PM's Post-Cabinet Press Conference 9/4/18: Northcote Byelection and The Budget
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared at today's Post-Cabinet press Conference with Finance Minister Grant Robertson to announce the date of the upcoming Northcote By-election and to discuss issues and priorities around the upcoming 2018 National budget.
The Prime Minister's schedule for the week is as follows:
Tuesday, attending a commemoration for the 50th anniversary of the Wahine disaster
Wednesday attending the Public Service Leaders Summit and the 25th anniversary of ratification of The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Thursday attending an event at Victoriua University and The MFAT 75th anniversary celebrations
Friday travelling to Brisbane
Saturday meeting athletes at the Commonwealth Games
Next week the PM will make her way to to the CHOGM summit in London
The Northcote By-election
Today the PM announced that the northcote byelection that was triggered by the resignation of the Hon Johnathan Coleman is scheduled for Saturday 9th June 2018.
Candidate nominations close on 15 May
The PM updated on work underway across Government on building a stronger and fairer economy.
Ardern highlighted the regional economic development announcement last week about Taranaki's 20 million dollar fund and stated this represents a big step towards building a modern, resilient and high value economy.
Ardern highlighted that the Government is working in partnership to ensure a just transition to an economy without fossil fuel industry by aiming to create high value, lasting jobs in the regions and ensuring the workforce is equipped for such future roles.
Ardern highlighted that as this will require effective planning, MBIE has been instructed to coordinate the planning required for the changes needed and to interface with the education and skills required.
The PM outlined that this is one of the key priorities in next month's budget.
Ardern stated that there is good clarity around this 'just transition' work programme.
On the budget, the PM outlined that the Main focus will be on rebuilding quality public services, in particular in relation to health and education.
Ardern stated that the events of the last few weeks (such as the Middlemore hospital revelations) have painted a vivid picture of why we need to invest in public services and outlines the risks of government focusing solely on operating a surplus and pretending all is well, despite a lack of investment in core public services causing such problems.
The Government plans to progressively sharing more publicly what they found when they opened up the books and what needs to happen as a result in the weeks leading up to the budget announcement.
Minister of Finance Grant Robertson stated that the priorities for the 2018 budget are to build on last year's mini budget and families package.
He outlined that this budget will aim to ensure critical public services are up to the standard we want and deserve by investing in them and continuing to grow the economy.
He stated that sustaining economnic development and supporting the regions will need a strong economy and one that can transition through changes such as climate change.
Minister Robertson highlighted the issue of homelessness, stating that no New Zealander can be comfortable with current levels, so this cannot continue.
Minister Robertson proposes to take action on environmental challenges such as climate change while protecting communities.
Robertson stated that one budget cannot make up for 9 years of neglect, however the aim is to future proof the economy against future internal or external shocks like the Christchurch earthquakes
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