It may be a Government recess at the moment, but plenty has happened over the past week or so. Health Minister Tony Ryall announced the implementation of the shared services agency to harness the power of bulk purchasing for the public health service. This initiative could save $700 million, which will be put into frontline health services.

Environment Minister Nick Smith opened the Waterways Centre in Christchurch with a $100 million grant. The centre is a joint venture between Canterbury and Lincoln Universities that creates a much-needed centre for excellence in freshwater resource education and research.

And in China, the Prime Minister re-affirmed that New Zealand would be continuing to help China develop food safety standards using New Zealand technology and brainpower. We may be in recess, but there is still of lot of crucial work the Government has to do.