“Free” counselling for teachers – but maybe Hipkins and Robertson would benefit from counselling on where money comes from

We do admire the wellbeing-focused Ardern  government’s readiness to announce “free” services, even as the public debt comes under pressure from policy responses to the latest Covid-19 lockdown.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced a counselling service that – he hooted – is free for teachers and support staff across all early learning services, kōhanga reo, kura, and state and state-integrated schools.

It was among the latest press releases posted on the Beehive website.

Latest from the Beehive

Speech for the NZ Māori Tourism webinar for Māori businesses

This was a speech by Willie Jackson, who started by acknowledging how difficult it is to be a business right now with the Delta variant of COVID-19 in our communities.

Free counselling service for early learning and schooling workforce during COVID-19

Teachers and support staff across all early learning services, kōhanga reo, kura, and state and state-integrated schools can now access free COVID-19 Employee Assistance Programme support, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.

Keynote address to APEC High-level meeting on Health and the Economy

This one’s a speech by Health Minister Andrew Little.

He begins:  Esteemed fellow ministers, delegates and colleagues – Tēnā koutou katoa – it is my pleasure to welcome you all to APEC’s 11th High-Level Meeting on Health and the Economy.

Poroporoaki: Des Ratima, ONZM, JP

Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson acknowledges the passing of Ngāti Kahungungu leader and kaumatua Des Ratima ONZM JP. Continue reading ““Free” counselling for teachers – but maybe Hipkins and Robertson would benefit from counselling on where money comes from”

Govt allocates $13.1m to buy 400 cars – but they will be climate-friendly and help drive the public service to carbon neutrality

Good news for car dealers – if they are in the business of selling electric cars, at least.  Some of them are about to strike it lucky:  the Government is going on a $13.1 million shopping expedition to keep civil servants mobile while helping the public service become carbon-neutral.

Good news for teachers in the early-learning lark, too.  Some of them will get a pay rise in an initiative aimed at achieving pay parity, announced in the same week that the government is sorting out who will and who won’t get pay rises under the policy (clumsily announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson) of curbing state wage increases. 

And good news for people looking for housing in Christchurch (but only if they are Maori, apparently).  The government has converted an old hostel into apartments in another initiative to deal with the housing crisis.   

Finally, the government is arranging annual gatherings to discuss ways of keeping us safe from terrorists (although the shocking experience of shoppers at a supermarket in Dunedin this week showed it’s not only terrorists who threaten our wellbeing).

Here’s what we have learned from the latest Beehive announcements. Continue reading “Govt allocates $13.1m to buy 400 cars – but they will be climate-friendly and help drive the public service to carbon neutrality”

Sio makes a tierful announcement (with a funding fillip) for Pacifika languages and (with Shane Jones) delivers $10m to Pacifika churches

Churches – or 27 Pasifika churches, to be ethnic-specific – are to benefit from the government largess being distributed in the name of the Covid-19 response and recovery programme.

These churches will receive a total of nearly $10 million in government funding for renovations and improvements, “to improve facilities for the communities they serve and create jobs”, as Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio explained.

Provincial Growth Fund money for the renovation of town halls, war memorials, Pasifika churches and marae were earmarked in May as part of at least $600 million refocused on projects with more immediate jobs and economic benefits as part of the Covid-19 recovery.

The churches that applied are spread throughout the regions – from Balclutha to Oamaru and up to Hamilton, Jones said.

A good question to ask is how many missed out on getting a helping hand from taxpayers and why did they fail to be given the government’s blessing. Continue reading “Sio makes a tierful announcement (with a funding fillip) for Pacifika languages and (with Shane Jones) delivers $10m to Pacifika churches”