21 October 2011
Key Notes - The Rena

In this issues of Key Notes, I talk about the Rena, the All Blacks, KiwiSaver, efforts to boost trade with India, Christchurch - and a few upcoming events in my diary, including a visit next week from British Prime Minister David Cameron.



On Tuesday I went to Tauranga again to get a further update on the container ship Rena, which is stranded on the Astrolabe reef. I also met the local chamber of commerce.

The salvage team is working to pump as much oil off the ship as possible so that it doesn't spill into the sea.  But the weather is very variable and, even in calm conditions, this is a very difficult task.

At this stage, we don't know how long the recovery might take. The ship remains stranded and it's very much a waiting game. This is as frustrating for the salvage team as it is for everyone else.

The Government is putting every available resource into the clean up and recovery efforts, and this will continue.

I'd like to thank everyone who has volunteered so far. I've met people who are going out of their way to clean up beaches, protect wildlife, and help in any way they can. We'll continue to need the help of volunteers, so if you are able, please sign up at   

For further information please visit Maritime New Zealand's website at It includes an extensive timeline of the Government's response since the ship was first stranded.


I'll be joining thousands of others at Eden Park on Sunday night for the Rugby World Cup final between the All Blacks and France. It'll be a tough game, but I'm backing Richie and the boys all the way to play the best rugby of their lives and bring home the Webb Ellis Cup.


On Tuesday Finance Minister Bill English announced that the Government intends to do a one-off KiwiSaver auto-enrolment exercise in 2014/15. This is subject to the government's books returning to surplus by then.

All workers who are not already in the KiwiSaver scheme would be automatically enrolled, with the ability to opt out.

This is another step in National's plan to build genuine national savings. We are working hard to return to surplus, repay debt, and build long-term economic growth.


Yesterday in Auckland I launched the New Zealand Inc India Strategy. It's a plan that outlines how New Zealand can make the most of the opportunities India provides.

India is emerging as an economic superpower, and stronger ties between our two countries will benefit us hugely.

This will be the first of many NZ Inc country and regional strategies. In addition to India, strategies are being developed on China, the United States, Australia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the European Union.

By trading more with the rest of the world, we will build a stronger economy, create jobs, boost incomes, and raise living standards for Kiwi families.


Last week data was released showing that Canterbury's economy is making steady progress.This shows just how resilient the people of Canterbury have been despite the challenges of the past year.   

Manufacturing and exports have grown consistently since the February earthquake, while job advertisements have increased sharply in recent months. Other indicators are stable, showing that many businesses are managing well, although some industries such as tourism and retail continue to struggle.

The Government is spending $5.5 billion over six years to rebuild Christchurch. For more information on the steps the Government is taking, visit


On Wednesday in Christchurch I opened the Raeward Fresh store in Harewood, spoke at a lunch for young businesspeople, and opened the High Street Medical Centre. I then attended the funeral of Christopher Doig before flying to Auckland for Style Pasifika, which was a great show. Yesterday in Auckland I opened Sir Peter Leitch's sports museum in Manurewa. Today I'm in South Canterbury for a number of events. Then I'm returning to Auckland for the weekend for a number of meetings on Saturday and the big game on Sunday.

Next week British Prime Minister David Cameron will visit New Zealand.

I hope you all have a safe and happy long weekend, and enjoy the chance to spend some time with family and friends.

Best wishes,

John Key
Prime Minister


Click here to join me on Google Plus.
Click here to follow me on Twitter.
Click here to support me on Facebook.
Click here to check out our photos on Flickr.

Click here to read Bill English's Focus on Finance.
Click here to subscribe to newsletters from Ministers.



No Trackbacks

Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)

#1 - David 2011-10-21 17:01 - (Reply)

The British PM will be here - Ask him why it is so hard for Kiwi's to get get a work permit in the UK! It should be as of right, our heritage,if our grandparents are from the UK.

#1.1 - Jason 2011-10-22 03:27 - (Reply)

Thats a silly question, it's not your right, pathway, passage, etc, earn it on merit, why would he want average kiwis take the jobs of many unemployed british people.

#1.1.1 - manu 2011-10-22 21:20 - (Reply)

because many average brits come here and shoe-in the professional roles our graduates have to travel to london on working holiday visas to find work in.

#2 - John Leader 2011-10-21 17:08 - (Reply)

It is not the quality of the response to the Rena, but the perception of delay which is damaging. The electorate just doesnt get the concept of a measured response as the situation escalated.7HOV

#3 - Gary Westwood 2011-10-21 17:35 - (Reply)

Good work on 'Rena' PM. Sure, some local bureaucracy got in the way at the beginning but it was good to see central government swing into action. Stephen Joyce and Nic Smith both acquitted themselves well despite the best attempts of our leftist media to portray otherwise. I particularly enjoyed Stephen Joyce's demolition of Holmes on Q+A. The biggest own goal was Goff in his shiny shoes and suit wielding a shine shovel purportedly clearing Mt Maunganui beach single handed.

#4 - Kyle Dalton 2011-10-21 18:08 - (Reply)

While I agree with the idea of Kiwisaver, and making it compulsory, the mechanisms it operates under and the service providers who ultimately run the scheme are woefully inadequate. Four months (and counting)to change providers, and then they lose your money in the system, does not bode well.

#5 - Stuart Ellis 2011-10-21 18:48 - (Reply)

Why is it that we dont have redundancy with the equipment being used in this salvage operation? ie only one of each, one turbo pump, one oil recovery ship, one power supply to run the pumps etc, it seams to me that having multiple solutions available in the short time available would be wise. This seams so linear, we hope it isn't. Even if you have to intitiate getting tugs, ships or equipment from Australia now then if we need it, we will have it, when we need it.

#6 - Cliff 2011-10-21 22:25 - (Reply)

"The Government is putting every available resource into the clean up and recovery efforts, and this will continue". What does this *really* mean? Cheers, Cliff

#7 - Dianne 2011-10-22 07:02 - (Reply)

Very proud of you as our Prime Minister John. I think the soft compulsion towards Kiwi Saver is a very good idea. It is at least giving folk an option of opting out should they choose too.I think you and your Ministers have handled the Rena accident well. Keep up the good work.

#8 - Sam 2011-10-22 10:31 - (Reply)

We should be asking John Key to get tough with Costamare, the ships real owners and hold them accountable. Notice that no Greek owner has flown out to see their ship for themsleves

#8.1 - Gary Westwood 2011-10-22 15:19 - (Reply)

Why would the Greek owners fly to NZ Sam? We have already arrested and charged the captain and a deck officer. Why would the owners risk the same happening to them?

#9 - Nicola 2011-10-24 16:44 - (Reply)

Thank you for your sensible political prioritising. It seems logical, and possible. Labour scares me. I super strongly believe that you are focusing on the correct and important priorities. Except for rugby. I still hate rugby.

#10 - Paula Wagstaff 2011-10-30 11:14 - (Reply)

Its OK Nicola. Labour scares many of us, but thankfully not half as bad as when they were in power. Now we don't have hospital patients lining the wards of our hospitals and being flown overseas for treatment, instead MANY moe getting quality health care. Labourt are right where they belong, unable to inflick too much havoc on the unsuspecting public, who finally woke up and realised just what they did do to us. NOw we hve hand-ups and not hand-outs, finally the NZ public will realise they had many talents and abilites that Natinal is tappint into so ALL can be involved in raising our standard of living for ALL. The RWC was only the start, we WILL continue. Keep going John & Co Lead, inspire, paint a CLEAR picture that even the youth can see, make them want it bad enough to get on board NZ Inc... The world now knows WHO we are, so we should we realise WHO we are...a nation working rogether for the better of ALL Go National... As other nations struggle and divide, we will rise up and wsork together... The little nationa at the bottom of the world can be an adertisement for the world to see how to work together for the prosperity of all. ALso congrats. to Steven Joyce and Tony Ryall good job we are watching and taking note.

#11 - Gary Westwood 2011-10-30 21:33 - (Reply)

Steven Joyce really needs to hammer home the totally flawed thinking behind the abandonment of the Warkworth motorway extension in favour of the inner city rail loop. Labour is desperate to take Auckland, hence this electoral alliance with Len Brown. Greater Auckland doesnt want or need a rail loop that we will pay for for years by way of punitive congestion taxes. Labour has deemed the motorway extension as the 'holiday highway' hoping that Aucklanders will believe that it is for the benefit only of the 'rich pricks' travelling to their million dollar beach houses at Omaha & Mangawhai. They are wrong of course, for every 'rich prick' there are twenty families heading north with their camping gear to enjoy their annual break at the beach. Then there is the much more important issue of freight in and out of Northland - in the absence of an effective rail link we must make SH1 as efficient and congestion free as possible. The motorway extension is vital for both the people of Auckland & Northland.

Add Comment

To prove you're not a spambot, just answer this simple question: Who is the Prime Minister of New Zealand?
Submitted comments will be subject to moderation before being displayed.