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Post Cab Presser: Budgets, Trusts and Pacific Diplomacy

Today Prime Minister John Key summarised last week’s budget and provided further detail about his upcoming trip to Fiji. He said that there has been “plenty going on” in the last couple of weeks and emphasised the need for Auckland council to facilitate more housing supply.

On further allegations emerging from the Panama Papers, John Key said he was waiting for the findings of the Shewan review. When asked if he had ever met with lawyer Geoffrey Cone, of Cone Marshall, he said he had never met him professionally but was “pretty sure” he had met him socially. Key buffeted away questions about IRD investigations into specific cases regarding Kazakhstan and Malta by referring to the Shewan enquiry and telling journalists to ask the minister responsible.

Key said that the Defence White Paper would be released “soon”. When pressed to be more specific he responded “very soon”. He answered questions about the NZDF troops in Iraq by saying it was a two year mission and that although decision would be made on the evidence, it is not his intention to extend it.

Key said he would be the first New Zealand Prime Minister to visit Fiji in ten years and revealed that this trip is at his suggestion. Key said that concerns regarding Fiji’s governance were now a “matter of history” and it is his intention to use this trip to normalise the relationship between New Zealand and Fiji.

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