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By Newsroom America Feeds at 13 Dec 2017

Releases

/////////////////////////////////////////// New centre for Police research

Posted: 13 Dec 2017 08:11 PM PST http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/z02Qy2zs7AY/new-centre-police-research?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

A new centre designed to encourage collaboration between Police, scientists and crime researchers has been opened in Wellington by Police Minister Stuart Nash. The Evidence Based Policing Centre brings together Police, the University of Waikato, and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) as joint partners. The agencies and the centre are also supported by Police strategic partner, Vodafone New Zealand. Mr Nash says staff from the three agencies will work collaboratively in an open environment to focus on crime and science research and other initiatives to benefit operational policing. “The Centre is designed to better inform Police in their work to prevent crime and protect the public. It uses information, crime-science and problem-solving methods to lead to better, smarter, and more efficient ways of working,” says Mr Nash. “I am a firm believer in the need for agencies and sectors to work together to solve problems. The mix of skills and experience at this new Centre will produce research and potential innovations drawn from a rich source of data, information and expertise. “This evidence base will inform Police strategy and tactical decision-making at the frontline to help ensure Police do an even better job at preventing and responding to crime and victimisation. “This approach fits squarely with Police’s ‘Prevention First’ model and is another example of an organisation constantly challenging itself to look for new ways of preventing crime and ensuring public safety. “When the first of our intended 1800 new officers join the Police the organisation will have a much greater understanding of what works well and where enhancements can be made. “This Centre has the very real potential to be world-leading in the field of evidence-based policing and I wish every success to all those involved,” says Mr Nash.

/////////////////////////////////////////// WTO Ministerial Conference Concludes

Posted: 13 Dec 2017 07:30 PM PST http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/qXH9yUHs0n0/wto-ministerial-conference-concludes?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

The 11th Ministerial Conference (MC11) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) concluded today in Buenos Aires, Argentina. “Going into this meeting we were apprehensive about what the membership could deliver. There’s a lot of concern in the world about where some of the big countries are heading on trade and whether the framework of rules we have for international trade is fit for purpose, now and for the future” said Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker. “We’re pretty disappointed that on agriculture, the Conference wasn’t ready to agree to cap the subsidies that major countries give their agriculture sectors, which distort world markets and disadvantage not just our farmers but subsistence farmers in developing countries. “Nor was there a willingness to implement rules to make the regulation of services more transparent, predictable and accessible. But I’m heartened that on both issues, members are keen to keep working, so the huge effort made to advance these negotiations since the last conference hasn’t been wasted. “ Minister Parker considered that some progress has been made on two environmental issues. “I believe that trade policy can contribute to global environmental solutions and sustainable development. New Zealand has a leadership role here. So I’m really pleased that yesterday, we started a dialogue to encourage the WTO to address the global harm being caused by fossil fuel subsidies. Mr Parker led the effort to deliver a Ministerial statement to the WTO on Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (FFSR). Endorsed by twelve other WTO Members, the statement confirms the benefits for development, trade and the environment of fossil fuel subsidy reform. It includes a commitment by New Zealand and its supporters to bring the issue into the WTO. “We were also able to take a step toward prohibiting harmful fisheries subsidies in time to meet the 2020 deadline set by Leaders’ in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.6. “Fisheries subsidies are a major driver of the crisis in global fisheries. Two thirds of global stocks are overfished or fully fished. Harmful subsidies have increased and fish stocks have deteriorated. “While this week we fell short of locking down what is needed to implement SDG 14.6, members agreed that they will conclude negotiations to prohibit these kinds of subsidies before 2020. To achieve this we will need to continue negotiations toward an agreement in 2018. Interested Members including New Zealand also agreed to continue their discussions on e-commerce and how to make trade rules deliver more for micro and small exporters. “You never get everything you want in trade negotiations” said Mr Parker. “But overall, I’m optimistic about where we’ve ended up. At a time of considerable global uncertainty, the WTO’s members have re-confirmed how important the organisation and its rules are for their economies and their citizens.”

/////////////////////////////////////////// Government signals new approach to measuring success

Posted: 13 Dec 2017 06:11 PM PST http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/LlrnX7gBX8w/government-signals-new-approach-measuring-success-0?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

Hon James Shaw Minister for Climate Change & Associate Minister of Finance 14 December 2017

MEDIA STATEMENT

Government signals new approach to measuring success Minister for Statistics and Climate Change James Shaw welcomes the commitment to develop a new set of economic, environmental, and social progress indicators, as outlined in the Government’s Budget Policy Statement (BPS) today. “This Government is committed to developing a comprehensive set of standards that go beyond just the traditional economic measurements like Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” James Shaw says. “How we measure our success shapes how we prioritise our resources and our spending. “Over the coming years, people will see Government Budgets that report on how policies are expected to affect actual living standards and the health of our environment, not just traditional measures like GDP. “Responsible fiscal management has to go hand in hand with better measurements of living standards and environmental sustainability. “Responsible fiscal management is not an end in itself; it’s a tool to help achieve our social and environmental goals and to improve all New Zealanders’ wellbeing. Economic sustainability and environmental sustainability are two sides of the same coin. “I also welcome that the priorities in the Budget Policy Statement include the establishment of the Green Investment Fund to stimulate vital, new investment in low carbon industries, enterprise, innovation, and infrastructure projects. “New Zealand faces great challenges but also enormous opportunities as we embrace new ways of doing business and living sustainably, but that has to be backed by a sound financial position. “The financial outlook is promising for New Zealand’s move to a low emissions, sustainable economy,” says James Shaw. Contact: Peter Stevens 021 611 900

/////////////////////////////////////////// Minister congratulates new Corrections graduates

Posted: 13 Dec 2017 05:52 PM PST http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/vjnGm1PXXsg/minister-congratulates-new-corrections-graduates?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis has congratulated 20 new Corrections officers and offender employment instructors who graduated at a ceremony in Upper Hutt today. “This is the first graduation I have attended as Minister and I was impressed to see Corrections attract so many high calibre women and men from all walks of life,” Mr Davis says. “Corrections frontline staff work face-to-face with offenders every day. It’s not always an easy job, and I’m grateful for the work they do in motivating prisoners to change their lives so we can reduce re-offending and keep our communities safe.” Patricia Parkin from Christchurch Women’s Prison was presented with the Minister’s Excellence Award and Recognition Pin, acknowledging her leadership, professionalism and outstanding contribution throughout the 12 week training programme. Patricia moved to New Zealand in 2009 and has spent a number of years working as a care assistant and a facilitator for youth group, Q-Topia. “Patricia’s passion for helping people will serve her well in her new role and she will no doubt find this new career path incredibly rewarding,” Mr Davis says. “This was also the first time a Recognition Pin has been presented to the award recipient. I hope the pin, with its silver and blue hei matau (fish hook) design, becomes a source of pride, strength and support for Patricia and future recipients.” The new graduates will work at Mt Eden, Auckland Region Women’s, Spring Hill and Otago corrections facilities, and Waikeria, Tongariro and Christchurch Men’s and Women’s prisons.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Children and families gain under Governments policies

Posted: 13 Dec 2017 05:26 PM PST http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/9v5nvAQrwM4/children-and-families-gain-under-government%25E2%2580%2599s-policies?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

The Government is delivering on its promise to help low- and middle-income families with children, and to reduce child poverty. “Caring for children is one of the most important things people can do. The Government is recognising this with a package of new support for parents and caregivers,” says Minister for Children Tracey Martin. The Government’s Families Package being announced today includes a boost to Working for Families and the introduction of a Best Start payment for newborns. These changes will help ensure all children have the best start in life, and provide vital financial support for people struggling to balance work while raising a family. “As part of improvements to Working for Families, the Family Tax Credit rates will be simplified to a single eldest child rate and a single subsequent child rate – with substantial increases,” says Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “The eldest child rate will increase to $5,878. At present it is $5,303 if the eldest child is aged 16-18, and $4,822 if the eldest child is aged 0-15. “The Orphan’s Benefit, Unsupported Child’s Benefit and Foster Care Allowance will also be increased by $20.31 a week. This means they receive the same increase as those getting the eldest child Family Tax Credit for children aged 0-15. “While Working for Families payments currently reduce once a family earns over $36,350 a year before tax, from 1 July 2018 a family can earn up to $42,700 before the payment begins to abate,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “The Government is also introducing a Best Start payment of $3,120 per child ($60 a week) for the first year, providing extra help to the parents of the estimated 65,000 newborns each year. For low- and middle-income earners, that support will continue until their child turns three,” says Tracey Martin. The changes will come into effect on 1 July 2018. “These are affordable because we have rejected National’s tax cuts, which would give $440 million a year to the top 10 per cent of income earners while children and their families missed out,” says Carmel Sepuloni. Ministers Sepuloni and Martin say that over the next five years the Government will put $2 billion in new funding towards Family Tax Credit changes and $1.14 billion towards Best Start. “Along with the other Families Package initiatives, these changes will provide higher incomes for families and better care for kids. We are focused on ensuring children get the best start in life, and that our welfare system doesn’t leave families without support,” says Tracey Martin. Editor’s note: The table below shows the impact of the Family Tax Credit changes, which will be effective from 1 July 2018.

Table: Annual rate of Family Tax Credit

Current

1 July 2018

Eldest child, 16-18

$5,303

$5,878

Eldest child, 0-15

$4,822

Subsequent child, 16-18

$4,745

$4,745

Subsequent child, 13-15

$3,822

Subsequent child, 0-12

$3,351

Working for Families (WFF) abatement rate

22.5%

25%

WFF abatement threshold (before tax)

$36,350

$42,700

Best Start will be available to all families with a baby born on or after 1 July 2018, and to families with a baby born earlier if they had an expected due date of 1 July 2018 or later. For families receiving paid parental leave, the payments will begin after the leave period ends. Contact: Amanda Snow, 021 282 0078 or Lee Harris-Royal, 022 053 1432 for Minister Sepuloni Richard Ninness, 029 235 0423 for Minister Martin

/////////////////////////////////////////// Delivering greater fairness with prosperity

Posted: 13 Dec 2017 04:01 PM PST http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/yxDQO9hFXeE/delivering-greater-fairness-prosperity?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

The Government is delivering on its commitment to manage New Zealand’s finances responsibly while ensuring the dividends of economic growth are more fairly shared, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“We promised we would be a Government of change. Together with our coalition partner, New Zealand First and our confidence and supply partner, the Green Party, we have made a clear choice to put the wellbeing of all New Zealanders firmly at the heart of what we do.

“Today’s Budget Policy Statement and our 100-Day Plan announcements are proof that the Government I lead will be different, one that will lead the country in a new, positive and inclusive direction.

“It will be a Government that makes reducing child poverty and inequality a priority. That is why we are moving with urgency to introduce legislation for the Families Package. This delivers on one of the key promises of our 100-Day Plan, alongside running balanced Budgets and paying down debt.

“We can pay for the Families Package and our fees-free policy for post-secondary education by cancelling National’s tax cuts.

“The Families Package will provide a significant boost to the incomes of low- and middle-income families. No family will be worse off than they are today, and most families with children will be better off.

When fully rolled out in 2020/21, 384,000 families with children will be better off by an average of $75 a week, with many lower-income families receiving more.

“We know working families struggle at times to provide the very best for their children. The early years of a child’s life are critically important to their long-term wellbeing and development.

“The Families Package is projected to lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2020/21* – a 48 per cent reduction in the number of children living in poverty compared to the status quo. That’s 39,000 more children lifted out of poverty than under the previous National Government’s package.

“The Families Package includes a targeted boost to Working for Families, giving more money to low- and middle-income families with children, and increasing the number of families who will be eligible for support.

“The money saved from reversing National’s tax cuts also allows us to invest in Best Start as part of the Families Package. Every child deserves the best start in life; our policy will provide an income boost for all families with newborns.

“The Families Package includes the Winter Energy Payment, providing a welcome support to one million superannuitants and beneficiaries who face big heating bills in winter.

“This will provide long-term gains for the country and is fiscally responsible. We can do this while meeting all the targets we have set ourselves under the Budget Responsibility Rules, and without raising anyone’s personal income tax.

“The steps we are taking today show this Government’s determination to make a difference to the lives of many New Zealanders so more can share in the gains of economic growth. It’s about priorities and choices,” says Jacinda Ardern.

* Defined as living in a household with an income less than 50 per cent of median equivalised household income before deducting housing costs

/////////////////////////////////////////// Pacific people to benefit from Governments Families Package

Posted: 13 Dec 2017 04:00 PM PST http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/opbbC_aLTU0/pacific-people-benefit-governments-families-package?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

Pacific families are set to benefit from the Government’s Families Package, says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.

The key elements of the Families Package include:

Best Start payment to help all New Zealand families with a newborn by $60 a week up until the child’s first birthday – and up to three years of age for low- and middle-income families More financial assistance for low- and middle-income families with children by increasing Working for Families payments Restoring the Independent Earner Tax Credit to help low-income working people Increasing the Accommodation Supplement and Accommodation Benefit Winter Energy Payment to help our poorest families heat their homes over winter. “For far too long Pacific peoples have been over-represented in New Zealand’s negative social indicators. We have promised to help them,” Aupito William Sio says.

“The Families Package offers a range of support and will make a real difference for Pacific communities and help give their children a better start in life.

“The Accommodation Supplement and Accommodation Benefit changes will provide families with financial help with housing costs. With just under half of Pacific children under five years old living in crowded homes, this will provide real support.

“The Winter Energy Payment will be a helping hand to Pacific families. They are the most likely to report major housing problems, with 43 per cent of Pacific families reporting problems with cold housing.

“Damp and cold housing is a contributing factor to higher rates of hospitalisation for infectious diseases.

“When you combine the Families Package with 26 weeks of paid parental leave, the minimum wage going up to $16.50 per hour from July next year, and to $20 per hour by 2021, the fees-free post-secondary education policy starting January 2018, and the $50 increases to student allowances, this Government is making significant investments that will help Pacific families throughout New Zealand.

“Pacific peoples are twice as likely as Pakeha to be in the lowest 20 per cent of income earners, and four times less likely to be in the top 20 per cent. We need to break the intergenerational cycle through targeted investment in housing, health, education and the early years of a child’s life.

“We are able to do this because we have rejected the previous National Government’s tax cuts, which would have given $440 million a year to the top 10 per cent of earners. We are targeting our investment to those who need it most,” Aupito William Sio says.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Post-secondary package helps Kiwis get ahead

Posted: 13 Dec 2017 04:00 PM PST http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/IEl9MBtZU-o/post-secondary-package-helps-kiwis-get-ahead?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

“The Government is committed to delivering a modern workforce by removing cost barriers to post-secondary education and training,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.

Beginning in 2017/18, funding provides for a combination of one year of fees-free post-secondary training and education, which will be available to around 80,000 people, and a $50 increase in student allowance and student loans weekly living costs, benefiting 130,000 people.

“These changes have been fully accounted for over a four-year fiscal horizon and out years.

The operating impact will be $2.57 billion over five years – $342 million in 2017/18, rising to $628 million in 2021/22 and out years.

This is primarily made up of:

$50 million to fund the student allowance increase in 2017/18, rising to $134 million in 2021/22 $303 million to fund fees-free payments to tertiary education providers in 2017/18, rising to $397 million in 2021/22 $7 million for fees-free payments in industry training in 2017/18, rising to $20 million in 2021/22. Some other minor costs and savings associated with the package bring us to our total spend. For example, in 2017/18 there is an additional $7 million in costs as well as a $25 million reduction in the operating costs of student loans.

“The total for each year is tens of millions of dollars lower than previously announced, after treatment of GST on fees-free payments was confirmed in finalising the detailed appropriation changes,” says Chris Hipkins.

“The overall total has been offset by a $434 million reduction in capital spending over the next five years as students borrow less overall, even as student loan living cost payments increase.

“This is a bold and affordable policy that invests in New Zealanders and New Zealand.

“The Government wants all Kiwis to be able to get ahead through affordable lifelong training and learning opportunities.

“We expect the policy to halt and then reverse the current trend of fewer people going into post-school training and education. This is great for our businesses, which need skilled workers.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Children and families gain under Governments policies

Posted: 13 Dec 2017 04:00 PM PST http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/nOrZ1Gq25HE/children-and-families-gain-under-governments-policies?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

The Government is delivering on its promise to help low- and middle-income families with children, and to reduce child poverty. “Caring for children is one of the most important things people can do. The Government is recognising this with a package of new support for parents and caregivers,” says Minister for Children Tracey Martin. The Government’s Families Package being announced today includes a boost to Working for Families and the introduction of a Best Start payment for newborns. These changes will help ensure all children have the best start in life, and provide vital financial support for people struggling to balance work while raising a family. “As part of improvements to Working for Families, the Family Tax Credit rates will be simplified to a single eldest child rate and a single subsequent child rate – with substantial increases,” says Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “The eldest child rate will increase to $5,878. At present it is $5,303 if the eldest child is aged 16-18, and $4,822 if the eldest child is aged 0-15. “The Orphan’s Benefit, Unsupported Child’s Benefit and Foster Care Allowance will also be increased by $20.31 a week. This means they receive the same increase as those getting the eldest child Family Tax Credit for children aged 0-15. “While Working for Families payments currently reduce once a family earns over $36,350 a year before tax, from 1 July 2018 a family can earn up to $42,700 before the payment begins to abate,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “The Government is also introducing a Best Start payment of $3,120 per child ($60 a week) for the first year, providing extra help to the parents of the estimated 65,000 newborns each year. For low- and middle-income earners, that support will continue until their child turns three,” says Tracey Martin. The changes will come into effect on 1 July 2018. “These are affordable because we have rejected National’s tax cuts, which would give $440 million a year to the top 10 per cent of income earners while children and their families missed out,” says Carmel Sepuloni. Ministers Sepuloni and Martin say that over the next five years the Government will put $2 billion in new funding towards Family Tax Credit changes and $1.14 billion towards Best Start. “Along with the other Families Package initiatives, these changes will provide higher incomes for families and better care for kids. We are focused on ensuring children get the best start in life, and that our welfare system doesn’t leave families without support,” says Tracey Martin. Editor’s note: The table below shows the impact of the Family Tax Credit changes, which will be effective from 1 July 2018. Table: Annual rate of Family Tax Credit

Best Start will be available to all families with a baby born on or after 1 July 2018, and to families with a baby born earlier if they had an expected due date of 1 July 2018 or later. For families receiving paid parental leave, the payments will begin after the leave period ends.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Fact Sheet - Families Package

Posted: 13 Dec 2017 04:00 PM PST http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/beehive-govt-nz/releases/~3/UBvTFKZquaA/fact-sheet-families-package?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

Summary

The Families Package will provide targeted assistance to improve incomes for low- and middle-income families with children. It is part of the Government’s focus on reducing child poverty, and ensuring children get the best start in life.

The Families Package will:

boost the incomes of low- and middle-income families with children by increasing the Family Tax Credit and raising the Working for Families abatement threshold introduce a Best Start tax credit to help families with costs in a child’s early years introduce a Winter Energy Payment to help older New Zealanders and many of our poorest families heat their homes over winter increase the rate of Orphan’s Benefit, Unsupported Child’s Benefit and Foster Care Allowance by $20.31 per week increase paid parental leave to 26 weeks reinstate the Independent Earner Tax Credit implement the Accommodation Supplement and Accommodation Benefit increases announced in Budget 2017 repeal the tax cuts and changes to Working for Families announced in Budget 2017. Relative to the status quo (i.e., without Budget 2017 changes), an estimated 385,000 families with children will be made better off by an average of $75 a week in 2020/21 when the Package is fully implemented.

Compared to what they would have received from the Budget 2017 settings 365,000 families with children will be better off by an average of $39 per week in 2020/21.

By 2020/21, around 650,000 families without children will gain approximately $14 per week (averaged over the year) due to increases in the Accommodation Supplement and the Winter Energy Payment.

The Families Package will help reduce child poverty. In 2020/21, the Package is projected to reduce the number of children living in households earning below 50% of the equivalised (moving line) median household income by around 88,000, or a reduction of around 48% relative to the status quo. This reduction is 39,000 more than was projected to have occurred under Budget 2017 settings.

Superannuitants and students will also benefit. Approximately 710,000 superannuitants will benefit from the introduction of the Winter Energy Payment (WEP) in 2018. Approximately 41,000 students are expected to benefit from increases in the Accommodation Benefit.

By reversing the previous Government’s income tax cuts, the Families Package will raise revenue by $8.36 billion over the five-year forecast period (including $0.49 billion in 2017/18). This additional revenue is used to fund the costs of the Package, estimated at $5.53 billion over the forecast period (including delivering $80 million in additional revenue in 2017/18). This means that over the forecast period, the Families Package is estimated to have a positive impact on the Government’s operating balance of $2.84 billion compared with Budget 2017 (including $0.57 billion in 2017/18).

These net savings free up funding to support other priority areas for the Government, including housing, health and education.

See full fact sheet attached in related documents.

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