The PM's Life in Pictures

News and Updates About John Key


18 April 2015
Official opening of Pukeahu National War Memorial Park

Thank you all for being here to witness the official opening of this park as a place of commemoration and remembrance for the whole nation.

This opening comes as we are focussed on the 100th commemorations of the First World War.

That war had a deep and abiding impact on New Zealand and New Zealanders.  In our small nation, almost every family was affected by it.

It is hard to describe the scale of mourning in the decade that followed the end of the war. People wanted to ensure that the sacrifice of their family members and fellow citizens would never be forgotten.

This desire to remember led to more than 500 local war memorials being erected in communities around the country.

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News release

16 April 2015
Prime Minister to lead trade mission to Gulf States

Prime Minister John Key will lead an 18-member New Zealand business delegation to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait from 26 April to 1 May.

This will be the first visit by a New Zealand Prime Minister to Saudi Arabia.

“The visit is an opportunity to strengthen and grow trade and business links between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and New Zealand,” says Mr Key.

It will also provide the opportunity to progress the conclusion of the NZ-GCC free trade agreement.

“A key priority for me will be talking to key figures in the region about the importance of progressing New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreement with the GCC,” says Mr Key.

The GCC is New Zealand’s fifth largest export destination with goods exports worth $1.9 billion in the year to December 2014.  Exports of goods have grown by an average 10 percent per year over the last decade.

“New Zealand has a lot to offer the Gulf region and a number of our businesses already have a strong presence in this market. My visit is aimed at opening doors and helping to further promote New Zealand companies,” says Mr Key.

“It has always been my intention to travel to the Gulf as it is an important region and I’m pleased to be leading a strong business delegation on this visit,” says Mr Key.

A range of meetings are scheduled with senior government leaders across the region. 

“These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss our economic relationship and also, given our seat on the UN Security Council, it’s timely to discuss the complex security issues facing the Middle East.”

We have reinforced our commitment to this region in recent years with the opening of our embassy in Abu Dhabi, and the expansion of offices in Dubai and Riyadh.  

The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have also recently opened embassies in New Zealand.

The Prime Minister will be accompanied by New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser.

News release

16 April 2015
PM welcomes direct flights to Houston

Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key has welcomed Air New Zealand’s announcement that it will begin operating direct flights between Houston and New Zealand.

The new service will provide for a more direct route for the millions of US citizens living in the south and east of the country, and for New Zealanders heading in the opposite direction.

“We already get thousands of visitors a year from states such as Texas, Florida and New York and this new service should allow us to boost those numbers further,” says Mr Key.

“Providing greater links with these states, with relatively affluent populations, also aligns with New Zealand’s desire to attract more high-spending visitors to further boost our economy.”

The US is already New Zealand’s third-largest visitor market behind Australia and China, with 226,608 arrivals in the year to February – a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.

Spending by US arrivals has also grown 32 per cent over the same period, to $771 million.

“This Government remains committed to promoting New Zealand as a world-class tourist destination and we will continue working with partners such as Air New Zealand to ensure the industry continues to grow.”

The new service will begin in December.


14 April 2015
Pre-Budget speech to Business New Zealand function

Good afternoon.

It’s great to be with you today. I’d like to thank Business New Zealand for hosting this event.

Like all New Zealanders, we have a shared interest in building a strong economy that provides opportunities for Kiwi families and businesses to get ahead here in their own country.

We don’t always agree on everything – and that’s to be expected.

But I do appreciate Business New Zealand’s pragmatic and positive attitude in engaging on important issues affecting businesses, their staff and their families.

I also want to acknowledge the many Wellington business people here today.

It’s good to see the Wellington economy is in good heart and that the business community here is feeling upbeat.

The latest ANZ Regional Trends Survey shows Wellingtonians are confident. And business optimism in the capital is above the national average.

This is translating into more jobs in and around the city at a time when the region is broadening its economic base away from its longstanding reliance on central government.

Many Wellington companies are competing successfully on national and international stages in sectors as diverse as innovation, technology, tourism, film production and niche manufacturing.

I welcome that. A vibrant Wellington business and economic scene is important for New Zealand.

The Government is backing businesses right around New Zealand by ensuring we have competitive policy settings to encourage investment, new jobs and growth.

That’s why I want to focus on the economy today.

Read full article

News release

13 April 2015
PM Abbott to make second official visit to NZ

Prime Minister John Key today announced Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s second official visit to New Zealand.

Prime Minister Abbott and his accompanying delegation will arrive in Wellington on Sunday night to take part in the Anzac centenary commemorations.

“It is great to be able to welcome Prime Minister Abbott back to New Zealand so soon after his first visit in February for the Australia-New Zealand leaders’ talks,” says Mr Key. 

“During this visit Prime Minister Abbott and I will participate in the dedication ceremony of the Australian Memorial in the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington. 

“The Park was designed and built to acknowledge the centenary of the First World War, and is a place where people can commemorate and reflect on our history and partnership with countries such as Australia.

“The Australian Memorial is positioned right in the heart of the park, befitting of the close and enduring relationship between our two nations,” says Mr Key.   

Veterans Affairs Minister, Senator Michael Ronaldson, is also scheduled to attend the dedication ceremony of the Australian Memorial on Monday 20 April, alongside other New Zealand Ministers and invited guests.

Following the dedication ceremony, the Prime Ministers will visit Te Papa to view the Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibition, created by Sir Richard Taylor.