30 July 2009
PM welcomes acceptance of Crown apology
Prime Minister John Key has welcomed a statement of forgiveness from Wellington-based Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika that was given in response to a Crown apology for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.
The statement of forgiveness follows the formal apology given today by the Prime Minister, on behalf of the Crown, to Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika.
The apology was delivered by Mr Key at a ceremony at Parliament following the third reading of the Port Nicholson Block (Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika) Claims Settlement Bill. The legislation settles claims involving the wider Wellington region.
Mr Key says the statement of forgiveness - the first to be delivered formally by iwi to the Crown - marks a new phase in Crown/iwi relations.
The statement was delivered by former Governor General Sir Paul Reeves, a trustee and deputy chairman of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust. The trust is a collective made up of iwi and hapu members descended from Te Atiawa, Ngati Tama, Taranaki, Ngati Ruanui, and other Taranaki iwi.
The apology says the Crown is ‘deeply sorry it had not always lived up to its Treaty of Waitangi obligations and its principles in its dealings with Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika'. (note: full text of apology attached)
"The settlement marks further momentum in settling outstanding historical Treaty of Waitangi claims," says Mr Key.
"The settlement recognises and provides redress for the breaches of the Treaty which have occurred as a consequence of the Crown's action or inactions."
Taranaki Apology (pdf, 22 Kb)Tweet
30 July 2009
Joint Media Statement on expenses
Expenses claimed by members of Parliament will be publicly available every three months, the Prime Minister, the Hon John Key, and the Speaker of the House, the Hon Dr Lockwood Smith, have announced.
The first disclosure of expenses was made today up to June 30, 2009, covering the first two quarters of this year.
They said the decision to disclose the information was made by a cross-party committee on expenses. The committee was convened by the Speaker following a request by the Prime Minister and first met early last month.
"We believe the disclosure reflects a commitment by members of Parliament to be open and accountable to the people of New Zealand.
"Information released today covers those expenses paid under the Speaker's Directions to individual members of Parliament by the Parliamentary Service for Wellington accommodation, out-of-Wellington accommodation, air travel and surface travel costs."
"Payments for travel under the inter-Parliamentary programme by the Office of the Clerk and for Ministerial travel and accommodation by Ministerial ?Services are also being released.
"This disclosure will provide a comprehensive picture of expenses paid to members of Parliament by the three relevant agencies, Parliamentary Service, Office of the Clerk and Ministerial Services," they said.
The next disclosure is expected at the end of October for the quarter ending September 30, 2009.Tweet
29 July 2009
Kopu Bridge replacement gets underway
The start of work on the replacement of Kopu Bridge is another example of the National-led Government moving fast on developing all-important infrastructure, says Prime Minister John Key.
“The Government recognises the importance of developing our infrastructure to help boost the economy and create jobs,” says Mr Key.
Mr Key today attended a sod-turning ceremony at the bridge near Thames to mark the start of work to replace the ageing structure which dates from 1928.
The project will cost $47 million and take three years to complete. When construction is in full swing, up to 50 people will be working full-time on the site, with another 100 people involved in supplying materials and providing supporting services.
“The start of work on the new Kopu Bridge will come as a huge relief to those who rely on it, particularly during peak holiday times when queues up to 10kms long have frustrated motorists.
“The start of construction was brought forward from early 2011 as a result of the Government’s $500 million Jobs and Growth Plan announced earlier this year.
“National was elected on a platform of unclogging the country’s economic arteries. The Government believes that more investment in infrastructure will boost productivity, unlock economic potential, lift non-inflationary growth, and generate employment.”Tweet
28 July 2009
Video Journal No.10
28 July. In this video journal John talks about events (and the weather) over the weekend in Christchurch, including the Robin Hood Foundation awards, and discusses the importance of corporate charities, such as PGG Wrightson's cooperative venture with IHC. John also talks about the Warriors and his new announcements on the national cycleway, an intiative that has received a lot of attention on his social networking sites. He talks about questions raised on those sites concerning the importance of the cycleway as an economic initiative before closing with a few lines about an upcoming 60 Minutes 'behind the scenes' story currently in filming.Tweet