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Special Pacific Programme On Native Affairs Tonight

Monday, 5 September 2011

Special Pacific Programme On Native Affairs Tonight

The Pacific region comes under focus tonight at 8.30pm in a special one hour current affairs show on Maori Television’s NATIVE AFFAIRS.

On the eve of the 42nd Pacific Leaders Forum in Auckland, NATIVE AFFAIRS looks at critical issues facing the Pacific.

Top of the agenda at this year’s Forum meeting is trade and the Pacer Plus trade agreement. NATIVE AFFAIRS travels to Samoa to investigate the difficulties farmers face trading fruit and vegetables with New Zealand because of quarantine standards.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key tells NATIVE AFFAIRS he hopes to provide upgraded support for the Pacific to meet New Zealand’s standards and that he was aware of the trade imbalance between NZ and the Pacific.

Other issues facing the Pacific include climate change, small island economies and human rights.

NATIVE AFFAIRS guest Paula Makabory is a human rights activist with the Institute of Papuan Advocacy now living in Melbourne. She says human rights in West Papua are deteriorating and the Forum must consider this conflict to avoid being “an irrelevant talk shop”.

For the first time ever, NATIVE AFFAIRS travelled to the small island of Nauru to see how the country is faring after years of phosphate mining, drought and financial woes.

Eighty percent of Nauru’s land is barren because of the phosphate mining, and the country’s thin coastline is being eroded because of climate change. It also had two processing centres for asylum seekers from 2002 to 2008, part of an aid agreement with Australia.

Nauru’s Finance Minister, Dr Kieran Keke, says some of the lessons Nauru has learned since independence in 1968 are relevant to Maori. Dr Keke is a guest speaker on NATIVE AFFAIRS tonight, along with Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Danny Philip and President of Tahiti Nui-French Polynesia, Oscar Temaru.

Auckland University Pacific Studies lecturer, Dr Steven Ratuva, and AUT Pacific journalism lecturer, Richard Pamatatau, will round off the programme with a NZ-based Pacific perspective. NATIVE AFFAIRS screens tonight on Maori Television at 8.30 pm.


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