PM's Post Cabinet Press Conference - Video +
Emergency Syrian Refugee Quota & The
By Alastair Thompson
The PM's post cabinet press conference today was dominated by questions related to the New Zealand Government's about-face on the question of Syrian refugees and today's announcement that 600 additional refugees from Syria will be accepted over the next two and half years.
The PM also answered questions about Trade Minister Tim Groser's trip to the Gulf to shore up support for a Gulf States free trade agreement, commented on the adequacy of NZ's contribution to the Iraq conflict (like our response to the refugee crisis it was responsible) and answered questions about the "#redpeak" flag social media surge saying that he wasn't about to change the law or unilaterally dump one of the existing final four flags in order to allow another flag into the race.
He confirmed that he will oppose introduction of a Green Party Bill to double the quota this week and said the review of the overall quota will take place in the middle of next year as scheduled and will not be brought forward.
The PM was also asked to comment on a report into Whanau Ora which was positive that there are signs of improvement something that he was also positive about having seen the programme in action.
On the question of refugees the PM said that developments in Europe and the strong NZ public reaction were the reason for the change in heart on the issues of an emergency intake of Syrian refugees. The refugees were likely to come to Wellington, he said, as that was where the largest Syrian community was currently located and there were more Housing New Zealand homes available in Wellington.
See the full audio and Video of the press conference below: