The Prime Minister appeared at the press conference today with Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Disability Issues.
Today was the start of New Zealand sign language week, and to mark the occasion, a sign language interpreter, (Alan) was present and the PM announced that he will continue to be present at future post-cabinet press conferences.
The PM discussed her meeting with Hillary Clinton in Auckland today stating that it included a good discussion on domestic policies in New Zealand that Clinton was interested in, including the future of work and the geopolitical environment. They also discussed being a Mum in the Political environment.
Today the Minister of Defence took part in the beginning of the repatriation process of remains of NZ service personnel. The programme is costing the Government no more than $7 million.
Tonight the PM will be launching the Smokefree Rockquest competition on the 30th anniversary of the event
On Tuesday the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade will make a pre-budget announcement on Trade;
On Wednesday the PM will attend a Salvation Army Breakfast and make an announcement focused on child well-being. Arts Foundation Icon awards
On Thursday the Prime Minister will attend the Local Government Forum at Premier House.
On Friday the PM will attend the launch of the NZ Forestry Service in Rotorua with Shane Jones and will be at the annual Voyager media awards that evening.
On Saturday conservation Minister eugenie Sage will make a pre-budget announcement
On Sunday - The PM will attend the education summit in Auckland and make a pre-budget announcement and will also attend the Northcote by election.
The Prime Minister stated that it is also Privacy and Open Government week this week and introduced Minister Sepuloni to discuss today’s announcement about Social investment.
Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced that the Government is seeking New Zealander’s views on social well-being and how to best protect and use people’s personal information.
“We will be working with the social sector to develop a single shared set of rules and tools for the use and protection of personal information in the social sector,”
Invites have been extended broadly to over 1500 organisations to ensure a wide range of input into this process.
Minister Sepuloni stated that there is a mistrust of the use of data by Government and for that reason the Government is consulting on its data protection and use policy. The Government seeks to improve services and assure New Zealanders their privacy is being protected and believes it is important to regain trust and to have a shared understanding with NGOs over this policy.
The timeline for this consultation is May – August 2018.
The Government has also increased the diversity and NGO representation of the reference group for this consultation.
Questions were asked by the Press about:
• The social investment policy announcement
• Spousal deductions for holders of overseas pensions
• People smuggling and new Zealand’s policies on asylum seekers and Peter Dutton’s recent comments.
• The Hillary Clinton meeting and potential for diplomatic implications with Trump
• Whether there are too many cows in New Zealand, Dairy and nutrient limits and Fonterra policies on intensification.
• Concerns around the Middlemore Hospital maternity building safety and potential for service disruptions.
• Whether captioning and Te Reo interpreting is being considered for Post-Cabinet press Conferences
• Whether there is sufficient access to Te Reo education in new Zealand