Buzz from the Beehive – and we learn how Zoom helps Nanaia Mahuta stay in touch with the world (or Honiara, at least)

We were pleasantly surprised to catch up on the latest announcement from Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta – jointly issued with Defence Minister Peeni Henare – about the extension of the New Zealand Defence Force deployment to Solomon Islands.

This is being done as part of the Pacific-led Solomon Islands International Assistance Force.

It attests to the marvels of Zoom, because (a) Mahuta has been accused of being out touch with what’s happening in some spots of special interest to New Zealand, and (b) she was saying she has met with Solomon Islands Foreign Affairs and External Trade Minister Jeremiah Manele via Zoom

“… to discuss the depth of our cooperation as well as the extension of our deployment to Solomon Islands.”

A read-out of the Zoom call will (or should) be on the MFAT website here.

The announcement was one of two with implications (more or less) for this country’s links with the world. Continue reading “Buzz from the Beehive – and we learn how Zoom helps Nanaia Mahuta stay in touch with the world (or Honiara, at least)”

Buzz from the Beehive: water is a common factor in Govt spending decisions but mussel spat gets more money than flood relief

A mussel spat initiative has done better from government handouts – oops, we meant to say investment – than the people and communities most affected by the severe weather in Tairāwhiti in recent days.

The Government will contribute $175,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support the flood-ravaged people of Tairāwhiti

Its Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit will initially invest $500,000 as equity in a mussel spat venture in Eastern Bay of Plenty with more funding to be released, up to $6 million, alongside investment from iwi, hapu and other investors.

An Eastern Bay of Plenty tribe, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, will receive the investment from the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund (RSPF) to develop a hatchery and research hub near Te Kaha.

Accelerating the aquaculture industry has been identified as one of the priorities for economic growth in the Bay of Plenty, Nash said.

Who did the identifying (we wonder, here at Point of Order) and if it’s such a good deal why hasn’t sufficient private-sector finance been attracted?

Continue reading “Buzz from the Beehive: water is a common factor in Govt spending decisions but mussel spat gets more money than flood relief”

Nats and ACT are riled by the suspension of Parliament – but has democracy been put on hold if select committees are sitting?

Our report on governance today is much the same as yesterday’s, reflecting a preoccupation with the Covid-19 lockdown.

But there’s a  big difference.

National and ACT leaders yesterday were urging the PM not to suspend Parliament – at least, not for more than one week, in National’s case.

Today they are expressing their dismay that their urging has gone unheeded.

National leader Judith Collins said:

“At a time when New Zealanders have the harshest lockdown in the world and have lost our freedoms because of the Government’s failure to vaccinate and secure the border, this move by Jacinda Ardern is unfathomable.” 

In the previous Level 4 lockdown, all parties agreed to closing Parliament in return for an Opposition-led Epidemic Response Committee to provide some accountability of the Government.

Won’t Ardern re-introduce this for involving  other parties in what transpires and to serve as some sort of check on executive power?

Apparently not. Continue reading “Nats and ACT are riled by the suspension of Parliament – but has democracy been put on hold if select committees are sitting?”