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Ministers head overseas during recess

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/04/2016
Steven Joyce, Minister of Economic Development. © Getty Images Steven Joyce, Minister of Economic Development.

Cities are emptying out for the school holidays and so is parliament in Wellington.

Parliament is in recess this week so several ministers are off overseas.

Prime Minister John Key is in China with officials hoping to improve the free trade agreement New Zealand already has with China, and a business delegation is travelling with him. He has two ministers with him - Nathan Guy and Todd McClay.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce is leading a delegation of exporters trying to get government contracts in the US and they're heading to Washington DC for an event organised by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

Climate Change Issues Minister Paula Bennett is also in the US to sign the Paris climate change agreement at the UN in New York. She's also going to Washington DC.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne is in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem from Tuesday.

He says major themes of the meeting are likely to include the death penalty, new psychoactive substances and the impact of technology.

"New Zealand is one of a number of countries that have in recent years moved towards treating drug use as a health issue, rather than a criminal justice issue.

"While we still have work to do here in New Zealand, it is my view that we are making good progress in how we address wider drug-harm issues," he said.

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