NewsRoom Digest: Top NZ News Items for December 15 Edition, 2015

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Newsroom Digest

This edition of NewsRoom_Digest features 15 resourceful links of the day and the politics pulse from Tuesday 15th December. It is best viewed on a desktop screen.

NEWSROOM_MONITOR

Noteworthy stories in the current news cycle include Commerce Commission approval for Chorus to raise the price it can charge for access to its network, responses to a proposal to open up a road between Westport and Nelson across Kahurangi National Park and the release of the Children’s Commissioner’s latest Child Poverty Report,

POLITICS PULSE

Media releases issued from Parliament by political parties today included:

Government: New report on safety from violence highlights key factors for Samoan women; Rheumatic fever campaign evaluation positive; Minister opens Cambridge section of $2.1 billion Waikato Expressway; Auckland’s social housing growth continues; Gaining better understanding of treatment injury; Public has its say on future of education;Christmas cheer for Settling In fund recipients; New Zealand’s dairy food safety capability in good shape; Disability Action Plan and Disability Strategy being updated; Support for Pacific language education

Greens: Govt inaction on poverty killing kids; Surplus gone, time to concentrate on serious economic issues; Consumers pay the price of broadband decision

Labour: Lotu Iiga must come clean on rumoured u-turn; Poverty grim reality for many Kiwi kids; Govt gets its way – phone line prices going up; Surplus sideshow over, time for action

New Zealand First: CAA Risks Losing Public Trust Over Armstrong Prosecution; Let’s Go With New West Coast Tourism Road; Kiwirail Must Come Clean On New Problems With Floating Scrap Heap

LINKS OF THE DAY

$2.1 BILLION EXPRESSWAY: The Cambridge section of the $2.1 billion Waikato Expressway was opened today. For more information go to: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/waikatoexpressway

BANKS SUPPORT FARMERS: The latest Federated Farmers Banking Survey shows a virtually unchanged level of farmer support for banks over the past three months of low dairy prices, with 80.5% satisfied with banks regarding mortgages compared to 80.7% in August.Survey results can be found here:http://www.wiredmail.co.nz/clients/74/img/files/Banking%20survey%20results%20-%20December%202015.pdf

BROADBAND PRICES: The Commerce Commission has today released its final decision setting the prices that Chorus can charge for use of its local copper lines and broadband service over the next five years. Read more:http://bit.ly/1ofpQNm

CHILD POVERTY MONITOR: The Office of the Children’s Commission released the Child Poverty Monitor 2015. The report can be viewed at: http://www.childpoverty.co.nz/

CLOSED COURT: In a report on the use and protection of national security information in legal proceedings, the Law Commission says a court should be able to order a closed session to consider rare cases involving classified and security sensitive information. Read more; http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/media-release/law-commission-review-use-national-security-information-legal-proceedings

DAIRY SECTOR VULNERABILITIES: The Reserve Bank today published a Bulletin article, ‘An updated assessment of dairy sector vulnerabilities’. The article investigates the severity of cash flow pressures currently facing dairy farmers, and assesses the potential financial stability implications if the payout remains low for an extended period. Read more:http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research_and_publications/reserve_bank_bulletin/2015/

DISABILITY ACTION PLAN: The updated Disability Action Plan 2014 – 2018 and the first steps in the revision of the New Zealand Disability Strategy was announced today. The Updated Disability Action Plan 2014 – 2018 is available at: http://www.odi.govt.nz/what-we-do/ministerial-committee-on-disability-issues/disability-action-plan/index.html
Nominations for the New Zealand Disability Strategy Reference Group is available at:http://www.odi.govt.nz/nzds/2016-revision/reference-group/index.html

FUTURE OF EDUCATION: Submissions on the proposed update of the Education Act closed last night 1814 submissions had been received. A report summarising submission themes will be made available on the Ministry’s website in early 2016 here: http://www.education.govt.nz/education-act-udpate.

GOVT FINANCES: The Treasury released its latest forecast for 2016. The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update and Budget Policy Statement are available at:www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2016/bps andwww.treasury.govt.nz/budget/forecasts/hyefu2015

MILK PRICE: The Commerce Commission today released its final report on its statutory review of Fonterra’s Milk Price Manual for the 2015/16 dairy season. Read more: http://bit.ly/1O12jbE

NITROGEN REPORTS: Dairy farmers around the country can access free support to help them come to grips with their farm nitrogen reports and how to use them to support N-loss improvements, thanks to a partnership between Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Fonterra, Tatua and Dairy Women’s Network, and DairyNZ. The link to the resources, including videos and workbooks, is: http://www.ballance.co.nz/Our-CoOp/Sustainability/Farm-Nitrogen-Reports

RHEUMATIC FEVER EVALUATION: The independent evaluation by Allen + Clarke Policy and Regulatory Specialists Ltd describes the rheumatic fever campaign as efficient, effective and relevant. The evalution is available at:http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/evaluation-2015-rheumatic-fever-awareness-campaign

SETTLING IN FUND: A total of $315,820 in funding has been approved for 48 applicants from not-for-profit organisations working with refugees and migrants. The money comes from the Office of Ethnic Communities’ Settling In fund. Read more: http://ethniccommunities.govt.nz/story/2015-2016-settling-funding-round

SEXUAL VIOLENCE COURT: The Law Commission has completed a review of trial processes in sexual violence cases and makes recommendations for change. More details at: http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/our-projects/alternative-models-prosecuting-and-trying-criminal-cases?id=1270

VIOLENCE FREE SAMOAN WOMEN: The report, A malu i ‘āiga, e malu fo’i i fafo: Protection for the family, protection for all, exploring protective factors in keeping Samoan women and girls safe from violence, was developed by the Ministry for Women in partnership with the Ministries for Pacific Island Affairs and Social Development. The report is available http://women.govt.nz/news/keeping-samoan-women-free-violence

And that’s our sampling of “news you can use” for Tuesday 15th December.

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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