NZ government

Govt increases Air NZ loan by $600m

The national carrier had initially planned to tap shareholders for a cash injection around June.

However, the company has delayed that until late September as it assesses recent developments such as the vaccine roll-out, an extension to the airfreight capacity scheme, and the opening of a trans-Tasman bubble.

"These developments are good news and fundamental to Air New Zealand's return to success, but the storm hasn't cleared yet," Air New Zealand chair Therese Walsh said.

Government to allow 1000 overseas students into New Zealand

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the students must be part-way through a degree or postgraduate course and would have to pay for the cost of their time in managed isolation.

Education providers have been lobbying the government to reopen the border to foreign students, who are worth more than $5 billion a year to the economy.

Hipkins said priority would be given to students who were closest to completing their qualification.

NZ helps Vanuatu in aftermath of Cyclone Harold

Foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta said $10 million to help rebuild schools and health centres, repair water and sanitation infrastructure and to help the agriculture sector recover.

"Cyclone Harold has been the biggest natural disaster to affect Vanuatu since Cyclone Pam in 2015, and together with the effects of Covid-19, it has caused unprecedented damage to livelihoods, infrastructure and the economy - particularly in the northern parts of the country," Mahuta said in a statement.

NZ collaborates with UNDP to launch Climate Risk Insurance Initiative for the Pacific

The initiative is jointly developed and will be implemented by the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the United Nations University Institute for Environment Society and the United Nations Development Programme.

“New Zealand, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is pleased to support this initiative as it fully aligns with New Zealand’s “climate action” agenda as well as its focus on disaster risk reduction in the Pacific to address vulnerabilities of low-income populations,” Curr said.

NZ increases support for Pacific language projects

This week, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples introduced round two of its Community Languages Fund (CLF) for grassroots community and family language projects.

Minister Aupito William Sio said the second funding tier of $NZ10,000 was in addition to the existing $NZ2,500 tier.

Aupito said during the first round, which closed on 31 July, applicants were able to apply for up to $2,500 to support language projects in their homes and communities.

He said 143 applications were received over the past eight weeks.

NZ makes new Pacific diplomatic appointments

Helen Tunnah, who currently works in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Covid-19 response team, has been posted to Niue, having previously worked in Vanuatu and Brazil.

Richard Griffith will be High Commissioner to Nauru, but based in Wellington.

He has previously been posted to Solomon Islands and Australia.


New Zealand Government makes $7.3 million payout to rugby nationwide

According to a report from Stuff, the country’s governing body, New Zealand Rugby, has attained about half of that payment – totalling in $3,687,444 – after filing applications due to hardship cause by the coronavirus pandemic.

The report states that NZR claimed for 531 staff, receiving $6933 per staff member.

The payout comes after the organisation slashed 20 percent of its staff’s pay at the beginning of the month, which, at the time, NZR said it was able to do with the assistance of the government’s subsidy.

NZ govt committed to Vanuatu wharf project

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was responding to a call from Vanuatu's opposition leader, Ishmael Kalsakau, for an explanation as to why the South Paray project is incomplete.

Mr Kalsakau said a temporary wharf at the site was in a dire state and he asked the New Zealand High Commission to explain what had happened to plans for an inter-island ferry wharf and its funding.

The ministry said while there had been some delays with the project, New Zealand was committed to working with its partners to complete it.