09 March 2014
PM on Kiwis missing on flight MA370
The Prime Minister has this afternoon acknowledged the anguish families of New Zealanders Paul Weeks and Ximin Wang will be going through, as the wait for news of the missing flight stretches to almost two days.
Mr Weeks and Mr Wang were the only two New Zealanders on board a Malaysian Airlines flight that disappeared between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing early on Saturday (NZT).
“This will be an almost unbearable wait for the families. Not knowing what has happened to the flight and their loved ones is an awful ordeal. While they will be hoping for a miracle, they will also be preparing themselves for the worst.
“There is nothing I can say to alleviate their pain, but they should know we are hoping and praying with them.
“The thoughts of New Zealanders everywhere are with them at this most distressing time.”
03 March 2014
PM to visit China, Hong Kong and Netherlands
Prime Minister John Key will travel to China, Hong Kong and The Netherlands as part of a visit focusing on trade and economic opportunities and to attend the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on 24-25 March.
Mr Key will depart New Zealand for China on March 17.
In Beijing, Mr Key is scheduled to meet both President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
The visit will focus on increasing agriculture and food safety cooperation, financial sector cooperation, as well as building on the strong bilateral trade, economic and political relationship.
“My visit provides an opportunity to brief China’s leaders on the outcomes of the Government Inquiry into the Whey Protein Concentrate Contamination Incident. I will be able to report to China’s political leadership, and assure Chinese consumers, that the Inquiry delivered a strong endorsement of the New Zealand food safety system,” says Mr Key.
New Zealand and China are on track to achieving the shared goal of doubling two-way trade to NZ$20 billion by 2015. In 2013, total two way trade with China reached $18.2 billion, an increase of over 25 per cent on the previous year.
Mr Key will also visit Hong Kong where he will hold high level meetings, undertake activities relating to his tourism portfolio and attend a Rugby Sevens New Zealand promotional event.
Following his visit to China and Hong Kong, Mr Key will attend the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, a high level process which aims to improve the security of nuclear materials and reduce the global threat from nuclear terrorism.
Mr Key attended the first Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC in 2010 at the invitation of President Obama, and he also attended the second Summit in Seoul in March 2012.
“Preventing nuclear terrorism is a global challenge which all countries must address together. New Zealand’s long-standing concerns about nuclear issues are well known and we will continue to play our part in this effort,” says Mr Key.
Mr Key also plans to use the opportunity to have a number of bilateral meetings with some of the leaders of the 52 other countries invited to the Summit.Tweet
03 March 2014
PM welcomes Royal ‘family visit’
New Zealanders will have a great chance to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they visit New Zealand in April, says Prime Minister John Key.
Kensington Palace and the 2014 Royal Visit Office in New Zealand this morning announced that the Duke and Duchess would visit eight New Zealand centres between 7-16 April this year.
“It’s a pretty good geographic spread, with four South Island and four North Island centres included in the itinerary," said Mr Key.
The Duke and Duchess will be based at Government House in Wellington and mostly make day trips to different parts of the country, then return to be with Prince George in the evening.
“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for them to have regular family time with their son, while acknowledging thousands of New Zealanders will want to take the opportunity to meet them," says Mr Key.
From their base at Government House in Wellington, the Duke and Duchess will also visit Auckland, Hamilton, Cambridge, Blenheim Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. Prince George will stay at Government House.Tweet
28 February 2014
Maintenance funding for NZ cycle trails announced
Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key today, in a pre-Budget announcement, said $8 million would be invested over four years to help maintain the quality of the New Zealand Cycle Trail (NZCT) Great Rides.
'Nga Haerenga - The New Zealand Cycle Trail' is a partnership project between the Government and the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Prime Minister, speaking in Queenstown, also announced up to $500,000 in additional funding for the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail in Southland.
“The New Zealand Cycle Trail is a valuable tourism asset for New Zealand and it is important that they maintain their high quality reputation and continue to provide an excellent experience for riders,” Mr Key says.
A recent evaluation report showed the trails are going from strength to strength. Last year the Great Rides experienced a 56 per cent average growth rate, with an estimated 97,000 trail users for the month of January 2014 alone.Read full article
27 February 2014
PM acknowledges Tony Ryall’s outstanding contribution
Prime Minister John Key has thanked Minister Tony Ryall for his
remarkable service to the National Party, his Bay of Plenty electorate
and New Zealand.
Mr Ryall announced this morning his decision to retire from politics at the election later this year.
“Tony has provided 24 long years of loyal service,’’ says Mr Key.
“In recent years he has been an extremely effective Minister of Health and Minister of State Owned Enterprises. He has also played an important leadership role among social sector Ministers and made an outstanding contribution on many other fronts.
“Tony will leave the health service in far better shape than he found it back in 2008 and while we are really sad to lose him, we support his decision.
“I particularly would like to thank Kara and family for the enormous support they've given Tony and we wish him the best for his future endeavours.
“It is my intention that Tony will remain a Minister in all his portfolios until he leaves Parliament.”