Key to make major speech at forum
Fri, 31 Aug 2012 5:26a.m.
By Laura McQuillan
Prime Minister John Key will make a major announcement on New Zealand's aid to the Pacific region on Thursday (local time), targeted at fisheries, where the tuna catch is worth about $2.4 billion annually.
Mr Key and other regional leaders are continuing Pacific Island Forum discussions at a retreat on the remote island of Aitutaki.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard rushed back to Canberra from the Cook Islands on Wednesday night following the news that five soldiers had been killed in two separate incidents in Afghanistan.
Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs and Foreign Affairs Richard Marles remains in her place.
The retreat is a chance for leaders to bond and talk politics and policy, before making the closing remarks of the forum - with the main topics of discussion oceans preservation and Fiji's outsider status.
Fiji has been suspended from the forum since 2009, and while some Pacific Islands are pushing for its reinstatement, New Zealand and Australia are standing firm on a requirement for Fiji to hold democratic elections in 2014 before it can return.
Mr Key said Pacific nations are concerned about foreign countries and companies poaching a catch worth about $500 million annually.
"For a set of countries that are not wealthy, where their single biggest resource is fish and particularly tuna, then we need to do everything we can to both preserve their economic rights, and also maintain their stocks."
It wouldn't be the leaders' retreat without the annual "silly shirts" photo - the leaders will wear locally-made and painted tropical shirts for the retreat's official photograph before returning to Rarotonga on Thursday evening.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on her way to Rarotonga for the post-forum dialogue on Friday, and will hold a bilateral meeting with Mr Key, where wider international affairs - including New Zealand's recent losses in Afghanistan - will be on the agenda.
Clinton will be the most senior US official to ever attend the forum and her appearance comes as part of an American effort to increase its diplomatic ties with the Pacific.
NZN / 3 News
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1/09/2012 7:26:05 a.m.
Mr. Key should be the Rarotongan Prime Minister and not New Zealand' the pacifica are not stubid so watch your steps..
Clinton the Senior US official is welcome to express her efforts that ties with the Pacifica..
31/08/2012 9:17:01 a.m.
Would it be to much to expect the major announcement to be his resignation? Oh well we can only hope.
31/08/2012 7:35:56 a.m.
helen time wrote:
he can give them all the facts reports and figures and see how he has not done one thing since he was elected mr key is a narcisist . he can tell trhem how he has increased unemployment how jobs are booming and over all how, how to use the police force as your own private militia when a reporter annoys you when your drinking tea with a crook john the weezel banks .how he has made the cap between rich and poor even larger , and child povity to rival the developing country's of the pacific . yeah what a rort and what a rotten media we have in this nation i blame them for it all .
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