55 days ago

"A message from Police: Have a safe Easter – at home

Brian from New Lynn

Police will be ramping up visibility in communities and on the roads including operating checkpoints over the Easter period, making sure people are safe and complying with the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions. We know many New Zealanders may have been planning to catch up with friends and family this weekend, or travel to traditional holiday destinations but we urge anyone who was planning to do this – please change your plans and stay home. To help ensure people know about the Health Act restrictions, Police will be out and about checking that people are travelling for essential purposes only. Officers will be visible in our communities and on the roads, including around popular holiday spots, and on the arterial roads to them, to make sure people are aware of the requirement that everyone in New Zealand need to stay at their current place of residence while the Level 4 restrictions are in place. Police will also be deploying checkpoints at a number of locations, in collaboration with local authorities and Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups. Our primary focus will be on reminding people if you don’t have to travel, then please don’t. It’s simple - travelling to and from different towns and cities risks spreading Covid-19, and puts lives at risk. Travelling to the bach for a holiday is not essential travel and it is not permitted. Police’s first step will be to educate, but if people continue to break the rules, Police will use their discretion to warn people, or if necessary, they could be arrested. We’re asking everyone to play their part this Easter, stick to the rules and stay home within their bubble – and keep themselves and their communities safe.

More messages from your neighbours
2 days ago

Auckland's drought rings alarm bells - is anyone listening?

Todd Niall Reporter from Auckland Stuff

Hi Neighbours, It might be raining but the record dry which is depleting Auckland's water supply is not going away in a hurry. Is it "just a dought?": Read the story below:

4 days ago

Show neighbours your photography snaps of Auckland!

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

Kia ora Auckland, it's time to dust off that old camera, get out and about and show the rest of your neighbours your favourite, treasured spots in your region. It could be an awesome view, the shy wildlife or even the old buildings that are wanting their stories to be told.

Go ahead, get snapping and illustrate what's beyond your backyard.

Post your photographs in the comments below ⬇️

4 hours ago

Apprenticeship fees scrapped for all from July 1

Brian from New Lynn

The $320 million programme aims to stave off a sharp drop in training that occurred after the global financial crisis, when trainees plunged from 133,000 to 83,000. It will be funded out of a four-year, $1.6 billion package announced in last month's Budget, which also includes a further $412m employer apprenticeship subsidy which has yet to be detailed. The Budget said the $320m fund for free trades training would be restricted to "courses linked to industry skills needs in building and construction, agriculture and manufacturing and also vocational courses like community health, counselling and care work". Education Minister Chris Hipkins says the free courses will now be extended to all apprentices in all industries. However, apprentices and trainees in targeted sectors will have compulsory student services fees and other compulsory course costs paid as well as their training fees.
The targeted sectors for the rest of this year are:
• Primary industries, including agriculture, horticulture and viticulture, fisheries (including aquaculture) and forestry;
• Construction, including building, plumbing, and civil engineering;
• Community support, including youth work, care for elderly, counselling and community health, including mental health and addiction support;
• Manufacturing and mechanical engineering and technology;
• Electrical engineering; and
• Road transport (eg heavy vehicle operator).
"For 2021, we will refine these initial targeted areas to reflect the work that is under way across Government to better understand how industry workforce needs are being affected by Covid-19 and what skills will be needed to support the country's economic recovery," Hipkins said. The measures will apply to existing apprentices and trainees as well as new sign-ups, and will apply from July 1 this year until December 2022. Trainees will save up to $6780 for an NZ Certificate in Mechanical Engineering. The move comes just in time, as Statistics NZ said building consents for new dwellings in April dropped 17 per cent below the same month last year due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation chief executive Warwick Quinn said the drop could have forced employers to lay off up to 30 per cent of their apprentices without Government support. "At the moment our apprentice numbers are holding up, however we are not seeing the number of signups because of the large drop-off over the lockdown," he said. "We have quite a number waiting in the wings for the Government's announcement on free fees - several hundred waiting for that decision." He said some employers were ready to hire more apprentices with Government support. "I had a call from a pretty large contractor asking, 'Do you think there will be sufficient support that will provide me with enough to be able to employ someone fulltime so I can manage all of my apprentices? If I could afford to, I would take on another 30'," Quinn said. "My hope is that that is going to happen. They are quite a big commercial builder in Wellington."
Auckland builder Ross Faulkner, who has eight apprentices, said he intends to keep them all even though house-building projects he had lined up before the lockdown for an architect and two Air NZ staff have been put on hold because of the Covid-19 crisis. "Stress levels are rising, you might say," he said. "We have been able to juggle are expecting a few jobs to come through in the next week or two."