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By Newsroom America Feeds at 28 Nov 2017


/////////////////////////////////////////// District Court appointment welcomed

Posted: 28 Nov 2017 05:20 PM PST

Attorney General David Parker has today welcomed the appointment of Deidre Orchard to the District Court in Whangarei. “Deidre Orchard is an experienced legal professional including as a Crown prosecutor in Christchurch,” says Mr Parker “Her appointment is an appropriate reward for her hard work and dedication to the legal profession. I know the District Court in Whangarei will be well served by her experience and professionalism.” Mrs Orchard joined Raymond Donnelly and Co in Christchurch in 2004 as a Crown prosecutor. She was made an associate of that firm in 2006 and has prosecuted numerous criminal trials in both the District and High Courts. From 1986 to 2005 she was a barrister principally engaged in criminal defence work but was also on the Canterbury District Crown Panel. Mrs Orchard has held a variety of offices within both the Law Society and Criminal Bar Association. Judge Orchard will be sworn in on 13 December 2017 in Christchurch. She will also hold a warrant as a jury Judge.

/////////////////////////////////////////// NZ denounces North Korea missile test

Posted: 28 Nov 2017 04:22 PM PST

New Zealand denounces North Korea missile test Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. “This missile test is deeply disappointing,” Mr Peters says. “It is in breach of UN Security Council resolutions which bans all such missile tests by North Korea.” “New Zealand is committed to the continuing international effort to persuade North Korea to disband its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programmes,” he said “It is incumbent on all of us to continue sending the message that the international community is united in opposition to North Korea’s actions. We will continue to do our part, including by fully implementing UN sanctions. “New Zealand supports a diplomatic solution to this threat to global security. All parties must continue to consider how this could be achieved,” said Mr Peters. “New Zealand, once again, urges North Korea to abide by its international obligations, refrain from further testing and take steps which can enable international dialogue,” he said. Ends

/////////////////////////////////////////// New transport reports show benefits of cycling and shared mobility

Posted: 28 Nov 2017 12:59 PM PST

A new report launched today by the Associate Minister for Transport Julie Anne Genter shows that supporting more people to walk and cycle for transport could have significant public health benefits. Minister Genter today launched the Transport Outlook Future State report, produced by the Ministry of Transport, and the Shared Mobility Simulations for Auckland, prepared by the International Transport Forum for Auckland Transport and the Ministry of Transport. “The Transport Outlook report shows that around 260 premature deaths could be prevented if walking and cycling trips increased by about 50 percent and 250 percent respectively,” said Associate Minister for Transport Julie Anne Genter. “If we ensure our streets are safer for cycling and walking it’ll be easier for all of us to get a bit more exercise on our way to work, school or just getting around town. That’s great for both our physical and mental health. “Ministry of Transport modelling shows a big increase in walking and cycling is possible with safe cycling infrastructure and more medium-density housing in the central cities and inner suburbs. “We know that regular physical exercise halves the risk of conditions such as stroke, coronary heart disease, and diabetes. However, less than half of adult New Zealanders get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. “This is why the new Government has made a commitment to increase funding in the transport budget for walking and cycling infrastructure. “It’s important to note, however, that a number of the other scenarios in the Transport Outlook report reflect policies of the previous Government. I would expect some different outcomes from the new Government’s approach to transport. “The Shared Mobility report looked at the role on-demand taxi-bus and shared taxi services could play in Auckland. “The report suggests that shared mobility could provide feeder services connecting with rapid rail and bus lines. This could reduce congestion and the number of car parks needed in central Auckland," said Ms Genter. ENDS The Transport Outlook Future State report can be found HERE The ITF shared mobility report is published HERE

/////////////////////////////////////////// High-quality forestry investment welcomed

Posted: 28 Nov 2017 12:37 PM PST

Forestry Minister Shane Jones says overseas investment in forestry that brings genuine benefits to New Zealand’s economy and its environment will be welcomed by the Government. Mr Jones says he is pleased with the inclusion of a Forestry Directive in the new Ministerial Directive Letter issued to the Overseas Investment Office, which sets out the Government’s policy approach to overseas investment in sensitive New Zealand assets. “The inclusion of a specific directive for forestry recognises the importance of forestry to the New Zealand economy and regional communities,” Mr Jones says. “As part of the coalition agreement, this Government has committed to an ambitious tree planting programme that will require a partnership between the Crown and the sector itself. High-quality overseas investment can certainly help us achieve this goal. “Forestry, and the processing of forest products, are significant sources of employment in our regions and we want to build on that to get more people into a sustainable workforce. “I’ve heard first-hand from the industry the value of good overseas investment and the Forestry Directive recognises there is a role for overseas investors to play. However, we want to encourage value-added wood processing to generate jobs and other benefits for our regions. “The new directive for forestry directs the Overseas Investment Office to place high importance on increased processing of primary products and the advancement of the Government’s policies when assessing applications for consent. “It also emphasises that Ministers expect the Overseas Investment Office to impose conditions on consent where appropriate – for example, a requirement for the overseas investor to enter into a supply arrangement with a local processor,” Mr Jones says. The letter recognises that conditions imposed on forest land may need to be for longer periods given the often long-term nature of these investments. “Forestry has an important role to play in many of the Government’s priority areas – enhancing regional development, improving water quality, reducing carbon emissions and creating jobs – and I’m looking forward to seeing the sector prosper in the coming years,” Mr Jones says.

/////////////////////////////////////////// New directive for the Overseas Investment Office announced

Posted: 28 Nov 2017 12:02 PM PST

Associate Finance Minister David Parker and Minister for Land Information Eugenie Sage, have announced today the strengthening of New Zealand’s overseas investment regime, by issuing a new Directive Letter to the Overseas Investment Office. The Directive Letter sets out the Government’s policy approach to overseas investment in rural land. The directive does not change the rules regarding acquisitions of significant business assets. “The existing directive is too loose,” says Mr Parker. “It only applied to very large farms more than 10 times the average farm size. “In practice this meant restrictions in sales generally applied to sheep and beef farms over 7,146 ha or a dairy farm more than 1,987ha. “This new directive ensures authorised purchases will provide genuine benefits. “Too often we see investors buy a New Zealand farm, and then use existing systems, technology and management practices which don’t substantially add anything new, or create additional value to our economy. “We want to make it clear that it is a privilege to own or control New Zealand’s sensitive assets, and this privilege must be earned. We campaigned on these changes and they won’t come as a surprise to potential investors,” says Mr Parker “Today’s announcement raises the bar for overseas investments in sensitive land by replacing the existing large farm directive, with a new and much broader, rural land directive which applies to all rural land larger than 5 hectares other than forestry,” says Ms Sage. “The large farm directive previously only applied to very large farms.” “This directive acknowledges the importance of jobs, new technology and business skills, increased exports, processing of primary products and oversight and participation of New Zealanders,” says Ms Sage. The new Directive Letter will come into force on 15 December 2017. All applications which are being assessed by the OIO at, and from, this date will be subject to the new directive letter. Applications which have not been determined by 15 December, will be given a fair opportunity to make additional submissions under the new approach. The Overseas Investment Office continues to accept and process applications, and both Ministers and the OIO are making decisions on applications. “This Directive Letter is the first step to strengthening the overseas investment regime,” says Mr Parker. “We will be introducing legislation to ban foreign buyers of New Zealand’s existing houses before Christmas and other work to strengthen the Overseas Investment Act is underway.” “The Government wants to see an increase in value added processing in the forestry sector and Minister Shane Jones will be making a separate announcement on this,” he says.


/////////////////////////////////////////// Waikato DHB chair resigns

Posted: 27 Nov 2017 08:43 PM PST

Health Minister Dr David Clark has accepted Waikato District Health Board chair Bob Simcock’s resignation this afternoon. His resignation as chair and board member will take effect immediately. “It was the right decision for him to make under the circumstances,” says Dr Clark. “The DHB’s deputy chair, Sally Webb, has agreed to step in as acting chair, which I am grateful for and have confidence she will manage the role to a high standard while I consider long-term options. “It’s still very important to fully review the findings from the State Services Commission’s investigation into allegations of wrongful expenditure of public money by the DHB’s former chief executive, Dr Nigel Murray. “I believe that Mr John Ombler QSO will provide an interim report early in 2018. “I am unable to comment further at this stage while the investigation is still underway,” says Dr Clark.

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