Saturday, July 29, 2023

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 29/7/23

Govt is now gunning for modern slavers – but will strong chains (or other protective measures) keep the registry secure?

Not too long after the government was hailing the launch of its gun registry, the newly created Firearms Safety Authority upset gun owners by accidentally leaking information about them.

As Stuff tells it, the email addresses of 147 firearms licence holders were sent to each other in error, after an email was sent with the recipients’ email addresses pasted into the carbon copy (cc) address field, rather than as a blind carbon copy (bcc).

The aim of establishing the register was to prevent guns from ending up in the wrong hands by requiring gun dealers to register their sales.

Grant Fletcher, a lawyer who specialises in firearm’s law, said the privacy breach was “not even remotely close to being good enough”.

“All firearms users are entitled to have their details protected, as are all users of government services,” he said.

Fletcher said people were already hesitant about putting their personal details into the system when it was launched, because similar data leaks overseas had resulted in gun owners being sent death threats.

Let’s see if the government can do better with another registry it intends establishing.

The government announced yesterday it is starting work on a supply chain register to crack down on modern slavery, alth0ugh legislation will not be ready before the election.

RNZ reports:

Under the public register, companies earning more than $20 million a year in revenue would need to report how they had tackled exploitation risks in their operations and supply chains.

It follows consultation from last year, and would meet requirements to tackle modern slavery laid out in the EU and UK free trade agreements.

However, the government said the drafting process beginning now was expected to take about six months – so legislation would not be ready to be introduced to Parliament until late January at the earliest, after the October election.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced this initiative yesterday afternoon, just after Point of Order had posted its Buzz from the Beehive which reported nothing new had been posted on the government’s official website over the previous 24 hours.

Sepuloni at that time was at Air New Zealand’s head office in Auckland, alongside Modern Slavery Leadership Advisory Group chair Rob Fyfe, to make the announcement.

Three other ministerial press releases were posted on the governemnt’s official website yesterday afternoon.

Two of them answer an important question….

  • How are they spending – or misspending – our money today?

The Minister of Agriculture is spending $770,000 on dogs. Or more particularly, on breeding better farm dogs.

Breeding top-notch working farm dogs is the focus of a new industry-led project backed by the Government, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says.

“We know working dogs play key roles on thousands of New Zealand farms, helping move and muster livestock across sheep and beef country. A good dog also does wonders for farmer wellbeing,” Damien O’Connor said.

“This project will apply methodology currently used for elite sheep and cattle breeding to farm dogs, and minimise risk when selecting a new dog.

New Zealand has an estimated 200,000 working dogs.

O’Connor said its a significant investment for a shepherd to put together a team of dogs. This project will help give them more certainty in selecting a pup.

The $1.77 million three-year project is supported by the Government through its Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund, with the Ministry for Primary Industries co-investing $770,000. Massey, Focus Genetics and VHL Genetics will contribute $1 million in cash and in-kind

The Minister of Health announced much more substantial funding – $73 million – for the first tranche of a major redevelopment of Nelson Hospital.

This will enable work to progress on plans for a new acute services and inpatient building featuring 255 beds, eight theatres and a larger emergency department (ED). Currently there are 161 beds and six theatres, Ayesha Verrall said.

The redevelopment will also seismically strengthen buildings and include the refurbishment of existing buildings so they are modern and fit for the future.

Verrall said the initial $73 million funding announced today will allow Nelson Hospital Redevelopment Project Whakatupuranga to immediately begin design for the acute services building – the first stage in a six-phase $1.098 billion project, to be carried out over 10 years.

The development of Nelson Hospital is one of 110 health infrastructure projects worth a total of $7.7 billion currently being planned and delivered nationwide as part of a programme to rebuild and strengthen New Zealand’s hospitals and health infrastructure, she said.

Latest from the Beehive

Breeding top-notch working farm dogs is the focus of a new industry-led project backedby the Government, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says.

2022 was another year of positive change in visibility of women in sport with a further jump in the coverage of female athletes and teams in news media.

The Government is working alongside business to deliver on its commitment to address modern slavery by introducing new legislation that requires organisations and businesses to be transparent about their operations and supply chains through a new public register.

Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall today announced funding of $73 million for the first tranche of a major redevelopment of Nelson Hospital.

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

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