PM's Press Conference: Let It Go
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway to announce plans to freeze MP pay until 2019 and develop a new system for calculating pay increases. This come after the Remuneration Authority found the current formula, introduced in 2015, would give a rise of around three percent.
Urgent legislation will be introduced to prevent the pay increase and options for other pay formulas will be assessed by MBIE.
Ardern said holding MP pay was a recognition of the government's values and the MPs were part of the high end of salaries that had risen unfairly compared to most New Zealanders. The move was not 'at all' a reflection on recent controversy over National Leader Simon Bridges' MP spending.
Other topics discussed included trouble in Antarctica NZ's board, this week's government justice summit, calls for NZ to take asylum seekers on Nauru, NZ's refugee laws, the upcoming Nauru Pacific Island Forum, Tonga and China and Pacific island debt, Winston Peters' call for a referendum on the Māori seats, Australian political ructions, and an alleged witness to an alleged conversation between Simon Bridges and NZ First MP Ron Mark.