Monitoring the Ministers
The PM has been dishing out bravery awards and releasing the Government’s 2021 National Security Intelligence Priorities while Health Minister Andrew Little has been dishing out $644 million for hospital upgrades. Or rather, he has confirmed the government will fund 36 different local hospital upgrades throughout the country and the operational costs to support them, at a total cost of $644 million
In one of her statements, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged the extraordinary courage of ten people recognised for acts of bravery relating to the March 15, 2019 terrorist attacks.
In the other, she said the National Security Intelligence Priorities help us to identify threats, risks, and challenges to New Zealand’s security and wellbeing, while outlining current areas of interest where intelligence can support the Government to make informed decisions.
The Priorities have been grouped into 13 overarching themes covering a range of threats and risks to New Zealand including; foreign interference and espionage, climate change and environmental issues, malicious cyber activity, terrorism and violent extremism.
In his statement, Andrew Little announced $100 million in fast-tracked health capital projects had been confirmed, supported by $544 million operational funding
The Government will upgrade 24 local hospitals next year to support planned and routine care, to ensure non-COVID patients are safe when COVID patients are being treated. The Programme will be rolled out alongside an international health workforce recruitment campaign.
Oh – and let’s not overlook Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s latest statement about the resilience of the economy in the face of the impact of the Delta outbreak. Continue reading “O’Connor chuffed about NZ’s leadership on banishing fossil fuel subsidies – but the big test will be bringing the US on board” →
The Nats made political hay from the government’s treatment of the Police in this year’s budget. The Police Budget was trimmed by around $90 million
“ … despite record growth in gang membership,” National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says.
The government – inevitably – defended its numbers, saying some funds are still under negotiation, and the police are still better off than they were under National.
Today Police Minister Poto Williams made a fresh Budget announcement of new spending of $70 million in new operating funding.
It’s for Te Pae Oranga Iwi Community Panels, to provide more panels and ensure they are available to people across New Zealand.
This time the ACT’s Justice spokesperson Nicole McKee has rejoined that the Government will spend $70 million to go even softer on crime.
Te Pae Oranga Iwi Community Panels give police an option for dealing with people with underlying issues who need help to get their lives back on track. This includes helping them overcome problems like addiction, abuse, financial stress and difficulties getting employment or education. Continue reading “Police budget was trimmed but $70m will be invested in scheme to let some offenders be dealt with by iwi panels” →
Three cheers for the GSCB. It has been lauded by the US FBI and intelligence agencies for its role in uncovering Russian covert intelligence activities around the world.
The Minister in Charge of the intelligence services, Andrew Little, expressed surprise we had been named – but this is a wake-up call to the new government, which is woefully short of experience and hard realities in the wider world – and a reflection on how much NZ services are valued by allies.
This is the story: On October 15 a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh returned an indictment charging six computer hackers, all of whom were residents and nationals of the Russian Federation (Russia) and officers in Unit 74455 of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), a military intelligence agency of the General Staff of the Armed Forces.
The charges were announced by Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers; FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich; U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Scott W. Brady; and Special Agents in Charge of the FBI’s Atlanta, Oklahoma City, and Pittsburgh Field Offices, J.C. “Chris” Hacker, Melissa R. Godbold, and Michael A. Christman, respectively. Continue reading “Here’s hoping our new govt gets the message about intelligence from GSCB’s role in exposing Russian hackers” →