Shifting the dial

Speech to Lowy Institute - Martin Place, Sydney 1 March 2018

1 Mar 2018

New Zealand’s coalition government was formed with the intention of leading change rather than managing a modified status quo.

If you had choice as carrying on as before or doing something more dramatic.

From domestic policy through to foreign policy the coalition intends to shift the dial. This energy and desire for action also informs a reset of New Zealand’s foreign policy direction in the Pacific, the theme of today’s speech.

But first, there are certain geographical, historical, and social facts about New Zealand.

New Zealand is a Pacific country, linked by history, culture, politics, and demographics.

One in five New Zealanders – approximately one million people – now have Maori or Pasifika heritage, and this demographic trend is growing.

These basic facts have profound consequences for how the New Zealand government regards the Pacific region.

The New Zealand government is intensively engaged in the Pacific. Over 30 New Zealand government agencies have some form of interest or engagement with Pacific Island states, as do a number of Non-Governmental Organisations.

In many respects the Pacific is where New Zealand matters more, wields more influence, and can have more positive impact.

Read the full speech via link

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