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News and Updates About John Key

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21 May 2015
Supporting children in hardship focus of Budget

The National-led Government’s seventh Budget continues to support New Zealanders while responsibly managing the growing economy and the Government’s finances, Prime Minister John Key says.

In particular, it will deliver a $790 million package to help children living in some of New Zealand’s poorest families.

The package includes a balanced mix of greater work expectations for sole parents and more financial support for parents on a benefit. Benefit rates for families with children will increase by $25 a week after tax, from 1 April next year. This is the first increase outside inflation adjustments since 1972.

“After the last election, I said children in hardship were a Government priority and by building a strong economy we can provide more support for them,” Mr Key says. “Increasing the weekly payment for beneficiary families and lifting Working for Families payments to low-income households will make a real difference by allowing parents to better provide for their children.

“Two-thirds of children in more severe material hardship have a parent on a benefit, with nine out of 10 of those being sole parents, so it’s important to focus attention on this group of families.”

Lower-income working families that are not on a benefit also get an increase in their Working for Families payments and there is more childcare support to help low-income parents in work.

“Billions of dollars are already invested every year in supporting low-income families and we’re also addressing the long-term drivers of material hardship like poor educational achievement,” Mr Key says.

“But there is still a group of children who, through no fault of their own, are in families where there is considerable hardship. We are firmly focused on helping these children out of the cycle of hardship.”

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20 May 2015
Two new tourism projects to receive funding

Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key has today announced the Government is investing in two new tourism projects in Rotorua and Blenheim.

Through the Tourism Growth Partnership fund, the Government is investing $350,000 to support the development of a new spa complex on Rotorua’s lakefront, and $1.5 million to support a new exhibition at Blenheim’s Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

“Tourism is a significant part of our economy and a major employer,” says Mr Key.

“The $32 million contestable Tourism Growth Partnership fund aims to boost innovation and productivity in the tourism sector. For each project approved for investment, the Government provides up to 50 per cent of the required funding.”

The Government has now invested $8.1 million in 15 projects.  This is in addition to the applicants’ contributions of $39.2 million, giving a total $47.3 million investment in the tourism industry.

“Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre has already established itself as a premier tourism attraction, featuring Sir Peter Jackson’s WWI aviation collection. The centre will be expanded to include a WWII hangar exhibition, which will also serve as a function centre capable of catering of up to 500 guests,” says Mr Key.

“The World Spa project aims to develop an international standard spa and wellness complex on Rotorua’s lakefront.  The Rotorua District Council has set a goal of 1.5 million commercial spa visits yearly, and the development of this new spa complex will certainly help with achieving that goal.”

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17 May 2015
Budget 2015: Taxing property gains fairly

The Budget will include extra measures to ensure that people buying and selling residential property for profit – including overseas buyers – pay their fair share of tax, Prime Minister John Key says.

“People calling for a new capital gains tax often overlook the fact that under existing rules, anyone buying property with the intention of selling for a gain is liable for tax on that gain,” Mr Key told the National Party’s Lower North Island regional conference in Lower Hutt today.

“Everyone – whether from New Zealand or overseas – should pay their fair share of tax according to the law. So we need to ensure the existing law is enforced.”

Mr Key confirmed the Budget this week will contain several measures to bolster tax rules on property transactions and to help Inland Revenue enforce them.

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11 May 2015
PM welcomes return of Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed news that New Zealanders will have a chance to see the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo live in Wellington.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo today announced that it will return to Westpac Stadium for the second time in its 65-year history, as part of the New Zealand Festival in 2016.

The Tattoo will showcase the talents of 1200 military and cultural performers from around the world, including our own kapa haka group, and winners of Te Matatini, Te Whānau a Apanui, and will include a moving tribute to our Anzac soldiers.

“I am delighted that so many New Zealanders will have the chance to experience such an iconic event right on their doorstep,” Mr Key says.

“The first time the Tattoo was held in New Zealand in 2000 it was a sell-out, with 78,000 people attending — 74 per cent from outside of Wellington.   It remains the single biggest non-sporting event ever held at Westpac Stadium.

“It’s events of the scale of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo that help to put New Zealand in the international spotlight, and showcase our country as a welcoming and world-class events destination,” Mr Key says.

“That’s why the Government is working hard to help attract and grow high-quality major events around the country that deliver economic, social and cultural benefits, and promote New Zealand to the world.

“I want to thank the New Zealand Festival, and Tattoo Chief Executive and Producer, Brigadier David Allfrey, who have worked to bring this exciting event to New Zealand.”

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09 May 2015
PM congratulates David Cameron after UK election

Prime Minister John Key today offered his congratulations to David Cameron on his re-election as British Prime Minister.

"I have sent David Cameron a brief message of congratulations, and hope to talk to him on the telephone over the next few days. I will also be writing formally to him on behalf of the New Zealand Government," says Mr Key.

“The United Kingdom is one of our most important partners. The trade and economic links between our two countries are strong and long-standing, and we have shared interests in a range of areas including defence, security, the arts and sport.

“I have enjoyed working with David Cameron during his first term as Prime Minister and look forward to working with him in the coming years.”