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By Newsroom America Feeds at 12 Mar 2018


/////////////////////////////////////////// Public and sector urged to have their say on financial advice code of conduct

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 09:22 PM PDT

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi has welcomed the beginning of public consultation on a new code of conduct for financial advice. “Consumers trust the people and institutions that provide financial advice, so it is important that financial advice is held to appropriate standards,” said Mr Faafoi. “This is one of a range of significant changes to the regulation of financial advice contained in the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill, which is currently before select committee. “Under the Bill, all financial advice to everyday clients will have to meet standards of conduct and competency. This is really important because we know that small changes to investments or savings can ultimately make a big difference, for example to funds saved for retirement. This really affects people’s ultimate quality of life – so we do want to ensure the advice is as good as it can be to enable the best outcomes.” Mr Faafoi says he hopes those who give financial advice will get involved to ensure the new code will be manageable both for advisers and consumers. The Financial Advice Code Working Group was appointed in mid-2017 to develop the new code, alongside the legislative process to introduce the new financial advice regime. Once the new code of conduct has been approved, businesses will have about nine months to get a transitional licence. Businesses will then have two years to become fully licensed.

/////////////////////////////////////////// New Zealand signs up to international CleanSeas campaign

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 08:30 PM PDT

New Zealand has joined the United Nations-led CleanSeas campaign to rid our oceans of plastic, Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. Ms Sage signed a pledge showing New Zealand’s commitment to the global CleanSeas campaign at the Volvo Ocean Race Village in Auckland. More than 40 other countries have already signed up. “Turtles and other wildlife are being killed by litter in our oceans. Also the issue of microplastic in our oceans and its effect on the food chain is a concern for all species and is a potential risk to human health. New Zealand is proud to be joining this campaign to stop this from happening,” Ms Sage said. “Scientists estimate that there are over 150 million tonnes of plastics in the ocean today. If nothing changes then plastic in oceans will weigh more than all the fish that live in them by 2050. “By signing up to the CleanSeas campaign, we are making it clear that New Zealand wants to be part of the solution to this problem.” Johan Salén, Volvo Ocean Race Co-President, welcomed the commitment. “I would like to congratulate the New Zealand Government on joining the United Nations-led CleanSeas campaign to address the impacts plastics are having on our oceans,” he said. “By individuals, businesses, NGOs and governments, such as New Zealand’s, working together we can find innovative solutions to educate, innovate and leave a lasting legacy that will help address this plastic problem.” Ms Sage said the Government was taking steps to prevent litter entering oceans by hitting it at its source on land. Measures included: Banning products containing plastic microbeads – this will come into effect in June. Developing options to get rid of single use plastic bags. Supporting data gathering on marine debris along our coastlines and oceans. Funding initiatives through the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) including Keep New Zealand Beautiful, Sustainable Coastlines and the Packaging Forum. Reviewing implementation of the Waste Minimisation Act to use its powers better and promote waste minimisation. “This Government has pledged to significantly reduce waste to landfill by 2020. It’s an ambitious goal and will take a concerted effort. “We need to move to a circular economy where we make, use and return products and materials instead of the current model where we take resources, use them, then dispose of them. That is the focus of the latest round of the Waste Minimisation Fund which I also announced today.” At the launch Minister Sage will meet New Zealander Bianca Cook, who is a crew member aboard the Turn the Tide on Plastic boat. Cook is the first Kiwi woman to sail in the Volvo Ocean Race since 2001/02. During the race, the Turn the Tide on Plastic crew members hope to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans and are testing salinity, dissolved CO2, algae and microplastics levels in the ocean. “It’s great to see the Volvo Ocean Race supporting the CleanSeas campaign. We all need to work together to stop plastic going into our oceans. We can all play a part by kicking the plastic bag habit and not buying drinks in plastic bottles.” Further information: The CleanSeas campaign was launched by the UNEP in February 2017. The campaign aims to engage governments, the general public, civil society and the private sector in the fight against marine plastic by reducing the use of non-recoverable and single-use plastics. CleanSeas campaign visit: Waste minimisation

/////////////////////////////////////////// Funding available for projects that reduce waste from the outset

Posted: 11 Mar 2018 08:30 PM PDT

The May round of the Waste Minimisation Fund will target projects that build in reducing waste from the outset, Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage said today. “We need to stop thinking that recycling is the answer to our waste problems when actually producing less waste in the first place is better for the environment and our country,” Ms Sage said. “I hope to see projects come through that encourage a circular economy where we make, use and return products and materials instead of the current model where we take resources, use them then dispose of them.” A circular economy aims to reduce the resources and waste used to create a product. Examples include products that are made to last longer and can be repaired or be refurbished. “Designing waste and pollution out of the system makes for a more sustainable society for future generations of New Zealanders. It creates long-term cost savings and more local job opportunities, encourages technical innovation, and reduces the amount of harmful waste produced, which decreases our impacts on climate change.” Applications to the circular economy round of the WMF will open on 1 May and close at noon on 14 May 2018. For more information on the WMF and the circular economy visit . The Ministry for the Environment encourages potential applicants to discuss their projects with them: email

/////////////////////////////////////////// He Rā Maumahara: national commemoration recognises New Zealand Wars for the first time

Posted: 10 Mar 2018 01:04 PM PST

The inaugural national commemoration of the New Zealand Wars has been held in the Bay of Islands, attended by Crown/Māori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis, Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni and Associate Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson.

A local komiti, Te Pūtake o te Riri, Te Tai Tokerau, hosted the He Rā Maumahara commemorations which began on Friday and finishes today. Ministers attended a dawn ceremony at Te Maiki Hill this morning, followed by a remembrance service for the fallen at Christ Church in Russell.

Minister Davis said it is the first time a national commemoration has recognised the New Zealand Wars, which led to the loss of 3000 lives across the country.

“Today also marks the 173rd anniversary of the battle at Kororāreka. This conflict and those that followed had enormous impacts on the families and communities involved on both sides.

“Through the commemoration we gain a deeper understanding of the Northern War and the other wars that collectively shaped relationships between Māori and the Crown.”

“An important part of any relationship is that it is based on mutual understanding and respect for each other. In order to understand who we are as a nation it is vital that we recognise and learn about our past and the events that shaped who we are today.”

Minister Sepuloni described it as an important day of remembrance for those who were caught up in these conflicts.

“The history and stories of the New Zealand Wars will continue to be shared and remembered at events like today, where these stories can be commemorated at a national level. It is an honour to be with the local community to hear their kōrero on how the battles of the Northern War shaped the Far North as we understand it today.

“Māori and non-Māori, born and bred New Zealanders, and recent migrants – no matter who you are – we all stand amongst the places and histories that have shaped our country. Events like this encourage people to come together and reflect on the past but also to think about who we are now as a people, how far we’ve come and what we want for the future.”

Minister Jackson said it’s only right that the inaugural commemoration of this part of our history should be hosted by Te Tai Tokerau.

“While the trauma and devastation of these wars and conflicts have left painful memories for many, there has been limited public recognition.

“Contemporary historians, and the airing in the Waitangi Tribunal by tribal and whanau claimants of the historical injustices that were committed by the Crown, is a history that has been brought to the fore by an emerging generation eager to do the right thing.

“This is an opportunity to respectfully share our stories and to weave our communities together, for both Māori, Pākeha and all New Zealanders.”

The battle of Kororāreka, which erupted on 11 March in 1845, occurred against the backdrop of Hone Heke’s well known protests at the flagpole at Kororāreka (Russell) and precipitated later armed conflicts, including at Puketutu, Ohaeawai and Ruapekapeka, now known as the Northern War.

The commemoration was supported by Te Pūtake o Te Riri, the Wars and Conflicts in New Zealand Fund, administered by Te Puni Kokiri.

Notes for editors

11 March is the anniversary of the Battle of Kororāreka. The battle was the first in the Northern War and the beginning of a series of wars and conflicts that raged throughout New Zealand until 1872. Every year local hapū and the Kororāreka/ Russell community commemorate this event by raising the Kara (flag) on Te Maiki Hill at dawn and hold a remembrance service. In the early hours of 11 March 1845, several hundred Ngā Puhi warriors attacked Kororāreka (Russell). Hōne Heke and Kawiti were key figures in the attacking forces. Heke wanted the Māori-language version of the Treaty of Waitangi to be honoured. He also wanted to preserve Māori independence and chiefly authority in the face of what he saw as increasing interference by the government. Heke did not wish to harm the settlers, most of whom were evacuated to the ships Victoria and Active, which were anchored in the harbour. The battle saw between a dozen and 20 men killed on each side. The British ships sailed for Auckland next day, effectively surrendering Russell to Heke and Kawiti. Te Pūtake o te Riri | Wars and Conflicts in New Zealand Fund supports whānau, hapū and iwi to promote and deliver activities and events that commemorate the New Zealand Wars.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Minister congratulates New Zealands medal winning Paralympian

Posted: 09 Mar 2018 12:08 PM PST

Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni says Kiwi Paralympic skier Corey Peters has done New Zealand proud winning a bronze medal on the first day of the Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. “A huge congratulations to Corey Peters for his outstanding achievement,” says Ms Sepuloni. “His hard work, determination and talent has paid off and he continues to be an inspirational role model to all New Zealanders. “Corey Peters put New Zealand on the medal table on the very first day of the competition and we are all extremely proud and excited. “I also want to acknowledge the hard work, training and dedication of the Kiwi support team, coaches and officials in helping prepare all three of our Para athletes for this highly competitive event. “Like many other Kiwis across the country I will be following their progress with great interest as they continue to take on the world in the coming days. “I wish each of our Para athletes the best of luck and look forward to congratulating them all in person when we officially welcome them home later this month.

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