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May 21, 2018 | by  | in Politics | [ssba]

Political Round Up

Homelessness Prevention Programme Extended to Various Towns in New Zealand

Several regions across New Zealand have been selected for a new housing initiative set up by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

On Friday 4 May the Government announced that the Housing First Programme is set to receive $63.4 million dollars, as laid out in this year’s Budget. The scheme is set to be rolled out across Whangarei, Northland, Rotorua, Napier and Hastings, Nelson, and Blenheim. These regions were selected by the Government because of a severe shortage of available housing and skyrocketing numbers of people on the streets.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said that this tailored approach to create housing means that the homeless can experience an increase in mental and physical wellbeing. “Housing First aims to end homelessness for people, not just manage it. The goal is that homelessness should be brief, rare, and non-recurring.”

Even though this programme is getting a significant amount of funding from the Treasury, Twyford admitted that there was no confirmation about how much this would cost the taxpayer. “[The] Government will take a staged approach to expanding the programme into [these regions], which we expect to begin later this year or next year,” said Twyford.

Pests Get a Kick in Budget 2018

On the 12 May, Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced that the Department of Conservation (DoC) would be given $81.3 million dollars to combat predators. The area that can be protected would cover an area the size of Northland and Auckland combined, which will be the largest ever area protected by DoC. Sage stated that there is a large percentage of native wildlife that are at risk of extinction, and this money will help control the spread of predators in an integrated way.

Forest and Bird praised the move, with spokesperson Kevin Hackwell saying that there would be regular pest management within a four year stretch — a tenfold increase from previous Government contributions. “In the past the Department of Conservation has had to go … cap in hand to get one-off funding to respond to those emergencies, now the government is saying that it’s going to baseline a bigger amount than even those emergency years, as a baseline, that’s a huge improvement.”

In New Zealand native forests without pest control, one in four kiwi chicks do not survive their first year.

North and South Korea Relations Get Encouragement From NZ Government

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has stated it will donate $200,000 to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to aid its monitoring of the North Korean Nuclear Programme.

This comes after a phone call between Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha on the 14 May. Peters said that The South is closely monitoring the promised denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

“We want to make an early contribution to assist the IAEA in its current monitoring efforts and further hope that its inspectors are soon able to return to North Korea,” said Peters.

The IAEA is an international institution which aims to promote “safe, secure, and peaceful nuclear technologies”, according to its website.


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