METIRIA TUREI to the Prime Minister : Does he stand by his statement that “… we believe that New Zealand can make a positive difference to world affairs and provide a unique and independent voice at the world’s top table”?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes.
Metiria Turei : Will the Prime Minister’s Government, as its first positive action as president of the United Nations Security Council, join the 135 other Governments globally that recognise the sovereign State of Palestine; if not, why not?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY : In answer to the first part of the question, no.
Metiria Turei : Will his Government make a positive difference to world affairs by increasing New Zealand’s refugee quota beyond 750 per year, which currently places us 90th in the world, per capita?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Not at this time, no. It will next be considered in 2016.
Metiria Turei : Does making a positive difference to world affairs include giving preferential treatment to Saudi Arabia by pursuing a free-trade agreement, even though it has beheaded over 100 people this year alone and has one of the most appalling human rights records in the world?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY : As the Government has said on numerous occasions, we engage in free-trade agreements with countries with which we do not always share a like-minded view when it comes to human rights, but we think that by trading with them, it does give us a better platform to have those discussions.
Metiria Turei : Is his Government making a positive difference to world affairs when New Zealand’s contribution to the United Nations Green Climate Fund is just 60c per capita—lagging behind Sweden at $60 per capita, Britain at $19, the US at $9, and even Australia at $8?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY : In answer to the first part of the question, yes, we are having a positive impact in the world.
Metiria Turei : When New Zealand chairs, later this month, the open debate on the security of small island States, will the Prime Minister make a positive difference and convey his concerns that New Zealand’s net emissions are projected to rise 50 percent in the next decade, putting those small island States at even greater risk from the effects of climate change?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Well, during that open session, there will be a debate about climate change, and New Zealand will be talking proudly about its record and the contribution it has been making.
Metiria Turei : How does the Prime Minister expect New Zealanders, let alone the rest of the world, to accept that New Zealand will provide a unique and independent voice at the world’s top table when his Government has already failed at these four global challenges: Palestine, the refugee crisis, human rights, and climate change?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY : The member lives in a very, very negative world. If she took off her negative downgrading of New Zealand attitude and stopped being so down in the mouth and actually read Amnesty International’s press release, she would find it is actually very positive about New Zealand’s contribution.