Week That Was: Whakaari / White Island

Just after 2pm on Monday this week, Whakaari / White Island erupted. Read the Prime Minister's statement here, and watch her statement to the House below.

“There is no limit to New Zealand’s capacity to mobilise, to respond, to care and embrace those impacted by tragedy – we are a nation full of ordinary people who do extraordinary things.”

We've cut the ribbon on more climate progress in our dairy sector

Climate action is about cooperation and innovation – and it was great to see our primary sector embracing both this week.

Synlait Milk - a dairy processing company based in Canterbury - was visited by the PM this week, to celebrate the launch of the community environmental programme, Whakapūawai.

Synlait has installed a first of its kind electrode boiler, which will generate CO2-e savings roughly equivalent to emissions from 9,600 households over ten years. Process heat is the second-highest source of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions behind transport - so this is a significant step in the right direction. 

Synlait talked us through its sustainability strategy to reduce off farm greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2028. It aims to have 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packing by 2025.

We’re taking action on climate change – and our business leaders are too.

We’re getting more Kiwis into homes

We have a plan to help people into homes across the board – from helping those in urgent need rebuild their lives with safe, secure housing to better supporting Kiwis into their first homes.

After nine years of neglect there is a severe shortage of warm, dry housing and affordable housing for people and whanau – and we're seeing that shortage have a major effect on the people of Hastings.

Shortages have been made worse by a population boom as more people move to Hawke’s Bay. Latest estimates by Hastings District Council and Ministry of Housing and Urban Development identified a shortage of around 300 to 500 affordable houses to meet current housing need.

That's why, this week, we announced that we’re helping Hastings overcome its housing challenge, and will be building 160 additional Kāinga Ora public houses by June 2021.

The houses are being provided in response to the city’s high demand for emergency, transitional and public housing and help reduce the reliance on motels.

We’re also tackling homelessness in Napier and Hastings - bringing Housing First to the Hawke's Bay. This programme will offer support for up to 100 people and whānau in Napier and Hastings.

We're reforming our justice system

We're looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending and reoffending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime.

Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports this week, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and Te Tangi o te Manawanui: Recommendations for Reform from the Chief Victims Advisor.

Both recommend a fresh approach to the way criminal justice has been approached.

We know fixing the problems facing our criminal justice system won't happen overnight, but we're taking important steps in the right direction now - for a better, fairer future for all Kiwis.