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PM's Post-Cab 21/5/18: Working On It

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PM's Post-Cabinet Press Conference 21/5/18: They're Working on it

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave an update on the response to the spread of Mycoplasma bovis in New Zealand cattle. The government is working with industry to develop a long term approach to eradicate or control the disease and fund the response. Ardern said "mistakes were made" in the response but did not note any made by her government. She emphasized there was no health risk to human associated with the disease.

Ardern also said the Government did not favour building a new 'mega-prison' at Waikeria. She said New Zealand having a relatively static crime rate yet being projected to need a new prison every two to three years was untenable, and was not the best use of money or the best way to enhance public safety. Cabinet also has not decided how to deal with this yet. The budget provided for 600 new prison beds.

Other questions included what benefits for Māori there were in the budget, a minister's 'inappropriate' characterization of Treasury officials in response to Kiwibuild projections, removing the provision of long acting contraception from Work and Income, the continuing holding in isolation of mental patient Ashley Peacock a year after his release was agreed, Kiwibuild buying houses 'off plan', speculation about a royal visit, and Ardern's appearance as a hologram-projected head of state.

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