New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has announced a new Pacific priority for her government. The minister’s Pacific Engagement speech this week cast its net wide over the importance of the Aotearoa’s whanaungatanga, or kinship ties, with regional neighbours.
The Hon Nanaia Mahuta (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Manu) ushered in a new era of engagement with the region, stepping up from the Pacific Reset ushered in by her predecessor Vaovasamanaia Hon Winston Peters in 2018.
Her “Partnering for Resilience” speech signalled an intention to build on the foundations of the previous Pacific Reset to a values-based Resilience model, one intended to empower regional partners through a sense of shared interest and common purpose in the Pacific.
Ms Mahuta spoke of how the new stance can further assist Pacific public service agencies to repurpose and refocus as countries recover from the financial and health stresses caused by COVID-19.
Pacific Public Service Commissioners have spoken about building back better from the pandemic and the minister’s speech reinforces how her government intends to partner in achieving this, particularly as attention can again focus on the climate crisis.
“We understand the importance of leadership and excellence across the public sector and are keen to offer support where we can.”
Ms Mahuta details how her government intends to build on existing inter-governmental bilateral partnership programmes to build capacity and resilience across public and private sectors int eh region. Efforts to re-orient New Zealand’s public services with Pacific priorities, cultural competence and regional awareness are also a focus.
The Minister’s full speech can be sourced here