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  • 11 December 2017, 4:56 pm
    Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter is welcoming moves by Medsafe to limit the supply of surgical mesh products for urogynaecological (transvaginal) surgeries. “Hundreds of women in New Zealand have seen their health and lives compromised because of surgical mesh, and I gladly welcome changes to restrict usage,” Ms Genter said. “This will prevent further harm to women being caused by surgical mesh. “Today’s announcement follows Australia’s announcement last week that they are also limiting supply of these devices,” Ms Genter said. Medsafe is using powers under the Medicines Act 1981 to limit the supply of these devices and require suppliers to provide safety information about their devices. Medsafe’s action requires suppliers to either confirm that they will comply with the requirements of the TGA in Australia, or to supply information supporting continued use for these indications within the next 45 days. The deadline for this information is January 24, 2018. “People need to be able trust that when they go to the health system they will get assistance and aid to help them. Today’s step is an important in restoring faith in our medical system to do the right thing. “Today’s announcement is the first step of a process to ensure that products like surgical mesh are as safe as comparable products for New Zealanders,” Ms Genter said.  
  • 11 December 2017, 4:09 pm
    Adrian Orr has been appointed as Reserve Bank Governor effective from 27 March 2018, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “Following the Reserve Bank Board’s unanimous recommendation to me, I have appointed Adrian Orr for a five-year term at the completion of Acting Governor Grant Spencer’s term,” Grant Robertson says. “I’m delighted the Board has been able to secure a Governor with such a strong track record of delivery and public service. Mr Orr has the technical and leadership qualities required to be Governor and CEO of the Reserve Bank. Further, I consider that he has the skills necessary to successfully lead the Bank through a period of change. “I would also like to thank Grant Spencer for his stewardship in his Acting Governor role. I wish him all the best for his future endeavours from when he finishes his term,” says Grant Robertson. Reserve Bank Chairman Professor Neil Quigley says that the Board is pleased to be able to recommend a candidate of Mr Orr’s experience. “Adrian Orr has a significant breadth of knowledge across central and commercial banking, economics, financial markets and regulation. “Together with his Chief Executive experience at the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, the Board agreed unanimously that he can bring to the role of Governor of the Reserve Bank strong leadership and commitment to ensure the Bank is fit for its wide role in the New Zealand economy,” Professor Quigley says. Grant Robertson says: “In accordance with the Act, I will sign a Policy Targets Agreement with Mr Orr in March 2018 before he takes up his appointment. “The Government announced a review of the Reserve Bank Act in November. The work on the first phase of the review, dealing with the objectives and decision-making processes, and role of the Board, will be substantively completed by the end of March. “While it will not be possible to pass legislation to amend the Act to reflect any changes from the review before the PTA is signed in March 2018, we will ensure that the new PTA is developed in a manner consistent with the direction of reform. “If necessary, the PTA will be revised again after the Act has been amended to reflect any changes from the review that cannot be reflected within the provisions of the current Act. “This is an important time for the Reserve Bank and New Zealand’s monetary policy framework. Mr Orr has the standing and ability to manage this process of change as Governor of the Bank,” Grant Robertson says. Mr Orr is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, a position he has held since 2007. From 2003 to 2007 he was Deputy Governor and Head of Financial Stability at the Reserve Bank. He was Chief Economist at Westpac in New Zealand from 2000 to 2003, and Chief Manager of the Economics Department at the Reserve Bank from 1997 to 2000. Prior to this, he held roles at the National Bank of New Zealand, the Treasury, the OECD and the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.
  • 11 December 2017, 2:43 pm
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio has announced applications for the 2018 Prime Ministers Pacific Youth Awards are now open.  First held in 2010, the Awards hosted by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) provide an opportunity for high-achieving Pacific youth in New Zealand to be recognised for their contribution to the country by the Rt Hon Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. The Pacific community is one of the fastest growing and youngest populations in NZ, and Minister Sio says making sure this group thrive is crucial for the country’s economic and social outlook. “The Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards not only recognise and celebrate Pacific youth success, but they create a network of young emerging Pacific leaders, while showcasing Pacific talent to key stakeholders,” Minister Sio adds.  The Awards are integrated with MPP’s youth engagement initiatives and are the Prime Minister’s opportunity to affirm her relationship with the increasingly vibrant Pacific community across NZ.    Awards are presented in eight categories – Leadership and Inspiration; Top Regional Pacific Scholar; Community Star; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Arts and Creativity; Commercial and Corporate; Business and Enterprise; and Sport and Fitness.  Awards vary for each category – from a diplomatic international experience, to paid summer internships and grants to support further study and career development. Additionally, the 2018 award winners will also be offered personalised leadership development support.  With so many talented and gifted Pacific youth in every award category, Minister Sio strongly encourages individuals to apply for these prestigious awards.  Past award winners have gone on to gain highly visible roles and become proactive leaders throughout New Zealand. Applications for the 2018 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards open today and close 6 February 2018, to be followed by an Awards ceremony. Applications forms are available: http://www.mpp.govt.nz/young-people/prime-ministers-pacific-youth-awards/apply-now/  
  • 11 December 2017, 10:55 am
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on receiving the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway. “Civil society groups like ICAN play a vital role in encouraging us all to work towards a nuclear weapons free world,” says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “New Zealand is proudly nuclear free and is a long-standing supporter of global efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons, including most recently the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  “We join the Nobel Prize Committee in recognising ICAN’s valuable contributions to international nuclear disarmament.” Note: ICAN is a coalition of non-government organisations from around the world, including New Zealand. It received the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty banning nuclear weapons and for drawing attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.  New Zealand was among the first states to sign the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons when it opened for signature in September. 
  • 10 December 2017, 10:26 am
    Defence Minister Ron Mark was the Reviewing Officer at Waiouru Military Camp yesterday when 36 Officer Cadets graduated from this year’s New Zealand Commissioning Course and became Army officers. The 36 new officers include two from Fiji, two from Papua New Guinea, and one each from Australia, Singapore and Tonga.   Mr Mark, himself a former New Zealand Army officer, told the cadets that the course they had successfully completed was one of the most significant challenges they would ever face.  “You have undertaken a comprehensive training and selection regime that I know has been both physically and mentally challenging. There have been challenges that tested you to the limit of your endurance and then some,” he said. “By your presence on parade today, it is clear to me that as the next generation of Army and Defence Force leaders you have accepted the challenge to maintain the Army’s reputation and professional standards in the coming decades. “It is also clear that you understand the need for high personal discipline and that you are willing to live your life in accord with the Army’s core values of Courage, Comradeship, Integrity and Commitment. They are now your values, and you should be proud of that. “I congratulate you on your achievements so far, and I wish you all the very best.”  CAPTION: Defence Minister Ron Mark presents the Sword of Honour to 2nd Lieutenant Mitch Lennane at the Army’s New Zealand Commissioning Course graduation parade at  Waiouru camp on 9 December.    Mr Mark’s full speech can be found on the Beehive website.