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17 May 2015
Budget 2015: Taxing property gains fairly

The Budget will include extra measures to ensure that people buying and selling residential property for profit – including overseas buyers – pay their fair share of tax, Prime Minister John Key says.

“People calling for a new capital gains tax often overlook the fact that under existing rules, anyone buying property with the intention of selling for a gain is liable for tax on that gain,” Mr Key told the National Party’s Lower North Island regional conference in Lower Hutt today.

“Everyone – whether from New Zealand or overseas – should pay their fair share of tax according to the law. So we need to ensure the existing law is enforced.”

Mr Key confirmed the Budget this week will contain several measures to bolster tax rules on property transactions and to help Inland Revenue enforce them.

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11 May 2015
PM welcomes return of Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed news that New Zealanders will have a chance to see the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo live in Wellington.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo today announced that it will return to Westpac Stadium for the second time in its 65-year history, as part of the New Zealand Festival in 2016.

The Tattoo will showcase the talents of 1200 military and cultural performers from around the world, including our own kapa haka group, and winners of Te Matatini, Te Whānau a Apanui, and will include a moving tribute to our Anzac soldiers.

“I am delighted that so many New Zealanders will have the chance to experience such an iconic event right on their doorstep,” Mr Key says.

“The first time the Tattoo was held in New Zealand in 2000 it was a sell-out, with 78,000 people attending — 74 per cent from outside of Wellington.   It remains the single biggest non-sporting event ever held at Westpac Stadium.

“It’s events of the scale of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo that help to put New Zealand in the international spotlight, and showcase our country as a welcoming and world-class events destination,” Mr Key says.

“That’s why the Government is working hard to help attract and grow high-quality major events around the country that deliver economic, social and cultural benefits, and promote New Zealand to the world.

“I want to thank the New Zealand Festival, and Tattoo Chief Executive and Producer, Brigadier David Allfrey, who have worked to bring this exciting event to New Zealand.”

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09 May 2015
PM congratulates David Cameron after UK election

Prime Minister John Key today offered his congratulations to David Cameron on his re-election as British Prime Minister.

"I have sent David Cameron a brief message of congratulations, and hope to talk to him on the telephone over the next few days. I will also be writing formally to him on behalf of the New Zealand Government," says Mr Key.

“The United Kingdom is one of our most important partners. The trade and economic links between our two countries are strong and long-standing, and we have shared interests in a range of areas including defence, security, the arts and sport.

“I have enjoyed working with David Cameron during his first term as Prime Minister and look forward to working with him in the coming years.”

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07 May 2015
PM acknowledges passing of Erima Henare

Prime Minister John Key has acknowledged the sudden passing of Ngati Hine leader Erima Henare.

Mr Henare was the son of the late Sir James Henare and Lady Rose Henare, and held a number of public and iwi leadership roles.

He was the chairman of the Maori Language Commission, executive director of Maori at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, a member of the Waitangi National Trust Board, and an adviser to the Maori King, Tuheitia Paki.

“I am saddened to learn of Mr Henare’s passing,” says Mr Key.

“Mr Henare will be a great loss. He was a great Maori leader and a passionate advocate for the revitalisation of Maori language.

“I enjoyed catching up with him at Waitangi each year in his role as a member of the Waitangi National Trust. 

“My thoughts are with Mr Henare’s family and friends at this time.”

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03 May 2015
Budget 2015: PM announces funding for Northland cycle trail

Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key has announced a further $3 million will be invested in 2015/16 to help fund the completion of Northland’s Twin Coast Cycle Trail Pou Herenga Tai.

The Government is working with the Far North District Council on the 84km trail which will pass through the centre of the Far North District, from Hokianga Harbour on the west coast to the Bay of Islands on the east.

“The Twin Coast Cycle Trail is one of 23 Great Rides across New Zealand, 18 of which are already complete and open and which cover more than 2,500km of country,” says Mr Key.

“The Great Rides are the premier rides on the New Zealand Cycle Trail and have proven to be a significant driver of local and international tourism. The funding announced today will help build on that success and create more opportunities for Northland and New Zealand.”

The New Zealand Cycle Trail project was announced in 2009, with the objective of creating a high quality tourism asset that would attract more tourists, create jobs, and boost economic growth in the regions. 

“Six years on, the New Zealand Cycle Trail is almost complete and is going from strength to strength,” says Mr Key.

“I acknowledge the ongoing support of the Green Party in its development.

“Reports from individual trails indicate more than 1,200 jobs have been created and that the trails are boosting regional economies. They are also proving increasingly popular with tourists.”

Mr Key says the trail has the potential to help rejuvenate small Northland towns such as Kawakawa, Kaikohe, Okaihau and Horeke, in the same way that towns along the Otago Central Rail Trail have benefitted since that trail was opened.

This new operating funding brings the total Government contribution to the Northland trail to $7 million and to almost $55 million to the construction of trails nationally.

The Far North District Council will also be responsible for raising the extra funding – approximately $1.8 million on top of the Government’s latest contribution – needed to complete the Twin Coast Cycle Trail.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will manage contractual obligations with the Far North District Council, including determining project milestones, budgets and timeframes.