Conservation Minister Maggie Barry is to attend the United Nations Ocean Conference in New York this week and will host the UN Secretary General’s launch of ‘The World Ocean Assessment’.
“New Zealand and Barbados co-chaired the process which led to the publication of this landmark document that will help inform the discussion around how we save our oceans,” Ms Barry says.
The Ocean Conference will be the first time all 193 UN nations have come together to compare notes on how the world is implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14; to conserve, protect and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.
‘New Zealand has a reputation as a leading voice on oceans and fisheries issues at the United Nations. We plan to highlight our international and domestic activities, our investments in the Pacific’s oceans and fisheries and our effective management of our own marine areas,” Ms Barry says.
“A healthy ocean is vital to all our livelihoods and our economy, and attending the conference means we will have an active and visible role in this discussion.”
As a strong supporter of the adoption of Sustainable Development Goal 14 New Zealand was one of a core group of countries that supported the convening of the conference.
The UN Ocean Conference runs from 5 – 9 June
Communications Minister Simon Bridges and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry have welcomed the announcement of a safe, interactive ad-free space for primary school age children to explore and enjoy online local media content.
The new media initiative is a collaboration between NZ On Air and TVNZ. The interactive curated website will be run by a newly formed team at TVNZ, utilising the company’s expertise and technology.
Communications Minister Simon Bridges says it is a first for New Zealand and is possible thanks to the Government’s extensive roll-out of communications infrastructure.
“The roll-out of Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) is making internet more accessible to New Zealanders of all ages with more than 1.1 million households now able to connect. This project will ensure there is quality local content readily available to children in a safe online environment,” Mr Bridges says.
“This project is also a great example of convergence, known as the reduction in barriers between sectors, and shows the new opportunities businesses and consumers alike can gain from the greater choice and accessibility it affords,” Mr Bridges says.
Minister Barry says NZ On Air will invest $1.5m in the site, targeted at 5-9 year olds.
“New Zealand children need to see and hear themselves and their own accents in the media they consume. This project will ensure our culture is alive and well in screen content for our youngest viewers,” Ms Barry says.
“The site will be designed for children and they will be involved at every stage from development through to when it’s ready to go live. It will be easy to navigate and be commercial free with a huge range of content.”
“NZ On Air will commission content through its September funding round and is about to start working with children’s content producers on ideas for new material.”
It is expected to go live around March 2018.
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges, Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry welcome the kick-off of the DHL NZ Lions Series 2017.
The New Zealand Lions Series 2017 will take place from 3 June to 8 July 2017, and will see the British & Irish Lions rugby team play ten matches against New Zealand in seven host cities, including three test matches.
The series starts tomorrow night when the Lions take on the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians at Whangarei’s Toll Stadium.
“The NZ Lions Series is an iconic rugby event which has significant local and international interest,” says Mr Bridges.
“The Government has committed $3 million from the Major Events Development Fund to support the series. This is going towards a range of leveraging opportunities including a school curriculum programme and Rugby 2017 Festival which will help host cities showcase New Zealand culture.”
“The last Lions Series in 2005 was hugely successful, attracting more than 20,000 international visitors staying more than 431,000 nights in total. The overall positive impact on GDP was estimated at $135 million.
“This is international competition at the highest level, and New Zealand Rugby has done an outstanding job in organising a series that will reinforce our capability to host major sporting events,” says Dr Coleman.
“With no tickets left on public sale for the Crusaders match or the three tests, and at least as many international visitors expected as in 2005, this year’s series will again be a remarkable economic boost for New Zealand.”
“The Rugby 2017 Festival includes a series of rugby club ‘Legends at the Local’ events across the host cities, Matariki programmes and arts events all designed to engage fans in the days around the matches,” says Ms Barry.
“It also includes the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Lands of Hope and Glory’ concert, a world record haka attempt before the Maori All Blacks game in Rotorua and a ‘Dunedin Sounds’ music event.
“To help further enhance the fan experience there will be a fan zone on Queens Wharf in Auckland to coincide with the test matches, with live match screenings, performances, exhibitions, food and beverage showcases. Some of the other host cities will also have their own fan zones.”
The Festival programme is available online at www.rugby2017festival.com
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report on saving New Zealand’s native birds and her endorsement of Predator Free 2050.
“Dr Jan Wright identifies a broad range of important matters that are key to saving our treasured native birds, and reinforces DOC is on the right track with its species protection work,” Ms Barry says.
“Species protection is a battle for all New Zealanders and the report highlights the scale of the challenges we face. That’s why we launched Predator Free 2050, the Threatened Species Strategy, Battle for our Birds and the War on Weeds, and why we’re putting more money in to conservation than ever - $107 million extra in this year’s Budget.
“There are some valuable suggestions as to where efforts should be focused and I have asked officials to look further at the recommendations around translocations and community groups, to see where improvements could be made to existing programmes, or new initiatives assessed.
“Dr Wright has suggested a nature levy on overseas visitors but we think that’s a blunt instrument. A tax on tourists could deter people from visiting New Zealand and as a Government we are not in favour of it.
“What we do support, and what we are planning to implement, is a user-pays approach, with differential charging for huts, tracks and other conservation facilities.
“Through a new booking system we can ensure overseas visitors will pay higher fees than New Zealanders who already contribute to DOC through their taxes. The revenue will be reinvested in biodiversity protection, as well as upkeep and development of facilities.
“There is more conservation work being done in New Zealand than ever and progress is being made on biodiversity issues, as evidenced by the announcement next week of a new Deputy Director-General position to oversee all DOC’s biodiversity work.
“By the end of the year the independent crown company, Predator Free 2050, will announce its first large-scale predator control project and announce its first research funding decisions.
“We’ve also leveraged $100 million from partnerships over the past 6 years for species protection, and DOC is also working across Government to develop a well-coordinated plan for Predator Free 2050 including how we target predator control to best effect.
“I am confident we can save our threatened species if we all work together and as a Government we are committed to doing that and achieving our goal of a Predator Free New Zealand by 2050.”
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the Whio Recovery Programme has made considerable progress towards securing the future of the species.
“Through a $4.5 million partnership with Genesis Energy going back to 2011 we have effective predator control at eight sites and some protection at 17 other sites. There is a network of 5000 new stoat traps protecting 599 pairs of whio across the country,” Ms Barry says.
“In the Kahurangi National Park the number of whio has increased by 48 per cent from 29 pairs, when the last full survey was carried out five years ago, to 43 pairs today.”
“These results take us closer to our goal of Predator Free 2050 by proving that outstanding outcomes are achieved when you kill predators by using aerial 1080 over large areas of inaccessible landscapes to knock back stoat numbers, backed up with traps.”
The Battle for our Birds operations in 2014 and 2016 resulted in high duckling numbers of 65 and 40 respectively in Kahurangi, compared to less than 25 in years where there was no predator control.
“The 2017 Battle for our Birds will be the largest predator control operation in New Zealand history and is an integral part of DOC’s strategy to protect our vulnerable species and enhance our biodiversity,” Ms Barry says.
“The whio population is increasing in areas where there is predator control and the total population is estimated to be around 3000,” Ms Barry says.
Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry today announced the 2017 Green Ribbon Awards finalists, recognising exceptional environmental and conservation initiatives throughout New Zealand.
“These national awards, now in their 27th year, play an important role in celebrating and raising the profile of outstanding contributions by individuals, communities and organisations to protect and manage New Zealand’s environment,” Dr Smith says.
“The standard of nominations this year was particularly high and it’s great to see so many people and organisations stepping up to care for our environment. We received close to 150 nominations, from all corners of the country.”
Ms Barry says the finalists are doing exceptional work to conserve New Zealand’s unique environment and species for generations to come.
“What particularly stands out from the stories of our finalists this year is the leadership they have shown to deliver significant, tangible outcomes for the environment and conservation,” Ms Barry says.
“Many of the finalists have achieved remarkable results through community involvement and collaboration with others. They are examples of New Zealanders working together for the common good.”
The Green Ribbon Awards will once again include the presentation of the Loder Cup, which was first awarded in 1929.
“This is one of the country’s oldest conservation awards and recognises outstanding work to protect our native plants. The Green Ribbon Awards is a fitting opportunity to congratulate the winner of this special award,” Ms Barry says.
All Green Ribbon Awards finalists will be invited to attend a ceremony at Parliament on 8 June. Winners will be announced for each category, including the overall supreme winner. Read the finalists’ stories on the Green Ribbon Awards website www.greenribbonawards.org.nz
Finalists for 2017:
Minimising Our Waste: Webstar | Xtreme Zero Waste | Department of Corrections
Resilience to Climate Change: New Zealand Post | Post Nelson Ltd | Sustainability Trust
Protecting our Coasts and Oceans: Whaingaroa Harbour Care | Moana New Zealand and Sanford Ltd | Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand | South Taranaki Underwater Club
Protecting our Biodiversity:
Gisborne District Council | QEII National Trust and its covenanters | Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society | Stewart Island/Rakiura Community and Environment Trust
Caring for our Water: Whangawehi Catchment Management Group | Discover Waitomo | Wharekopae Catchment Group
Business Leadership: Air New Zealand | Nelson Mail, Fairfax Media | Countdown (Progressive Enterprises)
Community Leadership: Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust | Polhill Protectors | Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust
Leadership in Communication and Education: The Project Crimson Trust | Zealandia | Dargaville Intermediate School
Kaitiaki Leadership: Para Kore Marae Inc. | Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu
Philanthropy and Partnership: Taranaki Mounga Project Ltd | Genesis Energy | The Project Crimson Trust
Budget 2017 includes a significant investment in Radio New Zealand, as well as new funding to support the understanding of our most important national stories, Ms Barry says.
Radio New Zealand 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.
“RNZ provides a high quality, responsive service. The new funding will ensure it remains an accessible and sustainable public broadcaster,” Ms Barry says.
“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.’’
The Government will also provide a further $5 million of operating funding over the next three years for the Encounters 250 programme.
“Encounters 250 will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the first meetings of Māori and Europeans when James Cook and the Polynesian navigator Tupaia first circumnavigated and landed in 1769,” Ms Barry says.
“This new funding, which takes the total Government investment to $8.5 million, will ensure a special and accessible commemoration across the landing sites in 2019 that acknowledges the impact of that first meeting for all New Zealanders.”
Budget 2017 also provides $4.8 million of operating funding over the next four years for the operation of Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, the Queen Elizabeth ll Education Centre and for continued investment in newly found Māori heritage treasured objects taonga tuturu.
“British, Belgian and American memorials will be unveiled gradually through the year and a French memorial will be installed early next year at Pukeahu in time for ANZAC Day 2018,” Ms Barry says.
Our unique natural heritage is set to inspire New Zealand artists through an initiative announced today by the Minister of Conservation and the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Maggie Barry.
“Wild Creations will offer a range of opportunities to connect New Zealand artists with the people, stories and challenges of our distinctive natural culture - from spending time alongside a threatened species recovery team and tracking native bird predators, to accompanying volunteers on conservation projects,” Ms Barry says.
The programme is a collaboration between the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Creative New Zealand. The Minister made the announcement at Fort Takapuna, an historic DOC site near Auckland.
“Creative New Zealand will invest up to $36,000 (excluding GST) to support the initiative which will be used for artist stipends, travel and agreed costs associated with up to three proposals over one year. It’s likely to represent a particularly good return on investment when cost is measured against outcomes.”
“Wild Creations also represents a good return on investment for DOC, which is not making a direct financial contribution but is supporting artists with accommodation at DOC sites and transport to get there. The artwork produced will directly support several key objectives, including bringing our history to life, and connecting New Zealanders to conservation.”
“Not only will this programme inspire some of our most talented artists, the work they produce will help promote a wider understanding and awareness of conservation issues with New Zealanders.”
Up to three artists will get access to a range of DOC experiences between November this year and June 2018.
Wild Creations is a revitalised version of an earlier collaboration which ran between 2002 and 2012. The new programme offers a much wider range of opportunities for artists.
Minister Barry spoke alongside artist and previous Wild Creations recipient, Fiona Pardington, who talked about the value of her six-week experience in Central Otago.
“I have one of Fiona’s artworks at home – huia feathers – to remind me of the cost of extinction. Once something is gone, it’s gone forever,” Ms Barry says.
“Through the works produced by artists like Fiona, this programme will showcase the natural heritage of some of the wild places that many of us can’t or don’t get the chance to visit.”
The range of experiences on offer include:Experience of a place of particular significance to Māori A community group/volunteering/immersion experience An iwi engagement experience related to sites important to Tangata Whenua An experience involving a historic icon site managed by DOC A threatened species experience, such as working alongside the Kakapo recovery team An experience involving an island, such as being involved in tracking and trapping predators A coastal experience, such as being exposed to marine mammal monitoring An urban explorer experience, which brings people to the natural environment A remote experience such as staying in a warden’s hut over the winter.
More information on Wild Creations can be found on the Creative New Zealand website.
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry announced today the appointment of two new members to the board of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO), as well as the reappointment of the chair and two members.
“The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is world-class and is going from strength to strength with exciting programmes of performances. These appointments continue the orchestra’s strength of governance,” Ms Barry says
The two new board members are Sue Paterson of Wellington and Laurence Kubiak of Auckland.
Sue Paterson was the executive director of the NZ Festival from 2009 to 2017 and previously general manager of the Royal NZ Ballet.
Laurence Kubiak is the CEO of the NZ Institute for Economic Research and has performed as a professional musician in Europe.
The NZSO’s board chair Donald Best, and two current board members Dame Bronwen Holdsworth and Peter Biggs, have been reappointed for one year.
Minister Barry thanked retiring board member Lisa Bates for her contribution to the NZSO as a board member for six years.
Laurence Kubiak’s appointment commenced on 1 May for a three-year term. All the other appointments take effect from 1 August 2017 and last one year.
Donald Best, reappointed Chair and member
Donald Best is the current Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He has a broad range of commercial governance experience and has chaired other performing arts organisations. He has held a variety of commercial positions including partner, company secretary, director and managing director in a range of chartered accounting firms, property and asset management businesses.
Dame Bronwen Holdsworth DNZM, reappointed member
Dame Bronwen Holdsworth DNZM, a current board member, is the managing director of Pultron Composites Ltd. A keen musician and accomplished pianist, Dame Bronwen has been involved with a large number of music, visual art, education and business organisations. She is a strong supporter of the nationally recognised Gisborne Music Competition.
Peter Biggs CNZM, reappointed board member
Peter Biggs CNZM, a current board member, is chief executive of Assignment Group New Zealand. He was formerly chief executive of Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne and Wellington. A strong advocate of the arts, he was chair of the Arts Council of New Zealand (Creative New Zealand) from 1999 to 2006, and has been a member of numerous public and private sector boards.
Sue Paterson, new board member
Sue Paterson, a new board member, has more than 30 years’ experience in senior and general management roles in the cultural and government sectors. She was executive director of the New Zealand Festival from 2009 to 2017 and has worked with a number of different arts organisations including as general manager of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. She has significant experience serving on boards and will bring her commercial acumen, experience in marketing and fundraising, and knowledge of the cultural sector to the NZSO board. She is the 2017 Kiwibank Senior New Zealander of the Year.
Laurence Kubiak, new board member
Laurence Kubiak, a new board member, is currently the CEO of the New Zealand Institute for Economic Research. Previously he held a variety of roles with BT Global Services – the ICT partner for most of the world’s large multinational corporations. He is a regular commentator on economics, technology, innovation and market development. Mr Kubiak has had a lifelong passion for music and performed as a professional musician in Europe.