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March 11, 2019 | by  | in News Politics |
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Issue 02 ~ The Party Line

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters’ recent tour of the Pacific Island nations included the announcement of regular Ministerial talks with Fiji, and a support package for Kiribati.

What direction should New Zealand take in its relationship with our Pacific neighbours? Why?

 

ACT on Campus Wellington – Jackson Graham

ACT believes that New Zealand should continue a positive relationship with our brothers & sisters in the Pacific Islands. The relationship between New Zealand and the Pacific region has long been one of mutual gain, and going forward we must ensure these ties continue to strengthen. New Zealand provides sensible defence and infrastructure support, and in return the region provides more than $1 billion to our economy through trade. To call this smart investment would be an understatement. ACT would support government action to improve our relationships in the region, so long as they can ensure it benefits both New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

 

VicLabour

New Zealand currently stands as one of few developed nations that are closely allied and cooperative with a number of Pacific nations. Many of these places struggle with basic needs and services that we all take for granted and they are the most at risk of rising sea levels from climate change. The direction that we should be taking with our Pacific neighbours is the same as the shift we saw under the leadership of the current coalition government with increased international aid and communication to achieve common goals.

 

New Zealand should be undertaking a leadership role in the Pacific to advocate for democracy, human rights and climate change action. Supporting peaceful transitions of government and increasing representation for Pacific communities within multinational organisations is key to ensure Pacific communities are represented in their fight for a better life and our united fight against climate change.

 

VicNats – Grahame Woods

The Young Nats strongly support the idea of being a good global citizen and providing assistance to those in our own neighbourhood and abroad. That is why we have always advocated for working with, and assisting our Pacific partners in all things. This is why the last National Government spent more than three billion dollars on foreign aid between 2012 and 2017 with over 50% of it going towards our Pacific partners. This has allowed for huge development in the region and has provided invaluable assistance in their recovery after natural disasters.

 

With respect to this proud tradition the Young Nats believe that the Government must continue to support our Pacific neighbours. With the issues faced by Pacific Island nations increasing, it would be both irresponsible and immoral for the Government not to provide support and relief where it can. Be it on law enforcement, climate change or other issues.

 

Greens@Vic – Lachlan Patterson

Aotearoa must start taking a bold & unapologetic stand for the rights of our Pacific neighbours, who are uniquely vulnerable to climate impacts & exploitation. Developed countries are happy to sacrifice the homes, livelihoods, and cultures of Pacific peoples for their own profit through pollution, and we have an obligation to ensure the long term security of the Pacific: their homes still existing in the next decade is not guaranteed.

 

We must also fight the brutal and violent occupation of West Papua. Since 1963, Indonesia has occupied half the island, banning political parties, crushing moves towards self-determination, with ~100k Papuans killed. Indonesia has prohibited international media from West Papua, places foreign visitors under surveillance, and campaigns against the work of activists around the world. Aotearoa must back other Pacific nations like Vanuatu, and demand self-determination for West Papua. That may mean standing up to our allies like the UK, who will gladly prioritise comfortable relations with Indonesia over the rights of Papuans, but never should Aotearoa stand silent & complicit in the violation of human rights.

 

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