30 March 2012
This edition of Key Notes covers my successful trip to Korea for the second Nuclear Security Summit, a number of meetings I had with world leaders during that trip, the 1 April increases to superannuation and benefits, and progress on our welfare reforms. As always, your comments are welcome.
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29 March 2012
PM congratulates Appeal on 100th project
Prime Minister John Key today congratulated the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust on the funding of its 100th project since the charity was established in February last year.
The Linfield Cultural Recreational Sports Club has been funded $388,980 to provide sports programmes in Christchurch’s eastern suburbs - almost doubling the number of KiwiSport programmes offered to children in the area.
“The east of Christchurch has been one of the hardest-hit areas in the aftermath of last February’s quake,” says Mr Key. “Over a year on, people are still persevering to get their lives back to normal. The funding for the 100th project means thousands of local children can keep active in their lunchtimes, after school and in the holidays, following many months of disruption.”
Almost $140,000 of the grant will be used to extend the KiwiSport programme to four additional schools in Christchurch’s east, meaning over 2500 children in 15 schools will benefit.
“This project is a great example of the Trust building on a successful service to fill a need in the community,” says Mr Key.“KiwiSport has an important part to play as Christchurch rebuilds its community infrastructure, and it’s encouraging to see so many children taking up the opportunity.”
The remainder of the funding enables the Linfield Cultural Recreational Sports Club to continue supporting and providing services to its associated clubs, which deliver sports such as rugby, football, softball, squash and netball, and a community gym to families living in the eastern suburbs.
The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal was launched by Mr Key, and is the Government’s official, global fundraiser for the recovery effort for Christchurch and the Canterbury region.
The Trust has committed funds of around $42 million to a variety of projects, including the Re:Start container mall in Cashel Street, the new Christchurch Stadium and the Court Theatre. Almost $60 million remains to be allocated, with the Trust intending to disburse the majority during 2012.
For more information or to donate, go to http://christchurchappealtrust.org.nz
27 March 2012
Nuclear Security Summit - Seoul, Korea - March 2012
27 March 2012
PM: Nuclear Security Summit an important step forward
Prime Minister John Key today described the second Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul as another important step towards securing nuclear materials and reducing the global threat of nuclear terrorism.
At the Summit, which concluded today, Mr Key also announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$500,000 towards a US-led project to remove highly-enriched uranium from Uzbekistan back to Russia to be reprocessed and securely stored.
“This project reinforces our support for the securing of vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide,” Mr Key says.
New Zealand has a solid history of supporting nuclear security work around the world, including in the former Soviet Union and in South-East Asia. Since 2004, it has committed around $6 million towards G8 Global Partnership projects aimed at securing nuclear materials.
Mr Key says New Zealand has a strong and principled voice on nuclear issues so it has an important role to play in the process.
“We are a small country but we can make a difference on this global issue. My statement to the Summit today reinforced that, even as a small country, we are not immune to the risks posed by nuclear terrorism. I urged my counterparts to take seriously the commitments we made at the last Summit in Washington in 2010 and to push further to ensure nuclear materials don't fall into the wrong hands,” he says.
The 53 states represented at the Summit have issued a communiqué that will guide their collective work until the third Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands in 2014.
Mr Key also held bilateral meetings with several leaders at the Summit today, including the Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Thailand Prime Minister Ms Yingluck Shinawatra, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.Tweet
26 March 2012
Speech to Kiwi Chamber Business Breakfast
Chairman Grant Phillips, members of the Kiwi Chamber and guests.
Thank you for inviting me here this morning to exchange views with you.
PM addressing Kiwi Chamber breakfast in Seoul
I'd lke to take this opportunity at the outset to express my appreciation to the Kiwi Chamber for your tremendous fundraising efforts following the Christchurch earthquake of 22 February 2011.
I understand that as much as NZ$76,000 went to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal and NZ$6,000 to the New Zealand Red Cross thanks to your efforts. Your support for the people of Christchurch is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
I am delighted to be back in Seoul. And can I say that I’m particularly delighted to be here on this day. Because it was on this day, the 26th of March, exactly 50 years ago, that the governments of New Zealand and the Republic of Korea entered into formal diplomatic relations. I think that’s a milestone we can be very proud of.
When I visited Seoul in July 2010 President Lee Myung-bak and I agreed that 2012 would be known as our two countries’ “Year of Friendship”.
Over the 50 years of our diplomatic relationship our two countries have created a web of cooperation that we can celebrate - and which we very much want to enhance.
This was the commitment President Lee and I made in 2010 – that we have a vibrant and broad relationship built on strong historic ties, shared values and mutual commitment. And that we will build a platform for our relationship to move forward.
We reconfirmed this commitment during our conversation yesterday.
Our strong historic ties were founded upon the battlefields of the Korean War over 60 years ago. Yesterday I visited the New Zealand and Australian Memorial at Kapyeong, the site of one of the most critical battles of the war.
At the memorial I remembered the 6,000 New Zealanders who served in the Korean War, those who survived and the 45 who sadly lost their lives. This was a horrendous struggle, the legacy of which endures today.
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