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Largest intake of Police recruits in decade

Police recruitment has stepped up a gear with the largest intake of recruits in more than a decade beginning training at the Royal New Zealand Police College near Porirua.

“I offer congratulations and welcome to the 100 new recruits who begin the intensive 16 weeks training course as part of Wing 318,” says Police Minister Stuart Nash. It is the largest single intake since 2006.

“The 100 recruits arrived at the weekend and begin formal training today. They have demonstrated commitment and dedication to get this far, and I acknowledge their families and friends for the support offered behind the scenes.

“Before they arrive at Police College every applicant goes through assessments and tests and a distance learning course. They are expected to demonstrate their fitness levels, reasoning abilities and character, and to undergo reference checks and a medical examination. They must prove their skills at communication, building relationships, solving problems and delivering a high standard of service. They even sit a typing assessment to test their computer and technology skills.

“Our new Police recruits are professional and talented before they even begin training. We ask a lot of them and their families and the training course is a demanding time for everyone involved.

“Budget 2018 set aside almost $300 million in new operating funding for this unprecedented recruitment drive as a result of the Coalition Agreement with New Zealand First. We are striving to recruit 1800 new Police officers over three years, backed up by 485 support staff. Since the government was formed in October 2017, 455 new Police officers have graduated from the Royal New Zealand Police College.

“The youngest recruit in Wing 318 is 19 years old and the eldest is 50. There are 38 women and 62 men, and a number of new Kiwis from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Latin America. I offer my thanks to Wing Patron Laulu Mac Leauanae, the Chief Executive of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, for accepting the important role as mentor for the new recruits.

“Our neighbourhoods want a greater uniformed presence for community policing and they also expect an increased focus on organised crime. We are building a stronger Police service and giving them tools to prevent offending, enforce the law and keep communities safe,” says Mr Nash.

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Graduation at Royal NZ Police College

Police Minister Stuart Nash is congratulating the 78 new recruits who graduate today from the Royal New Zealand Police college near Porirua.

“The graduation of Wing 314 takes the total number of new recruits since this government was formed to 455 frontline officers,” says Mr Nash.

“Budget 2018 set aside $298.8 million in new operating funding as a first step towards the Coalition government’s commitment to strive for 1800 new officers over three years. On top of this, we are funding 485 support staff.

“Budget 2018 has provided the foundation for our recruitment drive and the ability to meet our objectives of greater crime prevention and going hard against organised crime. 

“Our communities want to know that the growing threat from organised crime is being targeted by specialist Police officers. Twenty-first century Policing requires greater resources and tools to investigate and disrupt transnational drug smuggling, child sex exploitation, cyber-crime and money laundering.

“Our neighbourhoods want a greater uniformed presence for road policing, family harm and child protection, burglaries and aggravated robberies, and the ability to respond to natural disasters and search and rescue incidents. That is what we will deliver.

“The graduation of Wing 314 is the seventh since this government took office. There will be another seven by the end of January 2019. We are building a stronger Police service and giving them tools to prevent offending, enforce the law and keep communities safe.

“The new recruits in Wing 314 bring diverse and talented qualities to Police. The Wing includes 18 migrants who can speak at least eleven foreign languages, 23 officers who have tertiary degrees, 25 who have post-secondary qualifications, and many with sporting and cultural achievements and family connections to Police,” says Mr Nash.

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Modernising the way we do business

Small Business Minister Stuart Nash has encouraged Wellington businesses to take advantage of new government initiatives, especially in the digital space, to make their jobs easier and free them up to focus on their products and services.

Mr Nash has tonight launched the 2018 series of Small Business Roadshows at a function on the Wellington waterfront. The roadshows will travel around the country and bring together the private sector with representatives from government agencies to explain what they do and how they can help small businesses.

“This Government is working to give every small business in New Zealand the tools and the confidence to meet their potential, and realise their goals as a business,” says Mr Nash.

“Support for the e-invoicing framework in Budget 2018 is just one example. E-invoicing will enable significant modernisation of the way we do business, which is a priority for this portfolio.

“New operating funding announced in Budget 2018 will support the e-invoicing project within MBIE, driving its implementation across the Government and business sectors.  The initiative will receive $5.83 million over the next two years and $1.27 million in 2017/18.

“The Prime Ministers of New Zealand and Australia agreed in March to advance work on common approaches to e-invoicing as part of the trans-Tasman Single Economic Market Agenda. The funding announced today confirms we are on track to fundamentally change the way government-to-business and business-to-business connections are made.

“E-invoicing is the ability to exchange information between the online accounting software of a supplier and a buyer. It creates economic benefits through faster payments and reduced transaction costs. It can deliver significant productivity improvements and savings from fewer invoicing errors and less time spent resolving errors. Incorrect or lost invoices contribute to about 40% of all invoices being overdue.

“The framework for e-invoicing relies on the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) administered by MBIE. The NZBN is a unique 13-digit identifier which enables e-invoicing and simplifies other transactions and connections. More than 650,000 businesses already have the NZBN. We are working with Australian colleagues to mutually recognise the NZBN and the Australian Business Number to make it easier to do business across the Tasman.

“The NZBN is for all sole traders, partnerships, trusts, companies, local authorities and other corporates and public sector entities. It creates a transactional environment where there can be greater certainty of identity, more reliable information, less duplication and much-needed efficiencies. 

“Businesses will be able to see supply chains, build trusted networks, find and assess providers, improve customer service and a whole lot more. Used to its full potential, the NZBN is not just a number, but is a business asset,” says Mr Nash.

The Wellington event is first of twelve across the country between May and August, known as the Taking Care of Business roadshows. They bring together the private sector with representatives from government agencies to explain what they do and how they can help small businesses.

 “Tomorrow the roadshows move to the provinces with an event in Levin, said Mr Nash.

“We’d like to help Levin’s small businesses get even better. So if you run one the town’s three ice-cream factories, 18 textile and clothing manufacturers or 102 residential building companies, come along to ask the tough questions of our experts.”

“As well as playing a regulatory role the Government offers a range of services to help businesses be successful. We want to help owners and operators tap into these resources,” Mr Nash says.

  • Levin, 30 May
  • Rotorua, 5 June
  • Taupo, 6 June
  • Napier, 7 June
  • Matamata, 21 August
  • Auckland (East), 22 August
  • Auckland (Pasifika) 23 August
  • Queenstown, 27 August
  • Dunedin, 29 August
  • Christchurch, 30 August
  • Westport, 31 August

For further detail and to register, visit: www.business.govt.nz/news/2018-small-business-roadshows/

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New Deputy Commissioner of Police

Long-serving Police Assistant Commissioner Wally Haumaha has been appointed to a new role as Deputy Commissioner.

“The Deputy Commissioner of Police is a statutory appointment, made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister,” says Police Minister Stuart Nash.

Wallace (Wally) Patrick Haumaha, QSM and ONZM, has been appointed for five years from 3 June 2018. The term of the current Deputy Commissioner Vivian (Viv) Rickard ends on 2 June. Mr Rickard was appointed in 2010 and has served two terms.

Wally Haumaha is currently Deputy Chief Executive Maori, at Assistant Commissioner rank.  The Deputy Chief Executive Maori position leads the Maori, Pacific and Ethnic services communities group. He first joined New Zealand Police in 1984.

“Wally Haumaha is a highly respected leader across our communities,” says Mr Nash.

“He has led work to build the cultural capability of Police across all Districts, and is a key advisor on diversity strategies for Police recruitment. He is committed to enhancing Police leadership and responsiveness to Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities.

“Mr Haumaha has driven the development and implementation of the restorative justice initiative Te Pae Oranga, formerly known as Iwi Community Panels. The panels provide alternative resolutions for low-level offending and require an offender to plead guilty, work on a plan to identify the harm they have caused, and identify ways to avoid offending again.

“He has been responsible for the Iwi Community Panels since they were established by the previous government as a pilot scheme in 2014. We have now made them a permanent part of the Prevention First operating model. Nine panels are in place and a further four will be established in June. Planning is also underway for another six by early 2019. This work is a crucial component of plans to reform the criminal justice system by reducing reoffending and victimisation and breaking the cycle that leads to imprisonment.

“Wally Haumaha has the clear vision and leadership skills required to deliver on the Government’s priorities for Police. I expect him to play a key role to strengthen Maori leadership within Police and enhance the relationship between Police and Maori communities, in order to reduce both victimisation and offending. He is also superbly placed to work with other justice sector agencies to reduce the prison population.

“I’m very pleased to appoint Mr Haumaha to this role. I also wish to acknowledge and thank Viv Rickard for his commitment and service to Police, especially as a member of the Police Executive for most of the past decade,” says Mr Nash.

Mr Haumaha was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal in 1998 for service to the community, and was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2017 for services to NZ Police and Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities.

 

 

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GCSB expands cyber defence service

Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), Hon Andrew Little, has announced the agency will expand its Malware-Free Networks (MFN) cyber defence initiative.

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Roadshows outline help for small business

Small Business Minister Stuart Nash will next week launch the 2018 series of small business roadshows. The roadshows give business owners the opportunity to learn more about assistance available from the Government.

Taking Care of Business is a series of 12 events across New Zealand between May and August. The roadshows bring together the private sector with representatives from government agencies to explain what they do and how they can help small businesses.

“This Government is working to give every small business in New Zealand the tools and the confidence to meet their potential, and realise their goals as a business,” says Mr Nash.

“New Zealand is a nation of small businesses. This roadshow is designed to help these firms get the most out of their interactions with the Government so they can spend more time on what they do best.

“As well as playing a regulatory role the Government offers a range of services to help businesses be successful. We help owners and operators tap into these resources.

“Whether a small business is worried about meeting health and safety legislation, tax or ACC obligations, or if they want to find help to grow their business, they have someone they can talk to directly.

“Government agencies do a lot for small business, whether it’s providing advice on compliance or ways to improve innovation, growth and productivity. There will also be an opportunity to hear about Budget 2018 support for the business sector,” Mr Nash says.

The roadshow events include short presentations from up to fifteen government agencies. These include ACC, WorkSafe, Immigration New Zealand, Inland Revenue, the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and StatsNZ.

“There will be opportunities to ask questions and have face to face discussions. Expert advisors will be on hand with practical information,” Mr Nash says.

“For example Immigration New Zealand will discuss how to find, bring and keep the best skilled migrants when a business can’t recruit within New Zealand. Regional Business Partners’ Growth Advisors will explain how they can help a business connect with the right resources and experts to build capability and grow, and IPONZ will explain different types of intellectual property and give some simple tips.

Events will be held in the following towns and cities:

  • Wellington, 29 May
  • Levin, 30 May
  • Rotorua, 5 June
  • Taupo, 6 June
  • Napier, 7 June
  • Matamata, 21 August
  • Auckland (East), 22 August
  • Auckland (Pasifika) 23 August
  • Queenstown, 27 August
  • Dunedin, 29 August
  • Christchurch, 30 August
  • Westport, 31 August

For further detail, visit: www.business.govt.nz/news/2018-small-business-roadshows/

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Next step to improve fairness of tax system

New legislation to improve the fairness of the tax system and prevent large multinationals from exploiting rules in order to shift their profits offshore has passed another step closer to becoming law.

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has taken the Taxation (Neutralising Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) Bill through its second reading in Parliament. Detailed debate will continue during the Committee stage once the House resumes in June.

“New Zealand and other countries are taking action to prevent multinational corporations from engaging in aggressive tax planning. This practice, known as base erosion profit shifting, or BEPS, is a challenge for tax systems around the world,” says Stuart Nash.

“The tax strategies mean that some large multinational companies pay little tax in New Zealand, or, in fact, anywhere else in the world, despite having a significant economic presence here. This threatens the revenue base that Governments need to deliver public services and erodes the overall fairness and integrity of our tax system. It distorts competition and effective and efficient allocation of resources and enables some multinationals to exploit tax rules to get an advantage over other businesses.

“The tax system must be fair for all income earners, regardless of their size or the complexity of their arrangements. The Taxation (Neutralising Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) Bill contains a comprehensive package of measures designed to combat BEPS, ensure fairness and equity and improve the integrity of the tax base”, says Mr Nash.

The changes will prevent multinationals from using BEPS strategies, including:

  • artificially high interest rates on loans from related parties to shift profits out of New Zealand
  • related-party transactions which are intended to shift profits to offshore group members in a manner that does not reflect the actual economic activities undertaken in New Zealand and offshore
  • hybrid mismatch arrangements that exploit differences between countries' tax rules to achieve an advantageous tax position
  • artificial arrangements to avoid having a taxable presence or a permanent establishment in New Zealand
  • tactics to stymie an Inland Revenue investigation, such as withholding relevant information that is held by an offshore group member.

“New Zealand's response to BEPS is generally aligned with Australia's tax legislation and broadly consistent with the OECD and G20 action plan,” says Mr Nash.

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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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