PM's Press Conference: State Care Abuse Inquiry Petition
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Prime Minister Bill English opened today's post-cabinet press conference repeating his praise of property developer Mark
Dunajtschik's generosity in gifting a new fifty bed children's hospital to Wellington. This allowed a construction
related segue to the topic of region development fund announcements, which will be made for a number of regions this
week. English also noted the Lions tour as having demonstrated New Zealand's ability to host large events.
The bulk of questions focused on calls for a inquiry into abuse and neglect in state care. The Prime Minister cited
recent efforts to improve child care and the current process for dealing with individual claims as evidence the
government shared goals with the complainants. He said he had not seen what an inquiry would achieve beyond these, and
that and inquiry would distract and draw resources from these priorities.
Other matters discussed included Iraq's declaration of victory in Mosul (NZ has yet to receive any requests for
reconstruction assistance), Winston Peters' call for wool carpet in government buildings (the PM enthused on the
qualities of wool but said procurement was a matter between manufacturers and buyers), Auckland homelessness and housing
(improving, despite the City Mission's cry for help), Ngatata Love's knighthood (safe at least until all legal processes
are concluded), the lack of a G20 statement of North Korea (the US and China together are what's needed), the Green's
proposed water charges (speculation), the Greens v Winston Peters (the PM did not judge NZ First's policy because they
say all sort of things, and nothing Mr Peters had said said made the PM think Peters "is a racist"), and the general
badness of any Labour/Greens/NZ First coalition.