Parliament

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

Gordon Campbell: On Budget 2022


At base, the political biffo back and forth on the merits of Budget 2022 comes down to only one thing. Who is the better manager of the economy and better steward of social wellbeing – National or Labour? In its own quiet way, the Treasury has buried a fascinating answer to the “who’s best at running an economy during a crisis?” question, at page 57 of the Fiscal Strategy section...
More>>



 
 

Government: Helps Supermarket Shoppers Get A Fair Deal
Urgent Budget night legislation to stop major supermarkets blocking competitors from accessing land for new stores has been introduced today, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said... More>>


Budget 2022: A Secure Future In Difficult Times
Budget 2022 will help build a high wage, low emissions economy that provides greater economic security, while providing support to households affected by cost of living pressures... More>>

ALSO:

Budget: Climate Investments Provide Path To Economic Security
The Government is investing in New Zealand’s economic security by ensuring climate change funding moves away from short-term piecemeal responses and towards smart, long-term investment... More>>

ALSO:



National: Jacqui Dean To Retire From Parliament In 2023

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has announced that she will not be seeking re-election at the 2023 election. “I have advised the President and Leader of the National Party that I have decided not to put my name forward... More>>

Classification Office: Following Decision To Ban Manifesto The Buffalo Mass Shooting Livestream Is Now Banned
The livestream video of yesterday’s mass shooting in the United States has now been banned, Acting Chief Censor Rupert Ablett-Hampson announced this morning. The decision follows on from his decision yesterday to call in and ban the ‘manifesto... More>>

Borders: New Zealand Poised To Welcome International Students Back
New Zealand is fully reopening to international students and the Government is committed to help reinvigorate and strengthen the sector, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels