National-led Government - 2008-2011 Archived
Release

Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson says she is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Department of Conservation ranger William MacRae in a helicopter crash overnight.

“My thoughts and condolences are with his partner, family and colleagues in the Kaitaia office and Northland conservancy.

“William died trying to help others. He was an experienced, well-known and well-liked DOC staffer and he will be greatly missed in the community.

“I also wish to offer my deepest condolences to the family of the pilot who died in the crash.”

Kate Wilkinson Conservation
Release

Associate Minister of Health, Hon Tariana Turia, has cautioned against complacency as New Zealand marks World AIDS Day (today 1 December).

“I want to acknowledge the commitment of a passionate and professional NGO and DHB workforce who have worked hard to improve service coverage for people living with HIV/AIDS” said Mrs Turia.

“The theme for World AIDS Day 2011 is ‘Getting to Zero’ – zero new HIV infections; zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths’.

Tariana Turia Health
Release

Minister Responsible for International Climate Change Negotiations Tim Groser will travel to Durban, South Africa, from 1-11 December to attend the annual ministerial conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“New Zealand will be looking for progress towards a comprehensive global agreement with binding emission-reduction commitments. These commitments need to include all developed countries as well as advanced and major-emitting developing countries.

Tim Groser International Climate Change Negotiations
Release

The Government will provide $237,500 towards further soil testing in the Thames suburb of Moanataiari, Environment Minister Nick Smith announced today.

Moanataiari is built on land reclaimed from the Firth of Thames. The area was filled with mine tailings, mine waste, and clean fill subdivided in the 1960s and houses built in the 1970s. Last week Moanataiari residents were advised that soil testing of roadside verges had identified elevated levels of arsenic. There are 212 houses, a school and a childcare facility in the suburb.

Nick Smith Environment
Release

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has expressed serious concern over the storming of the two British Embassy compounds in Tehran yesterday.

“The storming of the British Embassy in Iran was totally unacceptable” Mr McCully said.

“We join other Governments and the United Nations Security Council in condemning the attacks and calling on the Iranian Government to take action against those responsible.

Murray McCully Foreign Affairs
Release

Over $4.5 million of funding has been provided to 121 community organisations in the eighth round of the Community Response Fund.

“This funding recognises the important role local social services play in the health and well being of their communities,” says Ms Bennett.

The Community Response Fund was established in 2009 and extended until mid-2012 to help community groups struggling with extra demand as a result of the recession.

The Fund has now provided $66.8 million to 1434 organisations.

Paula Bennett Social Development and Employment Youth Affairs
Release

The latest quarterly results for the six National Health Targets have been published.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says there is good improvement in the preventive health targets for quarter one 2011/12 – particularly with better help for smokers to quit.

"In this three month period, around 30,230 hospital patients who smoke received brief help and advice to quit – an internationally recognised health prevention measure. That's a national average increase of nearly four per cent (up from 85 per cent last quarter).

Tony Ryall Health
Release

The Government is working with councils and industry to maximise the recycling of the estimated 4.5 million tonnes of demolition and liquefaction waste from the Canterbury earthquakes, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Environment Minister Nick Smith announced today.

Gerry Brownlee Nick Smith Environment Earthquake Recovery
Release

The Government has used the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act to approve changes to the Waimakariri District Plan, freeing up 550 sections at the Silverstream Estates development in west Kaiapoi.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says the plan change lifts the conditional approval status placed on the land by Waimakariri District Council commissioners in September, which required adjacent land to be developed before Silverstream could proceed.

The change enables sections to go on sale almost immediately.

Gerry Brownlee Earthquake Recovery
Release

An extra 140 undergraduate students will be funded to do research and development projects for New Zealand businesses this summer, Science and Innovation Minister Wayne Mapp announced today.

"We have huge demand from businesses so this year we have decided to award 341 internships instead of the 200 we initially intended,” said Dr Mapp.

Wayne Mapp Science and Innovation
Release

The Government has a contestable fund that the Waikato Regional Council and Thames-Coromandel District Council can apply to for further testing of contaminants at the Moanataiari subdivision in Thames, Environment Minister Nick Smith says.

"The Government shares the concerns of residents and the local Thames community at the levels of arsenic recorded in soil samples at Moanataiari," said Dr Smith.

Nick Smith Environment
Release

Minister for Tertiary Education, Steven Joyce, is pleased to confirm the merger of the Whitireia Community Polytechnic (Whitireia) and Wellington Institute of Technology (Weltec) councils.

Mr Joyce’s approval of the merger is the first since new legislation for ITP governance was passed in 2009.

“It is an exciting development that will provide opportunities for the institutions to work more closely together for the benefit of students right across the Wellington region,” says Mr Joyce.

Steven Joyce Tertiary Education
Speech

Ambassador Xu, Minister Carter, Distinguished Guests

I am delighted to open this new dairy factory today – the largest infant formula facility of its type in the Southern Hemisphere. I congratulate the senior executives of the NZ company, Synlait Milk, and our Chinese partners, Bright Food Group, one of the largest food and beverage companies in China.

Tim Groser Trade
Release

The release of 60 penguins at Mt Maunganui beach today is a significant milestone in the Bay of Plenty's recovery from the Rena oil spill and environmental disaster, Environment Minister Nick Smith said today.

"It is a heart-warming experience after the devastating scene of oiled and dead birds to see these healthy penguins returning to their natural habitat," Dr Smith said.

Nick Smith Environment
Release

Associate Health Minister, Tariana Turia, commends the brave initiative of the Australian Federal Government who have passed plain packaging laws for cigarettes through both houses of Parliament.

The legislation has got through all stages, now meaning Australia is the first country in the world to introduce plain packaging of tobacco.

Tariana Turia Health
Release

Rotorua is to get a new Police Station that will enable local Police to serve the community better, Police Minister Judith Collins announced today.

Demolition of the existing station, which is more than 40 years old, is scheduled to take place in May 2012 and construction will begin soon after. The new station is expected to be operational by October 2013.

The overall project cost, which will be subject to a competitive tender, is expected to be $18.5 million.

Judith Collins Police
Release

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed the latest National Bank Regional Trends data showing Canterbury’s economy grew 1.8 per cent in the September quarter, following 2.6 per cent growth in the June quarter.

“Growth statistics for Canterbury in the last two quarters is clear evidence of recovery activity and is a testament to the resilience and commitment of Cantabrians,” Mr Brownlee said.

Gerry Brownlee Earthquake Recovery
Release

A new shared facility between Police and Child, Youth and Family in Whakatane will ensure that child victims in the area receive the best care and protection, Police Minister Judith Collins said.

The new facility, which opened today, is the latest shared agency centre dedicated to reducing child abuse, bringing perpetrators to justice and keeping victims safe.

Over the past decade multi-agency centres or co-locations have opened in Auckland, Counties-Manukau, Hamilton, Tauranga, Whanganui and Petone.

Judith Collins Police
Release

Australia’s Trade Minister, Craig Emerson, and New Zealand’s Minister of Trade, Tim Groser, today welcomed Indonesia’s announcement that it had completed domestic procedures to enable the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) to enter into force for Indonesia. AANZFTA is already in force for Australia, New Zealand and the other nine ASEAN member countries.

Tim Groser Trade
Release

Foreign Minister Murray McCully is representing New Zealand at the 6th East Asia Summit (EAS), being held in Bali, Indonesia, on November 18th-19th.

“The East Asia Summit is significantly expanding with both the United States and Russia attending the summit for the first time,” said Mr McCully.

“An important issue being discussed is economic integration within East Asia. ASEAN members are interested in consolidating bilateral FTAs with existing partners, including New Zealand and Australia, into a wider agreement,” said Mr McCully.

Murray McCully Foreign Affairs
Release

Education Minister Anne Tolley says that Hastings is to benefit from an ECE funding boost to help increase participation in early childhood education.

$91.8 million is being invested in target areas across the country, to make 3500 more ECE places available, particularly for Maori and Pasifika children, and children from low socio-economic communities.

“Far too many children are currently missing out on early childhood education, and we are focused on giving them the best possible start to their education before they start primary school,” says Mrs Tolley.

Anne Tolley Education
Release

Police Minister Judith Collins today opened the new Manurewa Police Station, and paid tribute to the work of local Police in reducing crime.

The station, which cost around $6 million, will be the base for 173 Police staff. The building replaces the old station which was too small for the growing number of Police in Manurewa.

Around 50 of the 300 new frontline officers deployed by the Government in Counties-Manukau are based at Manurewa.

“With all those extra officers, the Manurewa Police team outgrew the old station,” Ms Collins said.

Judith Collins Police
Release

Health Minister Tony Ryall has announced the members of the Health Promotion Agency Establishment Board.

Dr Lee Mathias has been appointed chair. She is deputy chair of the Auckland District Health Board.

The other members are:
• Mr Hayden Wano, chair of Health Sponsorship Council
• Mr Rea Wikaira, chair of ALAC
• Professor Grant Schofield, public health expert in nutrition and physical activity
• Ms Katherine Rich, CEO Food and Grocery Council

Tony Ryall Health
Release

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has today announced the rezoning of a further 758 orange zoned properties in greater Christchurch, which means over 90 per cent of the residential orange zone has been rezoned since June.

"While some people have waited a long time, and a few are still waiting, this is progress," Mr Brownlee said.

Of the 758 residential properties, 341 properties have been zoned green, and 417 properties have been zoned red.

Land on the 341 properties zoned green can be repaired individually. 

Gerry Brownlee Earthquake Recovery