Police budget was trimmed but $70m will be invested in scheme to let some offenders be dealt with by iwi panels

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”

Career officer is named as NZ’s Ambassador to Japan

Foreign Minister Winston Peters is proving true to form with the appointment of MFAT career foreign service officer Hamish Cooper as NZ’s next ambassador to Japan.

Peters is looking to revive Tokyo-Wellington connections which many inside MFAT believe have been pushed aside in the quest to secure to get alongside China.

Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe has been in the job since 2012 and now ranks as one of Asia’s  most influential leaders.  His  role  in  reviving,    and  nailing  down,  the  Comprehensive  and Progressive  Agreement  for  the  Trans-Pacific  Partnership  after President Trump  pulled out of it  confirmed   his statesmanship

He has built a reputation in Washington as a capable strategist and a key to constraining burgeoning Chinese interests out into the Pacific. Continue reading “Career officer is named as NZ’s Ambassador to Japan”

EU-Japan trade deal is seen as a counter to Trumpist protectionism

While the trade  wars   triggered   by  Donald  Trump  raise  fears  of  a  rise in global protectionism, Japan  and  the European Union this week signed  a  wide-ranging  free trade deal.  It has  important implications  for   NZ,   which is  also seeking to negotiate  a  free trade  deal  with the EU.

NZ  farm lobbies could be concerned that  their  European  counterparts have  stolen a march in  getting  better access  to  the Japanese market  than they do under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

But tariffs on European farm products, particularly beef and  cheese,  in fact will be  removed  slowly in Japan and will not  reach  zero  for  15  years. Continue reading “EU-Japan trade deal is seen as a counter to Trumpist protectionism”