Releases -

By Newsroom America Feeds at 30 Nov 2017


/////////////////////////////////////////// Minister congratulates Sustainable Business Network Awards winners

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 07:28 PM PST

Climate Change Minister James Shaw today congratulated the winners and finalists of last night’s NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards. “It’s great to see so many examples of businesses taking a leadership role to be more sustainable in their business practices,” Mr Shaw says. “Congratulations to supreme award winner for the Greatest Contribution to a Sustainable New Zealand, NZ Post, which was recognised for using sustainability as a driver for change in its business. “I was also pleased to present the award in the Transforming Food category to Common Unity Project Aotearoa. “This project provides food and supports microbusinesses in a low income community, bringing together a school garden and forest farm, supplemented by backyard gardens, all producing food which is then cooked in the community kitchen. Any surplus is sold within the community or used in their catering business.” Common Unity Project Aotearoa also received a commendation for the supreme award. The award winners and finalists were nominated across 10 categories ranging from the efficiency champion award to the restoring nature award. They include large businesses, small start-ups, central and local government. “Doing business sustainably is going to be key to New Zealand’s future economic success. The Sustainable Business Network plays an important role in supporting businesses to do this,” Mr Shaw says. “Our new Government is also committed to working with business and other sectors to transition to more sustainable ways of doing business and a net zero emissions economy by 2050.”

/////////////////////////////////////////// Being online as a girl - new report

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:36 PM PST

“This new report shows how girls experience online harm differently than boys, and tailored prevention approaches are needed,” Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter said today as she launched the Ministry for Women’s report Insights into digital harm: The online lives of New Zealand girls and boys. The report covers young people’s experiences with digital harm and draws on insights from 12 focus groups from schools across New Zealand. “My message to young people is that ‘You deserve to be safe, and you deserve support to get safe’ “We live in a digital world. Getting insights into the online lives of girls and boys helps us better understand how young people view digital harm and how to prevent it. “Every single young person in this report knew of someone badly affected by things happening online. Young people’s behaviour online can lead to further harm in their offline relationships. “We have to understand more about how to prevent harm online, about how to keep safe, and what to do when it is not safe. “Girls and boys in our study strongly supported prevention efforts, including education about norms, consent, mental health and respect. “The research found that young people will not always ask their parents for help. Young people and their parents do need to know where to get help and who to ask for it. “I encourage parents to educate themselves about young people’s online environments, to talk about healthy relationships, and to discuss online risks and safety with their children,” says Ms Genter. The full report Insights into digital harm: The online lives of New Zealand girls and boys is available at Resources for parents, teachers and young people are available online at

/////////////////////////////////////////// Campaign aims to reduce harm and death on our roads

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 03:23 PM PST

Minister of Police Stuart Nash and Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter have stepped up to support Police and the NZ Transport Agency launch their pre-Christmas safety campaign, in the hopes to prevent the road toll from rising any further. “More people have died on our roads this year than any year since 2010 so something has to change,” says Mr Nash. “As Minister of Police I want to ensure our Police have the resources they need to help keep people safe on our roads.” The government is doing their bit by increasing resources for Police and looking at options to improve roads that are a high risk for fatal crashes. “However, Police can’t be everywhere,” says Mr Nash. “Drivers need to be present, take note of the conditions around them and drive accordingly – with 100 per cent concentration.” Today Police and the NZTA launched ‘We want you here for Christmas’, the campaign to educate drivers that road safety is everybody’s responsibility. They are committed to reducing death and injury on our roads, but cannot do it alone. The focus will be on changing people’s behaviour around four main contributors of trauma on our roads – people not wearing their seatbelts, going too fast for the conditions, driving drunk, drugged, or tired, and being distracted by things like cell phones. Ms Genter says road safety is her number one priority as the Associate Minister of Transport. “I don’t want to see more families heading into Christmas without their loved ones,” she says. “These crashes are taking away people’s family, their friends, their loved ones. We are losing members of our communities. “I strongly encourage every New Zealander to heed the advice and be responsible every time they get behind the wheel.” The two ministers say Police and NZTA are to be commended on their efforts. They both reiterate: “The message is clear – we want you here for Christmas.”

/////////////////////////////////////////// Pacific Health Scholarships 2018 now open for applications

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 03:19 PM PST

Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa is excited to announce applications are now open for the 2018 Ministry of Health Pacific Health Scholarships. The Scholarships are available to Pacific students aiming to complete a health-related tertiary course, who are committed to improving Pacific health. Preference is given to those studying in medicine, nursing, midwifery, oral health, and allied health. Since 2002 when the Scholarships began, over 1,500 Scholarships have been awarded. “The Scholarships are an important pillar of the health system as we look to grow the Pacific health workforce,” says Hon Jenny Salesa. “While the 2013 census counted 7.4% of New Zealand residents as being of Pacific origin, the proportion of doctors and nurses identified as of Pacific origin was 1.8% and 2.6% respectively. “The Scholarships acknowledge the important role Pacific people continue to play in our health workforce, as we work towards reducing health inequalities affecting Pacific communities in Aotearoa, New Zealand.” Over $1.0M has been allocated for the 2018 Scholarships. The Scholarships are paid directly to tertiary institutions as a contribution towards tuition fees and will pay: up to $10,000.00 for Medical and Dentistry students up to $5,000.00 for all remaining health qualifications Applications will close on 6 February 2018 at 5 pm. ENDS More information and to apply for a scholarship, can be found here Media Contact: Leah Chamberlin-Gunn 021 847 068

/////////////////////////////////////////// Mount Aspiring College redevelopment announced

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:53 AM PST

Around $13 million will be invested to redevelop Mount Aspiring College, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.

“This investment recognises that Mount Aspiring College is growing rapidly, and needs both expansion and modernisation to cope with their expanding roll,” says Mr Hipkins.

“This project is an example of the Government’s commitment to the school and its students, by providing teaching spaces and a physical environment that supports improved learning outcomes.”

The redevelopment will include:

18 new teaching spaces Modernisation of 5 existing teaching spaces The demolition of four outdated teaching spaces. Mr Hipkins said now that funding and the broad scope of this project has been approved, the Ministry of Education will work with the school on the specific details of the redevelopment, ensuring that the new teaching spaces are designed to support the school’s vision for learning. “The Government is committed to ensuring that students all over New Zealand can learn in an environment that inspires and supports them to achieve to the best of their potential.”

“Wanaka is one of the fastest-growing towns in New Zealand, and it’s vital that we reflect that growth through delivering this project,” said Mr Hipkins.

The redevelopment is expected to start in early 2018 and is anticipated to take approximately three years to complete.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Foreign Minister welcomes Ross Sea Marine Protected Area

Posted: 29 Nov 2017 10:50 PM PST

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says a remarkable milestone has been achieved with the coming into effect of the Ross Sea marine protected area in the Southern Ocean.

The Ross Sea region MPA, which comes into effect on December 1st, is the result of a joint New Zealand/United States initiative, and will protect an area of the Southern Ocean that is teeming with life.

“The Southern Ocean is one of the world’s most pristine marine environments. It has an unbroken food-chain and still has a full suite of top-level predators such as whales, seals and penguins,” Mr Peters says.

“The Ross Sea region MPA is 1.55 million square kilometres, or six times the size of New Zealand.

“Getting unanimous agreement to create this marine protected area is a significant achievement. It shows what is possible when the research, fishing, environmental, and diplomatic communities work together to address a global problem.

“We will continue to work with others to ensure that this marine protected area contributes to scientific understanding of the Southern Ocean, and the role it plays in regulating the global climate. This includes significant investment by the New Zealand government in scientific study in the Ross Sea region.

“New Zealand is committed to protecting this environment for the benefit of future generations, and maintaining Antarctica and the Southern Ocean for science, conservation and peace,” Mr Peters says.

The Marine Protected Area was agreed in October 2016 with the consensus of all 25 members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). CCAMLR was established by international convention in 1982 with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life. A joint proposal for a marine protected area in the Ross Sea region was first made by New Zealand and the United States in 2012.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Healthy Homes a milestone for New Zealand

Posted: 29 Nov 2017 08:47 PM PST

Every New Zealander deserves a warm, healthy home to live in, and the Health Homes Guarantee Act will help ensure that, said Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford. “The passing of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act is a huge leap forward for public health and is another one of the Labour-led Government’s 100 Day promises kept,” Mr Twyford says. “Until now, rental properties have been treated differently from other products. A butcher isn’t allowed to sell meat that will make their customers sick, but a landlord has allowed to rent out a house that is too cold, or damp and damages the health of its occupants. "Most landlords do a good job, but the fact is the lack of legal standards means some rentals are not currently fit to live in. 40,000 children a year are admitted to hospital due to diseases are related to poor housing, and 1,600 New Zealanders’ lives a cut short by illnesses caused by living in cold, damp conditions. This has to change. Thanks to this law, it will. “I want to thank Andrew Little for his work in bringing this legislation to Parliament and through its first stages as a Member’s Bill. I also want to acknowledge the support of New Zealand First and the Greens in passing the Bill into law. National will have to explain to New Zealanders why they have stood beside a few slum landlords, rather than stood up for the health of our families. “This law enables the Government to set standards for rental housing quality. The Healthy Homes standards will cover heating, insulation, ventilation, draught stopping, drainage and moisture. Many landlords will already meet these standards and will not have to change anything. For those that need to upgrade their properties, government grants for installing heating and insulation will be available. “The Government will run a consultation process over the next 18 months to ensure that tenants, landlords, public health and building science experts and industry representatives have an opportunity to get involved in creating robust minimum standards” Mr Twyford says.

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