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Commonwealth Advanced Seminar - Matt Robson

6.30pm, Tuesday

Commonwealth Advanced Seminar:

Leadership and Change in the Public Sector

Grand Hall Reception

Tuesday 26 February 2002

Speaking Notes - Hon Matt Robson

- It gives me great pleasure to address you today and to host tonight’s function to celebrate the opening of the Commonwealth Advanced Seminar.

- It’s particularly pleased to welcome such a diverse group of participants Many of you have travelled a long way to be here, and I welcome you to Wellington, New Zealand, and to the Grand Hall of Parliament. It’s great to have almost every corner of the globe represented today - both Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries.

- I would also like to welcome our colleagues from the Commonwealth Secretariat and Victoria University of Wellington, who, along with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, have developed the Commonwealth Advanced Seminar over the years.

- The seminar highlights the success that can be achieved when different agencies collaborate for a shared goal.

- As Minister for New Zealand Official Development Assistance I see great value in opportunities such as this.

- You will be aware that this government is in the process of making big changes in how New Zealand delivers its aid.

- In a few days we will be able to announce the name of the new aid agency, and its new top executive.

- We are now turning towards a focus on poverty reduction as a primary objective of its ODA programme. Poverty elimination is fundamental to achieving equitable social and economic growth. And of course growth will help eliminate poverty.

- But none of this is possible without effective governance structures and dedicated leaders.

- There is a saying that “when the winds of change blow, some people build windbreaks and others build windmills”. Your attendance at this seminar shows a commitment to reform and strengthening governmental structures, and I commend you for taking on what is not an easy task.

- I wish you all the best for a successful and enjoyable visit.


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