Finance Minister Grant Robertson reminded us – in a speech to Auckland business people – about changes to the Public Finance Act which require him to set out the wellbeing objectives that will guide the Government’s Budget decisions this year.
The Budget will also reflect the te ao Maori perspective that Treasury has been incorporating in the budget process through a framework called He Ara Waiora.
What will this mean in terms of Budget taxing and spending? We can’t wait to find out.
We recall that one question examined by our Treasury officials a few years ago was how tikanga Māori (in particular manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, and kaitiakitanga) could help create a more future-focused tax system.
Perhaps by relying more on koha and less on IRD demands.
Meanwhile Robertson has spelled out the Budget 2021 wellbeing objectives: Continue reading “State servants cool on pay curbs, despite Robertson eschewing the “freeze” tag – but will they warm to a koha-based tax system?” →
Travel on the ferries between the North and South Islands is to become more eco-friendly, helped by the fast-tracking of the consent process for the upgrade of the Picton terminal.
Quarantine-free travel between New South Wales and New Zealand, on the other hand, is being paused – albeit temporarily.
Further bulletins from the Beehive bring news of more houses being built and of changes to our immigration regulations to deal with issues related to Covid-19 are being extended. Continue reading “Cook Strait ferry trips are to become more eco-friendly but trans-Tasman flights (to NSW, temporarily) become less inviting” →
Here’s hoping the government has been using means other than Beehive press statements to advise interested parties about a programme of consulting people about implementing recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques on 15 March 2019.
The public statement was issued yesterday. The first of a nationwide series of meetings starts in Wellington tomorrow.
According to a Radio New Zealand report, each meeting will be “a town-hall style discussion where people can share their thoughts and views directly with Ministers and ask questions”.
But NB – only some citizens will be let into the town hall. Some meetings are for Muslims, some for Muslim youth and some for pan-ethnic or pan-faith groups.
The press statement gives the strong impression the meetings are not intended for most New Zealanders.
Mind you, maybe that’s because the discriminatory tone of the statement is a consequence of hasty drafting. The government issued it hours after RNZ made inquiries. Continue reading “Scant notice is given of town hall meetings to enable us (or just some of us?) to discuss mosque massacre inquiry proposals” →
Latest from the Beehive
It’s there now, up on the Beehive website – the official pronouncement that the Government is increasing the number of defence force personnel supporting the Managed Isolation and Quarantine System and maritime border.
The statement sits alongside –
- A typical spending statement from Shane Jones (the Government will invest $14.6 million in upgrades to Route 52 between Central Hawke’s Bay and Tararua District);
- News from Damien O’Connor that the Government is investing $6.8 million to help upgrade the main road through Motueka; and
- News from Winston Peters and Ron Mark (New Zealand will deploy additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of the New Zealand Defence Force deployment there from six to nine personnel).
Around 500 more defence personnel are being deployed closer to home as the government hastens to buttress the Managed Isolation and Quarantine System and more firmly secure the maritime border. This lifts the total to about 990 defence personnel at managed isolation facilities and will bring the total Defence Force personnel supporting the Covid-19 response to around 1200 (the largest military contingent since Timor-Leste, the government wants us to know).
But we can find no official written record of something else announced yesterday: Helen Clark’s former top adviser, Heather Simpson, is being brought in to lead a new group that will support the Ministry of Health as it ramps up testing at the border. Continue reading “Parker doubles up on his response to court ruling but the PM has yet to post news of jobs for Simpson and Roche” →
Latest from the Beehive
Before Point of Order had wrapped up the previous bulletin, the busy bees in the Beehive were releasing the most comprehensive review of New Zealand’s resource management system since the Resource Management Act (RMA) was enacted in 1991.
At much the same time, the Government was signalling its intention to introduce legislation to allow it to recover some of the costs for managed isolation and quarantine.
This isolation measure is something of a rarity in the run-up to the election – it will result in the Government collecting money rather than borrowing to give it away in billions.
The RMA review is reported in New Directions for Resource Management in New Zealand, commissioned by Environment Minister David Parker and prepared by an independent review panel led by retired Court of Appeal Judge Tony Randerson QC.
Among its recommendations is the replacement of the existing RMA by two separate pieces of legislation, a Natural and Built Environments Act and a Strategic Planning Act. Continue reading “At long last, the vexing RMA is bound for the dustbin – but we are not being rushed to bring in replacement legislation” →
Latest from the Beehive
Housing Minister Megan Woods has vowed “robust systems” will be put in place to ensure the managed isolation and quarantine of returning New Zealanders, RNZ reports. And there will be consequences for people who break those rules.
Robust systems will be put in place? But none other than the PM had led us to believe we already had them.
Correction. She led us to believe the systems were rigorous.
On April 19, discussing what was being considered by the government before a decision was made next day on whether to extend the level 4 lockdown, Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand’s quarantine and border measures were thought to be “absolutely” sufficient to move into level 3.
“They’re very, very rigorous. We have currently 1601 individuals who are in facilities managed by the government,” she said.
Woods now was appearing at a media briefing and promising a robust system after the PM gave her Ministerial responsibility for Managed Isolation and Quarantine and appointed Air Commodore Darryn Webb as Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine.
The politically embarrassing reason for those appointments was the exposure of serious weaknesses which made the system somewhat less than rigorous. Continue reading “NZ’s border systems were “rigorous” (until two infected women exposed their flaws) – now they are being made “robust”” →