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23 October 2014
IGIS Advisory Panel members appointed

Prime Minister John Key today announced the appointments of Chris Hodson QC as the chair of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security’s Advisory Panel and Angela Foulkes ONZM as a member of the Panel.

The appointments were made by the Governor General and each is for a term of two years.

“These are the first appointments to the Advisory Panel, which was newly created with amendments to the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996 in September last year,” says Mr Key.   

The Advisory Panel comprises the Inspector-General and two other members, one of whom must chair the Panel.  The Panel’s role is to provide advice to the Inspector-General on request or on its own initiative.  It may make a report to the Prime Minister on any matter relating to intelligence and security that it considers should be drawn to the Prime Minister’s attention.

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23 October 2014
Prime Minister extends condolences to Canada

Prime Minister John Key has expressed his deepest sympathies to those affected by this morning’s events in Canada.

“The reasons behind the fatal shooting in Ottawa this morning are not yet known, but it is clearly a senseless act of violence,” says John Key.

“I wish to extend New Zealand’s sincere condolences to the people of Canada who will be shaken by this violent act.”

“I will personally extend those thoughts and wishes to Prime Minister Harper.

“New Zealand and Canada have a long standing warm and close relationship and today we stand beside them in solidarity.”

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17 October 2014
New Zealand wins Security Council seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term.

“New Zealand’s success in gaining a place on the Security Council is a victory for the small states that make up over half the United Nations membership,” Mr Key says.

“We have worked very hard on the bid for close to a decade because we believe that New Zealand can make a positive difference to world affairs and provide a unique and independent voice at the world’s top table.

“It has been more than 20 years since New Zealand was last on the Council and we are ready to contribute again.

“It was a tough campaign against Spain and Turkey, two much bigger countries and close friends.

“I would also like to acknowledge all the hard work which has gone into our campaign from across the New Zealand Government and in particular from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“Our win proves small countries have a role to play at the UN and we are determined to represent the perspective of small states at the Security Council table.

“At the moment the Council faces a number of challenging issues. New Zealand is looking forward to serving on the Council and making a positive contribution throughout our two-year term,” Mr Key says.

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13 October 2014
Review of foreign fighters security settings to begin

Cabinet today approved the Terms of Reference for a review of settings in relation to foreign terrorist fighters, says Prime Minister John Key.

“Foreign fighters taking part in, or returning from any sort of conflict zone are a concern for many countries,” says Mr Key.

“Our intelligence agencies are aware of the risk and are focused on addressing it.

“We know that a small number of New Zealanders have travelled overseas to engage in the fighting. We’re also aware of people within New Zealand who have a desire to travel and fight for the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).

“Although the number of New Zealanders in these situations is modest compared with the actual numbers of our partners, they are significant relative to New Zealand’s size.

“And they do represent a change in the New Zealand context.

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07 October 2014
National’s new whips announced

Prime Minister John Key has announced the election of National’s new whips following the National Party Caucus this morning.

Mr Key says the new senior whip will be MP for Hamilton West, Tim Macindoe. He was formerly junior whip and replaces Louise Upston, who is now a Minister outside Cabinet.

The junior whip will be MP for Botany, Jami-Lee Ross, who steps up from third whip.

The third whip will be List MP Jo Hayes.

“Tim Macindoe, Jami-Lee Ross and Jo Hayes will be a great whips team and I congratulate them on their appointments,” Mr Key says.