John Key welcomes the Telegraph Travel Award announcement.
Prime Minister John Key will travel to the United Kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Switzerland next week, attending meetings of the World Economic Forum and International Democrat Union.
In London, Mr Key will meet with Prime Minister David Cameron, Opposition Leader Ed Miliband, the Governor of the Bank of England and business leaders.
The Prime Minister will then travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina to Chair a meeting of the Executive Committee of the International Democrat Union and also meet with the President and the Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mr Key will then attend this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, from 21 to 23 January.
“Davos is an ideal platform to engage with key international influencers, on a wide range of issues of global importance, as well as to meet bilaterally with international counterparts,” says Mr Key.
Trade Minister Tim Groser will also travel to Davos to attend Ministerial meetings and meet with Ministerial counterparts, as part of the World Economic Forum.Tweet
Prime Minister John Key has strongly condemned the violent attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris.
“This horrific attack has reportedly left 12 people dead and others fighting for their lives,” Mr Key says.
“Our thoughts are with the families of those who have lost loved ones, those injured in this brutal attack, and the people of France.”
The French authorities have confirmed the shooting was politically motivated.
“The targeting of journalists going about their daily work is an attack on the fourth estate and the democratic principles of freedom of speech and expression, which must be strongly condemned.”
“We hope those responsible for this attack can be quickly apprehended and brought to justice for their crimes,” Mr Key says.
At this stage there are no reports of any New Zealanders caught up in the attack.
New Zealanders in Paris are advised to follow the advice of the local authorities and register their details at www.safetravel.co.nzTweet
Prime Minister John Key says the latest Indicators and Progress Report for the Government’s Methamphetamine Action Plan shows more prisoners are completing drug treatment programmes.
The report released today shows more than 1000 prisoners a year are starting programmes in a drug treatment unit – more than double the number in 2008/2009. Over three-quarters of prisoners successfully complete their programme.
“We know that two thirds of our prison population have substance abuse problems, so the high completion rate for these programmes is encouraging,” says Mr Key.
“We also know many prisoners find remaining substance-free challenging, which is why National campaigned on rolling out specialist after-care programmes for prisoners who have completed a three - or six-month drug treatment unit programme following release from prison.
“We’ve also increased the treatment options available in the community, with the latest report showing a further reduction in waiting times.”
The report shows the price of methamphetamine remains high – around $100 per ‘point’ and $700 per gram, prices which have been steady since the Methamphetamine Action Plan was launched in 2009.
The prevalence of P in New Zealand has more than halved, from a high of 2.2 per cent of the population in 2009 to 1 per cent in the past year – up slightly from 0.9 per cent of the population a year ago.
“When the Methamphetamine Action Plan was launched, New Zealand had one of the highest P prevalence rates in the world,” says Mr Key.
“The fact that rate has more than halved is testament to the efforts of law enforcement, border and health agencies over the past five years. That effort has to be maintained in order to squeeze the trade in illicit drugs and to prevent New Zealanders becoming addicted to P.”
When the Methamphetamine Action Plan was launched in 2009 it included 21 cross agency actions, including ending the sale of over-the-counter pseudoephedrine, increasing the capacity of alcohol and drug treatment services, and targeting funds forfeited under the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act to rehabilitation and crime-fighting initiatives.
All but one of those actions have now been completed. The outstanding action, replacing the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Act 1966, is expected to begin next year.
“Around $50 million in criminal proceeds has been forfeited, and about half is directly linked to methamphetamine offences,” says Mr Key. “So far, $11 million has been used to support a range of initiatives, including cash detection training for drug dogs, the Alcohol and Drug Treatment Court Pilot, and rehabilitation programmes.”
Mr Key says since gangs remain a principal source of meth supply and sale the whole-of-government action plan on tacking gangs will be an important part of the next phase in cracking down on supply.
The Methamphetamine Action Plan’s next update will be in 12 months’ time, and will coincide with the next Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act funding round.
The latest report is available at www.dpmc.govt.nz/dpmc/publications/methamphetamine.Tweet
Prime Minister John Key says the New Zealand Government is currently monitoring the situation in Sydney as events continue to unfold.
“Our hearts go out to those involved and our thoughts are very much with them and their families,” says Mr Key.
Prime Minister John Key contacted Prime Minister Tony Abbott directly to offer a message of support, shortly after the siege got underway today.
Currently, agencies are unable to confirm the nationalities of those involved, including whether any New Zealanders have been caught up in this situation.
Authorities in New Zealand and Australia will continue to stay in close contact as events unfold and facts become clearer.
Given the situation is still developing, there is currently no further information or comment to add.Tweet
Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key has welcomed Air New Zealand’s announcement today that they are opening up a new route to South America.
Air New Zealand will start flying to Buenos Aires, Argentina three days a week from December 2015. The service is Air New Zealand’s first to South America.
“South America offers significant potential for the New Zealand tourism industry so I am pleased Air New Zealand has decided to start flying there,” says Mr Key.
“New Zealand has welcomed 30,000 visitors from South and Central America in the past year - a 7 per cent increase on the previous year. Brazil is one of the strongest markets, up 21 per cent in the past year.”
Mr Key says Tourism New Zealand has significantly increased its investment in South America, opening an office in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2013.
“Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand work in partnership to market New Zealand as a destination internationally and both are committed to growing the South America market,” says Mr Key.Tweet