Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner says she is committed to keeping the community up-to-date on the regeneration process.
“As Minister, I’m provided a great deal of information and data about how the regeneration is progressing. My commitment is to share this information with Cantabrians as much as possible,” Ms Wagner says.
“There is some really informative and useful data available. I want people to know what’s being achieved and where things are at.”
Ms Wagner says she will release regular updates on progress in greater Christchurch on various themes, including people, business, infrastructure and the central city.
The data is collated from a range of sources, including Statistics NZ, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and the Ministry of Health/Canterbury District Health Board, along with a range of organisations and agencies working on the regeneration.
Ms Wagner also intends to release a quarterly report containing comprehensive economic and social data about greater Christchurch.
“This will be a significant report with information about how we’re really tracking. Making progress is about looking honestly at the information available to us and assessing whether we’re heading in the right direction,” Ms Wagner says.
Ms Wagner was sworn in as Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration earlier this week, after several years as the Associate Minister.
Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner today announced two new support services to help disabled people and people with health conditions stay in work.
“Disabled people and people with health conditions make great employees and most need little to no support, but sometimes the people employing them do,” Ms Wagner says.
“That’s why we’ve set up the Employer Advice Line — a free phone-based service offering advice to employers about how to support new or existing disabled employees.”
Callers get information and advice specific to their situation, including local support services and organisations.
“We’ve had outstanding feedback so far, with employers describing the service as positive and extremely helpful,” Ms Wagner says.
Work and Income is also providing phone-based support to its recently-employed clients.
“Over 500 Work and Income clients have been contacted by the In-Work Support Service over the last few months. The service encourages employees to stay in work by providing advice on a range of issues, from childcare and transport to challenges in the workplace,” Ms Wagner says.
“Supporting people when they start work can be key to helping them succeed long term. A face-to-face in-work support service is also available from APM WorkCare for those who need more intensive support.
“The Government is committed to improving employment outcomes for disabled people and people with health conditions.”
The Employer Advice Line is operated by Homecare Medical, which also runs Healthline, Quitline, Alcohol Drug Line and Depression Helpline. It is available Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 5.00pm on 0800 805 405.
Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner is welcoming the Regenerate Christchurch Statement of Performance Expectations tabled in Parliament today.
The Statement of Performance Expectations is compiled by Regenerate Christchurch, in collaboration with the Christchurch City Council and the Crown.
It looks at Regenerate Christchurch’s key work programmes, including planning for the Residential Red Zone, and the regeneration of the central city and New Brighton.
“I’m looking forward to working closely with Regenerate Christchurch, the council and community to ensure we get the best possible results for Christchurch,” Ms Wagner says.
“Collaboration and cooperation will be incredibly important as we continue to move from the rebuild to regeneration phase.
“Gerry Brownlee has worked tirelessly for Christchurch and made some very difficult decisions. It’s now my turn to ensure those decisions bear fruit.
“We want to build the best, newest and most people-friendly city we can. It’s been six years but there’s still a lot of work to do. Christchurch is a real city of opportunity and I’m delighted to be part of it.”
Regenerate Christchurch Board Chair André Lovatt says the organisation has undertaken a wide range of planning and public engagement work.
“We’ve started with two of the most complex areas identified in our letter of expectations — the central city and the Ōtākaro Avon River corridor,” Mr Lovatt says.
“We’re very conscious that we need to keep moving forward as quickly as possible, and that our local community expects to see progress.”
About the Statement of Performance Expectations:Statement of Performance Expectations (SPE) is prepared by Regenerate Christchurch for the period 8 April 2016 to 30 June 2017, in accordance with Part 2 of Schedule 5 of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016. The SPE sets out goals, expected revenue and proposed expenses for the 2016/2017 financial year, as well as performance assessment guidelines. Residential Red Zone planning is focused on the Ōtākaro/Avon River Corridor lands and other RRZ lands in Brooklands, Southshore and Port Hills. Regeneration Planning includes the central city (work on a Regeneration strategy for Cathedral Square), New Brighton and other activities. Regenerate Christchurch is a special-purpose statutory entity established on 8 April 2016 (pursuant to Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016). It is governed by the Board of Regenerate Christchurch and jointly-owned by Christchurch City Council and the Crown.
Customs has achieved a great deal over the last three years, from streamlining the border process to record drug seizures and new legislation that reflects the modern border environment, Customs Minister Nicky Wagner says.
“From officials to front line officers, everyone at Customs works incredibly hard to keep New Zealand and New Zealanders safe. It’s been an absolute pleasure serving as Customs Minster and I’m incredibly proud of the organisation’s achievements over the last few years,” Ms Wagner says.
“The Customs and Excise Act Review has led to the development of modern, fit-for-purpose legislation that supports economic growth by making it easier for traders to do business.
“The Customs and Excise Bill enables Customs to deal with the considerable growth in trade and travel, and the security challenges such growth brings. This, coupled with the modernisation and transformation of the Customs’ workforce, means more Customs officers are focusing on border risks and law enforcement.
“Customs officers are supported by modern technology and processes that enable them to better identify and prioritise risks. New detection tools, an intelligence-led approach, partnerships, and the expertise of skilled officers have seen record seizures of methamphetamine over the last three years.”
Ms Wagner says collaboration with offshore customs agencies prevented over $205 million of social and economic harm to New Zealand in the 2015/16 financial year.
“New intelligence tools developed by the Joint Border Management System programme (JBMS) will help Customs catch more methamphetamine smugglers, boost existing risk assessment processes, and provide new insights into border risk through the use of analytics software and data sharing,” Ms Wagner says.
“Last month’s completion of Trade Single Window, a component of JBMS, was the culmination of an incredible amount of work by Customs and the Ministry for Primary Industries. This e-commerce platform enables importers and exporters to meet all border requirements in one place.
“International travel is another vital part of New Zealand’s growing economy and in the past year alone Customs risk assessed and processed a record 12.8 million arriving and departing travellers.
“The Government’s $6.6 million eGate upgrade and expansion project is helping manage the increased volume of passengers, with 50 of the new and improved eGates now fully operational nationwide.”
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry and Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner have announced a major upgrade and extension to the trap network in Canterbury to protect the critically endangered orange-fronted parakeet.
“This bird is the rarest of our five parakeet species, with the population between 200 and 400, so we installed 500 self-resetting traps in Lake Sumner Forest Park last week as part of DOC’s Battle for our Birds programme,” Ms Barry says.
“We want rat and stoat numbers down to a level where the vulnerable hole-nesting parakeet can successfully breed and the population grow. Conservation measures like these will help us become Predator Free by 2050 and vastly improve the prospects for endangered species.”
“All up 1450 Goodnature traps, which reset up to 24 times before needing to be reloaded manually, and 1700 DOC-200 trap boxes will be added to the network, extending the trap line by 206 kilometres, at a cost of more than $860,000.”
The orange-fronted parakeet is found in only three valleys on mainland New Zealand — in part of the Lake Sumner Forest Park and the Hawdon and Poulter Valleys in Arthur’s Pass National Park.
Ms Wagner says 200 more traps will go into Hurunui next month and 570 into Poulter Valley around the same time. The DOC-200 traps will be installed in the Hawdon and Poulter Valleys in the next 12 months.
“DOC is using this latest technology to bring the trap network up to best practice standards. The extended network will also bring us closer to our 2025 goal of an additional one million hectares of mainland New Zealand under predator control,” Ms Wagner says.
“Rolleston Prison offenders are building the boxes that hold the DOC-200 traps as part of DOC’s Good to Grow partnership with the Department of Corrections.”
DOC manages the risks to the parakeets by intensively monitoring predator numbers in all three valleys and undertaking pest control using a combination of traps and aerial 1080 when necessary.
The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust has a captive breeding programme for orange-fronted parakeets and in recent years DOC has been releasing captive-reared birds to supplement the wild mainland population.
‘Insurance’ populations of orange-fronted parakeets have been established on four predator-free islands: Chalky Island in Fiordland, Blumine and Maud islands in the Marlborough Sounds and Tūhua in the Western Bay of Plenty.
Tourism spending by both international and domestic visitors continues to grow strongly in 2017, Acting Tourism Minister Nicky Wagner says.
Data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates shows tourism spending is up in all regions in the year to March 2017. The fastest growing regions are the West Coast, increasing 11 per cent to $522 million, followed by Nelson (up 10 per cent to $343 million) and Tasman (up 10 per cent to $303 million).
“One of the really interesting findings in today’s release is that United States visitor spending continues its strong upward trend, with a national average of 22 per cent growth over the year to March 2017. Spending by United States visitors is particularly strong in Auckland (up 26 per cent)," Ms Wagner says.
“New Zealand’s tourism sector saw some exceptional growth in 2016 and it’s great to see strong spending figures stretching out into March this year. Tourism New Zealand is making a big effort to get more international visitors here in off-peak seasons, and this work is starting to gain some traction.
“The buoyant tourism market is showing some real benefits to our regional communities, but we can’t rest on our laurels. We’ve recently made a number of announcements that will support the sector and manage the challenges that come with a booming industry.
“An extra $5.5 million has been allocated to the Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grant Fund to help regional communities respond to visitor growth through new tourism infrastructure.
“In March we announced the 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism initiative, which will focus on attracting high-value Chinese visitors who stay longer, spend more and travel independently.
“We have also continued to support businesses affected by last year’s earthquakes, with a new one-million dollar business grant programme for Kaikōura, Hurunui and Marlborough, as well as the establishment of a business recovery trust that will be set up by the Kaikōura District Council.”
Further information from the Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates can be found at: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/tourism/tourism-research-data/monthly-regional-tourism-estimates
Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner is welcoming new research about the care and support needs of older Maori.
In 2013, the Government invested $1.8 million in Life and Living in Advanced Age: a Cohort Study in New Zealand — Te Puāwaitanga O Ngā Tapuwae Kia Ora Tonu (LiLACS NZ) by the University of Auckland.
LiLACS NZ, the world’s first longitudinal study of an indigenous population in advanced age, is made up of a series of reports comparing Maori health needs with those of older non-Maori.
The report released today — Intervals of Care Need: Need for Care and Support in Advanced Age — includes five key findings about the care needs of older New Zealanders over the next decade.
“We know our ageing population will have a significant impact on models of care so research like this serves as an important guide for the future,” Ms Wagner says.
“It helps inform the development of local and national aged care policies and provides all New Zealanders with an opportunity to better prepare for their own health and well-being in later life.
“Last December, the Government released its Healthy Ageing Strategy, which recognises the higher care needs of some older Maori and makes commitments to reducing health inequities.
“This Government is committed to improving health and social outcomes for all older New Zealanders.”
The latest LiLACS NZ report is available at: https://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/assets/fmhs/faculty/lilacs/docs/Intervals-of-Care-Need.pdf
For more information on the Healthy Ageing Strategy: : http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/healthy-ageing-strategy
Customs Minister Nicky Wagner today announced 15 new eGates are now fully operational at Auckland Airport arrivals, meaning Customs’ nationwide upgrade and expansion of eGates is almost complete.
“The Government has invested $6.6 million in this technology to more than double eGate capacity from 22 to 50 gates across the country,” Ms Wagner says.
In November 2015, the first phase of the project saw nine new generation eGates installed at Auckland Airport departures. A further 41 of the new and improved gates have since been installed nationwide.
“International travel is a vital part of New Zealand’s growing economy and our eGates make the Customs process faster and more intuitive, delivering a better visitor experience,” Ms Wagner says.
eGate use increased by more than 50,000 in the last quarter, from 1,423,143 to 1,475,420.
Another eGate will be installed in the new Auckland Airport departures area in June, bringing the nationwide total to 51, and completing the expansion.
“Customs and Immigration NZ are working together to expand eGates to more nationalities, further streamlining the Customs process,” Ms Wagner says.
Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner is welcoming a new provider for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) programmes, previously run by IDEA Services.
“People with ASD are often vulnerable to sudden change or loss of routine so IDEA’s decision to cancel its autism services caused a great deal of unnecessary stress for hundreds of disabled people and their families,” Ms Wagner says.
“Within days the Ministry of Health has secured a new provider, meaning there will be no interruption to services.”
Explore Services Ltd will take over the provision of ASD education, communication and behaviour support programmes at the end of the month.
“I’m extremely pleased to have a new provider in place so quickly, giving reassurance and security to this vulnerable cohort and their families,” Ms Wagner says.
The Ministry will be working with Explore and IDEA Services to ensure a smooth transition. Those referred for specialist ASD services will automatically be transferred to Explore.
“Explore already provides specialist behaviour support services across New Zealand and has experience transferring large numbers of clients. Its first move will be to write to anyone affected by this change, including those on the waiting list, and provide more detailed information," Ms Wagner says.
“The Government is committed to ensuring people with ASD and their families have access to the best possible services."
Explore is contracted to provide ASD services for two years, ending 31 March 2019.
Evaluations of the Christchurch and Waikato Enabling Good Lives (EGL) demonstrations will help guide the transformation of the disability support system, Disability Issues and Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner says.
“The Phase Two evaluation reports show disabled people and their families really value having more choice, more control and more flexibility when it comes to the support they receive,” Ms Wagner says.
“We learnt a number of lessons from our experiences in both Christchurch and Waikato, so we now have a much clearer idea of what works and what doesn’t.
“Those lessons will feed into the all-important transformation co-design process, which begins today. This will be different from anything we’ve done before as the goal is to create a new way of working that can be rolled out across New Zealand.
“The transformation is a once in a lifetime opportunity to provide better support and better services for disabled people and their families.”
EGL is an innovative principles-based approach that empowers disabled people with self-directed planning. The transformation will initially focus on those receiving support from Disability Support Services in the Mid-Central region.
“To date, the disability support system has been more about the system than disabled people. The EGL approach makes it about the person, their strengths and the kind of life they want to live,” Ms Wagner says.
The evaluation reports are now available online at: https://www.odi.govt.nz/nz-disability-strategy/other-initiatives/enabling-good-lives/