NZCTU sends condolences to the United States on the death of President Trumka

Source: CTU

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions sends messages of condolences to the United States trade union movement with the death of President Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO (The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization) the sister organisation of the NZCTU.
“Trumka was a powerhouse, he dedicated his life to improve the working lives of people working in the United States. His sudden and unexpected death is shocking for the international trade union movement,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff.
Trumka had been president of the AFL-CIO, a group of more than 50 unions representing 12.5 million members, since 2009. A third-generation coal miner who rose to power through the United Mine Workers, Trumka had become one of the most powerful labor leaders in the country and a key ally of Democrats in Washington, having worked in some capacity with every Democratic White House the last 30 years.
“Trumka’s leadership and vision for a better future for working people in the United States was an inspiration. He will missed throughout the international trade union movement,” Wagstaff said.

Budgeting – SORTED MONEY WEEK 2021: 1 IN 3 NEW ZEALANDERS IGNORE MONEY

Source: Sorted

PLANNING DUE TO STRESS AND ANXIETY – knowledge, behaviour and mindset influence financial wellbeing –

Sorted Money Week, 9th August, 2021: There’s no such thing as a silly question. That’s what we tell our children, but when it comes to money matters one in three adult Kiwis shy away from finding out more and improving their financial wellbeing.

“Our latest research clearly shows that knowledge, behaviour and an individual’s mindset influence their financial wellbeing. So during this year’s Sorted Money Week (9-15 August) we’re again encouraging New Zealanders to put any embarrassment aside and ask those money questions they’ve been ‘just wondering’ about,” says Retirement Commissioner, Jane Wrightson.

The path to improving the financial capability of New Zealanders forms part of Te Ara Ahunga Ora’s National Strategy for Financial Capability. The Strategy provides a framework for collaboration, communication, and knowledge sharing and will unite the financial capability community to work around three goals, focused on three priority audiences. The objective is to make measurable change toward helping New Zealanders to understand money.

One in Four Kiwis Not Confident With Money

The Financial Capability Survey 2021 shows that one in four[1] Kiwis lacks the confidence to manage their money day to day, plan their financial future or make decisions about financial products and services. 32 percent of 18-64 year olds[2] said “stress and anxiety”  about money matters were the largest barrier to them focusing on their finances.

“People feel they should know more, but in many cases are too afraid to ask. Encouraging kōrero around money increases understanding and how ‘in control’ people feel,” says Wrightson.

This is important as the latest Financial Capability Survey found that, with the exception of people on very low incomes, higher financial confidence positively influences financial wellbeing.

Knowledge Is Power

This Sorted Money Week, Sorted is encouraging Kiwis to ask questions about any and every part of their finances — from big decisions like buying a first home, managing debt and saving for retirement through to everyday budgeting and understanding how to read the terms and conditions in financial products like Buy Now/Pay Later schemes.

“We understand that many people feel uncomfortable talking about money or don’t know where to start. Providing the source is reputable, it doesn’t matter who or how people ask.  If someone feels anxious about revealing ‘what they don’t know’ then they can take advantage of theanonymity of the internet and head to trusted places like Sorted and to learn the basics and progress from there,” says Wrightson.

She says Money Week is about encouraging discussion and exploration plus increasing understanding by providing information that cuts through the jargon.

Investing is on the up

One particular focus this Money Week is providing answers to questions around investing. In the past 12 months 17 percent of 18-34 year olds[3] have made a new financial investment, and it’s one of the areas Sorted gets the most questions about.

“There are a lot of new, accessible investment platforms out there and we want to make sure New Zealanders can find good information about the opportunities and risks so they can make the best decisions for their circumstances,” says Wrightson.

The recent report from the Financial Markets Authority [FMA] shows that a third of investors are taking to platforms due to fear of missing out. It also found they were more likely to base decisions on tips and gossip seen online, than on a company's reports, raising concerns about the financial literacy of new investors.

Buy Now, Pay Later?

Another trend on the rise are Buy Now, Pay Later schemes. Between Q1 and Q2 of 2021their popularity grew 26 percent amongst under-35 year-olds, 30 percent amongst women and 32 percent amongst Maori.

“The products aren’t inherently bad and can be used well when people thoroughly understand the fine print. We just need to remember we’re spending future money and income. Our recommendation is understand what you’re signing up to and mitigate risk by minimising the number of schemes you have at any one time.’.

Resources

The recent Financial Capability Study 2021 found that by increasing our knowledge of and confidence in financial matters and tackling bad habits such as procrastination or impulsivity, New Zealander’s could improve their financial wellbeing. Sorted Money Week aims to provide a range of resources to empower New Zealanders and shine a light on the many financial tools available.

Snapshot

What: Sorted Money Week

When: 9th – 15th August 2021

Why: To help Kiwis feel empowered and confident in their finances

Topics: KiwiSaver, Buying a First Home, Saving, Investing, Budgeting, Money Management and Financial Empowerment.  

Resources: Impartial information, guides and tools could be found at sorted.org.nz

NOTES

Sorted Money Week 9-15 August

Sorted Money Week is an annual campaign run by Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission to help demystify key money topics, bring them to the forefront and provide an inclusive platform for engagement on a subject matter that is often seen as taboo.  

https://retirement.govt.nz/financial-capability/sorted/sorted-money-week/ 

2021 theme: Just wondering

Building upon the success of last year’s campaign ‘Just wondering’, we’re supporting Kiwis to keep the kōrero going and talk more openly about money and ask for help – because any money question is a good question!

We’re encouraging Kiwis to reach out to our safe place, Sorted.org.nz, knowing they’ll be provided with useful, non-judgemental, trusted information across a range of topics including KiwiSaver, budgeting, saving, investing, loans and retirement planning.

Consumer campaign page www.sorted.org.nz/justwondering

Te reo page https://sorted.org.nz/justwondering/putea-sorted/  

Recreation and Safety – Good behaviour could have saved cattle tragedy

Source: New Zealand Walking Access Commission

“There is often a lack of understanding of issues to be aware of when walking or cycling in rural areas, especially on farms. This situation was tragic for both the cattle and the farmers as well as the mountain bikers,” says Walking Access Commission chief executive Ric Cullinane.
The New Zealand Walking Access Commission Ara Hikoi Aotearoa is the Crown agent that specialises in conflict over recreational access to the outdoors.
Cullinane says the stock accident could have been avoided. “It’s important to take the most cautious approach if you’re unsure while on private land.” The Outdoor Access Code has more information.
“We’d advice the landowners to contact us so we can find a sustainable long-term solution to this tragic accident that helps everyone and gets the community working together.”

Health Reforms – Health Minister announces practical framework at GP’s annual conference

Source: Royal NZ College of General Practitioners

Today at GP21: the conference for general practice, Minister for Health Andrew Little announced a new Health System Indicators framework to measure how well the health and disability system serves New Zealanders.
The indicators will replace the previous National Heath targets that were “outdated and led to perverse outcomes,” and will focus on the areas that most need to improve – including Māori and Pacific health. They will be a more realistic measure of how well our health system is functioning.
The news was welcomed by the audience of more than 700 GPs that were there to hear the announcement and open their annual conference.
College President Dr Samantha Murton says, “It’s good to have indicators that will make the health sector look outside the hospital walls to see what changes can be made in the community that will make a true difference to New Zealand’s health outcomes.”
Minister Little stressed these were, “indicators, not targets,” and would allow for solutions to be implemented at local levels to address local health needs.
The audience also received a progress report on the new health reforms that were announced in April and an overview of how the Labour Party is committed to improving New Zealand’s health system.
“The Labour Party is the party of public health, and 20 cents in every dollar currently goes into health.
“Primary health care is essential to the success of these new reforms – it is time to shift the balance,” the Minister said.
GP21: the conference for general practice runs until Sunday 8 August. 

Arts – New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa (Pen NZ Inc) is delighted to announce Tessa Duder as the 2021-2022 NZSA President of Honour

Source: New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa

The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa is delighted to announce that Tessa Duder CNZM OBE is the NZSA 2021-2022 President of Honour.  This prestigious honour is bestowed on a senior writer and long-serving NZSA member in recognition of their contribution to writing and writers and the literary arts sector in Aotearoa.

Of the award, Tessa says: ” To be selected as President of Honour of such an invaluable and successful collective as the New Zealand Society of Authors is a huge privilege. Thank you for this special honour, which carries with it whatever support I can offer to advance the interests of writers at all levels of commitment.”

Tessa Duder CNZM OBE has been a champion of the children's and young adult writing community in Aotearoa for 40 years. Her work for the Storylines Children's Literature Trust Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki o Aotearoa, IBBY and as an NZSA past president is gratefully acknowledged, as well as her encouragement of all writers. Tessa has won the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement, the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship, The Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal for services to children's literature, and numerous awards for her books, in particular the ALEX quartet, which was made into a film, and is currently being scripted for television. This series was prescient in its feminist message for young women and has been an inspiration for thousands. It won her three New Zealand Children's Book of the Year awards and three Esther Glen medals and was published in America, Britain, Australia, Spain, Denmark, The Netherlands, South Africa and Canada. Tessa was one of the Artists in Antarctica and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Waikato in 2008.

NZSA President Mandy Hager says “We’re enormously honoured that Tessa Duder has agreed to take on the role of President of Honour for 2021-2. Not only is she one of Aotearoa’s most beloved and skilled writers for children and adults, but she has also been untiring in her support of other writers, from her excellent work as President of NZSA to her roles in Storylines, IBBY, Writers in Schools, teaching creative writing, and judging (and sponsoring) book and short story awards. She has enriched the whole country with her presence.’

NZSA CEO Jenny Nagle says, “The NZSA is delighted to recognise Tessa Duder's immense contribution to the writing world. We look forward to hearing her 'state of the nation' address about the literary sector in Aotearoa.”

Each year, The NZSA President of Honour delivers the prestigious annual NZSA Janet Frame Memorial Lecture – an event that comments on the literary sector. This year's event will be held at Old Government House,  Auckland University, October 5.

Tessa Duder will be introduced by NZSA President Mandy Hager.

Farming Sector – Competition concerns spook bread wheat growers

Source: Federated Farmers

Uncertainty over restrictive new buying practices and competition from the feed wheat industry has seen the nation’s arable growers cut back on sowing milling wheat – the wheat used for bread.
“It’s worrying that buying practices we believe may be anti-competitive, coming at a time when growers are able to receive better prices for animal feed wheat, may result in New Zealand becoming more reliant on imported milling wheat for a staple food,” Federated Farmers Arable Industry Chairperson Colin Hurst said.
Feds are keen to discuss the situation with the Commerce Commission and have also approached Commerce Minister David Clark.
The just-released 1 July AIMI (Arable Industry Marketing Initiative) survey shows sowing (and intended sowing) of milling wheat crops are down 27% on last season, with growers instead opting to sow wheat for feed. Historically, prices for milling wheat exceeded that of feed wheat, given the additional time and effort required for producing wheat for flour.
Last year there were three buyers purchasing NZ-grown milling wheat for local flour mills. This year just one agent is handling the purchase of milling wheat for two of the buying mills that Feds understands represent up to 60% of the home-grown product. Of further concern is that the agent owns one of the mills, Colin said.
“We’ve just had a draft report from the Commerce Commission that says our supermarket duopoly makes it more expensive for New Zealanders to put food on the table.
“For a staple like bread, surely we want to encourage competition throughout the supply chain and give the right signals to our wheat growers that the pains they go to in growing quality wheat for New Zealanders is valued and suitably rewarded.”
New Zealand already imports around 230,000 tonnes of milling wheat, mostly from Australia. We’d been steadily growing local production to around 110,000 tonnes, making us more resilient to disruption and shipping restrictions from the likes of Covid-19.
“But growers are clearly not being incentivised to grow milling wheat and are voting with their feet by switching to other crops,” Colin said.
“We think the government should be interested in this situation, given the NZ crops and seeds sector has raised gross revenue from $655 million in 2017 to $940 million last year, not to mention the growing interest we’re seeing from New Zealanders in wanting to support locally grown produce.”
Extra information for agricultural publications:
The July AIMI report also found that yields across the six main wheat, barley and oat crops are down 3% overall compared to last season, from a reduced number of hectares sown (down 4%). The net result was a 6% drop in total tonnage produced.
However, a 19% drop in unsold milling wheat was recorded, along with a 15% drop in unsold feed wheat and a 20% drop in unsold feed barley.

Appointments – Predator Free 2050 farewells outgoing CEO, names interim replacement

Source: Predator Free 2050

Predator Free 2050 Ltd has appointed Brett Butland acting Chief Executive while it begins its search to replace Abbie Reynolds, who finishes up with the company this week.
Acting Chair David MacLeod said the Board was proud of Abbie’s contribution to and leadership of the Predator Free mission.
“Abbie’s relentless enthusiasm for conservation and pest eradication has been infectious for all of us. She took the reins as CEO at a time of huge uncertainty for both us and the whole country thanks to Covid, and has worked tirelessly to drive new landscape and research projects and improve our community relationships,” Mr MacLeod said.
“Abbie set out to listen and learn from the communities we work with to make sure we act as a genuine partner in the projects we support, not merely a service contractor. As a result, we now work in a way that is in service to the iwi, hapū, communities, businesses, landowners, philanthropists and Councils who are doing the work to eradicate stoats, rats and possums across Aotearoa.
“The Predator Free team and our supporters are sad to see Abbie go, but we have no doubt that we will cross paths again given her ongoing commitment to protecting Aotearoa’s biodiversity. We wish her all the best for the future.”
Some of the highlights over the past year include:
-Contracting 14 new landscape projects, bringing the total to 20, three of which are iwi-led, covering more than 800,000 hectares in total
-Supporting projects to make meaningful differences in their communities through employment and learning additional skills. For example, working with the Korehāhā Whakahau project to improve the life skills of Whakatāne rangatahi by helping them get their driver’s licenses as part of their project work
-Bringing to market five new tools for predator managers supported by ‘Products to Projects’ Provincial Growth Funding
-The publication of predator control Data Standards, the first step to everyone involved in Predator Free sharing their data and coordinating their efforts
-The publication of our new Research Strategy, driving to achieve multiple scientific breakthroughs that will step-change landscape-scale predator eradication by 2025
-Supporting six early-career researchers to develop the new science capability that New Zealand needs to achieve these breakthroughs, through Jobs for Nature funding
-Collaborating on funding Fight for the Wild documentary to increase public awareness.
Mr MacLeod said the appointment of Brett Butland as interim CEO would ensure a smooth transition to new permanent leadership.
“Brett has been with us as Senior Project Support Manager since October 2020 and in that role has been involved in everything we do. We look forward to working with him to help lead us as we get set to announce a series of new projects in what is shaping up to be a busy 2021.”
About Predator Free 2050 Ltd
Predator Free 2050 Limited is a Crown-owned, charitable company established to help deliver the New Zealand government’s ambitious goal of eradicating possums, stoats and rats by 2050.
We provide co-funding to enable predator control and eradication projects at large landscape scale and the breakthrough science needed to underpin them.
Learn more about who we are and what we do at https://pf2050.co.nz/.  

Horticulture Awards – Several other winners announced at the Horticulture Conference

Source: Horticulture New Zealand

Several other people important to the New Zealand horticulture industry – in addition to Mike Chapman who was awarded the Bledisloe Cup for horticulture – received awards at the Horticulture Conference gala dinner on 5 August at Mystery Creek.
Environmental Award
Emma and Jay Clarke of Woodhaven Gardens in the Horowhenua won the Environmental Award.
Woodhaven Gardens are leaders in sustainable growing, investing significantly in reducing environmental impact, adopting a science-led approach that balances conservation with commercial success.
The Clarkes are leaders in research for the vegetable industry – contributing time, money and land in order to measure and provide evidence. Their large-scale fresh vegetable growing operation is driving change in environmental sustainability, shifting growing areas to reduce nitrogen loss and minimise the impact on freshwater quality.
President’s Trophy
Kylie Faulkner, who was elected as the first woman president of the Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association in 2019, won the President’s Trophy. This award recognises passion for working on behalf of New Zealand’s horticulture industry, as well as commitment to developing as a business leader and successful grower.
Kylie says she was were born to vegetable growing, ‘being put in an onion bin as a young child when my parents did not want me to get run over in the packhouse’.
Twelve years ago, Kylie returned to the family business and says that ‘to be successful, growers always need to be smarter about the way they grow’.
As president of the Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association, Kylie has strenuously advocated for growers in the areas of land use, the environment and labour. During Auckland’s lockdowns, Kylie helped ensure that Pukekohe growers could continue to pick, pack and transport their produce, to New Zealanders around the country.
Industry Service Awards
Industry Service Awards are for people who have provided long-standing and significant service to the New Zealand Horticulture Industry. There were three winners this year.
Tim Jones has just stepped down as Chair of Summerfruit New Zealand, a position he held for five years. He has been Chief Executive of 45 South Management for more than 20 years as is passionate about summerfruit, willingly sharing his knowledge and expertise, and advocating for the industry. Covid has seen Tim focusing on labour and ensuring summerfruit can get to export markets, despite ongoing freight issues.
Brent Mathieson is described as a ‘totally committed and loyal servant to the New Zealand horticulture industry’. Brent started his horticulture career in 1979. He has focused on seed, in particular, sweetcorn and dwarf bean varieties for processing but as Brent has neared retirement, he’s looked at outdoor crops such as cauliflower, onions, broccoli, lettuce and carrots.
David Watts left the commercial world more than 30 years ago to take up kiwifruit and avocado orcharding in Katikati.
David has filled many grower representation roles, at New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated and the Katikati Fruit Growers’ Association, as chairman and as an executive member. David has never stopped giving time and energy to the horticulture industry. He has contributed to more than 40 government submissions and has only just stepped down as Fruit News editor and advertising manager.
Life membership award
Life Membership of Horticulture New Zealand is awarded to people who have provided distinguished and honourable services to Horticulture New Zealand and the industry for at least 10 years. Two industry stalwarts have been bestowed life membership this year.
Leon Stallard has made an enormous contribution to the apple and pear industry for more than 20 years. Leon became President of the Hawkes Bay Fruit Growers Association in 2005 and in this role, established the Young Grower of The Year Competition as a national event.
Leon was elected to the HortNZ Board in 2014 and served until 2020. During this time, Leon played a key role in ensuring the horticulture industry was better understood by government, so they took the industry’s unique characteristics into account in their decisions.
Lex Dillion retired last year after 38 years of working in the horticulture industry. He was involved in the introduction of plastic crate pooling and returnable packing in New Zealand.
Lex has held several governance roles in the tomato and covered crop industries since 2019. Most recently, Lex was on the advisory board that set up the ‘A Lighter Touch’ agroecology project, which is to ‘shift the focus of crop protection, and integrate biological and ecological processes into food production’.

Horticulture Sector – Mike Chapman wins Bledisloe Cup for horticulture

Source: Horticulture New Zealand

Mike Chapman, until recently Chief Executive of Horticulture New Zealand, has won the Bledisloe Cup for significant services to horticulture for more than 20 years.
HortNZ President, Barry O’Neil, says Mike's advocacy for the horticultural industry has been untiring, forceful, and balanced.
‘Mike always acts with the aim of achieving the best outcomes for growers and orchardists, and indeed, the New Zealand economy and health of its people through access to nutritious, locally grown food.
‘Mike has firmly stood for growers on key issues such as protecting elite soils, ensuring growers maintain their social license to grow and, hand in hand with that, ensuring growers remain economically viable in a fast-changing environment.’
Mike’s career in the horticulture industry has spanned more than 20 years. He has been a leader, advocate and lobbyist, but perhaps most of all, an enthusiast for the industry.
Swapping his legal-focused work for kiwifruit, Mike took up the role of Kiwifruit New Zealand Chief Executive in 2002 and then in 2005, he became New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated Chief Executive. Ten years later in 2015, Mike picked up the reigns as Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive, a position he held until June this year.
But after stepping down, Mike has continued to work on the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme. Mike was instrumental in the Government’s decision in early August to permit RSE workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu, to enter New Zealand without the need for managed isolation.
The Bledisloe Cup for horticulture was first presented in 1931 by the then Governor-General Lord Bledisloe, for a competition between orchardists for the best exhibit of New Zealand apples at the Imperial Fruit Show.
It is one of several cups Lord Bledisloe presented to New Zealand and is similar to rugby’s Bledisloe Cup, which was also donated in 1931.

Cancer Society welcomes Dr Shane Reti’s Member’s Bill pulled from ballot

Source: Cancer Society

National Party MP Dr Shane Reti’s Member’s Bill has been pulled from the ballot today and would see unfunded chemotherapy drugs administered in public hospitals.

The Member’s Bill proposes a law change that would allow DHBs to administer, and cover the cost of administering, day-stay cancer medicines where PHARMAC does not fund them. Families would still need to find money to fund the medicines but would be saved the private hospital costs of administering the medicines.

Cancer Society of New Zealand Chief Executive Lucy Elwood says “We are very aware that financial strain goes hand in hand with a cancer diagnosis even before factoring in unfunded drugs. Many people struggle with affordability around the basics like taking time off work during treatment and transportation to appointments.”

“The Bill will ease the burden for those New Zealanders who pay, sometimes through Go Fund Me pages and mortgage deferment, for unfunded drugs. The hospital cost to administer these drugs can be up to one third of the total expense. We certainly acknowledge the difference this could make.”

“However, we are optimistic that this will be the beginning of a conversation and we will provide a submission if the Bill reaches Select Committee. This Bill will make a difference to some, but it is one component in a very complex puzzle. To expect one Bill to confront the issues of cancer care in Aotearoa is like expecting one financial policy to solve housing affordability – but it can be a starting place.”

“We are committed to ensuring the voices of cancer patients are heard and currently we are working with the Government on changes to the Health and Disability System and have provided a submission to the PHARMAC review.”

“There is much progress to be made and we look forward to continuing the conversation and using this as an opportunity to explore the complications that need to be addressed in order to achieve an equitable, less-stressed health system that meets the needs of all New Zealanders.”

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