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Beehive Bulletin - 05 February 2004

Beehive Bulletin - 05 February 2004

Also available online at
http://www.labour.org.nz

Commission of Inquiry to investigate police handling of complaints

Serious allegations against historical police investigations have led to Prime Minister Helen Clark establishing a Commission of Inquiry. She says New Zealanders are entitled to have confidence in the police but recent allegations suggest police officers may have deliberately undermined investigations into complaints against other officers. The government wants to ensure there is a full, independent investigation into the way in which the police have dealt with alleged criminal offending within the force. The terms of reference will be designed to ensure the Inquiry not only examines the process followed in the specific case leading to the current allegations, but will also look at the broader question of whether any general systemic issues have arisen.

Another record year for New Zealand tourism

New Zealand was the destination of choice for over two million overseas visitors in 2003, up by three per cent on the record figures of 2002. Tourism Minister Mark Burton says this clearly illustrates the industry's strength and how strong partnerships fostered between government and the industry underpin these outstanding results. Mark Burton says tourism is one of the most exciting and potentially valuable industries in New Zealand, already supporting one in eleven jobs. International expenditure contributes 15.7 per cent to our overall export earnings. Lonely Planet, the largest independent publisher of travel books, has for the second year put New Zealand as best travel destination in the world.

New youth justice residence helps shortage

A new 46-bed youth justice residence in Manukau, South Auckland will help address a national shortage of youth justice beds and provide a therapeutic environment for your people who offend, Child, youth and Family Minister Ruth Dyson says. This brings the nationwide total to 90 beds. The completion of another residence in Christchurch next year will add a further 12 youth justice beds. The government is concerned that a shortage of beds in youth justice facilities has meant an unacceptably high number of young people spend time in police custody.

Government seeks Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements

The government is entering talks for Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements with New Zealand Aluminium Smelters and some of Carter Holt Harvey's key manufacturing operations. The agreements bind a firm to move towards best practice in managing greenhouse gas emissions. In return, the government provides a full or partial exemption from the emissions charge that is to be introduced by 2008. Energy Minister Pete Hodgson says these negotiations are a significant step in the implementation of the government's climate change designed to enable New Zealand to meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.

Inequalities reducing in New Zealand

Reports released this week to the Maori Affairs Select Committee show improvements in the position of Maori and Pacific peoples. The reducing Inequalities Monitoring Reports show that Maori household incomes have improved, unemployment rate has dropped and more Maori school leavers have qualifications. Social Development Minister Steve Maharey says recent evidence indicates improvements for all New Zealanders and he is delighted to see rapid increases in Maori participation in tertiary education and Primary Health Organisations.

Now no place for Maori in National Party

There is no longer a place for Maori in the National Party, says Associate Maori Affairs Minister John Tamihere. The decision by National's leader Don Brash to replace Georgina Te Heuheu with Gerry Brownlee as Maori Affairs spokesman showed she no longer had the support of the party or leadership, and should resign from the party. John Tamihere says Mrs Te Heuheu's demotion – for opposing Dr Brash's Orewa speech - broke one of the longest and strongest relationships National had enjoyed with Maori and there were few skills that Mr Brownlee could bring to the job.

ENDS

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