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By Newsroom America Feeds at 17 Apr 01:50


/////////////////////////////////////////// Interim Climate Change Committee announced

Posted: 16 Apr 2018 08:29 PM PDT

17 April 2018


Interim Climate Change Committee Announced The Minister for Climate Change today announced the membership of the Interim Climate Change Committee, which will begin work on how New Zealand transitions to a net zero emissions economy by 2050. “We need work to start now on how things like agriculture might enter into the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS), and we need planning now for the transition to 100 percent renewable electricity generation by 2035,” says James Shaw. “The Interim Climate Change Committee will begin this important work until we have set up the independent Climate Change Commission under the Zero Carbon Act in May next year. “The Interim Committee will consult with stakeholders and hand over its work and analysis to the Climate Change Commission,” Mr Shaw said. Committee members have been chosen because of their expertise across key areas related to climate change: agriculture, agribusiness, climate change science and policy, resource economics and impacts, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, te reo me ona tikanga Māori and Māori interests, international competitiveness, and energy production and supply. Dr David Prentice, the Interim Committee Chair, was most recently the CEO and Managing Director of infrastructure firm Opus International Consultants. He led his company through the Global Financial Crisis and has a sound understanding of economics and international markets. He is joined by Deputy Chair, Lisa Tumahai, who has significant governance experience and is Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. She is a person of significant mana and standing in the Māori community. The other committee members are: Dr Harry Clark, a New Zealand expert on agricultural greenhouse gas research Dr Keith Turner, former CEO of Meridian and professional director Dr Jan Wright, former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Suzi Kerr, an internationally renowned expert in the economics of climate change policy and emissions trading. “If we want to help lead the world towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, we must create a moral mandate underpinned by decisive action at home to reduce our own emissions. “Setting up the Interim Climate Change Committee is a great step in that direction,” says James Shaw.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Minister in Manawatu Wanganui region to discuss future of New Zealands civil defence

Posted: 16 Apr 2018 07:15 PM PDT

Minister of Civil Defence Kris Faafoi says tomorrow’s visit to Palmerston North and the Manawatu Wanganui region is an opportunity to hear how the region deals with the wide range of hazards and emergencies it faces. Mr Faafoi is meeting with Manawatu-Wanganui Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group, iwi, regional mayors, council chairs and senior CDEM officials to learn about how the region currently deals with emergencies, and to seek feedback on how to improve New Zealand’s Civil Defence system. “The Horizons region has experienced a large number of emergencies in recent years, and faces hazards ranging from floods and storms to earthquakes, tsunami and volcanic activity. I’m really eager to tap into local experience and knowledge as I gather feedback about how we can improve our system to protect New Zealanders from natural disasters and other emergencies.” In January Mr Faafoi released a report into how New Zealand responds to natural disasters and emergencies, the Ministerial Review - ‘Better Responses to Natural Disasters and other Emergencies in New Zealand’. A technical advisory group (TAG) was formed to provide advice on the most appropriate operational and legislative mechanisms to support effective responses to natural disasters and other emergencies. Mr Faafoi says he hopes to be in a position to confirm the Government response to the TAG recommendations later this year. “The current system stands up well when we need it, and has done so throughout pressures and challenges in recent years. But it is clear more must be done, particularly given the increasing events we have experienced.” Mr Faafoi says as well as listening to input from Manawatu Wanganui CDEM Group, he is there to acknowledge the commendable efforts and ongoing dedication of the region in preparing for, and responding and recovering to a number of challenging emergencies. “These emergencies have prompted the Government to ask how such efforts can be better supported, and I am interested to hear their thoughts on the recommendations of the Ministerial review into disaster and emergency responses.” The full TAG report and submissions can be found here.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Retail power price review panel named

Posted: 16 Apr 2018 06:38 PM PDT

The Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has today released the details of who will sit on an expert advisory panel which is tasked with leading a review into the price of electricity in New Zealand. “The eight-person expert advisory panel – which will be chaired by Miriam Dean QC – will play a key role into assessing whether the electricity market is delivering power at the fair and equitable price,” said Megan Woods. “Every member of the panel brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the table and a range of skills that complement each other and will be a part of a review that will be of special interest to the New Zealand public. “The panel’s primary task is to provide peer and technical advice for the review which will also look at whether the electricity market and its governance arrangements are appropriate for the rapid changes in technology and innovation taking place in the sector.” Megan Woods last month released the terms of reference for the review which will be supported by a secretariat provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and external consultants. The first meeting of the expert advisory panel is due to be held later this month and the final report is expected to be delivered to the Minister early next year.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Duke of Edinburghs Hillary Award helping young offenders gain new skills

Posted: 16 Apr 2018 06:17 PM PDT

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis has congratulated 11 young offenders for achieving The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award - including the first prisoner in New Zealand to ever achieve the Gold Award. At the ceremony in Christchurch Men’s Prison Youth Unit today, Mr Davis said completing the Award was a big achievement for the young men. “The Award has helped them step out of their comfort zones and taught them new skills, including leadership, goal-setting and decision-making. These skills and their proven motivation to succeed will help them make the right choices once they are released back into the community. “A lot of young people end up in prison because they haven’t had the best role models, environment or opportunities growing up. Helping them gain the skills they need to get into further training, education or work reduces their likelihood of re-offending which means our communities are safer. “These young offenders have also raised $400 for Te Whare Hauora (formerly Otautahi Women's Refuge) by running a sponsored marathon inside the prison. This was a great way for them to complete the physical recreation requirement for the Award while also give something back to the local community.” In addition to physical recreation, participants also complete volunteering, skills development and adventure activities, allowing them to reach bronze, silver or gold levels of the Award. One young man received a Gold Award at the ceremony, making him the first prisoner in New Zealand to achieve The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award at this level while in prison. Two young men were awarded Gold Adventurous Journey Sectional Certificates for part completion of the Gold Award, while two others received Silver Awards and six received the Bronze Award. “Prison presents some unique challenges for completing some of the activities, such as camping out overnight, but the staff do a great job making sure the young people can carry out the activities safely and securely,” Mr Davis said. Corrections has worked with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award to run the programme for young offenders at Christchurch Men’s Prison, Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison and Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility since 2016.

/////////////////////////////////////////// New manufacturing report shows move to added value

Posted: 16 Apr 2018 06:02 PM PDT

Key parts of manufacturing are moving beyond commodities into value-added products, a new report released today by Economic Development Minister David Parker shows. The 150 page report, Beyond Commodities: Manufacturing into the Future, is the most comprehensive on New Zealand manufacturing to be published in a decade. It was launched at the Manufacturer’s Forum hosted by EMA, in association with the Manufacturer’s Network and Callaghan Innovation. “This report shows the huge diversity of manufacturing in New Zealand, from core household goods like cleaning products, to building products, furniture and steel,” Mr Parker says. The report also identifies a number of challenges for manufacturers, including difficulty finding skilled tradespeople and a lack of scale relative to international competitors. “The continued lack of productivity growth remains troubling and limits opportunities for development,” Mr Parker says. “Manufacturing is crucial to boosting jobs and growing our exports, particularly where New Zealand enjoys a comparative advantage. The sector’s potential is clear and we need to devote more of the country’s resource it.” “The Government’s Tax Working Group and reforms we are making to the Reserve Bank Act are important steps on the path to a more productive economy.” A key finding in the report is the degree to which production and export of high-value products is starting to gain real traction. Medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and agritech machinery and systems collectively generate $1 billion of exports. Infant formula and innovative foods such as nutraceuticals are generating double digit growth. The report, part of the Sectors Reports Series, confirms that manufacturing will continue to play a major role in the economy, particularly in the regions. Manufacturing provides 221,000 jobs, generates $36 billion in exports, and spends $670 million on research and development. “Manufacturing has borne the brunt of changing global dynamics and these changes have resulted in increased competition for Kiwi firms. “However, the globalised economy has also increased opportunities for local firms to target valuable niches,” Mr Parker says. “Value-added products can offer higher returns and efficiencies for New Zealand businesses and allow for more productive land use with a lower impact on the environment.” The report will help provide the information government and industry needs to adapt to emerging domestic and global opportunities. The report is available at:

/////////////////////////////////////////// Government welcomes IMFs positive economic assessment

Posted: 16 Apr 2018 05:53 PM PDT

Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has welcomed the IMF’s Concluding Statement, released following its annual visit, which provides an independent assessment of the strength of the New Zealand economy. “The IMF said we have a favourable outlook with annual economic activity expected to remain strong at around 3% growth, and that financial vulnerabilities have stabilised,” Grant Robertson says. “The IMF was positive about the Government’s policy agenda, with fiscal, monetary and prudential policy settings considered to be broadly appropriate. “They expect a soft landing for the housing market and noted that KiwiBuild should result in a gradual increase in residential investment growth. “The IMF welcomed New Zealand’s continued support of open trade and our multi-lateral trade framework saying that, as one of the initial signatories of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), New Zealand will benefit from increased market access and new growth opportunities. “On the Reserve Bank Act Review currently underway, IMF staff welcomed the outcome of Phase One and supported the introduction of the employment mandate for the central bank. “The Coalition Government priorities are to make the investments in our critical public services while managing the country’s finances carefully and responsibly. “This IMF Statement follows recent positive reviews from the major credit rating agencies of our Government’s economic plan and different priorities,” Grant Robertson says. Note to Editors: The Minister of Finance met with the IMF mission team on 11 April as part of its annual review of the New Zealand economy. The IMF is expected to release its full report later this year.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Australian Competition and Consumer Commission cross appointment to the New Zealand Commerce Commission

Posted: 16 Apr 2018 04:17 PM PDT

New Zealand Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi and Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison have welcomed the cross-appointment of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Commissioner Roger Featherston to the New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC). “I am very pleased to appoint Roger Featherston as an associate member of the NZCC under the cross-appointment arrangement with the ACCC. I have no doubt Mr Featherston will add value to the NZCC’s work, with his background in trade practices, competition and consumer law practice and policy,” Mr Faafoi says. “Mr Featherston is a leading expert in this area and his cross-appointment will strengthen Trans-Tasman cooperation on competition and consumer issues,” Mr Morrison said. “Over the years, the cross-appointment arrangement between the ACCC and the NZCC has helped ensure consistency of approach to merger cases and competition issues affecting markets in both countries,” Mr Morrison added. Roger Featherston will be the second of the ACCC’s two cross-appointees to the NZCC, with the other being Sarah Court. The Chair and Deputy Chair of the NZCC, Dr Mark Berry and Sue Begg, are currently cross-appointed as associate members of the ACCC. Background The New Zealand Commerce Commission is New Zealand’s independent competition authority and regulatory agency. The Commission is responsible for enforcing laws relating to competition, fair trading, and consumer credit contracts, and it has regulatory responsibilities in the electricity lines, gas pipelines, telecommunications, dairy and airport sectors. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is an independent statutory authority formed in 1995 to enforce the Australian Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and a range of additional legislation, promoting competition, fair trading and regulating national infrastructure for the benefit of all Australians. Roger Featherston’s career has concentrated on trade practices/competition law and consumer law practice and policy. It spans a beginning in the Attorney-General’s Department to a partnership in an Australian law firm, where he established one of Australia’s leading competition law and regulatory practices, to consultancy work and being a Commissioner of the ACCC. He has acted for commercial and government clients in a wide range of sectors including the airports, airlines, electricity and telecommunications sectors, on issues which include competition law litigation and enforcement, informal merger clearances and access and pricing issues. Mr Featherston was a special counsel for the ACCC from 2012 to 2014, focusing on enforcement projects in respect of supermarkets and petrol retailing. Since June 2014, he has been a Commissioner on the ACCC. He is a member of the ACCC’s Enforcement Committee and Communications Committee, and chairs the Mergers Review Committee and Adjudication Committee.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Replacement found for Stage Challenge

Posted: 16 Apr 2018 04:13 PM PDT

Hundreds of young musicians and performers will get their first shot at stardom at new school arts events later this year, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

Mr Hipkins pledged support for a new event earlier this year after the organiser of Stage Challenge and J Rock said they could no longer continue.

“I am delighted to announce that RockQuest Promotions Ltd (Rockquest) will run the events this year,” Mr Hipkins said.

“I couldn’t stand by and let these events disappear.

“They are a great opportunity for young people to affirm and celebrate their culture and identity, be creative, and increase their confidence and leadership.”

Mr Hipkins said the Ministry of Education ran a tender process and received a range of good proposals.

“Rockquest has a great track-record of delivering successful, large scale performance events for all ages and cultures and already has strong relationships with schools.”

The events, which have yet to be named, will enable Year 1 to 13 students to engage in music, drama and dance in their local communities. Successful performers will be offered the opportunity to perform in a national show.

The contract with Rockquest is for this year, funded by a one-off grant of $800,000 while the Ministry develops a longer term solution.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Summit identifies actions to improve road safety

Posted: 16 Apr 2018 02:36 PM PDT

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. “I was very encouraged by the overwhelming support among mayor and councillors for more action to be taken to prevent deaths and serious injuries on our roads,” Ms Genter says. “The fact that we had so many mayors and councillors participating shows that rising road deaths and injuries is a pressing issue in many New Zealand communities. “The summit allowed me to hear directly about the specific challenges that different communities and regions around the country are facing. “Some of the main messages I heard from local government were that: central government should set clear national and regional road safety targets to reduce deaths and injuries; there is strong support for investigating a ‘Vision Zero’ approach, to make safety a bottom line in transport investment; greater funding assistance is needed for safety projects generally; we need simpler processes to implement low-cost safety improvements and enable targeted changes to speeds limits; and we need to improve the safety of cycling and walking, particularly for children. “I have already asked my officials to start investigating how these and other ideas that were recorded can be progressed. “Some of the ideas should be able to be implemented fairly quickly as part of this year’s work programme, while others will be considered as part of the development of a new road safety strategy. “Officials will publish a report in the coming weeks outlining how ideas and priorities identified at the summit will be progressed by central government,” said Ms Genter.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Tabuteau to meet with regional stakeholders

Posted: 16 Apr 2018 02:08 PM PDT

Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau travelled to Taranaki today to further discuss Government support for the recently launched Tapuae Roa: Make Way for Taranaki action plan. "The Government through the Provincial Growth Fund is investing up to $20 million towards a range of initiatives outlined in Tapuae Roa that exemplify an ambitious future for a modern and sustainable Taranaki economy,” Fletcher Tabuteau said. “The combined investment between the Government and the region, which is contributing a further $16 million to the plan’s projects, will address some of the key issues facing the region, including unlocking Māori potential and diversifying the economy.” Mr Tabuteau will meet with a range of regional leaders in Taranaki and visit businesses linked to the four key areas outlined in the action plan – food, the Māori economy, the visitor sector and the energy industry. “My visit to Taranaki is one of many planned visits to the regions over the coming months to talk to local councils, iwi, business owners, community organisations and other private sector entities, on ways the Government can best support them to unlock their potential and deliver economic growth,” Fletcher Tabuteau said. Mr Tabuteau will also travel to the Whanganui region tomorrow where he will visit the Whanganui Port. As announced in February, the PGF will invest more than $6 million towards revitalisation of the Whanganui Port and upgrade of the town’s rail line.

Media contact: Laree Taula, 021 992 200

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