Sunday, May 18, 2008
May 2008 re: NZ CITY, NewstalkZB News
State house tenants say the sooner the Government starts insulating their homes, the better.
This week's Budget will include $53 million to make all state houses warmer and dryer within five years.
Peter Petterson has been in his state house in the Lower Hutt suburb of Taita for a number of years now and says the upgrade is much needed. Houses will be insulated against the cold. State houses are particulourly damp at their southern ends.
"They are cold, you've got to use heaters. Some of the older people stick on some more clothes and blankets."
Mr Petterson says it is a shame the upgrade is happening after his children have grown up and moved out, but at least his grandchildren will benefit when they come to stay.
The Labour - led Government is to be congratulated for the impending upgrades on state houses. National had the opportunity during the 1990's to insulate houses but chose just to redecorate them to assist in its privatisation programe to sell off state houses.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Thank you for your message regarding timber imports and illegal logging.
I share your concerns over the sale of illegal timber in New Zealand and the government is taking practical steps to do something about it.
Over the next few months we will be conducting an assessment of the practicality of introducing a regulatory requirement for suppliers to produce evidence that wood products are sourced from a legally harvested forest. In addition we will be working to encourage stronger public and private sector awareness and action to help address this problem.
In future the government will require its own departments to seek timber and wood products from legally harvested sources and to take all reasonable steps to ensure that those products are from sustainably managed forests.
In addition, our policy recognises the need to work with other countries to find long term solutions to help stop illegal logging at its source. Currently my officials are drafting a comprehensive strategy for international engagement to help guide this work.
Illegal logging is a complex problem and it will take time and effort to address it. But we are committed to doing that through the goals that we have set ourselves.
For more information on the illegal logging policy you may like to visit: Ministry of Agriculture andd Forestry Website
Minister of Forestry
M P for Wigram and Leader of the Progressive Party
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Maori culture has been linked to criminal gang behaviour in a documentary on the Mongrel Mob, part of an award-winning British series on the world's most notorious gangs.
The Mongrel Mob episode will not be aired in New Zealand something which has been widely debated. TV1 is screening the third series of Ross Kemp on Gangs but says it could not buy the episode because it was never cleared for international distribution.
However, it is understood that before Mob members would agree to be filmed, they signed a contract with the British producers preventing the show screening here. Canterbury University associate professor of sociology Greg Newbold was involved in the documentary's research and production and he understood there was such an agreement.
He said the contract would have been signed because Mob members did not know how they would be portrayed and they would have wanted to protect themselves against bad publicity.
The programme, which has appeared on UK television and is available on the internet, has sparked debate around the anti-social consequences of Maori identifying with a "warrior" culture.
It comes less than two years since New Zealand scientist Rod Lea controversially found an over-representation of a so-called "warrior" gene in Maori men. The gene was supposed to predispose people to risk-taking and antisocial behaviour.
Mongrel Mob members spoken to by host Ross Kemp British soap opera star turned journalist attribute their blood lust to a Maori fighting tradition.
Kemp explores the history of the gang, which was formed in Hastings in the 1960s. He follows members into clubhouses around the North Island, and examines their feud with the Black Power gang.
He interviews victims, including the mother of 16-year-old Colleen Burrows who was brutally kicked and beaten to death by Mob members in Napier in 1987.
Members also boast about putting women "on the block", stabbings and other acts of violence.