Guns and the gangs – Govt responds with a package of crackdown measures after ACT championed a taxing approach

Buzz from the Beehive

Voters are bound to wonder about the Government’s determination to crack down on gangs when official data show more than one firearm offence a day, on average, has been committed by gang members since 2019.

This has happened on the Ardern government’s watch, in other words (although it would be helpful to have figures going further back to cover the period of National-led governments).

But before Point of Order had digested the data and the implications for law-and-order policy, Police Minister Chris Hipkins and Justice Minister Kiri Allan had popped up  to announce a package of measures to help reduce the harm caused by gangs and make communities safer.

The crackdown on gangs was posted on the Beehive website along with news of

  • Two sustainable manufacturing businesses in the Manawatu dipping into a government trough – the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund – and being rewarded to the tune of $1.75 million in one case and up to $2 million in the other.
  • New Zealand and Australia investing a further NZ$1.1 million between them in a new desalination plant to support Kiribati to maintain drinking water supplies. This is in addition to $1.19 million in drought support initiatives already rolled out in Kiribati by New Zealand.
  • New Zealand making “a significant contribution” to support the implementation of the Fiji Gender Action Programme to advance women’s empowerment and social protection. A $12.6 million contribution, to be specific.
  • The Thompsons Creek projects, part of the wider Manuherekia catchment programme in Central Otago, being granted $2.9 million in Jobs for Nature funding to help improve water quality and restore freshwater habitats.

All this will be carefully considered and essential spending, of course, because Finance Minister Grant Robertson is keeping a tight rein on fiscal policy.  Continue reading “Guns and the gangs – Govt responds with a package of crackdown measures after ACT championed a taxing approach”

Seymour is saying the most as the pollies thrust and parry on the pros and cons of Covid policies

The tightening of the border to keep new strains of Covid-19 at bay and demands to hasten the Covid-19 vaccination programme have dominated political debate – at least insofar as press statements provide a measure – in recent days.

Opposition parties have been much busier than the government – or have made much more noise – by releasing several statements on Covid-19 issues since Sunday.

But one of those, posted on both the Scoop and Voxy websites on 11 January in the name of National’s Chris Bishop, perhaps should be discounted because it is a repetition of a statement he released on December 28:

“The announcement today that from early next year all returnees from the UK and US will require pre-departure testing is a sound decision and one that the National Party has been calling for since August when we proposed a Border Protection Agency, National’s Covid-19 Recovery spokesperson Chris Bishop.

This would have made more sense late last year but not early this year, because “early next year” now refers to early 2022.  Moreover, Point of Order could find no government announcement about returnees from the UK and US on January 11 to trigger Bishop’s remarks. Continue reading “Seymour is saying the most as the pollies thrust and parry on the pros and cons of Covid policies”

APEC gets our PM as its new leader (along with an overhaul of its Vision to improve the wellbeing of all its people)

The PM moves fast.  Yesterday she announced she would attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and associated events “virtually”.  Early today – the second and final day of this event – she announced she has taken over the leaderhsiup of APEC.  

We imagine she has done this with much less difficulty than Joe Biden is having in taking over leadership of the USA from a highly aggrieved and capricious Donald Trump.

These APEC announcements were among several posted on the Beehive website since Point of Order last reported on how our ministers are earning their keep.

Most of the others assured us we were prudent not to turn off the Point of Order Trough Monitor simply because Shane Jones no longer can dispense handouts from the $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund and/or the One Billion Trees programme.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor is a dab hand at dispensing, goodies, too, and has stepped up to the plate to announce more than $6 million will be spent on helping farmers improve the health of rivers, wetlands, and habitat biodiversity in Canterbury and Otago as well as improving long-term land management practices. Continue reading “APEC gets our PM as its new leader (along with an overhaul of its Vision to improve the wellbeing of all its people)”