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15 April 2014
Prime Minister saddened by death of Owen Woodhouse

Prime Minister John Key today expressed his condolences to the family of Sir Owen Woodhouse, ONZ KBE DSC. Sir Owen passed away aged 97.

“Sir Owen Woodhouse was a man whose life exemplified public service and duty to his country,” Mr Key said.

“He was a decorated naval officer in World War II, receiving a Distinguished Service Cross for operations in the Adriatic, before embarking on a long and distinguished career as a jurist at the highest level.”

“He is best known for chairing the Royal Commission on Accident Compensation, authoring the Woodhouse Report, which recommended a no-fault accident compensation scheme for New Zealand. He leaves a genuinely important legacy.”

Sir Owen was made an Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand in 2007, after being made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1981.

Sir Owen Woodhouse was President of the Court of Appeal between 1981 and 1986, and was made a Privy Counsellor and member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 1974.

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01 April 2014
Tourism fund opens for second round

Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key today announced the opening of the second funding round of the Tourism Growth Partnership.

This $28 million Government incentive is available over four years and is aimed at boosting innovation and uplifting productivity in the tourism sector to ensure New Zealand gains more from international visitors’ spend.

This contestable funding round will be accepting applications until 31 May 2014.

“Round one of the Tourism Growth Partnership attracted $37.3 million in funding requests from applicants, with projected value of $98.5 million in business growth.  This is a good indication that the industry is ready to start investing to remain competitive globally,” says Mr Key.

“Currently projects worth $28.59 million in tourism sector growth, with potential government funding of $4.7 million are progressing through the business plan stage and will be matched dollar for dollar by industry.

“For the second round of the Tourism Growth Partnership I encourage applicants to collaborate with industry sectors such as IT, hospitality, retail, and market development to respond to new market opportunities.

“Restoring visitor confidence in the Canterbury region, growing emerging markets and leveraging New Zealand’s unique cultural aspects are among the priorities of this funding programme.”

Two earlier out-of-round successful applications were the Canterbury Tourism Partnership and the Tourism Industry Association for the development of the Tourism 2025 growth framework.

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01 April 2014
NZ designates further groups as terrorist entities

New Zealand has designated a further two international terrorist groups under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, Prime Minister John Key announced today.

The groups Boko Haram and Ansaru from Nigeria.

“These designations help implement our international obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 aimed at preventing the activities of terrorists,” says Mr Key.

“Both entities have committed various terrorist acts, including the killing of civilians.

“As a result of the designations, any assets held by the groups and found in New Zealand either now, or in the future, will be frozen. It will also be a criminal offence to deal with their property or make property or financial services available to them.”

Forms of support, such as fundraising and recruiting or harbouring terrorists, are criminal offences in New Zealand, regardless of whether a group is designated as a terrorist entity or not.

“These designations are not a response to domestic terrorist threats in New Zealand and nor are they influenced by New Zealand’s relationship with other countries. However, they do form part of our Government’s support against terrorism activities,” says Mr Key.

“Our ability to designate terrorist entities not listed by the United Nations is an important counter-terrorism measure. Our Government is determined that New Zealand not be used to support terrorist activities,” says Mr Key.

To date, New Zealand has designated under UN Security Council Resolutions 1267/1989 and 1988 over 400 terrorist groups and individuals listed by the United Nations, and the two groups designated today brings the number of terrorist entities not listed by the UN to 19.

The others are;

  • Al Shabaab (Somalia)
  • Euskadi Ta Askatasuna  (ETA)
  • Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias Colombia
  • Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN)
  • Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) (Turkey)
  • Indian Mujahideen
  • Palestinian Islamic Jihad
  • The military wing of Hamas or Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (Occupied Palestinian Territory)
  • Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA)
  • Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)
  • Harakat al-Jihad al Islami-Bangladesh (HUJI-B)
  • Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AABM) (Occupied Palestinian Territory)
  • New People’s Army/Communist Party of the Philippines
  • Hizbollah’s Military Wing or Al-Muqawama Al-Islamiyya (The Islamic Resistance) (Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian Territory)
  • Jundallah (Iran)
  • The Revolutionary People’s Army/Party (DHKP/C) (Turkey)
  • The Shining Path (Peru)
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26 March 2014
NZ to fund nuclear security training

Prime Minister John Key today announced that New Zealand contribute $300,000 towards nuclear security training in Africa and Latin America.

The Prime Minister made the announcement at the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands, which has brought together leaders from 53 countries to ensure that States take the responsibilities for nuclear security seriously, and work with each other to ensure that nuclear materials do not fall into the hands of terrorists. 

Mr Key attended the first Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC in 2010 at the invitation of President Obama, and he also attended the second Summit in Seoul in March 2012.

The training, delivered in partnership with the United States, will benefit people who operate radiation detection equipment at major seaports.

“Being able to detect radiation is an essential step in preventing the illegal movement of nuclear material,” says Mr Key.

“New Zealand is committed to improving the security of vulnerable nuclear materials around the world.”

Since the first Nuclear Security Summit in 2010, New Zealand has contributed more than $3 million to projects strengthening nuclear security.

“Our most recent contributions include $200,000 to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Nuclear Security Fund, and $570,000 to US-led projects that will support mobile detection capabilities in Africa and Latin America.  

“We have also provided $100,000 to the World Institute for Nuclear Security, which is working to produce an online certification system for nuclear security training.”

Mr Key has also taken the opportunity to hold meetings on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit with several world leaders.

These included Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel; Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron; Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper; and Presidents of the European Council and European Commission, Herman Van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso.

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26 March 2014
New Zealand and EU agree to deepen relations

New Zealand and the European Union (EU) have agreed to take steps to deepen their relationship including through a possible Free Trade Agreement following a meeting in The Hague. 

Prime Minister John Key met with President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso and President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy during the Nuclear Security Summit.

“The EU is our third largest trading partner with over $16 billion in two-way trade of goods and services.  It is also a long-standing close friend and partner.  We share common interests, values and history,” said Mr Key.

“However, we can’t afford to be complacent, especially given the shift in economic gravity to Asia.  We’ve agreed to consider our options for refreshing our trade and economic relationship over the next 12 months.”

For the first time, the EU has agreed to consider a Free Trade Agreement as one such option.

“This is a significant development.  We’ve always said a Free Trade Agreement is the obvious next step.  We’re not there yet, but the issue is now on the agenda – and that’s a step forward.  We’re going to come back to this in 2015 to take decisions on what to do next,” says Mr Key.

“Our relationship is broader than just trade.  We’re also working to conclude a new Partnership Agreement which will provide a blueprint for all aspects of our relationship well into the 21st century.” 

“The EU’s decision to upgrade its diplomatic mission in Wellington is a positive demonstration of its commitment to the relationship.  I look forward to welcoming the EU’s first resident Ambassador in Wellington.” Prime Minister Key says.