Tag: Robert Kelly

Post Cabinet Conference: Dr Zarif and the Security Review

Article – Robert Kelly Todays post-cabinet press conference was dominated by discussion of the security agencies review and the visit last weekend of the Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Zarif. Key also addressed concerns about the Clutha Southland electorate and the effect …Today’s post-cabinet press conference was dominated by discussion of the security agencies review and the visit last weekend of the Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Zarif. Key also addressed concerns about the Clutha Southland electorate and the effect of the American primaries on the likelihood of the TPP being ratified. Prime Minister John Key said that the first visit from an Iranian Foreign Minister in ten years had gone well. His conversations with Dr Zarif had centred on regional issues for Iran in relation to New Zealand’s role on the United Nations Security Council. Mr Key said that he not raised the treatment of minorities in Iran with Dr Zarif but said a relationship is being built with Iran where a wider discussion about domestic and foreign policy could be had. He emphasised the possibilities of trade with Iran as sanctions against it begin to ease. The Prime Minister fielded many questions about the Independent Review of Intelligence and Security and its effect on policy but answered very few. He would not put a date on further announcements or on conversations with Labour members of the Security and Intelligence...

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Post Cabinet Press Conference: Australia and Auckland

Article – Robert Kelly The Prime Minister began todays press conference by saying that Christchurch and its people were in his thoughts. He said that while the quakes on the 14th on February were clearly unsettling, residents can take comfort in how well Christchurch … Post Cabinet Press Conference: Australia and Auckland Robert Kelly The Prime Minister began today’s press conference by saying that Christchurch and its people were in his thoughts. He said that while the quakes on the 14th on February were clearly unsettling, “residents can take comfort” in how well Christchurch is being rebuilt. Key answered many questions about his upcoming talks with Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull. He stated that while the New Zealand offer to take 150 refugees from Australian camps within the 750 quota still stood, Australia had not yet said yes to that. Key said that he considered it the “sensible and compassionate thing to do” but that the ball was in Australia’s court. He said it was likely discussions would take place with Turnbull about the progress in Camp Taji in Iraq. Key said it is not his intention to send the New Zealand SAS into Iraq. On Auckland Housing the Prime Minister was reluctant to discuss specifics of the debate around intensification. He stressed that the Unitary Plan was the Auckland Council’s rather than the National Party’s. Key dodged a...

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TPPA Signing Protest in Wellington

Article – Robert Kelly At midday today over three hundred people gathered in the lee of the Cenotaph in Wellington to protest the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. TPPA Signing Protest in Wellington Robert Kelly At midday today over three hundred people gathered in the lee of the Cenotaph in Wellington to protest the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Members of the public joined representatives from The Green Party, Māori Party, PSA, Unite Union, FIRST Union, Peace Movement Aotearoa, Rail and Maritime Transport Union, E Tu, Ora Taiao and Mana. Many flags coloured the concrete courtyard including several variations of the Tino Rangitiratanga design, union flags, political party emblems and the United Tribes of New Zealand ensign. The protest was organised by TPP Free Wellington and the master of ceremonies was “Ant from the Hutt” who was very clear that there was a strict time frame for today’s protest as people had jobs to get back to. He also spoke to the reasons for the Wellington protest today. He said that TPP Free Wellington understood that not everyone could take time off work to go to Auckland. He said that today’s Wellington event was a statement of solidarity with those protesting in Auckland. Greg Rzesniowiecki and Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati spoke on behalf of TPP Free Wellington and emphasised their lack of confidence in the TPPA process...

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PM Post Cabinet: Christmas Island and the US Navy

Article – Robert Kelly Prime Minister John Key will travel to South East Asia next week to encourage commerce and security links with South-East Asian and Pacific nations. He will lead a trade delegation to Vietnam before visiting the East Asian Summit in Kuala Lumpur and the … PM Post Cabinet: Christmas Island and the US Navy Robert Kelly Prime Minister John Key will travel to South East Asia next week to encourage commerce and security links with South-East Asian and Pacific nations. He will lead a trade delegation to Vietnam before visiting the East Asian Summit in Kuala Lumpur and the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Manilla. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5au_h3PQSQ&w=560&h=315] Mr Key fielded a range of questions on issues at the Australian Christmas Island detention centre. He said New Zealanders at the detention centre had been offered the opportunity to come back to New Zealand while there cases were being processed and that to his knowledge the ones still at the centre were there by choice. Key emphasised that while New Zealanders were involved in this issue it is still an Australian correctional facility and therefore an “Australian matter”. Mr Key said the US, along with several other armed forces, has been invited to send a naval ship for the New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary celebrations. He stated that the invitation was not motivated by desires to strengthen the relationship...

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SHAN Protest Against State Housing Sales

Article – Robert Kelly The State Housing Action Network (SHAN) led a protest in Wellington today against the sale of state housing by the Government. SHAN Protest Against State Housing Sales Robert Kelly The State Housing Action Network (SHAN) led a protest in Wellington today against the sale of state housing by the Government. Photo by Olexander Barnes At midday thirty to forty protestors marched from Civic Square to Parliament. They were accompanied by the sounds of the Brass Razoo Solidarity Band. Marchers carried placards bearing slogans such as “stop the war on the poor” and “stop selling state houses”. SHAN organiser Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati spoke. She said that “this policy is attacking absolutely the most needy” and that the actions of the current government were “deplorable”. Jan Logie and John Minto were among the marchers and they were joined by MPs from the Labour Party, the Green Party, New Zealand First and the Maori Party when the protest reached Parliament. New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell accepted the petition carried by SHAN and welcomed the protestors to Parliament. He said that he was glad to see people willing to “stand in solidarity with those who are going to be so sadly affected” by the sale of state housing. He also mentioned the TPP in the same breath which garnered him favour with the crowd. Mitchell cautioned that state housing...

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