Live now
Start time
Playing for
End time
Listen live
Up next
Listen live on

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon holds press conference

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 19 Apr 2024, 1:42pm

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon holds press conference

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 19 Apr 2024, 1:42pm

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will shortly speak from the Philippines where he is wrapping up his first extended overseas trip since taking office last year.  

He visited Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines, where he was a guest of recently-elected President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos.  

Strengthening trade ties was a focus of the trip, but so too was defence and the troubling security situation in Asia.  

In a joint press conference, Marcos highlighted challenges in the South China Sea, where the Philippines is engaged in a bitter dispute with an increasingly assertive China.  

“The Philippines welcomes New Zealand’s continued commitment to advocate for the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including through the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea,” he said.  

New Zealand is trying to avoid picking sides in the dispute.  

Luxon acknowledged “President Marcos’ leadership on the international stage with both of us focused on building international partnerships”.  

New Zealand and the Philippines agreed to work more closely on matters of security.  

On the domestic front, there is growing umbrage at the extent of the Government’s cuts to the public service.  

Today, RNZ reported MBIE is proposing to cut one of its two senior fire engineers. The Mental Health Foundation is considering axing one in five of its staff.  

The charity, which receives Government funding, has said the money it gets from the Ministry of Health has not kept up with costs.  

Luxon has defended the scale of the cuts, saying he wants to pivot towards spending on frontline services.  

“We want more medical doctors, not more spin doctors,” he said earlier this month.  

Next month, Finance Minister Nicola Willis will deliver the Budget. It will be the first time we see the extent of public sector trimming.  

“The critical thing is the Budget and getting the balance right in that Budget, because we could carry on doing things as they are, or we could go to full austerity mode,” Luxon told the Herald.  

“We want to find the balance, actually - balancing wasteful spending so that we can protect frontline services, [while providing] tax relief and growing the economy. That’s the key thing that we need to land this quarter.”  

This article was originally posted on the NZ Herald here. 

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you