Top Scoops

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


PM Press Conference – Syria | Living Wage | Asset Sales

PM Press Conference – Syria | Living Wage | Asset Sales Referendum- 2 September 2013

Scoop Audio+Video+Photos

By Hamish Cardwell

Click for big version.

At a short post-cabinet press conference this week Prime Minister John Key discussed New Zealand's potential involvement in the civil war in Syria and Labour leadership candidates' call for a living wage for all government staff.



Scoop coverage began after Prime Minister finished his prepared remarks. Mr Key said the unfolding conflict in Syria as a “great human tragedy”.

He said New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully had had talks with United States Secretary of State John Kerry over the weekend, during which, Mr Kerry had asked for New Zealand's moral support in any military interventions in Syria.

Mr Key said New Zealand would debate any potential involvement in the war in parliament but the final decision would rest with the executive.

Mr Key said the triggering of a postal referendum on asset sales, which had announced earlier that day, would be “an utter waste of money” and would likely only be filled in by critics of the programme.

National had the mandate to carry out its asset sales programme after winning the 2011 election with the largest share of the vote in MMP history in NZ, he said.

The government would seek advice on timing of the referendum from the Electoral Commission, and he could not yet name a date.

Mr Key was critical of calls from Labour Party leadership candidates for a living wage of $18.40 to be introduced for all government employees.

He said Labour "clearly had no understanding of economics".

The policy would cost the government $2.5 billion dollars and lead to 26,000 people losing their jobs.

He said he fully accepted that New Zealand did need a wage boost, but to do so it needed to make the economy more competitive rather than legislating for higher wages.

The government provided support for low income workers through initiatives such as kiwi saver, he said.

Mr Key also answered questions about the Trans Pacific Partnership and Pike River coal mining disaster.


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


Click for big version.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Fatuous Defence: Australia’s Guided Missile Plans

Even in times of pandemic crises, some things never change. While Australia gurgles and bumbles slowly with its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, there are other priorities at stake. Threat inflators are receiving much interest in defence, and the media ... More>>

Richard S. Ehrlich: Cambodia's Hun Sen Feels Politically Vaccinated

BANGKOK, Thailand -- When Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen received his AstraZeneca vaccination shot, he suddenly felt invulnerable and vowed to rule indefinitely. Hun Sen is already one of the world's longest ruling prime ministers, confident his successor ... More>>

Reese Erlich: Foreign Correspondent: My Final Column?

I’m dying. It’s not easy to write these words. But it’s true. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Brawling Over Vaccines: Export Bans And The EU’s Bungled Rollout
The European Union has been keeping up appearances in encouraging the equitable distribution of vaccines to combat SARS-CoV-2 and its disease, COVID-19. Numerous statements speak to the need to back the COVAX scheme, to ensure equity and that no one state misses out... More>>

Jennifer S. Hunt: Trump Evades Conviction Again As Republicans Opt For Self-Preservation

By Jennifer S. Hunt Lecturer in Security Studies, Australian National University Twice-impeached former US President Donald Trump has evaded conviction once more. On the fourth day of the impeachment trial, the Senate verdict is in . Voting guilty: ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Let The Investigation Begin: The International Criminal Court, Israel And The Palestinian Territories

International tribunals tend to be praised, in principle, by those they avoid investigating. Once interest shifts to those parties, such bodies become the subject of accusations: bias, politicisation, crude arbitrariness. The United States, whose legal and political ... More>>