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Shane Jones Creating a New Wave as Pacific Ambassador

Shane Jones Creating a New Wave as Pacific Ambassador

PACIFIC ECONOMIC AMBASSADOR His Excellency Shane Jones is to expand upon his plans to champion sustainable employment and provide a voice for Pacific communities as keynote at the one-day Pacific Wave Export conference next Tuesday 24 June.

Being a champion of sustainable employment and providing a voice for rural indigenous communities is nothing new to the recently appointed Pacific Ambassador for the Pacific, His Excellency (HE) Shane Jones.

As a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party from 2005 until he recently resigned and left in May this year, Mr Jones was often championing industries that could provide meaningful employment for Maori youth in Northland, where he was born and raised.

He intends to do the same in his new role for the Pacific, which he will expand upon as keynote speaker at the one-day Pacific Wave Conference 2014 being held at Auckland’s Sky City Convention Centre on Tuesday June 24.

“I’m a lover of industry and a lot of my working career was based on boosting industry and uncovering the barriers to growth,” says Mr Jones, who is of Te Aupouri and Ngai Takoto descent.

“I’ll be the first to acknowledge my incessant advocacy for jobs and industry got me offside with many, including my own people, but the need to find ways to attract investment, whether it’s soft capital or equity, is essential for the wellbeing of our communities.”

In early June Mr Jones returned from the Pacific Mission led by Prime Minister Hon. John Key. He has seen significant strides in the tourism industry, which is a key focus of the Pacific Wave Conference alongside agriculture, and was particularly impressed with the fishing and biking tours in Niue.

“I know the population of Niue had been slowly diminishing, so it was wonderful to see tourism flourishing and adding considerable capital to the island,” he says.

As the other key discussion point of the Conference, Mr Jones also sees plenty of potential for agriculture.

“The ability to grow food in the region isn’t disputed, therefore the opportunity to see quality produce promoted and supported through True Pacific by the Pacific Cooperation Foundation should be capitalised on.”

His various roles as a politician, university lecturer, writer, senior figure in the Maori commercial sector and one of the architects of the Resource Management Act produced by the Labour Government of 1987-90, provides a broad perspective that undoubtedly contributed to his current role as Ambassador.

While he admits the title Ambassador is an apt description for “highly placed diplomat-civil servant” type-role, his very recent political background has fuelled his desire to confront the issues and barriers that impede opportunities to genuine economic growth.

“The conference gives participants the opportunity to find out how we can assist and what my wide-ranging role as Pacific Ambassador involves,” he says.


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