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September 24, 2018 | by  | in Politics | [ssba]

Political Round Up

On Monday 17 September Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivered her weekly press conference after her cabinet meeting.
Military Deployment
First up, Jacinda announced five Defence Force deployments. The major development was an extension to the existing deployment to Camp Taji in Iraq to June 2019, which will basically be the end of Kiwi soldiers training up Iraqi forces, who will then keep ISIS in check. She noted that she would be reducing the amount of personnel from 133 to 121. The Defence Force will also be extending their deployment to Afghanistan to September 2019, which would add up to almost 20 years of NZ involvement. They also planned to renew their roles in peacekeeping in South Sudan, Lebanon, and the Sinai Peninsula. For deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Cabinet stated that they would be weighing up all options in the coming year, including withdrawal.
Media Questions
I started panicking around the 20-minute mark,the Beehive theatrette abuzz with political journos yelling over each other to get the PM’s responses. I managed to speak over the guy next to me to ask her about the VUW name change. To my surprise she welcomed the question, yet remained nonpartisan in doing so.
Ms Ardern attended Vic for one year, but she acknowledged that gives her no more right than anyone else to have an opinion. “I know that what he’ll [Chris Hipkins] be factoring in will include the perspective of those who are past and present members or students or faculty members. He’ll be considering everything,” she said.

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