PM Post Cabinet: Christmas Island and the US NavyRobert Kelly
Prime Minister John Key will travel to South East Asia next week to encourage commerce and security links with South-East Asian and Pacific nations. He will lead a trade delegation to Vietnam before visiting the East Asian Summit in Kuala Lumpur and the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Manilla.
Mr Key fielded a range of questions on issues at the Australian Christmas Island detention centre. He said New Zealanders at the detention centre had been offered the opportunity to come back to New Zealand while their cases were being processed and that to his knowledge the ones still at the centre were there by choice. [For updates on this see below.] Key emphasised that while New Zealanders were involved in this issue it is still an Australian correctional facility and therefore an “Australian matter”.
Mr Key said the US, along with several other armed forces, has been invited to send a naval ship for the New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary celebrations. He stated that the invitation was not motivated by desires to strengthen the relationship between New Zealand and the United States. Key said that he considered the issue of nuclear powered ships visiting as a “bit of a historical issue” but that “the ship would have to comply with our law” and the law was in no way under review.
When asked if he was clearer on the Labour Party’s position on the Trans Pacific Partnership the Prime Minister responded “Who knows? Who cares?” He laughed off comments that the release of the text had been timed to make life awkward for the Labour Party in the immediate run up to their 2015 conference.
The Prime Minister refused to be drawn on what flag Prince Charles favoured but revealed that he personally was likely to vote for the Kyle Lockwood fern design with the blue and black background. He said that Royal Family’s position was that they were comfortable with whatever New Zealand chose.
The PM went back to MFAT last night to get more info about how easy it is for Kiwi deportees to come home if they want to.— Katie Bradford (@katieabradford) November 9, 2015
Key says it's complicated, a number of factors are at play and it will take weeks in most cases for them to come home if they do want to— Katie Bradford (@katieabradford) November 9, 2015
Key has asked Justice Minister Amy Adams to speak to Peter Dutton to clarify the position for Kiwi detainees #ChristmasIsland— Katie Bradford (@katieabradford) November 9, 2015
He claims "these are really quite dangerous people." #rtpt— Andrea Vance (@avancenz) November 9, 2015
Around 40 Kiwis on Christmas Island - 500 overall being concerned for via cancellation by Aussies - Amy Adams— Andrea Vance (@avancenz) November 9, 2015