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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.”

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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 http://www.med.govt.nz/sectors-industries/tourism/nga-haerenga-new-zealand-cycle-trail

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27 July 2015
PM to attend Cook Islands 50th celebrations

Prime Minister John Key will lead a delegation to Rarotonga next week to celebrate the Cook Islands’ 50th anniversary of self-government in free association with New Zealand.

“Fifty years ago, New Zealand and the Cook Islands entered into a unique bilateral relationship,” says Mr Key. 

“We welcome the opportunity to celebrate that and to reflect on an important partnership that is based on our shared values, history, and the positive contribution that Cook Islanders make to New Zealand.”

Mr Key will meet with Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna and take part in the official Constitution Day Ceremony which will feature a traditional welcome and flag raising ceremony.

The Prime Minister will be accompanied by Pacific Peoples Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs Todd McClay, Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell and Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne. 

Also in the official party are Opposition Leader Andrew Little, New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters, and a number of MPs from National, Labour and the Green party. 

The delegation will depart on the morning of August 4, returning the evening of August 5.

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08 July 2015
New Zealand and Samoa sign double tax agreement

Prime Minister John Key today joined Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi in signing a double tax agreement between New Zealand and Samoa.

“The signing of this double tax agreement is significant for our countries and will further strengthen the close relationship between New Zealand and Samoa,” says Mr Key.

"New Zealand is Samoa’s second largest trading partner. The agreement will provide a platform for increased trade and investment between our two countries, and will help assist the economic development of our Pacific island neighbour.

“Importantly, the tax agreement represents a further extension of New Zealand’s tax treaty network into the Pacific. Once the agreement enters into force, it will bring New Zealand’s network of tax treaties to a total of 40,” Mr Key says.

Double tax agreements help to reduce tax barriers to two-way trade and investment by preventing cross-border income being taxed twice, therefore giving certainty about how that income will be taxed.

They also lower withholding taxes, making it less costly for businesses in one country to invest in the other, and assist tax administration.

The agreement will replace the existing tax information exchange agreement with Samoa which is more limited in its scope.

The agreement is expected to come into force later this year.

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05 July 2015
PM to attend historic NZ Samoa rugby match

Prime Minister John Key will join Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi to witness the first All Blacks - Manu Samoa test match to be played on Samoan soil. 

“Samoa and New Zealand enjoy a special relationship, including a shared love of rugby, and I am delighted to be attending this historic event,” Mr Key says. 

“This visit provides an opportunity to not only recognise this huge occasion for Samoa, but also to build on talks Prime Minister Tuilaepa and I had in Apia last year on a range of political and economic issues.”

PM Key and PM Tuilaepa will hold talks in the morning, before visiting the Apia Waterfront — a project being developed with New Zealand’s support — to officially open a playground on the site. 

They will then meet local business representatives at a networking event hosted by Samoa’s Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Enterprise Centre. The event is an opportunity for New Zealand and Samoan business people to promote trade and to strengthen and build on business partnerships.

The Prime Minister will be accompanied by Sport and Recreation Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse, Minister for Pacific Peoples Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, and Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne. 

Also in the official party is Opposition Leader Andrew Little, New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters, and a number of MPs from National, Labour and the Greens. 

The delegation will depart on the morning of July 8, returning the same day.