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Shane to meet Shayne; RBNZ bill; Kensington Swan merger

Shane Jones to meet ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott; Whaleoil shuts down; Hipkins announces one polytech to rule them all; RBNZ issues Financial Market Infrastructure draft bill; KensingtonSwan to merge with Dentons

Shayne to meet ShaneInfrastructure Minister Shane Jones said he traveled on Thursday to Melbourne with a group of New Zealand construction industry leaders to learn about major project delivery and how the Australian industry and Victorian state government undertake workforce training. Jones would meet the Victorian Skills Commissioner and Infrastructure Victoria, and visit large infrastructure projects.  He said he would also be meeting ANZ Group CEO Shayne Elliott. "I look forward to a free and frank discussion with Mr Elliot about the role ANZ wants to play in the development of New Zealand’s regions,” Jones said.

Whale hooked boiled down - Notorious right wing blog Whale Oil Beef Hooked (I'll never link to it) announced it had posted its last blog. Blog owner Cameron Slater is mired in legal action and financial problems, and has said he cannot blog because of a stroke. Good riddance. Slater was at the centre of the 'Dirty Politics' scandal, which exposed Slater's use by Prime Minister John Key's ninth floor Beehive office as a launderer of scandal. (Herald)

The one - Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced the government would merge the 16 polytechnics into a single institute next year and replace all 11 industry training organisations within three years as part of a total overhaul of the vocational education system. Hipkins said the new institute would be created in April 2020 and would be a new kind of organisation providing both on and off-the-job learning. He said the head office would not be in Auckland nor Wellington and it would be known provisionally as the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology.

Draft exposed - The Reserve Bank published an exposure draft of the Financial Market Infrastructure Bill (FMI Bill), and is asking for feedback by September 26. The bill comes after two rounds of consultation and creates a new Act to replace the current regime, which is contained in Parts 5B and 5C of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989. Financial Market Infrastructures (FMIs) are systems used for payment, clearing, settling or recording of financial transactions. The FMIs are usually banks and other types of financial institution, but can also include individuals, retailers, and other types of businesses.

Legal merger - Kensington Swan announced it would merge with global law firm Dentons, with the combination due to launch early next year.

AxiCorp axed - The Financial Markets Authority announced it had suspended the derivatives issuer licence of AxiTrader for material breaches of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013, including, making a regulated offer to retail clients in New Zealand without a compliant Product Disclosure Statement or Disclose register entry, failing to lodge audited financial statements; and failing to obtain an assurance engagement with a qualified auditor, for its processes, procedures and controls, within 4 months of its balance date. The FMA said AxiCorp also contravened its licence conditions by failing to notify the FMA as soon as possible of a change to senior or other key staff, following the appointment of its CFO.

Beijing trip - Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said left for Beijing overnight for a ministerial meeting as negotiations for a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) enter into the final stages. RCEP covers 16 countries, which include almost half the world’s population and markets that take more than half our New  Zealand's exports. It includes India. RCEP encompasses the 10 members of ASEAN—Brunei-Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam, plus the six countries with which ASEAN has free trade agreements—Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand. O’Connor is travelling from 1-7 August. Here's the MFAT background page on RCEP.

Cheaper change - Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced fees of $95 currently required to apply to change the registered sex on a birth certificate would be waived. Meanwhile, Martin announced the creation of a group representing the transgender and intersex communities and medical and legal experts with experience in transgender issues to provide recommendations on to further reduce barriers to changing registered sex via the current process. Kate Scarlet, a lawyer with substantial expertise in the process for changing registered sex, will chair the group. Other members are Jack Byrne, Mani Mitchell, Georgina Beyer, Jeannie Oliphant, Fleur Fitzsimons and Ahi Wi-Hongi. They would meet from August to December 2019 and produce recommendations by early next year.

Wider support - Minister for Veterans Ron Mark announced that all veterans who served in the Former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands are now eligible for support and services from Veterans’ Affairs.

ETS changes - Climate Change Minister James Shaw and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme for foresters and industrial emitters. Foresters will be able to use 'averaging accounting' to allow foresters to move their forests without being penalised and to be able to recover from storm and fire damage. The phasing in details for industrial emitters currently receiving a free allocation were also announced.

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