Women’s Minister Paula Bennett has today announced that the Government has reached its target of appointing 45 per cent of women to state sector boards and committees, the highest percentage ever.
“The government set this target in 2011 and now we’ve reached 45.3 per cent of women on state sector boards. This has been a priority for us and I’m now determined to not only maintain this level but increase it even further,” Mrs Bennett says.
“Research shows the benefits of gender diversity on boards. It’s important the state sector leads by example. I’m now challenging the private sector to catch up. The boards of NZX-listed companies still only have 17 per cent women and that’s quite frankly not good enough.
“There’s still more work to be done in the state sector but this is a real milestone. We need to continue to encourage and support women into leadership roles. I encourage all New Zealand organisations to strive for greater diversity in their workforce and leadership,” Mrs Bennett said.
The gender stocktake of State sector boards and committees is undertaken annually by the Ministry for Women. It counts the Ministerial appointments to state sector boards and committees as at 31 December 2016.
The full stocktake is available at http://women.govt.nz/documents/2016-gender-stocktake-state-sector-boards-and-committees-2017
A refresh of the Better Public Services targets will further improve the lives of New Zealanders, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says.
Prime Minister Bill English today outlined a new set of 10 targets which set the Government’s expectations for the public service, building on the success of the initial targets set in 2012.
“These targets are challenging. They won’t all be easily achieved but we’re not here to shy away from these challenges, we’re here to change lives,” Mrs Bennett says.
The new targets include:Having 90 per cent of pregnant women register with a Lead Maternity Carer in their first trimester Reducing the number of hospitalisations for children 12 and under with preventable conditions Improving the literacy and numeracy of children – focussing on higher achievement of students in year 8 Reducing the number of serious crime victims by 10,000 Achieving a 20 per cent reduction in the time it takes to house priority clients on the social housing register.
“Since we set the initial targets in 2012 we’ve made significant improvements to the lives of New Zealanders and we want to continue to build on that,” Mrs Bennett says.
“The previous targets saw fewer children getting rheumatic fever and being physically abused, helped make our communities safer and saw more people get off benefits and into work. These are the sorts of results that make a real difference to Kiwi families.
“We’re taking an all of government approach to ensure that the things that matter to New Zealanders are achieved. We’re focussing on education, having proper access to health and housing, having fewer victims of crime and making sure that our public services are accessible to all.”
The BPS targets also come with performance measures for the Ministries responsible for them. They will be a key part of Chief Executives’ performance reviews and will be published in departments’ annual reports,” Mrs Bennett says.
An action plan for each new result will be released in the coming months.
More information about BPS can be found HERE.
Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett and Finance Minister Steven Joyce have asked the Productivity Commission to review how New Zealand can maximise the opportunities and minimise the costs and risks of transitioning to a lower carbon economy.
“This next step in our climate change work programme will enable us to properly assess the economic trade-offs that we’ll need to make to meet our ambitious 2030 Paris Agreement target,” says Mrs Bennett.
“In the long-term – 2030 and beyond – New Zealand will likely need to further reduce its domestic emissions in addition to the use of forestry offsets and international emissions reduction units, although these will continue to remain an important part of the country’s climate change response for meeting our targets.”
“New Zealand’s domestic response to climate change is, and will be in the future, shaped by our position as a small, globally connected and trade-dependent country” says Mr Joyce. “The Productivity Commission is well-placed to dispassionately assess which of the many ways of reducing emissions will make the most economic sense for New Zealand.”
Given that climate change is an economy wide-issue, the Commission will be able to draw considerable expertise from a range of stakeholders including: central and local government, the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group, relevant industry and NGO groups, scientific and academic bodies and the general public.
The government is already taking action to support meeting the 2030 target of the Paris Agreement, this includes:Reviewing the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme Encouraging the up-take of electric vehicles and other energy efficiency technologies; and Establishing the Global Research Alliance to fund research into emissions mitigation in pasture based livestock systems.
“This complements the work undertaken by the Parliamentary cross-party group GLOBE NZ, as well as the Government’s expert advisory groups on agriculture, forestry and adaptation,” says Mrs Bennett.
“We look forward to the final report and recommendations for how New Zealand should manage a transition to a lower net emissions economy, while still maintaining and improving the incomes and prosperity of New Zealanders,” says Mr Joyce.
The Commission will report back by 30 June 2018.
Two members of New Zealand’s firearms community will provide independent advice on the recent Select Committee report into illegal firearms use, says Police Minister Paula Bennett.
Outdoors professional Geoff Thomas and firearms safety specialist Nicole McKee will provide advice on the twenty recommendations proposed by Parliament’s Law and Order Select Committee.
“I come from a family of hunters and fishers so I know how important it is that we get this right. I want to see laws that are tough on gangs and criminals, but don’t unduly burden responsible firearms owners,” says Mrs Bennett.
“I have had an initial look at the report and can already see a number of recommendations that will not be progressed. Police are working on a response, however I think it’s important to also get independent advice directly from the firearms community.”
Geoff Thomas has worked professionally in the outdoors field for more than 40 years. While intimately involved in recreational hunting, Mr Thomas provides an independent perspective and years of experience with the hunting community.
Nicole McKee is the founder of Firearms Safety Specialists NZ Limited, has held national and regional shooting titles and is a New Zealand Representative. Along with being a member of a number of firearms clubs, Mrs McKee has extensive experience in assessing NZ Police volunteer firearms instructors and Range Officer courses.
Plans for a new multi-million dollar cruise ship berth released today by the Lyttelton Port Company will open up new tourism opportunities for Christchurch, says Tourism Minister Paula Bennett.
The $56 million dollar berth funded by the Christchurch City Council through its port company will enable large cruise liners to return to Lyttelton for the first time since the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
“I am applauding the leadership shown by Christchurch City Council and Lyttelton Port Company to recognise the value of the $484 million cruise sector to Canterbury tourism” says Mrs Bennett.
“The cruise industry is incredibly valuable to New Zealand tourism, with the number of passengers growing by 48 per cent in the past five years. Without this long-term solution there was a risk larger vessels would choose to bypass Lyttelton and Akaroa, impacting the wider Canterbury region.
“In 2015 the Government announced the Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan which allows for works that contribute to the recovery of the port to be undertaken quickly and outlined a $45 million dedicated cruise berth facility.
“This news follows Auckland Council giving support in principle to extend Queens Wharf to allow larger cruise ships like the Ovation of the Seas to berth, rather than anchor in the harbour.
“It’s a huge vote of confidence in tourism by our local body leaders and Government will continue to work alongside them to get the most out of our tourism boom.”
Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett says New Zealand and Korea have begun joint discussions on developing carbon markets in the region.
Yesterday’s inaugural meeting of the Environmental Committee, established under the New Zealand – Korea Free Trade Agreement, comes shortly after New Zealand and China signed a Climate Change Action Plan as part of the NZ China FTA.
“New Zealand wants to discuss carbon markets with a range of potential partners,” Mrs Bennett says.
“These developments with Korea and China demonstrate the opportunities trade provides to progress environmental outcomes with our partners.
“Like China, Korea has implemented an Emissions Trading Scheme and our countries can learn a lot from each other’s experiences.
“Korea also shares our interest in developing carbon markets that have environmental integrity, particularly in the Asia-Pacific Region.
“Korea was an early supporter of the NZ-led Ministerial Declaration on Carbon Markets, announced at the Paris climate change conference in December 2015. We will have further opportunity to talk with other countries in June when New Zealand and Korea co-host the next Asia-Pacific Carbon Markets Roundtable in Seoul.”
Minister for Women Paula Bennett and Minister for Social Development Anne Tolley have announced the Government is providing $50,000 over the next year to assist KidsCan supply schools with sanitary products.
“This funding will provide sanitary products to the schools KidsCan supports. It’s expected that over 16,500 packs will be supplied to around 2,000 girls,” says Mrs Bennett.
“This is a practical way we can support young women who come from families in need. Small initiatives like this can make a big difference, and this is a good example of how we’re continuing to provide support to those in need.”
“MSD supports KidsCan which works with schools throughout New Zealand to supply practical items to around 143,000 young people in need,” says Mrs Tolley.
“KidsCan does a great job helping disadvantaged students achieve better educational outcomes by providing food, socks, shoes and raincoats.
“They also provide health items including nit treatment, nit combs, hand sanitiser, band-aids and tissues, as well as dental care for partner schools.”
KidsCan Charitable Trust is funded by donations, business sponsorship, government support, philanthropic trusts and gaming revenue. It supports 621 schools. Almost half of its revenue is made up of in-kind gifts and donated goods.
Today’s announcement by Police about where the additional 880 sworn officers will be stationed means over 200,000 more New Zealanders will be covered by a 24/7 Police presence.
“All New Zealanders deserve to feel safe in their homes and communities. That’s why we’ve committed to having 95 per cent of New Zealanders covered by a 24/7 Police presence,” Mrs Bennett says.
In February the Government announced the Safer Communities package, of 1125 more Police staff over the next four years. The $503 million package includes 880 sworn officers, 140 of them are specifically designated to regional and rural communities.
“The Safer Communities package means that New Zealanders will benefit from knowing there is an officer available around the clock. Police have worked hard since the announcement to work out where the greatest need for these officers is.
“I’m confident having additional resources in these areas will provide a better policing service for regional New Zealand,” Mrs Bennett says.
The Police stations which will now have a 24/7 officer on duty include:Kaitaia Matamata Wairoa Rolleston Kaikohe/Kerikeri* Warkworth/Wellsford Taumarunui Te Kuiti Thames Balclutha Dannevirke/Waipukurau* Dargaville Helensville Stratford Motueka Wanaka Marton Alexandra Southland Rural* Tasman Rural*
* Decisions on the exact location of these police bases are still to be made
Police Minister Paula Bennett has today welcomed an announcement about where frontline officers will be based under the Government’s Safer Communities package.
“In February this year we announced a $503 million dollar package for 1125 more police staff, including 880 more frontline officers over the next four years. All 12 Police Districts will receive more Police,” Mrs Bennett says.
“Police Commissioner Mike Bush today announced the number of staff going to each district across the country. Police and Government have a goal of making New Zealand the safest country and this investment will contribute to that.
“Now that the Commissioner has allocated these staff, it is up to the District Commanders to work through which areas within the district they’ll be based in.”
Police have also allocated a number of new staff to other specialist areas including 80 officers to build on Police’s ability to disrupt and dismantle organised crime.
The Safer Communities package also includes a single non-emergency phone number, 12 mobile police stations, around the clock access to the Eagle Helicopter and funding to support Corrections and Justice.
“I know the Police are a hardworking team and I look forward to seeing more likeminded, hardworking, committed recruits going through Police College over the next four years so we can get these officers on the beat.
“Police recruit applications are at an all-time high with twice the number of applicants over January and February 2017 as there was over the same period in 2016, which is great to see,” Mrs Bennett says.
Bay of Plenty
A potentially life-saving scheme that allows Police to disclose a person’s violent past to a partner or friend has been used 158 times since it was launched, say Police Minister Paula Bennett and Justice Minister Amy Adams.
“Since the scheme’s launch in December 2015, Police have approved 74 per cent of disclosure requests. Preventing family violence is a priority for Police and this scheme gives them another way to help reduce harm.”
A disclosure request can be made to Police by the partner of the potentially violent person or a concerned third party. Police can also proactively release information if they believe someone is at risk of violence from their partner.
“Police have told me about a disclosure they made to a young woman who was in a relationship with a man in his early 20s. He was known to have had multiple relationships with younger women where he became manipulative and used emotional abuse like threatening suicide if his partner left him. Police believed the woman was at risk as his behaviour was escalating towards becoming violent.
“When Police approached her to make the voluntary disclosure, she said she had seen the man’s behaviour deteriorating. As a result she made the decision to leave the relationship and move back in with family,” Mrs Bennett says.
“There have been too many cases where people have been unable to find out whether their partner, or the partner of someone close to them, has a history of violence,” says Ms Adams.
“This scheme allows people to make informed choices about their relationship and safety. We know that it has already helped a number of people to make the decision to remove themselves from a potentially violent relationship.”
Of the 158 requests made in the last 15 months, 117 have been requested proactively by Police while 41 have been by a third party. These requests have resulted in a total of 117 being approved for disclosures to be made.
Once a request has been received, a decision is made as to whether the disclosure can be made to individuals who must meet set criteria under the scheme’s policy.