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PM's Press Conference 15/05/17: Ngaro, King, & more

PM's Press Conference 15/05/17: Alfred Ngaro, Mike King and Japan

Prime Minister Bill English opened today’s press conference with a description of the upcoming trip to Japan. He mentioned the importance of New Zealand’s relationship with Japan and the benefits of trade between the two countries. The Prime Minister then outlined some elements of the budget that have already been announced, and stated that there will be further announcements ahead of the budget on 25 May.

Questions from the gallery mainly provoked comments from the Prime Minister about comments made by Alfred Ngaro and Mike King’s resignation. In regards to Ngaro’s comments, Mr English insisted that he is new on the job and somewhat inexperienced still. He said that some of what Ngaro said was wrong, and mentioned how new ministers need to be ready to take criticism and adjust. The Prime Minister does not believe that organisations need to have any fear in speaking out.

On the resignation of Mike King from NZ Suicide Prevention External Advisory Panel, Mr English was “not surprised” that King didn’t agree with the Draft Suicide Prevention Plan, as “Mike works in a very direct way” than the Ministry of Health and everyone has their own views on how to achieve the same thing. The Prime Minister spoke highly of King’s work and stated, it would be better if he stayed but its Mike’s decision.

Other topics included further description of the trip to Japan and North Korea, Australia/New Zealand relations, housing, universal child care benefit, organ donations listed on driver’s licences, recent cyber-attacks, whether NZ will be sending more troops to Afghanistan, and John Oliver’s not-so-funny portrayal of NZ.

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