Govt moves to modernise control of our meds, but wait: Māori healers can bring the Treaty (signed in 1840) into the mix

Buzz from the Beehive

Conflicts between Treaty of Waitangi demands to protect Māori healing methods and the influence of medical science on health regulators have been anticipated, as the Government introduces the Therapeutic Products Bill in Parliament.

The Bill, aimed at modernising the way medicines, medical devices and natural health products are regulated, replaces the Medicines Act 1981 and Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985 with a comprehensive regulatory regime “that is fit for the future”.

But the Treaty-twitchy government is eager to avoid the conflict that seems inevitable when  modernising the regulatory regime – to provide all New Zealanders with health products and services that are safe, high-quality, and effective – rubs up against obligations to preserve the Maori way of doing things.

Accordingly, Associate Health Minister (Māori) Peeni Henare tells us of “a new workstream” which  will consider how “rongoā” might be protected in legislation.

Rongoā is traditional Māori medicine, including herbal medicine made from plants, physical techniques such as massage, and spiritual healing.

This makes it an “alternative treatment”,  but in this country it is a Beehive-blessed and state-subsidised alternative treatment.  Continue reading “Govt moves to modernise control of our meds, but wait: Māori healers can bring the Treaty (signed in 1840) into the mix”

Too much fun is coming out of Otago – so the govt has put $2.25m into a trough for other regions to have a lick

Buzz from the Beehive

It’s a toss-up to decide which is more unnecessary –  the investment of $2.25 million of public money in an industry which has almost doubled its revenue over the past year or the drafting and legislating of a bill to have things done that could be done without a statute.

The investment is in the rapidly growing game development sector.  The latest data from the New Zealand Game Developers Association shows the total revenue for the industry is $407 million, compared to $276 million a year ago.

But hey. The government can’t stand by and let so much of this development take place in the city of Dunedin.

The public therefore is being called on to chip in to spread the workload to other centres.

This will be done by establishing a new trough:  the $2.25 million will help to establish new regional hubs to provide contestable grants and skills development to game development studios across the country. Continue reading “Too much fun is coming out of Otago – so the govt has put $2.25m into a trough for other regions to have a lick”

Lessons from the past: how the state went shopping in Austria to have 500 houses assembled in Titahi Bay in the 1950s

Buzz from the Beehive

Readers who go wandering around the Titahi Bay area of Porirua may well stumble upon the consequences of the state acting both as land developer and builder of state-owned homes when the private sector failed to meet the demand for housing in the early 1950s.

In 1952 the then Minister of Housing, W.S.Goosman, approved 1000 prefabricated houses to be bought overseas.

Five hundred of the pre-fabricated dwellings came from Austria to meet state housing demand.

These were assembled in Tītahi Bay by 194 Austrian tradesmen brought in for the task. After completing their work some of them stayed on and became New Zealanders.

The Titahi Bay Community Group website says the Titahi Bay houses were pre-cut and manufactured with Austrian timber in Austria but were designed in New Zealand.   

The Austrian houses still form a distinct neighbourhood of Porirua City and the descendants of several young Austrian men who came here to work on the project live in the Bay area to this day.

Point of Order was prompted to wonder what could be learned (if anything) from the Titahi Bay initiative on reading the latest statement from Housing Minister Megan Woods

She said the Government is driving innovation and ramping up progress in Rotorua with the first six of 37 homes delivered with the fast, modern, off-site building method known as OSM (offsite manufacturing).

OSM is the construction of buildings and components of buildings offsite in a factory, which are then transported to the sites where they are needed.

Continue reading “Lessons from the past: how the state went shopping in Austria to have 500 houses assembled in Titahi Bay in the 1950s”