New Zealand Welcomes Pacific Parliamentarians And Leaders
New Zealand Welcomes Pacific Parliamentarians And Political Leaders
The first-ever general debate on Pacific issues will be held today in Parliament. The debate will be part of the Pacific Parliamentary and Political Leaders Forum, a gathering in Wellington of 70 politicians and leaders from across the Pacific region.
“We are a country of the Pacific, and this debate reinforces the importance of the Pacific nations to New Zealand,” says John Hayes, Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee who organised this event.
“New Zealand has a reputation for strong, democratic governance.
“This event gives us an opportunity to work with Parliamentarians from many Pacific nations to promote strong and stable governance.
“For this reason the committee has invited politicians and Parliamentarians from across the Pacific, including five from Fiji, to come and debate issues that are important to them. These themes include the environment, gender equality, freedom of press and economic opportunities for the region.
“Too often New Zealand forgets we have a long standing history in the Pacific. As such this event will help all our politicians build ties and strengthen relationships” says John Hayes.
The forum began today with a formal Powhiri lead by the Māori members of Parliament in Parliament’s Galleria, to welcome the participants.
Both the forum’s debates and sessions are open to the public and a programme is attached.
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Hon Pita Sharples welcomes the delegates at the Pacific Parliamentary and Political Leaders Forum in Wellington (18 April 2013)
Photo courtesy of NZDF