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PM Press Conference – Royal Visit, Economy, Housing Prices

PM Press Conference – Royal Visit, Economy, Housing Prices - 14 April 2014

Scoop Audio+Video+Photos

By Jamie Neikrie

This week at his weekly press conference in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key discussed the visit of the British Royal family, the state of the economy, and how to deal with rising housing prices.

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Video incomplete; please refer to audio below.

At his weekly press conference in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key discussed the visit of the British Royalty and the state of the economy.

On the visit of Prince William, Duchess Kate Middleton, and baby George, Mr Key called it, “the chance of a lifetime to catch a glimpse of the royal couple.”

Mr Key also emphasized the economic benefit of the Royals’ visit, which the Prime Minister said has brought over 120 international reporters to the country.

Tourism New Zealand put together an itinerary for reporters to showcase aspects of New Zealand not evinced in Will and Kate’s tour.

In discussing the economy, Mr Key said that the government is on track to record a “slim surplus for 2014,” with chance to cut into the national debt in the coming years.

Given this economic forecast, the Prime Minister emphasized the need to “remain disciplined” in spending for future budgets, and continue to adhere to the $1 billion new spending allowance set for by the government.

Mr Key faced numerous questions on housing prices in New Zealand after it was suggested that the government should attempt to lower housing prices in Auckland to four times the median income level, down from the current level of seven times.

When asked whether the government would consider stricter regulation on housing purchases by foreigners and non-residents, Mr Key said, “I think we all accept that there’s not great data there,” going on to say that such regulations would have a negligible affect on housing regulations.

Mr Key later acknowledged that acquiring better statistics on the subject would be a valuable exercise.

Other topics of discussion included the Capital Gains Tax, the Inland Revenue Department, and the menu for Mr Key’s dinner with the Royals tonight.

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