Fishing folk will be fuming after govt restricts activities in Hauraki Gulf – but greenies will be grumbling too

One of the government’s myriad of troughs has been replenished, new scholarships are being provided (for those who meet a race eligibility test), and Phil Twyford has delivered another speech about arms control.

Invitations to slurp at the trough are being issued to community organisations that can deliver energy education to households in need.  The money comes from the Support for Energy Education in Communities (SEEC) Programme.

$1.65 million is available in this second round.

In total, $7.91 million will be allocated through the SEEC Programme’s regular funding rounds until 2024.

The three new scholarships, for Maori students in vocational education and training (VET), are to be added to “the suite of prestigious Ngarimu scholarships”.

Over 300 scholarships have been awarded over the years to people such as VC medal recipient Willie Apiata, Māori academic Whatarangi Winiata, entrepreneur and Pīpī Mā founder Kristin Ross, and Māori language expert Pania Papa.

The Ngarimu VET Scholarships are worth $10,000 each. The closing date for the Ngarimu VET applications is September 1.

Twyford’s speech, to the AI Forum Executive, addressed the development of policy on autonomous weapons systems.

But here at Point of Order we suspect the issue that will generate the greatest debate –consternation in some circles – is the government’s announcement of new marine protection areas and significant restrictions on fishing.

Fishing folk are likely to be fuming at the effects of a raft of changes being put in place to protect the Hauraki Gulf. Continue reading “Fishing folk will be fuming after govt restricts activities in Hauraki Gulf – but greenies will be grumbling too”

Belarus pays penalty for ignoring concerns about its electoral and human rights record – NZ bans its leaders from travelling here

New Zealand has imposed travel bans on 50 individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime in Belarus elections.  Among those in the naughty books are the President and key members of his Administration, the Electoral Commission, the police and other security forces.

This will show ‘em we mean business, if they can’t or won’t clean up their act on the international human rights front.

On the sea front, up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels are to be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment.  The cost:  it  is expected to be $68 million over the next four years.

The news many people had been anxiously awaiting – not the anti-vaxxers, of course – is a rough timetable for rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine.

Then came Justice Minister Kris Faafoi’s announcement of a review of New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws. Continue reading “Belarus pays penalty for ignoring concerns about its electoral and human rights record – NZ bans its leaders from travelling here”

How to get pedallers and walkers off the Auckland Harbour Bridge – by giving them their own bridge (and it will only cost $685m)

Once upon a time Aucklanders were musing on the merits of  a private-sector proposal aimed at satisfying the demands from the  lycra lobby for a tolled pedestrian and cycle path across Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Orewa-based Hopper Developments – with pioneering projects such as canal housing and marina schemes at Pauanui, Whitianga and Marsden Pt under its belt – had signed a heads of agreement to work with a walking and cycling charitable trust on a $16 million pathway over the bridge.

This  differed from a proposal by Transport Agency consultants, rejected by the agency’s board in 2008, for separate paths to be cantilevered at road level off each edge of the bridge for up to $43 million.

The SkyPath project since then has become, first, a privately funded project underwritten by the Auckland Council, and then a project to be paid for by taxpayers – and the costs have burgeoned.

Today we learn of plans for a $685 million dedicated cycle bridge to replace SkyPath, proudly announced by Infrastructure and Transport Minister  Michael Wood.

That statement was followed by another announcement that Continue reading “How to get pedallers and walkers off the Auckland Harbour Bridge – by giving them their own bridge (and it will only cost $685m)”

Ron makes his mark on the distribution of military gongs while Shane shows the PGF hasn’t been emptied yet

Latest from the Beehive

Shane Jones, as Regional Economic Development Minister, is still in business with announcements from the Provincial Growth Fund.  He has announced two more distributions today while his colleague, Defence Minister Ron Mark, was cheering an overhaul of the distribution of gongs.

The Beehive’s announcements show:

  • Funding of $12.2m, from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, will support a range of education, skills training, pre-employment and job pathway projects in Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Tairāwhiti, Hawke’s Bay, Northland and Manawatū-Whanganui.  The projects will increase the number of people enrolled in PGF-funded skills and employment programmes from the 11,090 announced last month to around 13,150.
  • $6.7 million will go to nine programmes around the country to address the toll meth is taking on people in the regions, their families and whanau, and communities. This funding is part of the $20 million allocated from the Provincial Growth in July to fight meth harm in the regions.
  • A $2 million expansion of the Backcountry Trust’s programme to repair and maintain huts, tracks and bridges in some of New Zealand’s more remote places as part of the Government’s $1.3 billion Jobs for Nature programme.  The trust has a long-term partnership with DOC to help maintain our nationwide network of backcountry tracks and huts.

Continue reading “Ron makes his mark on the distribution of military gongs while Shane shows the PGF hasn’t been emptied yet”