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Beehive Bulletin For Week Ending - Friday 21 June


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PM hosts regional business forum

Business leaders from the Hawke's Bay region attended a forum on Friday with government ministers to identify initiatives to improve New Zealand's economic performance. The forum was held at the Mission Estate Winery near Napier. It follows on from business-to- government forums in Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton, Manukau City, Wellington and Palmerston North. Prime Minister Helen Clark said the forums demonstrate the importance the government attaches to developing and maintaining an ongoing dialogue with business to improve New Zealand's economic performance. Ministers attending included Helen Clark; Jim Anderton, Minister for Economic Development; Michael Cullen, Minister of Finance; Jim Sutton, Minister of Agriculture; Parekura Horomia, Minister of Maori Affairs; Trevor Mallard, Minister of Education; and Lianne Dalziel, Minister of Immigration. Tukituki MP and senior government whip Rick Barker also attended.

Youth crime initiative launched

The government this week launched a new youth crime prevention initiative aimed at intervening to prevent at- risk young people becoming criminal offenders. Programmes will be funded out of a $1 million provision in the 2002/03 Budget. They will operate in five priority need areas - East and South Auckland, Northland, Hastings and Christchurch. The initiative will provide funding to both new and existing projects, which focus on young people with behaviour problems at risk of becoming offenders or more serious offenders. Justice Minister Phil Goff and Police Minister George Hawkins said a safe society requires more than simply a tougher response to people after they become serious offenders, it demands also that the causes of crime be tackled and early intervention to break the cycle of young offenders moving on to more serious crime.

Conservation Minister Sandra Lee to stand down

Conservation Minister Sandra Lee has decided not to stand again for Parliament in the July 27 election. After holding public office continuously at local then central government level- for nearly 20 years, she announced this week that she will step down She will serve out the remainder of her current term as Minister of Conservation, Minister of Local Government and Associate Minister of Maori Affairs.

Pacific peoples making economic progress

An improvement in the economic status of Pacific peoples is one of the key findings in the first major report based on the 2001 Census presented to government at Parliament this week. Key findings include that increasing proportions of Pacific peoples are working in service industries and the majority of Pacific workers are now in these industries, rather than secondary industries where they have dominated in the past. Pacific peoples are more likely to run their own businesses than in the past: self-employed Pacific peoples have doubled from 2.2 percent to 4.4 percent. Pacific peoples holding university degrees has increased from 1.4 percent to 3.9 percent compared to 11.8 percent for all New Zealand adults. Pacific early childhood education participation rates have risen to 33 percent in 2001, up by seven percent from 26 percent in 1991. Acting Pacific Island Affairs Minister Matt Robson said the report is encouraging because although social and economic inequalities clearly remain, progress is being made.

$8.1 million for community based nursing innovations

Primary health care groups keen to have their nurses explore new ways of keeping people well or treating those already sick are being invited to apply to a new $8.1 million fund. Health Minister Annette King this week announced the Primary Health Care Nursing Innovation Fund, part of the $400 million allocated to begin implementing the Primary Health Care Strategy over the next three years. The money - the first ever earmarked for primary health care nurses - will allow nurses to develop new ways of working collaboratively and co- operatively. There are more than 7500 registered nurses working in primary health care, many of them isolated from each other. With this funding the government hopes nurses can come up with models to improve health outcomes for those most in need, access to care, risk assessment, lifestyle planning, health promotion activities, disease prevention, disease management, early interventions and treatments, case management and care co-ordination.

Statistics NZ to keep an eye on injuries

Statistics New Zealand now has the job of reporting comprehensive information on people who are killed or severely injured, Statistics Minister Laila Harré and Associate ACC Minister Ruth Dyson announced this week. At present there is no complete information on how many New Zealanders are injured or killed every year and what it costs the country. At least eight different agencies hold different bits of injury information, but there is no consistent picture of the injury toll to enable the government to accurately target injury prevention and management programmes. Statistics New Zealand, as Injury Information Manager, will integrate scattered information and create a central 'datastore' of injury impacts and trends that can be made available to all groups involved in injury-prevention - from Plunket and Safekids to employer and union groups and health and transport sectors. Eventually this will enable much better targeting of injury prevention programmes. The Ministers also announced that an Injury Data Review report will be released next month. The report is the result of two years' work across agencies, and identified concerns with the current state of injury information and ways to fix them.

Work and Income to assist PPCS staff to secure jobs

The Ministry of Social Development, through Work and Income, will assist staff made redundant by the closure of the PPCS meat processing plant in Blenheim to secure alternative employment. Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said the Work and Income Service Centre in Blenheim has made contact with company management about working with the company and unions to identify work options and employment assistance for its staff. The majority of employees made redundant are not on site at the moment and are involved in seasonal work, many of these in the viticulture industry. Mr Maharey said the Government stands ready to work with the Company, unions, local government and economic development agencies to minimise the impact on individuals, partners and children, and the community..


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