Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Press Conference 27/02/17: Kiwi workers failing drug tests

PM Press Conference 27/02/17:
Kiwi workers not passing drug tests

Prime Minster Bill English began today’s press conference with an announcement to extend support for earthquake effected Kaikoura, Hurunui and Marlborough. The State Highway coastal route is progressing and expected to be open by the end of the year. Tomorrow he will host Prime Minister of Timor-Leste in Auckland and intends to discuss trade and business. Mr English wanted to focus on the government’s school initiatives including upgrades and infrastructure, more children enrolled in ECE, Maori and Pasifika student achievement, new schools, specifically the Haeata school opening in Christchurch.

Questions from the gallery involved the Auckland housing shortage and whether the emergency housing grants will put pressure on the accommodation sector. The Prime Minister assured that this is a short-term plan. He also said that there is not much past data on the housing issue, including on wait times for housing. Later, a member of the press inquired as to whether homeless people who are staying in motels are counted as a tourist statistic. They are considered as "having accommodation" in the same way that business travelers are.

When the issue of migration arose, Mr English mentioned how there are a large number of New Zealanders coming back to New Zealand, which is a positive sign for the economy. The other large category of migrants are skilled workers. The Prime Minister was questioned whether or not Kiwis have those skills to fill the jobs, and he stated that he has been hearing from employers in the hospitality and agriculture/horticulture industries that they are struggling to find workers. His answer to why 14 000 Kiwis are out of work was that it is due to many hopeful employees not passing the drug test, and that he has heard this, anecdotally, from all sectors and quite frequently. Mr English is not aware of what specific drugs people are using, and that the government intends to get people on track. He insisted that it is a workplace safety issue and that his government will not loosen the rules to allow drug users to be employed.

Other questions included whether the funding for Kaikoura is enough, and if Wellington and the Hutt need more funding. Mr English was asked if he will send someone to the USA to discuss trade, and he made a brief comment on the ACT Party’s prisoner rehabilitation policy.

Click a link to play audio (or right-click to download) in either
MP3 format or in OGG format.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Any Questions: Scoop Launches New Q&A Website

It’s an easy way to find out party positions and allows you to view candidates’ answers side by side. It’s also a way for you to make your voice heard this election, and get the parties talking about the things that are important to you. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Trump And Afghanistan

Donald Trump did what US Presidents have done since George W. Bush: commit. Commit, that is, to the mission; commit more promises; and commit more thoughts to blotted paper about the war that never ends in the graveyard of empires. More>>


Rawiri Taonui: The Maori Election

The election battle for the Maori seats 2017 opened last year when Maori Party President Tuku Morgan announced a peace deal with the Mana Movement aimed at securing all the Maori seats and holding the balance of power. More>>

Scoop HiveMind Project: Universal Basic Income - Are We Up For It?

This is an opportunity for you as one of the 4 million potential funders and recipients of a Universal Basic Income to collectively consider the issue:
1. Is UBI is a desirable policy for New Zealand; and
2. How should a UBI system work in practice. More>>


Lyndon Hood: National Announces Plan To Hit Youth With Big Mallets

The National party has announced its youth justice policy, which includes a controversial plan for recidivist serious youth offenders to be hit over the head with a comically large rubber mallet. More>>