PM's Press Conference 4/12/17: Rebuilding Cathedrals, Felling TreesBy Jim Coates
Prime Minister's Post-Cabinet Press Conference Monday 4th December 2017
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the press conference today with Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Dr Megan Woods to announce urgent legislation this week for the rebuilding of the Christ Church Cathedral. Woods said that the taxpayer contribution to the regeneration would be around $10 million. It was also announced that cabinet has approved regulation to ban microbeads due to the environmental damage they do to marine life. The Prime Minister acknowledged the previous government's efforts in both these cases.
The Prime Minister gave an overview of the upcoming week. She announced on Tuesday she would be interview by Al Gore for a Climate change event called ’24 Hours of Reality 2017’. On Thursday this week briefings to incoming ministers will be made public. The report into Havelock North water contamination is also expected.
The 'Work for Dole Scheme' regional work scheme proposed by Shane Jones was discussed at length. The Prime Minister suggested sanctions which already exist for the people declining to take jobs would apply to this scheme. Shane Jones was expected to take a proposal to cabinet before Christmas.
Other topics included government support for water storage projects (which the PM distinguished from irrigation schemes), dealing with the Iwi Leaders Forum on fresh water policy, complaints to the Ombudsman calling for release of the addendum to the Labour/NZ First coalition agreement (and the possibility of proactive release of other documents), 'surprises' for the incoming government in the capital budget, dealing with charter schools, and public servants' liability of workplace safety in the Pike River mine re-entry.