Yesterday was Friday so Shane Jones and his bag(s) of goodies should have been in ….
Oh, yes. Back on his home patch of Northland and (no surprise) he returned to distribute money.
Meningitis was there, too, as a political rival , Whangarei MP Shane Reti, pointed out.
An agenda item for next week’s Northland District Health Board meeting confirms that there has been another case of Meningitis W in Northland, Reti said in a press statement.
“This brings the total to two this year after a seven month old child contracted the disease earlier in the year. There were seven cases of Meningitis W in Northland last year and an outbreak was declared on 8 November, resulting in one death.”
Reti had “grave concerns” that meningitis would flare up again over winter.
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones can’t be in two places at once and so had to share the headlines today, as more handouts from the Provincial Growth Fund were announced.
Jones took care of announcing a dip into the fund to boost economic growth in Otago.
Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis shared the limelight. He enthused about Clutha Gold being one of the 22 Great Rides of Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trail “and we’re delighted to be encouraging more people to get on a bike and experience the beauty of Central Otago through this investment,” he said.
The press statement says the PGF will provide a “grant” of $6.5m to the project and the Government’s Cycle Trail Enhancement and Extension Fund will provide an additional $1.5 million.
A press statement from the office of the Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau, meanwhile, drew attention to a more modest bucket of PGF goodies for the Wairarapa.
In this case New Zealand First’s Ron Mark had the pleasure of making the announcement in Carterton. He is a former mayor of Carterton.
A “strategic investment into the development of whenua” was another announcement today.
Budget 2019 allocates $56.1 million over four years towards implementing the Whenua Māori Programme which Mahuta announced in February.
We were alerted to these goings-on with taxpayers’ money by the Point of Order Trough Monitor, which keeps tabs on Beehive announcements of government spending, investments, handouts, giveaways – and so on.
No – and there was more than one delivery of Easter goodies.
This lot did not go to the Far North.
The Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau, delivered his largess (paid for by taxpayers) to the top of the South Island. The Point of Order Trough Monitor was immediately alerted.
Just a few days before Waitangi Day the government announced it has earmarked several million more dollars for Maori projects. During Waitangi Day commemorations it may express its willingness to give iwi leaders a greater say in governance, too (but without providing critical details).
Empowering iwi leaders in the name of “partnership” is a matter with profound constitutional implications, of course. But when Point of Order raised questions last September about the government’s co-governance agenda and the constitutional impacts on all Kiwi citizens, we received no answers.
If they are not hard at work in their Beehive offices, our Ministers will be busy with engagements here and there around the country – or engaged in very important business overseas.
The Point of Order Jetsetting Monitor, which registers overseas ministerial travel plans reported in Beehive press statements, alerted us to the whereabouts of two ministers today – they have flitted off to Australia “to share Waitangi spirit with Australian Kiwis” (as the headline on their joint press statement puts it).
The statement says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta will join an estimated 5,000 New Zealanders living in Australia at Sydney’s Waitangi Festival on Saturday.