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Beehive Bulletin - Friday, July 30, 2004

Friday, July 30, 2004
Beehive Bulletin
30 July 2004

Four hundred schools share $100 million

Four hundred schools are to receive $100 million in funding to upgrade and modernise existing school buildings. Prime Minister Helen Clark and Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced that the schools are the last to join the five-year property programme. All up, all state non-integrated schools will have had access to property funding worth more than $700 million in total. Helen Clark says the government is committed to high education standards across the board for young New Zealanders. Providing modern, up-to-date, enjoyable and safe learning environments is essential for students and attractive, modern and well maintained are assets for local communities.

Encouraging survey on strong business confidence

The latest National Bank Business Outlook showing a stronger than expected increase in business confidence is encouraging, says Finance Minister Michael Cullen. The increase in the important 'own activity' indicator to net 30 per cent positive significantly exceeded market expectations and points to continuing strong momentum in the economy. Investment and employment intentions also remain robust. Michael Cullen says clearly rising oil prices and rising interest rates will take some of the blush off the rose. But the results of this survey reinforce what has been a steady stream of good economic data and augur well for the economy's ability to weather any volatility ahead, says Michael Cullen.

First councils join Climate Protection Programme

Waitakere City, Kapiti Coast, Christchurch City and Masterton district councils are the first to sign up to an international programme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Through the Communities for Climate Protection (CCP) programme councils develop emissions inventories, set targets for reductions and develop action plans to monitor and achieve the targets. Energy Minister and Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, Pete Hodgson says councils are ideally placed to lead local action on climate change within the community and he hopes more will join the initiative. Visit: www.climatechange.govt.nz

Tourism Planning Toolkit helps local authorities

Sustainability is more than just a buzz word for the tourism sector, says Tourism Minister Mark Burton. He's launched a new Tourism Planning Toolkit, designed specifically to help local authorities maximise tourism's benefits while minimising any impacts on their communities. Tourism is New Zealand's biggest industry, and set to continue a strong growth path. In 2001, the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010 was developed in partnership with key industry stakeholders. They agreed if tourism was to be sustainable, it must balance the sector's obvious economic benefits with the care, protection, and enhancement of New Zealand's environment. The Tourism Planning Toolkit will help local government evaluate tourism projects and plan for them.

Cook Islands Maori curriculum launched for schools

The official launch of the Cook Islands Maori curriculum is a major event for the Cooks Islands and Pacific Islands communities in New Zealand. Cook Islands Maori is the second largest Pacific ethnic group living in New Zealand. The curriculum resource is designed to assist and support teachers in the planning and delivery of effective Cook Islands Maori language programmes in early childhood settings and schools. Education Minister Trevor Mallard says research shows that if a student knows their first language well, then it helps when learning a second language, and that all students benefit from learning another language. Work is now underway on developing curricula for Niuean, Tokelauan, and Tongan.

More than 200 jobs created after government investment

EDS New Zealand has created over 200 jobs under their Best Shore Programme, achieving the first milestone it agreed to in receiving funds from Investment NZ. Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton says it is good news for our expanding ICT industry that EDS's first step of creating more than 200 new jobs has been achieved in only fifteen months. The next milestone is to create 360 new jobs in total by March 2006. EDS New Zealand worked with Investment NZ for a grant of $1.5m in 2003 under the Strategic Investment Fund. Jim Anderton says increasing the number of high value, high skill jobs is an important step in raising the living standards of every New Zealander and EDS has made good progress in developing high skill jobs for New Zealanders.

ENDS

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