Prime Ministers Press Conference Monday 11th December 2017. Report by Jim Jodis.
Prime Minister Jacinda Adern attended the press conference today with Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Minister for Children Tracey Martin to announce the appointment of Adrian Orr as the new Governor of the Reserve Bank and the name change of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children to ‘Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children’. Robertson said he and the Cabinet viewed Orr in high regard. Terms will be agreed on his employment after the reserve bank act review. The future governor's pay would be greatly reduced - in the same scale as the most recent governor.
Tracey Martin said the removal of the word 'vulnerable' from her ministry's name was important due to the stigmatization which the percieved focus of the Ministry represented. The goal of the government is to focus on the welfare of all children. The stated cost of the name change was $480,000, with a lot of this money coming from finances put aside by the outgoing administration for the previous name change.
The Prime Minister said that this week a families package would be announced which would invest in the wellbeing of families lifting thousands out of poverty. This legislation will be released on Thursday.
Changes to the overseas investment act also would be introduced, hoping to prioritize the needs of New Zealand residents as first time buyers on the property market.
The Prime Minister's lunch meeting with the Australian Labor party leader Bill Shorten was discussed. Issues brought up included the offer to take refugees from Australian detention centres, and also the citizenship rights of New Zealand residents in Australia and the payment of tuition fees.
There was a brief dicussion on the problems of foreign interference in New Zealand politics, as suggested by intelligence agency briefings to the incoming minister. Primarily this focused around espionage but also the problems of foregin investments providing an unfair advantage when it came to election time.
The teaching of Te Reo Māori in schools and the crisis around members leaving the New Zealand Royal Ballet were also discussed.