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


Helen Clark Speech: Norway Prime Minister's Lunch

Rt Hon Helen Clark Prime Minister

Address at Official Luncheon in Honour of Mr Kjell Magne Bondevik, Prime Minister of Norway

Grand Hall, Parliament Wellington

1.45 pm

Monday 14 March 2005

It is my pleasure today to welcome the Prime Minister of Norway, Kjell Magne Bondevik, his wife, Mrs Bjørg Bondevik, and his delegation.

Last year I made the first prime ministerial visit from New Zealand to Norway. I am now very pleased to welcome my host in Norway, Prime Minister Bondevik, who is the first Norwegian Prime Minister to pay a visit to New Zealand.

Norway and New Zealand may be geographically a long way apart, but we are very likeminded in most issues which confront the international community. In addition, both our countries are small states which recognise that our interests lie in multilateral co-operation and a strong international legal framework.

New Zealand recognises Norway’s strong record in the field of conflict resolution. On many occasions Norway has shown both a willingness and the ability to tackle conflicts which others had consigned to the too-hard basket. Many will be aware of Norway’s pivotal role in the agreement of the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians. Norway has also been engaged for many years in seeking a resolution to the conflict in Sri Lanka. It has been involved in efforts to resolve conflict in areas as far flung as the Sudan, the Philippines, Ethiopia-Eritrea, Somalia, Colombia, Uganda, and Guatemala.

Both New Zealand and Norway are active in UN backed peacekeeping and support missions. Norway, like New Zealand, opposed the war in Iraq, but like us demonstrated its commitment to Iraqi reconstruction by deploying engineers to assist. Norway has also deployed military personnel to Afghanistan, including to a Provincial Reconstruction Team as we have.

New Zealand and Norway have worked together on climate change issues. We both acknowledge that human beings have put great pressure on our planet – and that it is our duty to future generations to do what we can to put that right.

While Norway is far away from Antarctica, it has a long history in the continent from the earliest days of exploration. Its commitment to robust environmental standards there make it a natural partner for New Zealand.

Given that both our countries are small, and we are geographically far apart, it is hardly surprising that our trade relationship with Norway is modest. In the year to December 2004, Norway was 81st on New Zealand’s list of trading partners. We sold Norway mainly apples, sheepmeat, and beef. Norway’s main exports to us were trucks and vans, fertilisers, and electrical apparatus.

From the WTO Doha round, New Zealand’s agricultural exporters expect to gain better access to the world markets. But there may well be scope for us to strengthen the economic relationship between our two countries now. Our venison industry, for example, would like to work with Norway’s to grow the market there. And Norway’s Norska Skǿg already has a big investment in our forestry industry.

One area where contact between us is set to grow is in exchanges of young people. This morning we signed a Working Holiday Scheme which will allow our young people to work and travel in each other’s countries for a twelve month period. There will be no limit on the numbers which can participate. New Zealand’s Working Holiday Schemes are very popular in Europe, and we expect Norway to be no exception.

We are aware too of Norway’s policy of encouraging students to do part of their course of study in another country. When Norway’s Education Minister visited New Zealand last year, we were able to discuss with her what our country can offer international students, and we would be pleased to host more from Norway.

Prime Minister, you have travelled a long way to be with us and to see and hear for yourself how much in common this small country has with yours. We very much value the opportunity to exchange views with you and your ministers here, in Norway, and in many other forums. We hope that your visit will open up new opportunities to take the relationship forward.

Prime Minister, as you know I have discovered that Norway’s mountains are a wonderful place for a winter holiday. You will find much about New Zealand’s mountains and fjords which reminds you of Norway, and we will welcome you here on holiday any time.

Ladies and gentlemen, can I now ask you to rise for a toast to His Majesty King Harald of Norway, and to the government and people of Norway.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election