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News in brief, March 7, 2023

Goat patrol

SH2 Remutaka Hill Rd will be closed from 9.30am to 10.30am each morning from Monday, March 13 to Thursday, March 16, for feral goat control operations that are undertaken annually to reduce the likelihood of feral goats causing car crashes. The operation needs four days of fine weather for the aerial operation and could be postponed to the following week at short notice.

Farmer grant extended

The government is increasing its recovery grants for farmers and growers impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle by $26 million. Finance minister Grant Robertson said the funding extended the help available through the $25m grant package announced in February. So far, 2846 applications have been made, and $17.4m has been paid out since the grants were announced last week. Applications for the clean-up grants are open until March 20.

Business recovery boost

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment [MBIE] has provided Tararua District Council [TDC] with a $355,000 grant to help local cyclone-affected businesses recover. Tararua mayor Tracey Collis said the grant will assist businesses in the district to maintain cash flow and begin operating again. Grants may be available to businesses, sole traders, and self-employed people if they meet the criteria. They may be used to support firms that face significant cashflow issues due to continued challenges with customer access, ability to source stock, supply chain issues, inability to operate as usual due to physical damage to equipment or premises, or delays in insurance assessment and repairs.

Strike possible

Principals and teachers across New Zealand have voted to reject the government’s latest offer to settle their collective employment agreements. NZEI Te Riu Roa teacher’s union president Mark Potter said the offer did not go far enough to ensure that teaching was a valued and attractive profession. Union members will now vote on whether to go on strike. The outcome of the ballot will be announced on March 10 and, if members vote in favour of the action, the strike will occur on March 16.

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