03 February 2014
PM and Ministers to visit Australia
Prime Minister John Key will travel to Sydney from 6 to 8 February 2014 to meet with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
“Australia is New Zealand’s closest international partner and our relationship is vitally important to New Zealand’s trade and economic interests,” says Mr Key.
“I am looking forward to meeting with Prime Minister Abbott again and building on the close working relationship that has developed between our two Governments.
“It will be an opportunity to thank him in person for inviting New Zealand to join the G20 meetings, which Australia is hosting this year, and discuss our joint response to the New Zealand and Australian Productivity Commissions’ report.”
Mr Key will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and five other Ministers – Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Tony Ryall, Amy Adams and Michael Woodhouse. Mr Key will join with Prime Minister Abbott to chair a joint meeting of Cabinet Ministers.
“The joint meeting of Cabinet Ministers is a good opportunity to set the agenda for the trans-Tasman relationship, and allows Ministers to engage directly with their counterparts on a range of issues and identify areas where we can build on our close cooperation.
“I will also be joined by a sizable New Zealand business delegation. Their participation recognises the important role two-way trade and investment plays in the relationship between our countries and the integrated nature of our economies under our Closer Economic Relations (CER) agreement,” says Mr Key.
It is the third time since 2009 the Prime Ministers of New Zealand and Australia have convened a joint meeting of senior Cabinet Ministers.Tweet
27 January 2014
PM congratulates Lorde on Grammy success
Prime Minister John Key has congratulated Lorde and Joel Little on their success at the Grammy Awards today.
Auckland singer/songwriter Ella Yelich-O’Connor, who performs as Lorde, won the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance, and together with co-producer Joel Little won Song of the Year for Royals.
“This Grammy success underlines a fantastic year for Lorde and Joel Little. They have achieved something no other New Zealander has,’’ says Mr Key.
“Lorde is a phenomenal talent and an inspiration to all young New Zealanders. At just 17 years-old she has a great future. Her success today has made us all very proud,” says Mr Key.Tweet
23 January 2014
PM announces $359m education investment
Prime Minister John Key today announced the National-led Government will invest an extra $359 million over the next four years to lift the achievement of New Zealand students at school.
In his first speech of the year, Mr Key says the country is moving in the right direction, with the economy projected to grow faster than most other developed countries and incomes set to rise.
“The Government’s books are on track to return to surplus and we are continuing to deliver what we have promised,” Mr Key says.
“A big focus for me as Prime Minister has been on education, because I believe every New Zealand child deserves the best education possible.
“We have introduced National Standards so parents, teachers and principals know how students are doing at school. We’re also building new schools and we are investing more money than ever before in education.
“The next step in our plan to raise achievement is to recognise excellent teachers and principals, keep good teachers in the classroom, and share expertise across schools for the benefit of our children.
“To do that, we’re introducing four new roles in our schools – Executive Principal, Expert Teacher, Lead Teacher and Change Principal,” Mr Key says.Read full article
21 January 2014
Prime Minister announces changes to Ministry
Prime Minister John Key today announced changes to the National-led Government’s Ministerial line-up, to take effect from Tuesday, 28 January.
Internal Affairs and Local Government Minister Chris Tremain, who has announced his intention to retire from Parliament at the upcoming general election, will be resigning from the Ministry.
Peter Dunne will be appointed Minister of Internal Affairs, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Conservation. Mr Dunne will be a Minister outside Cabinet as he was prior to his resignation in June last year.
Michael Woodhouse will be promoted to the vacancy in Cabinet, and will retain all of his current responsibilities.
Paula Bennett picks up the role of Minister of Local Government, in addition to her current portfolio responsibilities.
The new Minister outside Cabinet will be Peseta Sam Lotu-liga, who will be appointed Minister of Pacific Island Affairs and Associate Minister of Local Government. Mr Lotu-liga is the MP for Maungakiekie and was first elected to Parliament 2008.
“I want to thank Chris Tremain for his work as a Minister, and previously as Senior Government Whip,” Mr Key says.
“Chris will be a real loss to the National caucus when he retires at the election and I wish him well for the future.
“I am pleased to welcome Peter Dunne back as a Minister. We have worked together well in the past, and United Future continues to be a valued partner in government.
“While 2013 brought its challenges, both Peter and I start this election year looking forward, not back.”
Mr Key also congratulated Mr Lotu-liga on his elevation to the Ministry.
“Sam has very strong ties with the Pasifika community and has represented their interests in caucus well.
“He is well placed to build on the work that Hekia Parata has done in this portfolio this past term.”
In other changes, Todd McClay will take up the role of Associate Tourism.
The Governor-General will swear in the new Ministers on Tuesday 28 January, prior to Parliament getting underway for the new year.
“The National-led Government’s strong Ministerial team will continue to take New Zealand forward and deliver on what we have promised,” Mr Key says.
- Ministerial list 210114 (pdf 155.33 KB)
21 January 2014
PM sets out parties National could work with
Prime Minister John Key today set out his decision on which parties National will consider working with following this year’s General Election.
“MMP makes it likely that every election will be a tight contest,” Mr Key says.
“That means it’s also likely that following the election we will need to work collaboratively with other parties to form a stable Government.
“First and foremost, National will be campaigning hard for every party vote it can win, because that puts us in the best position to continue the positive policy direction New Zealand is on.
“Put simply, the higher National’s party vote, the more options we have.
“I know that post the 2014 election, National will almost certainly need to work constructively with other political parties to form a stable Government.
“Since November 2008, we have shown that we can lead a stable Government with other political parties involved, even when those parties have different outlooks and policies.
“Looking ahead, it is most likely that the nature of these working relationships will be via Confidence and Supply Agreements, as these have worked well in the past two Parliamentary terms.
“In the end it is the public who largely determine the make-up of the Government by voting in parties to Parliament,” says Mr Key.
Mr Key says that given the right electoral circumstances, his preference would be to continue working with the current three partners to the Government, which are ACT, the Māori Party and United Future.
“I believe there is also a scenario where it would be possible to add the Conservative Party to this group.
“While National has of course had differences with ACT, the Māori Party and United Future, together our four parties have formed a stable and successful Government since late 2008,” Mr Key says.
“We also have policy differences with the Conservative Party, however it is likely that there would be enough common ground to work with them in Government.”
In terms of other parliamentary parties, Mr Key ruled out working with Labour, the Greens and Mana on the basis that there is insufficient common ground to achieve a stable and successful working relationship.
“These parties represent a far left wing agenda that we do not believe is good for New Zealand,” says Mr Key.
With regard to New Zealand First, Mr Key said that he believed a post-election working relationship was very unlikely; however he would not rule the possibility out ahead of the election.
“In 2008 we ruled them out because we were unable to reconcile some of their statements on the Glenn donation matter. Six years has passed and, should New Zealand First be returned to Parliament, we would not rule out a discussion after the election.”Tweet