We're working with farmers to take action on climate change together
This week we reached an historic consensus with farmers. Working together, we will bring the agriculture sector into the emissions trading scheme - for the first time - by 2025!
The co-operation and consensus between the farming sector and the Government is an incredibly important shift from farmers and growers on the need to tackle climate change, compared to nearly 30 years ago.
Read more about how our we're working with farmers to bring the agricultural sector into the emissions trading scheme for the first time!
We're making our roads safer to save lives
One death on our roads is one too many. We have a plan to make our roads safer and save lives.
We're investing in proven road safety upgrades like median barriers, roundabouts and safe cycleways, we're increasing safe driving messages, and we're investigating lower speed limits on our most dangerous roads.
We know we can't get rid of road deaths overnight, but we can take good steps towards a safer future where everyone's loved ones get home safe and sound.
We're backing our young people to be future leaders
This week we welcomed 120 Youth MPs and 20 Youth Press Gallery members to Wellington to participate in the annual two-day Youth Parliament.
While in Parliament Youth MPs took part in Question Time, Select Committees, Legislative Debate and General Debate. Youth Press Gallery members were there for all of it, covering the action.
The Youth MPs spoke on a number of key issues, including some of the long-term challenges facing New Zealand in housing, education, and transport. However, time and time again, the debate came down to one key issue - our environment.
Protecting our environment and taking action on climate change was resoundingly important to our young people. The mock bill topic proposed by Youth MPs, the Sustainable Energy Bill, was designed to provide a framework to encourage the sustainable use of energy sources in New Zealand. It aimed to reduce New Zealand’s reliance on non-renewable energy sources and to reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. It was a great moment of synchronicity, as this Government has significant developments in the areas of clean energy and reducing emissions this week.
The Youth MPs also signed up to our climate change petition, Our Climate Moment.
We're helping Kiwis stay warm and healthy in winter
It's getting pretty chilly around the country lately... We're helping Kiwis stay warm, healthy, and keep their power bills in check with our Warmer Kiwi Homes programme - which now includes grants for heaters and heat pumps!
These grants are just one part of our winter package - we’re also helping people keep their heaters on through the Winter Energy Payment. All so you and your loved ones can wrap up warm, stay healthy, and worry less about the power bills.
To be eligible for insulation and heater grants, homeowners must have a Community Services Card or live in a lower-income area. In most cases homes will need to have ceiling and underfloor insulation installed before qualifying for a grant for a heater.
Homeowners can find out if they are eligible and connect with a Warmer Kiwi Homes service provider by using a quick, easy tool at www.warmerkiwihomes.govt.nz or by free calling 0800 749 782.
We're boosting on-the-job training for teachers
We're funding 240 student places in a new programme that enables teachers to earn while they work towards their teacher qualification.
This is just one of a range of new initiatives announced in the Wellbeing Budget to make sure we train the teachers New Zealand needs to educate our young people.
School leaders have been keen to support teachers to learn on-the-job, meeting immediate supply needs while students learn.
The number of New Zealanders enrolling in initial teacher education (ITE) plummeted by about 40% under the previous Government - and we're determined to put that right. Since 2017, the number of teachers has increased by over 1,000. People from all different walks of life are keen to become teachers and we want to make sure we offer people in different circumstances a range of pathways to become a teacher.
Our teacher supply modelling shows a rapid growth in secondary school-aged students in the coming years. That’s why this initiative is aimed at boosting staff numbers in secondary schools around the country, including a focus on attracting teachers who speak te reo Māori.
We're protecting our environment
Biosecurity is the protection of an environment from biological threats.
Biosecurity is fundamental to the protection of our environment and wildlife, our health, our economy, and our cultural and social wellbeing. In short - it's vitally important.
Our Biosecurity Act is now 26 years old, and well overdue for an overhaul. We don't need to tell you - we all know we're operating in a vastly different world than we were in 1993. It's time to update our biosecurity law to fit the times.
Both the Biosecurity Act and the National Animal Identification and Tracing Act (NAIT) are getting overhauled to ensure they meet our future needs.
We've been working with Biosecurity New Zealand and NAIT Limited, which manages the NAIT scheme, to fix it and make sure it is fit for the future. Dates for the consultation will be released later this year, so every New Zealander can have their say.