Finding out how $128m is being spent (on universities), who has met our PM (Xi Jinping) and what Robertson didn’t mention
Confirmation of our Buzz report yesterday was recorded on the government’s official website soon after we posted our news.
Yes, the government short-changed the universities on Budget Day and has come up with an extra $128 million funding, over two years, for tertiary education providers for courses at degree level and above.
For good measure, the government will review higher education funding system.
This is in addition to the 5 per cent increase provided in Budget 2023 – “the most significant funding increase in 20 years”, the government is crowing.
The government has also posted a carefully crafted statement after the PM’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Zhao Leji, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Those statements tell us who has been hobnobbing with our PM and how ministers are spending (or misspending) our money.
Other statements on the government website help us answer questions such as –
- Who has landed ministerial appointments?
This obviously is preferable to appointing a group of inexperienced and unskilled followers.
Health Minister Ayesha Verrall has found a replacement – at last – for Rob Campbell, the bloke she sacked in February after he criticised National’s Three Waters policy as a thin disguise for dog-whistling on co-governance.
Directors of Crown Entities – he was reminded – are supposed to act in a politically impartial manner under the Public Service Commission’s code of conduct.
Campbell has been replaced by Dame Karen Poutasi as Board Chair for Te Whatu Ora.
- What are they camouflaging in their press statements?
In the statement, he says the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee remit and charter
“… is largely unchanged following the first five-year review, with only minor changes to the monetary policy framework”.
Michael Reddell, a fellow with an admirable track record as a blogger with expertise in this sort of thing, has posted his analysis under the heading The $10bn amendment.
He writes –
Late yesterday afternoon the Minister of Finance issued a new Remit to the Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Committee (his statement is here, the new Remit itself is here). The Minister’s statement tends to minimise the entire thing (and nothing really about the inflation target changes), but – no doubt consciously and deliberately – gives not a mention to the most material addition to the Remit.
We steer you to Reddell’s article and invite you to decide for yourself whether Robertson’s announcement is of no great consequence.
- How are they keeping us safe in our beds and promoting law and order?
“Our goal is to reduce New Zealand’s prison population by 30 per cent over the next 15 years.”
Presumably in pursuit of that objective, Davis is advising us of Bill which will change the Corrections Act to
“… allow the limited mixing of remand and convicted prisoners for educational, religious, kaupapa Māori and therapeutic programmes essential for integrating back into society.”
Another key change in the legislation will “further improve rehabilitation and reintegration outcomes for Māori…”
In the unlikely event of his still being Minister of Corrections in 2033, and he finds his target has not been met through a significant reduction in the crime rate, he could simply open the prison doors and tell 30 per cent of the inmates to go home.
Latest from the Beehive
The Minister for Broadcasting and Media Willie Jackson has appointed a group of experienced and skilled leaders to the boards of RNZ and TVNZ.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Zhao Leji at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing today.
The Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee remit and charter is largely unchanged following the first five-year review, with only minor changes to the monetary policy framework.
Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the Environment Select Committee’s report into the new resource management reform laws.
Dame Karen Poutasi has been appointed as the new Board Chair for Te Whatu Ora, the Minister of Health Ayesha Verrall announced today.
Legislation providing improved rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners, particularly those on remand, will have its first reading this afternoon.
An additional $128 million will be invested into the tertiary sector to increase tuition subsidies at degree-level and above by a further four percent in 2024 and 2025.
After reading the PM’s statement about his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Zhao Leji, readers might check out a statement posted in March in the name of Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta.
Among other things, she said:
“I noted New Zealand’s deep concerns regarding the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the erosion of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
The Ministers also had in-depth discussions on regional and international issues. Nanaia Mahuta expressed concerns over developments in the South China Sea and increasing tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
Another account of that meeting – published by Reuters this week – is headed New Zealand foreign minister confirms ‘very robust’ meeting with Beijing
A report by the Australian newspaper said Mahuta received an “epic haranguing” and an “almighty dressing down” during a March meeting with China’s foreign minister Qin Gang, in a potential sign of tensions in the relationship between New Zealand and its largest trading partner.
Mahuta told reporters yesterday:
“I would say that China is very assertive in the way that it conveys its interests.”
And she described the March meeting as “very robust”.
Keep an eye out for reports in Australian newspapers a few months hence on Hipkins’ meeting with the Chinese leaders.
Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton