First it was the fuel taxes, now the Government is hiking the tax on household waste as another example of breaking the ‘no new tax’ pledge, says the Taxpayers’ Union. This morning on Radio NZ’s Morning Report, Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage said that the Government will be increasing the New Zealand Waste Levy. “This is another broken promise that will fall on households paying for rubbish, ratepayers, and Kiwi businesses who have waste to landfill,” says Jordan Williams, spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Union. “Those in construction will be particularly hard hit. Despite most construction waste being inert, they will pay a heavy price for a tax going from $10 a tonne to perhaps $200 a tonne. That’s a 1,900% increase.” “What’s worse, is that this tax isn’t even necessary. It is used by the Ministry for the Environment for a ‘waste minimisation’ slush fund, often going to corporate welfare projects of very questionable value.” “Does the Prime Minister mean what she says when she made the ‘no new taxes’ policy? If so, she needs to talk to her Green Party Minister and get this tax hike put in the dustbin.” RNZ interview transcript (full interview available here): Alex Perrottet: “Not too long to go but I want to ask you, there’s a proposal by Iona Pannett, Wellington City Council, saying that dumping could be a lot more costly. I think she is saying that it could go from $10 a tonne to $200 a tonne. What are you thinking in that regard?” Eugenie Sage: “Well the local authorities have recommended it going up to about $140, $150 a tonne. $10 a tonne has been in place since about 2008-2009. We will be increasing that levy.”
Workers at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) will go into overdrive tonight as they replace signs and names for terminals, gates and baggage claim carousels with new ones, in a major change designed to make getting around the airport easier.
Robotic handling raises sawing productivity, Volker Bühler, group manager for robotics at German sawing machine and storage system manufacturer, Kasto, describes the widening choice of automation systems on offer to minimise labour costs and increase production output from the company's circular sawing and bandsawing machines. The production solutions are available in the UK and Ireland through the firm's subsidiary in Milton Keynes.
Fleet operators and suppliers who are working to reduce incidents involving at-work drivers are being urged to enter Brake's Australasian Fleet Safety Awards. The road safety charity is reminding companies they have just over two weeks left to enter, with the deadline for entries Friday 15 June 2018. Winners will be announced on Thursday 11 October.
Three Plant & Food Research innovations and scientists are amongst the 12 stunning finalists selected for the fifth annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards, which celebrate impact from science through successful research commercialisation within New Zealand’s universities and Crown Research Institutes.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) and the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today briefed the Finance and Expenditure Select committee on the Australian Royal Commission (RC) into Misconduct in Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, and the response by regulators in New Zealand.The Australian RC was established on 14 December 2017 in response to a series of known, misconduct incidents widespread within financial services over a lengthy period. The RC is expected to issue an initial report in September 2018 and a final report, with recommendations, by February 2019.New Zealand regulators’ responseNew Zealand regulators have been monitoring the RC since it was initiated, and have discussed matters with Australian regulators on a number of occasions. The FMA has been implementing and supervising conduct regulation in NZ since the passing of the Financial Markets Conduct Act in late 2013. This was followed by the publication of the FMA Conduct Guide in February 2017. Our concern about the RC’s impact on confidence in our financial institutions and the potential for complacency in the New Zealand industry led us to take action. On 30 April, the RBNZ Governor and the FMA Chief Executive met with 16 chief executives of New Zealand banks, including the four major Australian-owned banks. We sought assurance that the issues identified in Australia were not evident in New Zealand.Following the meeting with bank CEOs, the RBNZ and the FMA, with the support of the Commerce Commission, wrote to 10 locally-incorporated New Zealand banks with major retail operations on 3 May, initiating a “review of conduct and culture by New Zealand financial services entities”. Banks were given a deadline of 18 May to respond. Notwithstanding that insurance has not featured in the RC at this stage, we wrote similarly to 15 major life insurance companies on 23 May, asking that they respond by 22 June.In our monitoring work to date we have not seen evidence of widespread, systemic issues to warrant a commission of inquiry in New Zealand. However, the work we have initiated may test this view.Assessment of bank responses11 banks provided their responses by the 18 May deadline. A joint working group of FMA and RBNZ staff is reviewing the responses. The Commerce Commission is also reviewing matters relevant to its remit.Initial observations· The submissions are generally extensive and for the most part appear relevant to our request.· Preliminary assessment has identified some variance in detail and the extent of work already completed and expected to be conducted in the future.· Some responses indicate a proactive approach to conduct risk, while other banks have not yet begun to fully embed conduct risk, governance or oversight into their operations. We will be following up with all the banks on these aspects.· The responses also cover: a description of internal and external reviews conducted in recent years future programmes of work to address a number of areas and provide additional assurance examples of issues identified and their remediation processes.
Following the initial assessment, we will be requesting further information and verification where necessary. A high bar will be set in meeting our expectations and demonstrating a sufficient level of assurance in regard to good conduct and culture. Currently we consider it is appropriate to prioritise our work on banks and life insurers, we haven’t made any decision as to whether to expand that focus in the future. It is important to note that a number of relevant legislative frameworks are already under review, and both the FMA and RBNZ have significant existing work programmes across a number of relevant sectors. As we progress our inquiries, we will also identify any areas within the framework for regulation of retail financial services where we consider there are regulatory or supervisory gaps or inefficiencies. We expect to report on these findings in October/November. This timing partly reflects the timing of the initial report from the RC, by 30 September, 2018.