31 August 2012
NZ, China and Cook Islands work to improve water quality
Prime Minister John Key today welcomed a new partnership between the Cook Islands, China and New Zealand that will deliver an improved water mains system in Rarotonga.
“This major infrastructure project will improve water quality and address health and sanitation issues in Rarotonga,” Mr Key says.
“Ensuring communities and businesses have access to clean drinking water is critical and will improve livelihoods and promote economic growth.
“It will mean a better quality of life for the people of the Cook Islands and provide an improved tourist experience for visitors.
“The project is the first time New Zealand has worked with China to deliver a major development initiative in the Pacific.”
The total cost of this new project, which will see reticulated water mains laid across Rarotonga, is approximately $60 million. New Zealand is providing $15 million to assist the Cook Islands Government. China will provide approximately NZ$32 million by way of a loan (RMB 165 million).
“The project is part of an on-going commitment by the Cook Islands Government to improve its water and sanitation infrastructure and builds on the work New Zealand has already carried out to improve the water quality of the Muri lagoon,” says Mr Key.
New Zealand will provide on-going support for both water and sanitation and has earmarked a further $10 million for related initiatives in the Cook Islands.Tweet
31 August 2012
Pacific fisheries and oceans get $10m boost
New Zealand will commit NZ$50 million over the next three years to support Pacific fisheries and oceans, Prime Minister John Key announced today.
Mr Key, who is in Rarotonga at the Pacific Islands Forum, says this represents $10 million over and above existing commitments.
“The region faces challenges to sustainably develop what is its single most important resource for food security, livelihoods and economic development.”
The theme of this year’s Forum has been protecting oceans and ensuring Pacific countries get maximum value from their fisheries resource.
“The stakes are high,” says Mr Key. “The Pacific is the last great ocean on the planet not yet overfished. Its waters now account for two-thirds of the value of the global tuna catch.
“In our year as Forum Chair, we have been encouraged by the progress the region is making in lifting returns to tuna fisheries and improving conservation and management.
“Building on these successes, New Zealand is committing additional support to increase returns from tuna resources, boost employment, and support sustainable development of fisheries resources.”
The support will target regional management of longline tuna resources, facilitate high quality investments in Pacific fisheries sectors, strengthen the science that underpins fisheries management decisions, and implement best practice to manage local fish stocks and a healthy coastal environment.
New Zealand has helped the region achieve its priorities through our work in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, on maritime surveillance, and through funding for fisheries science and training Pacific Islanders.
“The good management of this resource is in the
best interests of all Pacific people and New Zealand will continue to
offer its support and knowledge.”
30 August 2012
Prime Minister expresses sorrow at Australia’s loss
Prime Minister John Key has extended New Zealand's condolences to the people of Australia, who have suffered the loss of five brave soldiers in two separate incidents in the southern Uruzgan and the Helmand provinces in Afghanistan.
This news is particularly painful coming less than two weeks after the deaths of three New Zealand soldiers in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) incident in the Bamyan province.
"The thoughts of New Zealanders are today with Australians, and in particular with the families who have lost loved ones and with the soldiers who have lost friends and colleagues," Mr Key says.
"I have sent a message to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to extend our condolences following these tragic events."
As a valued partner of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Australia is supporting the Uruzgan province through the transition to Afghan security leadership.Prime Minister expresses sorrow at Australia’s loss\
Ladies and gentlemen.
Kia Orana and warm Pacific greetings to you all.
Last year New Zealand was very privileged to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Pacific Island Forum leader’s meeting in our own Pacific capital – Auckland.
It was an exciting time, as New Zealand was counting down to the Rugby World Cup and its opening game between the All Blacks and Tonga.
World leaders and delegations from around the Pacific arrived in New Zealand as the best of the Pacific’s products and produce were on display in the Pacific Showcase.
And the City of Auckland paid a fitting tribute to the Pacific’s foremost regional body on its 40th anniversary, setting an optimistic tone for New Zealand’s year as Forum Chair.
Today the mantle of leadership of the Forum formally transfers from New Zealand to the Cook Islands, and to Prime Minister Puna.
The theme of last year’s Forum was ‘converting potential into prosperity’ and we recognised that Pacific fisheries were key to transforming Pacific economies.
That works in very well with the theme the Cooks Islands has chosen, of ‘Large Ocean Island States.’
To my mind this captures a very important idea that the first Forum Leaders who met back in 1971 recognised.
That is, we are nations joined by a large ocean, rather than separated by it.
Too often the obvious potential of the Pacific is overlooked.
We need to focus more on the strengths and assets of our part of the world, rather than pondering on what we allegedly don’t have.
The Cook Islands government’s decision to define our countries as ‘Large Ocean States’ recognises the enormous role the ocean plays in all aspects of Pacific life, and the importance of the ‘Blue Economy.’
The Pacific Ocean is the defining geographic feature of our region.
It is a transport link, a source of food and livelihoods, and its natural beauty is a major attraction for tourists.
I look forward to our discussions over the coming week about how we can make the most of our greatest shared resource.Read full article
27 August 2012
PM to visit Cook Islands for Pacific Islands Forum
Prime Minister John Key will lead the New Zealand delegation to the 43rd Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands this week.
“The Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting is an opportunity for the region to come together and work on the issues we jointly face,” says Mr Key.
“It is also a chance to put the Pacific on the international agenda and meet with partners from outside the region.”
New Zealand hosted the 2011 Forum in Auckland, and this year Mr Key will formally hand over the chairing of the Forum to Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna.
The theme the Cook Islands have chosen for the 2012 Pacific Islands Forum is “Large Ocean Island States – The Pacific Challenge.” Discussions will focus on how the Pacific’s significant marine resources can be protected, while also ensuring they contribute to the sustainable development of the region.
Mr Key will have bilateral meetings with many of his Pacific counterparts during the week.
“It has been an honour for New Zealand to lead the Forum in the year of its 40th anniversary and I look forward to discussing how we can further advance the region’s development in the next 12 months,” says Mr Key.
Prime Minister Key will fly Royal New Zealand Air Force to the Cook Islands, departing on Wednesday 29 August and returning on 1 September.Tweet