Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Point of Order: Govt has a busy day dishing out funding to causes it deems appropriate.....

....but a fog shrouds crime-fighting costs

Biggish lumps of money featured in each of four announcements posted on the Beehive website, since Point of Order last checked on what our hard-working and big-spending ministers are doing.

The government will spend
  • $10 million on public housing in Raumati (and there’s lots more where that came from);
  • $2,876,500 (from a trough labelled Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund) for a boiler conversion project which used woodchips to make potato chips, while slashing emissions.
  • $1.48 million to keep AM radio on air in the Northland region; 
  • A “multi-million- dollar package” to tackle retail crime and reoffending. The exact cost to taxpayers is hard to fathom because it includes the provision of $4000 for all small shops and dairies in New Zealand who want a fog cannon installed, with shops to pay the balance. How many retailers will apply? Who knows?
  • A new $4 million fund to support local councils in Auckland, Hamilton and Bay of Plenty with crime prevention programmes (which might be the trough for the fog cannon funding);
  • The expansion of eligibility to dip into a $6 million Retail Crime Prevention fund to include aggravated robberies, including those committed during the past 12 months.

Guess whose name pops up in connection with the law-and-order funding package?

None other than the PM, keen to get her name into the crime-fighting headlines alongside Police Minister Chris Hipkins.

“While youth crime is now much lower than in the past, the risks and harm from ram raids and other retail crime is concerning communities and creating victims,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“Shop owners and workers feel targeted. That’s unacceptable.”

It has been unacceptable for too long.

Ardern went on:

“Police are having a noticeable impact on offending rates, with ram raids during November down by 83% compared with August – 13 so far this month against a high of 75 in August. But we need to lock that progress in and sustain it.

“The initiatives we’re announcing today make this the most significant crime prevention financial package in recent memory.

“It backs up Police actions, through funding to support crime prevention initiatives, such as better street lighting and cameras and by investing in more fog cannons.”

The Beehive statements show the PM and her ministers have been …

Much needed public housing is on the way for the Kāpiti Coast thanks to the Government’s purchase of a large vacant plot of land at 59-69 Raumati Road in Raumati Beach.

Housing Minister Megan Woods said Kāinga Ora will continue to work closely with Kāpiti District Council, local Māori tribes and local residents on how best to ensure these homes support the local community and new residents.

The Government’s programme to address the housing crisis

  • Major investment in rebuilding the public housing sector. 10,600 additional homes and counting, as well as over 4,000 transitional homes.
  • Interest limitation rule exemption for build-to-rent sector to enable the delivery of more quality, long-term rental supply.
  • Investment in Māori housing to deliver up to 1000 new homes, repairs and maintenance to 700 homes, and infrastructure support to enable for 2,700 home sites ($730 million Budget 2021)
  • $3.8 billion for critical housing infrastructure like pipes and roads to enable new housing
  • Cutting red tape for urban development to encourage more new housing in areas where people want to live
  • Support for first home buyers; affordable homes, grants and loans and Progressive Home Ownership
  • Affordable Housing Fund to support new developments
  • Building Consent System review to unlock productivity and more affordable homes
  • Commerce Commission market study to pave way for fairer deal on key residential building supplies.

The cost of the Raumati housing initiative was not specified in Woods’ press statement, but we found a figure recorded under –

Editor’s Notes:

  • The total cost was $10,000,000 GST inclusive, in line with market evaluation
  • There was a net loss of 14 homes in Kāpiti Coast District between 2008-2017

A pioneering boiler conversion project is now up and ready to go, using woodchips to make potato chips, while slashing emissions.

Megan Woods was back in action to announce this in tandem with Climate Change Minister James Shaw.

There’s a whiff of corporate welfare about it:

“McCain’s newly converted coal boiler will reduce CO2 emissions at its Timaru factory by 95% and is an excellent example of the great climate gains we can achieve through new and innovative technology,” says Energy and Resources Minister, Megan Woods.

“By converting their coal boiler to burn domestically sourced woodchips, made possible by Government co-funding, McCain will reduce carbon emissions by approximately 30,000 tonnes per year, that’s equates to taking 11,000 cars off the road.”

The $5.6 million conversion project received $2,876,500 of contestable funding from the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund (GIDI).

McCain Timaru has also implemented a heat-recovery system, using mechanical vapour recompression, to reduce steam demand – a first for this industry in New Zealand. The technology recovers waste heat from the fryer for use elsewhere in the facility and will reduce total energy consumption and fuel use by more than 37,000 GJ/year, which is equivalent to the electricity used by 1400 households.

James Shaw says projects like this are a core part of the Emissions Reduction Plan and an important milestone on the journey to net-zero.

Again, we learn about fiscal impacts from –

Note to Editors

  • The Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) Fund is administered by EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) and focusses on investing in, and promoting, cleaner industrial processes and process heat. This is achieved through energy efficiency, applying new and innovative technologies, and fuel switching.
  • Over the first three rounds, $69m of GIDI funding has been allocated – across 53 major industrial decarbonisation projects, with recipients contributing $117m of their own money. As a result of these 53 projects an anticipated annual carbon abatement of 364,127 t of CO2, and a lifetime carbon abatement of 7.46Mt of CO2, will be realised.
  • Round four of the expanded GIDI fund recipients will be announced from December and round five opened on 10 November and closes 2 March 2023.
  • GIDI recipients are selected for their ability to demonstrate high value for money, a detailed broader carbon reduction plan, and the ability to complete the project within the specified timeframe.
  • Recipients across all rounds come from sectors including dairy processing, construction, metal manufacturing, indoor covered cropping, meat and seafood processing and textile, and leather manufacturing.
  • To help meet the targets in the Emissions Reduction Plan (May 2022), the Government announced expanded funding of around $650 million for the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry fund (GIDI), coming from the Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

Minister of Broadcasting and Media Willie Jackson and Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty today announced a $1.48 million package to fund the repair and replacement of three transmission masts in Northland to ensure AM radio can stay on air in the region.

The funding will secure the reinstatement of the Waipapakauri mast, which services Far North communities, and replace the masts at Ōtaika and Ōhaeawai.

The aim is to ensure that Northland communities retain their access to AM transmission in areas that are not serviced by FM frequencies.

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage, NEMA, and RNZ are collaborating to develop criteria for future decisions about other AM sites to make sure communities are able to stay connected and access critical warnings and guidance in emergencies.

The Government has today announced a significantly extended package of measures to combat retail crime, with new initiatives to partner with small businesses and local councils.

The bullet points tell us:

  • A multi-million-dollar package to tackle retail crime and reoffending is the most significant crime prevention financial package in recent memory
  • New fog cannon subsidy scheme set up. Government to provide $4000 for all small shops and dairies in New Zealand who want a fog cannon installed, with shops to pay the balance
  • New $4 million fund to support local councils in Auckland, Hamilton and Bay of Plenty with crime prevention programmes
  • Existing $6 million Retail Crime Prevention fund eligibility expanded to include aggravated robberies, including those committed during the past 12 months

The Government will establish a new fog cannon subsidy scheme open to all small shops and dairies in New Zealand who want a fog cannon installed.

Funding of $4000 will be available for each shop who will be able to have the fog cannon installed through an approved supplier, meaning they can access them directly without an onerous process.

Additional details will be released shortly (which suggests this might have been announced a tad prematurely).

Police Minister Chris Hipkins said this will be the first time the fog cannon and ram raid funds have operated at the same time.

Police have ordered an extra 455 fog cannons, which are expected to arrive before Christmas. This adds to the 270 fog cannons that are now in the country and have been allocated to eligible retailers.

Hipkins acknowledged:

“More challenging will be the time it takes to install them. The 1000 fog cannons that are already installed took four years, and despite Police doubling the number of local contractors that will do the work to six, it’s expected it will take till the second quarter of next year for the number of installations to start to ramp up.”

We are reminded the fog cannon fund was set up in 2017 after aggravated robberies of commercial premises had doubled from 2015 – from 599 to 1170.

It was expanded in 2018 and 2019, and 1000 fog cannon were installed by the end of 2021.

Local crime prevention boost

The new funding of $4 million for local councils to assist with crime prevention measures will be made up of $2 million for Auckland Council, $1 million for Hamilton Council and $1 million for the councils in the Bay of Plenty to match on a dollar-for-dollar basis by Councils for local crime prevention measures.

Moreover, funding will be made available for all small shops and diaries to install fog cannons, adding to the 1000 that have already been installed as part of the fog cannon initiative.

Extension of the Retail Crime Prevention Fund

The $6 million Retail Crime Prevention Fund was set up for small shops and dairies early this year as offending shifted to ram raiding. Eligibility is being expanded to aggravated robbery committed over the last year.

More than 100 shops now have installations approved, with 431 security measures allocated and underway. This includes 93 fog cannons, 78 security sirens, 57 alarms, 63 CCTV systems, 43 bollards and 36 roller doors.

“We’ll also continue our work with repeat offenders and their families.”

This does not sound like locking up offenders looms large in priorities.

Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton

1 comment:

robert Arthur said...

In view of the pro maori propoganda of RNZ now, it is not surprising they keen to keep a.m. in the Far North. The more feral Waitangi protest type maori can be locked into the cause the more ordinary citizens will be scared to dare oppose the fast developing maori takeover of NZ.