Buzz from the Beehive
Who will blink first – Russian oligarchs or Kiwi duopolists?
We ask because our government has further tightened the thumbscrews on both.
It has introduced a bill to crimp the powers of the supermarkets in this country and it has imposed further sanctions to express this country’s disapproval of Russian and Belarusian military action in Ukraine.
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said the supermarket duopoly has been given plenty of warning.
“If they fail to adequately open up their wholesale market voluntarily, government will make it happen,” he said.
If Putin fails to pull out of Ukraine voluntarily, it is unlikely the Ardern government can pass a bill to make it happen. Continue reading “Clark has a new Bill to back up his threats to supermarkets – let’s see if Mahuta can similarly bring Putin to heel” →
Taxpayers and Wellington ratepayers will be picking up the tab for yet another political decision that has resulted from the breakdown of law and order and the surrendering of the grounds around Parliament to protesters for three weeks.
Wellington City Council and the Government have agreed to support inner-city Wellington businesses which lost significant revenue during what they described as “the illegal occupation at Parliament grounds” with a $1.2 million business relief fund.
In line with previous contributions to council-led response funds, the Government is contributing $200,000. The City Council is investing $1 million in the fund.
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster is disappointed. He says he originally asked for $6 million to bolster central-city businesses which either had to close, or experienced a huge drop in revenue after the protests.
Instead, the Government offered $200,00 for the $1.2m package that will offer any business which suffered a 50 per cent drop in revenue a one-off $30,000 payment.
A more significant announcement tells us of a Government plan to improve how and what our kids are learning at school. Continue reading “Buzz from the Beehive: Enhancing numeracy skills will enable students to work out taxpayers’ share of compensation offer” →
Further government responses to the cataclysmic events in Ukraine loomed large in the latest Beehive announcements. A new 2022 Special Ukraine Policy was introduced and more humanitarian aid is being provided to support people in that war-torn nation.
Parents and wider family members offshore of Ukrainians in New Zealand will be able to come here under a policy benefitting around 4,000 people (which at first blush doesn’t seem to be too generous).
And Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced “our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine” while announcing that NZ will be providing an additional $4 million in funding to support Ukrainian communities.
This funding is in addition to the initial $2 million already provided “and will help those immediately on the ground while we continue to look at options for further support,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
Charity plainly begins at home and much more money than that – $22 million- is being channelled through the race-based interim Māori Health Authority to providers of health services. Continue reading “Buzz from the Beehive – there’s some help for Ukrainians but charity begins at home (funding spiritual healers, for example)” →
In a lame explanation for the state’s failure to prevent the stabbings inside Coundown LynnMall on Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson says the government has acted as quickly as it could to bring in changes to terrorism laws that will cover the planning of a terrorist act.
The Crown tried – and failed – to charge Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen under the Terrorism Suppression Act because planning to commit a terrorist attack is not an offence under current law.
Robertson said legislation to cover planning a terrorist attack, introduced this year, is well progressed and the select committee is close to completing its deliberations.
Slowly but surely – we are told – is the way to do things.
“In these areas it is important to get this right,” he told Morning Report.
“The consequences of getting it wrong are large, and from the government’s perspective we think the policy work has been done, the bill is in and the public have now had their say we now get on with passing that law.”
Oh, and let’s not forget the Immigration Act.
Robertson said work was under way with this legislation, too.
But could he and his government try picking up the pace?
At Point of Order, we say yes, it could – and if it wants to find out how, then a quick phone call to Scott Morrison across the ditch should provide some ideas. Continue reading “Govt should count the deportees sent back from Oz, then phone Canberra for tips on how to be rid of trouble-makers” →
Today is the third birthday of Neve Gayford (or is she Neve Ardern?), an event that was portended on the NZ Herald website in a report which described her dad as a “genius” for rolling three cakes into one for the occasion.
And how (we wonder) would they describe Albert Einstein?
The birthday has not been mentioned on the Beehive website – so far as we can tell from our regular monitoring – but it has been recognised in a post on Cactus Kate’s blog, Asian Invasion.
The highlight of Neve’s life for Cactus Kate so far remains her trip to the UN.
She raised the IQ of the room ten-fold and made more sense that any of them.
And managed to be one of the few attendees to not spit the dummy.
The Beehive has recognised that National Volunteer Week opened today in a statement which announces nominations have opened for the 2021 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.
Another statement recognised that yesterday was World Refugee Day.
Celebrating World Refugee Day is the headline on this statement from Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi, although when we consider the plight of the world’s refugees it’s hard to see what there is to celebrate. Continue reading “It’s hard to see what’s to celebrate when 82.4m people have fled their homes – but Faafoi has found nuggets of cheering news” →
Refugees and volunteers were the subjects of the only two press statements to emerge from the Beehive since our previous report on ministerial announcements.
Saturday was World Refugee Day, giving Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway a pretext for reminding us of his existence, and Sunday was the start of National Volunteer Week, 21 June to 27 June 2020, giving Community and Volunteer Sector Minister Poto Williams a similar platform.
Both occasions left us wondering at Point of Order: who dreams up these occasions?
Lees-Galloway clumsily said:
“The Government is proud to play our part in international humanitarian work to provide support and protection to refugees, and celebrate the contributions our refugee community makes on World Refugee Day today.”
So how does it regard the contributions our refugee community makes on other days? Continue reading “Ministers pay tribute to refugees and volunteers (and Lees-Galloway will have more to say in a Beehive speech)” →
When New Zealand First abruptly vetoed Labour’s plans to repeal the three strikes criminal justice law a few months ago, it was glibly explained away by Labour as just a breakdown in communication that would be resolved by the time a policy paper came anywhere near the Cabinet for consideration. With the Criminal Justice Summit then looming, and clearly more water yet to flow under the bridge, the explanation had a brief air of credibility about it, so was largely believed, and everyone moved on.
It will be more difficult to treat this week’s equally blunt dismissal by the Deputy Prime Minister of Labour’s long-held plans to double the refugee quota in quite the same vein. All the more so, given the Deputy Prime Minister’s accompanying chilling observation that “Labour is not the government.” This would have been news to many people who thought we had a Labour-led coalition government with New Zealand First, and supported by the Greens. Continue reading “Labour is reminded it must toe the NZ First line to remain in office” →