Had the money dried up for drought forecasting after runanga were given millions for conservation work?

Two announcements from the office of Kiripatu Allan give us a good idea of the government’s spending priorities.

Our understanding of those priorities is enhanced when we compare Allan’s announcements with the government’s investment in a project aimed to developing a new drought  forecasting tool.

“Improved forecasting will alleviate some of the financial and mental burden that drought puts on farmers and growers. It will also make our primary industries more resilient, productive and sustainable,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said of this development.

As Minister for Emergency Management, Kiri Allan says the government will contribute towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the fires in Waiharara in the Far North.

A few days later, as Minister for Conservation, she announced a boost in funding for six Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury.  These range from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting at Lyttelton harbour, and increasing pest control across Banks Peninsula and Christchurch.

The contribution to the wellbeing of the people affected by the Far North fire amounted to $200,000.

The investment in improved drought forecasting is $200,000.

The investments in conservation projects amount to “over $12.64 million”. Continue reading “Had the money dried up for drought forecasting after runanga were given millions for conservation work?”

Highway tolls looked like a Shaw thing, in the light of grim climate change report, but Wood was listening to the community

A toll, we imagined, might be introduced to discourage unnecessary motoring and reduce emissions on the new Ara Tūhono – Puhoi to Warkworth motorway north of Auckland.  And this, we supposed, would gel with the government’s aim of creating a carbon-neutral New Zealand.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – authored by thousands of scientists and reviewers from more than 100 countries, including New Zealand – provides a grim warning of the risk facing our children, our planet, and future generations, unless urgent action is taken.

It prompted a press statement from Climate Change Minister James Shaw in which he called for a collective effort involving every sector of the economy, every community, and almost every government agency and their Minister to avert a climate crisis.

But Transport Minister Michael Wood issued a statement, too, to say the new Ara Tūhono – Puhoi to Warkworth motorway will not be tolled when it opens next year. Continue reading “Highway tolls looked like a Shaw thing, in the light of grim climate change report, but Wood was listening to the community”

Gangs, gongs and a nasty strain of Covid-19 become the stuff of ministerial statements over the holiday period

Funding of $63 million to help keep New Zealanders safe in the water was the subject of the last item of Beehive news we posted before Christmas.  To kick off 2021, the welfare of tongue-tied infants, digitally disadvantaged oldies and fastidious prison inmates (many of them gang members) was high on the government’s agenda for official statements.

The tightening of our  border controls to keep all of us safe from virulent new strains of Covid-19 was the subject of two press releases.

And three ministers (including the PM) took time out to congratulate  Kiwis awarded New Year gongs.

Oh – and let’s not forget that Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta, on Christmas Day,  welcomed the agreement reached by the United Kingdom and the European Union on their future post-Brexit relationship.

While Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis issued just one statement, he was kept busy over several days dealing with something he called “the prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison”.

The “event” involved 16 belligerent blokes rioting for six days at Waikeria Prison, lighting fires, throwing debris at Department of Corrections staff, and destroying something called the top jail. Continue reading “Gangs, gongs and a nasty strain of Covid-19 become the stuff of ministerial statements over the holiday period”