Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - 22 April 2013

PM: Mighty River Power| NZ Power| National's Potential Coalition Partners

PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - 22 April 2013

Scoop Audio+Video+Photos

By Anne Russell

*******

Today the Prime Minister announced that the government will make a supplementary disclosure to the Mighty River Power document. The impetus was the Labour- Greens NZ Power proposal, which had caused some uncertainties within the sharemarket, wiping $500m from the stock exchange. He compared a centrally-planned electricity system to a similar operation in South Korea, and claimed that it has been responsible for electricity price hikes and increased work hours.

Key claimed that a competitive electricity market would bring down the rate of price increases, and that state bureaucracy was an inefficient method for controlling the electricity market. NZ Power would introduce regulatory uncertainty, he claimed, which would scare off investors.

Key briefly mentioned the 2013 budget, and stated that the government was on track for a surplus in 2014-15. He also mentioned the return of 60 personnel from the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan, which marked the end of New Zealand's involvement there. Thirty Afghan interpreters and their families had also come to New Zealand for resettlement.

*******

Click a link to play audio (or right-click to download) in either
MP3 format or in OGG format.

The majority of questions directed at Key on the NZ Power scheme attempted to gauge how the government felt about both the proposal and its timing. Despite referring to the idea as "a huge setback for New Zealand", Key did not appear overly concerned about NZ Power--in part because it only has the potential to be enacted if a Labour- Green coalition wins the election next year. Despite this, legal obligations prompted the release of a supplementary disclosure on Mighty River. Key was asked whether or not the government would eventually buy back Mighty River if it appeared to be in New Zealand's best interests, but he said no.

In light of NZ Power, Key characterised Labour-Greens as 'far left', and said the election would be a contest between centre-right and far left. This led to questions about whether or not Colin Craig and NZ First would be potential coalition partners for National. Key made little comment on the issue.

Brief attention was given to the rain and how it would affect farming--Key said support for farmers would remain until September 30th. Some questions were asked about Japan joining the TPP, which Key approves of, but it remains unclear when the TPP will be finalised.

Key was asked whether or not the government found it difficult to deal with numerous Wellington local government bodies at once, as compared to the Auckland supercity structure. He said that Wellington was smaller, and that any amalgamation plans would have to be led by the Wellington City Council.

He was asked whether a governmental focus on China's relationship with New Zealand was approved of by the population. Fielding the answer with "I'll just wing it", Key said that being involved with a country when we're selling more than buying was good for business.

Lastly, the press gallery inquired about Maurice Williamson, whose speech on marriage equality has gone viral, enabling him to appear on Ellen Degeneres' television show. Key referred to him as "our own little gay icon". When asked if it was inappropriate for Williamson to take the title of gay icon when he has given minimal support to a bill which benefits a subset of privileged queers, Key said that Williamson has always had a very liberal record on conscience votes. However, it was pointed out that Williamson voted against civil unions in 2005.

*******

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The West’s Existential Crisis About What To Do With Putin, And The Islamic State

Say one thing for Russian President Vladimir Putin. At least he’s given NATO a purpose in life. Right now, that consists of being something that Barack Obama and David Cameron can hide behind, point at Putin, and say : “Go get him, tiger.” Just what NATO is supposed to do about Putin’s armed advance into eastern Ukraine is less than clear. But there is a lot of “steely determination” around in high places. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The US Foreign Policy Somersaults Over Syria And Iran

Amidst the day-to-day reports about the military advances of the Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, one remarkable aspect of this war has barely been mentioned. More>>

ALSO:

Daphne Lawless: The Whale Oil Leaks: Anti-Politics From Above

As we go to press, the election campaign has been turned upside down by a new book by investigative journalist Nicky Hager. Dirty Politics is based mainly on a leak of 2 gigabytes of emails and Facebook messages from “Whale Oil”, the vicious ... More>>

ALSO:

Branko Marcetic: When John Key Was Concerned About Dirty Politics

If Nicky Hager needs some support in the midst of a whirlwind of government criticism for his allegations of “dirty tricks” by the National Party, he may find one unlikely ally – John Key, six years ago. More>>

Jim Miles: Israeli War Crimes In Gaza

Israel reveals its true colours and true aspirations every time it attacks Gaza (or any other self-perceived enemy) as being the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, even to the degree - as the references above indicate - to the act of genocide. More>>

David Swanson: Top 9 Reasons To Stop Bombing Iraq

1. It's not a rescue mission. The U.S. personnel could be evacuated without the 500-pound bombs. The persecuted minorities could be supplied, moved, or their enemy dissuaded, or all three, without the 500-pound bombs or the hundreds of 'advisors' (trained ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Comedian’s Death: Robin Williams And The Virtues Of Suicide

The Grim Reaper never runs out of converts. Put another way, death never gets his full due. Comedians do not figure well in this – they are particularly attractive targets in the business of death. More>>

Suzan Mazur: "Oomph" & Origin Of Life At Hydrothermal Vents

The notion that life originated in hydrothermal vents was for a long time a sleepy area of scientific inquiry because the vents first found, known as 'black smokers,' were way too hot and acidic. But in 1989, Michael Russell, a British geochemist who ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news