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July 16, 2018 | by  | in News |
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Political Round Up

Government Replacing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft
The Ministry of Defence has announced that they will be putting aside 2.3 billion dollars to purchase new aircraft.
On the 10th July, Defence Minister Ron Mark made the announcement that four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft will be purchased from the United States Department of Defence.
These aircraft will replace the aging P-3K2 Orion turboprop aircraft which have a use-by date of 2025, two years before the Boeings take up operational service.
Mark stated that the purchase “enables New Zealand to continue to deploy in a wide range of airborne maritime situations independently when required,” said Ron Mark.
The roles and responsibilities of the new aircraft include: engaging in maritime surveillance and disaster response, search and rescue deployment covering vast areas of the South Pacific Ocean, and environmental and marine resource monitoring.
Phil Twyford Fined for a Phone Call at the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time
The Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford has been fined $500 by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for making a phone call while an aircraft was taxiing.
In a statement, CAA Director Graeme Harris said that the minister had been sent an infringement notice, but reiterated that his actions did not pose a significant security threat to people on board the aircraft. “Mr Twyford stopped using his phone before the aircraft took off so his actions did not pose a significant risk to the flight.” Twyford has unreservedly apologised, saying that he accepts the findings of those investigating the incident, citing the irony that he broke the rule being Transport Minister.
The incident came to light after National MP Judith Collins received information from a member of public.

Twyford has offered his resignation to the Prime Minister, who rejected the resignation, instead stripping him of his Civil Aviation responsibilities.

In 2014, former Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee was fined $2000 by the CAA for bypassing security when boarding a domestic flight.

The Opportunities Party is No More
Tycoon Gareth Morgan’s The Opportunities Party (TOP) will not seek seats in the 2020 general election.
The tycoon announced on 8 July that his party will lapse its registration with the electoral commission and not seek reelection for an indefinite period. The Party was formed in 2016 to contest the 2017 election. Gareth Morgan acknowledged that he was proud of the policy manifesto created by the party.

TOP had numerous areas of focus in its policy manifesto; these included a heavy focus on universal tax reform on wages and for more tax to be paid on owners of assets. When it came to the election day, it was shown that it had struggled to engage with the New Zealand public, with 2.4% votes won on election day.

Logie’s portfolio as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary on Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues holds the first dedicated role to sexual violence reparation in NZ Parliament’s history.

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