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Parliamentarians from UK and the Pacific gather

Parliamentarians from UK and the Pacific gather to share knowledge at the New Zealand Parliament

MPs and parliamentary staff from the Houses of Parliament United Kingdom and a range of Pacific parliaments meet in Wellington, New Zealand this week.

The delegation from the UK Parliament, led by Rt Hon. Lord Foulkes of Cumnock and organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association United Kingdom (CPA UK), will foster the excellent relationship between New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

New Zealand and the CPA UK will co-host the Pacific Islands Parliamentary Workshop, for over 30 Members and Clerks from legislatures across the Pacific and the UK.

Speaker Rt Hon Trevor Mallard says he is delighted to host these events at the New Zealand Parliament, and it is timely given the revitalisation of the Commonwealth community in the post-Brexit environment.

“New Zealand has strong ties to the Commonwealth and a special relationship as a member of the Pacific community. It is important that we continue our conversations as our parliaments evolve, share our experiences to develop an understanding of how we can best represent our people, and enhance accountability and scrutiny in Westminster-style parliaments throughout the Pacific.”

Leader of the UK Delegation, the Rt Hon. Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, said bringing parliamentarians together is a great way to share experiences and learn from colleagues across the Commonwealth.

“It is vital to maintain strong links to understand and help solve challenges faced by other parliaments and I look forward to engaging with our counterparts in the region at the Pacific Islands Parliamentary Workshop.”

The workshop will provide an important opportunity for delegates from the Pacific to meet with each other and colleagues from New Zealand and the UK to share their experiences. The workshop aims to enhance the knowledge, skills and confidence of members and clerks and support the continuing evolution of best practice within the Westminster-style parliamentary democracies enriched by Pacific traditions across the Commonwealth.

Ahead of the workshop, the UK MPs will engage with their New Zealand counterparts and have meetings focused on shared national and regional issues including current political environments, and the approach to coalition and minority government. Other issues of mutual interest include trade and investment policies, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the impact of Brexit, defence and security, the Commonwealth, and approaches to environment, disaster resilience, health, and immigration.

The CPA UK bilateral programme will take place from Tuesday 10 to Thursday 12 April 2018, and is a mutual exchange with an opportunity for the delegates to learn from their New Zealand counterparts.

The Pacific Islands Parliamentary Workshop runs from Thursday 12 to Saturday 14 April 2018. Parliaments represented include the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, the Cook Islands, Republic of Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Tonga, and Vanuatu.

ENDS

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