$9 million in new classrooms for two Auckland schools

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Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye announced today $9 million funding for new classrooms at Auckland schools Mt Albert Grammar and St Thomas’s School in Kohimarama.

“The Government will provide funding for 21 new classrooms at Mt Albert Grammar as part of a $6 million rebuilding and expansion project,” Ms Kaye says. “And will contribute funding to a new two-storey classroom block at St Thomas’s School, as part of a $3 million building replacement and expansion project.

“The Auckland region is growing rapidly and the Ministry of Education anticipates that up to 600 new classrooms will be needed across the region over the next four years. The new buildings for Mt Albert Grammar and St Thomas’s School are part of a broader classroom building programme provided for in Budget 2013, which will address the capacity needs for the region.

“Nineteen of the Mt Albert Grammar classrooms will accommodate roll growth and two will replace older buildings. The new buildings include 11 standard classrooms and 10 specialist classrooms, all of which will meet modern learning environment standards.

“Until the classrooms are completed, temporary accommodation is being used to support the school’s roll.

“The new block at St Thomas’s will include 12 classrooms, as well as breakout spaces and a resource area.

“St Thomas’s roll has been growing significantly. This project will accommodate that growth with buildings that meet modern learning environment standards and will replace old classrooms that are either in the way of the new building or are beyond modernisation.

“The Government has good plans in place to match expanding school rolls in areas where population grow is rapid, such as Auckland, and these new classrooms are part of that plan,” Ms Kaye says

Minister presents civil defence awards

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Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye today presented the second round of Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) gold and silver awards at an event at Parliament.

“Recipients of these awards deserve recognition at the national level,” Ms Kaye says.

“Through their efforts they have made a vital contribution to our wellbeing as a nation and they are the backbone of New Zealand communities when there is a crisis.

“They have been there to serve their communities with practical assistance at times of great need. I am delighted to present these gold and silver awards.”

Gold awards

Orion New Zealand Limited, which owns and operates the electricity distribution network covering central Canterbury. Orion has set the benchmark for resilience for all providers and operators of lifeline utilities in New Zealand. Strengthened sub-stations, resilient communications and network information systems, a well led and highly motivated work team, and planned staff supplementation enable Orion to quickly understand impacts and outages. The 2010-11 Canterbury earthquakes and the strong winds and snow of 2013 proved the value of Orion’s investment to Canterbury’s communities and businesses, and to New Zealand’s economy.

Simon Markham, Recovery Manager for the Waimakariri District Council. Following the earthquakes of 2010-11, Simon delivered a resoundingly successful community-focussed recovery operation that has been recognised in Waimakariri, Canterbury, nationally and increasingly, internationally. Simon shouldered the responsibility without hesitation. He devised the recovery plan and oversaw its implementation. His brilliant thinking, tenacity, leadership, quiet confidence and co-operative spirit produced a recovery plan focussed singularly on the well-being of the people. His work has greatly assisted the physical rebuild of Waimakariri communities and also their morale, confidence and psychological well-being.

Silver awards

Jennifer Rowan, recent Chair of the Wellington CDEM Group and Mayor of Kapiti, for her outstanding public leadership and significant personal courage in advocating for reform in the Wellington CDEM Group.

Jim Frater, Nelson-Tasman CDEM Group Controller, for his outstanding leadership and ability as a controller in managing numerous responses.

Basil Morrison, Chair of Local Government Commission, for outstanding leadership in the Waikato region at times of crisis, and many years’ service as a local controller and elected official.

Kim Manahi, Emergency Preparedness Co-ordinator for the Ngai Tahu Runaka, for outstanding initiative and commitment to helping local communities be better prepared for a civil defence emergency, and ensuring marae are well-prepared to look after whanau, the community, response workers, and manuhiri that might need assistance in an emergency.

Jonathan Davies, Gisborne CDEM Group Controller, through outstanding leadership and management has developed strong and collaborative relationships with response partners, emergency services, and local businesses that have significantly enhanced CDEM in the Gisborne District.

Opening address Emergency Management & Business Resilience Summit, Wellington

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Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Thank you all for your warm welcome; it’s a pleasure to be here this morning. I would first like to acknowledge:

  • John Hamilton, Director of the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management;
  • our co-chairs Jon Mitchell and Jaimes Wood;
  • our international visitors and speakers, including keynote speakers Richard Serino, Deputy Administrator, and Desiree Matel-Anderson, former Chief Innovations Advisor, of the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency;
  • also Professor Craig E. Colton of Louisiana State University and the Water Institute of the Gulf;
  • and finally, Lianne Dalziel, Mayor of Christchurch.

Traditionally, this conference has focused on civil defence emergency management (CDEM), and the public sector.

This year, however, the traditional CDEM conference and a separate conference for business resilience planning for emergencies have been combined.

I applaud this initiative of the conference organisers. Both the public and private sector have roles to play in emergency preparedness, and this is done most effectively through collaboration.

Collaboration between the public, private and voluntary sectors is vital to building a resilient nation.

Our framework

As you will be well aware, New Zealand’s geology and unique location means living with natural hazards and risk is inescapable. Managing that risk is critical to our ability to prosper as a nation. 

Our approach is to generate resilience – ensuring New Zealanders understand the risks they face, and have the capacity to manage those risks, respond, recover and adapt from any emergencies.

The Canterbury earthquakes were the biggest test yet of our disaster risk management framework. Despite the tragedy and costs, the experience showed that, overall, our CDEM framework works well. 

Our framework was again tested last year with storms and earthquakes, and we kicked off 2014 with a magnitude 6.2 earthquake centred in the lower North Island.

As we strive for excellence in CDEM, key issues that will be discussed here today will provide us with valuable insights on how we can all share the management of emergency preparedness, response and recovery through collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and experience.

Learning from the Canterbury earthquakes

On 22 February we commemorated three years since the 2011, 6.3 magnitude Canterbury earthquake. I would like to acknowledge those of you in this room that were both on the front lines and in support roles during this time. In the middle of a national tragedy, you were forced to make the hardest decisions in the most difficult circumstances. Thank you.

What the earthquakes showed was the absolute importance of communities and organisations, including lifeline utilities, investing in risk reduction, being prepared, and having effective emergency plans in place and exercised.

The earthquakes also showed the importance of individual responsibility, and the value of community connectedness.

By involving individuals and communities in risk reduction and readiness, they will better understand those risks and how their community might respond, without needing to wait for formal intervention.

Civil Defence priorities

One of this Government’s top priorities remains the Christchurch rebuild.

It is estimated that the rebuild will have a total cost of around $40 billion. The Government’s contribution to the rebuild is expected to be about $15 billion.

The recovery in Canterbury has been strong, with positive effects on the region stretching beyond the construction sector. Apart from the 4200 construction jobs that have been created in the year to September 2013, in the same period, 9900 new jobs were created in retail trade, accommodation and food services.

The Christchurch rebuild is progressing. Construction will continue to grow rapidly, and there will be very obvious progress throughout 2014.

In my Civil Defence portfolio, I aim to continue implementing the recommendations from the Independent Review of the Response to the Canterbury Earthquakes.

Even though the review concluded that the emergency response was, on the whole, well managed and effective, there is still room for improvement. 

Many of our high priority actions are underway – reviews of the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan; arrangements for delivering welfare services in an emergency; and a review of the Coordinated Incident Management System.

A review of our recovery legislation is also underway, which will strengthen those parts of the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Act 2002 that provide for recovery from emergencies of small to large scale. I hope to introduce proposed amendments into the House this year.

There is also a review underway of the Building Act 2004 to support post-disaster building management and to manage earthquake prone-buildings.

Other important areas for action to generate resilience include enhancing community involvement in CDEM planning and preparedness, by harnessing and focusing community initiatives; and improving readiness in the business sector.

Moving the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

As many of you will know, the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management is being transferred to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC). This is a positive move for the Ministry, and will strengthen our country’s ability to respond to, and plan for, major disasters. It will provide the Ministry with a better platform to plan and manage across government for large scale events like the Canterbury earthquakes.

This transfer will strengthen the agency. Our civil defence emergency management system is world-leading in involving communities and local government in emergency management.

However, I believe there is a need to strengthen our ability to coordinate planning and management for large-scale events.

This shift will help achieve this and ensure there is improved planning across Government.

CDEM and its relationship with businesses

New Zealand’s approach to CDEM is mature and effective.

The Government has invested in science, research and monitoring which underpins our prioritisation of the four Rs: reduction, readiness, response and recovery.

Our investment in awareness campaigns such as Get Ready, Get Thru, the Drop Cover, and Hold earthquake messages, and the Earthquake Commission’s Fix. Fasten. Don’t Forget. campaign, all help to save lives and protect homes.

This work is supported by similarly mature and effective support from businesses.

A strong and successful relationship already exists between MCDEM and lifeline utilities as listed in the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Act 2002. These businesses are critical to supporting communities before, during and after an emergency. We have some excellent examples of lifeline utilities’ performance in an emergency.

For example, during the Canterbury earthquakes, Orion, the Airways Corporation, Christchurch International Airport, Lyttelton Port Company, and various radio and television broadcasters and telecommunications providers were among those that supported the response and assisted communities.

Other businesses beyond the Canterbury earthquakes have also stepped up.

Businesses like Fonterra have provided storm response teams to assist dairy farmers, and deployed milk tankers as water tankers.

Our fast-moving consumer goods sector, supermarkets, and the transport sector, are further examples of businesses that are putting plans in place to be ready and able to respond to emergencies.

Small to medium-sized enterprises

What I’ve just outlined shows that we already have strong and effective relationships with large enterprises in New Zealand.

CDEM in New Zealand is also focused on building better links with small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and improving New Zealand’s overall business resilience.

SMEs make up roughly 97 per cent of all enterprise in New Zealand, and contribute an estimated 27.8 per cent to New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product.

The devastating impact that disasters have on these businesses was abundantly clear after the Canterbury earthquakes. SMEs can also have business interruptions after emergencies, like storms and flooding.

This conference will cover a number of areas related to business resilience planning, including:

Corporate citizenship and the integration of mid to large businesses into early response planning stages; With a new technology to a faster recovery of business; and The role of fuel supply chain in case of emergencies.

Some fantastic initiatives have already been undertaken to support SMEs to enable them to continue to operate and offer employment, and to contribute to the local economy.

One example of this is the Government’s employer subsidy, introduced after the Canterbury earthquakes. This subsidy greatly assisted employers and employees of SMEs to get back on their feet, and reduce some of the stress being experienced.

Later today you will hear from Peter Townsend of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce. Peter was instrumental in getting Canterbury businesses up and running again after the earthquake. He will have examples of initiatives that work in helping SMEs in an emergency.

The CDEM sector should do more to encourage local SMEs to be better prepared, not because they have a formal role in a response, but because they are a critical part of the community. 

Without them operating, the community at large will suffer. 

Working with SMEs with a focus on business resilience is an integral part of civil defence planning.  I am confident that we can take resilience to the next level in New Zealand, and face future CDEM challenges with the assurance that all areas of our community are ready, and able to contribute to the response and recovery.

I would like to take this opportunity as the Minister of Civil Defence, on behalf of the Government, to thank you all for your dedication and commitment to civil defence emergency management. You can all be proud of your work and your achievements.

If we are to succeed in managing these hazards and making New Zealanders resilient to the hazards we face, we must work together, learn from each other’s experiences, and collaborate to ensure the best outcome for all New Zealanders.

It is my pleasure to be with you this morning, and I declare the summit open.

Improving business resilience key focus of conference

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Collaboration between the public and private sectors improves emergency preparedness, Civil Defence Nikki Kaye said today at the annual Emergency Management Conference in Wellington.

“It is significant that this conference has been combined with the Business Resilience Summit for the first time this year,” Ms Kaye says.

“This is part of civil defence emergency management (CDEM) building better links with small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and improving New Zealand’s overall business resilience.

“The conference will cover a number of areas related to business resilience planning including: Corporate citizenship and the integration of mid to large businesses into early response planning stages; With a new technology to a faster recovery of business; and The role of fuel supply chain in case of emergencies.

“The devastating impact that disasters have on these businesses was abundantly clear after the Canterbury earthquakes. SMEs can also have business interruptions after emergencies like storms and flooding.

“Without many SMEs operating, the community at large will suffer. So it is important that CDEM and SMEs work together on planning for business continuity during and after emergency events and major disasters.”

SMEs make up about 97 per cent of all enterprise in New Zealand and contribute an estimated 27.8 per cent to New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product.

“These businesses are a crucial part of our communities. Yet CDEM has not previously had strong links with them. I hope this combined conference will change that,” Ms Kaye says.

“CDEM links and planning with lifeline utilities, large businesses and business organisations are well established. They have proved their worth in Christchurch, and in other emergencies before and after the February 2011 earthquake.

“Public education campaigns, run by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) and EQC are creating public awareness. Councils and regional CDEM Groups increasingly include community involvement in CDEM planning and preparedness.

“Working with SMEs with a focus on business resilience is an integral part of civil defence planning and will enable us to build more resilient communities,” Ms Kaye says.

School digital hubs now possible

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Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye says from today schools with ultra-fast broadband can share their fibre connections with their local communities.

“Last November, I announced that the government had agreed to progress schools with ultra-fast broadband having the option to become digital hubs for their communities. I am delighted to confirm that this can now happen, with the Ministry of Education releasing its policy and guidelines today,” Ms Kaye says.

“Schools may operate under one of two models. Under an ‘extended school wide area network’ model, a school’s wireless hub extends access to the school network beyond the physical boundaries of the school, creating opportunities for students and teachers to take advantage of the school’s network while at home.

“Alternatively, schools may operate under a ‘school as a community internet hub’ model, where the board chooses to share the physical fibre connection with a retail service provider. The retail service provider can then use the fibre to provide a commercial public internet service to the community.

“Connecting to ultra-fast broadband provides opportunities not only to learners, teachers and school administrators, but also to the wider community around the school. This is especially the case for remote, rural communities or communities that struggle to afford access to the internet.

“If a school board allows the ultra-fast broadband infrastructure to be used in ways that benefit more than the school, they become a community digital hub.

“This arrangement will not suit every school. However, I think for certain rural and less connected communities, who have not had broadband or reliable connectivity, there will be benefits.

“This initiative is well aligned with other Government initiatives supporting digital technologies in schools. For instance, the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband to schools, the School Network Upgrade Project and the implementation of the Network for Learning managed network,” Ms Kaye says.

Guidelines for schools and board of trustees and other related information are now available on the Ministry’s website www.minedu.govt.nz/DigitalHubs.

The Ministry is also providing school boards with access to expertise if they are contemplating entering into digital hub arrangements and to assist schools finalise contracts as required by the guidelines.

“I am very pleased to be making this announcement today. This initiative will provide schools, students and teachers with more educational opportunities beyond the traditional confines of the school gates. More students will be able to take advantage of learning with digital technologies outside of the school environment, irrespective of whether they have ultra-fast broadband in their home,” Ms Kaye says.

Working group set up to improve dairy traceability

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Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye today announced a working group set up to improve dairy traceability.

“The independent Government Inquiry into the Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) Contamination Incident highlighted the importance of effective systems for dairy traceability,” Mr Guy says.

“The Inquiry recommended lifting the dairy sector’s ability to trace products and ingredients through a working group focusing on regulatory and worldwide best practices.”

“Improving the traceability of dairy products will further protect the public in the event of a suspected food safety issue,” Ms Kaye says.

“The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is well advanced in setting up a working group that will be headed by independent chair Dr John Larkindale.

“The working group will include representatives from the dairy and wider food industries and will investigate possible changes to regulations and industry practices to improve food and ingredient traceability,” Ms Kaye says.

The traceability working group will report to MPI Director General Martyn Dunne.  Members will be appointed from:

  • Food and Grocery Council
  • New Zealand Retailers Association
  • GS1 New Zealand
  • Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) representative of large-scale manufacturers
  • DCANZ representative of small-scale producers of retail-ready dairy products
  • Infant Nutrition Council
  • New Zealand Infant Formula Exporters’ Association
  • One member each from MPI and AsureQuality

“MPI advises me that the group’s membership will be finalised this month and it will have its first meeting in March to determine its terms of reference and work programme, including timeframes for reporting back,” Ms Kaye says.

“Collectively the group will have a range of important skills, including an understanding of best practice for traceability at a regulatory and industry level; first-hand knowledge of how dairy supply chains work; international experience; and experience with New Zealand’s regulatory frameworks,” Mr Guy says.

“The independent inquiry into last year’s WPC incident found that New Zealand’s food safety regulatory model for dairy is consistent with international principles and is among the best in the world. These changes will further strengthen the system.”

“It is crucial for government and industry to work together on this issue. In order to have full traceability, both government and industry systems must be robust and aligned,” Ms Kaye says.

Applications open for council youth funding

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Youth Affairs Minister Nikki Kaye has announced that from today, the Ministry of Youth Development will be accepting applications from city and district councils to the Youth Development Partnership Fund.

There is a total of $889,000 for allocation with between $10,000 and $70,000 available per project.

“The point of this fund is get young people involved in and leading projects that are meaningful to them and their communities,” Ms Kaye says.

“It enables young people to develop leadership skills, volunteer in their community, and celebrate the great things that many of them are doing.”

An example of a successful project is the Clutha District Council that received $15,000 in 2013 to develop and build the skills of Clutha District youth so they can lead community projects and events.

“There are over 800,000 12 to 24 year olds in New Zealand and it is important their communities give them opportunities to have a say and be involved,” Ms Kaye says.

Since the launch of the Youth Development Partnership Fund in 2005, 59 city and district councils have been supported to work with young people. 

Applications close midday on Friday 4 April 2014.

For more information go to: http://www.myd.govt.nz/funding/youth-development-partnership-fund.html

Police foot patrols in Auckland City up by 189%

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There were more than 10,300 police foot patrols in the Auckland City Police District in 2013 – up from 3,580 in 2011.

Police are continuing to increase their focus on crime prevention.  Part of their approach to building safer communities means using police resources better, so police can spend less time behind a desk, and more time out in their neighbourhoods.

All frontline officers now have smartphones, and most have tablets, which gives them an extra 30 minutes a shift out in their communities to focus on preventing crime.

Our local Police do a fantastic job and it’s great to see more of them out and about in Auckland Central.

Delivering better public services is one of National’s four priorities, and  Police are well on track to meet our Better Public Service targets of reducing the crime rate by 15 per cent, and the reoffending rate by 25 per cent by 2017.

The Prevention First Strategy, Neighbourhood Policing Teams, and the huge increase in foot patrols are showing results – recorded crime is at the lowest level in 33 years.

 

80 percent of schools registered for managed network

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Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye says 2000 schools have now registered their interest in joining the Network for Learning (N4L) managed network, with 150 already connected.

“This Government is investing $211 million to provide schools with safe, predictable and fast internet with uncapped data, content filtering and network security services,” Ms Kaye says.

 “We are focused on ensuring every student can benefit from technology to achieve their best, no matter where they are in New Zealand.

“Across the country, schools are starting to gain access to reliable, ultra-fast broadband from N4L, regardless of their location and with no cost or data cap. This enables the use of state-of-the-art digital technology in classrooms and allows students and teachers to explore innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

“The pace at which schools are connecting to the Government-funded managed network service is encouraging, and we’re expecting 700 schools to connect by the end of this year. All schools will be invited to connect by 2016.

“A fully-funded connection to the N4L network includes the cost of online content filtering and network security services. With increasing use of digital technologies, these services are more important than ever to ensure schools can provide secure and safe internet access for students and staff,” Ms Kaye says.

An interactive map of all the schools that are using, or in the process of connecting to, the N4L managed network can be viewed at http://www.n4l.co.nz/managednetwork/rollout/

Further information for schools about connecting to the managed network is available from the Ministry’s Enabling e-Learning website http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Ministry-initiatives/Connecting-to-the-N4L-managed-network

Funding for LGBTI youth plan

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Youth Affairs Minister Nikki Kaye today announced $55,000 in funding through the Ministry of Youth Development to help strengthen services available to LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender or intersex) youth.

There are a number of organisations around New Zealand that have been delivering health and services to LGBTI youth but they need to be able to better co-ordinate a plan to address issues like bullying and suicide,” Ms Kaye says.

“Research shows that young people from the LGBTI community face higher rates of bullying, and are more likely to have attempted suicide than other youth.

“This funding will support a range of LGBTI organisations to develop a plan to better address these issues. The plan will also provide a view on how to ensure services are provided to young people in a sustainable way.

“I also want to encourage and support better access for LGBTI youth to development and leadership opportunities. This could be a deliverable of the plan.”

The Ministry of Youth Development will work with key LGBTI youth-focused organisations to ensure everyone who wants to make a contribution to improving service accessibility and effectiveness has the opportunity to do so.

“It is important that we have good information about LGBTI young people,” Ms Kaye says.

The Ministry of Youth Development will work with the University of Auckland to analyse the most recent information obtained from young people through Youth 2012 The health and wellbeing of secondary school students in New Zealand: Results for young people attracted to the same sex or both sexes.

A report will be produced for researchers, interested groups and government agencies to use for planning and service development purposes.