Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


PM welcomes historic visit by Sweden’s leader

14 February 2005 Media Statement

PM welcomes historic visit by Sweden’s leader

Prime Minister Helen Clark and her Cabinet colleagues have today hosted the Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, who is making the first visit to New Zealand by a Swedish prime minister.

Helen Clark said New Zealand and Sweden enjoyed a warm and co-operative relationship, and that it was a great pleasure for her to welcome Goran Persson to New Zealand.

After being formally welcomed on the forecourt of Parliament Buildings today, Mr Persson held discussions with Helen Clark in her office, and later participated in a meeting of the Cabinet. A lunch was also held in his honour.

“I have met Mr Persson on a number of occasions at meetings of the Progressive Governance Network, where we established that we, like our countries, have a lot in common,” Helen Clark said.

“During our talks today we have canvassed a range of international and regional issues, and explored opportunities for taking our relationship forward and for increasing contacts between us.

“To that end the New Zealand Government has decided to lift the cap on the numbers of young Swedish citizens who can visit this country under the Working Holiday Scheme.

“From 1 July New Zealand will match Sweden’s no-cap working holiday scheme for New Zealanders visiting Sweden, meaning as many young Swedes who want to come to New Zealand on a working holiday can do so.

“At present the number of young Swedes able to come to New Zealand for a working holiday is limited to 500.

"The Swedish scheme has been one of our most popular in terms of people wanting to come here on a working holiday visa. Such schemes attract educated and talented young people to New Zealand. Visitors contribute to our workforce and economy, and then take the experience back home again.

“It is this sort of people-to-people contact that is such a valuable part of the relationship between New Zealand and Sweden,” Helen Clark said.

Today’s discussions also covered the broad multilateral and global security agenda.

Helen Clark said New Zealand and Sweden were natural allies across a broad range of global issues, and Sweden was a key friend of New Zealand in the European Union.

“On the issue of climate change there is scope for New Zealand and Sweden to co-operate on driving the process forward, beyond the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol this week.

“Both countries also strongly support the efforts of Kofi Annan to revitalise the United Nations.

“On disarmament, New Zealand warmly acknowledges the practical initiative Sweden has taken in funding the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, headed by Swedish diplomat Hans Blix. New Zealand will contribute about $80,000 to assist the commission’s research work.

“We also canvassed the European Union’s institutional development, which has important ramifications for New Zealand. Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko has to balance his aim of moving his country closer to the EU with the need for stable relations with Russia, a development Sweden observes closely.

“Our talks covered developments in the Asia-Pacific, in particular China’s continuing rise as a regional power.

“Cabinet ministers were interested in an exchange on economic policy, during which Mr Persson emphasised the importance of effective innovation polici es and investment in education. They are areas in which New Zealand and Sweden face similar challenges.

“While the economic relationship with Sweden is modest, our shared values, attitudes, and policies make us among the most like-minded countries on earth.

“The dialogue with Mr Persson during his visit has been warm and stimulating, and of significant value to New Zealand,” Helen Clark said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news