Proposals to put the brakes on climate pollution run into a red light from Taxpayers’ Union

One lobby group spoke up on behalf of low-income people, when the government announced it is proposing to make electric, hybrid and fuel efficient vehicles more affordable.

Another – which speaks for car dealers – expressed a willingness to talk about the government’s plans.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced the policy, aimed at enabling families to “choose a vehicle that’s better for the climate and their back pocket”.

Presumably this will be done by calling on taxpayers to pick up a part of the tab.

Genter said the cars, utes and vans we use every day are also the fastest-growing source of harmful climate pollution and account for nearly 70 per cent of our transport emissions.  Continue reading “Proposals to put the brakes on climate pollution run into a red light from Taxpayers’ Union”

Genter stalls on question about NZTA safety campaign costs – so what does this tell us about her performance?

Julie Anne Genter, Minister of Women and self-appointed minister for culling old white blokes from board rooms, brings performance into considerations when she champions a policy of government intervention to get the gender mix right in the public service workplace.

She has brought the fairness argument into her rhetoric (having more women in leadership “is the right thing to do”) but further asserts

“… diversity helps organisations function more effectively”.

And:

“More women in leadership means better decision making, better organisational resilience and better performance.”

Better performance by what measure?

Point of Order wonders  about this in the light of Genter’s performance at Question Time in Parliament yesterday. Continue reading “Genter stalls on question about NZTA safety campaign costs – so what does this tell us about her performance?”

Getting the numbers right in Genter’s drive (long-distance) to zero road deaths

Catching up on our ministerial press statements after the Christmas break, we noted a small glitch – which was quickly corrected – in something from Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter’s office.

The corrected version said the official holiday period had ended with nine people tragically killed in crashes on New Zealand roads.

This was three people fewer than the 12 who died in the previous holiday season.

The original version of the statement had said nine was two people fewer than the 12 who died last holiday season. Continue reading “Getting the numbers right in Genter’s drive (long-distance) to zero road deaths”

Greenpeace gets heated over decision to protect exports and keep farming out of ETS

Greenpeace  has  got its  knickers  in a  twist  over the government’s decision   not to include  agriculture  within  the emissions trading scheme  as part of   reforms   which the government  says  will  help  improve the  operation of  the  scheme.

But  Greenpeace registers  “disbelief”   that what it calls  the country’s biggest polluter  is  still being excluded from the  scheme.

Point of Order,  noting the  increasing   stridency  of Greenpeace lobbying  on  climate change, believes it  reflects the organisation’s dismay  that the  Green  Party  is  not  doing its  job  (as Greenpeace  sees it) on  climate  change.

Almost  certainly  Winston Peters, as  leader of NZ  First,  put the   kibosh on  bringing  agriculture into the ETS. He  knows it would  not only  choke  the country’s leading export industries   but   kill  off  any support  NZ First  has tried to  win by  portraying itself  as  the “saviour”  of  failing provincial  economies. Continue reading “Greenpeace gets heated over decision to protect exports and keep farming out of ETS”

The Trough Monitor: $490,000 for bike park in Tourism Minister’s home patch

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones isn’t the only one to be bringing good cheer to those deemed worthy of benefiting from the Provincial Growth Fund.

The Point of Order Trough Monitor drew attention to Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis dipping into the fund to bring good news to his Te Tai Tokerau patch yesterday.

The announcement came in a press statement headed PGF invests in final push to complete Waitangi Mountain Bike Park,

The Government seems keen to get us pedalling.   Just a few days earlier Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced the NZ Transport Agency will provide $23 million over the next three years to expand the Bikes in Schools and cycle skills education to get more Kiwi kids on their bikes.

Davis announced a more modest sum: 

The Government is backing a high-arenaline tourism project in Northland by investing $490,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund towards the final stage of the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today.

Funding for the $2.1 million project has come from a variety of sources and it is anticipated that the project could create over 160 jobs after 10 years. When completed, the community-owned park will offer mountain bikers 72 kilometres of trails catering to all abilities, and is expected to attract 15,000 new visitors to the region after three years.

“This will be a premium tourist attraction for the Bay of Islands that will create jobs in the long term and support the success of surrounding businesses,” Kelvin Davis said.

“Cycle tourism is a growing part of the market. The Waitangi Mountain Bike Park will complement Northland’s other major cycling attraction – Pou Herenga Tai Far North Cycle Way – and the long term plan is to connect the two attractions.”

Continue reading “The Trough Monitor: $490,000 for bike park in Tourism Minister’s home patch”

Here’s hoping the Minister for Seniors carries more clout than the Minister for Women

We were so busy monitoring the antics of our politicians yesterday that we failed to notice we should have been taking time out for celebration.

It was the International Day of Older Persons, see – a time to recognise the importance of older people in our society and the valuable contribution they make every day.

Your co-editors both come (ahem) into the older person category and both recognise their own importance in our society.  They recognise the valuable contribution they make every day, too.

But somehow they missed the press statement from Tracey Martin, Minister for Seniors, which said the International Day of Older Persons Continue reading “Here’s hoping the Minister for Seniors carries more clout than the Minister for Women”

Ethnicity data to be collected for “balance” in appointments to State sector boards

The strong whiff of meritocracy being further undermined in this country has reached Point of Order in the form of a press statement from Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa.

She says the Cabinet has agreed to collect ethnicity data for candidates appointed to State sector boards and committees.

These data will be used

” … to identify opportunities and challenges in delivering our goal of ensuring Government bodies have a balanced membership reflective of wider New Zealand society.”

In other words, ethnic identity will be a factor in appointing people to State-sector boards and committees and “balanced membership” will be more important than the abilities of appointees. Continue reading “Ethnicity data to be collected for “balance” in appointments to State sector boards”