PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - 26 August 2013
By Alastair Reith
Prime Minister John Key today announced a set of initatives aimed at improving numeracy and literacy in New Zealand schools.
Standing alongside Education Minister Hekia Parata, he detailed a $27 million plan which Mr Key says focuses particularly on Maori and Pacific Island students.
$3 million is to be pent on expanding Mutukaroa, a program already in place at Sylvia Parks primary school in Auckland.
In the Mutukaroa system students are tested regularly and the data is provided to parents, with the aim being to involve families in the educational process as much as possible.
A variety of other proposals are to be introduced supporting students from early childhood right up to the transition to tertiary education.
Ms Parata says the funds for these intiatives were already allocated in previous budgets.
When asked about Peter Dunne's proposed ' changes to superannuation, Mr Key did not rule out supporting them.
Mr Dunne is suggesting that New Zealanders be allowed a flexible set of options, choosing either to retire early on a lesser amount or later on more.
The Prime Minister describes the proposal as 'fiscally neutral'.
Commenting on the leadership battle beginning inside the Labour Party, Mr Key says the public will soon be watching “Political Idol” and the opposition party will reveal itself to be deeply divided.
He accused both Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe of being being beholden to the trade union movement, arguing a victory for either would drag Labour into the “far left”.
The Prime Minister discussed his upcoming trip to the Marshall Islands for the Pacific Islands forum, where issues around climate change and the transition to democracy in Fiji are set to be discussed.
Other topics addressed included the Reserve Bank, MFAT and the compensation paid to police shooting victim Halatau Naitoko.