Kerre McIvor Mornings Podcast •

Jacinda Ardern joins Kerre McIvor to take talkback questions

Kerre McIvor Mornings Podcast

Jacinda Ardern says a transtasman bubble is on "the horizon and real".
Prime Minister is live on Newstalk ZB for an hour this morning, talking about a turbulent week in politics including David Clark's resignation and allegations of fraud by America's Cup officials.

The fallout from the America's Cup yesterday saw the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment suspend further payment of monies towards the campaign after allegations of a "reclassified" $3 million loan and claims of fraud involving a Hungarian bank account.
Health Minister David Clark also tendered his resignation yesterday, while the number of Covid-19 cases rose again.
Opening borders
When asked about how we can host a successful America's Cup with our borders closed, Ardern told McIvor they wanted a world class event and it wasn't just about visitor numbers.
As for the axing of Apec hosting the world's leaders, Ardern said it was easier to have a virtual event given the instability around Covid-19 and borders.
As for re-opening the country's borders, Ardern said there was not a lot of clarity around that situation and the country needed to think about the future and the Government was doing that thinking and working in earnest of that happening along with a transtasman bubble.
The great unknown for countries with a high presence of Covid-19 is what it would look like with a vaccine and other measures.
"I think the world will be very different in a few months' time," Ardern said.
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters yesterday outlined what he saw as the requirements for the borders to re-open.
With Australia, Kiwis could travel to certain states while we could also travel to some Pacific Islands, including the Cook Islands and Niue.
But for other, major countries the challenge was much bigger.
Countries would have to have a clean record, Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking - zero community transmission cases, like New Zealand has had since April 28.
Creating jobs
In response to a question from a caller about tourists already in the country, Ardern said she had been asked to give them a visitor's residency to contribute to the country's growth.
She said there were a chunk of people who were in the country and had decided to go home, but for others the Government was looking at re-deployment including the horticulture sector.
Speaking generally, Ardern said that for tourism they needed to find opportunities which were a good fit and offered a good wage.
Some could work in tourism in Rotorua or Queenstown or eco-tourism.
When asked about the sector's survival, Ardern said there were plenty of Kiwis visiting those towns.
As for the Government's economic plan, Ardern said it was about "jobs, jobs, jobs".
Training also had to be part of it, she said.
"Jobs will continue to be our focus."
On "shovel-ready" projects, Ardern accepted they weren't shovel ready but some work, including a project in Queenstown, would be ready to start in three months which she said was a quick turn around. Many others were six to 12 months. She said shovel-ready meant there was planning that had already done.
Asked by McIvor about where to find that money, and borrowing it, Ardern said people who travelled offshore "spent billions" which would now be spent here.
Another caller, in the tourism industry, asked about the wage subsidy finishing next month and having to still run a business. Ardern said discussions have been held and accepted there wasn't any revenue coming in. She knew it needed to be worked through.
The caller said it was something they were having to deal with daily and were worried what the future held. Ardern said there was a period of uncertainty ahead and that a transtasman bubble was on "the horizon and real".
Asked by McIvor about where to find that money, and borrowing it, Ardern said people who travelled offshore "spent billions" which would now be spent here.
Spending on infrastructure would also have future pay-offs.
The country had to think about...
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