Jackson takes another small step towards action at Ihumātao while Mahuta aims for the heavens with Treaty-influenced space policy

Buzz from the Beehive

Down here on Earth – more particularly, in Ihumātao – progress on doing whatever is going to be done to that disputed patch of land has been glacial.

Newsroom drew attention  to the dawdling in an article in April which noted that Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson had hoped a governance group, Roopu Whakahaere, would be up and running in February

“…  but it could now be late May before that happens”.

Or June, perhaps.

At the time Newsroom posted that article, 16 months had passed since the Government announced the controversial land – home to a long-running occupation – had been purchased by the Crown from Fletcher Building for $30 million.

Yesterday Newsroom reported that the governance group has finally met.

Almost 18 months to the date the land was purchased, the three Ahi Kā representatives have been mostly decided and the group had its first meeting with Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson late last month.

And yesterday Willie Jackson officially announced …

Drum roll, please. Continue reading “Jackson takes another small step towards action at Ihumātao while Mahuta aims for the heavens with Treaty-influenced space policy”

Rwanda travel plans for UK deportees are stymied but Prince Charles is headed there – and Nanaia Mahuta is going, too

Buzz from the Beehive

Rwanda is back in the headlines, not only for the role it is playing in the British Government’s  highly controversial plans for ridding their country of asylum seekers (the first deportation flight was cancelled after a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights, which decided there was “a real risk of irreversible harm’’ to the asylum seekers involved).

The Central African country is also embroiled in a dispute with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, each country accusing the other of firing rockets across their shared border.

According to Al Jazeera,

“This seems to have been triggered by fighting between the M23 rebel group and state forces in the country’s east.

“Both Congo and the United Nations have accused Rwanda of supporting the M23 movement.” Continue reading “Rwanda travel plans for UK deportees are stymied but Prince Charles is headed there – and Nanaia Mahuta is going, too”

World Environment Day passed while media were fixed on Platinum Jubilee – but the gold state coach did not spew fumes

Buzz from the Beehive

Congratulations to New Zealanders who were recognised for their service to the country in the Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours list 2022 dominated the news posted on The Beehive website over the holiday weekend.

The 187 honours recipients included two appointments to our highest honour, The Order of New Zealand, and the appointments of three Dames and three Knights.

But while much of the media’s attention over the weekend was focussed on the celebration of the Queen’s 70 years on the throne, Environment Minister David Parker drew attention to June 5 being World Environment Day.

He honoured the occasion by handing $4.12 million of Jobs for Nature funding to a project to breathe life back into the Styx River and create jobs in Christchurch

He described this as another example of the strong action the Government is taking to tackle environmental degradation. Continue reading “World Environment Day passed while media were fixed on Platinum Jubilee – but the gold state coach did not spew fumes”

Buzz from the Beehive: Budget announcements are still flowing but criminals will pay for Poto’s new law and order initiative

Ministers continue to beat the drum for the goodies dispensed in the Budget, a week after Finance Minister Grant Robertson delivered his Budget speech and the Government published a raft of documents and press statements to tell the nation who got how much. 

Some of the ministerial post-Budget announcements relate to services that are being provided for all who need them.  Or rather, all who need them until the money runs out, presumably.

In addition to the $15.5 million spent each year to help people battling with eating disorders, for example, $3.9 million in extra funding over four years has been secured as part of Budget 2022.

“This will help increase the capacity of eating disorder services and reinforces our continued focus and commitment to improve mental health and addictions support in Aotearoa,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Continue reading “Buzz from the Beehive: Budget announcements are still flowing but criminals will pay for Poto’s new law and order initiative”

Budget unleashes laments from groups that were overlooked or short-changed (including hopes of Human Rights empire-building)

And how did the people react to the boost in spending announced in this year’s Budget to promote our wellbeing?

In some cases by pleading for more; in other cases, by grouching they got nothing.

But Budget spending is never enough.

Two lots of bleating came from the Human Rights Commission, which somewhat draws attention to the potential for a $15 million a year saving by abolishing the agency – a budget-trimming measure advocated by the ACT Party.

One statement – in the name of Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero – said Budget 2022 has pluses and minuses for the disabled community.

On the plus side,there was considerable investment in the new Ministry for Disabled People and other funding which has the potential to benefit the disabled community.  And there was some funding for community-based services which support the disabled community. Continue reading “Budget unleashes laments from groups that were overlooked or short-changed (including hopes of Human Rights empire-building)”

Buzz from the Beehive – the people are being consulted (hurrah) but most must wait to see Jackson’s “Declaration Plan”

A government aiming to “tweak” our democratic governance arrangements – in a programme  which our PM says requires  “sophistication” – has declared its readiness to listen to the people.  On some things, at least.

On the health-restructuring front it has announced

“… how New Zealanders will have a real voice in determining the health services provided in their community as part of the new health system”.

Health Minister Andrew Little said this when announcing nine locality network pilots intended to improve the delivery of healthcare in local communities.

On a programme of more far-reaching constitutional significance, the government has completed the first stage of a “two-step engagement process to develop a Declaration Plan”.

A Declaration Plan?  This is something on which Māori leaders and interest groups have been consulted, which is ominously instructive.  Drafting will now commence in partnership with the National Iwi Chairs Forum’s Pou Tikanga and the Human Rights Commission before it is shared for public consultation later this year. So just be patient, folks – your turn will come, presumably well after you can change things much.

But this consulting caper hasn’t been allowed to go too far.  In Tauranga the commissioners who displaced elected councillors  have been reappointed by Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

Latest from the Beehive

22 APRIL 2022

Commissioners reappointed to Tauranga City Council

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the reappointment of four commissioners to the Tauranga City Council.

Next steps in Declaration Plan

“We’ve now completed the first stage of the two-step engagement process to develop a Declaration Plan.

Public Media entity Establishment Board appointments

The Minister for Broadcasting and Media has confirmed the nine-member Establishment Board to lead the work on creating a new public media entity in New Zealand.

Prime Minister has productive meeting with Prime Minister of Japan

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had a productive meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo today.

Joint Statement: Japan and Aotearoa New Zealand: a Strategic Cooperative Partnership for Common Peace, Security and Prosperity

The Prime Minister of Japan His Excellency KISHIDA Fumio and the Prime Minister of New Zealand the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern held a productive and substantive meeting in Tokyo on 21 April 2022.

21 APRIL 2022

NZ, Japan team up on renewable energy

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today welcomed two renewable energy initiatives that highlight the growing partnership between Japan and New Zealand as both countries work towards a greener future.

Veterans Minister congratulates RSA on 100 years since first Poppy Appeal

Veterans Minister Meka Whaitiri has congratulated the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association (RSA) on 100 years since the first Poppy Appeal in New Zealand, held on April 24, 1922.

New technology for e-waste switched on

A new state-of-the-art machine that sorts and shreds electronic waste has officially started operation in Auckland today.

CPI figures highlight global economic challenges

Further increases in consumer prices are a reminder of the current global economic challenges and the need for responsible fiscal policy in New Zealand, Grant Robertson said today.

Government supports more people off benefit

The Government’s response to COVID-19 has helped keep people in work, with March Quarter Benefit statistics showing a further fall in the number of people receiving a main benefit and jobseeker assistance.

Speech

Andrew Little Locality network announcement speech, Levin | Taitoko, 21 April 2022

Locality planning networks are an essential feature of the health reforms which, subject to the legislation passing in Parliament, will take effect on 1 July.

Health Reform – Govt ensures local say in health services

The Government has announced how New Zealanders will have a real voice in determining the health services provided in their community as part of the new health system.

The health of the oceans is under threat – but RMA reforms (Parker is working on them) should help troubled salmon farmers

More health announcements – concerning state support for farmers and growers affected by Covid-19 and “free” flu vaccinations – have flowed from the Beehive.

More ominously, Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker has drawn attention to the threat to the health of the oceans – and to fish stocks – posed by climate warming.

He didn’t announce anything in particular to counter this threat.  Rather, he mentioned measures he intends to take, such as overhauling the highly contentious Resource Management Act.

His statement was prompted by an announcement to the Stock Exchange by New Zealand King Salmon:  the warming of the sea has been killing the company ‘s salmon stocks enough to cause a significant downwards revision in earnings expectations.

The company has reduced its forecast earnings for the 2022 year by $4 to $5 million.  The higher salmon losses have been recorded most notably in the company’s Pelorus Sound operations.

Parker said this is a sharp reminder that resource management system reforms are needed to deliver better management for aquaculture. Continue reading “The health of the oceans is under threat – but RMA reforms (Parker is working on them) should help troubled salmon farmers”

Promoting indigenous aspirations and saying “thank you” are among Mahuta’s successes on Middle East visit

The modesty of our Foreign Minister is to be admired.  She announced her departure from the Middle East at the weekend in a statement headed Foreign Minister concludes successful visit to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Some Ministers might have been tempted to describe their latest doings as a triumph.

Mahuta may be keeping that word on hold until four new organisations have been established with 50:50 co-governance arrangements to deliver the highly controversial Three Waters programme without her having to compromise

Mind you, it is tempting to ask by what criteria success (or failure, for that matter) is measured after a Minister visits other countries.

In this case it could be regarded as a success – a year after her being give that portfolio – that our Minister of Foreign Affairs at long last has ventured overseas.

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark’s weekend achievement was to announce the Government’s decision to review the residential building supply market.

The study will enable the Commerce Commission to investigate any factors that may affect competition for the supply or acquisition of key building supplies. Continue reading “Promoting indigenous aspirations and saying “thank you” are among Mahuta’s successes on Middle East visit”

Aucklanders (many of them, anyway) are to be freed from Covid curbs soon – but the rest of NZ has cause for anxiety

More than one announcement from the Beehive yesterday has the potential to affect the country’s health and general wellbeing in one way or another.

Justice Minister Kris Faafoi – for example – was chuffed about the the Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Bill passing its first reading in Parliament.

But critics fear this legislation  will put several of the worst criminals in New Zealand back on our streets over the next four years.

ACT Justice spokesperson Nicole McKee said:

“Three Strikes offenders make up just one per cent of all convictions, they have an average of 75 convictions, they are the worst and most violent offenders New Zealand has seen. They aren’t behind bars for petty theft or minor crimes. They have beaten, raped and murdered people.

“For every offence carried out by these people, there is a victim…” Continue reading “Aucklanders (many of them, anyway) are to be freed from Covid curbs soon – but the rest of NZ has cause for anxiety”

Govt unveils its guide to housing policies and investment – but check out who gets partnerships and who gets relationships

Border controls have been eased in two government announcements over the past day or so.  Megan Woods, meanwhile, has been busy issuing statements variously as minister of Housing, of Research, Science and Innovation, and of Energy and Resources.

As Housing Minister she drew attention to the Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will guide government policies and investments in tackling the housing crisis.

But she announced yet another government initiative – the National Māori Housing Strategy – which is grounded in the government’s highly political interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi, an interpretation which has given rise to a spate of race-based “partnerships”.

The place of non-Maori in the Ardern government’s policy-making pecking order is plain from the language in Woods’ press statement:

“The housing crisis we inherited is a challenge the Government can’t tackle on its own.

“We need to pursue meaningful partnerships with iwi and Māori as Te Tiriti o Waitangi partners to make progress.

“We also need to cement resilient relationships with community housing providers and other non-government organisations, local government, the private sector, and communities.”

It’s a “partnership” with Maori and “relationships” with everybody else. Continue reading “Govt unveils its guide to housing policies and investment – but check out who gets partnerships and who gets relationships”