PM's Press Conference 19/2/18 – Storm Brewing
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern opened this week's post-cabinet press conference by noting preparations for former tropical cyclone Gita, expected to hit central New Zealand this week. She also discussed the government's plan for the week, including the release of the National Impact Statement for the CPTPP (the former Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement) and work towards releasing the text, the upcoming anniversary of the Christchurch earthquakes, announcements on the Provincial Growth Fund, and the Pacific mission planned for early March, which will concentrate on recovery from Gita's effect on the Pacific.
There were questions on recent reports on the New Zealand Defence Force – that they received, but did not investigate, reports of civilian casualties in the Afghanistan raids detailed in the book Hit and Run, and that NZDF staff have been secretly operating out of Qatar’s Al Udeid airbase.
Other topics included burglaries targeting an academic researching China's efforts to influence New Zealand, the governments relationships and planned meetings with the Kingitanga movement, the royal commission into historical abuse in state care, coalition negotiations where the Greens failed to rule out the NZ First waka-jumping policy they didn't know about, the National Party leadership race, and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's ban on politicians having affairs with staff.