Today’s post cabinet press conference was a strange affair. Surveillance and the state of the economy were discussed but they were accompanied by a string of personal anecdotes from the Prime Minister.
In response to questions about low burglary resolution statistics John Key said that he had been personally robbed three or four times, once when he was the leader of the opposition. In one instance the Prime Minister went downstairs thinking the alarm had been set off by bad weather and met a burglar “in the flesh” who ran off when the Prime Minister screamed.
Experiences with larceny aside, this week’s conference was mainly concerned with the economy, healthcare and fisheries. Key said that Landcorp Farming’s decision to scale back investment in dairy conversion at the Wairakei Estate was “probably consistent with private sector” choices. He said that Landcorp has been suffering from a “low return on capital” and that they made pragmatic decisions.
Key said that the budget was still being drafted and that the “crunchy decisions” were to happen over the next few weeks. There is “highly likely” to be more money for Pharmac in the budget and definitely be more money for health in general.
Key said he hadn’t taken any action over resignations and allegations in the office of Clutha Southland electorate MP Todd Barclay. He said that it is “not unusual” for staff to change when an electorate MP changes and refused to comment when pushed on further allegations. He has at this point not spoken to Todd Barclay.
The Prime Minister said that the lack of a National Party presence at the tangi for Dr Ranginui Walker was an organisational mistake and not a deliberate snub. Key has written to the family in the last week.