PM's Press Conference: Boats, People
Prime Minister Bill English opened his press conference today by noting today's launch of the new Social Investment Agency Oranga Tangata. He said it's data-driven approach to seeing how well social spending succeeds would be rolled out to all Health, Education, and Welfare spending if a National government wins the election.
Mr English praised the launch of negotiations for a "Pacific Alliance" free trade agreement with Mexico, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. He also announced an "agreed amount" of five million dollars in government funding for Emirates Team New Zealand to allow them to retain staff before mounting a defence of the America's Cup.
Questions were mostly about the America's Cup. English noted any future funding for hold the event or building facilities would be considered separately and funding for things such as technological development might be sought from relevant agencies. He expected the final to be held in New Zealand.
There were questions on Auckland infrastructure, with the cup defence likely to coincide with events during Auckland's APEC hosting. English said officials were in discussion with Auckland Council to ensure the Auckland Transport Alignment project matched up with the council's Long Term Plan and took into account the lastest developments.
Other questions were on English's meeting with Peter Thiel while English finance minister (English had no specific recollections and declined to check several years of diary for dates or details) the Christ Church Cathedral rebuild (some government support was likely but awaiting the synod's decision), and whether the gallery should read anything into the PM's press secretaries leaving the press conference before it was finished.