Both the Tararua and Central Hawke’s Bay District Councils will each receive millions of dollars from the Government following its plans to take control of NZ’s water infrastructure.
Last month Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced a plan to create four new water entities covering the entire country.
Yesterday, at a Local Government NZ conference in Blenheim, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a $2.5 billion fund to ensure that “no council is worse off as a result of the reforms”.
She said the package seeks to ensure Councils are better off despite the change to their asset base.
The Tararua District Council would receive $15,185,454 under the proposal, with the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council $11,339,488.
Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has said that all water assets would remain in local ownership and a referendum would be required for any privatisation down the track.
The Police Association says the nearly $3 million of funding for a Mongrel Mob-led methamphetamine addiction programme has riled police officers, particularly those that work in organised crime investigations.
Association President Chris Cahill says he has been contacted by officers asking why they should even bother making the huge commitment and taking the risks they do to bring to account gangs who are armed, dangerous, and dealing meth on a massive scale, when the money is just going to go back to them.
He says one officer likened it to the most successful money laundering scheme he’d heard.
Mr Cahill says association members are clearly angry that Police hierarchy and the Ministry of Health consider a gang such as Notorious Mongrel Mob, which is responsible for the majority of meth dealing in Central Hawke’s Bay, should now be trusted stewards of millions of dollars to fix a problem they are instrumental in creating.
He says the association’s criticism is not directed at drug rehabilitation initiatives and says money should be funneled to legitimate addiction services in provincial New Zealand who are crying out for such help.
Local farmers and ute owners will take part in a protest against “unworkable” Government regulations.
The Groundswell protest is taking place in nearly 60 centres around the country at lunchtime today, including Dannevirke and Hastings.
Rural life-styler, Chris Miles, who is coordinating the Hastings arm of ‘A Howl of a Protest’, says farmers and growers are fed up with constant Government interference in the rural sector.
He says many of the regulations forced upon them in recent years are impractical and prohibitively expensive, creating immense mental strain.
Mr Miles says he hopes townspeople will add their support, because the entire food-basket of New Zealand is at stake.
He says he has been getting phone calls all week in the leadup to the protest, from desperate farmers, horticulturists, and other food producers – as well as people who work in related industries – from around Hawke’s Bay.
In Hastings protestors will be gathering on Railway Road, on the east side of the Hawkes Bay Race Course, heading towards the CBD, ready to set off by 12.30 pm.
In Dannevirke the protest will start at the Mangatera Hotel carpark from midday.
The Waipawa M & D will hold rehearsals tomorrow for its upcoming Aladdin pantomime.
Kiwi playwright Sir Roger Hall has especially written this version of Aladdin for the M & D, which is on stage in November.
M & D spokesperson Kate Luff says the auditions are for everyone, and no experience is needed.
She says people might associate pantomimes with children, but there are some very cool roles for adults, with a range of speaking and non-speaking parts.
Anyone who is interested can check out the Waipawa M & D Facebook page for details.
Auditions will start at 9am tomorrow, with callbacks on Sunday.
Kate says the M & D is looking forward to welcoming new members into its family.
Manawatu : It is semi-finals time, with the Dannevirke Seniors playing College Old Boys at Rugby Park tomorrow at 12.45pm.
Bush : Puketoi will play Tuhirangi in a semi-final. The game is being played at Pirinoa at 2.30pm tomorrow.
Hawke’s Bay : It is finals time, with all games being played at McLean tonight and tomorrow