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Beehive Bulletin - Friday 13 September 2002

Beehive Bulletin - Friday 13 September 2002

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New early childhood strategy released

Education Minister Trevor Mallard this week launched a 10-year plan for early childhood education, which aims to increase participation, improve quality and promote collaborative relationships. Pathways to the Future: Nga Huarahi Arataki, is the first long-term plan for early childhood education since Before Five in 1989. The minister says the government wants to make sure all children have the opportunity to participate in quality early childhood education. It also wants to ensure relationships between early childhood providers, schools and other agencies, help support good outcomes for children and their families. The changes will include new registration and qualification systems for teachers, to be put in place by 2012, more support for communities where ECE participation is low and a comprehensive review of funding. Trevor Mallard says the review will also consider what level of funding the government should put into ECE services. The best current estimate is that the changes will add a total of between $75 million and $92 million to the investment in ECE by 2005/06.

Govt expands moth eradication plan

The cabinet decided this week that an expanded effort will be made to eradicate the painted apple moth. Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton said the decision was motivated by assessments about the potential damage the moth posed to New Zealand's natural environment, forest industries, and human health. The extension of the programme means about $90 million will have been spent on trying to wipe out the pest, which has now spread through much of west Auckland. The three-year eradication programme will involve extending the current aerial spraying programme to between 8000 and 12,000 hectares covering Auckland suburbs such as Henderson, Te Atatu, Glen Eden, New Lynn and Point Chevalier. The minister says technical advice is that eradication of the painted apple moth is still possible, despite larval finds outside the current zone. Jim Sutton says MAF officials are working in the community to help minimise any potential effects. The same organic, naturally-occurring spray was used in the eradication of the white spotted tussock moth, without any serious ill-effects.

NZ govt marks 11 September anniversary

A service of remembrance at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul this week was the government's official commemorative event marking the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001. The service was attended by Prime Minister Helen Clark, Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, ministers and parliamentarians, public service chief executives, senior defence personnel, representatives of the Fire Service, the Police and other emergency services, and members of the diplomatic corps, including the United States Ambassador to New Zealand, Charles Swindells. Earlier, Helen Clark and Mr Swindells attended a ceremony at the United States Embassy and planted two trees in compost made from flowers left at the embassy's gates a year ago. Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff was in New York to attend anniversary services ahead of speaking in the United Nations General Assembly. Mr Goff joined Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer at an Anzac service in Manhattan. Two New Zealanders and 10 Australians were killed in the attacks which destroyed the World Trade Centre a year ago.

NZ opens terrorism liaison offices

Police Minister George Hawkins announced this week that New Zealand has opened Police terrorism liaison offices in Washington DC and London. The offices are attached to the New Zealand Embassy in Washington DC and High Commission in London, and were opened last week by Police Commissioner Rob Robinson. The offices will be staffed in Washington DC by Detective Superintendent Peter Marshall, formerly of Auckland, and in London by Detective Superintendent Bill Bishop, previously based in Wellington. Their appointments are for two years. George Hawkins said the posts represented a key Government initiative in the fight against terrorism. The openings coincided with the first anniversary of the tragic events of 11 September 2001 and demonstrated New Zealand's commitment to working with international anti-terrorism and criminal intelligence agencies to boost New Zealand security.

Burton hosts Australasian tourism ministers

Tourism Minister Mark Burton this week hosted Australian tourism ministers, including the Hon Joe Hockey, Commonwealth Minister of Tourism, in their annual Tourism Ministers Council meeting. Mark Burton chaired the meeting, held at Auckland's Viaduct Harbour. The council's get-together is an annual meeting of the state and federal ministers of tourism for Australia and New Zealand. Mark Burton said it is one of several such sectoral meetings held each year by the Australian and New Zealand governments. He said it was important for the tourism industry that the meeting was held on 11 September. The events of September 2001 had a massive impact on the tourism industry globally. The minister said New Zealand experienced a brief drop in the number of arrivals. However several factors, including the perception of New Zealand as a safe and friendly tourism destination, and the co-ordinated and focused response of the government and the industry, had led to a return to underlying patterns of growth

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