News release

04 August 2015
PM pledges $11.7m for Cook Islands school rebuild

New Zealand will contribute up to $11.7 million towards rebuilding the Cook Islands’ national secondary school to mark 50 years of our association, Prime Minister John Key says.

Mr Key has led a delegation of Ministers, MPs and New Zealand-based Cook Islands community leaders to Rarotonga to take part in the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of Cook Islands self-governance in free association with New Zealand.

“That unprecedented arrangement was established in 1965, and since then our two countries have worked together to forge a unique relationship that is stronger today than ever,” says Mr Key.

“This anniversary is a significant milestone and New Zealand wants to mark the occasion with an enduring gift to Cook Islanders.”

New Zealand’s contribution will help to rebuild Tereora College, which is the Cook Islands’ greatest education infrastructure priority.

Specifically, it will help fund the first phase design of the redevelopment of the college, which includes the design and construction of an administration centre, library and technology block.

“Schools are both a cornerstone of the community and places of learning which help prepare our young people for the future,” Mr Key says.

“It is these students who will form the next generation of leaders and who will build on the relationship our countries have forged over the past 100 years.”

Mr Key met with his Cook Islands counterpart Henry Puna on arrival in Rarotonga today and will attend the official Constitution Day celebrations tomorrow.

“Thousands of Cook Islanders are expected to turn out to celebrate the occasion and it is a great privilege to be here to mark it with them,” Mr Key says.

News release

03 August 2015
PM to attend Singapore’s 50th Anniversary of Independence

Prime Minister John Key will attend Singapore’s National Day celebrations on 9 August, this year marking 50 years of Singaporean independence. 

He will also participate in events marking the 50th anniversary of New Zealand’s diplomatic relations with Singapore and the close ties between the two countries.

“New Zealand is honoured to be one of a small number of countries invited to celebrate this historic occasion in Singapore, acknowledging the close and warm friendship between our two nations,” Mr Key says.  

“As well as being Singapore’s 50th anniversary, this year also marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries,” Mr Key says.

“As two small states in the Asia-Pacific region, we share many interests and work closely together on many issues.” 

“Singapore is also an important economic partner, importing over NZ$1 billion of New Zealand goods in the past year. It is a major source of investment and serves as a regional hub for many New Zealand companies and business people.”

“We welcome the opportunity to celebrate this special occasion and to reflect on an important partnership that has been characterised by resilience, and innovation,” Mr Key says. 

Singapore was a British colony until 1963, when it merged with the Federation of Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah to form Malaysia. On 9 August 1965, Singapore left Malaysia and became fully independent. The 50th anniversary celebration will be marked by a parade through the city, and other commemorative events.

The Prime Minister will depart on the evening of August 6, returning August 10.

News release

03 August 2015
PM announces honorary military appointments

Prime Minister John Key has announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of HRH The Prince of Wales to three honorary positions in the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF):

  • Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy
  • Field Marshal, New Zealand Army
  • Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The New Zealand Defence Force will publicly recognise the honorary appointments when the Prince of Wales visits New Zealand this November.

“These appointments recognise the consistent and strong support Prince Charles has maintained for the New Zealand Defence Force,” says Mr Key.

“Speaking at this year’s ANZAC Day Dawn Service in Gallipoli, the Prince demonstrated a deep empathy and understanding for the contribution and sacrifice of our Defence Force personnel in conflicts and peace keeping operations around the world.”

The Prince of Wales has a strong association with the military, embarking on a naval career following in the foot-steps of his father, grandfather and both of his great-grandfathers.

The Prince also qualified as a Royal Air Force pilot flying both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. Members of the Royal family hold a number of honorary appointments within the NZDF.

The Prince of Wales was appointed as Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Air Force by The Queen in 1977, and relinquished this honorary position prior to his appointment as Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

News release

30 July 2015
PM acknowledges passing of Sir John Todd

Prime Minister John Key has today acknowledged the passing of respected businessman and philanthropist Sir John Todd.

Sir John chaired the Todd Corporation from 1987 to 2011. He was also a leading patron of the arts and chairman of the charitable Todd Foundation.

Sir John was knighted for his contributions to business in 2012, and was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009.

“I am saddened to hear of Sir John’s passing. He was a highly respected and admired businessman who helped turn the Todd Corporation into one of New Zealand’s most successful companies.

“Sir John also dedicated a lot of his time to charity work with the Todd Foundation, which focuses on helping children and families.

“It was a privilege to have known him.  My thoughts are with Sir John’s family and friends at this time.”

News release

30 July 2015
Applications open for Great Rides funding

Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key has announced further funding is now available to maintain and improve the premier rides on the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

Applications are now open for the third round of funding available through the Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund ­a Government initiative to maintain and enhance the quality of the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

“The Government is investing $8 million over four years to help maintain the quality of the Great Rides, the premier rides on the New Zealand Cycle Trail,” says Mr Key.

“Nearly $1.4 million has already been approved for 19 projects, which include the installation of safety barriers, storm damage remediation and surface enhancements.”

The Government is investing around $50 million in the New Zealand Cycle Trail which showcases New Zealand’s diverse landscapes.

“The number of people using the trails is continuing to increase,” says Mr Key. “More than 125,000 people used the New Zealand Cycle Trail in January, compared to 97,000 in January 2014. 

“This funding will help ensure that the trails are maintained to the highest possible standard and that users continue to have a safe and enjoyable experience.”

More information is available at