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PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference: *** - 01 July 2013

PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference: 01 July 2013

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By The Scoop Team

***Former High Court Judge Andrew McGechan has become the new Inspector General of Intelligence and Security.

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Former High Court Judge Andrew McGechan has become the new Inspector General of Intelligence and Security.

Prime Minister John Key says the appointment is seen as an interim position.

“I'm grateful Mr McGechan has agreed to move into this important position at a time of great change within the NZ intelligence community.”

Mr McGechan replaces Paul Nezor, who began his tenure in 2004.

The GSCB is currently undergoing a series of internal reforms, in line with the recommendations of a report by cabinet secretary Rebecca Kitteridge.

Mr Key says the organisation is well on the way to making these changes but that there is still work to be done.

“I'm under no illusions that bringing about these changes and regaining the public trust will be easy,” he says.

Mr Key went on to speak about the governments work promoting tourism, with an additional $158 million allocated to the sector in this years Budget.

$28 million of this is directed at funding “business innovation and growth initiatives”.

Mr Key faced questions about Christchurch City Council's loss of accreditation to issue building consensts, a move he describes as “unprecedented.”

“I don't think there's any other city council that's lost its authority,” he says.

The Prime Minister said this dispute must be resolved as soon as possible, describing the matter as critical for the Christchurch rebuild.

When asked for his thoughts on the abuse allegations against Owen Glenn, Mr Key said he took the man at his word and continued to see merit in the domestic violence inquiry Glenn is leading.

“At the end of the day he's free to spend his money as he sees fit,” says Mr Key.

When asked about recent allegations that the government is planning to step up efforts to push the mentally ill off the benefit and into full time work, Mr Key said he was unable to comment.

He said he had not read the article in which these claims were made and said the government had a wide ranging welfare reform agenda.***

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ENDS

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