Politics News

It’s washing away – why aren’t they saving Pukerua Bay’s coastline?

pbay-1

by Jim Mikoz
Why is the Porirua City Council letting the Pukerua Bay coastline wash into the sea? Read more »

ICW calls for more money to combat anti-social behaviour on city streets

Press Release – Inner City Wellington
In its submission to the Wellington City Council’s draft Annual Plan, Inner-City Wellington (ICW) supports the proposed $75,000 for a business case but calls for more funding in the next financial year to deal with the anti-social behaviour on city streets. Read more »

Congestion-free coalition will campaign for less dependence on cars

News from CFW
A Congestion-free Wellington (CFW) Coalition was set up at a public meeting in Wellington on Thursday night. About 80 people attended the meeting. Read more »

$27m extra for Capital and Coast DHB – a funding record

News from NZ Government
New funding for Capital & Coast DHB in the Budget increases the DHB’s total allocation to a record level. Read more »

PSA wants to stop sale of pensioner housing in Levin and Foxton

News from PSA
Pensioner housing in Horowhenua must not be sold without a proper process – and a proposed deal should be stopped, the PSA says. Read more »

300 Wellington bus drivers meet, and refuse to accept deal for lower pay

News from Wellington Tramways Union
Hundreds of bus drivers met in Wellington today to decide how they’re going to fight back against a Regional Council decision that threatens to slash their pay. Read more »

$98m to replace wooden traction poles on Metro Line train network

News from Wellington Regional Council
Nearly $100 million has been allocated to Greater Wellington Regional Council and KiwiRail to replace 1274 wooden traction poles which, without replacement, would lead to significant service disruption on Wellington’s Metro Line Network.
Read more »

Chris Whelan resigns from WREDA, “a disappointment,” says CofC

Press Release – Wellington Chamber Of Commerce
The resignation of WREDA Chief Executive Chris Whelan will be a disappointment to those who had pinned high hopes for the region on him and the new organisation, says Wellington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive John Milford. Read more »

Dog kills penguin on waterfront; owners warned to keep dogs on leash

News from Wellington City Council
The bloody death of a little blue penguin on Wellington’s waterfront tonight serves as a warning for people who have dogs – keep your dog on a leash. Read more »

Student accommodation benefit going up, “but not far enough”

News from NZUSA
The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations has welcomed an increase to the Accommodation Benefit, but says that it does not go far enough to meet rising housing costs.

The Accommodation Benefit cap for Student Allowance recipients has increased from $40 to $60 per week. Estimated new rates for Student Allowance recipients living in Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch will be $60. Dunedin-based recipients will likely see an $11 per week increase to $51. Only 33% of students have access to the Student Allowance, due to the parental income threshold for eligibility being frozen for five years.

‘More than three quarters of students will see no change to their living situation as a result of this Budget. This contrasts with our recommendation in our Budget wishlist, calling for a housing grant for all students.’

‘It also denies the Auckland rent crisis, when the cap of $60 will be mirrored in Christchurch and Wellington. In Auckland, students are paying $70 more on rent than in Christchurch, yet they will get the same level of support through the Accommodation Benefit.’

‘When we have raised issues of student poverty, the Government has said that student support is about right. We acknowledge that the Government has accepted it was wrong on that count. However, having made this acknowledgement they really should look to fix the problem, rather than merely paper over the worst excesses of it.’

Universities and ITPs funding

‘We are still working our way through the details but on the face of it, but it seems that universities and polytechnics will be getting less money in the future while private training establishments experience a significant increase in funding. We are concerned about public money going to private pockets especially in the face of recent concerns about quality in the private training sector.’

What’s missing – locked out of tertiary education

‘It’s also important to acknowledge what’s missing from this Budget. Our Budget wishlist proposed necessary changes to improve access to tertiary education such as a national First in Family Scholarship, restoring postgraduate allowances and ending age discrimination in allowance and loan access. In its Budget the Government is wilfully ignorant in failing to address the needs of those locked out of tertiary education.’

NZUSA is the national voice of students in tertiary education. The organisation is governed by students’ associations from universities and polytechnics around the country.

© Scoop Media

RNZ getting extra $2.5m a year “but it doesn’t go far enough”

News from Action Station
Today’s budget announcement of an extra $2.85m per year for Radio New Zealand has been welcomed by public media campaigners ActionStation who delivered a petition alongside the Coalition for Better Broadcasting and citizen campaigner Jo Bond to unfreeze the public radio station’s funding earlier this year.

“After eight years of frozen funding, our community of public media defenders are grateful to see a boost. However it doesn’t go far enough.” says ActionStation Campaign Director Laura O’Connell Rapira.

RNZ’s $35 million budget hasn’t changed much since 2007 when a KPMG report found the state-owned broadcaster was underfunded by $6m to $7m.

Dr Peter Thompson, senior lecturer in media studies at Victoria University, recently calculated that if inflation were included it would mean RNZ is now underfunded by $14m a year.

“Quality independent journalism is crucial for our democracy and RNZ demonstrates their value every single day. When you compare this boost to the $60 million per year the Government has committed to attracting Hollywood Producers, it does make you wonder about priorities.” says Ms O’Connell Rapira.

RNZ will receive an additional $11.4 million of operating funding over the next four years to allow for investment in new modern technology and improved capability.

“Like many New Zealanders, I was acutely aware of the importance of RNZ during the 2016 earthquakes. In times of pressure and emergency we look to certain organisations to help us through – RNZ is one of those organisations.’’ says National Party MP Maggie Barry.

The funding increase follows half a year of campaigning which concluded in April when a 32,337 strong joint petition, between ActionStation, the Coalition for Better Broadcasting and RNZ campaigner Jo Bond, was presented to Parliament in a giant block of ice calling for RNZ’s funding to be unfrozen.

$450m more for KiwiRail shows recognition of productivity and efficiency

Press Release – KiwiRail
The Government’s two year commitment of $450 million in capital funding announced today will ensure the reliability initiatives of the past two years continue to drive productivity and commercial outcomes for KiwiRail and its customers, Chairman Trevor Janes says. Read more »

Where are we really moving? Public meeting to discuss concerns

Wellington.Scoop
A public meeting is to be held tonight to discuss concerns about the plans being indicated by the Let’s Get Wellington Moving process. Read more »

Keeping the buses on time

by Kerry Wood
The Regional Council recently claimed that its buses run 99.9% on time, but only 99.7% run at all. There was nothing to define ‘on-time’, but it seems to be starting, or maybe completing, a run within ten minutes of scheduled time (or both?). The figures suggest that ‘on-time’ includes ‘early’. Read more »

Burst water pipe in Kapiti, 40 houses affected, traffic delayed

Press Release – Kapiti Coast District Council
Council crews are carrying out emergency repairs on a burst water pipe on Arawhata Road near Kāpiti Road. Read more »

$12m for new sport and community building in Fraser Park

Press Release – Hutt City Council
The green light has been given to the construction of a $12 million sport and community facility at Lower Hutt’s Fraser Park. Read more »

Hutt City Council to pay living wage only if it is cost effective

Press Release – Hutt City Council
The Hutt City Council has adopted a new Remuneration and Employment Policy reflecting its commitment to paying the living wage while meeting its legal obligations under the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act). Read more »

PSA disappointed at ACC plan to close call centres

Press Release – Public Service Association
PSA members are surprised and disappointed at the Accident Compensation Corporation’s proposals to close two call centres in Wellington and Auckland. Read more »

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