Whaleoil Transcript: Mike Hosking & Jacinda Ardern on the Coastal Pacific train, Formula E, Sroubek, Louisa Wall, the pride parade & whether Santa is male

Newstalk ZB

Starts at 7:27

Mike

Good morning, how was that train the other day?

Jacinda

Good morning. Aah, it was fantastic. I haven’t been on the aah… the Coastal Pacific before but to see it back up and running again was fantastic. What’s really incredible as you travel along the journey you can see the extent of the aah… the land slips, the amount of… ah… civil engineering, ah… genius that has had to be applied to getting the train back on the track.  You can see why it won an international civil engineering award.

Mike

Exactly, and deservedly so and when you look at the projects they beat, it is an extraordinary thing.  Having said that, and that is not a criticism at all, the $40 million you handed out, is that a genuine investment as opposed to a subsidy?

Jacinda

No, absolutely, it is an investment. Kiwi Rail, absolutely, we have… we have responsibility for, and what… what we’re wanting to do in the region is a boost for tourism is to increase the frequency of that… aah… of that service. It’s running seven months of the year, this boost will enable it to run all year round. It will enable extra capacity to built into the service, it will bring in a premium service, you will know from tourism offerings that aah… rail services internationally often offer that level of service and we don’t have that currently so we will um… upgrade the reservation service, um, upgrade three stations, ah, to cope for that extra capacity and um… involve a bit of marketing for the service.

 

Mike

Good. Do you know about us getting the rights to the Formula E race in Auckland?

Jacinda

Ah, no.

Mike

Right. So, we’ve won the rights. Do you know what Formula E is?

Jacinda

In… in… not in great detail.

Mike

So, it’s like Formula One except that it’s for electric cars and it’s a growing form of motor racing.

Jacinda

I could have assumed (laughs).

Mike

We have won the right to host one of the races and they’ve been in touch with people like James Shaw and Grant Robertson and stuff like that. They want fourteen….

Jacinda

What year?

Mike

Um, next year, end of next year.

Jacinda

Right, right.  All things manageable, 2021 is quite busy.

Mike

Next year you want to be on board because we have beaten Australia to this and all the manufacturers are into this because electric is the future of the… the um… future of transport…

Jacinda

I bet it is! Have you driven one yet?

Mike

No, I haven’t driven one. Oh, I’ve driven an electric car but not a racing car. Anyway, they need $14 million and $14 million from the government brings in $150 million in terms of investment and messaging and branding and marketing and all that sort of stuff.  Why don’t you give it to them?

Jacinda

Ah, I couldn’t answer that here and now given you’ve been briefing me life as we speak on this particular scenario. Um… that imagine… I imagine that they would probably be making pitches for the major events fund that we have available. And there always assess… you know what’s the benefit to NZ in the same way that we did for…. for instance, for the America’s Cup.  How much… how much the Crown puts in versus how much it generates for the economy.  So, we often factor in those… those different elements but I couldn’t… I couldn’t answer….

Mike

No, I didn’t expect a commitment to be honest.  But 14… 14 for 150 return is not bad, do you not think?

Jacinda

Mmm.. yeah… well, look on paper, but I wouldn’t want to give any expectations on the radio without even having looked into it…

Mike

Karel Sroubek. When do we get an announcement from Mr Lees-Galloway?

Jacinda

It’ll be very soon.  Um… I got asked this at post-cab yesterday. It’ll be very soon.

Mike

This week?

Jacinda

Ah, that would be… that would be my expectation.

Mike

Was the minister, now that you’ve got it all back on your desk and everybody’s been briefed and everybody’s been looked into, was the minister been misled, or short of information?

Jacinda

He’s always said in the public…. I am not going into too much detail before we put it out there publicly because we are still finalising, still finalising some of the… the… the legal details, but as I’ve always said there was contradictory information in the public domain versus what was put before the minister. That was the whole point of immigration going back over… ah… the case, and going back to Sroubek’s lawyer, but as I say, we will be able to share more detail on that very soon.

Mike

Do you still have confidence in him?

Jacinda

Yes, I do.

Mike

Aaah… so, he’s not losing his job?

Jacinda

No, he’s not.

Mike

Is Sroubek getting booted out of the country?

Jacinda

I’m not commenting on that until we finally announce the final outcome of the case.

Mike

Well, when you’ve just said finalising the legal details that indicates to me that… ah… when legal details need to be finalized things are changing within…

Jacinda

You can draw any inference that you would like on that…

Mike

Well, well the guys in jail.  As with residency, nothing needed to change if you are not going to do anything, if you’ve got lawyers involved you are looking to boot him out.

Jacinda

And that was always… that… we always made that clear. There was a period where… ah… through the information through Sroubek’s lawyer. So, lawyers have always been involved in this for… for a little while now.

Mike

If you try to boot him out and they go to court, which… which they will, and that incurs more cost does that not put pressure back on Lees-Galloway’s original decision?

Jacinda

Well, again I am not going to do is jeopardize any elements of this case until we have finalised it and put it out.  You can ask me that question next week.

Mike

Okay, well I will of course. Having said that, can I wrap it up this way.

Jacinda

Of course. I’ll look forward to it.

Mike

Can I wrap it up this way, are you satisfied with what you’ve decided and what will be announced?

Jacinda

Aaah… one… the final outcome, ah… we’ll stand by, but I also need to make sure, Mike, that looking forward… aah… in the way that we handle, aah… these individual cases, which are complex, I am not particularly satisfied with the process that’s been applied, ah over a number of years now, for successive governments, so there’s no politics in that, it’s just when I look at the way that… the position that we put ministers in… I think we could do it better. And so, I will be looking at that as well.

Mike

Is Louisa Wall guilty of hate speech?

Jacinda

No, no.

Mike

Should be… should she be saying things like ‘I don’t want any f****g TERFS at the pride parade?

Jacinda

Don’t think the language is language… um… that I would endorse, and I think Louisa would probably um… you know… would have some regret over that… over that element but… um… look, she was… was sharing a view around… aah…  around trans-gender rights… um… and, look that’s… she’s absolutely free to express that.

Mike

What do you make has happened… of what has happened over the pride parade given that was your old patch?

Jacinda

Oh, well… central… central Auckland… aah… so… I… I… have for many years joined the pride parade and it’s… yeah… it’s always been a celebration a really inclusive affair. For me though this is a matter that really is for the organisers. And I’ve… I’ve… I haven’t haven’t waded into this… I don’t think it is for me to be an arbiter who does… and isn’t involved in the parade… so, that for me… is something for the organizers to deal with.

Mike

Have you heard from the Americans directly on Huawei?

Jacinda

Aaah… those issues are not something that would come to be me… um… aah… necessarily directly. If you are asking me whether it’s been raised at that level, with me directly… no it hasn’t, um… but I would give the same answer that I’d given in public um… that we have… aah… um…. a strong legislative framework… um… through what’s called our ticks of legislation that’s been around since 2014, from memory, that allows us to go through a process of analysing aah… the details of any application that affects our network. It’s a good way to operate, it means that we check off all the national security concerns with any application.

Mike

Is Santa male?

Jacinda

(Laughs) That’s what I’ve always been brought up to believe.

Recording ends.


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