A links-summary of news arising out of Government (as in the Government) and government (as in ministries and such) in New Zealand for the week of 23-27 February 2015.
John Key’s post-cabinet press conference
The Prime Minister said details of New Zealand troops going to Iraq on a training mission would be clarified in a statement to Parliament on Tuesday (see below). Also mentioned arrival of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, cricket and proposed Anzac celebrations. Video is courtesy of scoop.co.nz.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott & ministers visited New Zealand
During the visit we will hold our Annual Leaders’ meeting and discuss a range of political, economic, social and security issues, including advancing the single economic market, our engagement in regional trade initiatives and our cooperation on global defence and security issues.
The Government decided to send up to 134 NZ troops to help train Iraqi forces who are fighting against “Islamic State”
The Prime Minister made the announcement in a statement to the House of Representatives.
Opposition leaders replied in debate and you can see their speeches on inthehouse.co.nz.
Later the Government answered questions posed by opposition Members of Parliament. You can read the questions for the 24th, 25th and 26th and watch the answers on inthehouse.co.nz.
We are currently looking at options to base a diplomatic representative in Baghdad to serve as a conduit between the Iraqi government and the New Zealand military deployment, and assess how we can support better governance in Iraq.
This is likely to be a joint mission with the Australian Defence Force. “Up to 143 NZDF personnel have been approved by Cabinet to deploy on a training mission, with the main body likely to deploy in May,” Mr Brownlee says.
Up to 106 personnel will be based at the Taji Military Complex 30 km north of Baghdad, a number of staff officers will be at Coalition Headquarters in Baghdad, and additional personnel will be at coalition bases in the region.
As well as the up to 143-strong force, other personnel and Air Force assets will occasionally need to be deployed to the region to support the mission – for example in support of personnel rotations and resupply.
The Gambling Amendment and Parole Amendment Bills passed their third reading (one more stage until law)
Prof John Burrows, Rod Drury and Julie Christie among the 12 people appointed to the Flag Consideration Panel
The panel will oversee the first part of the process of New Zealanders voting in two referenda on whether or not to change the country’s flag. The panel are:
Prof John Burrows (Chair), ONZM, QC
Peter Chin, CNZM
Julie Christie, ONZM
Beatrice Faumuina, ONZM
Kate de Goldi (Deputy Chair)
Lt Gen (Rtd) Rhys Jones, CNZM
Sir Brian Lochore, ONZ, KNZM, OBE
The timeline is:
- Feb 2015 – Flag Consideration Panel appointed
- Mid 2015 – Public engagement process (inc flag suggestions approx May – July)
- Late 2015 – First referendum (to choose a preferred alternative design)
- Early 2016 – 2nd referendum (to choose between winner of first referendum and current flag)
There’s a lot more information and background in Mr English’s unusually detailed press release.
Bill English, Craig Foss back Data Futures Forum recommendations, request progress report in March
The Government has directed officials to report back in March on progressing data catalyst projects and the Government’s Open Data initiative.
“Delivering better public services for New Zealanders means making better use of the information we have and lifting accountability to the public through transparency,” Mr English says.
These initiatives sit alongside a range of measures the Government is taking to improve data use, including Statistics New Zealand’s Integrated Data Infrastructure, the Ministry of Social Development’s investment view, and a pilot project between Land Information New Zealand and Wiki NZ.
MPs got a pay rise, PM “expressed disappointment”
“I wrote to the Authority expressing my view that there should be no increase,” says Mr Key.
“My view was that, given New Zealand is set to enjoy a low inflation environment for some time into the future, an increase in remuneration was neither appropriate nor necessary.”
The Remuneration Authority ruling increases the Prime Minister’s pay from $428,500 to $452,300 a year and senior ministers’ pay from $268,500 to $283,800.
The pay for an MP goes up from $147,800 to $156,000. The authority said the increase represented both a salary increase and also a percentage of MPs’ pay towards travel expenses…
The authority’s chair John Errington told Checkpoint the Prime Minister was not ignored.
“We are required under the Act to consult with the PM and the Speaker and other people, which we did. He expressed a view, which we took into account when we made our decision. Our Act requires us to have regard to jobs of a similar size.”
NZ and Australian Ministers met for the annual Closer Economic Relations Ministerial Meeting
New Zealand’s delegation was led by Minister of Trade and Minister for Climate Change Issues, Hon Tim Groser. Australia’s delegation was led by Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP.
The annual meeting is a forum for ministerial oversight of the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations (CER) Trade Agreement and its suite of over 80 related agreements and arrangements.
Dr Angela Wanhalla, Anna Blackman and Thomas Norcliffe were appointed to the Archives Council
13 appointments made to lotteries boards
What are these posts about?
1. I want to understand the context for the political news I see in New Zealand: who said what, where, when and in response to whom. Did the politician say that in a speech, press conference, Parliament, a report, policy document; at a public meeting; in response to a question posed by a journalist, something another politician said? News reports often omit this contextual detail so I’m trying to find it for myself.
2. News stories often have more of the ‘who said what about the thing’ than details about the ‘thing’ itself. I want to better understand the ‘things’. So I’m trying to track news stories back to where they started, and look at the source material for details or links thereto.
I’ve started by looking at press releases and reports coming out of Government (as in the Government) and government (as in ministries and such) because quite a lot of news stories arise from those sources each week.
I’m not linking to everything that’s published, just the releases/stories I come across that I think are interesting or representative or useful for future research or that I have time to do right now. If you find this post interesting and/or have suggestions for how it could be more useful for you
, please let me know