Buzz from the Beehive: $55 million for a bashful bunch of builders and a belated patch-up on the Solomon Islands

Another day, another Crown:iwi partnership, this time a deal between the Government and Toitū Tairāwhiti to build homes for families “who need them most”.  In this case ethnicity is the critical factor in determining this need.

On the international front, meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahua has named a new high commissioner to Solomon Islands, presumably (and belatedly) to repair the “relationship failure” she acknowledged when she confirmed that New Zealand, Australia and other Pacific nations were caught out by China’s security deal with Solomon Islands.

Mahuta said of the appointment:

“Alongside our Pacific neighbours, New Zealand remains committed to supporting stability in Solomon Islands and promoting a peaceful and secure Pacific region. We know ensuring strong diplomatic relationships is more important than ever as we continue to address the need for cooperation and cohesion across the region.”

The government isn’t telling us much about its partner in the housing venture in which it is investing $55 million..

Housing Minister Megan Woods gives us its name:

“Our commitment to working with partners like Toitū Tairāwhiti on the critical issue of improving housing for Māori is stronger than ever.”

And

“Through this innovative partnership, $55 million of investment from the Whai Kāinga Whai Oranga fund has been approved to enable Toitū Tairāwhiti to deliver up to 150 new homes.”

She further says Toitū Tairāwhiti were identified through the National Iwi Chairs Forum last year as an iwi ready to partner with the Government to deliver Māori housing in their rohe.

They have already built 51 new homes for whānau in the Eastern Bay of Plenty/Tairāwhiti region. This investment will help them to build 150 more.

But when Point of Order searched for Toitū Tairāwhiti on the internet, we failed to find a website with that name.  We did find a link to the Minister’s press statement, however – it was at the top of the list of Google’s responses.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development gives us a steer,  describing Toitū Tairāwhiti as six Iwi groups that stretch across the East Coast region which

“… has produced a plan to develop immediate housing outcomes where no current supply exists.”

News of the handout for housing and the diplomat headed for Honiara was among a handful of statements posted on the Beehive website since our previous report on what ministers are doing.

Others dealt with new sanctions targeting disinformation and those responsible for cyber attacks on Ukraine and the protection of whistleblowers.

Latest from the Beehive

11 MAY 2022

Government partners with Toitū Tairāwhiti to deliver up to 150 new homes for whānau

Up to 150 new homes will be built for whānau who need them most thanks to a new partnership between the Government and Toitū Tairāwhiti, Minister of Housing Hon Dr Megan Woods and Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing) Peeni Henare have announced.

10 MAY 2022

New sanctions target disinformation and malicious cyber actors

As part of the Government’s ongoing response to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced new sanctions targeting disinformation and those responsible for cyber attacks on Ukraine.

Government bolsters protection for whistleblowers

Significant improvements are being made in New Zealand workplaces to better protect whistleblowers.

New High Commissioner to Solomon Islands announced

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Jonathan Schwass as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to Solomon Islands.

Auckland Light Rail comes off the tracks – and we can only imagine where Twyford might be shunted

Latest from the Beehive –

Winston Peters was chuffed by prospects for New Zealand horse sales, Stuart Nash and Eugenie Sage went out to bat for endangered dolphins, and Carmel Sepuloni and Damien O’Connor were campaigning to introduce Covid-19-affected workers to farm animals.  In the case of help for Covid-19-affected workers, we imagine the ministers were talking about workers who have lost their jobs because of the government’s extreme measures to combat the pandemic rather than workers who have been infected by Covid-19.

Meanwhile Phil Twyford was putting lame ducks into the headlines by announcing a Cabinet agreement to end the twin track Auckland Light Rail process and refer the project to the Ministry of Transport for further work.

Despite extensive cross-party consultation, the said when revealing his latest political setback, government parties were unable to reach agreement on a preferred proposal. The future of the project will now be decided by the government following September’s general election.

Twyford said two credible and deliverable proposals had been received. But neither was sufficiently credible or deliverable – we may suppose – to pass muster with the Cabinet (or New Zealand First components of the Cabinet). Continue reading “Auckland Light Rail comes off the tracks – and we can only imagine where Twyford might be shunted”