O’Connor announced the government is contributing $2.8 million to a $3.85 million five-year project involving AgResearch with co-investment by Synlait Milk and Danone. This aims to understand how to measure and manage soil health to boost environmental and economic performance on New Zealand farms.
The second project sees the Government contributing $2.2 million to a five-year research project aimed at boosting New Zealand farm yields by attracting beneficial insects to farms using specifically designed native planting.
On another sector front, the government is reporting on the outcomes of money invested in the past: the construction sector is now the fourth biggest employer in the country and infrastructure activity is forecast to reach $11.2 billion in 2026.
The Minister for Building and Construction Poto Williams highlighted those points while saying the National Construction Pipeline Report 2021 released today shows the construction sector has held up well during the COVID-19 pandemic and the future outlook is positive. Continue reading “Regenerative agriculture will get funding for research by scientists – dealing with family violence brings Maori lore into play” →
Latest from the Beehive
Done with legislating – for now – ministers have been busy redistributing the monies the government has gathered from taxes and (increasingly) by borrowing.
Housing Minister Megan Woods dipped into a $400 million fund under her control to launch the government’s Progressive Home Ownership scheme, designed to enable more families to own their own homes.
Race has been brought into considerations. The fund has a priority to support:
- locations with severe housing affordability,
- households unable to otherwise buy, and
- Māori, Pacific people, and families with children.
The Minister declared:
“The fund will scale up funding for organisations already providing PHO schemes with wraparound support services, such as budgeting advice. As part of this approach, there will be a dedicated iwi and Māori pathway, with a specific focus on better housing outcomes for Māori.” Continue reading “Race comes into the govt’s housing policy considerations and Northland again is favoured by govt funding decisions” →