Releases - beehive.govt.nz

By Newsroom America Feeds at 27 Mar 2018

Releases

/////////////////////////////////////////// New targets begin historic path to poverty reduction

Posted: 26 Mar 2018 09:30 PM PDT http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/ik1EMjKdbYY/new-targets-begin-historic-path-poverty-reduction?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

New Zealand will take its next steps towards fulfilling new child poverty legislation by setting three year targets to reduce poverty and hardship among children, Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty Reduction Jacinda Ardern says. “I want New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child, and for adults to be proud of how we treat our children. “The Government has already set ambitious 10 year targets that will effectively halve the rate of child poverty using measures in my Child Poverty Reduction Bill. “These three year targets will keep us on track for reaching those 10 year targets. Using the primary measures defined in the Bill, the three year targets are: On the before housing measure*: Reduce the proportion of children in low income households by 6 percentage points by 2020/21 - a reduction of around 70,000 children. On the after housing costs measure*: Reduce the proportion of children in low income households by 4 percentage points by 2020/21 – a reduction of around 40,000 children. On the material hardship measure*: Reduce the proportion of children in material hardship by 3 percentage points by 2020/21– a reduction of around 30,000 children. “By meeting these targets, New Zealand will be well on the way to making a meaningful difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. This is on top of the difference we will make with the extra support being given through the Families Package from 1 July this year – 384,000 families will be better off by an average $75 per week. “This is about putting an end to a political era that tolerated hardship and poverty among thousands of our kids, and instead refocusing governments on what’s needed to ensure all kids have the opportunity to thrive. Our children deserve nothing less,” Jacinda Ardern said. More information on the Bill can be found here and on the ten year targets here. *The four primary measures of poverty and hardship in the Bill: 1. Low income before housing costs (below 50 % of median income, moving line) 2. Low income after housing costs (50% median, fixed line) 3. Material hardship (using the EU’s standard threshold which going without things such as healthy food, warm clothes, or delaying going to the doctor) 4. A persistence measure (for low income, material hardship or both. The data is not currently available for this measure)

/////////////////////////////////////////// Unjust gay convictions one step closer to being wiped

Posted: 26 Mar 2018 08:54 PM PDT http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/vnuv7dy8aM0/unjust-gay-convictions-one-step-closer-being-wiped?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

A Bill demonstrating the Government’s ongoing commitment to right the wrongs of the past for those who were convicted of historical homosexual offences has passed its second reading says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “The Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill introduces a scheme to expunge convictions for men for specific offences that were decriminalised by the Homosexual Reform Act 1986. To be wiped, the conduct must not be an offence under today’s laws. “Nearly every single submission received expressed clear support for the intent of the Bill. I would particularly like to thank those submitters who shared their stories with the committee. “The Justice Select Committee recommended a small number of changes to the Bill. These include minor technical changes, altering offence provisions to better align with other legislation and to ensure that people are not put under pressure to disclose their expunged convictions. “The main purpose of the Bill is to create a statutory scheme for a convicted person, or a representative if that person is deceased, to apply for their conviction to be expunged remains unchanged. “This Bill empowers those convicted and their representatives by providing an effective way to right the wrongs of the past,” says Andrew Little.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Helping our kids develop the skills to be digital thinkers and creators

Posted: 26 Mar 2018 08:16 PM PDT http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/HRIWj9b25jM/helping-our-kids-develop-skills-be-digital-thinkers-and-creators?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

A $6 million ‘All Equity Fund’ launched today will give less-advantaged students better access to digital tools, skills and knowledge, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Digital Technologies for All Equity Fund is one part of a $38 million Government funding package to make digital technologies more accessible for school kids. This includes around $24 million to help teachers and kaiako prepare to teach the new curriculum content. The All Equity Fund is available for 12,500 children a year over three years. “It’s really important that all children are given the opportunity to improve their digital literacy to prepare them for the modern workforce. “The fund is about ensuring that students who may otherwise have limited access to digital technologies aren’t missing out. The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa) and Karrikins Group have been selected to partner with the Ministry of Education to deliver innovative programmes that captures students’ imagination,” Chris Hipkins says. Karrikins Group New Zealand General Manager Michelle Kazor says its ‘Digital Ignition’ programme will include robots, 3D printing and coding and overall emphasise an ability to ‘think digitally’. Te Papa will partner with other museums and bring technology-rich learning to students, who will be able to tell their own stories as they build their knowledge, Te Papa Chief Executive Geraint Martin says. The two different programmes will support learning in a culturally relevant and meaningful way and open up further options for children. Karrikins Group and Te Papa will work in partnership with schools/kura across the country to achieve these outcomes.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Details of retail power price review released

Posted: 26 Mar 2018 07:29 PM PDT http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/YkIPM-4uZNA/details-retail-power-price-review-released?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has today released the terms of reference for review into the price of electricity in New Zealand. “New Zealanders deserve to have access to electricity at a fair price and this review will look into whether the electricity market is delivering that. “Residential electricity prices have risen by around 50 per cent since 2000 but the price for business remained flat. We want to find out why that is,” said Megan Woods. The review will adopt a forward-looking approach and will consider the entire electricity market, from generation, through transmission and distribution, to retail. “We need to consider how the market operates as whole because all of it contributes to what makes up our power bills. “The review is also tasked with looking at how the electricity market and its regulatory framework is placed for the future especially in the light of the rise of emerging technologies such as solar power and electric vehicles.” Megan Woods said the composition of the expert advisory group was in its final stages. The expert advisory group will provide peer and technical advice for the review which will be supported by a secretariat provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and external consultants. “The review will be carried out in stages with the first phase looking at determining facts and building evidence and the scope of further stages will be shaped by those findings,” said Megan Woods The final report is expected to be delivered to the Minister early next year. Minister Woods has also released the submissions from stakeholders on the draft terms of reference and this can be found here: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/energy/current-reviews-consultations

Note: The terms of reference are as follows

Terms of reference for the electricity price review Context Electricity prices, especially for households, have increased faster than inflation for many years, putting pressure on household budgets. After adjusting for inflation, residential customers have faced around a 50 per cent increase in real electricity prices since 2000. In comparison, real prices faced by commercial and industrial customers have remained relatively flat. International comparisons in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2017 In Depth Review of New Zealand found that residential electricity prices have grown from low levels much faster than in other IEA countries. It also found that residential prices in New Zealand were well above the IEA average in 2014, while industrial prices were below the IEA average. In addition, rapidly changing technologies and business innovations present opportunities and challenges to the operation the electricity system. Emerging technologies can contribute to the transition to a lower emissions economy through renewable energy solutions, increasing the efficiency of the grid and enabling greater energy consumption control for the consumer. To benefit from technology we need a regulatory framework that is sufficiently enabling. In this context, the Government will undertake a review to investigate whether the electricity market is delivering efficient, fair and equitable prices to end-consumers. It will also assess whether the electricity regulatory framework will continue to be appropriate as we look to the future. Overarching Objective The objective of the review is to ensure that the New Zealand electricity market delivers efficient, fair and equitable prices as technology evolves and we transition to a lower emissions future, taking into consideration the requirements of environmental sustainability and the need to maintain security and reliability of supply – the energy trilemma. Links to wider work The review will take into account crossovers and linkages with existing and planned work, including the work of the Electricity Authority on transmission pricing, work on how to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2035 by the new Interim Climate Change Committee and Climate Commission, and the work of the Productivity Commission on its low emissions economy inquiry. Scope The review will examine whether the prices paid by end-consumers for electricity are efficient, fair and equitable. Relevant perspectives on fairness and equity include: Whether suppliers of electricity services have the ability to extract excessive profits over time[1]. Whether all consumers have access to affordable electricity services, noting this depends on many factors other than electricity prices (including housing quality and income levels). Whether the costs of providing electricity services are or should be socialised or spread evenly across different classes of consumers (e.g. households and businesses), or across regions, or urban and rural communities.

The review will: Consider the entire electricity supply chain: generation, transmission, distribution, and retail. Evaluate whether the regulatory framework governing both the competitive aspects of the electricity market and the monopoly aspects (i.e. transmission and distribution) are delivering efficiency and fairness. Consider the ability of the market and regulatory framework to enable and benefit from emerging technologies and innovation in business models.

In considering whether prices are efficient, fair and equitable, the review will take issues of security, reliability and environmental sustainability into account. Information collection The review will collect information and report on: The key components of retail electricity prices, how they have changed over time and how they compare internationally. Variations in price across different customer groups. The proportion of household income spent on electricity bills and how this varies between different customer groups. The financial performance of suppliers across the supply chain.

Competition The review will consider: The existence of, or potential for, factors that may form barriers to entry or limit competition across the supply chain. This should include, but not be limited to, the impact of vertical integration in parts of the supply chain. The existence of, or potential for, informational asymmetries, and the impact on electricity customers with differing behavioural patterns (and therefore different consumption profiles). The existence of, or potential for, regulatory failure – including the impact of the low fixed charge regulations, and the impact on differing customer segments. The role and effectiveness of the current regulatory framework in promoting competition, including at the boundaries between contestable and non-contestable services. The respective roles and functions of the separate regulatory agencies over the electricity sector.

Equity The review will consider: The impact of market conduct and regulation on a range of customer segments. This should include, but not be limited by, regional distributions, household income levels and broad consumer group (i.e. residential, industrial, and commercial). The nature of cost allocations and level of any cross subsidisation between consumer groups (including businesses and households, and urban and rural communities), including the impact of the low fixed charge regulations. The regional distributional aspects of transmission pricing.

Future technologies The review will consider: The potential impacts of emerging technology on services and prices, and how this may affect different customer groups. The current regulatory framework and its ability to promote the potential benefits from emerging technologies.

Guidance on scope The review is expected to make findings and recommendations at a level of detail appropriate to a policy review. It is not required or expected to make findings or recommendations about matters of technical regulatory detail such as how regulated weighted average cost of capital should be determined, or at how many hubs financial transmission rights should be traded. In considering issues relating to the economic regulation of natural monopoly networks applied under Part 4 of the Commerce Act, the review should be mindful that this regulatory framework is also applied to the gas and international airport sectors, and any changes could have significant impacts on these sectors that would need to be carefully considered by the Government. The review should also be mindful that the input methodologies set independently by the Commerce Commission have been subject to extensive consultation, expert analysis, and review by the High Court. This previous scrutiny, the technical complexity of the issues involved, impact on investment and regulatory certainty, and their cross-sectoral application means the Government is likely to exercise considerable caution in considering changes to the Commerce Commission’s input methodologies. The review is not expected or required to evaluate the performance of regulatory bodies against their existing statutory objectives, but may make findings and recommendations about regulatory frameworks and institutional arrangements. Process and timeframe The review will determine its own process, but is expected to involve wide engagement on issues and draft findings. The review may be structured in stages, with initial stages focusing on determining facts and building evidence. The scope of further stages would be developed upon the findings emerging from the first stage. The final report should include recommendations for any improvements to the regulatory framework, structure and design of the electricity market that are considered warranted. The final report will be delivered to the Minister of Energy and Resources by April 2019.

[1] The purpose of regulation under Part 4 of the Commerce Act includes that ‘suppliers […] are limited in their ability to extract excessive profits’, so the review may draw on existing information about relevant regulated services.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Salisbury attack - NZ Government to keep next steps under review

Posted: 26 Mar 2018 04:08 PM PDT http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/O_PQcVnPmDI/salisbury-attack-nz-government-keep-next-steps-under-review?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters say the New Zealand Government will keep under review what further actions it can take to support the international community over the Salisbury attack. “We remain steadfast with our international partners in our shared concern about the Salisbury nerve agent attack,” said Jacinda Ardern. “While other countries have announced they are expelling undeclared Russian intelligence agents, officials have advised there are no individuals here in New Zealand who fit this profile. If there were, we would have already taken action.” Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says from the very beginning New Zealand has been clear in expressing its condemnation over the Salisbury attack. “As part of our ongoing support for the United Kingdom, along with the international community, we will keep possible future actions under review and remain in close contact with our international partners,” said Winston Peters. “In recent days the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has called in the Russian Ambassador in Wellington to reiterate our serious concern about the likely Russian source of the nerve agent used in Salisbury, and delivered the same message in Moscow,” he said.

/////////////////////////////////////////// KiwiSaver fees made clear

Posted: 26 Mar 2018 03:01 PM PDT http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/1vhKciq1098/kiwisaver-fees-made-clear?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

KiwiSaver providers disclosing in dollars the total fees charged to their investors is a step forward for Kiwis towards achieving the best retirement savings, Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi says. “This greater KiwiSaver fees transparency is enacted from April 1 and consumers will start to see fees disclosed on their statements over the next few months. As well as providing greater clarity on what their investments are costing them, I hope this will help people make more informed choices about their retirement scheme.” Disclosure of fees in dollar terms was a recommendation by the Retirement Commissioner in the Review of Retirement Income Policies in 2016. “Since 2016, officials from MBIE have worked with the Financial Markets Authority and the Commission for Financial Capability to improve the information KiwiSaver providers are required to disclose to their members in their annual statements. “I want New Zealanders to get clear and easy-to-interpret information about their KiwiSaver so they can make positive decisions about their retirement savings. “Further improvements are being made to KiwiSaver annual statements and soon they will include projected retirement savings and income figures. “As a Government we are supportive of these moves to help ensure all New Zealanders can enjoy the best living possible in retirement.” says Mr Faafoi.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Megan Woods Petroleum Conference Speech.

Posted: 26 Mar 2018 01:25 PM PDT http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/3HqZxjdeeYU/megan-woods-petroleum-conference-speech?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

Section One: Introduction Tena Koutou Katoa, Thank you so much for the invitation to speak to you today. I especially want to acknowledge

PEPANZ, for organising the annual New Zealand Petroleum Conference; New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals, as the Foundation Partner; GNS Science, as the Technical Partner. Elemental Group and New Zealand Oil & Gas as Premier Partners; and all of the other sponsors and delegates for supporting the conference and making it possible.

Before I go any further I’d like to acknowledge Dr Joanna Breare, the new chair of PEPANZ. It is great to see a distinguished woman leader getting recognised and tasked with representing New Zealand’s upstream industry during a time of significant changes. I would also like to acknowledge the contribution of the outgoing Chair, Rob Jager, for his contributions over the last four years. Section Two: Block Offer/Just Transition As a politician, you never want to start by disappointing your audience, but in situations like this I’ve always found it’s best to be upfront. I have no intention to keep you on the edges of your seats in a “will she or won’t she” pantomime. It’s not my style. So, I won’t be announcing Block Offer 2018 today. As the Prime Minister has said, the Government is actively considering this issue, and we’ll have an announcement in the coming weeks. I know this is an issue everyone here is incredibly interested in, so while I can’t give you an announcement, I do want to spend time today and tell you as plainly as I can the role this Government sees for our upstream energy sector, and I do want to give you an idea of the principles and framework we will bring to decisions about any future exploration permits. I know that the investment decisions and the planning for projects that people in this room make have enormous lead times and involve huge amounts of money. You have told me that what you value most is certainty and predictability. So today I want to lay out where we come from when we make decisions like this, the approach we will be taking, and the analysis we bring to bear on these issues. Our approach in this area comes from the type of Government we want to be. One that is responsible and manages change well, but that does not shy away from making tough calls and grappling with big issues. One that will put the well-being and living standards of New Zealanders at the core of everything we do. We see the mission of our time in office as rebuilding much of the social and economic infrastructure of our country that has not been invested in enough over the last nine years. And we see it as our mission to face up to the major coming challenges that have not been well addressed. We stand for transformational change – moving to an economy that is sustainable, inclusive and productive. That is this Government’s overriding economic aim. We aim to shape an economy where we work smarter, make better use of our resources, ensure everyone who wants to work can work, and ensure that the benefits of growth are spread across society And we aim to shape an economy that is sustainable, that is not prone to major shocks, and that meets our obligations to our Paris commitments. And that means having a plan to responsibly transition towards a low carbon economy. Our goals in this area are ambitious and plainly stated. A carbon neutral economy by 2050. 100% renewable electricity, in a normal hydrological year, by 2035. These targets commit us to a long term transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. Now, I am keenly aware that the need for this transition is not new to anyone in this room. I know that the old stereotypes of the energy sector are simply not true today and that industry itself is well aware that the days of complete reliance on fossil fuels are over. And I want to congratulate your sector on the steps you are taking to support this transition. You understand the need and you are taking action. That’s why the IEA reports that globally in 2017, investment in electricity surpassed investment in oil and gas for the first time ever. It’s why the World Bank has announced it will no longer finance upstream oil and gas extraction after 2019. It’s why Statoil, for example has introduced an internal price on carbon for all its projects and has adopted a climate assessment and is even changing its name to Equinor, to reflect the changing nature of its business. It’s why by 2035 Shell aims to have achieved a 20% reduction in the carbon footprint of the energy it sells, and 50% reduction by 2050. It’s why the industry has come together to invest in the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which will deliver one billion dollars’ worth of research into new projects initiatives and technological solutions to reduce carbon emissions. So I acknowledge that the need for a transition is widely understood in this industry and I congratulate you on the steps you have taken to support it. And likewise, the need for a transition is now gaining bipartisan political support. I acknowledge the new leader of the opposition said in an interview on March the 3rd of this year that he acknowledges the need for a transition. So it is widely agreed that this transition needs to happen. The question is what kind of transition we will have, and how it will impact the well-being of our people, our businesses, our economy and our environment. Those of you who have heard me speak before will know I am passionate believer in the idea of a just, well-managed transition. I don’t want to see an abrupt transition that leaves industries stagnant, communities without a future and individuals without hope. What I want to see is a clear, transparent and well managed pathway to a new economy. And that means we must develop a clear plan, that will allow for informed investment decisions to be made and that will support communities that currently rely on fossil fuel extraction. In our Government we know that this transition cannot happen suddenly. But we know that to quote a famous New Zealander, it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. And that means we need to be preparing now. In our view there are two choices, bury our head in the sand and assume the transition will take care of itself, or be responsible and make plans now for our future. No one is talking about making abrupt, jarring change in our economy and by planning now, that is what we can avoid. Here in this country, we’ve learned all too well how much damage changes like that can do. Like our Prime Minister, I grew up in the 1980s a time of dislocating social and economic change. I watched people in the community where I grew up lose jobs that had supported our community for decades. I watched people lose their jobs, their hope, and their dignity. I watched as families were displaced and communities were gutted. I will not be part of a Government that allows something like that to happen again. I don’t want New Zealand to be the country that rips the rug out from under businesses, communities and individuals because we didn’t have a plan to deal with the future. If we have the courage to think long term now we can avoid that. If we raise our eyes and get ahead of the curve with a long term plan, we can ensure a better future. And New Zealander’s get this. They want leaders who think beyond the 3 year election cycle and plan for the long term. And let’s be clear, we’ve got the time to get this right. These are ten and twenty and thirty year timelines we are talking about. In order to avoid shocks and disruptions as we undergo these structural adjustments, it is imperative that we have robust across-government transition planning that is well connected to industry and workforce.

This planning must address the challenges posed by a changing climate and create new opportunities for our businesses and industry – and importantly, secure the jobs of the future.

We’ve already said that region by region our Government will be drawing up robust economic development plans. Minister Jones and his Provincial Growth Fund will once again deliver jobs to our regions.

Alongside this work, we need to be thinking about how to connect the transition to a low carbon future to the resurgence of our regions.

We also need to be connecting the dots to workforce planning. We need to be thinking about the qualifications and skills this economic transformation will require.

It is this kind of joined up thinking from a progressive and future-focused government that will ensure that we minimise the shocks and ensure a “just transition” to a low-carbon economy.

As a Labour Minister of Energy and Resources, this really matters to me.

For over a century a stable job with decent pay and conditions has been the guiding principle of the labour mission.

Our job in the twenty-first century is to ensure that our industries and workforce currently employed in high-emission industries are not consigned to the scrap heap as we respond to the shocks of unplanned and urgent economic upheaval.

Instead, it means starting immediately to put in place across-government transition planning to build a stronger, fairer and more sustainable economy.

That’s why I have asked MBIE to begin this important transition planning role. We will be having conversations across Government. We’ll be talking about how Energy and Resources decisions link up with Regional Economic Development and the Provincial Growth Fund. How these in turn link with education decisions and the need for workforce planning. And then how all of this fits with investment in innovation. I am aware that you want to be part of this conversation and I want you to be a part of this planning. The work that we undertake will be tripartite. We will bring industry, the workforce and government together to develop a plan. Over the coming months we will be asking you to join us and it is my sincere hope that as an industry you take up this offer. It will be against this backdrop of transitions planning, that we make our decisions around future block offers. There are several points I want to make crystal clear today. One, no one is suggesting changing any existing permit or project. Two, we are not talking about losing jobs or revenue that already exist or investments which have already been planned or committed to. Three, no one is talking about shutting off our supply of fuels we need to keep our country and economy running strongly. This Government is well aware of the huge importance of peaking to ensure security of electricity supply. That’s why our commitment around the pathway to 100% renewable electricity by 2035 contains the phrase in a normal hydrological year. And we know we have ten years or so of natural gas consented for drilling, and potentially many more years that could be discovered under existing exploration permits. Some of these permits run as late as 2046. They are not under threat. Fourth, I want to make clear that we will be providing a step by step plan to take us right through until 2050. This work will be led by an Independent Climate Commission, who will develop carbon budgets planning us right through to 2050. This will deliver the certainty and stability of policy that are vital for the industry. I note that the UK has made real strides in this area through strong bi-partisan co-operation. Here in New Zealand, we should be aiming for a multi-party approach. Because the people on the ICC won’t be politicians or work to a political timetable. They’ll be experts tasked with developing a long term economic plan that moves us away from carbon emissions while also protecting the security of our energy supply and ensuring we have access to the energy we need as a country. And as I have said our Government will take action to support communities that currently rely on fuels that are being phased out. Our Government’s Provincial Growth Fund and Green Investment Fund will invest billions of dollars in local infrastructure and clean energy projects in areas like this. We’ll work alongside local mayors, businesses, unions, economic development agencies and councils to identify the projects with the best business cases and consult the local community every step of the way. And we’ll do more to support innovation to create new jobs in new industries. That’s why our Government will be introducing a research and development tax incentive, so that companies can claim money back on every dollar they spend on R and D. It’s why we will lift New Zealand’s spending on R and D to 2% of GDP, to bring us in line with the OECD. This will mean New Zealand can transition to a cleaner economy, protect our planet while still providing high paying jobs that support families. That’s what we can achieve if we have a plan. And I want to emphasise today that once we have our carbon budgets and our clear path forward, our Government will consult and work with industry on every step we take along this path to transition. We are a Government that listens, then acts. That consults widely, thinks through issues deeply and seeks to forge consensus on how we can take New Zealand forward together. We want to work with you to make this a transition that works for everyone. Government cannot do it alone. There is no doubt in my mind that climate change will drive the most significant economic transformation in modern history.

The transition to a low-carbon or a net-zero carbon economy will be as transformational as the industrial revolution was to the societies and economies in the nineteenth century.

We need to work with industry, with businesses, with community groups and with individuals around the country to ensure this transition protects jobs, supports communities, and leads us to a better, fairer future. That’s what we can deliver together and I look forward to working with all of you to make it happen. Thank you.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Vanguard applies to become designated character school

Posted: 26 Mar 2018 12:10 AM PDT http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/tGzeWlHcsrk/vanguard-applies-become-designated-character-school?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

Vanguard is the first of 11 charter schools currently operating to put its application in to establish itself as a school of designated character, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says. “The Ministry of Education will now begin consultation with schools in the area and others in the sector about Vanguard’s proposal. According to section 157 of the Education Act 1989, consultation is required when changes to the local state schooling network are being considered,” Chris Hipkins says. “The Ministry has been in discussions with charter schools. Those discussions have reached a point where Vanguard has put its application through and other schools need some clarity on timeframes they’re working towards. “That’s why it’s now appropriate to set a deadline for applications to join the state school network. The remaining charter schools will have until 1 May 2018 to put in their applications should they wish to make this transition. “This will mean decisions can be made in July and provide certainty to the students, their parents, whānau and the schools about their status for the 2019 school year. “The Ministry will work closely with the schools to assist them in this process. “We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to be the best they can be, regardless of where they live, or their personal circumstances. We are reviewing the entire school system and will put a greater emphasis on ensuring all our schools in the state system deliver that opportunity for all New Zealanders. “The Ministry has advised the schools of the deadline. “The Education Amendment Bill, which has a number of functions including removing the charter school model from legislation, is on track to come into law in September,” Chris Hipkins says.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Agreement reached on Americas Cup venue

Posted: 25 Mar 2018 10:25 PM PDT http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/9x4I2GEzxO8/agreement-reached-america%E2%80%99s-cup-venue?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

An agreement has been struck on the Auckland waterfront venue for the 36th America’s Cup, including the division of costs and the payment of a hosting fee. Economic Development Minister David Parker, Auckland Council and Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) reached agreement in principle today securing the America’s Cup defence for New Zealand in 2021. The signed agreement is subject to approval by the Auckland Council Governing Body, which will meet on Thursday. “I am very pleased to advise that we have succeeded in negotiating a venue on the Auckland waterfront that all New Zealanders can be proud of. It significantly reduces the intrusion into the harbour at the lowest practical cost,” Mr Parker says. “The event will also deliver economic benefits to Auckland and the country.” “Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Mayor Goff and I all stated our commitment to limiting the intrusion into the harbour, while achieving a word class venue for the Cup event, and this delivers that. “Our work in reaching this point has seen a major cost reduction for taxpayers and Auckland ratepayers of more than $50 million, compared to other options. This is a fantastic achievement and testament to the time and effort we have invested to reach the best outcome possible,” Mr Parker says. Mr Parker thanked ETNZ for their cooperative approach that helped achieve the final outcome. Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said New Zealand could now look forward to hosting the event. “It’s good for Auckland and great for Kiwis who will get to experience in person the thrill of an America’s Cup in 2021 and cheer our team on.” “We have agreed a base configuration that is less expensive than previous options and requires a much smaller extension into the harbour. It allows the earlier removal of hazardous substance tanks from the southern part of the Point, is more straightforward to consent, will be quicker to construct and creates a positive legacy for Auckland,” Mr Goff says. The location, known as Wynyard-Hobson, has evolved from several options on the table. It entails only about 6,600 square metre intrusion into the harbour at Hobson Wharf, compared to 9,900 square metres under the earlier Point Halsey option. Other options had envisaged intrusions of 22,800 square metres. “This gives ETNZ the certainty it needs to proceed with planning for the event.” ETNZ will occupy the Viaduct Events Centre, while Luna Rossa will be offered the place on the extended Hobson Wharf. The remaining bases will be located on Wynyard Wharf. The expected contributions are $114m from the Crown including a $40 million host contribution fee, and $98.5m from Auckland Council. The funding agreement also sets out key financial reporting milestones, governance processes and other safeguards for the Government and Council’s investment. The agreement details the timing of three events. They are the America’s Cup Christmas Race December 2020 the America’s Cup Challenger Selection Series in January-February 2021 and the 36th America’s Cup match in March 2021. A resource consent application will be lodged in early April.

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