Pontius John

Written By: - Date published: 12:10 pm, June 12th, 2009 - 48 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

How extraordinary of John Key to align himself with western history’s most notorious coward in his statement that he had “washed his hands” of Richard Worth.

He’s a poor judge of people in his personal choice, that is clear – after all, he appointed Richard Worth as a National Party Minister, and he anointed Melissa Lee as a National Party candidate, but this statement takes abdication of responsibility to a new level.

It’s now hung round his neck for ever, and will undoubtedly come back to haunt him.

48 comments on “Pontius John”

  1. IrishBill 1

    Yeah, I thought that too but I suspect that the reference is lost on the majority of the population.

  2. Jasper 2

    IB – the majority of the population that have never seen JCS, nor seen a high school production of it?

    It’s only one of the most famous utterances of Pilate, and is referenced in the bible.

    Methinks you aren’t giving our wholesome christian citizens ’nuff credit.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      How many of the 50% of the population who call themselves Xian on the census form do you think have actually read the bible?

      • Spectator 2.1.1

        Probably a lot fewer than have seen a production of “Jesus Christ Superstar”.

  3. lprent 3

    Be interesting to see if Richard Worth is also able to rise from the dead. I suspect not.

  4. Ianmac 4

    “Washing his hands” is hardly a definitive action for a strong leader. Wishy-washy? What happened to the “Smiling Assassin” image? Ruthless. Efficient. Confident.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      The “Smiling Assassin” image was always overrated anyway. As JK said himself concerning the redundancies he managed – he was only doing as he was told. Now that he actually has to think and act for himself he’s out of his depth.

  5. IrishBill 5

    Jasper, I think they probably would be able to tell you where the phrase came from if they were pushed on it but I think it’s undergone sufficient semantic drift as a phrase that most people wouldn’t see it as loaded with the moral baggage it might once have been loaded with.

  6. You guys love being in opposition don’t you.

    Key isn’t a strong or decisive leader – where’s the action?

    He takes action and washed his hands – couldn’t be more definitive in his actions or communicates that.

    So now you criticise Key for doing what you criticised him for NOT doing?

    Agreed that being in opposition can be a lot of fun but it’s a weak post if you’re trying to be credible as a political commentator.

    • MikeG 6.1

      You seem to forget Dave that he is still a member of the National caucus.

      After their Tuesday meeting, will JK have to wash his hands again?

      • Daveski 6.1.1

        No I haven’t. That’s a caucus decision although one that I think Key has made quite clear what the outcome should be. Note the comments re Taito fields.

        Keep in mind that these are allegations and if both sides hadn’t played games, it could have been resolved earlier.

        My substantive point is that there is a massive inconsistency here – you can’t criticise Key on the one hand for not doing enough and/or doing it too slowly then criticise him for telling Worth in no uncertain terms that as far as he’s concerned, he may as well get a DCM. (It’s not a knighthood either)

        • Maynard J 6.1.1.1

          All he has done is made a grandiose statement, coupled with no action and, as well stated above, no abdication of responsibility.

          How is this doing something? It is a silly show, and pretending that he is being decisive.

          Akin to a ‘bollocking’ one could presume.

        • gobsmacked 6.1.1.2

          Daveski

          If we agree that “washing hands” = “expelling from caucus”, what are the grounds for Key/National to do that?

          Remember Worth has not been charged with anything.

          • Daveski 6.1.1.2.1

            Agreed – good question! I suspect that Worth was sacked for losing his boss’s confidence which with respect I suspect is all that matters in politics and certainly how HC would have seen it too.

            If the party also loses confidence (even without being charged, it’s clear to me he is a political liability) that should be grounds. I’m not a NP member nor a member of any political party so I don’t have knowledge of the operations.

            I’m now in the same space as Key – hoping that either Worth falls on his sword (which seems unlikely giving the size of his ego) or the caucus kicks him out.

            Sadly, that means this sorry tale still has legs!

          • gobsmacked 6.1.1.2.2

            Key’s problem now is precedent.

            Worth won’t be the last Minister to go. That’s politics. So next time, the media ask: “Why is XYZ not being expelled from caucus too?”, etc.

            I suspect Worth’s silence is partly motivated by not wanting to give Key an excuse (e.g. disloyalty). As of now, there is no reason for Worth to do anything but wait for the police to conclude their investigation, and hope it goes his way.

          • Daveski 6.1.1.2.3

            Agreed gs

            I think he also needs to front up to his commitments/statements when in opposition but perhaps I’m being a little Pollyanna-ish and/or naive

          • Daveski 6.1.1.2.4

            Bingo – Worth falls on his sword 🙂

  7. hvillvoter 7

    So Key is a poor jusge of character for the National Party local electorate choosing Key, so therefore you will be slamming Labour and Helen Key for running Taito Philip Field or doesnt fraud/exploitation count?

    • Maynard J 7.1

      Yeah I wish Key did not “choose Key” either. But then better than Don “No cash no” Brash.

  8. The Voice of Reason 8

    Any chance John dried his hands on a see through nightie?

    The English magazine Private Eye has used Uganda as a euphemism for illicit sex ever since a minister claimed he and his secretary were only pursuing a mutual interest in East African affairs when they were sprung.

    Given that Worth is clearly a Goa, can I suggest we use ‘pursuing an interest in Indian textiles’ as code for shagging in future? Other suggestions welcome.

  9. Craig Glen Eden 9

    I agree bloody brilliant ,” Pontius John” it suits him to the ground. Pilate was on his last chance when he washed his hands of the Crucifixion of Jesus by the way.

    But hey you couldn’t expect a bloke who cant remember his position with regards to the Spring Bok Tour to realize the subtleness of what he has mimicked.

    The other thing is it shows that he obviously does not learn much when he goes to Church.
    Repeating Pilate’s line what a idiot!

  10. Tigger 10

    Who is Worth answerable to now? No one apparently because the PM can’t be bothered with him any more.

    In fact Mr Key, you can’t ‘wash your hands’ of someone while they’re still under your command. You’re a leader, you don’t get to only lead the ones you want to lead or who haven’t disappointed you. Until Worth is out of Parliament, he’s your responsibility. You’re the PM, start acting like it.

  11. Craig Glen Eden 11

    Daveski for peat sakes if you are going to comment at least have some idea what you are talking about.

    Pilate was not decisive he was weak.He used the people for his own political means to rid himself of Jesus who was a problem for him he didn’t want to be seen as making a decision. He held the destiny of an innocent man in his hands. He handed Jesus’s future back to the religious Jewish leaders. Jesus or Barraba’s the thief and murder which one lives which one dies…..

    Key now repeats Pilate’s famous Line and gesture on TV! Key claims he goes to Church and that he is of Jewish decent. As a politician and of Jewish decent the last person you would want to mimic in the Bible is Pilate.

    That line will be repeated over and over in the next three years with good reason!

    Time will tell who will sit in the seats of power in 2011. After this last month I really like our chances.

  12. If Key is Pilate then doesn’t that make Richard Worth Jesus and Labour the Sanhedrim?

    • IrishBill 12.1

      Do you ever get sick of being smug Danyl?

    • Pascal's bookie 12.2

      You’d have to ask Key I guess.

    • djp 12.3

      heh, rejoinder of the month right here

      Isnt the phrase a pretty common utterance anyhow? This is certainly the last place of would have thought this connection would have been made

    • Merlin 12.4

      Danyl has a quote from Juvenal on his blog “It is difficult not to write satire”

      Has he ever considered that means the satirist is the laziest form of writer?

  13. StephenR 13

    This is certainly the last place of would have thought this connection would have been made

    You mean you this is the last place you expected to see the classical reference to Pontius or that this is the last place you would expect such hysteria from a blog poster?

    • IrishBill 13.1

      It’s not a classical reference, it’s a biblical reference. And it’s not hysteria, it’s a vaguely ironic observation. Sharpen up.

    • djp 13.2

      the biblical reference… not sure why, lefties just don’t *seem* to be into religion much

      • Anita 13.2.1

        Some of us are.

        Perhaps the real problem is that right-wing religion is far more visible than left-wing religion, so those of us who are old Christian left get overlooked very easily. I am repeatedly annoyed that every time I write anything about the new Christian right (which I think is a valid bloc, just one I have little in common with) someone shouts at me for being anti-Christian.

      • IrishBill 13.2.2

        djp, a lot of older lefties are lapsed Catholics.

      • djp 13.2.3

        fair points

  14. notreallyalawyer 14

    “How extraordinary of John Key to align himself with western history’s most notorious coward in his statement that he had “washed his hands’ of Richard Worth.”

    no irony there, plenty of hysteria though.

    • poptart 14.1

      Strange, that’s the same line StephenR was running above, which he in turn nicked off that patronising jerk at the Dim Post. Do you have anything original to add or is it all just too much for you?

  15. doc whose asking 15

    Then, of course, washiing one’s hands is very much in the fashion.. in the context of our latest pandemic…

    stay home, take tamiflu and wash your hands frequently…

    anyone for freudian slip by Johnboy.. re a worthless swine.. if one must say say so..

  16. notreallyalawyer 16

    “patronising jerk”

    The Standard of debate continues to decline and contuinues to entertain.

  17. mike 17

    Any wonder why mainstream NZer’s think left wingers are fuckwits – good grief

  18. SHG 18

    “western history’s most notorious coward”

    I’m amazed the author stopped there – he should have revealed that John Key is in fact a baby-eating gay black Nazi biker paedophile terrorist named “Cyril”.

    Just kidding. Because that would have been laughable hyperbole that just made the author look like an ignorant try-hard.

  19. RedLogix 19

    This was an odd choice of language from Key. “Washing your hands of…” is an exceedingly well known Biblical phrase that occured in the context of one of the most highly charged, pivotal moments of the New Testament. When anyone, especially a political leader uses this phrase, and most especially in the context of a sacking/resignation… there is a definite resonance in many minds. And not a positive one.

    While I accept that there is likely a number of people, many under the age of 40 for whom this phrase is not especially meaningful, equally there are many for whom it has a definite and loaded connotation.

    While Key is adequately capable in scripted and prepared situations, his lack of authentic conviction and political instinct has shown up with his repeated blunders and mishandlings right from the very outset of this whole affair from when he appointed Worth a Minister last year. From that moment on there have been missed opportunities, missteps and gaffes all the way through what should have been an open and shut affair.

    • felix 19.1

      Indeed. You don’t have to be a biblical scholar to immediately know and understand that phrase. It’s up there with “let there be light” and “let him who is without sin cast the first stone”.

      It’s on “God’s Greatest Hits volume 1”.

      Pretty much anyone but Key would know it and as you say, he prefers to work from a script – which makes me wonder: who scripted that little gem for him and why?

  20. RedLogix 20

    As for the right-wing bloggeratti who have been so exercised over the great injustice done to their man… yet curiously they all utterly fail to recall how with much fervour and glee, they manfully they put their collective backs into destroying Benson-Pope with insubstantial, contended claims, relating to far less serious matters, and dating to a period long before he was in Parliament.

    Nor did the National Party show the slightest hesitation in lynch-mobbing DBP openly in Parliament at every possible opportunity. Contrast this to Goff’s entirely dignified attempt to resolve the much more serious and potentially damaging Worth affair in private. Really the Nats did not deserve it.

    Finally, as much as Worth has been largely the author of his own misfortune, there is rarely any good reason to gloat over a man’s downfall. Time to draw an end to it.

  21. StephenR 21

    Consider me sharpened.

  22. StephenR 22

    And I certainly don’t need the Dim-Post to convince me that something written at The Standard might be a tad hysterical k thx.

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    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
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  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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  • Are GNUs extinct?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
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    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
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    You can read our submission HERE ...
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  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
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  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
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  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
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  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
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  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
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    6 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
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    8 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
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    9 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
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    10 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
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  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
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    1 day ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
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    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
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    2 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
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    3 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
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    4 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
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    5 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
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    5 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
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    5 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
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    5 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
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    5 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
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    5 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
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    6 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
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  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
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    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
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    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
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    1 week ago