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Beehive Bulletin For Week Ending May 23

Beehive Bulletin For Week Ending

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Government moves to secure power supply

A new Electricity Commission will secure reserve generation to ensure New Zealand's electricity needs can be met even in very dry years without power savings campaigns. Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Energy Minister Pete Hodgson say the cost to electricity consumers is estimated at well under half a cent per unit of electricity. The cost is low because reserve thermal generation is expected to comprise new plant with relatively low capital costs, plus heavily depreciated old plant. The fuel, though costly, will be
rarely used. Legislation to implement the changes is expected in August or September. Government saw no Treaty breach

The Government advised the Waitangi Tribunal at an early stage that it saw no treaty breach when petroleum assets were nationalised in 1937 in the national interest, says Treaty Negotiations Minister, Margaret Wilson. A report this week shows the Tribunal has clearly formed a different view but Margaret Wilson says its recommendations are non-binding. They would be considered in a timely fashion in order to minimise investor uncertainty in relation to oil and gas
exploration. Margaret Wilson also dispelled any suggestion that treaty settlements could now be revisited as these settled all historical claims, including any relating to petroleum.
Police using new 'boy racer' legislation

Early signs indicate the so-called 'boy racer' legislation is working well, says Police Minister George Hawkins. The Land Transport (Street and Illegal Drag Racing) Amendment Act, which took effect on 2 May, allows police to impound vehicles if they are being raced or spun on city streets. Police have since impounded 86 'boy racer' cars. George Hawkins says he is heartened by the overwhelmingly positive public response to the legislation and by police efforts to educate boy racers on what the new Act means. A leaflet,' The "Boy
Racer" Act and what it means to you' had been widely circulated. (See Methamphetamine Action Plan unveiled

The Methamphetamine Action Plan released this week outlines greater search and seizure powers for Police and allows Customs to seize unlicensed imports of the ingredients for methamphetamines. There will be improved community education, more comprehensive drug monitoring surveillance data to support enforcement and increased
emphasis on helping victims of the drug. Jim Anderton, who chairs the Ministerial Action Group on Alcohol and Drugs, says the Methamphetamine Action Plan is designed to control supply, reduce demand and limit the problems that methamphetamine is creating in New Zealand.

More funds for regional skills projects

More polytechnics have lined up to address their region's skill shortages through the Polytechnic Regional Development Fund. Regional and Industry Development Minister, Jim Anderton and Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education), Steve Maharey announced seven more polytechnics and institutes of technology will benefit from the second round of funding. Tairawhiti Polytechnic, the Western Institute of Technology, Whitireia Community Polytechnic, WELTEC, Otago Polytechnic, Waikato Institute of Technology and the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic share $1.068m for projects, which meet local skill and development priorities.
Certainty for Landcare Trust

The New Zealand Landcare Trust will receive $1.8 million in funding over the next four years. Environment Minister Marian Hobbs says the funding provides the trust with the certainty it needs to continue working closely with farmers and landowners to make a real difference for the environment. The Landcare Trust brings together Federated Farmers, Federation of Maori Authorities, Forest and Bird Society, Fish and Game NZ, Federated Mountain Clubs, Rural Women NZ and Ecologic Foundation. Marian Hobbs says the trust does remarkable
work in helping set-up landcare groups around the country and getting communities involved in much-needed landcare work.

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