PM announces changes to relationship with Myanmar after coup

Author
Amelia Wade, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 9 Feb 2021, 4:05PM

PM announces changes to relationship with Myanmar after coup

Author
Amelia Wade, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 9 Feb 2021, 4:05PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta had announced fundamental changes to New Zealand's relationship with Myanmar since the military coup there.

New Zealand was suspending all high level political contact with Myanmar, there would be restrictions on aid and a travel ban on Myanmar's leaders would be implemented next week, Ardern said.

Ardern said she believed every New Zealander would be devastated to see what had happened in Myanmar.

"We will do what we can from here in New Zealand."

They could do that through high-level political talks, travel bans and ensuring New Zealand aid didn't benefit the military government.

MFAT has direct administration of the aid programmes on the ground in Myanmar which was very different to private companies - like Air New Zealand.

There were staff on the ground to "keep an eye" on the aid projects, Finance Minister Grant Robertson, who joined Ardern at today's press conference, said.

On dress code clash in Parliament

On Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi being kicked out of Parliament today, Ardern said she didn't have a particularly strong opinion on whether MPs wore a tie in the House, but questioned whether the debate was a good use of Parliamentarians' time.

"I don't think New Zealanders care about ties."

Ardern is speaking at the post-Cabinet press conference in the Beehive.

The PM will also be questioned about issues like Air New Zealand's ties with the Saudi Arabia military, the frustrations of nurses working at MIQ and the Reserve Bank's decision to reinstate 40 per cent LVRs for property investors.

Robertson this morning signalled his intention to crack down on speculators.

Robertson said the Government planned to "tilt the balance" toward first-home buyers and wanted to incentivise new builds.

The Reserve Bank this morning announced that most investors will need a 30 per cent deposit from March and 40 per cent by May but that banks should respect the 40 per cent requirement immediately for all new investor lending.

And nurses working at managed isolation facilities this morning told RNZ their working conditions weren't sustainable.

One nurse said staffing shortages meant she did two 24-hour shifts.