This afternoon the Prime Minister John Key announced that his cabinet had drafted terms of reference for the Havelock North water contamination inquiry. The commissioner of that inquiry has not yet been appointed. Cabinet also decided to allow the Inland Revenue Department to waive late tax payments for Havelock North businesses effected by the contamination. Key said the inquiry would have a broad scope and it wasn’t appropriate for him to speculate on what the outcome might be.
In response to questions on the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, the Prime Minister said he didn't think allowing National MPs a conscience vote was warranted. He didn’t see it as a conscience vote as the bill was about transferring the authority for decisions regarding Easter trading to local authorities.
On political comments made by Māori King Tuheitia Paki over the weekend, the Prime Minister said, “We’re in agreement on that, neither of us will be voting for Labour”.
Key also answered questions regarding incomes, inflation, and the cross-party inquiry into homelessness. He congratulated the New Zealand athletes who competed at the 2016 Olympic Games and said that they had done “their country and themselves proud”.
In a side note this will be my last one of these reports as I have my last day at Scoop on Friday. If you are a regular reader of these then thank you and I hope they have proved useful over the last year. – Rob Kelly