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13 April 2015
PM Abbott to make second official visit to NZ

Prime Minister John Key today announced Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s second official visit to New Zealand.

Prime Minister Abbott and his accompanying delegation will arrive in Wellington on Sunday night to take part in the Anzac centenary commemorations.

“It is great to be able to welcome Prime Minister Abbott back to New Zealand so soon after his first visit in February for the Australia-New Zealand leaders’ talks,” says Mr Key. 

“During this visit Prime Minister Abbott and I will participate in the dedication ceremony of the Australian Memorial in the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington. 

“The Park was designed and built to acknowledge the centenary of the First World War, and is a place where people can commemorate and reflect on our history and partnership with countries such as Australia.

“The Australian Memorial is positioned right in the heart of the park, befitting of the close and enduring relationship between our two nations,” says Mr Key.   

Veterans Affairs Minister, Senator Michael Ronaldson, is also scheduled to attend the dedication ceremony of the Australian Memorial on Monday 20 April, alongside other New Zealand Ministers and invited guests.

Following the dedication ceremony, the Prime Ministers will visit Te Papa to view the Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibition, created by Sir Richard Taylor.

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13 April 2015
Prince Harry to visit centres across New Zealand

Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key released today further details on Prince Harry’s visit to New Zealand in May.

“Prince Harry will arrive in Wellington on Saturday 9 May and will leave New Zealand from Auckland on Saturday 16 May.

“An interesting programme is being planned for Prince Harry to try and meet a wide a range of New Zealanders in different communities,” says Mr Key.

During the week he is here Prince Harry will visit Stewart Island, Christchurch, Wellington, Linton, Whanganui and Auckland.

More details of the programme will be released once they have been confirmed.

“I’m confident Prince Harry will have a fantastic time while he is here and I hope many New Zealanders enjoy the chance to see him,” says Mr Key.

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31 March 2015
April 1 changes to help families get ahead

Prime Minister John Key says Paid Parental Leave, the parental tax credit, the minimum wage and Superannuation will increase, while average ACC levies will fall, and more people will be helped in to home ownership from tomorrow.

“The National-led Government has focused on ensuring gains from our growing economy flow through to families and these measures demonstrate that.”

A range of Government policies come into force from April 1 including:

  • The Government’s new HomeStart scheme to help around 90,000 Kiwis into their first home over the next five years.
  • Paid Parental Leave to increase by two weeks to 16 weeks – and by another two weeks from 1 April next year.
  • The parental tax credit to rise from $150 a week to $220 a week, and the entitlement increases from eight weeks to 10 weeks.
  • Average ACC levies paid by employers and self-employed people will fall to 90 cents per $100 of liable earnings, down from 95 cents.
  • New Zealand Superannuation to increase by another 2.07 per cent – meaning it has increased by 31 per cent since April 2008. This is double inflation in that time.
  • The adult minimum wage to rise from 14.25 an hour to $14.75 an hour – a 3.5 per cent increase.

“These measures build on the policies we’ve implemented over the past seven years to help New Zealanders get ahead,” Mr Key says.

“Looking ahead, there are more policies designed to help families which take effect from 1 July. These include children under 13 having access to free GP visits and free prescriptions, and the average ACC levy for a private motor vehicle falling by around $135 a year.”

 “The Government’s careful economic management is also helping New Zealand families in other ways. In 2014 we saw 80,000 new jobs created, and the average wage grew at 2.5 per cent compared with inflation of 0.8 per cent. The average wage is expected to increase by $6,500 to over $62,000 by the second half of 2018.”

“The Government’s responsible economic management is helping New Zealand families to get ahead.”

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28 March 2015
PM: Northland by-election result disappointing

Prime Minister John Key says he’s disappointed National has lost the Northland by-election but congratulates Winston Peters on winning the seat.

“Mark Osborne is an outstanding candidate and he would’ve been a strong advocate for Northland in the National-led Government.

“By-elections are always tough and it was a unique set of circumstances that occurred in Northland that led to this result.

“However, Mr Peters ran a good campaign and I congratulate him on his win,” Mr Key says.

“The Northland region has been struggling for decades and although we have been making progress, Northlanders have clearly told us they are not satisfied with the rate of progress and we understand that.

“I would like to assure Northlanders we’re going to continue to work hard to deliver more progress. We plan to work hard to win the seat back in the general election in two and a half years,” Mr Key says.

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27 March 2015
PM to attend the Cricket World Cup Final

Prime Minister John Key will attend the final of the Cricket World Cup in Melbourne this weekend.

“I am delighted to be attending the final between New Zealand and Australia,” says Mr Key. 

“Our two countries have a special rivalry. Over the years we have been treated to some truly exceptional sporting clashes and I expect this one will be no different. I wish Brendon McCullum and the Black Caps all the very best.”

Mr Key says New Zealand has been proud to co-host the tournament alongside Australia. The event has seen 49 matches played over 44 days, across 14 venues in New Zealand and Australia.

“It has been a great opportunity to showcase New Zealand to the world, with television audiences expected to exceed 1 billion people and international visitor numbers forecast to top 30,000.

“I would like to congratulate all the teams for what has been a tremendous tournament. I would also like to thank the many fans who have turned out in force to support their teams and all those who have worked to make the tournament such a success,” says Mr Key.

Mr Key will leave on Saturday and return home on Monday.

Sports Minister Jonathan Coleman will also attend the final.