NewsRoom Digest: Top NZ News Items for August 13, 2015

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Newsroom Digest

This edition of NewsRoom_Digest features 15 resourceful links of the day and the politics pulse from Thursday 14th August.

NEWSROOM_MONITOR

Top stories in the current news cycle include confirmation the struggling state-owned coal company Solid Energy will go into voluntary administration, claims that there is a massive need for non-urgent surgery going unmet based on figures from 10 DHBs obtained by the Labour Party and breaking news that an inmate has been found dead at Mt Eden prison.

Note: As well as providing a precis of leading broadcast bulletins each day, our NewsRoom_Monitor service does a daily paper round with succinct ‘news picks’ from the main metropolitan papers emailed by 9am each morning. If you’re interested in a free trial please email monitor@newsroom.co.nz

POLITICS PULSE

Media releases issued from Parliament by political parties today included:

Government: Global procurement deal takes effect today; First Threatened Species Ambassador appointed; Bluegreen programme of improved environmental management outlined; Solid Energy into temporary voluntary administration; Bill introduced to enable sex offender register; Secure online learning for prisoners; Electronic signatures stronger with RealMe; Employment Standards Bill introduced; Independent dairy processors collecting more milk; Feedback sought on port plan

ACT Party: Solid Energy – lessons unlearnt

Greens: Power prices rise eclipses inflation; National pushing students further into debt and distress; Skyrocketing child poverty shows Govt creating a country of two halves; Solid Energy reprieve should spur Govt action; Solar bill will help power NZ’s transition to green economy

Labour: GPs forced to do specialist work as budget cuts bite; Forcing amalgamation on democracies is undemocratic; Solid Energy’s workers deserve more; Abuse shows need for social worker register; Joyce’s penny pinching dooms Generation Debt; Secret meetings to sell-off state houses; Future economy must be diverse and sustainable; Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale; National borrows Labour’s idea on Urban Development

Māori Party: Restoring the mana of Ngāruahine and Ngāti Hineuru; Māori Party Welcomes Greater Iwi Input Into Local Regional Councils; Māori Party votes help contractor wage bill passes first reading

New Zealand First: Priceless NZ citizenship undermined by Minister; Guy ignores advice from red meat industry; Salisbury School’s future must be secured; National And United Future Snub WWII Veterans; Taking the burden off our health care system; National Miserable In Refusing Live Free-To-Air Sports Broadcasts

United Future Party: Dunne Speaks- So is NZTA above the law?

LINKS OF THE DAY

Links of the day have been a feature of NewsRoom_Digest since we first started production in August 2014 at newsroom-nz.tumblr.com. We are currently building an archive of these at:http://newsroomplus.com/resources/resourceful-links/

ALCOHOL AND ADVERSE SEXUAL HEALTH: A new study from the University of Otago shows that drinking alcohol before sex is still common as people approach middle age, and it still has an impact on their health and wellbeing. Click here for more: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0135660

BLUEGREEN PROGRAMME: A programme of stronger national direction and guidance on key environmental issues was announced today by Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith at the Environmental Defence Society conference in Auckland. Click here for more: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/fresh-water/national-policy-statement-freshwater-management-2014 or http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/way-forward-national-direction

CHILD POVERTY: The Green Party while analysing the “Households Incomes in New Zealand” report released by the Ministry of Social Development says the Government is creating a country of two halves, with child poverty skyrocketing by 45,000 and a third of all income earners getting no benefit from the so-called rock star economy. The MSD report can be accessed at: https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/monitoring/household-incomes/

ECONOMY MUST BE DIVERSE: The New Zealand economy has been overwhelmingly reliant on commodities in the past and must complement these sectors if future generations of Kiwis are to have decent work and wages, Labour’s Future of Work Commission chair Grant Robertson says. The full paper is available at:http://www.futureofwork.nz/economic-development

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS BILL: Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse today introduced a new bill that will extend paid parental leave and strengthen the enforcement of employment standards. For more information about the bill see here: http://employment.govt.nz/er/services/law/legislationreviews/employment-standards-bill.asp

FOOD PRICES UP: In the year to July 2015, food prices increased 1.2 percent. This follows a decrease of 0.1 percent in the year to June and 0.8 percent in the year to May. Click here for more:http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/prices_indexes/FoodPriceIndex_HOTPJul15.aspx

GLOBAL PROCUREMENT DEAL: New Zealand’s accession to the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), has come into effect today. View the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) here: https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/gproc_e/memobs_e.htm

INEQUALITY ON THE RISE AGAIN: “It is time to recognise that income inequality is on the rise again,” says Bill Rosenberg, CTU Economist. “Rising inequality means that even if the economy is growing, the income from it is not being fairly shared.” The CTU cites an International Monetary Fund research report that found weakening of unions is one of the strongest factors in increasing income inequality. The IMF research is located here:http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=42987

MULTICULTURAL NZ CONGRATULATED: The Human Rights Commission has congratulated Multicultural New Zealand on the launch of their milestone report “Our Multicultural Future”. The report is available at:http://multiculturalnz.org.nz/Launching+of+Our+Multicultural+Future

MERGER SHOULD BE PUBLIC: Aoraki and CPIT have given a business case for their proposed merger to Steven Joyce, the Minister for Tertiary Education, but to no one else, including staff and students who will be most affected by the change says the TEU. For Aoraki Polytechnic’s official release see: http://www.aoraki.ac.nz/about-us/news-events/cpit-and-aoraki-polytechnic-propose-new-tertiary-organisation

POWER PRICES RISE: The Green Party says the Government has failed New Zealanders by letting residential electricity prices rise 3.8 percent while inflation is nearly zero. Read the data released in the annual ‘Energy in New Zealand’ report here: http://www.med.govt.nz/sectors-industries/energy/energy-modelling/publications/energy-in-new-zealand/Energy-in-New-Zealand-2015.pdf

RED MEAT ADVICE: New Zealand First has been drawing attention to the merits of the Meat Industry Excellent report and criticising Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy for what they call a “failure to consider” it . Read more about the MIE Report here: http://www.meatindustryexcellence.co.nz/mie-report-2015/

REINZ: REGIONS ON THE RISE: The latest monthly report from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand shows exceptionally strong sales volumes for midwinter. The national median house price was $465,000 for July, an increase of $49,000 on July 2014 and $15,000 from June. See the full the report here: 

https://www.reinz.co.nz/shadomx/apps/fms/fmsdownload.cfm?file_uuid=F0D243B8-7EA1-4DE5-AD9B-3204A7BA5483&siteName=reinz

SOLAR BILL: Parliament will get to vote on a simple amendment to the Electricity Industry Act that would guarantee households a fair price for any excess renewable electricity they supply back to the grid, the Green Party said today. For more information on the Electricity Industry (Small Scale Renewable Distributed Generation) Amendment Bill see: https://home.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/powering_a_clean_energy_future_ssrdg.pdf

STUDENT DEBT IS A MONSTER: Working New Zealanders are burdened by student debt according to a report released today by the New Zealand Union of Students (NZUSA). View the Income and Expenditure Report here:http://www.students.org.nz/income_and_expenditure_survey

And that’s our sampling of “news you can use” for Thursday 13th August 2015.

Brought to EveningReport by Newsroom Digest.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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