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Laban welcomes new role

31 October 2007

Laban welcomes new role

Luamanuvao Winnie Laban says her new role as Pacific Island Affairs Minister is a wonderful opportunity to build on the huge economic and social gains made by Pacific people under the Labour-led government.

"Our Pacific people are young, vibrant, full of aspiration and have a great future ahead of them. As Minister I look forward to working together with all our Pacific communities to ensure our people reach their true potential," said Laban.

"Pacific people have made real gains under Labour. Unemployment has halved since 1999. Working for Families is increasing the incomes of thousands of our families. KiwiSaver is making it easier to save and the price of going to the doctor has halved.

"I particularly look forward to working to advance the economic development of our pacific people through the implementation of the Pacific Economic Action Plan and the Pacific Women's Economic Development Plan.

"These plans have specific milestones for our people and I look forward to working with the community, the private sector and government agencies to meet these.

"There is now a very real sense of optimism within our Pacific communities and I will work to lead our people towards greater economic prosperity.

"It is important to me that our people can fully contribute to, and share in, New Zealand's success.

"My personal approach has always been one based on collaboration. As Minister I want to bring all of our people together and give each of them a voice and a stake in their future.

Laban said she would also work closely with her Ministerial colleagues across all portfolios to ensure that the huge gains of the past nine years continue.

Laban also becomes Associate Minister of Trade in today's reshuffle.

"I look forward to working with Trade Minister Phil Goff in this new role. My hard work and passion for advancing trade opportunities and two-way trade within our Pacific region is well known," said Laban.

ENDS

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