Heavy rainfall has resulted in severe flooding across Canterbury, with ongoing dangerous river conditions and further flooding expected.
If you are in the Canterbury Region, make sure to keep an eye on local and regional updates, and follow the directions and advice of emergency services. You can find updates from Civil Defence and Emergency Management here <[link removed]>.
We're focused on the issues that matter to Kiwis. Catch up on the latest in politics with our Week in Review below.
→ Judith Collins’ visit to Flight Interiors <[link removed]>
→ Government is hiding vaccination delay <[link removed]>, and finally acts on saliva testing <[link removed]>
→ Govt prioritises ‘white privilege’ training over falling grades <[link removed]>
Business visit to Flight Interiors
Based in Ardmore, Auckland, Flight interiors is a great local company supporting jobs and other companies around New Zealand. COVID-19 hit just as they moved into newly upgraded premises, and they battled through to come out strong on the other side of lockdowns, border closures, and keeping staff employed.
You can watch Judith’s visit below ↓
Russell and the team at Flight Interiors are a great example of a company embracing innovation, supporting staff in difficult times, and planning for a bright future.
So many of our industries are doing it tough due to red tape and rising costs imposed by the Government. It’s our job as the Opposition to draw attention to those issues and make sure Kiwis’ voices are heard by decision-makers.
National backs businesses to grow, explore new markets and create jobs here at home.
Government is hiding vaccination delay, finally acts on saliva testing
Once again, the Ministry of Health has quietly updated its timeline for vaccinating New Zealanders, this time pushing out the start date for when the majority of Kiwis can begin to be vaccinated.
In late April the Ministry of Health website was updated for when Group Three would be vaccinated to ‘late May’, when previously it was just May. The same has been done to Group Four, where vaccinations will now begin at the ‘end of July’, when just a few days ago it said, ‘from July’.
The Government should be far more up front with New Zealanders about the progress of our vaccination roll out. If there are going to be delays, the Government should tell us. Right now, it looks more like a surreptitious attempt to hide the fact our vaccination roll out is slow.
It’s also taken far too long for the Government to move on saliva testing at the border. National has been pushing for the Government to include saliva testing as part of the testing methods for our border workers for months, so it’s finally good to see progress.
It’s been eight months since the Roche/Simpson report recommended ‘all efforts should be made to introduce saliva testing as soon as possible as part of the range of testing methods being conducted’.
Frequent saliva testing across our border facilities would increase our security against COVID-19 at the border and would mean positive cases are picked up more quickly.
You can read more from Chris Bishop here <[link removed]> and here <[link removed]>.
Costing & options missing from Climate Change Commission
The Climate Commission should be presenting New Zealand with a range of viable options for emissions reduction with cost analysis included.
Climate Commission Chair Dr Rod Carr’s column on why he is not recommending a least cost pathway fails to answer very basic questions. Not the least, why he isn’t presenting the commission’s findings with transparent costing and decision-making reasoning.
The Climate Change Commission are proposing rather radical measures which will not just have an impact on a governance level. The lives of everyday New Zealanders will be affected and that is not something to be taken lightly.
We need to ask questions about how each of their recommendation’s affects people, businesses, and environments, and to challenge ourselves to find solutions which come at least social cost.
New Zealand now has a cap on overall emissions, if the government bans one thing that creates carbon dioxide it simply means there is more space for something else. It won’t reduce the total amount we emit.
The beauty of the Emissions Trading Scheme is that it allows people to make choices that work for them. If a family needs a petrol van to take the kids to sport in the weekend, they can do it, so long as they are prepared to pay a little more at the pump.
If we rush to ban things, we risk placing huge costs on people for no actual benefit to the climate.
National would use the emissions trading scheme as our first tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We would only look to use other measures where there is a clear need to do so.
You can read more from Stuart Smith here <[link removed]>. Our Submission to the Climate Change Commission can be found here <[link removed]>.
Govt prioritises ‘white privilege’ training over falling grades
It is right to have important conversations around inequities, but it is wrong to peddle crude, simplistic, stereotypes imported from America which are more divisive than constructive.
Teachers are being shown videos that instruct them to list their ‘privileges’ and view their students in terms of racial groupings. The training modules we have seen state that ‘education is a form of symbolic violence’ and that the structure of school day doesn’t work for Pacific learners who ‘are not tuned into the different parts of the day’.
It is alarming to learn how much of teachers’ time and resources are being directed to so-called diversity programmes rather than on ensuring every Kiwi kid receives a good education.
One of the very best things society can do to resolve inequities of any kind is to ensure that access to education is equal and that any child can gain the knowledge and skills to succeed.
There are huge issues to be addressed in education currently, including falling maths and science grades and major truancy problems. The Government is allowing imported culture wars to distract us from the basic challenges that if resolved would improve things for all children.
You can read more from Paul Goldsmith here <[link removed]>.
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