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By Newsroom America Feeds at 13 Feb 23:53


/////////////////////////////////////////// Depth and diversity focus of Hauora Māori Scholarships

Posted: 13 Feb 2018 06:37 PM PST

Applications open today for health scholarships designed to provide opportunities for Māori in the health and disability sector. Announcing the opening of applications for Hauora Māori Scholarships 2018, Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa says the scholarships are a great opportunity for students and health care workers committed to training and excellence. "These scholarships offer support to assist students to achieve, and to excel in their chosen health career,” Jenny Salesa says. She says enhancing and encouraging Māori representation in the health workforce is hugely important so that the system responds effectively to the needs of Māori. “From community health workers, to dentistry, dietitians, health management and more, these scholarships provide for a range of exciting opportunities. “The New Zealand health system will benefit from the depth and diversity of recipients.” There are 11 scholarship categories and three special award categories: the Excellence Awards, the John McLeod Award and Te Apa Māreikura Award. The scholarships and awards range in value from $1000 to $10,000 each. To be eligible for a Hauora Māori Scholarship, applicants must be a student enrolled and attending a university, polytechnic, wānanga or private training establishment based in New Zealand and have whakapapa and/or cultural links with Te Ao Māori or Māori communities. They must demonstrate a commitment to and/or competence in Māori health and wellbeing and be studying a health or disability-related, NZQA accredited course. Online applications open at 5pm today (14 February) and close on 28 March. More details are available on the Ministry of Health website: Contact: Kieran Meredith, 027 879 2336

/////////////////////////////////////////// Mental health workers to benefit from pay equity

Posted: 13 Feb 2018 04:42 PM PST

Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes 3,800 mental health and support workers being included in a pay equity settlement announced today. “Paying women fairly is important and I am delighted with today’s announcement,” says Ms Genter. “Women’s hard work has consistently been undervalued, but this Government is committed to changing that. “A woman shouldn’t be paid less just because she is working in a female dominated industry. “As Minister for Women I am committed to addressing pay equity for New Zealand women and ensuring women’s needs are better represented. “Today is part of a long journey of women being acknowledged and valued for all the work that they do. “This announced settlement today is much needed for a sector that has been in dire straits and struggling to retain staff. “I know Kristine Bartlett will be thrilled that the hard work that she and her union put in will be helping even more people in another female dominated industry.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Pay equity for mental health and addiction workers

Posted: 13 Feb 2018 04:34 PM PST

Minister of Health Dr David Clark says an estimated 3,800 mental health and addiction workers will soon receive the pay they deserve. Dr Clark met yesterday with unions and employers to confirm the Government has agreed to negotiate an agreement to extend the Care and Support Pay Equity Settlement to mental health and addiction support workers. “Today, we are correcting a problem created by the previous Government, which failed to make the settlement broad enough to include mental health and addiction workers. We are doing the right thing by these workers,” says Dr Clark. “Paying our mental health and addiction workers what they deserve will also help ensure we have a robust workforce to look after people needing their care.” The Care and Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlement Act came in to force on 1 July 2017 giving 55,000 care and support workers in aged and disability residential care, and home and community support services a pay rise of between 15 and 50 per cent. A claim was lodged with the Employment Relations Authority by PSA and E tū, seeking that mental health and addiction support workers be paid the same increased wage rates. The Ministry of Health will now begin formal negotiations with unions and employers. “It is in everyone’s interests to ensure these vital workers are paid fairly for the important work they do in our communities,” says Dr Clark. ”I thank the support workers, unions and providers for their patience and look forward to a quick and satisfactory conclusion to the negotiations.”

/////////////////////////////////////////// Americas Cup Village proposal offers win-win-win

Posted: 13 Feb 2018 04:00 PM PST

The Government and Auckland Council have today released plans for a world class America’s Cup village on Auckland’s waterfront to host the 2020-21 cup defence. It provides for at least seven syndicate bases around two basins in the Wynyard area with provision for restaurants and bars, public viewing, and hospitality areas. The proposal incorporates elements of the Wynyard Basin option, agreed by the council in December and publicly notified last month, and the Wynyard Point variant explored by the Government. The Auckland Council and the Government are cooperating on all aspects of the “hybrid’ proposal including consents, which can be achieved in a similar time frame to the notified option. Crucial to the revised village plan were negotiations between officials and Dutch company Stolthaven Terminals that will see it vacate its southern tank farm site on Wynyard Point. We thank Stolthaven for their cooperation. That has cleared the way for more land-based locations and reduced the need to build out into the harbour. Economic Development Minister David Parker says the proposal is a win-win-win for all parties, reducing costs and environmental impact while offering an excellent venue for the defence. Costs have increased across all options but the relative cost of this proposal is expected to be $15 million to $20 million less than the Basin option before putting a value on the harbour intrusion, which had also been significantly reduced. It could have been possible to have a smaller extension of Halsey Wharf, but the Government is prepared to compromise to provide - and exceed - the number of double bases requested by Emirates Team New Zealand, Mr Parker says. “I believe the proposal will create a legacy for Auckland and all of New Zealand – our main aim alongside creating a top class venue for Team New Zealand and the Cup defence in 2021 and, hopefully, beyond,” Mr Parker says. As part of the plan ETNZ will be granted the prime spot at the end of Hobson Wharf in a development worth $30 million. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Mr Parker and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff have all expressed their wish to minimise the intrusion into the harbour, alongside providing a first class location, and the plan delivers on that. By reducing the proposed extension of Halsey Wharf from 75 metres to 35 metres and altering the layout the proposal restores important sight lines lost under the prior plan. Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said he was pleased the Council and the Government had worked collaboratively to reach a consensus. “The Wynyard Hybrid option reduces the need for large extensions into the harbour while creating a vibrant and connected America’s Cup village that competitors and the public can enjoy,” he says. “The America’s Cup will be fantastic for New Zealand. We want Auckland to host the cup, and Council and the Government are working with Emirates Team New Zealand to ensure that we can provide the infrastructure in a timely manner and deliver an incredible event,” says Mr Goff. The proposal offers the added advantage of bringing forward the redevelopment of Wynyard Point in line with the Auckland Council’s longer term plans. Mr Parker said under the plan unveiled today there was flexibility to make changes to the layout of bases on Wynyard Point if ETNZ had further concerns and was willing to engage in further discussions on those. “We believe we have put forward plans and made changes that meet Emirate Team New Zealand’s concerns,” Mr Parker said Mr Goff has discussed the Wynyard hybrid option with Auckland’s councillors and it will go before council’s governing body in the near future. Agreement has not yet been reached with ETNZ on the hosting agreement and the location. The plans can be viewed at:

/////////////////////////////////////////// New website will help protect home buyers and sellers

Posted: 13 Feb 2018 02:50 PM PST

Associate Justice Minister Hon Aupito William Sio today launched a new website for people selling or buying houses. Mr Sio says the website will help New Zealanders with what can be their biggest financial decision and the complex process of buying and selling a house. “Buying a house is often the biggest financial commitment families make and it’s also hugely significant for New Zealanders to have that family home. “We want to ensure that everyone buying or selling is able to get good independent advice throughout the process.” is hosted by the Real Estate Authority (formerly Real Estate Agents Authority). The Real Estate Authority is the Crown entity responsible for the regulation of real estate agents under the Real Estate Agents Act. Mr Sio says supports the Government’s focus on protecting the rights of New Zealanders when they are buying and selling property. “ is a comprehensive and useful source of independent guidance that will be a huge help to New Zealanders when they are involved in real estate transactions. I believe will empower Kiwis and help them make good decisions when they are buying and selling their homes,” Mr Sio says. The website was launched at a reception at Parliament today hosted by the Minister.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Report on Marlborough salmon farms

Posted: 13 Feb 2018 12:00 PM PST

A report by an independent panel into the future location of six salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds has been released by Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash. The report was written by an independent Advisory Panel following public hearings in April-May 2017 and provided to the previous government in July 2017. Mr Nash is yet to form a view on its findings. He has released it in order to update all interested parties. “I am making the report public to enable the people and groups who made submissions to study it while I consider the next steps. I also want to thank the members of the Advisory Panel for their work. “I am some months from making a final decision,” Mr Nash said. “I intend to discuss the report with a number of people, agencies and iwi who are following this issue closely. “In particular, I intend to work closely with the Marlborough District Council around the best process from here. I also intend to ensure the voices of all iwi in the area are heard. Further, I will allow time for the Ministry for Primary Industries to undertake scientific work around water quality and to test policy and legal advice. “The management of aquaculture in the Marlborough Sounds is an issue where all interests are best served by the Crown working alongside local government and iwi to find the best outcome,” Mr Nash said. The Advisory Panel considered written submissions and held hearings on a proposal to relocate up to six Marlborough Sounds salmon farms to more environmentally sustainable sites. It recommended that three salmon farms be relocated: Otanerau Bay in Queen Charlotte Sound to Tio Point in Tory Channel Waihinau Bay to Richmond Bay South, both in Pelorus Sound Ruakaka Bay to Horseshoe Bay in Pelorus Sound The Panel considered relocation of the three farms would enable the New Zealand King Salmon Company to improve environmental outcomes without sacrificing jobs and economic returns. The company could implement management standards that ensure the effects of salmon farming on the seabed of these sites are effectively monitored and managed. The report says relocation would reduce adverse effects on the seabed, lessen the visual impacts of the farm sites on the natural landscapes and features of the Sounds, and improve fish health. The Panel also believes relocation would be more consistent with resource management principles. The panel declined to recommend the relocation of three other sites. Its decision was primarily based on cultural factors, landscape considerations under the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, and navigational safety considerations. There are currently twelve sites in the Marlborough Sounds which have resource consent for finfish farming. The proposed new sites were put forward as potential substitutes for existing consented sites. The report is available on the MPI website here:

/////////////////////////////////////////// Natural catastrophes and extreme weather are NZ's top risks

Posted: 12 Feb 2018 09:00 PM PST

The Minister for Climate Change says the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest risk survey clearly shows New Zealand is on the right track with our goals of a net zero carbon economy. Environmental issues are now some of the highest risks for New Zealand, according to the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Risks Report. “When it comes to global risks of highest concern for doing business in New Zealand natural catastrophes are at the top of the list, followed by extreme weather events,” says James Shaw. Water crises and failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation rank as the 7th and 8th highest risks respectively to doing business in New Zealand. According to the WEF, New Zealand’s main risks are: Natural catastrophes Extreme weather events Cyberattacks Asset bubble Failure of urban planning Failure of critical infrastructure Water crises Failure of climate change mitigation & adaptation Failure of financial mechanism or institution, terrorist attack, data fraud or theft “When it comes to climate change, the evidence is mounting and it confirms that this Government is on the right track to lead New Zealand towards a net zero emissions economy. “It presents both the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunities in at least a generation,” says the Minister for Climate Change. The World Economic Forum has been producing Global Risk reports for more than a decade by surveying 1000 business leaders in the Forum’s network. Surveys in recent years record that environmental risks have grown in prominence. The WEF Global Risks Report 2018 says: “… all five risks in the survey’s environmental category rank higher than average for both likelihood and impact over a 10-year horizon. This follows a year characterized by high-impact hurricanes, extreme temperatures and the first rise in CO2 emissions for four years. We have been pushing our planet to the brink and the damage is becoming increasingly clear. Biodiversity is being lost at mass-extinction rates, agricultural systems are under strain and pollution of the air and sea has become an increasingly pressing threat to human health. A trend towards nation-state unilateralism may make it more difficult to sustain the long-term, multilateral responses that are required to counter global warming and the degradation of the global environment.”

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