McClay says PACER Plus signing a historic day for NZ-Pacific relations

“This is a landmark moment for the economic future of the Pacific. Pacer Plus will help sustainably develop the countries involved through trade and help raise the standard of living for their people. A more resilient and prosperous Pacific is in all of our interests,” Mr McClay says.

“In the short-term, the Pacific countries who have signed this agreement will benefit economically and socially through the joint NZ Australia $55 million development package. Long-term, trade will help transform their economies by providing reliable income and sustainable growth.”

Ten Pacific island high achievers awarded NZ scholarship

RNZ reports the Kupe Scholarship, awarded by the Education Ministry, aims to encourage more Pacific students into teaching.

Recent government figures showed a twenty percent rise in Pasifika students leaving school with a secondary school qualification over the last eight years.

The figures also showed more Pacific people were now studying at tertiary level.

One of the recipients of a Kupe, Moana Toleafoa, said she hoped to encourage others to break the mould.

USP-New Zealand High Level Consultation (HLC) in Wellington

The impetus of the HLC last Friday was significant in light of the new USP-New Zealand Partnership Agreement which was recently launched by High Commissioner Mark Ramsden on 15 April 2016. Through this new Agreement, the Government of New Zealand provides a total of NZ$15 million for the current triennium (2016-2018).

Academic says NZ needs robust advice on Pacific

RNZI reports the New Zealand Institute for Pacific Research was launched this week, and is a collaboration between the University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology and the University of Otago.

It's funded with US$5 million over five years by the New Zealand government.

NZ thrill in Wellington sevens win

The New Zealanders trailed South Africa 21-7 well into the second half of the final in Wellington, before storming home with 3 tries late in the second half to win 24-21.

The All Blacks Sevens were seventh in the overall standings after the first two rounds of the World Series and improved throughout the Wellington tournament as new and returning players got back into their groove.

New book says Australia and NZ need new approach to Forum

'The New Pacific Diplomacy', published by the Australian National University, has contributions from a range of academics, journalists, political leaders and other stakeholders.

An editor, Associate Professor Sandra Tarte says the Pacific Islands Forum will have to adapt, and Australia and New Zealand may have to tone down their influence.

US President Barack Obama lines up NZ visit

The visit could have been as early as February 4, for the signing of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. But Cabinet minister Simon Bridges is pouring cold water on that, saying that agreement will be signed by trade ministers, not by leaders.

Instead, it appears Obama will tack his New Zealand visit onto one of two trips to Asia: either May or September.

A third of NZ children live in poverty

305,000 New Zealand children now live in poverty - 45,000 more than a year ago.

However, a longtime activist, Auckland Action Against Poverty spokeswoman Sue Bradford, said statistics did not bring children out of poverty and endless reports pointing out the problem were not the answer.

New Zealand Government Responds to FIC Demands in the PACER Plus Negotiations

This responds positively to the demands of the Pacific Island Countries in the PACER Plus negotiations, which seek to enhance their participation in international trade. 

In June 2015, Australia took the unprecedented step in lifting the cap under the Seasonal Workers Program and extended it to the entire agriculture sector and to the accommodation sector in selected locations in the country. 

NZ Climate Change Minister’s first act on climate ignores Pacific’s pleas

Minister Bennett refused to give New Zealand’s support to an explicit goal in the Paris climate agreement to limit global warming to a 1.5 degree increase, despite growing support from allies including Australia