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Rural Bulletin Survey Results: Snapshot…

Rural Bulletin

November 2007

Contents


Rural Bulletin Survey Results: Snapshot…

We received 362 responses from Rural Bulletin readers within the timeframe (more came in afterwards). Of these 185 were from people living in rural areas, 66 from people in small towns and 94 from people in cities. Our thanks go to you all.

How you receive it: just under half the respondents received Rural Bulletin by email, and slightly under half were sent it by mail. A small number downloaded it from Rural Women New Zealand’s website.

How you rate it: the vast majority of respondents - 346 people (over 93%) rated the information in Rural Bulletin relevant or very relevant to their needs (12 people did not respond to this question).

Sharing the information: people mainly shared the information by taking it to meetings (200 people); taking it to community or professional groups (126); sharing it with people visiting the respondent’s home (126); sharing it at work (102); emailing it to others (68); displaying it in the workplace (43); using it in community newspapers (24); putting it in regional newsletters (14); putting it in national newsletters (8); broadcasting it over radio (2); giving it to people who come in and ask for it (26); sending the URL to others (18); sharing information by phone (16); putting it in the library (13); sending it to district units/groups (12); and leaving it at the doctor’s or dentist’s surgery (9).

No. of people accessing Rural Bulletin information: an average of just over 305 people accessed information from each respondent’s Rural Bulletin. The total number of people accessing information from Bulletins sent to the 362 respondents is therefore calculated at 88,480.

What people mainly like best: being kept up to date with what is going on around the country; the wide range of information; a plain English presentation; conciseness; the neutral approach (no politics/no opinions/not patronising); references to where you can find more information; the “no frills” philosophy; and access to matters that could affect rural people.

Main suggestions for change (which we will accommodate where we can): by far the biggest group of people want no change; make it easier to download (two large files in one email make downloading difficult); check submission closing dates; hyperlinks provided in the contents; and publish it more frequently.

…& Review of Rural Bulletin Distribution

RWNZ has been reviewing the distribution of Rural Bulletin, and from next year, people on the postal Rural Bulletin mailing list who are with organisations that clearly have electronic capability will be able to access only the electronic version of Rural Bulletin.

RWNZ publishes Rural Bulletin with the help of its generous sponsors, who provide most, but not all, the costs of publication. A major part of the costs relates to provision of print versions of Rural Bulletin. Many people prefer the printed version. However, people who have access to more advanced computer technology are able to easily download Rural Bulletin and print it if they wish, or go the RWNZ website at http://www.ruralwomen.org/ to read or print it. Many local groups distributing the Rural Bulletin locally in partnership with the publisher have been doing this since its inception, and it has made a significant difference, both to the budget, and to the information their communities have been able to access.


If you receive the Rural Bulletin by post and also have access to technology that enables you to easily download Rural Bulletin, please email us at ruralbulletin@ruralwomen.org.nz (don’t forget to include your postal address in the email), so we can add you to the electronic list for Rural Bulletin, and take you off the postal list. Note: RWNZ intends to continue to post print versions to people who do not have a computer, or have trouble downloading large documents.

Consultation

Biofuels Bill Consultation

A new Biofuels Bill is aimed making the transport sector more environmentally-friendly and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while also starting to wean NZ off its dependence on oil.

Under the Bill mandatory biofuel use would begin in NZ next year, and it would comprise 3.4% of fuel company sales by 2012. Biofuels could be sourced from NZ or from overseas. NZ sources are likely to initially include tallow (animal fats), and then include wood-waste, syngas derived from biomass, or algae grown on sewage ponds. The legislation includes a clause that enables environmental sustainability standards to be developed.

Submissions close 31 January 2008. They go the Local Government and Environment Select Committee, Parliament, Wellington. The Bill is at http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Legislation/Bills/4/c/9/00DBHOH_BILL8317_1-Biofuel-Bill.htm

Consultation on Telecom's Draft Separation Plan

Public submissions are being sought on Telecom's Draft Separation Plan.

This plan for separating Telecom’s business units has to meet the requirements set out in the Telecommunications Act 2001, and it will help to reshape how NZ's telecommunications markets operate and perform in the future. The business units are the Access Network Services Unit (ANS) Unit, the Wholesale Unit, a Telecom Fixed Network Business Unit, and Retail Units.

Under the plan, the main requirements in the Act - including establishing the ANS Unit - would be met by 31 March 2008, and most of the remaining ones by 1 July 2008. Telecom has sought an extension of timeframes in two areas: trading arrangements, and arrangements with contractors and agents.

Submissions close on 23 November 2007. Telecom’s separation plan is at http://www.med.govt.nz/templates/MultipageDocumentTOC____32173.aspx. Email written comments to operationalseparation@med.govt.nz. Submissions can also be posted to: Operational Separation Submission, ICT Regulatory Team, Ministry of Economic Development, PO Box 1473, Wellington, attn: R Chivers

Disposing of Waste from Electronic Equipment

The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) has developed proposals for a first step towards national guidelines for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Until now there have been no national standards for managing WEEE, despite some electronic parts in computers, mobile phones, and other equipment containing dangerous compounds.

At the centre of the guidelines is the principle that all members of the recycling chain have a “duty of care” to ensure than the disposable of electronic or electric products do not have a negative effect on the environment.

Submissions close on 23 November 2007. You can view the proposed guidelines at: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/waste/weee-good-practice-guidelines-sep07/weee-good-practice-guidelines-sep07.pdf. An online submission form is at: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/waste/special/e-waste/good-practice-guidelines.html#submission

Environmental Standards: Electricity Transmission

Have your say on two proposed national environmental standards for electricity transmission. One standard sets ways of managing the environmental effects of the operation, maintenance and enhancement of the national grid (note that it excludes the construction of new transmission lines). The other relates to controlling activities which could damage the national grid or put it at risk.

Submissions close 30 November 2007. They go to: Ministry for the Environment, PO Box 10362, Wellington, email standards@mfe.govt.nz. More information is at http://www.mfe.govt.nz/laws/standards/electricity-transmission-public-notice.html

Saving Seabirds

The Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) has published proposals outlining best practices for lessening the likelihood of fishing-related seabird deaths. These would apply to all trawl and longline vessels.

Seabird species globally are facing a number of threats, both at their breeding sites and when they forage at sea. One of the main threats is through fishing activity. In longline fisheries, the baited hooks float on, or just below, the surface for a short time before they start sinking. During this period, the hooks can be attacked by foraging seabirds which become hooked and drown. In some fisheries the hooks can remain within reach of diving seabirds for quite a while.

MFish’s proposals follow the death of 12 Chatham albatrosses and 22 Salvin’s albatrosses caught by a single long-line vessel fishing on the Chatham Rise in September.

Submissions close on 23 November 2007. You can download the proposals at: http://www.fish.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/B6898910-CB45-42EB-ABE3-480582D24561/0/IPPSeabirdmitigationmeasuresfortrawlandlonglinevesselsfinal.pdf'

Tax Law on Payments to Volunteers

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has released a discussion paper exploring options for ways of clarifying and simplifying the tax treatment of reimbursements and honoraria paid to volunteers.

The paper seeks feedback on suggested ways of dealing with current uncertainties in the tax law relating to these payments. The idea is to minimise, as much as possible, compliance costs for volunteers and non-profit organisations.

Submissions close on 14 December. For more information see the Government's media statement at http://www.taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/index.php?view=555. The discussion paper is at http://www.taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/publications/index.php?catid=2

Draft Statement on Race Relations

The Human Rights Commission has released a draft statement on race relations in NZ. The Commission is seeking comments on how the draft can be developed to best express and promote a shared understanding of what makes for cultural diversity and harmonious race relations in NZ. The statement will provide a checklist of issues against which NZ can measure the state of its race relations. These include: the Treaty of Waitangi, freedom from discrimination, freedom of expression, safety, social inclusion, access and opportunity issues, settlement issues, education, cultural diversity, and respect for the rights of others.

Submissions close 31 December 2007. The statement is at http://www.hrc.co.nz/hrc_new/hrc/cms/files/documents/28-Aug-2007_10-22-50_Draft_Statement_on_Race_Relations.doc. Email comments to nzdiversity@hrc.co.nz (please specify Draft Statement on Race Relations in the subject line), or post them to Human Rights Commission, PO Box 12411, Thorndon, Wellington, fax: 04-471 6759

Land Transport Amendment Bill (No 4)

This Bill would:

• clarify the law about driving while drug-impaired;

• create a new offence of driving while impaired by use of drugs;

• enhance the power of police to deal with drug-impaired drivers; and

• protect personal information held on the Motor Vehicle Register (vehicle information would continue to be publicly available).

Submissions close 14 December 2007. They go to the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee, Parliament Buildings, Wellington. The Bill is at http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Legislation/Bills/0/e/9/00DBHOH_BILL8313_1-Land-Transport-Amendment-Bill-No-4.htm

Consultation on Early Childhood Standards

The Ministry of Education is seeking feedback from early childhood educators on the proposed criteria for the licensing and certification of early childhood education (ECE). These outline the day-to-day requirements which the different types of ECE services must meet in order to comply with the regulations covering standards of education and care. By and large, the changes are refinements and updates to the first round of consultation last year.

Submissions close 20 November 2007. The proposed criteria can be downloaded from: http://www.lead.ece.govt.nz/default.htm

Tax Exemption for Companies Operating Overseas?

An issues paper seeking feedback on details of a proposal for tax exemption for income from offshore operations of NZ businesses has been released. The move would exempt the active income of our controlled foreign companies from domestic income tax, bringing NZ into line with the practice of other countries. The change would put NZ businesses on a better footing internationally by freeing them from a tax cost that the controlled foreign companies of other countries do not face.

The issues paper gives detailed suggestions for the design of the exemption and seeks the views of businesses with offshore operations on how the changes will affect them.

Submissions close on 30 November 2007. The issues paper, “NZ’s International Tax Review – developing an active income exemption for controlled foreign companies”, is available at www.taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz

Protected Disclosures Amendment Bill

Public submissions are now being invited on the Protected Disclosures Amendment Bill. This Bill aims to give the Ombudsmen:

• a greater guiding, reviewing, and investigating role in respect of people who disclose serious wrongdoing;

• more precise information-requesting and advising powers; and

• a more substantial managing and coordinating role.

The Bill also seeks to clarify and extend the group of people who can make disclosures of serious wrongdoing and come within the Act’s protections.

The closing date for submissions is Friday, 25 January 2008. They go to the Government Administration Select Committee, Parliament Buildings, Wellington. The Bill is at http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Legislation/Bills/1/f/6/00DBHOH_BILL8295_1-Protected-Disclosures-Amendment-Bill.htm

Electricity Commission Consultations

The Electricity Commission oversees NZ's electricity industry and markets. It regulates operations to make sure that electricity is produced and delivered to all consumers in an efficient, fair, reliable and environmentally sustainable manner. The Commission is currently consulting people connected with the industry on several proposals, including:

• Electricity connections and outages: a draft Connection and a draft Outage Protocol has been prepared by Transpower. The Commission’s discussion paper outlines the proposals and poses a number of questions for submitters;

• Proposed interconnection service rules: these have been provisionally approved by the Electricity Commission. Once they are finalised, they will be used by participants to see which interconnection assets Transpower must make available, how these are configured, and at what capacity. Transpower will be required to report against the measures, and on any change to the way the grid is set up; and

• Accommodating further wind generation: the Commission is assessing the likely impact of wind generation development over the next 5 to 10 years. It wants to find out how wind generation can be developed on a “level playing field” with other generation sources, and also how large amounts of wind generation might be accommodated in the NZ power system/electricity market.

Submissions on electricity connections and outage protocols close on 16 November 2007. More information is at http://www.electricitycommission.govt.nz/pdfs/opdev/transmis/pdfsconsultation/outage/Connection-Code-Outage-Protocol.pdf Submissions on interconnection service measures close 20 November 2007. More information/the discussion paper are at http://www.electricitycommission.govt.nz/consultation. Submissions on wind generation close on 30 November 2007.More information is at http://www.electricitycommission.govt.nz/consultation/optionsanalysis/view Electronic submissions are preferred. All submissions on the Electricity Commission’s consultations go to info@electricitycommission.govt.nz (make sure you specify which consultation you are submitting on in the subject line of your email. You can also post submissions to J Walton, Electricity Commission, Level 7, ASB Bank Tower, 2 Hunter Street, P O Box 10041, Wellington, tel 04-460 8860, fax 04-460 8879

Level Crossings Guideline: Consultation

Comments are being sought on a draft level crossings guideline – the second one being prepared for a new manual for traffic control systems. The level crossings guide will provide information on the requirements of both rail and road when they meet at level crossings.

The manual for traffic control devices will provide standards for the use of traffic control systems to manage traffic networks. It will replace all the existing resources.

Submissions close 16 November 2007. More information including a website response form is at http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/consultation/level-crossings/context.html Electronic submission (other than the website response form) go to: bob.gibson@landtransport.govt.nz. Postal submissions go to B Gibson, Land Transport NZ, PO Box 2840, Wellington

Standards NZ’s Draft Standards

Standards NZ currently has a number of draft standards available for public comment. Examples of these are:

• Domestic Furniture - Beds and Mattresses - Test methods for the determination of functional characteristics. Closing date for comments is 24/12/2007. Go to http://shop.standards.co.nz/drafts/DR07405-DR07405.pdf;

• Electric Toys – Safety. Closing date for comments is 25/01/2008. Go to http://www.standards.co.nz/web-shop/?action=viewDraft&mod=drafts&draftId=DR07957CP; and

• Household and Similar Electrical Appliances - Safety - Part 2-6: Particular requirements for stationary cooking ranges, hobs, ovens and similar appliances. Closing date for comments is 25 /01/2008. Go to http://shop.standards.co.nz/drafts/DR07951CP-DR07951CPAS-NZS60335.2.6Am5.pdf

The full list of draft standards is available at http://www.standards.co.nz/web-shop/?action=basicShopSearch&mod=search&SearchBox1_txtShopName=&selStatus=DRAFT&catalog=NZ

Containing Mangroves: ARC Consultation

The Auckland Regional Council (ARC) says that although mangroves have environmental benefits they can also produce detriments, such as reducing open coastal areas for wading birds. It is proposing that outside specified sensitive areas, and subject to conditions, local people will not need resource consent to remove a small area of mangroves for access, drainage or safety reasons. Communities would also be allowed to remove mangrove seedlings by hand in order to “hold the line” on further expansion of mangroves. Resource consents of various types would be needed for other mangrove removal activities.

Submissions close on 28 November 2007. You can download the consultation paper from: http://www.arc.govt.nz/arc/index.cfm?BB3A7F29-BCD4-1A24-9734-A117F8A54F0E

Reminder: Public Transport Management Bill

This Bill gives regional councils greater powers to regulate the public transport services provided in their regions, while retaining the ability of operators to register such services on a commercial basis. The aim is to help regions obtain the best value for money in achieving an integrated, safe, responsive, and sustainable public transport system - that also enables fair competition and a competitive and efficient market for public transport services.

The closing date for submissions is Friday, 14 December 2007.They go to the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

Rural

Walking Access: Role of the Advisory Board

A Walking Access Advisory Board of eight members has been appointed. It is to advise the Government on:

• development of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Conservation (DOC) on the operational management of walkways on land administered by DOC;

• development of a NZ Access Strategy, including new access and priorities for funding;

• development of a voluntary code of responsible conduct;

• the public’s likely requirements and priorities for walking access;

• development of an appropriate mapping database for walking access; and

• the options for a new walking access organisation.

Members of the Board are: John Acland (Chair - Geraldine); Brian Stephenson Auckland); John Aspinall (Wanaka); John Forbes (Opotiki); Peter Brown (Gisborne); Claire Mulcock (Christchurch); Dr Jenny Ross (Christchurch); and Alan McMillan (Dunedin).

Planning for Adverse Events: Farm Guide

An “On-farm Readiness and Recovery Plan” for adverse events and natural disasters has been produced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF). This explains individual and rural community responsibilities for responding to adverse climatic events and natural disasters that affect agriculture, horticulture and forestry businesses. The brochure also outlines the central government assistance that may be available in small, medium and large-scale adverse events.

Rural communities are advised to work together to manage local and regional events. Depending on the risks and potential consequences of the event, local Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) groups - or special interest groups such as Rural Women, Rural Support Trusts, Federated Farmers, Forest Owners’ Association, Farm Forestry Association, Horticulture NZ, and Landcare groups - may work alongside the local community.

The brochure is at http://www.maf.govt.nz/mafnet/rural-nz/assistance/adverse-events/pdfs/adverse-events-brochure-may07.pdf. More information on managing adverse events is available from local MAF offices in: Hamilton: tel 07-957 8314; Rotorua: tel 07-921 3400; Hastings: tel 06-974 8814, Wellington: tel 04-894 0100; Nelson: tel 03-543 9182; Christchurch: tel 03-943 1703 and Dunedin: tel 03-951 4700

Dairy Farmer Information Service: New 0800 Number

Farmer owned dairy research company Dexcel has launched an 0800 number Farmer Information Service for answers to queries about seasonal on-farm practices and technical and scientific issues. Callers will either be provided with answers “on the spot”, or be referred on if the query is highly technical.

Dairy farming queries can be directed to 0800-339 235 from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday or emailed to info@dexcel.co.nz

Environment

Dead Didymo Cells Found in North Island Rivers

Didymo was first discovered in 2004 in rivers in the South Island. No cells had been identified in the North Island until very recently, when dead Didymo cells were found in four North Island rivers.

Didymo can clog up waterways, and endanger the habitat of native fish and native plants. It attaches itself to streambeds by stalks, which form a thick brown mat on rocks, plants and other materials in the water. The well-established mats form flowing streamers that turn white at the ends and look similar to tissue paper. Large mats can also form on the bottom of streams, rivers and on lake edges where there is a wave action.

Currently there is no “cure” for didymo. Preventing further spread relies on freshwater users cleaning equipment used in streams, rivers and lakes before they go to another waterway. This has to be done regardless of the location they have been in, or what people think the risk of didymo there might be.

Stopping the Spread of Didymo

Anyone - e.g. whitebaiters, anglers, boaties, trampers, hunters, swimmers – who comes in contact with river water, needs to check, clean and dry their equipment and clothing afterwards. To make sure rods, waders and craft are quite clean, soak them for at least five minutes in a 5% dishwash liquid solution (soak felted gear for 20 minutes).

Any possible sightings of Didymo should be reported to 0800-80 99 66

Topping Up NZ’s Depleted Camping Grounds…

Last year the Department of Conservation (DoC) noted a significant decline in camping opportunities after rises in land values led to coastal land, in particular, being sold for residential development. The Department has now drawn up a list of 100 potential camping spots on land it administers. Four of these will open this summer, with four others becoming available in the middle of next year. They are:

• Canaan Downs at Takaka adjoining Abel Tasman National Park, which will accommodate around 50 people;

• Uretiti Beach near Whangarei, Mavora Lake in Southland and Purakaunui Bay in Otago (which have all been upgraded);

• Moawhitu on D’Urville Island in the Marlborough Sounds, a coastal campsite, which is opening in December, as is the Ox Bow Kiripapango campsite on the banks of the Ngaruroro River in Kaweka Forest Park, about 100km from Napier and Hastings;

• Moturua Island in the Bay of Islands, which has safe anchorage and swimming beaches, and is due to open in February next year;

• Lake Arapuni’s edge, 45km from Tokoroa, and sited in an area with few camping opportunities, and popular with boaties and anglers (it is due to open in the middle of next year); and

• Port Jackson at the far tip of Coromandel Peninsula, where the current 350-person capacity will be increased by around 100.

More information on DoC’s camping sites - including locations around the country, site facilities, making a booking, and fees (basic camp sites are free) - is at http://www.doc.govt.nz/templates/summary.aspx?id=38354

…& New Public Park Created

A new public park, the 68,000ha Hakatere Conservation Park in Ashburton, which includes Hakatere Station as well as 19 areas of conservation land, has been created on the shores of Lake Clearwater. It features snow-capped mountains, crystal clear lakes and a popular skifield, and it offers NZers boating, swimming, tramping, climbing, skiing, hunting, mountain biking, picnicking, camping, horse riding, and fishing opportunities.

The public will have access to the pastoral lease areas of Hakatere Station from November 2007 but the freehold part will remain in private ownership until July 2008.

The park was part of the seasonal trail of mahinga kai (which included tuna/eels, weka, kaka, kererū, tūi, pūkeko, aruhe /fern root, kiore, kōkopu, tikumu and ti kouka/cabbage tree), and a Statutory Acknowledgement and Deed of Recognition has been placed over the area through the Ngāi Tahu Settlement Act 1998.

Kiwi Breeding Programme Success

The country's fragile kiwi population has been given a boost, with the release of 162 chicks back into the wild in the past season under the BNZ Operation Nest Egg programme.

In the programme wild kiwi eggs are collected to incubate, hatch and rear in captivity (a kiwi can lay up to 100 eggs in her lifetime). When about four weeks old, chicks are sent to a safe crèche - either a predator-free island or mainland sanctuary - until they reach around one kilogram. Only then are they returned to their wild home. Some 65% of the BNZ Operation Nest Egg chicks are likely to survive. Without conservation management, the survival rate on mainland NZ is about 10%, well short of the 20% survival needed for a population to increase.

Ozone Hole over Antarctica "Relatively Small"

This year the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica is “relatively small” at about 25 million sq km, but it will still take decades for it to heal over, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said recently. The ozone hole, about the size of North America, appeared earlier than usual in 2007 developing in August and is the third smallest in the past decade.

The ozone layer shields the Earth from damaging ultra-violent rays that can cause skin cancer. The small ozone hole is due to relatively mild temperatures in the Antarctic stratosphere during the 2007 winter, as low temperatures increase ozone loss.

New NZ Climate Change Centre

The nine Crown Research Institutes and Canterbury and Victoria Universities are to establish a NZ Climate Change Centre, the roles of which will be to:

• facilitate and co-ordinate research on climate change;

• act as an advisory group, linking with ministries, local authorities, producer groups; industry groups, the media and the public; and

• coordinate the development of science-based systems for adapting to and lessening the effects of climate change.

NZ Joins International Carbon Market Partnership

NZ has signed up to the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) as a founding member. The ICAP is an international forum for sharing knowledge and experience about designing or implementing carbon markets. NZ was invited to join because it is developing an emissions trading system.

The Partnership brings together several European countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, and Norway; and a number of individual US States, including California, New York and New Jersey.

Economic Impact of Emissions Trading: Report

An Infometrics report on emissions trading outlines research commissioned by Treasury analyses the impact of an Emissions Trading Scheme on emission levels, economic growth and other economic indicators. The report concludes that during the period between 2008 and 2012, the economic impact of NZ meeting its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol is likely to be around zero to 0.3%. In the longer term introducing a price on carbon across all sectors of the economy through an Emissions Trading Scheme is going to be a lower cost option than making taxpayers responsible for meeting NZ’s likely climate change commitments.

The report is at www.climatechange.govt.nz/nz-solutions/reducing-our-footprint.shtml

MfE: Examining Management of Contaminated Sites

The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) is looking at the way NZ manages contaminated land, and will be focusing on:

• developing systems for the protection of human health, through a national environmental standard;

• developing examples of good practice in district plan land use, development and subdivision provisions for contaminated land; and

• publicising the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund (this fund helps councils encourage the cleaning up of contaminated sites).

Some consultation has been carried out and people will have an opportunity to comment further during the development of the work areas.

More information is at http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/hazardous/policy-framework-contaminated-land-position-sep07/index.html For information on the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund email funds@mfe.govt.nz

New Mobile Glass Crusher

A new mobile glass crusher from the Glass Packaging Forum is to tour the South Island, providing councils with an opportunity to crush recycled glass. Crushed glass can be used in new products, such as a roading foundation material which includes up to 5% recycled glass. This material has already been used in roadways, paths and building foundations at a number of sites.

The Glass Packaging Forum was established in response to the surplus of recovered glass many regions face as a result of higher recovery rates. Glass recycling has reached a new high in NZ this year, with 53% of glass consumed in NZ now being recycled.

Energy

Two New Energy Strategies

Main points in the NZ Energy Strategy and the NZ Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy include:

NZ Energy Strategy

1. Flexible, low carbon transport systems: cutting emissions from transport involves using more efficient and lower-impact forms of transport, using alternative renewable fuels, increasing the efficiency of vehicles, and reducing the number of kilometres travelled. Suggested ways of doing this include:

• updating the NZ Transport Strategy in 2008;

• developing policies to encourage greater provision of public transport, cycling and walking;

• developing a NZ Domestic Sea Freight Strategy;

• developing average fuel economy standards for light vehicles at point of import;

• establishing an advisory group to look at future vehicle technologies, such as biofuels and electric cars; and

• introducing the Biofuels Sales Obligation on 1 April 2008.

2. Having a secure electricity supply: this will mean being efficient with energy use, using “demand-side management” (this involves setting up policies/systems that control or influence the demand for electricity, usually so either less is used or the demand is shifted to another period in the day), and using different kinds of electricity supply all contribute to high levels of security. Long term, the security of supply depends on competitive markets, cost-effective demand-side response, greater use of renewable energy systems, and a stronger national grid. The main actions include:

• the Electricity Commission’s review of its reserve energy policy, to see whether any more actions are required;

• developing national guidance under the Resource Management Act on electricity transmission;

• introducing amendments to the Electricity Industry Reform Amendment to relax some conditions around investment by lines companies; and

• developing gas wholesale and transmission market arrangements to make it easier to establish more flexible and secure gas supply arrangements.

Ways of changing the shape of the electricity load include:

• reducing price volatility/flattening spot prices;

• improving system security and reducing the risk of black-outs;

• reducing network congestion;

• delaying construction of additional generation, and/or grid and network upgrading;

• reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and

• improving market efficiency by enhancing consumers’ ability to respond to changing prices.

• Demand-side management actions can also lower consumers’ total electricity costs.

3. Low emissions power and heat: the Government has set a target for 90% of our electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025. Coupled with energy efficiency measures, this would see NZ cut its greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation back to 1990 levels. Government programmes for encouraging the use of renewable energy are set out in the NZ Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy. They include:

• introduction of an emissions trading scheme;

• providing clear messages to state-owned electricity generators that there should not be a need for new baseload fossil fuel generation for the next ten years;

• developing a national policy for renewable energy in 2008; and

• providing more guidance on the “call-in” process (the process involves Ministerial intervention in resources management processes – see http://www.mfe.govt.nz/rma/central/minister/national-significance.html)

4. Using energy more efficiently: NZ hasn’t been particularly efficient in the way it uses energy. The NZ Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy is an action plan for across-the-board energy efficiency. The plan is aimed at reducing demand for “stationary energy” (this includes all forms and uses of energy services other than transport and mobility).

5. Sustainable energy technologies and innovation: the focus will be on supporting sustainable energy projects and linking participants from the research community, industry, and central and local government to speed up the adoption of low carbon sustainable energy technologies. Key initiatives include:

• introducing tax credits for R&D expenditure;

• a contestable fund of $8 million over four years for the deployment of marine generation devices in NZ, which will be open for applications by November 2007; and

• setting up a contestable fund of $12 million over three years to support new low carbon energy technologies.

6. Affordability and wellbeing: historically NZ has enjoyed cheap and abundant energy, but in recent years electricity prices have risen, as have oil prices. The main actions here are:

• amending regulations for the low fixed-tariff option for domestic electricity consumers to take into account regional climate variations that impact on heating costs;

• providing assistance for households to adjust to higher electricity prices arising from the introduction of emissions trading (the way this would happen is under consideration); and

• supporting the provision of high-quality information to householders, including www.consumer.org.nz/powerswitch www.smarterhomes.org.nz www.energywise.org.nz and www.fuelsaver.govt.nz

To see a fact sheet about the strategy go to: http://www.beehive.govt.nz/Documents/Files/ACF2F4B.pdf

NZ Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy

Highlights of the NZ Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (NZEECS) include:

• up to 180,000 insulation, clean heat or solar hot water upgrades;

• more work to improve the efficiency of appliances to enable Kiwi consumers to save $2.7 billion for by 2025;

• over $8 million for energy efficiency programmes to improve the competitiveness of business; including the primary production and tourism sectors, and to boost the uptake of wood for heating;

• a new target to improve the fuel economy of vehicles entering the fleet by around 25%, saving 441 million litres of fuel, by 2015; and

• increased emphasis on transport demand management and clear priority given to public transport, walking and cycling.

Updates: Transpower’s Electricity Line Proposal…

Some 1168 submissions were received on Transpower’s proposal for a new electricity line. Of these: 17 supported it, 15 were neutral, 1084 opposed it, 50 were mixed, and two did not state a view. The submissions (which will shortly be listed on the website of the Ministry for the Environment) now go to the Board of Inquiry which will be considering the proposal.

More information about Transpower’s proposal and the call in process is at http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/transpower-grid-project-infosheet-aug07/index.html

…& Meridian’s Otago Wind Farm Plans

Power Company Meridian has resource consent for a 176-turbine wind farm in Central Otago. The decision is likely to go to appeal, but if it doesn’t, building will start in early 2009, and power will be available from it in 2010.

Tourism

Arrivals and Departures Top Nine Million

Fifty years ago there were 145,500 passenger arrivals and departures in and out of NZ. Statistics NZ (SNZ) reports that this number is reached in less than a week now - and in the year ended September 2007, annual passenger arrivals and departures topped nine million for the first time.

Overseas visitors accounted for 4.953 million arrivals and departures, NZ residents (short-term trips) for 3.892 million, and permanent and long-term migrants for 157,700.

In the year ended September 2007, there were 2.475 million visitor arrivals, up 91,300 (4%) from the previous year. There were more visitors from Australia, China and the United Kingdom, but fewer from Japan and the United States.

In the September 2007 year, NZ residents departed on 1.943 million trips, up 76,100 (4%) from the previous year. Trips to Australia were up 40,900 (4%) but trips to Fiji were down 14,100 (13%).

On a seasonally adjusted basis, permanent, long-term arrivals exceeded departures by 700 in September 2007. Actual permanent, long-term departures of NZ citizens were up 400, compared with September 2006.

Migration was 8,300 in the September 2007 year, down from 13,200 in the September 2006 year.

Health & Safety

An Indication of NZers' Health 2007…

This report is the latest in a series monitoring the health of the NZ population produced by the Ministry of Health. Excerpts include:

• about two-thirds of NZers aged 15 years and over consumed the recommended three or more servings of vegetables per day, and about one-half consumed the recommended two or more servings of fruit per day (Ministry of Health 2003);

• about half of NZ adults aged 15+ years were either overweight (34.0%) or obese (20.1%);

• all cardiovascular disease mortality and ischaemic heart disease mortality rates as well as cancer registrations and mortality rates were significantly higher in males than in females;

• the prevalence of diabetes (self-reported, doctor-diagnosed) is significantly lower in European/Other groups of people than in other ethnic groups; and

• children at school Year 8 in fluoridated areas had significantly more caries-free teeth and fewer decayed, missing or filled teeth than those in non-fluoridated areas.

More is at http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/0/A47E56489B96EBABCC2573850012F508?Open. The full report can be found on the Ministry of Health's website at www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/an-indication-nz-health-2007

…& The Social Report: Measuring NZer’s Wellbeing

This annual report charts the wellbeing of NZers by looking at the areas of health, knowledge and skills, paid work, economic standard of living, civil and political rights, cultural identity, leisure and recreation, physical environment, safety and social connectedness.

The latest one confirms that, since the mid-1990s, NZers' well-being has improved in areas such as health, education, unemployment and income. However, it also shows that, although women are generally healthier and increasingly better educated than men, they lag behind men in employment - both in terms of labour participation and income (though the gaps are narrowing). Hourly earnings for men are $18.13 in 2006. Women's earnings were $2.25 an hour lower at $15.88.

The report confirms that, on average, Māori and Pacific people have better education, employment and living standards than they did in the 1990s, but these are still not yet at the same level as the average for European NZers.

Cities tend to score better on wellbeing, and rural areas (especially in the North Island) tend to score worse.

NZ has the lowest equal level of perceived corruption in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). We also perform strongly in the area of paid work, with a low unemployment rate and a high employment rate. NZers have a high level of trust in others and a high level of internet access in the home. In terms of knowledge and skills, NZ is above the OECD average for the proportion of adults who had at least upper secondary qualifications and for participation in tertiary education, and around the OECD average for the proportion of adults who have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Our life expectancy is similar to the average life expectancy of the OECD, but we have better outcomes than the OECD median for cigarette smoking. Our suicide death rates and our obesity rates though, are still worse than the OECD average. NZ is also below average when it comes to market income per person, the percentage of the population with low incomes, and income inequality. NZ’s rate of road deaths is also slightly worse than the OECD average.

The report is at http://www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz/

Causes of Cancer: New Report

A recently released report on the causes of cancer indicates that it is far more likely to be caused by lifestyle than by hereditary genes.

The report says that there is a convincing association between obesity and various types of cancer, and that exercising is vital. It also indicates that not smoking, cutting down on red and processed meats and alcohol, and eating fruit, vegetables and whole grains will help combat heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of cancer for mother and child. How fast you grow and how tall you are factors, with tall people being more susceptible to the disease.

The report was compiled by the World Cancer Research Fund after the authors analysed thousands of international studies on the subject over five years.

According to a current Ministry of Health report called “An Indication of NZers' Health 2007” (see below) more than 50% of NZ adults are overweight or obese.

The website of the World Cancer Research Fun is at http://www.wcrf-uk.org/

The World Cancer Research Fund’s top ten tips

• be as lean as possible without becoming underweight;

• be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day;

• avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods (particularly processed foods high in added sugar, or low in fibre, or high in fat);

• eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains and pulses such as beans;

• limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats;

• if consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day;

• limit consumption of salty foods and food processed with salt (sodium);

• don’t use supplements to protect against cancer;

• it’s best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months and then add other liquids and foods; and

• after treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.

Food Safety Authority: Food Review Update

Since May 2003, the NZ Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) has been working on a comprehensive review of food safety in NZ covering food produced, processed, manufactured, traded, transported, given as a reward, food imported to NZ, and food produced by charity or fund-raising food businesses.

A new Food Act is to be drafted, and new food regulations will mean that all food businesses will have to meet safety and suitability requirements, which include “off the peg” or custom-made Food Control Plans.

In the first six months of a five-year transition period, NZFSA will notify affected business groups of firm dates for registration and hold training workshops for them. Then the group of businesses first in line will have a further six months in which to register their Food Control Plans.

There are also changes coming to controls on imported food as a result of a related Imported Food Review.

The food sector currently has an estimated turnover of $12 billion, employs more than 25% of workers and provides more than 50% of the country’s export revenue.

“Domestic Food Review – Policy and Related Implementation Position Paper” can be downloaded at: http://www.nzfsa.govt.nz/policy-law/projects/domestic-food-review/paper-10/dfr-transition-policy-related-implementation-position-paper-19oct07.pdf

More Shoppers Read Food Labels

A report commissioned by the Food Safety Authority, shows a 10% increase in the number of people likely to study ingredients labels than was indicated in a similar survey in 2003. The telephone poll of 750 people conducted by UMR Research also found that more people thought food safety standards had declined. Increased awareness and interest in nutrition are seen as the main factors in the rise in people reading labels.

Although 85% of respondents cited chicken as a primary food safety concern, 95% said they were aware of the need for special care when cooking and handling poultry, and always checked to ensure it had been cooked properly before eating. Nearly one in five also agreed with the statement, “a little bit of food-related illness every now and then is good as it builds your immunity” - more than double the figure from 2003. The number who disagreed with the statement also dropped by 20%. Overall, three-quarters of respondents cited salmonella as the food safety issue that most concerned them, followed by antibiotics in meat (67%) and campylobacter (63%). Those concerned about the use of pesticides to grow food and genetically modified foods remained consistent at 62% and 56% respectively. Although 42% believed government regulations on food handling at fundraising barbecues or food stalls would be over the top, 81% expected the same level of food safety at a fund-raiser as they would at any other commercial outlet.

Proposals: Youth Drinking and Alcohol Advertising

The Government has announced proposals to address youth drinking and to tighten the rules around alcohol advertising. The announcement follows two reviews: one into the sale and supply of liquor to minors, and the other to review the regulations around alcohol advertising.

Proposals following the Sale and Supply of Liquor Review

The sale and supply of alcohol to minors identified several key issues, including a permissive drinking environment and attitudes by parents and peers, as well as unsupervised consumption of large quantifies of alcohol by minors. One of the main proposals is to reduce blood alcohol content limit to zero for drivers under 20 who do not hold a full licence. Others include:

• regulating supply by creating an offence for adults (other than parents or guardians) to supply alcohol to a minor who consumes it in a public place;

• making it an infringement offence for a minor to supply alcohol to another minor who consumes it in a public place;

• setting up early intervention programmes as an alternative to infringement notices;

• setting up a “three strikes and you’re out” approach to managers who are convicted three times for selling liquor to a minor within a two-year period; and

• amending the law so that the only defence for selling alcohol to a minor is if the seller sighted one of the approved specified age-identification documents.

Proposals following the Alcohol Advertising Review

This review found that alcohol advertising plays quite a significant role in shaping the culture of drinking in NZ and that there is a small but significant association between the level of exposure to alcohol advertising and alcohol consumption. The main proposals are:

• strengthening the system of self regulation;

• to cover a broader range of marketing techniques across all media, including packaging, labelling, merchandising and “in-store” promotions and price promotions;

• setting up an independently audited monitoring system;

• more research; and

• a review after two years to make sure good progress is being made.

Access the Research NZ report at: http://www.justice.govt.nz/pubs/reports/2007/sale-supply-alcohol/index.html

Autism Spectrum Disorder: New Advice Service

Parent to Parent NZ and LIFE Unlimited have been contracted to provide a new national information and advisory service for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families/whanau. The service will:

• provide written information on ASD, support groups and services;

• facilitate contact with a support parent whose child also has ASD;

• provide information to adults with ASD;

• have advisors available to provide ASD information and advice;

• provide clinical and evidence-based advice on interventions/therapies to support people with ASD throughout their lifespan;

• provide a website listing ASD service providers; and

• support the development of community network meetings.

More information: Parent to Parent NZ, tel freephone 0508-236236 or email national@parent2parent.org.nz

ACC: Injuries of Older Workers & Industry Statistics

Statistics derived from Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) claims indicate that in 2006 workers aged 65 years and over sustained work-related injuries at a higher rate than any other age group.

While workers aged 65 years and over made up 2.4% of the workforce:

• around 9,100 (one in five) suffered some form of injury at work in 2006;

• they accounted for 24 of the 81 claims lodged for work-related fatalities; and

• they were over-represented among the more serious injury claims (those requiring weekly compensation or rehabilitation payments) at a rate almost three times higher than any other age group, with 45 per 1,000 full-time equivalent workers (FTEs).

The latest figures also reveal the continuing dominance of three industry groups – agriculture, forestry and fishing; manufacturing; and construction, which accounted for about 40% of all claims for work-related injuries, with respective injury rates of 177, 165 and 152 per 1,000 FTEs. The majority of serious injury claims, and over half of all fatal injury claims were lodged for injuries that occurred in these industries. Furthermore, among those aged 65 years and over, almost half of all work-related injury claims (47%) were accounted for by these industries.

ACC accepted 235,200 claims for work-related injuries that occurred in 2006 (at 31 March 2007), made by 216,900 workers. Figures for 2006 reveal a rate of around 126 claims per 1,000 FTEs. Males accounted for almost three-quarters of all lodged claims (73%). Final figures for the period 2002 to 2005 show that the annual rate of work-related injury has remained stable over the last four years.

The report is at http://www.stats.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/84E02200-219A-4BFF-AA57-2A47D6CBC607/0/injurystatisticsclaimsofworkrelatedinjuries06mr.pdf

Gas Safety in Rentals is Landlord’s Responsibility

The October issue of the Ministry of Economic Development’s (MED) Energy Safety Newsletter reports that there have been a number of fires and near-miss incidents with poorly maintained gas appliances and installations in rented premises. It is reminding landlords that they are legally required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that gas installations and appliances in leased properties are in a safe condition. They also have to provide instructions to ensure the safe use of appliances in their properties before leasing them.

Landlords have to make sure that gas installation work is carried out by licensed gasfitters and that repairs are also carried out by them. Gas appliances, particularly water heaters, space heaters and installations, should be checked by licensed gasfitters at least biennially - or yearly, when they are used a lot.

Damage must be dealt with immediately. Problems to look out for include: the smell of gas, other unusual smells, flame abnormality, and sooting around pots and pans. Tenants must then be advised to immediately stop using appliances and contact their landlord.

Tenants should not be allowed to use LPG cabinet heaters in their bedrooms or other confined spaces as this can give rise to fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Camping cookers or other camping appliances should not be used indoors. There should not be more than two LPG cylinders, connected to an appliance, indoors. Any spare cylinders should be stored outside.

New Dog Control Laws Coming

The Government is to introduce a Bill requiring dogs of breeds or types classified as menacing to be neutered. The Bill will also create a power to give government the flexibility to make regulations about matters councils must consider when they develop dog control policies, and the process for adding more breeds to the import ban will also be simplified.

It is to become compulsory for certain breeds of dogs considering menacing to become neutered, and the Presa Canario breed (which is banned in Australia) will be added to the list of breeds/types of dog that are banned from import into NZ.

• Other work around dog control will involve:

• improving the data available on dog safety and control;

• developing national guidelines for councils;

• developing messages on dog safety so people know about the risks that dogs pose; and

• developing public understanding of dog behaviour.

Other possible changes to dog control will be circulated for public comment further down the track.

A cabinet paper outlining the proposals is at http://www.beehive.govt.nz/Documents/Files/dog-safety-cab-paper-oct2007-1.pdf

Charter for Children/Young People in Care

A new Child, Youth and Family charter explains the rights of children and young people and what to expect in when they are in care. It also explains who they can contact if they have concerns or need someone to talk to. It comes in two designs, one for children (over the age of five) and one for young people.

Young people have identified four important areas that need attention if children in care are to blossom. They are: stigma, rights, resilience and stability. They have also pointed out that the care system is there to protect children from others, not others from them.

Campaign Against Gender Violence: 16 Days

Since 1991, an international campaign called the 16 Days Campaign has helped to raise awareness about gender violence and its effects on women globally. It runs from 25 Nov – 10 December, and has some 2,000 organizations in approximately 154 countries participating. The campaign calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by:

• raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels;

• strengthening local work around violence against women;

• establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women;

• providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies;

• demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against women; and

• creating tools to pressure governments to keep promises made to eliminate violence against women.

A 2007 Take Action Kit is available online. For details go to cwgl@igc.org or www.cwgl.rutgers.edu/16days/home.html

Education

New Apprentice Programme for Secondary Schools

A new Youth Apprentices pilot programme will give secondary school students industry-based training, tertiary education and work experience in their chosen trade while still at school. The idea is to give students a head start on an apprenticeship they can continue once they leave school.

The pilot will run in 10 schools in the 2008 school year: Whangarei Boys’ High School, Howick College, Otahuhu College, Hamilton’s Fraser High School, Hauraki Plains College, Te Puke High School, Aotea College (Porirua), Queen Charlotte College (Picton), Ashburton High School, and Queens High School (Dunedin).

International Students Working in NZ…

From late November many international students will be able to stay in NZ for up to 12 months, instead of six, on a job search permit while they look for skilled work. As well, architecture and accounting graduates, who need three years practical experience to achieve professional registration, will be allowed to stay and work in NZ for three years without the need to reapply for a work permit. A third change will give more flexibility to English language students who want to work in NZ while they study.

…& More International Students Staying Here

A significant number of international students are choosing to keep their skills in NZ once they have finished their studies. Research has found 27% of all international students who began study between 1999 and 2001 gained residence or stayed in NZ to work. The research “International students: Studying and staying on in NZ” looked at the study paths of students over a period of almost five years. It explored how many students made the move to NZ more permanent once studies were completed, and also at who makes these transitions and how. It was jointly sponsored by the Department of Labour and Education NZ.


Employment

Work Stoppages Down

According to Statistics NZ (SNZ) the number of work stoppages in NZ dropped between June 2006 and June 2007. There were 35 stoppages ended in the June 2007 year, compared with 60 stoppages for the June 2006 year.

The figures show:

• the average rate of stoppages has dropped by 21% under the ERA;

• the average rate of person days of work lost has reduced by a third; and

• wage losses have dropped by almost 50%.

Work and Life Balance Survey Results

The Families Commission recently posted a poll on its feedback panel website “The Couch” to find out more about families' experience of paid work and its affect on family life. It received 574 responses to the poll.

Four out of every ten people said they put too many hours into their jobs and a significant number (29%) said their employer did not provide any recognition for the extra hours they worked. Two thirds of those who responded worked extra hours because they felt committed to their jobs and most accepted that extra hours were the nature of the job, or the work couldn't be completed without putting in overtime. A quarter also said their organisation was under-staffed. Significantly, most people generally managed to avoid a clash between their work commitments and significant family events such as children's or partners' birthdays. However, 29% had at some point missed a child's school event and the same percentage had also missed some other planned family event.

In all a third of respondents worked 40 to 50 hours a week and 14% worked more than 50 hours a week.

Have a look at the Couch poll report at: http://www.thecouch.org.nz/member/report/19

Housing

Community Housing in NZ: Research

The Centre for Housing Research, Aotearoa NZ (CHRANZ) has released research that looks at the current contributions of community housing and its potential to contribute to the housing affordability problems currently being experienced in NZ.

The community housing sector in NZ is made up of an estimated 160 non-government, not for profit organisations that provide social housing, and manage between 3426 and 6713 housing units. There has been an increasing emphasis on community housing as a way of providing housing solutions where the government or the market cannot meet the demand. However, the sector is small, fragmented and dependent on part-time staff and volunteers. The providers do things differently, and many organisations face capacity constraints and lack expertise in finance, management and governance.

The research points to opportunities to strengthen and extend community housing and two alternative visions for the future of community housing in NZ are presented:

• Vision 1 – Community housing continues as a niche social housing provider, but with additional resources to improve capacity building, information sharing, and monitoring; and

• Vision 2 – In addition to its niche role, community housing is supported to rapidly diversify into providing mainstream social housing and solutions for the intermediate housing market, including affordable rental housing for moderate and lower income working households.

Copies of the research report and CHRANZ Research Bulletin are available from the CHRANZ website at www.chranz.co.nz

Money Matters

Government Years-End Accounts: An Extra $2 Billion

The Government books have moved further into the black and showed an $8.7 billion surplus at the end of the financial year, $2 billion more than forecast in the Budget. Though down on last year’s $11.5 billion result, the operating surplus represents 5.2% of gross domestic product.

The Treasury attributes the improvement to an unforeseen spike in government departments overestimating their spending patterns combined with extra growth in GST and tax revenue on the back of high consumption, profitability and investment returns. Core crown expenses were $800 million below forecast while profits from Crown businesses were $700 million higher. Taxation revenue was up by $700 million – more than half coming from company tax.

New Plain English Tax Law

The Income Tax Act has been revised to make it easier for users to find what they need in it, to understand it, and to apply it. Language in the Act has been made more concise, legalese has been avoided where possible, and outdated terms have been removed or replaced.

In a speech to the Law Commission last year, the Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer said of the rewrite: “The most innovative accomplishment in NZ tax law has been the rewriting of the tax legislation in user-friendly language and easy-to-use format. That sounds a simple enough process, but it was so difficult that Australia gave up on it. The whole process has been accomplished in NZ without much fuss and with modest expense. It is a considerable achievement.”

NZers Say Cut Taxes, But Not Social Services

According to a nationwide survey carried out by ShapeNZ, for the NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development, nearly eight out of every ten NZers want a personal tax cut. However, more than half would oppose tax cuts if they meant reductions in spending on health, education or welfare. The main findings from the research are:

• 62% of voters say tax policy, and its design, will be the main policy to influence how they cast their party votes at next year’s general election;

• 13% say a personal tax cut will be the single biggest factor influencing their party vote at the next election, while another 49% say a personal tax cut policy which also balances the need for continued social spending will decide their party vote;

• 32% say issues other than tax will be the main influence on their party vote; and

• 76% of NZers believe the Government should lower personal taxes.

Tax-free Relocation Costs/Overtime Meal Allowances

Amendments to the Income Tax Act will clarify the law on relocation payments and overtime meal allowances and make them exempt from income tax. The move follows the release by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) of a draft guideline that considers payments for relocation expenses and overtime meal allowances taxable under the current wording of the legislation. Public feedback is to be sought on the changes.

Māori & the Economy: Report

A new Māori potential forecast report titled “Nga Kaihanga Hou – for Māori Future Makers” has been prepared by Te Puni Kōkiri. This considers the future influences that will affect Māori participation and investment decisions. Collectively Māori hold assets worth an estimated $16.5 billion – an 83% increase since 2001. These are mainly concentrated in the more vulnerable primary industries of agriculture, forestry and fishing where innovation will be critical to maintaining profitability.

Nga Kaihanga Hou is available on the Te Puni Kōkiri website: www.tpk.govt.nz

Business

Buy Kiwi at Christmas Campaign

The Buy Kiwi campaigned has launched its Christmas message urging NZers to buy Kiwi this year. The media campaign has resulted in manufacturer membership of the campaign jumping by a third to more than 800 members. Retailers are encouraged to develop instore displays and Buy Kiwi Made promotions.

Buy NZ Made has recently launched an online product locator at www.buynz.org.nz where consumers can identify manufacturers of NZ made products who are members of Buy NZ Made and are able to use the ‘kiwi in a triangle’ logo

NZTE Briefing Papers on Overseas Markets

Here are some of the most recent NZ Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) issues and briefing papers on various markets of interest to our exporters:

Australia

NZ exporters to Australia not only benefit from its relative closeness, absence of tariffs and similar business culture, but also a generally highly positive perception of our products. A report called Australia Country Brief says these attributes help make Australia our largest trading partner and one of the most suitable first markets for the majority of new exporters.

Over the past several decades, NZ exports to Australia have grown to NZ$7.1 billion. To improve the steady rather than spectacular rate of growth in recent years and to better integrate into the market, the report says more NZ firms should consider setting up business in Australia, entering into joint ventures or buying into distribution chains. Food and beverages, specialised manufacturing and biotechnology are three sectors that get special mention as holding strong potential for NZ exporters to Australia.

Download Australia Country Brief http://www.marketnewzealand.com/common/files/australia-cb.pdf

The UK

The United Kingdom Regional Profile states that a long and close trading relationship between NZ and the UK gives our exporters an advantage in this important market. The UK is NZ’s fifth most important export market. While exports are dominated by food and beverage products, there has been strong growth in aircraft exports over the past several years. Exports of services are also significant - the UK is proving a very successful market for NZ knowledge-based exports in the fields of software solutions, electronic and telecommunications products.

Download United Kingdom Regional Profile: http://www.marketnewzealand.com/Common/Files/unitedkingdom-cbAug2007.pdf

Philippines

Having assimilated both Asian and western cultures over the course of their history, Filipinos have a strong preference for imported products, which offers opportunities for NZ exporters, according to the Philippines Country Brief. The report says the middle to upper income class is a major force in this market and, with the largest buying capacity, is a key audience for imported products and services.

The Philippines is NZ’s 10th largest export market, and second biggest in south-east Asia after Indonesia. While exports are dominated by dairy and wood products, the report identifies several other sectors that hold strong potential for NZ firms. One of the most promising is information and communications technology, and the report also notes that the food and beverage market in the Philippines is also growing rapidly. Other opportunities highlighted in the report include tourism, education, and timber products.

Download The Philippines Country Brief at: http://www.marketnewzealand.com/Common/Files/philippines-cbJuly2007.pdf

Using Established Research to Explore China

A new publication called “Doing Research on China – A How To Guide” offers exporters practical advice about where to start researching opportunities in the vast Chinese market. The topics covered range from how to check the reliability of potential clients and partners to market access and intellectual property rights. The guide is aimed at both new and experienced exporters. China is currently NZ’s fourth largest export market, worth $1.25 billion in the seven months between January and September 2007.

Download” Doing Research on China – A How To Guide: http://www.marketnewzealand.com/Common/Files/DoingMarketResearchonChinaMarch2007.pdf

Thailand

There are growing opportunities for NZ food and beverage exporters in Thailand following the putting in place of a free trade agreement between the two nations and because Thais are becoming more familiar with our products. Thailand was NZ’s 17th largest export destination in 2006, with exports of $437.7 million – about half of which was made up of dairy products. In addition, NZ firms exported an estimated $10 million worth of education, consulting and services to Thailand last year, including engineering, software, IT construction and management.

Download Thailand Country Brief: http://www.marketnewzealand.com/Common/Files/thailand-cbAug2007.pdf

Turkey

Turkey is increasingly recognising NZ’s expertise in earthquake engineering, offering good opportunities for consultancy firms specialising in this niche, according to the Turkey Country Brief. While NZ exports to Turkey are dominated by commodities - wool, raw sheep and lamb skins, and more recently butter - the report identifies several non-traditional sectors offering good potential for growth. Along with engineering consultancy and products such as heavy roll-forming machines and CNG conversion equipment, they include education, geothermal and wood and building products.

Download the Turkey Country Brief: http://www.marketnewzealand.com/Common/Files/Turkey%2007.pdf

Paper Calls for More Links with Asia

A White Paper from the Government called “Our Future With Asia” says that more time and effort need to go into strengthening ties with Asia. The paper says no other region will provide as many opportunities for NZ over the next decade as Asia, and that, while growth in China and India is expected to keep driving dynamic growth in the region in the medium term, NZ will have to lift its game to keep pace. Fewer secondary schools pupils study Chinese or Japanese (9%), than study French. We need to become more Asia “literate”. The limited range of Asian languages currently offered for study in NZ schools and tertiary institutions needs to be extended, and better linked to needs in areas such as business, law and information technology. NZ also needs to make sure it is part of regional structures such as bilateral trade deals, and that it improves its links to Asian economies by raising awareness and improving business connections.

The paper is at http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/foreign-relations/asia/asiawhitepaper.pdf

Virtual Offices No Longer Accepted

The Registrar of Companies has found a number of companies with a “Virtual Office” as the registered office address and the address for service (a virtual office address is a mail/message collection and forwarding point and is not a physical address).

The Companies Act 1993 (“the Act”) requires a company to have a registered office in NZ. This address must be a physical address (that is, not a PO Box or Private Bag number, including a virtual office) as Section 189 of the Act requires a company’s records to be kept at the registered office. Companies the Registrar considers have provided a virtual office address will be directed to change their registered office address to a physical address.

Companies can update their registered office and address for service details by visiting MED’s Website at http://news.business.govt.nz/news/business/companies/article/5237?COMPANIESOFFICE=0f368bd6b3f4c9b6ca1458711b6b68b0

NZ Businesses: Growth in Income and Sales in 2006

Total income for all NZ businesses as measured in the Annual Enterprise Survey increased to $492.2 billion for the 2006 financial year. This is an increase of 6.5% ($29.9 billion) from the 2005 financial year, but lower than the 8% increase seen in 2005. Sales of goods and services increased by 6.1% to $385.2 billion in 2006, following a 6% increase in 2005.

Total expenditure increased to $445 billion in 2006, up 6.2%. The two largest components of expenditure are purchases, and salaries and wages paid to employees. Purchases and other operating expenditure increased 5% to $284.4 billion in 2006, after an increase of 6.7% in 2005. Salaries and wages paid to employees increased by 7.4% to $67.7 billion, following an 8.1% increase in 2005.

Surplus before income tax has increased to $53.1 billion in 2006, up $4.2 billion (8.6%) from the 2005 financial year.

You can get additional information at: http://www.stats.govt.nz/products-and-services/hot-off-the-press/annual-enterprise-survey/annual-enterprise-survey-2006-financial-year-provisional-hotp.htm

Internet

New Online Safety Tool for Kids

Recently launched is a new online safety tool for kids called Hector’s World. It is a friendly on-screen cartoon character which acts as a button kids can click if they see something upsetting while surfing the net. Clicking on the button immediately brings up a friendly Hector’s World™ screensaver and encourages the user to go and tell an adult.

Check out the safety button and online cartoons at www.hectorsworld.com

Online Shopping Survey Results

Three quarters of NZers say they now shop online, according to research by Visa International. The recent strength of the NZ dollar has been cited as a factor in increasing online shopping, with a quarter of NZers saying they are purchasing more online as a result.

Books are the most common item purchased over the internet, particularly among females and the middle aged, recording 53% and 52% of all purchases made, respectively. DVDs are the most common purchases among males and those aged under 40 while clothing and accessories are the most popular purchases for those aged 18 to 39 years old.

The NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants has launched a non-profit section on the web at www.nzica.com. The section includes information and links for non-for-profits on financial reporting, audit and assurance, tax, governance, financial management, and not-for-profit research.

A guide called “Working Towards Pay and Employment Equity for Women” is at http://www.dol.govt.nz/services/PayAndEmploymentEquity/resources/assessment-tools.asp. Produced by the Department of Labour, it enables organisations to conduct a pay and employment equity review and analyse differences in base pay, hourly pay, superannuation, performance pay, and total pay. It also provides an opportunity for organisations to consider the representation of women in management, and gender patterns in occupations.

A new website offering advice on how to build an environmentally friendly home called The GreenBuild site is at www.greenbuild.co.nz. It includes a database comparing the environmental and technical characteristics of building products, and more than 12,000 products are listed. Materials are rated on five categories including energy use, human health and pollution.

The “Solarsmarter” website at http://www.solarsmarter.org.nz/ helps people work through decision-making around moving to solar water heating using their own energy figures, and to work out potential savings from different solar water heating systems. A $500 grant is being offered through solar water heating suppliers who meet certain energy performance, price and installation standards, and the site also spells out the eligibility criteria for this.

An intellectual property rights guide for Māori from the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) is at http://www.med.govt.nz/templates/MultipageDocumentTOC____28180.aspx. Called “Te Mana Taumaru Mātauranga” it is a free resource, which provides practical information on the opportunities, limitations and risks of using the current intellectual property system to protect and promote mātauranga Māori. The guide is part of stage one of MED’s traditional knowledge work programme. Information on this work programme is at http://www.med.govt.nz/templates/ContentTopicSummary____1937.aspx

To access Tenancy Tribunal orders online visit www.tenancytribunal.govt.nz The Tenancy Tribunal, administered by the Ministry of Justice, is a quick and affordable way for landlords and tenants to settle disputes which they are unable to resolve themselves. Users can search for orders using the Tenancy Tribunal application number, the address of the residence, or the name of one of the parties involved. The tribunal issues around 20,000 orders a year, and until now these have only been publicly available in hard copy form.

Information on liability insurance is at http://www.keepingitlegal.net.nz/learn-more/insurance-risk-management/. The information covers the different types of liability insurance policies available and what they cover. Sections include: liability insurance generally, different types of policies, finding an appropriate policy through an insurance broker, and resources.

Arts and Culture

Movie/TV Industry: Report

A Statistics NZ report on the Screen Industry in NZ in 2006 shows that the process of making and distributing movies and television programmes involves a wide range of businesses and people. It involves representatives from movie distributors, cinema operators and television broadcasters, as well as the companies and individual contractors involved with the actual production of films and television programmes.

In the 2006 financial year the industry remained stable, with gross revenue of $2,542 million, a 2% decrease from the previous year. Screen industry businesses paid a total of $314 million in salaries and wages to employees in the 2006 financial year, an increase of 13% from the 2005 figure of $277 million. Analysis has been carried out looking at screen industry business revenue in the 2005 financial year compared with 2006. Some 70% of the businesses that earned between $1 million and $9.9 million in 2005 also earned that in 2006, while earnings for 7% of those businesses decreased to between $0.5 million and $0.9 million. For 10% of businesses revenue has increased to between $10 million and $49.9 million.

The full report is at www.stats.govt.nz

Importance of E-Media in Māori Broadcasting

Government policy for Māori broadcasting has been brought up to date to recognise the importance of e-media – which includes analogue and digital broadcasting, and also electronic equipment such as television, radio, internet, telephones, desktop computers, game consoles and handheld equipment.

The move supports a continuing presence of Māori language and culture in the digital environment, and Māori participation in innovative e-media projects.

NZ-Ireland Film Agreement Signed

The NZ and Irish governments have signed a film co-production agreement to facilitate screen industry partnerships between the two countries. Co-production agreements help partners access the cultural funding and incentives available for “national” films in each country. The governments also facilitate temporary immigration, and equipment imports for the producer partner. NZ already has agreements with Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Singapore and the United Kingdom. Each is jointly administered by the NZ Film Commission and the equivalent organisation in the other country.

“Cuisine” Magazine Wins Award

Fairfax's flagship food and wine magazine “Cuisine” has been named the world's best food magazine in a prestigious international competition. “Cuisine” took at the title at the 2007 Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards, where an 80-strong international judging panel reviewed more than 600 entries over a range of categories.

Justice/The Law

Succession (Homicide) Bill Passed

The new Succession (Homicide) Act 2007 clarifies the general rule that prohibits killers benefiting from the death of their victims. The new Act:

• provides a clear definition of the types of homicide to which it will apply;

• sets out how a victim’s estate is to be distributed and how a killer’s interests in property will be affected; and

• clarifies the procedure for establishing whether an alleged homicide does in fact come within the scope of the Act.

Arbitration Amendment Bill Passed

The Arbitration Amendment Act 2007:

• improves the operation of the Arbitration Act 1996;

• clarifies the confidentiality rules relating to arbitral and subsequent court proceedings;

• clarifies how the Arbitration Act 1996 applies to consumer arbitration agreements; and

• introduces changes to keep the Arbitration Act 1996 in line with international best practice.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a consensual method of dispute resolution. It involves the settlement of a dispute by an independent person (the arbitrator) chosen by the parties, by using an agreed process to examine their respective claims and make a binding decision. This can be contrasted to litigation where a Judge determines a dispute through formal court proceedings.

Although many arbitrators are lawyers, some arbitrators are not. Instead they have technical skills and qualifications in areas such as engineering, building or business management. Many arbitrators have also undertaken training in principles and practices of dispute resolution. Generally, a dispute that can be the subject of a civil proceeding can be referred to arbitration. Criminal proceedings cannot.

New Drinking Water Legislation

The recently passed Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Bill is aimed at suppliers that supply water to other properties through pipes or water tankers. It requires drinking water suppliers to take all practicable steps to comply with the drinking water standards, and will commence on 1 July 2008. Large suppliers serving over 10,000 people will need to comply with it by 1 July 2009. The smallest suppliers (serving 16 – 100 people) have until 1 July 2013 to comply, as do rural suppliers that supply both drinking water and water for commercial agriculture. Funding of $150 million has been earmarked to help suppliers and local government comply with the legislation.

The legislation does not affect self-suppliers, that is, people or properties that obtain their own water from bores, rain-water tanks, or other sources - Building Act provisions will continue to apply to these people. As well, it will not affect suppliers that supply a permanent population of less than around 16 people.

More is at http://www.beehive.govt.nz/ViewDocument.aspx?DocumentID=30934

Birth, Deaths, Marriages Amendment Bill: Changes

Amendments to the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Amendment Bill have been proposed following public consultation on the Bill. The amendments are aimed at addressing concerns some members public and interested parties had about allowing legitimate public access to information held by the Births, Deaths and Marriages registry. They would allow access to records and safeguard private information by:

• requiring applicants for certificates and printouts to present adequate identification;

• creating an access register so people can find out who has accessed their records; and

• enabling a person to request that their records not be disclosed to the public.

Sedition Laws Abolished

Parliament recently passed legislation which abolishes the offence of sedition. The Crimes (Repeal of Seditious Offences) Amendment Bill repeals sections 81 to 85 of the Crimes Act 1961, which sets out the seditious offences. Behaviour covered by sedition laws that still needs to be criminalised are dealt with in other statutes including the Summary Offences Act, other provisions of the Crimes Act, and the Terrorism Suppression Act.

Trustee Amendment Bill: First Reading

This Bill amends the Trustee Act 1956 and aims to improve the law relating to trusts. It will make the administration of trusts easier while also protecting the interests of trust beneficiaries. Key elements of the Bill’s proposals include:

• expanding trustees’ collective power to delegate decision-making powers in order to better manage the affairs of the trust (the Bill, however, does not permit delegation of certain fundamental trustee powers like appointing trustees or deciding how the capital or income of the trust is to be distributed);

• requiring trustees to seek direction from the High Court in situations where the trustee considers that advice or direction from an advisory trustee or protector conflicts with the terms of the trust or any law; or exposes the trustee to any liability;

• widening the insurance powers of trustees with respect to trust property;

• requiring trustees to notify each beneficiary of their legal entitlements to end the trust and call for a transfer of the trust property; and

• changing the Administration Act 1969 and related legislation to clarify that payments to administrators are payment for services and not a gift for estate purposes.

Money Laundering: New Legislation Coming Up

Anti-money laundering legislation is being developed by the Ministry of Justice. It is part of the work being carried out by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) on casino crime, and it will comply with the international standard set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), of which NZ is a member.

DIA is also involved in discussions with a number of organisations to create a more integrated approach to dealing with crime in casinos, including the NZ Police, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, the Commerce Commission, the Gambling Commission, and NGOs with an interest in the area.

Tribunals Reform Programme Coming

A tribunal reform programme is to be carried out by the Ministry of Justice and the Law Commission. The programme stems from the Law Commission review of the structure of the court system in 2004 and it aims to recommend a consistent structure for current (and any future) tribunals and authorities.

Tribunals play an essential role in the delivery of justice, and they account for a large amount of the contact the public has with the justice system.

In more recent times there has been an increase in the number of tribunals being established on a one-off basis to address specific needs, with the result that today’s tribunals differ widely from each other. This can lead to significant administrative and management challenges and complexities in administration, and possible confusion for users.

Download the Tribunal Reform Cabinet Paper from: http://www.justice.govt.nz/Tribunal Reform Project Cabinet paper September 2007%5B1%5D.doc

Restorative Justice: Helping Victims Heal

Restorative justice is a process which aims to put things right for people who have been the victims of an offence. The process centres on a meeting (conference) between the victim and the offender to talk about what happened, the harm caused, and how the harm might be repaired.

In a restorative justice conference victims can have a say and focus on their needs. Offenders are held accountable for what they have done and can offer steps to repair the harm.

Participation in restorative justice is voluntary for both victims and offenders. Offenders must admit responsibility for the offence before they go into the restorative justice process. Conferences are safe and private and run by trained facilitators. Victims and offenders are encouraged to have support people with them.

Restorative justice is based on the 2002 Victims’ Rights and Sentencing Acts which encourage the use of restorative justice processes and require consideration of outcomes in sentencing. Restorative justice does not just happen through the courts but is becoming prevalent in schools and in some workplaces.

Restorative justice meetings provide an opportunity to:

• ask questions;

• tell stories;

• express feelings;

• put a face to the offender (and victim);

• receive an apology and restitution; and

• help deter future offending.

Outcomes for victims include:

• reduced fear and trauma;

• reduced stress and associated health affects;

• removing shame and humiliation;

• reconnecting with community/family;

• some form of healing; and

• empowerment for victims and their families through involvement and choices.

More information is at www.restorativejusticeaotearoa.org.nz, and www.justice.govt.nz/cpu/restorative-justice/restorative.html

General

New Cabinet Line-up

Following a recent Cabinet reshuffle, the following table lays out the rankings and responsibilities for all of the Ministers in the current Government:
The Cabinet
Portfolios Other responsibilities
1 Rt Hon Helen Clark

Prime Minister

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

Ministerial Services

Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service

Minister Responsible for the GCSB
2 Hon Dr Michael Cullen

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister of Finance

Attorney-General
[Includes responsibility for Serious Fraud Office]

Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi
Negotiations

Leader of the House


3 Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture

Minister for Biosecurity

Minister of Fisheries

Minister of Forestry

Minister Responsible for the Public Trust

Associate Minister of Health

Associate Minister for Tertiary Education
4 Hon Phil Goff

Minister of Defence

Minister of Corrections

Minister of Trade

Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control

Associate Minister of Finance


5 Hon Annette King

Minister of Justice

Minister of Police

Minister of Transport

Minister Responsible for the Law Commission


6 Hon Pete Hodgson

Minister for Economic Development

Minister for Tertiary Education

Minister of Research, Science and Technology


7 Hon Parekura Horomia

Minister of Maori Affairs

Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment

Associate Minister of Education

Associate Minister of State Services

Associate Minister of Fisheries
8 Hon Chris Carter

Minister of Education

Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office

Minister for Ethnic Affairs
9
Hon David Cunliffe

Minister of Health

Minister for Communications and Information Technology


10 Hon Trevor Mallard

Minister for the Environment

Minister of Labour

Minister of Broadcasting

Minister for State Owned Enterprises

Associate Minister of Finance


11 Hon Ruth Dyson

Minister for Social Development and Employment

Minister for Senior Citizens

Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector

Minister for Disability Issues


12 Hon Lianne Dalziel

Minister of Commerce

Minister for Food Safety

Associate Minister of Justice
13 Hon David Parker

Minister of State Services

Minister of Energy

Minister for Land Information

Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues


14 Hon Nanaia Mahuta

Minister of Customs

Minister of Local Government

Minister of Youth Affairs

Associate Minister for the Environment

Associate Minister of Tourism


15 Hon Clayton Cosgrove

Minister of Immigration

Minister for Sport and Recreation

Minister for Small Business

Minister for the Rugby World Cup

Associate Minister of Finance

Associate Minister of Justice
16 Hon Rick Barker

Minister of Internal Affairs

Minister of Civil Defence

Minister for Courts

Minister of Veterans’ Affairs

Associate Minister of Justice


17 Hon Damien O’Connor

Minister of Tourism

Minister for Rural Affairs

Associate Minister of Health
18 Steve Chadwick

Minister of Conservation

Minister of Women’s Affairs

Associate Minister of Health
19 Maryan Street

Minister for ACC

Minister of Housing

Associate Minister for Economic Development

Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

20 Shane Jones

Minister for Building and Construction

Associate Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

Associate Minister of Immigration

Associate Minister of Trade

Ministers Outside Cabinet

21 Hon Judith Tizard

Minister of Consumer Affairs

Minister Responsible for Archives New Zealand

Minister Responsible for the National Library

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

Associate Minister of Commerce

Associate Minister of Transport
22 Hon Harry Duynhoven

Minister for Transport Safety

Associate Minister of Energy
23 Hon Mita Ririnui

Minister of State

Associate Minister of Corrections

Associate Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

Associate Minister of Forestry

Associate Minister of Health
24 Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban

Minister of Pacific Island Affairs

Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment

Associate Minister of Trade

Associate Minister for Economic Development
25 Hon Mahara Okeroa

Minister of State

Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

Associate Minister of Conservation

26 Darren Hughes

Minister of Statistics

Deputy Leader of the House

Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment

Ministers Outside Cabinet from other Parties with Confidence and Supply Agreements
Rt Hon Winston Peters

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Minister for Racing

Associate Minister for Senior Citizens
Hon Peter Dunne

Minister of Revenue

Associate Minister of Health


Royal Commission of Enquiry: Auckland Governance

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Auckland Governance, which was established in July, has been given wide powers to identify the local and regional government arrangements needed for Auckland to be a successful city in the Asia Pacific region. The three Commissioners appointed to the Royal Commission are Hon Peter Salmon QC (Chair), Dame Margaret Bazley and David Shand.

The terms of reference for the Commissioners direct them to inquire into and report on the local government arrangements (including institutions, mechanisms and processes) that are required in the Auckland region over the foreseeable future, in order to maximise, in a cost-effective manner:

• the current and future well-being of the region and its communities; and

• the Auckland region’s contribution to wider national objectives and outcomes.

The Commissioners are required to consult with the public in a way that enables people to clearly express their views, and they must consult and engage with Māori in a manner that specifically provides for their needs. They are required to submit their report by 1 December 2008.

Royal Commissions of Inquiry are established to inquire into matters of major public importance that are of concern to the Government of the day. They operate independently of the Government, with their legal obligations being set out in the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908.

The document setting up the Commission of Inquiry is at ACFF29.pdf (9 kb)

The Ombudsmen: Independent Oversight of Prisons

The Office of the Ombudsmen is take on responsibility for the oversight and investigation of serious prison complaints and incidents, and other issues identified during visits of prisons as a result of incidents or complaints. The move is aimed at ensuring that there is a single independent, impartial body with responsibility for overseeing and investigating prison complaints.

One of the Ombudsmen will have primary responsibility for prison investigations and inspections (s/he will also have appropriate responsibilities in the general jurisdiction of the Ombudsmen).

The Corrections Act 2004 will be amended to reflect the changes (with the amendments including removal of the current statutory role of the inspectors of corrections), and the Ombudsmen’s responsibilities under the Crimes of Torture Amendment Act 2006 will also be widened.

The Ombudsmen are Officers of Parliament, and they have the highest level of independence within NZ’s system of government.

Training and Support for Māori Wardens

Government funding of $2.5 million will go on training and support for Māori Wardens. The wardens make a big difference in their communities, especially in their work with Māori youth.

The first group of 24 Māori wardens (from Auckland, Hastings, Northland, Rotorua and Waikato) recently completed an intensive three-day training course at the Police College in Porirua, and a further seven days training will be offered to each Māori warden over the coming year.

The funding will also go towards improving resources, including vehicles, communications and uniforms, and working towards an improved governance structure for wardens. The aim is to help increase the numbers of wardens offering services to their communities.

Immigration Policies: Changes

New immigration policies announced have changed the treatment of family members visiting their relatives in NZ. From this month there will be a new “multiple visit visa” for parents and grandparents visiting family. This will allow parents or grandparents to make multiple visits over a three-year period without having to apply for a visa each time.

There are various other changes to sponsorship of parents, adult children and siblings in the family residence categories, and these include:

• establishing quota places for the sponsorship of parents, adult children, and adult siblings to come to NZ as permanent residents;

• introducing strengthened character criteria for people wishing to sponsor partners to come to NZ;

• introducing a minimum income requirement of $29,897.92 for sponsors of parents;

• extending the timeframe for sponsors to guarantee support for their parents from two years to five years (to come into effect with the passing and enactment of the Immigration Bill in 2008); and

• withdrawing of the existing Family Quota category.

Running a Club Resource Kit: SPARC

SPARC has put together a resource kit for clubs. It includes position descriptions for volunteers, marketing, media and events management along with governance and business planning resources.

More information is at www.sparc.org.nz/sport/running-your-club

Got A Spare Dog with A Good Nose?

Dog owners no longer able to care for their spaniel, pointer or labrador are being asked to contact the Department of Corrections before they contact their vet or the pound. Corrections trains specialist drug, firearm and bomb detection dogs, and hunting and retrieving breeds are ideal for the work. Three of Corrections current 12 drug dogs came from the Rotorua Pound (two of these had been “wanderers”).

The NZ Police, NZ Customs, Aviation Security Services, MAF and Corrections also use dogs to detect risks to the community. If a dog is not ideal for detecting drugs Corrections may refer it to one of these agencies (as the demand for good dogs is ongoing).

Corrections drug dogs undergo eight weeks training with the NZ Police Dog Training Centre at Trentham followed up by ongoing, top-up training.

Owners no longer able to care for hunting or retrieving dogs are asked to contact the dog handler at their local prison. More information is available from Corrections’ Communications Services Desk, tel 04-460 3365, email: commdesk@corrections.govt.nz

Abolishing the Death Penalty World-wide

NZ is working with other countries to put a resolution to the United Nations seeking the abolition of the death penalty world wide. NZ’s last execution occurred fifty years ago, in 1957. Capital punishment was removed from our statute books in 1961, except for the crime of treason. That provision was finally repealed in 1989. To date 90 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, and 131 countries have done so in law or in practice. Sixty-six countries still retain the death penalty.

Tokelau Votes to Remain NZ Colony

The tiny pacific island of Tokelau lies about 500 kilometres north of Samoa in the Pacific Ocean. It has a total population of about 1,500 people and a land mass of approximately 12 square kilometres.

Recently its citizens voted in a referendum to remain a colony of NZ. It is the second time in less than two years that the people have voted to determine whether the Non-Self-Governing Territory, which has been administered by NZ since 1926, should have self-government. About 60% of voters backed that option in a referendum held in February 2006, which did not meet the two-thirds majority required by Tokelau’s representative body, the General Fono. In the latest vote monitored by the United Nations, slightly more than 64% of people voted for independence, and this was just short of the majority required.

There are currently 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories remaining on the UN’s decolonisation list, compared to 72 such territories when the organisation was established in 1945. The last Non-Self-Governing Territory that exercised the right to self-determination was East Timor, now known as Timor-Leste, which gained its independence in 2002 and joined the UN that same year.

Updated Community Help Directory Available

Community Help is a useful resource for people wanting a quick way to find out about the services provided by government, voluntary and community organisations throughout the country. Examples of over 300 topics covered in the publication include: Community Law Centres, District Health Boards, Māori and Pacific Island organisations and MPs. Entries generally describe the role of the organisation, the services provided and contact details. There is also information on, for example: how to make a submission to a parliamentary select committee, local MPs, the meaning of terms used in Parliament, the Treaty of Waitangi, checking your credit history, the role of the Department of Courts and contacting the Court nearest you, the role of the Tertiary Education Commission, services provided by the Inland Revenue Department, the NZ Federation of Ethnic Councils do, Toughlove services, the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust, the local Iwi for your area, and the functions of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs.

Community Help costs $54.95 from the publisher. Discounts are available for bulk orders. Contact C R McPhail Ltd, P O Box 2091 Palmerston North Phone 06-357 1644 Fax 06-357 1648 E-mail enquiries@crmcphail.co.nz. Order online at www.crmcphail.co.nz

International Days Coming Up

They are:

• the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse is on 19 November;

• Universal Children’s Day is on 20 November;

• the International Day for the elimination of violence Against Women is on 25 November;

• International Aids Day and International Day of Disabled Persons are both on 3 December; and

• International Human Rights Day is on 10 December.

Some Funding Opportunities

The Sustainable Management Fund: Applications Open

The Sustainable Management Fund (SMF) was set up to support community groups, Iwi, businesses and local government to carry out community projects producing long-term environmental benefits. Funding of between $10,000 and $200,000 a year over three years is available for projects starting on 1 July 2008 that:

• encourage sustainable households;

• support land and water management;

• support sustainable business practices; and/or

• meet the challenges of climate change.

Applicants should be able to show they have:

• technical and project management skills and experience;

• strong partnerships; and

• access to necessary resources (i.e. office space, internet access, email, telephone).

Community groups with limited experience in delivering projects who can demonstrate strong support from “umbrella” organisations can also apply.

Applications close 22 January 2008 A guide for SMF applicants 2008/09 is available at http://www.mfe.govt.nz/withyou/funding/smf/guide-for-smf-applicants-2008.pdf (a word version is also available). For more information/a copy through the post, tel 04-439 7400, or email funds@mfe.govt.nz

Lottery Grants Board Applications Coming Up

• Lottery Environment and Heritage: makes grants for projects that promote, protect and conserve NZ's natural, physical and cultural heritage. Applications close 19 November 2007;

• Lottery Community National: makes grants for projects that encourage or enable community self-reliance, capacity building and stability, or opportunities for social, civil or cultural participation and reducing or overcoming barriers to such participation. Committee priorities include projects that have a community/social service focus, for example developmental or preventative projects, welfare and support services, or projects that help improve the well-being of people in the community. Applications close 18 January 2008;

• Lottery Marae Heritage and Facilities: makes grants for the capital costs of the conservation, restoration and development of marae facilities, particularly wharenui, wharekai and wharepaku facilities (the Committee only funds the conservation of whakairo where the whakairo is part of a capital works project). Closing date for applications is 14 December 2007;

• Lottery Individuals with Disabilities: makes grants to people with mobility and communication related disabilities for the purchase and adaptation of vehicles, scooters and other mobility and communication equipment. Lottery Minister's Discretionary Fund. Applications are considered at various times throughout the year; and

• The Minister's Discretionary Fund accepts applications from individuals and groups for community projects that are not the responsibility of the Lottery distribution committees. These applications are also considered at various times throughout the year.

More information is at http://www.cdgo.govt.nz/available-grants/downloads.aspx#ApplicationType_7

Outward Bound Scholarships for AgITO Students

Entries are open for up to 25 scholarships to Outward Bound, sponsored by the Agricultural ITO. They are awarded to people aged 18-26 who are studying towards an Ag ITO qualification. The three-week Outward Bound course is held at Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds, and it includes a range of outdoor activities such as sailing, kayaking, tramping, rock climbing, running, bush navigation and climbing.

Applications close 30 November 2007. More information is at www.agricultureito.ac.nz, or tel freephone 0800-691 111

@bfea.org.nz or phone 0274-052 340

Conferences/Events

Inaugural Green Computing Conference

The conference is being held on 21 November 2007, Duxton Hotel, in Wellington. It will focus on how organisations can improve the environmentally friendliness of their information technology systems, by driving energy efficiency and reducing waste to make their systems sustainable. A separate, bookable full-day workshop is on 22 November 2007.

For more information, visit http://www.brightstar.co.nz/nz/inaugural-green-computing-conference.html or download the brochure at http://www.eeca.govt.nz/eeca-library/flier/green-computing-conference-07.pdf

Organisation For Animal Health (OIE) Conference

This conference, being held in Queenstown on 26-30 November 2007, will provide an update on animal health and welfare issues of national, regional and international significance.

More information is at http://www.maf.govt.nz/mafnet/press/#recent

ASENZ National Conference

The national conference of the Association of Supported Employment in NZ (ASENZ) “From Pathways to Highways” is being held on 19 - 21 November 2007 at Brentwood Hotel, 16 Kemp Street, Kilbirnie, Wellington.

More information/to register: www.asenz.org.nz

Paediatric Society of NZ

A meeting of the Paediatric Society of NZ will be held in Christchurch from 26-28 November. International keynote speakers with a focus on adolescent health will be discussing the potential for nursing research and advanced practice to impact on the health of children and young people in Aotearoa.

For more information tel 03-379 0390 or visit www.conference.co.nz/index.cfm/Paediatrics07

Journalism Education Association of NZ Conference

The Journalism Education Association of NZ’s (Jeanz) annual conference is being hosted by Massey University in Wellington on December 10-11. The conference theme is: “The future of the mainstream: the changing demands on journalists and the challenge for journalism educators.”

For more information and to register, visit http://communication.massey.ac.nz/jeanz.html.

Nurses for Young People of Aotearoa Conference

The one is to be held on 25 November, in Christchurch. Called “Meeting the Challenges of Collaborative Practice in Child Nursing: Making it a Reality”, it will focus on practice, research, education, policy and future trends.

Find out more from: www.nzno.org.nz/tools/events/details.aspx?SECT=Conferences&ID=2009. Or phone 04-568 4576

Charities Commission: Annual Meetings

These are being held in:

• Wellington - 19 November at National Library Auditorium, cnr Molesworth and Aitken Streets;

• Christchurch - 28 November, at Canterbury Horticultural Hall, Hagley Park South, Riccarton Ave;

• Dunedin - 29 November, at Dunedin Public Art Gallery Conference Room, 30 The Octagon;

• Auckland - 3 December, at Fickling Centre, 546 Mt Albert Road, Three Kings; and

• Tauranga - 4 December, at Bureta Park Motor Inn, Redwood Room, Vale Street, Otumoe.

All registered and unregistered charities are invited to attend and ask questions, or make comments or submissions. www.charities.govt.nz or info@charities.govt.nz or call our free information line 0508-242 748

Reminder: Digital Future Summit 2.0

This is being held on 28-29 November, at the Hyatt Regency, Auckland

More information is at http://www.digitalsummit.org.nz

Appointments

Martin Harvey has been appointed as NZ’s next Ambassador to Singapore. NZ’s next High Commissioner to Tonga will be Christine Bogle. Penelope Ridings will be NZ’s next Ambassador to Poland.

Allison Anne Sinclair, Lawrence Irwin Hinton and Gus Andrée Wiltens have been appointed District Court Judges.

Four new members have been appointed to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA): Penelope Hulse, Toni Owen, Dr Andrew Pearce and Gregory Sise, and Alastair Patrick is the new Deputy Chair of EECA. Stephen McCutcheon has been appointed as Chief Executive of Food Standards Australia NZ. Andrew McKenzie has been appointed Chief Executive of the NZ Food Safety Authority (NZFSA). The new Chief Executive of Agcarm is Graeme Peters. There have been five new appointments to the NZ Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control - David Capie, Graham Fortune, Northey, Richard Randerson - and Mary Wareham, Deborah Morris-Travers, Jim Veitch and Alyn Ware have been re-appointed. Professor Judith Binney has been appointed to Historic Places Trust Board. Kenneth Ross Taylor of Alexandra and Phillip Allen Curnow hav been appointed to the Valuers Registration Board. Four new members have been appointed to the National Health Committee: Pauline Barnett, Dr Dale Bramley, Dr Te Kani Kingi, and Carmel Peteru. Donald Nicolson and Dr Roger Poland have been appointed to the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee.

The new Royal NZ Returned Services Association (RNZRSA) President is Air Vice Marshal (Rtd) Robin Klitscher. Adrian McIntyre, David Cocks, and William Able have been appointed to the NZ Game Bird Habitat Trust, and Mark Airey (Chair), Ian Horrax and Susan King have been reappointed. [Note that each year this Board considers applications to fund projects for the protection, restoration or creation of habitat for game birds and other wildlife and disburses grants from revenue it receives from the NZ game bird habitat stamp programme.]

ends

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