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By Newsroom America Feeds at 14 Dec 2017


/////////////////////////////////////////// Support for Cape Foulwind conservation

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 05:45 PM PST

A project to protect native species and enhance the landscape of Cape Foulwind in Buller will be boosted by support from the DOC Community Fund, Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has announced. In Westport today Ms Sage met with the Buller Conservation Volunteers group to officially announce they have received a $34,500 grant from the DOC Community Fund for a project based at Tauranga Bay. With native replanting, predator and weed control, the Tauranga Koko Mātārae Project seeks to restore the bay’s northern headland to how it would have looked when first seen by Captain Cook and his crew in 1770. “Through this new funding the group will be able to continue with their revegetation and weed control programme and work towards their aim of making the headland predator free with a network of 40 traps,” Ms Sage says. “Blue penguins, western weka and sooty shearwaters will be encouraged to nest at the site, with plans to reintroduce skinks and geckoes. A boardwalk will be built for easier access over the wetlands. It will provide additional protection for the Charleston gentian, a nationally critical threatened plant, once reduced to fewer than 40 specimens in the wild.” The project will also complement the experience on the Cape Foulwind Walkway, one of DOC’s Great Short Walks, which passes through Tauranga Bay. “The Buller Conservation Volunteers are a dedicated small group who have been meeting every second Tuesday for over a decade and undertaken several other projects on conservation land in the Buller District with support from DOC,” Ms Sage says. “I welcome their and other New Zealanders’ efforts to protect our native plants and wildlife and the places they live. Such community initiatives are vital for conservation.” This latest DOC Community Fund funding round has granted 112 conservation groups around the country a total of $4.215 million. For a full list of funded projects, visit

/////////////////////////////////////////// Minister congratulates Ethnic Communities Development Fund grant recipients

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 05:34 PM PST

Minister for Ethnic Communities, Hon Jenny Salesa congratulates the 71 groups receiving $520,000 from the new Ethnic Communities Development Fund. The contestable Fund is aimed at enhancing New Zealand’s social cohesion and supporting the development of established, growing, and newly resettled ethnic communities. The Fund supports projects that celebrate and enhance the development of Aotearoa’s ethnic communities in three broad categories: cultural events, leadership development and social cohesion. Cultural events which received funding included a Chinese New Year themed street parade and a Brazilian Day festival. In the leadership development category, funding will go towards training courses to build leadership capability of women from refugee backgrounds. Among the funded projects in the social cohesion category were various initiatives aimed at building, fostering and embracing cultural diversity. This was the largest category within the Fund. “New Zealand’s ethnic communities have talent, skills and experience that, with the support of the Fund, can contribute to an inclusive and successful Aotearoa, that welcomes diversity,” says Minister Salesa. Funded projects must be completed during 2018. The Fund received 138 funding requests totalling about $2.6m. “I congratulate all successful applicants from this year’s funding and look forward to seeing the results of these projects,” says Ms Salesa. The next funding round will open in August 2018 for projects to be delivered in 2019. Information about the Fund and a list of all the projects awarded grants is available at Contact: Leah Chamberlin-Gunn 021 847 068

/////////////////////////////////////////// $14.9 million in tourism funding announced

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 05:06 PM PST

The Government is investing $14.9 million in tourism infrastructure and cycle trails around the country, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. $14.2 million has been awarded to various local councils for 30 visitor-related infrastructure projects and four feasibility studies. “We need to make sure we have the basics right – so that visitors continue to have high quality experiences at every point of their holiday and want to return,” Mr Davis says “Increasing tourist numbers, while good for New Zealand, is putting pressure on infrastructure in many areas around the country. The projects selected for funding are essential for some of the communities that really need help to develop infrastructure – those places with high numbers of visitors in comparison to ratepayers, for example. “As a starting point we are co-funding carparks, toilets and other facilities in popular visitor spots from Kaimaumau, north of Kaitaia, to Lumsden in Southland. It includes co-funding for a new carpark and toilets to support the growth of tourists at Mt Taranaki’s Pouakai Crossing trail; facilities at Blackball on the West Coast to support the planned Paparoa and Pike 29 Memorial tracks, and a new carpark and walkways at Lake Tekapo’s Church of the Good Shepherd. “Other areas require more significant infrastructure. In Hanmer Springs the wastewater system will be upgraded, in Gisborne new carparks and walkways will be constructed in preparation for the 250th commemoration of the arrival of James Cook, and in Tauranga enhancements will be made to provide safe public access to the bottom of Omanawa Falls.” This investment is made through the first round of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund. A second $10.7 million funding round is expected to be held in early 2018. A further $700,000 will be invested in the upkeep of seven Great Rides of Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail. “We know that Nga Haerenga is delivering significant economic benefit to communities around the country – $37.4 million per year according to the latest estimate,” Mr Davis says. “These trails are becoming an important part of New Zealand’s tourism offering, drawing high-value visitors off the beaten track and helping provide employment and new business opportunities for our regions. We want to ensure that they are well looked after.” The investment comes from the Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund, which aims to ensure New Zealand’s premier rides are maintained to their current world class standard. Further information and funding details can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website. Tourism Infrastructure Fund: Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund:

/////////////////////////////////////////// Administrator of Tokelau announced

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 04:42 PM PST

New Administrator of Tokelau announced

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that Mr Ross Ardern will be the next Administrator of Tokelau.

“New Zealand’s relationship with Tokelau is unique constitutionally and characterised by mutual obligations, responsibilities and shared citizenship,” Mr Peters says.

“The Administrator’s role is to ensure that public services of an appropriate standard are delivered to the New Zealand citizens living in Tokelau and helping manage the relationship between our two countries.”

“Mr Ardern will also be responsible for overseeing New Zealand’s development assistance to Tokelau which includes major investments in internet connectivity and transport infrastructure.”

“Mr Ardern’s experience as a High Commissioner, his extensive understanding of the Pacific, and distinguished career with New Zealand Police make him an ideal candidate for this role and I have no doubt he will make a major contribution to the relationship between New Zealand and Tokelau,” Mr Peters says.

Mr Ardern is currently New Zealand’s High Commissioner in Niue and has previously served as Niue’s Police Commissioner and as New Zealand’s Police Liaison Officer for the Pacific based in Samoa. He is expected to take up the role of Administrator in early 2018 and will be based in Auckland.

/////////////////////////////////////////// Digital advisory group to be established

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 02:41 PM PST

A new advisory group is to be set up to advise the Government on how it can build the digital economy and reduce digital divides. Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media and Government Digital Services Minister, Clare Curran, called for expressions of interest today. “I’m committed to reducing the gap between the digital ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. This group will help us achieve that,” Ms Curran says. “Digital technology is changing the way Kiwis live their lives, affecting the way we do business, work, and interact with each other and our communities. Given the pace at which our world is changing, we need to ensure no-one is left behind. “The advisory group will bring immediate focus and a plan to ensure all Kiwis have affordable access to digital services, and the motivation, skills and trust to fully participate in our digital world.” Its first task will be to provide advice to the Government on the development of a Blueprint for digital inclusion and digital enablement. “I’m also keen for the group to consider possible future scenarios and identify what’s needed from government to enable everyone – businesses and individuals - to take advantage of the opportunities provided by digital technology,” Ms Curran says. “There’ll be up to 15 people in the group, with the ability to bring in additional members or expertise to address particular issues. I’m particularly keen for it to reflect New Zealand’s diverse communities and to include all age groups and ethnicities, including perspectives from Māori. “Genuine collaboration is needed if we are serious about increasing productivity, growing the digital economy and reducing the digital divides. That’s why I haven’t pre-determined the group’s membership and am seeking the best thinkers across the community. “I want to harness the enthusiasm and great work that’s already happening across the country, and to see what we can deliver together for New Zealanders,” Ms Curran says. Expressions of interest close on 31 January 2018.Terms of Reference and an application form is available at: : Note for Editors: In her first scene setting speech at Nethui on 9 November the Minister set out her priorities which involved: Setting up this advisory group and two others in three main portfolios areas to look at Broadcasting & Digital Media; ICT/ Communications; and Open Government. The brief for each is to build a consensus view of the current state of its sector, to pose scenarios of possible future states, and to state what would be required from Government to achieve the optimal future state. Laying the ground work for establishing the position of a ‘Chief Technology Officer for NZ’ with responsibility for preparing and overseeing a ‘National Digital Architecture’ or roadmap for the next 5-10 years. A blueprint for digital inclusion Setting the framework for the establishment of RNZ+ as the centre-piece for a full non-commercial, public media service for all New Zealanders. Establishing a process for the pro-active release of government information A framework for strengthening citizens’ rights in the digital environment The key questions for the Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Advisory Group to consider include: What is the current state of the ICT sector and ICT capability throughout the economy, society, and government? What are the possible future scenarios and their relative merits? What would be required to achieve an optimal future state? What should a Blueprint for digital inclusion and digital enablement look like? How might we most effectively work together to build our digital economy, improve productivity and increase the economic benefits of the internet? How might we better understand the ‘digital divides’ between people who can have access to the internet and can use digital tools, and those who do not? What would it take to eliminate digital divides by 2020? How might we identify develop the skill sets needed for the work of the future? Do we need to take steps to accelerate/optimise infrastructure rollouts such as UFBl/2/2+, RBl2 and 5G? If so, what steps could and should we take? How should Government evolve its own ICT use in sectors where it plays a prominent role, such as health, education and justice? What would be needed for New Zealand to: Increase its position relative to other countries in measures like the Networked Readiness index Increase the amount that ICT contributes to GDP so that it is the second largest contributor to the economy by 2025?

/////////////////////////////////////////// Climate Change Risks and Adaptation

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 02:01 PM PST

New reports released today show a clearer picture of the scale and urgency we face over climate change, along with guidance on managing and adapting to the results of global warming, Climate Change Minister James Shaw says.

“It’s important that New Zealanders have a clear picture of the potential impacts of climate change so that communities, local and central government, business and other sectors of our economy can make well-informed decisions about how we build resilience and adapt,” says Mr Shaw.

The Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group’s Stocktake report shows the size of the task to build New Zealand’s resilience to rising sea levels, a warmer climate, extreme weather and other impacts of climate change.

The Working Group’s panel of experts includes representatives from central and local government, finance and insurance sectors, science and communities.

The Stocktake report shows that New Zealand has significant information about what is happening to our climate and the impacts of change.

However, not all of this information is in forms that support decision-making and there are some key gaps in our knowledge.

The report also notes that New Zealand is in the early stages of planning and currently lacks a coordinated plan on how to adapt to climate change.

While some sectors and areas are proactive, in general we react to events rather than preparing for them.

The Coastal Hazards and Climate Change guidance, also released today, supports this work by providing clear guidance to councils and communities on how to manage and adapt to the increased coastal hazard risks posed by climate change and sea level rise.

The Guidance, produced by NIWA, will encourage good decision-making so that New Zealand faces fewer risks from climate change in coastal areas, in a way that is fair to residents and consistent around the country.

Further work on adaptation is underway.

The Government’s Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group is working on a report which will make recommendations for how New Zealand can effectively adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The report is due in March next year.

“I’d like to acknowledge the work the technical experts and authors of the guidance have put into these reports,” Mr Shaw says.

The reports will be available at the Ministry for the Environment’s website

/////////////////////////////////////////// Building occupations added to skill shortage list

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 12:55 PM PST

It will be easier for the building industry to find the workers it needs to help address New Zealand’s housing shortfall, with seven building-related occupations being added to the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL), Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway announced today. “The Government will build 100,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years and the construction industry needs skilled workers to achieve this,” Mr Lees-Galloway says. “The Government will always ensure that where a genuine skill gap exists our immigration system will support employers to get the people they need. “Adding these seven building-related occupations to the ISSL will make it easier for employers to get the people they require, including migrants, to deliver the homes this country needs. “Employing skilled migrants will meet the immediate demand for people with the skills required to rapidly increase the number of houses in New Zealand. In the near future KiwiBuild will be a catalyst for more young New Zealanders to work in the construction industry.” Employers whose occupations are on the ISSL and the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) do not need to go through the labour market process and do not need to prove they cannot find a New Zealander for the job. A total of 34 occupations have been reviewed this year. In addition to the seven building-related occupations three motor industry-related professions are being added to the ISSL, as well as midwives and accountants. Five occupations are being removed from the ISSL and five from the LTSSL. The removal and addition of occupations is the result of extensive consultation with industry groups, other stakeholders and relevant government agencies, alongside analysis of economic, labour market and immigration data. “I want to emphasise that employers wanting to bring in migrant workers for occupations not listed on the ISSL or LTSSL can still do so, as long as they can show they’ve genuinely searched for suitably qualified and trained New Zealand workers,” says Mr Lees-Galloway. “I also want to signal that New Zealanders will be given every opportunity to get work and better opportunities to train and learn through our Fees Free initiative, so future reviews of the skill shortage lists will be carried out with a view to reducing the number of occupations listed. “The Government is committed to matching skilled migrant workers with the industries and regions that need them, by strengthening the labour market test for work visas and making the skill shortage lists more focused on regional needs. “MBIE officials will be providing me further advice on how to achieve this commitment ahead of the next review, which is due to begin in April next year.” The latest changes are detailed on the INZ website here. The revised lists will come into effect in February 2018.

Notes to Editors The Essential Skills in Demand (ESID) Lists were established in 2002 and help to ensure that New Zealand’s skill needs are met by facilitating the entry of appropriately skilled migrants to fill skill shortages. This objective also balances the need to ensure there are no suitably qualified New Zealand citizens or resident workers available to undertake the work, and that the shortage is genuine. The ESID lists are made up of the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL), the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) and the Canterbury Skill Shortage List (CSSL), a temporary list which has been developed in response to the changing labour market requirements of the Canterbury rebuild. Since 2002 there have been a large number of submissions for occupations to be added to, or removed from, the ISSL and LTSSL, or changes to be made to occupations currently on the lists. Final decisions on changes to the shortage lists are made by the Minister of Immigration for the LTSSL and Immigration New Zealand for the ISSL. From 2009 to 2017, 226 occupations have been removed from the lists, and 59 occupations added. Once the revised lists come into effect there will be a total of 134 occupations on the lists (65 on the LTSSL and 69 on the ISSL).

/////////////////////////////////////////// Temporary accommodation village for Kaikōura

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 12:53 PM PST

Kaikōura residents with quake damaged homes have another temporary accommodation option, with Associate Minister of Housing and Urban Development Jenny Salesa announcing a seven unit housing recovery temporary accommodation village for the town. “Since the 14 November 2016 earthquake, over 400 requests have been made to the Temporary Accommodation Service by households who need help finding somewhere to stay while their homes are repaired or rebuilt. 269 of these requests are from Kaikōura District,” said Ms Salesa. “Finding rental accommodation in the area has been difficult given the number of properties damaged in the quake, the severity of damage, and the additional pressures housing recovery workers has created for the town. “The Kaikōura Temporary Accommodation Village will be established on Beach Road and comprise seven self-contained, two-bedroom units providing households warm, safe, and affordable temporary accommodation while their home is repaired. The village is expected to be operational in March 2018,” said Ms Salesa. The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment’s Temporary Accommodation Service will fund the infrastructure, provide the units, and oversee landlord, tenancy and property management operations. Kaikōura District Council will provide land at Beach Road and is waiving the development’s consenting fees. Kaikōura District Mayor Winston Gray welcomes the village: “This village is an important part of recovery for Kaikōura. Housing is currently very tight and we're pleased to be working with MBIE to support the village. It will provide welcome relief for some of our households needing somewhere to live while their home is repaired and we look forward to seeing it built.” In addition to the Kaikōura village, the Temporary Accommodation Service’s response to the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake has included partnering with the Hurunui District Council to establish a housing recovery temporary accommodation village in Waiau, and selling 16 two-bedroom houses from Rawhiti Domain at residual value to affected rural households. Households affected by the Kaikōura earthquake who wish to register for temporary accommodation should call the Temporary Accommodation Service on 0508 754 163 or visit ENDS Media contact: Leah Chamberlin Gunn 021 847 068

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