Health is taking the biggest chunk of new spending in this year’s Budget.
Of the 900 million dollars set aside for new spending next financial year, health is set to account for 400 million dollars of that sum.
This will increase total health spending to $14.7 billion in 2013/14 – the highest ever.
100 million is set aside to cover population increase and the cost of disability services.
48 million dollars is allocated for elective surgery and over 18 million is to be spent on a new mothers and babies initiative.
Another 35 million is to go towards diabetes and heart disease.
Minister of Health Tony Ryall says. “While many developed countries around the world are freezing or even reducing health funding, this Government is committed to protecting and growing our public health services.”
The Government is also today announcing it will provide $92 million over four years to pay family members who care for their disabled adult children. Legislation to enact the policy will be introduced to Parliament today.
- Rbg news/Newstalk ZB
Be gracious in defeat.
That's the advice of National party president Peter Goodfellow to disgraced MP Aaron Gilmore as the politician prepares to resign and say his final farewells to Parliament this afternoon. Mr Gilmore had hinted at some sort of revenge against those who he believes have wronged him, and is expected to counter some of the allegations raised over the past fortnight about his behaviour in Hanmer Springs.
However, Mr Goodfellow is hoping the MP will be gracious and reflect on his achievements for the community. He says Mr Gilmore often told him he has done a lot for the people of Christchurch.
Aaron Gilmore's colleagues offered him encouraging applause at his final National Party caucus meeting. the embattled list MP's brief attendance at the weekly meeting surprised many, and the National politicians could be heard clapping as he exited the room, accompanied by whip Louise Upston.
Mr Gilmore will address Parliament this afternoon and Labour does not intend to veto his final speech.
- Newstalk ZB
Allan Lee has today’s headlines including stern words from the Prime Minister for National MP Aaron Gilmore; the date for Ikaroa-Rawhiti's by-election; contrasting legal opinions about a practising homosexual's fight to become an Anglican priest; and casting for the new Hobbit movie.
Shine TV's news bulletins are produced by the RBG News team.
Opposition MPs are suggesting the Privacy Commissioner needs more help.
The state sector continues to address the series of confidentiality breaches in various government departments. Commissioner Marie Shroff has outlined her concerns about the impact on her office, at Parliamentary hearings today.
Green MP Jan Logie says the Commissioner does not have enough resources to investigate and monitor Government departments. Labour MP Andrew Little agrees the Commissioner's office cannot cope with the growing demand for advice and oversight.
- Newstalk ZB
Uruguay's lawmakers have just passed same-sex marriage legislation.
A clear majority in Congress voted to legalise same-sex marriage, making Uruguay the second country in South America to do so. Argentina was the first Latin American government to redefine marriage last July, with a narrow six-vote lead.
The controversial marriage legislation has been challenged in both countries by the Catholic Church; but Uruguay's bill sailed through the Lower Chamber with 71 out of 92 politicians voting in favour of it, compared to 21 against. It had already been endorsed by the Upper House, and is now awaiting a signature from the country's president to seal the deal.
BBC reports that is likely to occur within the next fortnight, as President Jose Mujica is known to have personally championed the bill legalising same-sex marraige.
Uruguay already provides for same-sex civil unions and same-sex adoption.
- RBG News
The Iwi of Ngāi Tūhoe and the Crown have completed negotiations on a Deed of Settlement to settle the historical claims of Tūhoe.
The Deed was initialled by Te Kotahi a Tūhoe, the mandated negotiating body of the Iwi of Ngāi Tūhoe, and the Crown at a ceremony in Parliament today.
The settlement includes Crown acknowledgements of breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles. This means a Crown Apology for those breaches, an agreed historical account of the relationship between the Crown and Tuhoe, redress relating to Te Urewera, Mana Motuhake redress incorporating a social service management plan for the Tūhoe rohe. There is also a financial and commercial redress package totaling $170 million.
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson says the settlement reflects the very serious nature of the breaches by the Crown of its obligations, and their continued consequences to this day. He acknowledged that Tūhoe's history shows clearly why it is so important to settle genuine historical Treaty grievances.
Tūhoe Chief Negotiator Tamati Kruger says the Iwi now have the final say, on whether we accept the settlement proposed in this Deed. But he says he's satisfied that he and the mandated negotiators, have done all they can to ensure that the settlement is a good one, as a foundation for a new and positive relationship between Tūhoe and the Crown.
The Government believes this settlement is acceptable to Tūhoe and good for all New Zealanders.
Mr Finlayson says that for more than a 100 years many Tūhoe have felt alienated by the actions of the Crown. This Deed and the process by which it has been negotiated give us the chance to begin that relationship again, on a firmer foundation, by both acknowledging the past and providing for the future."
The Deed is now subject to ratification by all members of Tūhoe. If ratified, the Deed will be implemented following passage of the settlement legislation through Parliament.
- RBG NEWS
Shane Jones is putting some of the blame on ministerial officials for not giving him enough information in the Bill Liu immigration case.
Lyn Provosts's report into Mr Liu's citizenship approval has found the information and advice the department gave to the then-Associate Minister of Immigration was inadequate. The Auditor-General has found there were unfortunate circumstances and poor processes involved in Mr Jones' approval of Mr Liu's application, but no corruption.
Shane Jones says he has learnt the importance of process through the experience. He also refuted suggestions that he could have initiated more enquiries himself.
Mr Jones said that a Minister's office is an extremely busy place and he was trusting officials to bring decisions to him with an inordinate amount of background information. However, he accepts he could have taken more time with Mr Liu's citizenship application, as the final decision rested with him.
In re-instating Shane Jones to Labour's front bench his party leader, David Shearer, also thanked Auditor-General Lyn Provost and her team for the investigation and report, vowing to support the recommendations for improving processes.
“I’m pleased to welcome Shane Jones back to our front bench and his return to full duties in the portfolios of regional development, forestry and associate finance."
- Newstalk ZB/ press release
UPDATE: The Bill passed its second reading by 77-44 votes on Wednesday 12 March.
The controversial Marriage Amendment Bill heads towards its second reading tomorrow, and the New Zealand Christian Network has issued a press release about its concerns for NZ freedoms of conscience and belief, if the Bill is passed.
National Director, Glyn Carpenter, spoke about those concerns with Struan Purdie.
- RBG News
For more information visit www.protectmarriage.org.nz
Cameron Eagle has the latest news headlines from RBG News for Shine TV. In tonight's bulletin, another New Zealand region prepares to be officially 'in drought', but rain is still a possibility; Japan marks the second anniversary of the devastating tsunami that claimed nearly 19,000 lives, and New Zealand banks will soon face a record class action to claim back excessive default fees.
- RBG News