Getting a taste of study at EIT’s Taster Days

Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

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Capri Whioke Kete, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ara Hou student, attended an arts workshop at IDEAschool.

Young people from all over Hawke’s Bay recently got a taste of what studying at EIT might look like for them.

Over the last three days, EIT hosted its biannual taster days for high school students and young people between 15 and 18 years.

This year, 192 people registered for the courses, more than ever before.

The students could choose between 13 different workshops, ranging from business, sport science or environmental management to vet nursing, arts and design or wine science.

The courses are designed to give prospective students an insight into studying a particular subject and familiarise them with the campus and its facilities.

School students also get the opportunity to find out which qualification may most suit their interests, talents and abilities and get first-hand information from lecturers and tutors

New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army

Source: New Zealand Government

The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today.

The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity.

“The age and lack of protection offered by the old fleet make this another investment in New Zealand Defence Force capability that must be made in order to protect our service people,” said Ron Mark.

“The need to replace the Army’s fleet of land vehicles was outlined in last year’s Defence Capability Plan, with the armoured Pinzgauer highlighted as a vehicle type reaching the end of its operational life and prioritised for replacement.

“The New Zealand Army operates in diverse and challenging environments, so a multi-purpose, highly mobile vehicle has been selected, one that has proven its ability to provide a high level of protection.

“Funding of $102.9 million will deliver the vehicles, along with training, a desk top simulator, support equipment and infrastructure upgrades at Linton Camp.

“The versatility of this vehicle will increase the Defence Force’s ability to help our communities during a time of need such as a natural disaster, and contribute to supporting vital peacekeeping operations with our global partners.”

Along with wide use in Australia and other Five Eyes nations, the Bushmaster is already in service with New Zealand’s Special Operations Forces.

The new Bushmaster fleet will supplement other vehicles and provide new capabilities, such as a protected ambulance, that the Army does not currently have. The vehicle’s high levels of blast and ballistic protection makes it suitable for deployment as a troop transport, operating as a command and communication hub.

“This is the second fleet of protected mobility vehicles approved for purchase by the Government. It follows delivery this year of the Polaris MRZR fleet of side by side all-terrain vehicles that were announced last year to replace the quad bikes and other small vehicles used by the New Zealand Army,” said Ron Mark.

The Bushmaster is the right vehicle for our community, nation and region.”

 Deliveries are expected to commence in late 2022 with the full fleet beginning operational introduction from late 2023.

Community-led solutions to prevent family violence

Source: New Zealand Government

The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.  

The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention initiatives.

“These initiatives aim to create long term positive change for families,” Poto Williams said. 

“It is crucial that we invest in ‘top of the cliff’ solutions, not just crisis services. 

“The evidence is clear that to bring about sustainable behaviour change and build stronger communities, we need to involve communities in the solutions. That’s why we undertook significant community input from people across all cultures and backgrounds on this piece of work.  

“This work will be crucial in the Government’s COVID-19 response and recovery. It will support some of our most vulnerable families and communities to build strength and resilience as they face the impacts of COVID-19. 

“This will also be a key part of the prevention work within the Government’s Joint Venture national strategy to address family violence,” said Poto Williams.

 

The three strategies are:

  • E Tū Whānau is a kaupapa Maori strategy, which has also been embraced by former refugee and migrant communities
  • Pasefika Proud has been developed in partnership with Pacific communities in New Zealand, and
  • the Campaign for Action, with its primary campaign It’s not OK, uses public health, community action and social marketing approaches to shift harmful norms and attitudes, and promote positive behaviour change in men. 

Further information on these strategies is available at: msd.govt.nz

 

Events – Christchurch goes live on NZ Venues

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: New Zealand Venues
Christchurch venues and event suppliers will be available to book through the site from 9th July 2020, following on from successful launches in Auckland and Queenstown.
Launching Christchurch is New Zealand Venues’ latest step in cultivating a nationwide events resource. The site offers a curated selection of venues and event suppliers for corporate events, weddings and functions.
With architecture blending the old and new and a bustling arts and food scene, it’s no wonder that Christchurch is a hotspot for domestic and international events. The city boasts more than 5,500 accommodation rooms, with many of its event spaces located close to its iconic parks and gardens.
“NZ Venues has seen massive uptake in Auckland and Queenstown,” said New Zealand Venues co-founder Sam Browne. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with venues and suppliers in Christchurch, and helping the city’s event industry get back on its feet.”
The addition of Christchurch to New Zealand Venues brings the total number of venues on the site to 125, giving Kiwis an easy-to-use platform for all the ins and outs of event planning across the country.
After seeing traffic more than halve during April and May, New Zealand Venues saw traffic of 10,418 unique visitors in June – a dramatic return to pre-Covid levels of engagement.
“We’re thrilled to see users viewing and booking venues on our site, and confidence returning to the New Zealand events market,” Browne said.

Infrastructure – Three Waters investment a much-needed boost

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: New Zealand Infrastructure Commission
“Linking funding to commitment from councils to reform the investment, planning and delivery of their water assets is a welcome move,” says Infracom (New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga) Chief Executive Ross Copland, in response to Government’s announcement of $761 million to help councils upgrade water services across New Zealand.
“The decision to focus this investment on regions where consolidation of regional water entities is underway is a pragmatic, incentive-based approach to unlocking the procurement and operational efficiencies which can be gained through consolidation.
“We look forward to seeing clear plans from councils on the practical steps they will be taking towards reform.”
Mr Copland says today’s announcement acknowledges the urgent need for assistance with water infrastructure assets and renewal.
“This is a very encouraging sign that the Government recognises the critical importance of robust water infrastructure and acknowledges the sectoral challenges with traditional funding to address the investment backlog.” 
The Havelock North inquiry found that almost 20 percent of New Zealanders are supplied with water that is not demonstrably safe to drink. Approximately 20 percent of treated drinking water is lost within public networks due to leaks. 
Infracom supports the Government’s decision to establish a Water Regulator, Taumata Arowai, and sees this as an important step in maintaining public confidence in safe drinking water as a fundamental human right. 
“Leadership will be the critical ingredient as local government collaborates to find common ground in this challenging space. We encourage councils to embrace this opportunity to reset the funding and delivery of water services within their communities.
“Infracom acknowledges the enormity of the policy, delivery and funding challenges the sector is facing. An overhaul of service delivery and funding arrangements will enable safer, more affordable and reliable three waters services across the country at a lower aggregate cost to ratepayers.”  

Horticulture – Government support and increased flexibility for RSE workers overdue

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: Horticulture New Zealand
Horticulture New Zealand says while it welcomes increased government support and flexibility for the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers who are still in New Zealand waiting for repatriation back to the Pacific, the decisions should have come a lot earlier, says HortNZ Chief Executive, Mike Chapman.
‘We really needed these government decisions three months ago. While local communities have rallied to support RSE workers, government’s delays have caused RSE workers and their employers unnecessary anxiety and cost.
‘Immigration New Zealand is now providing the RSE workers who are still in New Zealand with the flexibility to move around the country to take up other horticulture jobs as well as jobs in other industries. Today’s decisions also mean that the RSE workers who have been stranded here won’t have the extra time they have spent in the country count against them, when they return to New Zealand next season.
Mike says out of the approximately 9000 RSE workers still in New Zealand, 4000 are waiting to get home.
‘Summerfruit NZ, NZ Apples and Pears, NZ Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated and HortNZ have worked in partnership with the Government to find ways to get these workers home safely and as quickly as possible. More than 1000 RSE workers have made it home thanks to these efforts, which continue.’
Mike says that while it is good that these workers are now going home, it is important that the RSE scheme continues as it supports both New Zealand and the Pacific nations.
‘Horticulture will contribute significantly to the post-Covid recovery, and the RSE scheme is a cornerstone of that recovery.
‘The scheme has operating for more than 10 years. It has ensured that the New Zealand horticulture industry has been able to grow and provide permanent employment for thousands of kiwis.
‘As horticulture spearheads New Zealand post-Covid recovery, skilled RSE workers in similar numbers to this year will be needed to complement the New Zealanders entering the horticulture industry for the first time.
‘At the same time, the RSE scheme is vital to the Pacific. The scheme enables these workers to earn money to support their families back home, set up businesses, and build storm proof houses, schools and community facilities.’

Events – NZ event industry roars back to life

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: New Zealand Venues
The New Zealand event industry’s future looks bright, with clients once again booking venues and suppliers with confidence.
Nationwide venue guide New Zealand Venues ( www.nzvenues.co.nz) is reporting a dramatic turnaround in the number of New Zealanders using their website to book events such as weddings, conferences and functions.
After a substantial drop in website traffic to under 5000 users a month in April and May, New Zealand Venues had 10,418 site visitors in June – a dramatic return to pre-Covid levels.
The site launches in their third city, Christchurch, on Thursday 9th July, following on from successful launches in Auckland and Queenstown in 2019.
Launching Christchurch is New Zealand Venues’ latest step in cultivating a nationwide events resource. The site offers a curated selection of venues and event suppliers for corporate events, weddings and functions.
“NZ Venues has seen massive uptake in Auckland and Queenstown,” said New Zealand Venues co-founder Sam Browne. “As confidence returns to the NZ events market, we’re looking forward to collaborating with venues and suppliers in Christchurch, and helping the city’s event industry get back on its feet.”
The addition of Christchurch to New Zealand Venues brings the total number of venues on the site to 126, giving Kiwis an easy-to-use platform for all the ins and outs of event planning across the country.

Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay

Source: New Zealand Government

The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke’s Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.

“The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke’s Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities last week,” says Chris Hipkins. 

“The Government is investing $10 million towards the total $19.9 million required for this project, with the DHB self-funding the rest.

“The expansion of Hawke’s Bay’s radiology facilities will enable best practice clinical work with larger clinical spaces and modern state-of-the-art imaging equipment. It will also ensure an improved environment for both patients and staff. 

“These improvements will help the DHB to retain and recruit specialist radiologists and medical imaging technologists. There is also flexibility built into the design to ensure there is capacity for more diagnostic equipment in the future. 

“In addition, the Government has agreed to provide an extra $4.2 million towards the DHB’s surgical services expansion project to increase capacity and reduce wait times for planned surgeries.

“Unforeseen seismic remediation issues have caused delays in these projects, including the DHB’s Acute Assessment Unit, and the Government has already invested a further $8.8 million to put this right. Seismic strengthening of these facilities is a priority to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff and patients

“The Government is committed to rebuilding and strengthening New Zealand’s public hospitals and health facilities and to date, we have invested a record $3.5 billion into health infrastructure. 

“I am pleased Hawke’s Bay DHB now has the funding it needs to progress work on these important projects and I look forward to their completion. These investments will make a real difference to patients, whānau, visitors and staff in Hawke’s Bay,” Chris Hipkins says.

NZ records biggest GDP quarterly fall in 30 years, Otago economist

Source: University of Otago

Wednesday 8 July 2020 4:09pm
A leading University of Otago economist has crunched the figures for New Zealand and its major trading partners’ growth rates for the first quarter of 2020, revealing some startling results.
Dr Murat Ungor.
Senior Lecturer Dr Murat Ungor has used recent data releases from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Quarterly National Accounts to analyse the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.
Not only did New Zealand record its biggest quarterly fall since 1991, but one of its major trading partners, China, recorded a “historic slump”, he says.
The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Update for June projects the global economy will shrink by 4.9 per cent this year.
In terms of responding to the pandemic, NZ was ranked at the top of the list in a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit ranking 21 OECD countries, with an overall rating of 3.67 on a scale of one to four.
The only mark taken off came on provision of non COVID-19 healthcare.
“Given the relatively successful position of NZ in terms of the response to the pandemic, a natural question arises regarding the initial and long-term economic effects of COVID-19 on its economic activity,” Dr Ungor says.
Using two calculations of GDP growth from the OECD’s Quarterly National Accounts, Dr Ungor was able to compare:
Quarter-on-Quarter: Growth rate compared to previous quarter (seasonally adjusted)
Year-on-year: Growth rate compared to the same quarter of previous year (seasonally adjusted)
For the March quarter, New Zealand saw the largest quarterly fall in gross domestic product since the first quarter of 1991, he says.
Figure 1 below shows the quarterly growth rates of GDP for NZ between the third quarter of 1987 and the first quarter of 2020.
Figure 1. Q-o-Q (%), New Zealand, 1987:Q3-2020:Q1.
New Zealand’s GDP fell by 2.4 per cent in the March 1991 quarter, and contracted by 1.6 per cent in the March quarter of 2020.
The last time NZ had negative quarterly growth rate was the last quarter of 2010, when it contracted by 0.5 per cent.
It takes at least two consecutive quarters of negative growth for a country to enter a recession, Dr Ungor says.
“It is very likely NZ will record another negative growth in the June quarter of 2020.
“If this occurs, two consecutive quarters of 2020 will have negative growth rates for the country, and the last time NZ recorded two consecutive negative quarters for GDP was the third and fourth quarters of 2010.”
The quarterly figures also show China, one of NZ’s four main trading partners, has recorded a “historic slump”, as its GDP fell 9.8 per cent in the March quarter, Dr Ungor says.
In comparison, Australia’s GDP stayed resilient dropping 0.3 per cent, Japan fell by 0.6 per cent, and the US fell by 1.3 per cent.
“While China’s GDP plunged further during the first quarter of 2020 than during the 2009 global financial crisis, the situation is the reverse for Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States,” Dr Ungor says.
Table 1 below, shows the year-on-year growth rates for NZ and its major trading partners during the GFC and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Table 1. GDP Growth Rates (%)§
Country
Global financial crisis, Q1 2008
Q1 2009
COVID-19 pandemic, Q1 2019
Q1 2020
Australia
3.4
1.6
1.7
1.4
China
11.5
6.4
6.4
-6.8
Japan
0.3
-8.6
0.8
-1.9
New Zealand
1.9
-2.4
3.0
-0.2
US
1.1
-3.3
2.7
0.3
§ Growth rate compared to the same quarter of previous year, seasonally adjusted.Source: OECD Quarterly National Accounts, Accessed 4 July 2020.
The year-over-year decline in China’s GDP experienced as a result of the pandemic (comparing growth in 2008:Q1 to 2009:Q1) is more than twice as large of that during the GFC (comparing growth in 2019:Q1 to 2020:Q1).
Studying the year-on-year growth rates could explain the historical importance of the decline in the Chinese GDP, he says.
Year-on-year data has been the preferred calculation for the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS), which only started to record quarterly growth rates in the first quarter of 2011.
In 1978, China was one of the world’s poorest countries and barely engaged in the global economy, while today it is the world’s second largest economy after the US.
“China exports to everywhere. Any global downturn naturally hurts Chinese firms who export,” Dr Ungor says.
When the GFC swept over the global economic activity a decade ago, manufacturing industries and business of export agents got hit the most among the Chinese enterprises.
However, China’s domestic market was big enough for national brands to continue their businesses, and this helped some national companies to survive during the GFC.
Economic activity contracted significantly in China in the first quarter of 2020, as virus containment measures saw hundreds of thousands of workers stranded far from factories.
China has emerged as the “manufacturing warehouse” of our planet, but the factory closures and reduced ability to export has created this dire picture for the first quarter, Dr Ungor says.
“Having said that, there may be a rebounding.”
“For example, as the World Trade Organisation stated on 22 June, car sales in China were up 5 per cent year-on-year in May after falling 79 per cent in February.”
The upcoming days will bring new data for different economic sectors, and new and updated data at the sectoral level will provide more light to understand the size of the economic contraction, he says.
“Are we going to see similar growth rates for the rest of 2020? This is something to watch closely.”
For further information, contact:
Dr Murat UngorDepartment of EconomicsUniversity of OtagoTel +64 3 479 8134Email murat.ungor@otago.ac.nz
Lydia AndersonCommunications AdviserUniversity of OtagoTel +64 3 479 8200Mob +64 21 278 8200Email l.anderson@otago.ac.nz

SH2 eastbound lane blocked at Paengaroa

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises the eastbound lane of State Highway 2 is blocked at the intersection with Wilson Road North at Paengaroa, where a truck has overturned.

Motorists are asked to avoid the area, delay unnecessary travel or consider alternate routes where possible, and to follow the directions of emergency services or traffic management staff on site.

Visit Waka Kotahi’s Journey Planner website (journeys.nzta.govt.nz(external link)) for up to date information on up to date information on road or lane closures, detours, road works, traffic and delays.

Waka Kotahi thanks motorists for their patience.

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: