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Vote City Vision in Entrust elections

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, October 12th, 2018 - 32 comments
Categories: community democracy, elections, Politics, sustainability - Tags:

From the City Vision website:

Power account holders in the Auckland Isthmus and Manukau should have by now received a letter with a postal voting form from Entrust.

Auckland needs a team at Entrust (formerly the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust) who are committed to working together to maintain and protect your annual dividend and the reliability of our electricity supply.

If elected we will:

  • Protect and maintain your dividend: We oppose any privatisation of Vector
  • Electricity reliability and resilience: We will pressure Vector to improve the security of our electricity supply
  • Accelerate the current undergrounding programme
  • Sustainability, renewables, climate change and solar tax. We will prepare for a rapidly changing competitive environment and the challenge of climate change
  • Establish transparency and good governance
  • Diversity: We will appoint qualified directors to Vector that better reflect the diversity of Auckland and are able and committed to maintaining the dividend paid annually.
  • Protect the consumer: We will the resources of Entrust and Vector to address the growing energy poverty in our communities

Our Approach

We will seek independent advice on how to :

  • Ensure Vector remains profitable;
  • Make Auckland’s electricity supply more resilient;
  • Deal with a rapidly changing competitive environment;
  • Accelerate the current undergrounding programme;
  • Ensure our interests as investors, consumers and the community can be appropriately balanced.
  • We will use that advice combined with regular consultation with and polling of our community, to build a shared vision of the future between Entrust trustees, Vector directors and our dividend recipients.

Protecting the Dividend

There are four main threats to the sustainability of your $350 annual dividend;

First, that parts of Vector’s assets are bundled up and the sale proceeds going to Auckland Council. (most likely) This will lower our dividend despite Entrust still holding the shares.

Second, that all or part of the Entrust 75.1% share will be sold, cutting or removing our dividend, and the sale proceeds going to Auckland Council. (likely)

Third, the C&R trustees wind up the trust and give it all to Auckland Council. (unlikely)

Finally, that the growing sources of electricity like solar on your own roof will reduce the profitability of lines businesses like Vector without changes in how we pay for services. (least likely)

The Vector Chair has confirmed he has been approached by the merchant bank UBS about a proposal for Vector to sell its network assets to a client to be introduced by UBS. The 5 current C&R trustees that have run Entrust for the last 9 years have not ruled out a sale of Vector assets with proceeds going to Auckland Council.

City Vision is strongly opposed to any sale of your share in Vector, held on your behalf by Entrust as it would cut or eliminate your annual dividend with the sales proceeds going to the Auckland Council. We are equally opposed to an early wind up of the Trust that would have the same effect.

A City Vision trustees will use independent advisers to review the strategy and operations of Vector and then work with the board and management of Vector and the minority shareholders to develop a shared plan to best secure your future dividends.

Electricity Reliability and Resilience

Consumers want Entrust to be a stronger advocate for improved reliability of our electricity supply. We have never been as reliant on electricity for our quality of life as we are now and the introduction of electric vehicles as standard will only increase that dependency. Our dependence on reliable electricity was highlighted by the storms back in April when 200,000 people suddenly found themselves without power, some for more than a week.

City Vision trustees will work with Vector to see how we can cost effectively increase the reliability and resilience of the Auckland network. For some more isolated areas that might mean having a separate line in, somewhere else by utilising undergrounding,. Large modern batteries are now being used in parts of Australia as a back-up electricity supply. “Consumer” was taken out of the name of the Trust by the current trustees. City Vision will put both the interests of the consumer and trust back into Entrust.

Acceleration of the Undergrounding Programme

We are committed to securing the supply of electricity and accelerating the undergrounding programme. City Vision Trustees will look at ways we can underground faster.

The $10.5 million ring fenced by the Trust for undergrounding of lines in 2005 has not always been spent as intended. In recent years it has been spent on projects such as lighting the harbour bridge and other projects which have nothing to do with securing our electricity supply.

The current C&R Entrust trustees have allowed Vector to cut the spending on undergrounding so it will now take more than 1000 years to complete the undergrounding of poles and lines at the recent rate of progress.

A City Vision Entrust would thoroughly investigate alternate ways to bring undergrounding to more homes. We all know it is expensive to replace the ugly old power poles but we are not prepared to wait over 1000 years.

If not part of a ‘planned undergrounding project’ (like in Sandringham or Franklin Road in older suburbs) each consumer must agree for their street to be undergrounded. It comes at a substantial up-front cost per household. An option is for consumers in streets that want to ‘buy in’ to undergrounding, without unanimous support for the project, could be offered funding to undertake undergrounding that would be paid off through the power bill over say 20-40 years.

Better information could be used to find out which urban trees are a danger to powerlines and which power poles are involved in most accidents, and prioritise these for undergrounding. Different priorities for undergrounding can be part of the discussion Entrust has with its consumers about what they see is important to them.

We need to put the Trust back in Entrust and embark on an under-grounding programme that will keep our power on and our communities safe.

Transparency and good governance

We will ensure that Entrust operates in an open and informed way by:

  • Making information available about the Trust, and will provide information to media and beneficiaries unless good reason exists to withhold it;
  • We will amend the Trust Deed to make the principles of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, apply to the Trust;
  • We will hold meetings in public (only excluding for good reason);
  • We will place Minutes, once approved, on the Entrust website;
  • We will consult and poll on matters of major significance to consumers and dividend recipients.
  • After a year to assess the relative workload of Trustees we will review the $343,000 in the director’s fees paid annually to the trustees with the aim of reducing the total amount paid.
  • City Vision for Entrust recognises that the severity and frequency of storms like the one last April is a resilience issue that applies today – not in some undefined future. Climate change is happening now and Auckland’s power lines need to be better prepared.

Diversity

Neither Vector nor Entrust currently reflect the growing diversity of Auckland.

City Vision Entrust Trustees will:

  • After a careful review of Entrust and Vector, refresh the Vector board with the aim of appointing qualified directors more reflective of Auckland’s diversity and are able and committed to maintaining the dividend paid annually;
  • Use polling and meetings with representatives of the community to keep the Trust aligned with your priorities and more in tune with Auckland’s diversity;
  • Encourage Vector to provide scholarships, internships and mentoring to help diversify its future workforce and improve its alignment with its customer base.

Sustainability

City Vision for Entrust acknowledges that Vector is a leader in sustainability and will encourage Vector to join the dots and pass innovations on to ordinary consumers.

At the moment smart metering serves big users and power companies more than it serves ordinary households. We want to see Vector empowering households to use their own data to save money.

Smart meters and customers’ data represent the single greatest untapped potential in addressing climate change and sustainability goals.

Solar Tax

The Electricity Authority labelled Unison’s solar tax as “not as clearly service-based and cost-reflective as it could be”, and not offering “sufficient choices to consumers”. We couldn’t agree more. The fact that the solar tax still passes muster under our electricity regime speaks volumes about the kind of reforms needed.

City Vision for Entrust will work collaboratively with ETNZ to sort out regulations that are fair for both the lines companies and customers.

Renewables

Vector has invested significantly in both small scale and grid scale solar. This experience is priceless and should continue.

Renewables are key to reaching Vector’s stated goal of being net carbon neutral by 2030.

Renewables are key to reaching Vector’s stated goal of being resilient in the face of climate change.

City Vision for Entrust supports Vector’s investments in renewables and would like to see more integration within Auckland to provide resiliency.

Climate Change

Climate change is the single most important issue facing the energy sector.

We support Vector’s goal of being net carbon neutral by 2030.

Smart meters and customers’ data, represent the single greatest untapped potential in addressing climate change and sustainability goals.

Entrust was originally established as the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust to benefit the consumers but does little to address the needs of the consumers that it serves. Our dividend is under threat, continuity of supply by Vector is often compromised and agreed undergrounding has not been carried out. We believe Entrust should have spoken out about the consumer and business interest in a more reliable power supply in Auckland when 200,000 Aucklanders were without power last April.

Over the years of a C&R dominated Trust nothing has been done by Entrust to address the growing “energy poverty” (people not able to afford basic energy requirements) that has been highlighted in recent government reports. Entrust and Vector should be using some of their resources to bring down prices and provide cheaper energy solutions for the most vulnerable. Other lines companies in NZ have started to do this. A good example of this is in the Waikato where its line company Wel Networks partners with local charities to supply cheaper power to low-income consumers. The current Entrust trustees are asleep at the wheel in addressing the energy needs of their consumers.

A City Vision majority Entrust as a stronger advocate for the consumer will press Vector to investigate opportunities for:

Bringing forward the payment of the dividend for all to help the most vulnerable
Reviewing the line charges to facilitate greater competition in the energy sector and deliver lower prices
Implementing cost effective changes to improve the reliability and resilience of electricity supply in Auckland.

32 comments on “Vote City Vision in Entrust elections”

  1. Stunned Mullet 1

    On balance I agree with most of their positions, will be interesting to see what C&R comes out with if anything.

  2. TheSouthRemebers 2

    As a South Aucklander, CityVision doesn’t really relate to me all too well since it has always been an Isthmus focused organisation. More could be done to encourage South Auckland voters to turn out for left leaning candidates but City Vision has only put up Robert Reid as their South Auckland candidate, all the other CV candidates are unknown to people here, Robert’s long service in the Union is long remembered for many workers here so it’s an easy tick. One of my votes goes to ‘independent’ (Labour Party Member and Former MP) Ashraf Choudhary. As both an elected member for the Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board and as a Counties Manukau DHB member would have a much higher profile across wider Manukau than the other four CV candidates standing. My other 3 votes would likely go CV candidates but they are just names on paper rather than any relevance to me as a voter.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Thanks I wish that CT and Ashraf could have sorted this out as splitting the vote does not help.

      I agree about Robert Reid. He would be great on the trust board.

      • The Fairy Godmother 2.1.1

        Agree Mickey. City Vision is quite Isthmus focused and I don’t think they got the message out amongst left networks that they were standing a ticket. To be fair Ashraf didn’t tell anyone he was standing until it was publicly announced either.

        • Dukeofurl 2.1.1.1

          City Vision has had a ticket for Entrust since for ever, along with other entities such as DHB.

  3. Carolyn_Nth 3

    Thanks for drawing attention to this. I received my voting papers yesterday and was just going to ignore it, as I never know anything about the candidates.
    just had a look. Gee – not exactly representative of Auckland demographics.

    13 candidates: 2 women (1 each for C&R and City vision).

    No candidates identifiable as Maori, Pacific or south east Asian.

    The only indication that it is not just a bunch of older white folks is candidate Ashraf Choudhary.

  4. Dukeofurl 4

    Regarding the outcomes if the ‘assets are sold’

    “First, that parts of Vector’s assets are bundled up and the sale proceeds going to Auckland Council. (most likely)

    The precedent for the other Auckland lines company Waitemata, that was sold at the formation stage.
    The proceeds went the residents and business who were being supplied at the time.

    From memory they each got circa $3000 worth . EACH. back when that was real money ( early 1990s)

    There is no way that North Shore and West Auckland residents will be double dipping on this one , nor the Auckland Council ‘getting’ the assets/money .

    This isnt small change for Entrust dividends as its around $ 510 per qualifying household ( pre tax)

  5. Ad 5

    I would prefer to see a strong statement that they will accelerate the return of the VectorTrust shareholding to Auckland Council as soon as possible, so that there is clear democratic accountability of Vector to citizens.

    It’s great to promise not to make the situation worse.

    I want to see them act on bold decisions to increase democratic accountability now not in several decades as per the existing statute.

    • Dukeofurl 5.1

      Auckland Council would sell it as quick as winks to get their hands on $2 bill

      • Ad 5.1.1

        They haven’t so far and have been going for 10 years.
        Trust the people.

        • Dukeofurl 5.1.1.1

          Why should half of Auckland get a free ride, they sold their shares in their lines companys. No double dipping.

          • Carolyn_Nth 5.1.1.1.1

            There’s already double dipping happening. You seem to assume all the same people are living in the same parts of Auckland as in the 1990s.

            I know one or two people who were living out west in the 90s, and act like they’ve won the lottery when they moved into central Auckland and could get the Entrust pay out.

            Auckland has grown in recent decades – plenty of recent incomers all over that were not here in the 90s.

            Thanks, though, for the history lesson on it. I was overseas in the 90s, and did not understand why there was the Entrust system in central Auckland, and not in other parts of the city.

            I would like to see nationalisation of the powercos and the likes of Vector – take the profit motive out of it.

  6. Carolyn_Nth 6

    Got a letter today promoting the C&R team for Entrust – binned it. I’ll vote for the candidates who aim to work for a big majority of Aucklanders.

    I like that CV are addressing more diversity of Vector directors, counter-acting energy poverty, and environmental sustainability, as well as opposing missive privatisation and selling off of Aucklanders’ assets.

  7. Dukeofurl 7

    They managed to stall that Court case that challenged ex national MP Paul Hutchison eligibility to stand for the Trust last time

    ‘Papers have been filed with the Auckland High Court that allege Paul Hutchison, a Entrust trustee and a former National MP for the Hunua electorate, did not live within the district covered by Entrust, Newsroom has reported.

    Before Entrust’s October 2015 election a statement of claim said Hutchison said he lived on Onslow Ave in Epsom, which was his brother’s house.

    Last week, Hutchison signed a declaration confirming the details and also added he maintained a residence in Leamy Way, Drury, which had been his family home.

    Shades of Key , who falsely claimed he lived in the electorate when he enrolled , but has signed company documents saying he lived in Remuera.

    Brothers house , who does he think we are
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12061462

    More lies in the other C&R candidate Alastair Bell, saying hes a Consumer Advocate, yeah right .

  8. Ad 8

    CityVision’s manifesto is fine as it goes, but I would strongly prefer to see a clear statement saying that they will return Vector control to Auckland Council well before the legislated timeframe, in order that this vital electricity network can be brought under democratic control.

    It is simply bringing forward what is already provided for, and Vector Chair Michael Stiassny is a corporate bully who has already moved hard against this Trust having any reasonable influence over the Vector Board.

    These guys enabled hundreds of thousands of consumers to go cold in April this year due to their inability to secure the network, then made the most pathetic excuses to Auckland Council when called out about it.

    Time to bring them into full and unrelenting scrutiny within public ownership.

    • Carolyn_Nth 8.1

      Full public ownership and democratic systems of responsibility sound good to me.

    • Dukeofurl 8.2

      Why would they say that.
      “return Vector control to Auckland Council ”
      Entrust only covers half of Auckland , the other half blew away their lines company shares for easy cash.
      They arent going to get another share.

      We have a democratic election now for Entrust- do you have a different meaning for democratic.

      • Ad 8.2.1

        Auckland Council covers all of Auckland, who will under legislation be the beneficiaries of the Trust.

        The election is to vote for largely powerless Trust members. Rather than for actual politicians. It is as close to a sham as you get.

        • Dukeofurl 8.2.1.1

          The beneficiaries arent all of Auckland , they are only the former Auckland City , Manukau City and parts of Papakura City

          Thats not all of Auckland , as it excludes the old Waitakere, North Shore, Rodney And Franklin Councils.
          A bit under half are not beneficiary’s !
          Super City changed what was separate councils.

          Thos previous councils had their own lines companys, who gave shares to beneficiaries who took the cash in the early 90s.

          • Ad 8.2.1.1.1

            Stiassny had been on the Board since 2002 – 16 years – so it was no revolution. He left happily to go straight to the NZTA Chair, which is far more powerful. He left a great blame-trail, sure, but then he’s good at that and fuck all else.
            The Trust’s power has been reduced to that of an electoral college, which is also fuck all.

            Vector in the meantime have gone on doing precisely what they want for two decades, underlining time and again how much they sideline the Trust.

            • Dukeofurl 8.2.1.1.1.1

              left happily ????
              Its clear you have no idea on that one…oh dear

              Plus you are clueless on how a Trust who only has the shares works, the Board of Vector makes the decisions. The Trust can really only vote of who the directors are.

              Same set up for Auckland Council Investments – who hold all the shares , not the elected Councils.

              Sheeesh ….

              • mickysavage

                Appointers have all the power. You mean that being to say who the directors are is inefectual?

                • Dukeofurl

                  I dont know how they work in practice , except its a bit more at arms length compared to the company board. They did seem to fire the chairman as they wanted him to quit immediately rather than when his term expired which was the ‘plan’

                  Auckland Council Investments- company board wouldnt be more ‘democratic’ as Ed claims than Entrust is now.
                  Thats why I will vote City Vision or similar for the election. I want to keep the control in public hands and out of the control of people like Alistair Bell and his cronies in the national party.

        • Dukeofurl 8.2.1.2

          Does elected Auckland Councillors have any say over Ports of Auckland, Watercare et al.
          Recently Entrust trustees fired the Chair of Vector,,… yeah toothless

          • Ad 8.2.1.2.1

            Yes they have plenty of power. And they exercise it.
            I’m not going to explain how since it’s so easy for you to find out how yourself.

            As to the beneficiaries, it’s sad that you’ve got a bee in your uninformed bonnet about who they are. So let the Trust itself enlighten you.

            “Entrust is a private trust established in 1993. It acts in the interests of its beneficiaries, over 331,000 households and businesses in Auckland, Manukau, northern Papakura and eastern Franklin.”

            https://www.entrustnz.co.nz/about-us/who-we-are/

            AECT holds these assets in trust for the energy consumers living within the former AEPB boundaries (i.e. in Auckland, Manukau and Papakura) until 2073, at which point they will pass to the local government body or bodies functioning within the boundaries of the former AEPB. If no such body or bodies exist, the assets will pass to the Crown.

            The body who will receive the shares is the Auckland Council, as per above. So on both the service levels, and on its AECT Trust Deed, the beneficiaries are clear.

            • Dukeofurl 8.2.1.2.1.1

              Thats roughly half of Auckland – what Ive been saying , why should the ‘other half’ get a share. True the legislation does say that about 2073 …. 50 or more years away, but that was just a burp from Max Bradford and will be changed before that date comes up.

              As for democratic control by Councillors , you clearly dont know the Councils shares in Ports of Auckland, Auckland International Airport are not under elected councillors direct control but by the appointed board members of Auckland Council Investments, who act in a similar way to the Trustees of Entrust do.

              • Ad

                I will tell you why the “other half of Auckland” should get a share.

                Then I’ll get to governance.

                It probably requires a post by itself on electricity regulation, but it needs saying anyway.

                Right. Since the Max Bradford reforms of the electricity market in both generators and in wholesalers, we have seen a deliberate stripping-away of democratic accountability of any kind. The lines companies are not responsible to anyone other than their shareholders. This includes the remaining publicly-owned ones such as Aurora. Aurora – 100% owned by Dunedin City Holdings – had its maintenance regime stripped away over years and years to the point where far too many of their poles were falling over or getting close to it.

                But unlike Vector, Aurora was able to be brought before an elected Council and get smashed around in public and in the media until they saw the light. Just as importantly, they were able to be smashed around behind closed doors. They were audited several times. Ministers started making noises against the Mayor. Bulkloads of staff who were incompetent or who were managerial toadies got fired.

                And sure it will take a while for the entire asset management plan of the network to be renewed properly, but it will not go back to the way it was in the foreseeable future.

                So there was no regulator. There still isn’t. But there was democratic accountability.

                Now let’s take Vector. A storm came through in April this year and tens of thousands of people lost power, and several hundred lost it for over a week. It was cold and wet.

                Vector could have undergrounded their lines over several decades to ensure that electricity supply to the little old ladies of the west were not at threat.

                There was a huge media noise about all of this. Plenty of MPs and Councillors got involved. But Vector kept on doing what it did, sending out it’s usual excuses, inept call centres, its subcontracted lines companies getting through the faults in the time they could. But at the end, no-one held them to account for it.

                In previous years Entrust and its antecedent had been able to negotiate a list of streets that would gradually be under grounded. Now, not even that little effort continues.

                Then finally when the deigned to show up to Auckland Council out of the goodness of their heart, management explained that they couldn’t possibly underground all those lines because it just might put up the total cost of supplying power. No Councillor had the facts to provide an alternative, no one was held to account. Nothing changed.

                Even more egregiously, Vector last month sent out a $50 cheque to every single one of its customers for no reason whatsoever. Simply threw tens of millions out the window. Anyone with any sense knew it was a coded apology, but still banked the money. Clearly Vector had plenty of cash to underground their lines and make them secure after all.

                And here’s where we get to the difference in governance.

                If Vector had been a Council Controlled Organisation like Auckland Transport or Watercare, staff inside Auckland Council would be trained to act as their guardians and regulators. There are shareholder guides and much of the Finance team schooled up on keeping these entities in check. Of course there is a difference in agency that the Council has over Watercare as compared to the Ports of Auckland.

                But – as in the Dunedin example – even another layer won’t protect them when it goes tits up.

                i don’t always have a fixed view on whether entities once formed should be brought fully back in-house again and simply be Departments.

                But in Vector’s case, if it were brought back fully under Auckland Council and held to account, management would no longer be able to run the show. The reason the 25% of Vector was sold off in the first place was management pushed to buy the gas network, and National’s mates saw it as an easy way to crack the left and henceforth ensure democratic accountability never directly occurring again. And so it has proved. Very similar to what we have seen with the NZGovernment electricity generators selling 49%.

                All Aucklanders should benefit from the democratic protection of Auckland Council because there is no regulator to protect them as consumers and probably never will be, and secondly because it unites the citizen and the consumer back to being the same person again. Because that is what they should be, and it is not what they are. Until the citizen and the consumer of electricity are united again, vector will simply continue to do what they want. They are far and away more powerful than petrol companies in our lives.

                The transfer of those shares to a democratic institution – faulty as it is – is far better than leaving it in the hands of management. There is an idea that Entrust and other similar trusts have some say in the actual decisions that get made.

                Let me disabuse you of this right away. There is always an effort to accord the owners, shareholders, or other investors, a seeming role in Vector. It is a fraud. Capitalism has one given way to management cum bureaucracy, where an appearance of relevance for owners is contrived. Fraud.

                Of course there are some agreed ceremonial aspects. One is a board of directors selected by management, fully subordinate to management but viewed by the consumer and the shareholder as a voice of shareholders and of the people. With rare exceptions they are remarkably acquiescent in Vector’s case. Given a fee and some food and good regular Eden Park tickets, these directors are routinely informed by management on what has been decided or already known. Approval is assumed, including for management compensation – compensation set by management. And in the case of Vector it is munificent.

                You will of course be aware of the scrutiny that this Labour government and Auckland Labour Council are doing to limit their own entities. Because they can. And because they are Labour led and dominated.

                There are of course times even in Vector’s history when there is a valve opened for some adverse comment. In Vector’s case the succession plan for Stiassny was already well underway and he’s already had the chute well greased by Phil Twyford to NZTA. But, for safety valves, they all get invited each year to the annual meeting, which resembles something as useful to management as a religious rite. There is ceremonial expression, and with rare exceptions, no negative response. infidels who urge action are set aside and the management position routinely approved.

                The Trust should it ever get off its hind legs could put up something like more environmental measures, have their proposal printed with some supporting argument. Then when the eating is done management take them and shred them.

                Sure, that’s not just particular to Vector. And the one really big exception to it is the highly intelligent, socially eccentric and financially successful Berkshire Hathaway. Proposals by its stockholders are frequently accepted – often by working it through very thoroughly with management beforehand.

                But in Vector’s case no one should be in doubt. Unless it is fully retired to the whole of the people of Auckland, the citizen and the consumer will remain divided and powerless. And the shareholders whether in a trust or not will remain fully subordinate to Vector management. Though the impression of owner authority is offered, it does not in fact exist. It is simply an accepted fraud.

                So there you go. Probably should have been a post by itself.

                • Dukeofurl

                  There is no extra ‘governance’ from having the Auckland Council involved.

                  Thats the big myth of your proposal.
                  as I pointed out with Ports of Auckland, which has its own board, and the shares are under the control of Auckland Council Investments with its own board and then to the Auckland Council itself.
                  QED . Not more democratic.

                  The changes you talk about seem on the face of it worthy things, but having the income spread over all of Auckland instead of the roughly half now who are beneficiaries isnt democratic.

                  Having a rant about capitalism may suit your mindset but isnt going to change the situation where its a listed public company like Vector , 75% owned by Entrust or an unlisted company like POAL, 100% owned by Auckland Council Investments Ltd.
                  The shares can be sold under either circumstance depending on the political control.
                  Im voting for City Vision or aligned to makes sure the beneficiary ownership remains.

                  Im sure you have forgotten that 15 years ago Auckland City Council sold its shares in Auckland Airport, while Manukau Council did not – the reason why the successor Auckland Council still has a small holding.
                  Clear evidence that Council ownership doesnt guarantee public ownership, as political winds can change

                  • Ad

                    It’s not the shares you need to focus on in the future transfer – it’s the whole organization and business. That governance contest – whether they are treated as merely shares as in the AC AIAL holding or whether it’s a full CCO as in Auckland Transport – is a fight worth having. And at minimum I would expect the Entrust candidates to have a clear idea of what they would want.

                    I would be happy to work within Labour to ensure that Auckland Council adopts the whole entity and pulls it in as a full CCO. Watercare and Auckland Transport have shown in recent years that they do respond to the calls of their owner, and they do change.

                    I know what democratic looks like – and it isn’t this. Having the income spread over all of Auckland is not only democratic – because it is the full polis. It is also deeply egalitarian.

                    • millsy

                      Trouble is, there are a lot of households in South Auckland that rely on the Entrust dividend to fill their cupboards and (ironically) pay their power bill. The company I work for does the disconnection and reconnection work in the Auckland area and it is noticable when the dividend comes through. I agree with your desire for council ownership of Vector, but the loss of dividend needs to be taken into account.

                    • Dukeofurl

                      Ad, are you that grandiose that you really believe this ?

                      “I would be happy to work within Labour to ensure that Auckland Council adopts the whole entity as a full CCO. That stage is fifty years away , if ever, and isnt happening soon.
                      You are still wanting to take away the rights of the existing beneficiaries
                      Watercare isnt listening to anyway , as its self funded, and you give no evidence they are listening or changing.
                      Thats the same position as Entrust would be- self funded .

                      I have noticed that after my rebuttal of your previous main points – you like Gosman just move onto unrelated things. Clearly democracy is only doing what you want. Im happy for Entrust to stay as 75% owner of Vector and pay the beneficiaries $350 pa- and not share that with you – as I gather you dont get anything.

                      Its a forlorn hope that Entrust/Vector will be more customer focused as a full Council CCO when even blind freddy can see the Auckland Council itself has serious problems in that regard. And they dont have a CCO between them and the councillors!

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    1 week ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones swipes back at billion trees critics
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones says concerns that carbon foresters are planting pine trees that will never be harvested are the result of "misinformation". "The billion tree strategy is an excellent idea, unfortunately from time to time it's tainted by misinformation spread by the National Party or their grandees, hiding in scattered ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget boost for refugee families a win for compassion
    The Green Party welcomes funding in the budget to reunite more refugees with their families, ensuring they have the best chance at a new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How Budget 2020 is supporting jobs
    This year’s Budget is about rebuilding New Zealand together in the face of COVID-19. Jobs are central to how we’re going to do that.There’s a lot of targeted investment for employment in this year’s Budget, with announcements on creating new jobs, training people for the jobs we have, and supporting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters says China didn’t want NZ to go into lockdown
    Speaking to Stuff's Coronavirus NZ podcast, Foreign Minister Winston Peters revealed China tried to dissuade New Zealand from going into lockdown. “Without speaking out of turn, they wanted a discussion as to why we were doing it, because they thought it was an overreaction,” Mr Peters told Stuff’s Coronavirus NZ podcast. He also ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Changes made to Overseas Investment Act to protect New Zealand assets
    The Coalition Government is making changes to the Overseas Investment Act to ensure New Zealand assets don't fall into the hands of foreign ownership in the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Associate Minister of Finance David Parker announced the Act will be amended to bring forward a national interest ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: Trans-Tasman bubble to help tourism industry make swift recovery
    A quick start to a trans-Tasman bubble could see the tourism industry make a swift recovery, according to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. "I believe tourism will turn around dramatically faster than people think," Mr Peters told reporters after Thursday's Budget. "Why? Because I think the Tasman bubble is [going ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt. Hon Winston Peters: Budget Speech
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First   Please check against delivery https://vimeo.com/418303651 Budget 2020: Jobs, Business and Balance   Introduction Acknowledgements to all Cabinet colleagues, and party ministers Tracey Martin, Shane Jones and Ron Mark, Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau and to caucus colleagues. Thank you for your support, your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Jacinda Ardern’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Next steps to end family and sexual violence
    The 2020 Budget includes significant support to stabilise New Zealand’s family violence services, whose work has been shown to be so essential throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in housing gives more people access to the home they deserve
    The Green Party says huge new investment in public and transitional housing will get thousands more families into the warm, safe homes they deserve.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Huge investment in green nature based jobs jump starts sustainable COVID recovery
    The Green Party says the $1.1 billion environmental investment in this year’s budget to create thousands of green jobs will help jump start a sustainable recovery from the COVID crisis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Grant Robertson’s 2020 Budget Speech
    Read Minister of Finance Grant Robertson's Budget 2020 Speech. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters tells struggling migrant workers ‘you should probably go home’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today the Coalition Government told foreigners at the start of the Covid-19 crisis that if their circumstances had changed dramatically, they should go home. "And 50,000 did," Mr Peters said. Official advice to Cabinet revealed there is potentially 380,000 foreigners and migrant workers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes today’s Alert Level 2 announcement
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the decision today to go to Alert Level 2 from midnight Wednesday, says Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. Alert Level 2 will mean a return to work for the vast majority of New Zealand’s businesses. A return ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to be protected after amendment to First Responders Bill
    Nurses now look set to get more protection from violence at work, under a proposed new law. This after NZ First MP Darroch Ball's "Protection for First Responders Bill", which introduces a six-month minimum sentence for assaults on first responders, will now also cover emergency department healthcare workers. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nurses to get more protection, added to ‘First Responders’ legislation
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Law and Order Spokesperson An amendment to the ‘Protection of First Responders Bill’ is being tabled which will see emergency department healthcare workers included in the legislation. “During this COVID-19 crisis we have seen reports of violence and specifically increased incidents of spitting towards ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones: Northland port could be economic haven
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is breathing new life into the proposal to move Auckland's port to Whangārei to help in the economic recovery post Covid-19 pandemic. If New Zealand First was returned in the September general election, Minister Jones said a priority would be development of an "economic haven" at Northport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF grant for Ventnor memorial
    The plan to build a memorial to the SS Ventnor, and those who were lost when it sank off the Hokianga coast in 1902, has been granted $100,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund. Originally planned for a site near Rāwene cemetery, the memorial will now be built at the new Manea ...
    3 weeks ago
  • 75th anniversary of V.E Day
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters said: “Today is the 75th anniversary of VE Day – marking the end of World War II in Europe." Millions died in the six years of war, and families were torn apart. 75 years ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting the job done
    From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Government has committed to providing calm, clear, and consistent communication, including regular press conference updates from the Prime Minister. While New Zealand is at Alert Level 3, we're making sure that New Zealanders are kept informed and up-to-date with all the latest ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters responds to Simon Bridges’ ‘my sweetheart’ comment
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay. A day earlier, National Party leader Simon Bridges was on the radio show and referred to the Deputy Prime Minister as, "my sweetheart Winston". Mr Peters swiftly dismissed the question of whether Bridges had changed his mind about ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
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    47 mins ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
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    11 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
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    21 hours ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
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    2 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
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    3 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
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    4 days ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
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    4 days ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
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    4 days ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
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    5 days ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
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    5 days ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
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    5 days ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
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    6 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
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    6 days ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
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    7 days ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
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    7 days ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
    Budget 2020 provides a major investment in New Zealand’s documentary heritage sector, with a commitment to leasing a new Archives Wellington facility and an increase in funding for Archives and National Library work. “Last year I released plans for a new Archives Wellington building – a purpose-built facility physically connected ...
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    1 week ago
  • Driving prompt payments to small businesses
    Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. The Ministers of Finance, Small Business, Commerce and Consumer Affairs have written to more than 40 significant enterprises and banking industry representatives to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
    Maori Arts and Crafts will continue to underpin the heart of the tourism sector says Minister for Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta.  “That’s why we are making a core investment of $7.6 million to Te Puia New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, over two years, as part of the Government’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
    The Government is funding more pathways to jobs through training and education programmes in regional New Zealand to support the provinces’ recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson have announced. “New Zealand’s economic recovery will be largely driven by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
     Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced the launch of a national conversation that aims to find out whether New Zealanders think there should be a formal agreement between service people, the Government, and the people of New Zealand. “This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World ...
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    1 week ago
  • Paving the way for a fully qualified early learning workforce
    The Government’s drive to improve the quality of early childhood education (ECE) is taking another step forward with the reintroduction of a higher funding rate for services that employ fully qualified and registered teachers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “Research shows that high-quality ECE can improve young people’s learning ...
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    1 week ago
  • Sport Recovery Package announced
    The Sport and Recreation sector will receive a multi-million dollar boost as part of the COVID-19 response funded at Budget 2020.  Grant Robertson says the Sport and Recreation Sector contributes about $5 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP and employs more than 53,000 people. “Sport plays a significant role ...
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    1 week ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and outside the state care system – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
    Vital conservation and visitor infrastructure destroyed by a severe flood event in Fiordland earlier this year is being rebuilt through a $13.7 million Budget 2020 investment, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.   “This investment will mean iconic Great Walks such as the Routeburn track and the full length of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
    The Government is investing  $40 million in a partnership with Māori to get more whānau into warm, dry and secure accommodation, Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Hon Nanaia Mahuta says.. “We are partnering with Māori and iwi to respond to the growing housing crisis in the wake of COVID-19. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders Safe In The Water
    Keeping New Zealanders safe in the water Our lifeguards and coastguards who keep New Zealanders safe in the water have been given a funding boost thanks to the 2020 Budget, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Poto Williams has announced. The water safety sector will receive $63 million over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
    The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, which set a sound legal framework ahead of the move to Alert level 2, has been referred to a parliamentary select committee for review.  Attorney-General David Parker said the review of the operation of the COVID-19 specific law would be reported back to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand condemns the targeting of civilians in two terrorist attacks in Afghanistan earlier this week. “The terrorist attacks on a hospital in Kabul and a funeral in Nangarhar province are deeply shocking. The attacks were deliberate and heinous acts of extreme violence targeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to close tobacco tax loophole
    The Government will close a loophole that allowed some people to import cigarettes and loose leaf tobacco for manufacturing cigarettes and ‘roll your owns’ for sale on the black market without excise tax being paid, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The legislation, which doesn’t affect duty free allowances for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $62 million package to support families through the Family Court
    The Coalition Government has made a significant $62 million investment from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to start the reform of the Family Court and enable it to respond effectively to the increased backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today Justice Minister Andrew Little introduced the Family Court (Supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tailored help supports new type of job seeker – report
    The Government’s expanded services to support people into jobs will help an emerging cohort of New Zealanders impacted by COVID-19. The impacted group are relatively younger, have a proportionately low benefit history and have comparatively higher incomes than most who seek support, as captured in a report published today from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • A modern approach to night classes
    New funding to boost Government-funded Adult and Community Education (ACE) will give more than 11,000 New Zealanders more opportunities to learn, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This includes a modern approach to rebuilding night classes, which were slashed in the middle of our last economic crisis in 2010,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Call makes significant progress
    Significant progress has been delivered in the year since the Christchurch Call to Action brought governments and tech companies together in Paris with a single goal to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardent says. On its first anniversary, Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch Call: One year Anniversary
    Joint statement: the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister of New Zealand and His Excellency Emmanuel Macron President of the French Republic. One year since we launched, in Paris, the Christchurch Call to Action, New Zealand and France stand proud of the progress we have made toward our goal to eliminate terrorist ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago