PM: Cabinet reshuffle coming after budget

Author
Newstalk ZB ,
Section
Politics,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 29 January 2019, 3:00p.m.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she reflected on a Cabinet reshuffle over the summer period and has decided there will be one after Budget 2019.

Speaking to reporters following the first Cabinet meeting of the new year, Ardern said she would address the issue after interest from the media.

Ardern also spoke about a report into the insurance industry released today.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson joined Ardern today to say the Government was concerned at the findings of the report.

The Government wanted to reform the banking and insurance sectors and new regulations would be drawn up.

They would ensure insurers and bankers were not driven by incentives.

Robertson said some practices were "unacceptable".

The issues identified cut across both sectors, and Robertson said it was hoped legislation and regulation was in place by the end of the year.

"What we want to make sure is that the rules are fair."

He said there were examples of life insurers "ripping off or rorting consumers", as one reporter categorised it.

Robertson said the Reserve Bank and the FMA had given companies time to respond but he said naming and shaming would be an opotion if they didn't get into line.

Ardern said the report would shake people's faith in the industry.

The regulatory regime, the structure of the regulatory body and the levels of penalties were yet to be considered.

Robertson, speaking on the report of the Tax Working Group, said he was expecting it by the end of the week.

But he said the family home was "off limits".

"We now have to work through this report," he said.

Robertson said nothing would be changed without the agreement of the Government's coalition partners.

"These are all hypotheticals until we get the report back," Ardern said.

Moving on to other issues, Ardern said Housing Minister Phil Twyford briefed Cabinet on KiwiBuild.

Ardern said the overall target of 100,000 homes in 10 years would still be met but she would wait until Twyford came back with a paper for Cabinet on the interim targets.

That includes the July target, which Twyford admitted last week would not be met.

Ardern said former KiwiBuild head Stephen Barclay's claim that the programme was on track when he went on leave in November was disputed.

"We are only six months into a 10-year programme," Ardern said.

"The target that matters to us is the 10-year target."

Ardern said she had not received a letter from academic Anne-Marie Brady asking directly for police protection but would seek it out and read it.

Brady has made the direct appeal to Ardern following a number of events that Brady has attributed to her work as a China academic.

A number of MPs were missing from Cabinet this morning after fog halted some domestic flights into Wellington. But Ardern said all MPs except one were expected today.

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