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May 7, 2018 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Political Round-up

MFAT Praises the Koreas on an Official End to the Korean War
Leaders of North Korea and South Korea have planned to sign a peace treaty to recognise the official end to the Korean War.
North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in engaged in a summit that began on 27 March in which they agreed on the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the official end to the Korean War.
Tensions remained between the two nations, with the peninsula still divided since the ceasefire in 1953.
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the move by the two leaders, saying that it is still a very complex and difficult issue to move toward the full denuclearisation of both countries.
“We should not lose sight of the significance of the announcement, which will further reduce tension on the Korean Peninsula, and in the Asia Pacific region more broadly. New Zealand will do all we can to support this peace process.”
In 2007, Peters was heavily involved with peace talks between the two nations.
Labour Promises Extra Funding Toward Veteran’s Pensions
The Government has promised an extra $1.1 million in grants to Veterans over the next four years.
These extra funds, granted to the Returned and Services Association (RSA) and No Duff Charitable Trust, will see better support for veterans and allow these organisations to modernise and cater for the younger generation of veterans in New Zealand. Minister for Veterans Ron Mark says that this extra funding will make treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder accessible to some 41,000 veterans returning from armed conflict zones.
The RSA and No Duff Charities offer “first responses” to veterans in need, are both registered charities. The newly sworn in Ron Mark promised government funding to these charities in 2017.
“As Minister for Veterans I’m focused on ensuring we have the right support in place for service people when they come back from operations,” Mark pledged.
First Kiwibuild Homes Under Construction
The first 18 homes of the Government’s Kiwibuild scheme are under construction in Papakura, says Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford.
These first homes are being constructed on Defence Force land and are part of the 100,000 affordable houses promised by the Labour Government over the next ten years.
Twyford said that there will be 18 homes constructed in the present lot and overall, 1,000 homes will be built in the 2018/19 financial year.
“We are delivering on our promise of affordable starter homes for families. While the average Auckland house costs over a million dollars, these standalone homes have an expected price of $579,000 for a three bedroom home and $649,000 for a four bedroom home,” said Twyford in a Beehive press release dated 28 April.
National spokesperson for Housing and Urban Development Judith Collins was critical of the Kiwibuild programme, saying that their way of developing affordable housing was nothing new. National has remained sceptical about whether the Government will deliver on the 100,000 homes that they have
“We welcome any new houses but for the Government to claim the credit those 100,000 need to be over and above what was happening already and so far they’re not,” Collins said.
Under construction, these homes will be available for families to purchase by August this year.


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