NZ Super Fund thriving
The Coalition Government’s decision to re-start contributions to the New Zealand Super Fund has been further supported. This week, an independent report has shown that the New Zealand Super Fund is operating at global best practice.
The Super Fund has grown by $3.7 billion over the past year to $43 billion – a pre-tax return of seven percent.
“The result beat the Fund’s reference benchmark. It was a solid performance given the current global economic volatility, and shows the Super Fund is well-run.
“The Government is proud to have restarted contributions to the Super Fund, with more than $9 billion to be invested over five years,” said Minister of Finance Grant Robertson.
New Zealand renews support for maritime security in the Middle East
This week, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark have announced New Zealand will contribute five Defence Force personnel to a multinational taskforce based in Bahrain from December 2019. They will be focused on countering terrorist activity, narcotics, smuggling and piracy.
New Zealand has made various contributions to Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), a 16-nation naval counterterrorism partnership which operates across the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean, since 2010.
“Maritime security and deescalating regional tensions continue to be key areas of importance for New Zealand,” said Mr Peters.
“New Zealand supports maritime security in the Middle East, that’s why we will again be deploying NZDF staff officers to CTF 150.
“New Zealand has contributed personnel, ships and planes to CTF 150 since 2010. These contributions have led to a number of successful outcomes including several high-profile interdictions of vessels carrying out illegal acts including drug smuggling,” said Mr Mark.
Production of new Lord of the Rings series confirmed for New Zealand
New Zealand will be the production location for Amazon Studios new series based on the Lord of the Rings. New Zealand’s selection as the production base ahead of other countries demonstrates the how far the country has come as a player in the highly competitive global screen industry.
“The new Lord of the Rings series, along with other significant screen projects underway or in development, provides New Zealand with a global stage to demonstrate our skills, innovation and outstanding natural beauty.
“We welcome Amazon’s interest in New Zealand and hope to build from this to develop a fruitful partnership as this new journey begins,” Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said.
Government delivers aquaculture industry plan
This week, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash released the Governments strategy for the aquaculture industry. The strategy will build on that foundation, setting out a plan for Government to support the industry over the next seven years, built around objectives and actions needed to realise a productive, sustainable, resilient, and inclusive aquaculture industry.
This is a major step towards the Coalition Agreement commitment to recognise the potential for aquaculture in promoting regional economic growth. The plan includes a goal to deliver economic growth and jobs for the regions for it to become a $3 billion industry by 2035.
“Aquaculture contributes significantly to regional development. It generated over $600 million in revenue in 2018, and employed 3,000 people, especially in the regions. There is real potential for aquaculture to enrich our economy and our global reputation with Government, Iwi and Industry coming together,” said Mr Nash.
Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Bill passes
A new Crown agency to transform housing and urban development throughout New Zealand has been established after the Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Bill.
Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Bill passed its third and final reading in Parliament this week. Public housing tenants can expect world-class public housing services through the new government provider that’s focus will be on will be on building up New Zealand’s stock of public housing, and maintaining and improving the quality of existing properties, with a strong focus on promoting the wellbeing of current and future generations. The passing of the legislation brings together the KiwiBuild unit, Housing New Zealand and its development subsidiary, HLC, plus their people, resources and assets to tackle the national housing crisis.
The legislation also removes the ability of future Governments to sell-off state homes and removes the requirement for state housing to return a dividend to the Crown.
“This is the time to make this important change. Critical functions and expertise are split up across multiple agencies, and with the passing of this legislation, we’ll have one unified agency that can deliver the Government’s Build Programme,” said Housing Minister Megan Woods.