Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

PM Press Conference – Fonterra | Meridian Energy - 12 August 2013

PM Press Conference – Fonterra | Meridian Energy - 12 August 2013

Scoop Audio+Video+Photos

By Alastair Reith

A bill providing greater powers to Governmental Inquiries will allow the government to get to the bottom of the Fonterra milk scandal, says Prime Minister John Key.

*******

A bill providing greater powers to Governmental Inquiries will allow the government to get to the bottom of the Fonterra milk scandal, says Prime Minister John Key.

Mr Key today told a press conference the legislation will allow a new kind of inquiry - less than a formal Commission of Inquiry but more than a Ministerial Inquiry- to subpoena witnesses and information from Fonterra, as well as seek testimony from relevant parties in the public and private sector.

Currently this could only be done through a Commission of Inquiry which the Prime Minister said could take over a year to complete.

“We need to get to the bottom of what took place. We can't wait for a year or more,” he says.

The Ministry of Primary Industries is conducting a separate "regulatorty" investigation, with the power to impose penalties of up to $500,000 or twelve months in prison.

The Prime Minister will travel to China once inquiries into Fonterra are complete. He says this announcement has been met with a positive response in Chinese media.

“It's important we get this right,” says Mr Key. “We live in a world where there is always the risk something will go wrong. I want to be able to say we have total confidence in the systems we have in place.”

Foreign Minister Murray McCully is travelling to China next week, where he will meet with government and trade officials. He has also indicated he will extend his trip to Sri Lanka, where Fonterra products have recently had to be recalled.

The inquiry bill to which the PM is referring appears to have been sitting at the select committee stage for four years. Now is the best time to move it forward, then Prime Minister says, and the Government might do so under urgency if necessary.

He says he has not yet consulted with the opposition about this and would not confirm which parties had pledged their support. He says is confident of majority support.

Other topics discussed at today's regular Post-Cabinet press conference included the $30 million taxpayer subsidy which is to be paid to to Rio Tinto, majority owner of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter to ensure that the smelter remains open till 2017.

The company has abandoned plans to sell the plant, but Labour is accusing the government of propping up a multi-national company while power prices continue to rise for Kiwi households.

The PM says that the Government twice said no to unreasonable demands from Rio Tinto. He says the government is not prepared to subsidise the smelter for a further 18 years.

The government is preparing to announce new measures it says will protect vulnerable children, with Paula Bennett set to announce details this week.

“We make no apologies for these changes, which will be controversial to some,” says the Prime Minister.

*******

Click a link to play audio (or right-click to download) in either
MP3 format or in OGG format.

*******

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Binoy Kampmark: Biden’s Victory: A Eunuch Presidency Beckons

Whatever was set to happen on November 3, President Donald J. Trump would not lose. Falling in that establishment firebreak against democracy known as the Electoral College would not erase, let alone repudiate him. His now victorious opponent, far ... More>>

Reese Ehrlich: Foreign Correspondent: The Challenge For Joe Biden

If he’s smart, the likely President-elect will stop the unpopular endless wars and use the money to help our domestic economy. By Reese Erlich I’m pissed. I’m pissed at Donald Trump for trying to shut down the vote count early and at Republicans More>>

Boris Johnson At Sea: Coronavirus Confusion In The UK

The tide has been turning against UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Oafishly, he has managed to convert that tide into a deluge of dissatisfaction assisted by the gravitational pull of singular incompetence. Much of this is due to such errors of ... More>>

The Conversation: Biodiversity: Where The World Is Making Progress – And Where It’s Not

The future of biodiversity hangs in the balance. World leaders are gathering to review international targets and make new pledges for action to stem wildlife declines. Depending on whether you are a glass half-full or half-empty person, you’re likely ... More>>

The Conversation: The Numbers Suggest The Campaign For Cannabis Reform In NZ Will Outlive The Generations That Voted Against It

Like Brexit in the UK, cannabis reform in New Zealand fell into an age gap — given time, a second referendum would probably succeed. More>>

Gordon Campbell: 22 Short Takes On The US Election

Finally, the long night of Donald Trump’s presidency is over. To date, the courts have been given no cause to conclude that the exhaustively lengthy counts of those mountains of mail ballots was anything other than legal. Stacking the US Supreme ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On How The US Supreme Court Is Undermining American Democracy

If Joe Biden is elected President next week, here comes the bad news. If Biden tries to defend Obamacare, combat climate change (via say, a variant of the Green New Deal) or tries to improve the access of US women to abortion services , he will run afoul ... More>>

The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog