News and Updates from Bill English
06 March 2014 Fletcher Building boss appointed to B20
Fletcher Building CEO and managing director Mark Adamson has been appointed New Zealand’s representative on the Australian B20 Leadership Group, Finance Minister Bill English says.
The B20, or Business 20, runs parallel to the influential G20 – the group of 19 nations plus the European Union - which meets regularly to discuss ways to strengthen the global economy and create jobs.
Australia this year holds the G20 presidency and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has invited New Zealand to participate as a guest.
The B20 provides private sector input to G20 discussions and will hold a summit later this year in Sydney. Mr Abbott and Prime Minister John Key have announced an “Australasia Business Week” to showcase the Australasian economy to G20 and B20 delegates visiting Sydney.
“I’m pleased that Mark Adamson has accepted nomination as New Zealand’s representative on the B20,” Mr English says.
“He not only leads New Zealand’s biggest listed company, but he also has extensive international corporate experience that he will bring to the table on behalf of New Zealand’s business community.”
B20 Australia chairman and Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder has also welcomed Mr Adamson’s appointment and says Australia’s G20 presidency allows a unique opportunity to showcase Australia and New Zealand to the world as a leading business destination.
“We look forward to the active involvement of New Zealand businesses in the B20 process this year,” Mr Goyder says.Tweet
26 February 2014 New structure for Genesis Energy share offer
The Government has today confirmed that the Genesis Energy share offer will proceed next month with a different structure from previous Government share offers.
The Genesis offer is expected to open in the second half of March with the company expected to be listed on the sharemarket around mid-April, subject to market conditions, Finance Minister Bill English says.
“We will set out all the details in the next few weeks. As with the other share offers, New Zealanders will be at the front of the queue for Genesis shares and we remain committed to at least 85 per cent Kiwi ownership.”
Each of the previous share offers was structured to meet the Government’s balanced objectives of achieving good value for taxpayers and providing opportunities for New Zealand investors.
“We’ve so far raised around $4 billion through the share offers, which is being invested in new public assets such as schools, hospitals and ultra-fast broadband,” Mr English says. “That’s $4 billion we don’t have to borrow from overseas lenders.”
26 February 2014 Speech to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and Massey University
Good afternoon. It’s a pleasure to be with you again today.
My thanks to Michael and the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, and Steve and Massey University, for inviting me back to this annual event.
This is the fifth time I’ve spoken at this forum since becoming Minister of Finance.
With your support later this year, I look forward to returning in 2015.
Today I’d like to update you on the Government’s economic programme and summarise the opportunities we have to lock in the benefits of our improving economy.
And I want to talk about what you can expect from another National-led Government, should we have the privilege of a third term.
Our approach will remain clear and predictable.
In the shorter term, we’ve worked to protect New Zealanders from the sharpest edges of the recession, and to help the people of Christchurch through the devastating earthquakes.
We have incurred significant extra debt by spending in excess of our revenue to protect the most vulnerable families, to maintain living standards and to support the renewal of our second-largest city.
As the economy improves, we will begin repaying that debt until it is down to prudent levels.
20 February 2014 Edited speech to the Institute of Public Administration New Zealand
The public service deserves congratulations on its achievements over the last five years because it’s unique in three ways.
The Kiwi Counts survey shows that, in general, the public thinks services are better now than they were five years ago, almost across the board.
Secondly, it’s been impressive that we’ve been able to meet our fiscal objectives every year for the past five years. That is very unusual by the standards of any developed country. I would argue that the path ahead looks more sustainable than we had expected.
But thirdly, and most importantly, a reason for congratulations is that we are seeing measurable results and measurably improving results with some of New Zealand’s most complex problems.
Even when we aren’t seeing improvements we’re seeing a gritty and honest grappling with the complexity of those problems. That picture is painted by the six-monthly update in the Better Public Service results that has been updated on the website today.
It shows that in some areas we’re making quite significant progress – in fact so much that there must be other causes than what we’re doing. For example the extent to which our communities are becoming safer with a lower crime rate I think has surprised everybody. We have significantly fewer people going through our court systems, like 25 per cent fewer young people just over the last couple of years.