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Fisheries NZ has new focus on innovation

Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the creation of a new specialist organisation dedicated to the sector will lead to greater innovation in the way we fish and the way we manage the resource.

“Today marks the first full day for Fisheries New Zealand. It is one of four new dedicated business units within the Ministry for Primary Industries along with Forestry New Zealand, Biosecurity New Zealand and New Zealand Food Safety,” Mr Nash says.  

“Fisheries New Zealand also carries the te reo Maori name Tini a Tangaroa, or whole of the sea. I thank my ministerial colleagues Shane Jones and Peeni Henare and others for their guidance on this name.

“Fisheries New Zealand, as its te reo name implies, is deeply interconnected across the whole of the sea. Our fisheries carry cultural significance and meanings, contribute to regional economic development and employment, and provide recreational and leisure opportunities. Our unique maritime environment also speaks of our country’s identity and reminds us of the need to ensure sustainability for future generations. 

“We need to balance the commercial benefits from fisheries with the responsibility to look after our treasured marine mammals and seabirds and to reduce the impact of fishing on the environment. Quicker and more accurate information about commercial fishing will allow us to better manage our fish stocks, and to understand and mitigate risks to protected marine species.

“Fisheries and aquaculture bring $1.74b into New Zealand per year and create thousands of jobs. We need to keep demonstrating that fish from our waters are sustainable, and that the environmental impact of fishing is being mitigated.

 “I will be looking for Fisheries New Zealand to do things differently. That means greater innovation in both the way we fish and the way we manage our fisheries. It also means greater engagement with stakeholders, and a focus on developing and implementing 21st century solutions to fisheries challenges. Fisheries New Zealand will have greater visibility and allow for a single point of accountability to enable a better understanding of who is responsible for fisheries management.

“Around 120 staff are brought together into Fisheries New Zealand, along with around 100 fisheries observers. They are based in eight sites from Whangarei to Dunedin. Fisheries New Zealand combines fisheries science, aquaculture, management, planning and monitoring. Other staff in MPI will continue to provide legal, policy and other shared services,” Mr Nash says.

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Cracking down on tax dodgers and restoring fairness

New initiatives to make the tax system fairer and a crackdown on tax dodgers are expected to provide the Government with an extra $726.3 million of revenue over the next four years, says Revenue Minister Stuart Nash.

“The Coalition Government is committed to being fiscally responsible. Creating more fairness in the tax system is a critical part of this,” says Stuart Nash.

“Extra revenue from cracking down on those dodging their tax obligations, while levelling the playing field, will help the Government address significant under-resourcing of critical public services. We are reducing distortions in the tax system and ensuring everyone pays the right amount of tax.”

“Budget 2018 gives Inland Revenue $31.3 million of operating spending over the next four years, including $23.5 million to ensure outstanding company tax returns are filed. This is expected to recover approximately $183.3 million.

“It also includes $3.0 million of operating funding over the next four years to analyse the potential to improve tax compliance in specific industries through the use of third-party reporting and withholding taxes.

“Recently announced initiatives to reduce distortion in the tax system and boost productivity will also provide more revenue. Ring-fencing rental losses will mean speculators and investors can no longer offset tax losses from residential properties against other income to reduce their tax liabilities.

“This is expected to boost revenue by at least $325 million over four years and further dampen property speculation, while encouraging investment in the productive economy.

“Meanwhile, offshore suppliers of low-value goods will be required to register for, collect and return goods and services tax (GST) just like New Zealand retailers have to. This is estimated to provide $218 million in new revenue over the next four years, and is expected to increase each year as online shopping continues to grow.

“This Government’s plan includes adequately funding health, education and housing, increasing police numbers, and lifting more children out of poverty. We are not changing tax rates. But we do need a tax system that is simple, balanced and fair – where people and businesses comply with their obligations, and where those in similar circumstances pay the same amount.

“Our Tax Working Group is also tasked with making recommendations for a fairer and more balanced tax system. It will report back in early 2019 and no significant changes recommended in the Group’s final report will come into force until after the 2020 election,” says Stuart Nash.

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Focusing on community safety and targeting organised crime

New investment in police will lift the number of officers, see an unprecedented push to disrupt organised crime and make our families and communities safer, says Police Minister Stuart Nash.

“The Coalition Government’s police package, when fully rolled out, will deliver 1,800 new officers. It will enable the deployment of 1,100 police on the streets and 700 police to combat organised crime, supported by 485 non-sworn staff,” says Stuart Nash.

“Budget 2018 takes the first steps towards that. It includes $298.8 million in new operating funding and $17.8 million capital for the Police over the next four years. In addition, $159.7 million of new funding is provided in 2022/23.

“These increases enable the recruitment of an extra 920 officers and 240 support staff to maintain and build on the 880 officers and 245 support staff announced in Budget 2017.

“Budget 2018 provides tools and support for 21st-century policing, including the latest technology to combat organised and serious crime. We are going after the gangs to disrupt the supply of drugs in our communities. A separate Budget 2018 announcement by the Minister of Customs targets the international networks behind the methamphetamine trade,” says Stuart Nash.

“We are focusing on families and young people on the periphery of gangs, who are at risk of harm from addiction, offending and victimisation. We will enable the Police to identify and intervene with offenders as the first step to reducing crime and apprehend those who commit burglaries, robberies, theft and violence.

“With a focus on making New Zealand the world’s safest country, the Police will work closely with other government agencies and key stakeholders in our communities. Collectively, this will give vulnerable women and children a better chance to break out of cycles of dysfunction and intergenerational offending and help them improve their lives.”

New operating funding also replaces radio equipment for emergency services in 2018/19. Funding for the project totals $17.4 million, of which $11.6 million is allocated to the Police, $2.0 million to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Internal Affairs) and $3.7 million to St John Ambulance (Health).

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Pare Hauraki Collective Redress extension

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little has given settlement groups more time to provide him with any additional information before he makes a decision regarding the signing of the Pare Hauraki Collective Redress Deed.

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Government releases review of organisational culture and processes at the Human Rights Commission

Justice Minister Andrew Little today released the Ministerial Review of the Human Rights Commission in relation to the internal handling of sexual harassment claims and its organisational culture.

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Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Porou moana first reading

The Ngā Rohe Moana o Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Porou Bill (No 2) passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Minister for Treaty Negotiations Andrew Little.

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New leadership for Māori Television board

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced a new leadership duo to progress the revitalisation of Māori language and culture at Māori Television.

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Black Tears for Pike River

A provocative choral work called Black Tears by Fraser Bremner has premiered in New Plymouth showcasing an important reminder that New Zealand is still thinking about the tragedy which took 29 lives, says Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-Entry Andrew Little.

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Government to compensate Tyson Redman for wrongful conviction, imprisonment

The Government has provided Tyson Gregory Redman more than $500,000 in compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today.

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Andrew Little enters Pike River portal

Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little, and Pike Family representatives Anna Osborne and Sonya Rockhouse have entered the Pike River Mine portal.

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