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Beehive Bulletin, 25 July 2003

Beehive Bulletin, 25 July 2003

BEEHIVE BULLETIN – FRIDAY 25 JULY

New Zealand contingent to Solomons farewelled

Both the Prime Minister Helen Clark and Defence Minister Mark Burton this week separately farewelled the first group of NZDF personnel deploying to the Solomon Islands. Helen Clark stopped over in Queensland, en route to a state visit to Korea, to join ceremonies marking the departure of the New Zealand, Australian and Pacific contingents. Earlier, Mark Burton told the NZDF personnel that they would play a key role supporting the restoration of law and order, providing civil and humanitarian assistance, helicopter transport, the refurbishment of facilities and medical services to Solomon Islanders. Some 35 Police officers, including ten currently in the Solomons, and 105 Defence Force personnel are being deployed over the next two years.

Life is getting better for New Zealanders

New Zealanders are living longer, healthier lives, are better educated, safer and earn more than in the past, according to a major report released by the Social Development Minister, Steve Maharey. The Social Report 2003 provides a detailed look at New Zealand society. Steve Maharey says the report shows a largely positive picture and the government's approach to social, economic and environmental development is an important factor. There are points of concern, with poorer - though improving - average outcomes for Maori and Pacific peoples, and the need to give young people the best opportunities in life. Steve Maharey says this year's Budget included funding for a number of the Government priorities in social policy. The Social Report is available at http://socialreport.msd.govt.nz

Stronger securities law outlined

Proposals to strengthen New Zealand's securities trading law have been announced. Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel says the government wants to promote confidence and participation in New Zealand's securities markets to encourage investment and enhance market performance. Officials are now drafting a Securities Trading Law Reform Bill, which will introduce a new insider-trading regime, more prohibitions on market manipulation, significant strengthening of investment adviser law and enforcement, and tougher penalties and remedies for breaching securities trading law. Related Cabinet papers can be seen at www.med.govt.nz/buslt/bus_pol/bus_law/securities/index.html

Major step forward in broadband rollout

A nationwide project to lift education and economic development in regional New Zealand took its first major step with the launch of high-speed internet access to the Waikato, Taranaki and Wellington regions. Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton and Education Minister Trevor Mallard named Telecom and BCL, as the preferred supplier for the delivery of broadband internet in the three regions. This is part of Project PROBE, with a rollout to the eight remaining regions in coming months. By the end of 2004 every region will have high speed internet access. The government is spending tens of millions of dollars on the project to ensure all New Zealand students and families, businesspeople and workers, have the same opportunities, in education and in economic development, regardless of where they live and work. More information at: www.probe.govt.nz

Auckland gets more police

Auckland police numbers continue at full strength following the graduation of 56 new constables from Wing 211 at the Porirua Police College. Police Minister George Hawkins says 29 of the new constables are bound for Auckland. A policy of directing to Auckland the majority of graduates from recent wings, along with former police recruited from the United Kingdom, means Auckland police numbers are currently in excess of 2000 sworn officers. This meets the staff target set by the Police Commissioner. While 29 of the new wing will go to the Auckland districts, 19 will be posted throughout the North Island and eight to South Island stations.

Support for cultural tourism in five regions

Nelson, Northland, Wellington, Hawke's Bay, and Taranaki will receive support and funding to develop cultural tourism in their region. Tourism Minister Mark Burton and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Judith Tizard announced these regions were chosen from 22, which had applied, to Tourism New Zealand. Each region will work with a facilitator to develop a plan for enhancing local cultural tourism. Once approved, $100,000 will be provided for implementation. Tourism New Zealand will co-ordinate a promotional programme for these regional cultural products. Mark Burton says building a strong cultural tourism market, which includes Maori cultural experiences, performing and visual arts, museums, festivals, and historical sites, is the next phase in implementing the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010.

ENDS

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