Govt gushes about lifting our wellbeing and saving lives – but new bowel-screening campaign has only just been announced

Buzz from the Beehive

The latest news from the Beehive features announcements of initiatives introduced to make us so much better off along with self-congratulations for initiatives that – the ministers insist – already are making us so much better off.

Then there are statements to tell us –

  • Who has been appointed to which jobs (Bede Corry will be New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the United States and Ainsley Walter Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra);
  • Where our Ministers can be found (the PM will lead New Zealand’s Ministerial delegation to the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum in Sydney today while Associate Foreign Minister Aupito William Sio will travel to Fiji this week to represent New Zealand at the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Suva).

The self-congratulatory category “includes announcements that:

  • The Ministry for Ethnic Communities marked its first anniversary on 1 July 2022 and celebrated “a successful 12 months of influencing government policy and lifting wellbeing outcomes for ethnic communities”.
  • A new report on the health effects of air pollution shows “the Government’s focus on reducing emissions will save lives”.

The headline on another statement suggests it belongs in the self-congratulatory category, too.  It brays: National bowel screening campaign a lifesaver

Let’s wait and see, because Associate Ministers of Health Peeni Henare and Aupito William Sio have only just launched this one – it’s a national multimedia campaign encouraging people to take part in the Government’s lifesaving bowel screening programme. Continue reading “Govt gushes about lifting our wellbeing and saving lives – but new bowel-screening campaign has only just been announced”

Summit in Samoa to foster trade cooperation between China and Pacific Island nations and bring Chinese businesses to the region

China continues its march into the Pacific with a China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum in Samoa this week.  Ahead of the forum, Beijing has signed seven new agreements with Samoa covering education, trade, e-commerce, investment, infrastructure and agriculture.

China’s Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua heads his delegation in Apia and the meeting comes just one month after Solomon Islands and Kiribati formalised diplomatic relations with Beijing.

At an export summit  ahead of  Hu’s arrival, Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele announced moves to make Samoa a regional hub for fish and agricultural exports. One provides for inspection, quarantine and sanitation requirements for wild-caught fish exports,  an area of particular interest for Samoa which hopes to increase the value of its exports to $160m a year, and the Government says it is on track to export about $50m worth this year. Continue reading “Summit in Samoa to foster trade cooperation between China and Pacific Island nations and bring Chinese businesses to the region”

Peters puts the spotlight on Pacific and partnership in policy address to international affairs institute

Since taking office in this Govt, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has applied heft to NZ’s role in the Pacific. Now, 18 months on, he reflects on what has been achieved.

Speaking to the NZ Institute of International Affairs, he said NZ is moving away from the donor-recipient dynamics of the past, and building more mature relationships with Pacific Island countries.

The message that NZ is a partner, and not just a donor, has resonated in the region and enabled frank conversations about shared policy priorities and challenges.

The government has lifted its leadership diplomacy effort, with an increase in high-level engagement, both in terms of travel into the region, and hosting Pacific leaders and ministers here.

Agencies are focused on greater coherence on Pacific issues across all parts of the Government, recognising the close connection between foreign and domestic policy in our Pacific engagement. Continue reading “Peters puts the spotlight on Pacific and partnership in policy address to international affairs institute”