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

 


Clean water initiative for low-lying Pacific islands

Rt Hon John Key
Prime Minister

4 September 2013

Clean water initiative for low-lying Pacific islands

Prime Minister John Key today announced a $5 million initiative to help five low-lying Pacific countries vulnerable to water shortages to better manage their fresh water resources.

“For a number of Pacific countries, access to safe, clean drinking water is not guaranteed. Ensuring communities and businesses can access clean drinking water will go a long way to improving people’s health and livelihoods,” Mr Key says.

“As part of a practical solution, we have entered into a new five-year partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) to improve water security in Tuvalu, Tokelau, Kiribati, the Cook Islands and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

“This project will focus on practical steps such as ensuring gutters are properly connected to storage tanks, maintaining storage facilities and training national water security officers to monitor water levels and help communities be better prepared for water shortages,” Mr Key says.

Low-lying island nations are particularly susceptible to salt water inundation. The lack of natural catchments, ground water, rivers, streams, and a vulnerability to extreme weather events all compromise these countries’ water resources.

“On top of the human and health difficulties, water issues hold these economies back, through everything from crop failures, to the difficulty of establishing tourist industries when they can’t rely on a good supply of safe water,” Mr Key says.

Funding will go to the SPC and be allocated to activities in each country. New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will help develop implementation plans for each country.

The programme is expected to start within six months, with funding spread across the full five years.

“New Zealand’s commitment to improving water infrastructure and management in the Pacific is an important part of our climate change support to the region. We have committed to, and invested more than $40 million over the last three years in a range of practical water related initiatives,” Mr Key says.

“At last year’s Forum, we announced that New Zealand would work with the Cook Islands and Chinese governments to improve the water infrastructure on Rarotonga. This major project will deliver safe drinking water to all homes and businesses on Rarotonga, the tourist and economic hub of the Cook Islands, by 2015.

“In Kiribati we have helped improve rainwater harvesting and collection facilities, resulting in the total storage capacity on Tarawa and Kiritimati Islands increasing by a million cubic litres.

“New Zealand has also provided emergency assistance following droughts in Tuvalu, Tokelau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands since 2011, and unfortunately low rainfall and limited water infrastructure place these nations at further risk of water shortages.

“We will always be on hand to support our Pacific neighbours when they face challenges such as water shortages. However, the aim of New Zealand’s investments in the region and today’s announcement is to help communities better manage their water resources and become more resilient to the droughts and extreme weather associated with climate change,” Mr Key says.

Mr Key is in the Marshall Islands for the 44th Pacific Island Forum. He returns to New Zealand on Friday.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gaza.Scoop: UNRWA School, Ambulances Attacked - Gaza MOH

The Ministry of Health Gaza expresses its horror and outrage at the latest Israeli massacre moments ago at an UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons in Beit Hanoun. Ten people have been killed and there is a large number of wounded. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Minister Told Of FBI Investigation, Says INZ: Coleman Must Quit Or Be Sacked Over Dotcom Case - Harré

Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. More>>

ALSO:

Valedictory Season: Maori Party Founders Say Goodbye

Two major Maori MPs gave there farewell speeches to Parliament Thursday outlining their history, experiences, triumphs and regrets. More>>

ALSO:

Resignation Not Accepted: Transport Minister Breaches Aviation Security Rules

"Running late for a plane at Christchurch Airport, I without thought breached airport and airline security rules by entering the gate lounge through a door usually used for exit only..." More>>

ALSO:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news