Algorithm charter (with a Maori perspective embedded) is a world first while banking become NZ’s first sector committed to a living wage

Latest from the Beehive

While Shane Jones was distributing his latest serving of public funds to causes in the Far North, a New Zealand First colleague was showing that veterans haven’t been forgotten in The Great Covid Handout.

Ron Mark, Minister for Veterans Affairs, announced the Coalition Government has approved a one-off grant of $2.53 million for the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RSA) and – in a separate statement – said 11 further declarations of operational service have been made. This means those who took part in those deployments will qualify for support and services from Veterans’ Affairs.

While the money-dispensing ministers were focused on different constituencies, another minister was announcing world-breaking news.

Our government became the first in the world to outline a set of standards to guide the use of algorithms by public agencies when Statistics Minister James Shaw launched the Algorithm Charter for Aotearoa New Zealand. The aim is to give New Zealanders confidence that data is being used safely and effectively across government.

The charter has been signed by 21 agencies, including the Ministry for the Environment, Ministry of Education, the Department of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Justice, and Inland Revenue. Continue reading “Algorithm charter (with a Maori perspective embedded) is a world first while banking become NZ’s first sector committed to a living wage”

A day later, the culture sector and farmers (some, anyway) get a second helping of public funding

 Just a day after announcing financial help for the culture community and for farmers, the Beehive brought news of even more money for those groups.

In the case of the farmers, mind you, the help is focused on just one region.  The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice.

This followed the announcement on Wednesday of a $700 million fund that will create jobs in riparian and wetland planting, removing sediments and other initiatives to prevent farm run off entering waterways. The fund is for the primary sector, iwi/Māori, local government and their communities.

The creative sector learned the government has set up a jobseekers programme and four new funds to help the arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19.

This is intended to support thousands of jobs with a $175 million package, a sum described as “a crucial economic boost to support the arts and creative sector”, which contributes nearly $11 billion a year to GDP, employs 90,000 people and supports the wellbeing of communities.

According to the details the government is offering: Continue reading “A day later, the culture sector and farmers (some, anyway) get a second helping of public funding”

Budget Day plus four – and more millions flow from the Beehive for job training and early education

Budget 2020 is a package that just keeps on giving.

More millions emerged in the education domain yesterday, for early childhood and for job training.

The package of Budget press statements last week included an announcement in the names of the Ministers of Agriculture, Education, Employment and Social Development regarding funding for trades training to support New Zealanders into work.

“Our $1.6 billion Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package will provide opportunities for New Zealanders of all ages to receive trades training,” Education Minister Chris Hipkin said. “It will continue to be added to as part of our ongoing work to rebuild the economy.”

Continue to be added to?  Does that mean there’s more money to come for this programme?

It seems so – and we haven’t had to wait too long for it.  This time the announcement was that $14.79 million is being provided from the Provincial Growth Fund for more pathways to jobs through training and education programmes in regional New Zealand “to support the provinces’ recovery from the economic impacts of Covid-19”.

It was released in the names of Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson.

“New Zealand’s economic recovery will be largely driven by the regions and they need a well-trained workforce and sustainable employment opportunities to get their economies moving,” Shane Jones said. Continue reading “Budget Day plus four – and more millions flow from the Beehive for job training and early education”