The PM's Life in Pictures

News and Updates About John Key

News release

26 February 2015
PM disappointed with Remuneration Authority decision

Prime Minister John Key has expressed his disappointment at the Remuneration Authority’s decision to increase MP remuneration.

“I wrote to the Authority expressing my view that there should be no increase,” says Mr Key.

“My view was that, given New Zealand is set to enjoy a low inflation environment for some time into the future, an increase in remuneration was neither appropriate nor necessary.”

Mr Key says he saw no justification for the increase given inflation of 0.8 per cent in the year to December and with average wages growing at around 2.5 per cent.

Mr Key also rejects the assertion that ministerial wages should reflect those paid in the private sector for equivalent roles, saying MPs were already well-paid and not in politics for financial reward.

“The Authority needs to justify to New Zealanders why MPs need a pay increase of this size,” says Mr Key.

“If it believes that the criteria set out in the legislation leads them to these kinds of annual increases then they should advise the government and we will consult with other parties and may change the law.”

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News release

25 February 2015
PM saddened at passing of Dame Thea Muldoon

Prime Minister John Key today expressed his sadness at the passing of Dame Thea Muldoon.

Mr Key says he met Dame Thea on a number of occasions.

“She made a significant contribution to her community and the country – something she was recognised for when she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and awarded the Queen’s Service Order for Community Service.

“She was also a huge supporter of her husband, the late former Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, and as Prime Minister today I recognise how important that is,” says Mr Key.

“I thank her for her contribution to New Zealand. My thoughts are with her family and friends.”

News release

24 February 2015
PM announces contribution to coalition against ISIL

Prime Minister John Key today announced a Government decision to deploy a military training mission to Iraq as part of New Zealand’s overall contribution to the international coalition against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

New Zealand’s military personnel will fulfil a non-combat, behind the wire mission to train Iraqi Security Forces so they are better prepared to fight ISIL.

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

“New Zealanders are prolific travellers and we are not immune from the threat ISIL poses.

“ISIL’s brutality has only worsened and its outrageous actions have united an international coalition of around 62 countries to fight and degrade the group.

“We have carefully considered options to expand our contribution to the coalition beyond the humanitarian assistance we have already provided.

“We have an obligation to support stability and the rule of law internationally.

“The Iraqi government has requested support and Cabinet has agreed this week to deploy personnel to Taji Military Complex north of Baghdad to train units within the Iraqi Security Forces.

“This is likely to be a joint training mission with Australia although it will not be an ANZAC-badged deployment.

“The two year mission, likely to start from May, will be reviewed by Cabinet after nine months.

“The number of personnel deploying to Taji is up to 106 and there will be others such as staff officers deploying in coalition headquarters and support facilities in the region.

“The total number altogether will be up to 143.

“A training mission like this is not without danger and this is not a decision we have taken lightly.

“I have required assurances that our men and women will be as safe as they can practicably be in Taji.

“Our force protection needs have been assessed by NZDF and determined as being able to be met by the well-trained soldiers of our regular Army.

“So we will be sending our own force protection to support the training activities.

“The New Zealand Government will retain ultimate decision-making authority over the nature and scope of the activities of our personnel.

“We will be taking steps in coming weeks with our Iraqi counterparts to secure the best legal protections we realistically can for our personnel.

“We recognise that military training on its own will not solve the problems ISIL poses in Iraq.

“That’s why we are also stepping up our diplomatic efforts and are currently examining options to provide more humanitarian aid.

“In return we expect to see genuine effort in Iraq to move towards a law-abiding democratic country that treats all of its citizens with respect.”


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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News release

23 February 2015
PM welcomes Australian Prime Minister

Prime Minister John Key welcomes this week’s first official visit to New Zealand by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

“I am very pleased to be able to welcome Prime Minister Abbott to New Zealand. His visit will continue a long-standing tradition of regular and substantive contact between the Prime Ministers of our two countries,” says Mr Key.   

“During the visit we will hold our Annual Leaders’ meeting and discuss a range of political, economic, social and security issues, including advancing the single economic market, our engagement in regional trade initiatives and our cooperation on global defence and security issues.

“We will also mark significant milestones, including the Centenary of the First World War and the formation of the ANZACs, and Australia and New Zealand’s co-hosting of the Cricket World Cup.’’

The Prime Ministers and Ministers from both sides of the Tasman will participate in the Australia-New Zealand Leadership Forum on Friday which brings together Australian and New Zealand business and government leaders. This year the Leadership Forum celebrates its tenth anniversary.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will meet with Foreign Minister Murray McCully, and Australian Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb and Trade Minister Tim Groser will lead the annual Closer Economic Relations (CER) Ministerial Meeting.

During the visit the Prime Ministers will also lay a wreath at the Auckland War Memorial, attend the Australia v New Zealand Cricket World Cup match and meet with Rural Fire Service Officers who have served in Australia.