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PM Press Conference: GCSB | Asset Sales Referendum | Meth

PM Press Conference – GCSB | Asset Sales Referendum | Meth - 25 November 2013

Scoop Audio+Video+Photos

By Hamish Cardwell

Prime Minister John Key calls the asset sales referendum a “$9 million political stunt, says he is comfortable with the behavior of the GCSB and announces $3 million to combat P.

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At his weekly press conference Prime Minister John Key called a statement from Labour Leader David Cunliffe that he would look to buy back state owned assets “weasel words”.

He described the asset sales referendum as a “$9 million political stunt”, and that National had campaigned on a platform that included the sale of state owned assets.

“[National] have done exactly what we said we would do.”

If Labour and the Green Party were serious they should say today that they intend to borrow the money to buy back the assets, he said.

On the GCSB Mr Key said he did not think NZ would face the kind of international fallout that Australia had experienced following the release of documents from Edward Snowden that showed Australia had spied on Indonesian heads of state.

He declined to go into details but said he was comfortable with the way the GCSB was operating, and that it was operating within the law.

He was aware NZ media organisations had been asking the GCSB questions as to whether any of the Snowden files had been leaked to anyone in NZ, but he did not know what information they had.

He had not heard of any link between Edward Snowden and Kim Dotcom.

Any questions about about New Zealand spying on South Pacific nations needed to be directed to the GCSB.

Mr Key also announced the government was to invest $3 million recovered under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act into law enforcement an drug and alcohol treatment to as part of its Methamphetamine Action plan.

He said P was a problem in NZ. In 2009 it had one of the highest rates of P use in the world with 2.2 percent taking the drug. That number was was now at .9 percent.

Mr Key also answered questions about changes to ACC levies. Learning Media, NZ film industry tax rebate, Gareth Morgan's call for a shake up of New Zealand soccer, National's chances in the Christchurch East by-election this Saturday, Anadarko oil drilling, whether the wage gap between NZ and Australia had risen or fallen, water fluoridation, and the Environment Commissioner's report on water quality.

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ENDS

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