Several million dollars have been dished out for projects to build schools, control wilding pine control and what-have-you.
Nurses – on the other hand – have turned down the money they were offered.
In their case, Health Minister Andrew Little is obviously bemused and frustrated.
He was advised last night that Nurses Organisation members had voted to reject the latest proposal to settle their collective agreement.
“Let me be clear: the proposal was one they put to the Government. The Nurses Organisation rejected their own proposal,” he huffed this morning.
We don’t expect the rejection of these announcements: Continue reading “Not all the millions offered by the Ardern govt have been accepted – let’s see how it fares with new law on aversion therapy”
Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood is braying about new labour legislation “bringing benefits to both businesses and employees” and “delivering on a key manifesto commitment to help Kiwis and workplaces stay healthy”.
Actually, employers are doing the delivering. If they don’t deliver, it is fair to suppose, they risk being prosecuted for breaking the law which – from today – doubles minimum sick leave entitlements from five to 10 days.
Mind you, as Wood, points out, employers benefit too:
“Having a healthy and well-rested workforce also helps businesses. Studies have suggested that people working while sick are 20 per cent less productive and the healthiest workers are up to three times more productive.”
On the other hand, not all workers will benefit. Sick leave is available ONLY after six months of continuous employment.
Similarly, not everyone stands to benefit from the government funding provided under the Jobs for Nature programme.
Conservation Minister Kiri Allen has announced $14.9 million Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in “several projects” which “will create much-needed jobs and financial security for families in TeTairāwhiti”.
Four projects, actually, and each of them is being led by local tribes. This suggests race was a significant factor in determining who got money and who didn’t. Continue reading “Not all workers will benefit from new sick leave entitlements – and only some projects are favoured with Jobs for Nature funding”
It has been a quiet week in The Beehive, since the Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau Andrew Little expressed New Zealand’s condemnation of malicious cyber activity by “Chinese state-sponsored actors”.
What are they hatching now (we wonder) and when will they announce it?
Mind you, when we say it has been a quiet week in The Beehive, we don’t mean Ministers have been quiet.
Speaking as Minister of Police (for example), Poto Williams said she will not be backing down on her strong stance not to support the general arming of police because the Māori and Pacific Island communities she represents do not want it.
We kid you not.
And there we were thinking she was the MP for Christchurch East, a community of many ethnicities.
The graph we found on Parliament’s website suggests Maori and Pacific Islanders comprise a minority in the electorate and the substantial numbers of “European” residents comprise a bigger percentage of the total population (around 70,000 people) than they do nation-wide.
Source: Parliamentary Library using data from Stats NZ
Continue reading “Arming the police: Police Minister’s explanation about her stance triggers questions about representation”
The government is getting in behind local government leaders, not only to win hearts and minds on the Three Waters reform programme but also in encouraging job schemes.
Yesterday it announced a $2.5 billion package (critics call it a bribe) to support local government transition through the reforms to New Zealand’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services. Point of Order has looked at this here.
Today the government has signed a new memorandum of understanding with the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, intended to strengthen the partnership to get more young people into work.
Tourism Minister Stuart Nash meanwhile was announcing that five South Island areas have been prioritised in the latest round of decisions from a tourism fund that is supporting infrastructure projects from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island and the Chathams.
Details of 57 nationwide projects to receive support from the fund have been released.
Nash explained that the Tourism Infrastructure Fund supports local communities under pressure from tourism, especially those with small ratepayer bases Continue reading “First came the $2.5bn water package (or bribe?) and then the govt gets behind mayors on employment task force”
One ministerial announcement which invites farmers and growers to engage in consultations on fresh water matters seems to have been issued a tad late to mollify angry farmers. It coincided with news that a farmer group is planning a protest against what it describes as unworkable government regulations and interference in farmers’ lives – and interference in the work of the country’s biggest export sector.
Another announcement reflected concerns in the Beehive to mollify stressed operators in the tourism industry, no longer the country’s biggest earner of overseas revenue since it was crippled by the closing of borders to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Beehive policy-makers have figured they can’t do much to compensate flagging businesses for the billions of dollars lost when overseas visitors stopped coming here – but hey.
There IS something a “be kind” government can do. It can chip in $4.5 million to give them peace of mind – of sorts – by dealing with their mental wellbeing. Continue reading “Govt invites ideas on freshwater farm plans but irked cockies are unlikely to cancel their protest plans”
The spooks are becoming more diverse.
We say this not because we have blown their cover but because we were told so by the Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, Priyanca Radhakrishnan.
The Minister was enthusing about the the newly established graduate programme for ethnic communities, which begins today and will span several public agencies.
New Zealand has 213 ethnicities and more than 160 languages are spoken here, she said.
Ethnic communities make up nearly 20 per cent of our population.
The Ethnic Communities Graduate Programme will provide a pathway into the Public Service for skilled graduates from ethnic communities while improving cultural competency across the Public Sector.
Twenty-three graduates will start work across 12 agencies,
“… including the intelligence community, as part of the Government’s response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain on 15 March 2019, which highlighted the need for more diversity across the Public Service.” Continue reading “Programme to foster greater diversity in the state services (including intelligence work) gets under way”
In a speech delivered at his Ngā Whare Waatea marae, titled The next steps for the United Nation Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson was reassuring about the next steps on the government’s agenda for promoting the interests of Maori.
He Puapua (the report which champions much more co-governance) is not the government’s plan.
The Declaration was never meant to divide us. It is not a tool for separatism. It is not something to be afraid of.
That’s what’s made the recent uproar both confusing and disappointing.
The speech was posted on The Beehive website along with news of – Continue reading “Don’t worry, folks – ‘He Puapua’ is not the plan, and we will all be allowed a say (eventually) in the promotion of indigenous rights”
One Beehive announcement from Megan Woods steers the public to around $1 billion sloshing around in a $3.8 billion trough in her Housing bailiwick by announcing eligibility criteria. Partnership with Maori will be helpful for those who are keen to line up for a slice of the action.
Another announcement from Megan Woods, Minister of Energy and Resources this time, shows the Government wants to ease the burden on taxpayers by
“… preventing taxpayers picking up the bill for the decommissioning of oil fields”.
Whether legislation can “prevent” taxpayers from picking up the bill seems to be a moot point.
But Woods wants to give it a go through a Bill introduced to Parliament today which imposes an explicit statutory obligation on petroleum permit and licence holders to carry out and fund the decommissioning of petroleum fields.
There was a double dose of health stuff on the Beehive website.
First, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand is to be paused while the source of infection of new cases announced in Sydney is investigated.
Second, Health Minister Andrew Little delivered a speech in which he spoke of the government’s vision to create a smarter, fairer health system and its examination of every aspect of our system structure, services, workforce and infrastructure to find “how can we do better?” Climate change loomed large in the matters he discussed. Continue reading “Woods protects taxpayers from oil and gas decommissioning costs – but she invites applications to dip into a $3.8bn housing trough, too”
It’s great to see former Cabinet ministers – two of them elderly white men – landing jobs as members of panels set up to work on the reclassification of “stewardship land”.
Moreover, it’s great to see the government’s fondness for diversity resulting in a former National cabinet minister, Christopher Finlayson, being among the appointees, along with former Labour ministers Philip Woollaston and Mita Ririnui. Remember them?
They have been appointed to two “independent” expert national panels tasked with coming up with revised classification recommendations to the Conservation Minister.
“Stewardship land” is the term given for land allocated to the Department of Conservation when it was formed in 1987. It includes former State forest and Crown Land that were considered to have conservation value.
We are talking about a hefty chunk of the country. Around 30% of conservation land is stewardship areas, approximately 2,508,000 ha – or 9% of New Zealand. Continue reading “Jobs for the boys (including a Nat) – govt sets up two panels to work on the reclassification of DOC’s stewardship land”