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24 February 2015
Prime Minister’s Ministerial Statement on ISIL

Mr Speaker, today I am announcing to the House the Government’s decisions about our contribution to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

Last November I gave a national security speech which outlined the threat posed to New Zealand by ISIL.

This brutal group and its distressing methods deserve the strongest condemnation.

ISIL’s ability to motivate Islamist radicals make it a threat not only to stability in the Middle East, but regionally and locally too.

It is well-funded and highly-skilled at using the internet to recruit.

Disturbingly, if anything, ISIL’s brutality has worsened since I gave that speech late last year.

In recent weeks we have witnessed a mass beheading and the horrific plight of a Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage.

And we’ve seen stories of Western hostages who have been kidnapped and killed in barbaric ways.

ISIL’s outrageous actions have united an international coalition of 62 countries against the group.

New Zealand is already considered part of the coalition because we have made humanitarian contributions, with $14.5 million in aid provided to the region so far.

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06 February 2015
Waitangi Day Breakfast Speech

Rau rangatira ma e huihui nei,

Nau mai, haere mai ki Waitangi.

Tēnei aku mihi māhana mo te Kawanatanga Nahinara ki a koutou.

Kia ora huihui tatou katoa.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Today we commemorate 175 years of the Treaty of Waitangi relationship. 

It’s a relationship we should all have pride in. And we should all have great confidence that it will continue to strengthen.

Like the first Maori who arrived here many hundreds of years ago, European settlers arrived by sea.

They must have had a sense of adventure. Like the first Maori navigators they braved the often ill-tempered Pacific Ocean to strike out from their homes and make landfall here.

The whalers, the sailors, the men and women who came here to till the land and take their chances – they would have had many reasons for leaving their homes in the Northern Hemisphere. Homes many of them would never see again.

But I bet they were united by a common thread of hope and optimism.

Hope for a better life than the one they had left behind.

And hope for a new society and new opportunities for themselves and their children.

Those who signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 began forging the bonds of the special partnership we share today.

Over time, those bonds have been tested.

The spirit of generosity with which Maori entered into this partnership was forgotten or ignored by many over the following decades.

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28 January 2015
Next steps in social housing

Ladies and Gentlemen.

New Zealand is in good shape and getting better.

We are making great strides towards building a stronger, more prosperous country – a country where we can have a great lifestyle and earn a good income that compares well with the rest of the world.

That progress is due to the hard work and positive attitude of New Zealanders.

It’s also because of the stability, cohesion and confidence that’s come from six years of strong and stable government.

New Zealand is doing well compared to other countries.

The economy is growing, employment is increasing and wages are rising.

Consumers are benefiting from low inflation and a long period of stable, low interest rates.

We are growing new industries like ICT and high tech manufacturing, and strengthening existing ones like our food industry, tourism and international education.

The Government is working towards a surplus and repaying debt.

We’re making good progress in areas like welfare, education and law and order, to help improve the lives of New Zealanders and their families.

New Zealanders endorsed our approach four months ago by re-electing the Government with an even stronger mandate.

I thank them for the confidence they’ve shown in us.

The election result allows New Zealand to experience a different third term government than has been the case in the past.

We have a mandate and a strong platform to achieve further steady reform that delivers better results for New Zealanders. 

And there is much to do.

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03 December 2014
Opening address to the 2014 New Zealand Post-Election Conference

Thank you Stephen for your introduction, and your work in running this important event.

Mr Speaker, can I acknowledge you and thank you not only for opening proceedings today, but also for your tolerance and patience in refereeing Question Time each sitting day.

I also want to acknowledge other MPs from across the House, and all of you who have chosen to take time out from your busy lives to reflect on September’s general election.

There have been nine previous books arising from the post-election conferences, with a 10th to follow from today’s proceedings.

This can only be a good thing.

The immediacy of the modern news cycle, together with social media, creates a focus on instant reporting and judgement, but it is also important to reflect in a more considered way on important events like elections.

Academic scrutiny of elections, politicians and political parties is an important function of democracy and also something that strengthens it.

As Prime Minister, I am privileged to represent New Zealand at international meetings around the world.

On these occasions, I often see first-hand the steps that emerging democracies take.

And they are not always steps forward.

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05 November 2014
Speech to NZ Institute of International Affairs

Ministerial colleagues.

Members of the diplomatic community.

Distinguished guests, members of the Institute, ladies and gentlemen.

As Prime Minister I have overarching responsibility for New Zealand’s national security.

That covers a wide range of threats and risks, from earthquakes to espionage, and cyber-attacks to conflicts between states.

It’s about protecting our way of life and the values that shape our society.

The Government takes its national security obligations very seriously.

We have an obligation to ensure New Zealanders are safe at home or abroad.

We have an obligation to maintain the integrity of our democratic system, our institutions, and the systems and processes of government.

We have an obligation to secure our sea, air and electronic lines of transport and communication into and out of New Zealand. We decide who comes here and on what conditions, and we decide who can make use of our resources.

We have an obligation to support stability in our region – in the Pacific, the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean.

And we have an obligation to support stability and the rule of law internationally.

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