The trade news is good, the climate-warming news is grim – and a bellbird is enlisted in rhetoric to pacify a tyrant

Developments overseas account for much of the latest ministerial announcements and speeches posted on The Beehive website.

The good news (at first blush) is that New Zealand and the United Kingdom have signed a Free Trade Agreement.  The two governments are aiming for this to enter into force by the end of the year, after both partners have ratified it through their respective parliaments.

The bad news – grim would be a better word – is that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report is a stark reminder of why New Zealand should brace for the worst effects of climate change.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta meanwhile has posted New Zealand’s Statement to the UN Human Rights Council which condemns Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.  And again,  Vladimir Putin has not been named, as if denying him the oxygen of publicity might change things.

Back on the home front, the Government has announced it is removing the self-isolation requirements for vaccinated travellers to New Zealand and enabling Kiwis to come here from the rest of the world sooner.

It also is stepping in to support local communities build up tourism facilities through a new funding round with a special focus on Matariki commemorations. The sum of  $16.5 million was allocated for this funding round in the $200 million Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Reset Plan last year.

And the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available to people aged 18 and over, following Cabinet’s confirmation yesterday. Continue reading “The trade news is good, the climate-warming news is grim – and a bellbird is enlisted in rhetoric to pacify a tyrant”