More co-governance – this time it is providing 30 jobs (instead of just 15) as the govt fortifies its role in the labour market

A co-governance system of administration is being introduced to the job-training and employment sector.

Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced a raft of co-chair appointments for the country’s 15 permanent Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLG).

Doubling up on chairs has the great merit of providing more jobs than when you have just one chair:  the groups will be headed by 30 co-chairs rather than 15 chairs.

One co-chair (the Crown’s representative in a Treaty-based arrangement, presumably) is nominated through an Expressions of Interest process, the other is selected in consultation with regional iwi and Māori.

Chairs will be appointed for up to three years.

This initiative seems to be fortifying the influence of central planning in the labour market.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website says Regional Skills Leadership Groups were formed a year ago to identify and support better ways of meeting future skills and workforce needs in our regions and cities.​

“They are part of a joined-up approach to labour market planning which will see our workforce, education and immigration systems working together to better meet the differing skills needs across the country.”

Sepuloni says appointing the co-chairs is the first step in establishing permanent RSLGs and developing Regional Workforce Plans.

These plans will explore the labour supply and demand trends for each region allowing us to better plan for, and address, future skills shortages, she says.

“The groups will focus on planning and addressing labour market issues in our regions, and once they are fully up and running will become a valuable resource for Government as we seek to accelerate our recovery from COVID-19.  

“The RSLGs will identify what change is needed from regional and national stakeholders in order to achieve a high-skill regional labour market.”

More information on RSLGs can be found here

Latest from the Beehive

Covid -19

Wellington to return to Level 1; QFT pause with Australia to lift for some states and ACT from Sunday

Cabinet agreed yesterday to shift the Wellington region to Alert Level 1 from 11:59pm last night.

The pause on Quarantine Free Travel from South Australia, ACT, Tasmania and Victoria will be lifted at 11.59pm (NZT) on Sunday 4 July.

A risk assessment has been completed for each state and territory. New South Wales is currently seen as the most risk, Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory are higher risk than the government is comfortable with, and South Australia, ACT, Tasmania and Victoria are consistent with New Zealand’s green flights category.

Travellers must have a test no more than 72 hours before their scheduled departure time, which means they have to have a sample taken and result returned within the three day time period.

Passengers should also:

  • understand the current public health measures that are in place,
  • wear face coverings on the aircraft and at the airport,
  • make a health declaration,
  • know they are subject to random temperature checks.
  • know the importance of downloading the COVID tracer app, and
  • self-isolate and be tested immediately if they have any symptoms of illness.

Further details of pre-departure requirements can be found on the COVID-19 website.

Child welfare

The Inter-yeti – taking the internet by storm to teach kids online safety

Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti announced an initiative to help children learn about online safety.

Gunther the Inter-yeti and his trusty friend Byte feature in an interactive ebook to help children understand what to do when they come across bullying trolls, scary content, and ‘friends’ who may not be who they say they are.

$2.1 million was granted from the Covid-19 Recovery Fund to develop this phase of the Keep It Real Online, with the help of young Kiwis aged 5-12 years old. The story is narrated by Stan Walker.

Labour market

Co-chairs appointed to Regional Skills Leadership

Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced the co-chair appointments for the permanent Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLG).

Appointing the co-chairs is the first step in establishing permanent RSLGs and developing Regional Workforce Plans.

The process for standing up interim RSLGs was fast-tracked as a result of COVID-19 to support the recovery of labour markets.

KiwiSaver cash is to be kept away from oil and gas industries and tourists are to be kept apart from homeless people housed in motels

A gush of statements and speeches from the Beehive ranges in significance from Damien O’Connor’s trip to London and Brussels to press on with free trade negotiations to  Chris Hipkins dealing with the way schools are organised in Harewa.

Changes to the Kiwisaver scheme include measures to discourage or disallow us from trying to make a buck from the oil and gas industries.

Oh – and change is in the offing in Rotorua for homeless people who are given emergency housing in motels.   One of the consequences will be to separate these motel dwellers from the tourists.

Then there’s a major change for the tertiary education sector – six new Workforce Development Councils have been formally established with an interesting guarantee from Education Minister Hipkins – he said they will “ensure” people graduate with the right skills at the right time to address skill shortages.

Let’s see …  Continue reading “KiwiSaver cash is to be kept away from oil and gas industries and tourists are to be kept apart from homeless people housed in motels”

More race-based spending on education and job training but Govt’s vaccine plan aims to ensure we will all get our shots eventually

Our Beehive Bulletin

More information about the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan emerged from the Beehive today along with announcements of the Government’s further ventures into positive discrimination, which means funding will be doled out or privileges granted on the basis of the beneficiary’s race.

Associate Minister of Education Aupito William Sio could not disguise his delight as he issued invitations to sup (or slurp) from a trough in his bailiwick.

“It’s great to make available another 12 million dollars to  communities, providers and educators looking to develop solutions for Pacific learners and families through the Pacific Education Support Fund and Innovation Funds. I am excited that already more than 330 applications totalling 23.3 million were applied for last year and it looks like the next round will be just as big.

“I encourage our Pacific providers, community based-organisations, churches, schools, families and groups to submit applications for round two funding to support the needs of our aiga and their families.” Continue reading “More race-based spending on education and job training but Govt’s vaccine plan aims to ensure we will all get our shots eventually”

Housing crisis is the driver as govt prepares three new laws to replace the vexing RMA


We had been bracing for Environment Minister David Parker’s news this morning, which was to confirm that the Government intends to replace the Resource Management Act based on a comprehensive review of the country’s resource management system carried out last year.

Before the general election, in early October last year, Jacinda Ardern had posted a Labour Party policy announcement that the party would repeal and replace the Resource Management Act.

“Labour is committed to delivering better outcomes for our natural and urban environments, and so will repeal and replace the Resource Management Act.

“Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said Labour’s changes will remove complexity and inconsistency, improve environmental outcomes, and reduce costs for all involved.

“Overly restrictive planning rules are one of the causes of high house prices. Labour will continue to improve the availability of land for housing through better integrated planning and investment in urban development, infrastructure and transport, and set standards for quality urban design.”

Last month, under mounting pressure to deal with the housing crisis, Ardern mapped out a timeline for when the public can expect new announcements from the government on housing.

She mentioned the commitment that “high-level announcements” would be made about the Resource Management Act with draft legislation outlining major reform released in May.

Parker’s announcement today gave us some idea of what is intended. Continue reading “Housing crisis is the driver as govt prepares three new laws to replace the vexing RMA”

Steering our youth towards employment and away from the criminal justice system

The welfare of young people was the focus of two of the three statements to emerge from the Beehive since we last checked on what our ministerial servants are doing with our money.

The other was an invitation to come and slurp at an energy-policy trough into which a few million bucks of our taxes has been tossed.

Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced more than $4.3 million from the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi fund will support 478 young people “to overcome barriers to employment, education and training”.

The funding will enable seven community programmes in Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, Tairāwhiti, Manawatū-Whanganui and Kāpiti to provide “pastoral care” and “pre-employment training” over two years.

Two of the programme providers, Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Trust and Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust, are receiving further investment as part of this announcement. This round of funding will enable them to build on their learning and progress to date, Sepuloni said. Continue reading “Steering our youth towards employment and away from the criminal justice system”

Mandatory liquor warnings and a military posting to Tonga make a change from redistributing NZ’s wealth

Latest from the Beehive

Damien O’Connor, as Food Safety Minister, has moved into the business of dispensing advice rather than redistributing millions of dollars.   Or rather, he intends requiring the liquor industry to dispense the advice by putting pregnancy warning labels on alcohol products.

New Zealand shares a Food Standards system with Australia and this mandatory labelling was agreed at a meeting of the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation.

The official communique by the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation can be found here.

We aren’t sure if Ron Mark, as Minister of Defence,  gets too many chances to dole out millions of dollars to businesses, local authorities or community groups deemed worthy of funding.  But he has lined up a comfortable overseas posting for someone within his ministerial bailiwick.

He announced yesterday that New Zealand is deepening its Defence relationships in the Pacific by establishing a resident Defence Adviser in the Kingdom of Tonga. Continue reading “Mandatory liquor warnings and a military posting to Tonga make a change from redistributing NZ’s wealth”

Budget Day plus four – and more millions flow from the Beehive for job training and early education

Budget 2020 is a package that just keeps on giving.

More millions emerged in the education domain yesterday, for early childhood and for job training.

The package of Budget press statements last week included an announcement in the names of the Ministers of Agriculture, Education, Employment and Social Development regarding funding for trades training to support New Zealanders into work.

“Our $1.6 billion Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package will provide opportunities for New Zealanders of all ages to receive trades training,” Education Minister Chris Hipkin said. “It will continue to be added to as part of our ongoing work to rebuild the economy.”

Continue to be added to?  Does that mean there’s more money to come for this programme?

It seems so – and we haven’t had to wait too long for it.  This time the announcement was that $14.79 million is being provided from the Provincial Growth Fund for more pathways to jobs through training and education programmes in regional New Zealand “to support the provinces’ recovery from the economic impacts of Covid-19”.

It was released in the names of Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson.

“New Zealand’s economic recovery will be largely driven by the regions and they need a well-trained workforce and sustainable employment opportunities to get their economies moving,” Shane Jones said. Continue reading “Budget Day plus four – and more millions flow from the Beehive for job training and early education”