Pacific contribution to NZ highlighted in Queen's Birthday Honours

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says it is exciting to see the recognition of so many people that represent our diverse Pacific identities in Aotearoa, and people who we all know add significant value to making New Zealand a better place for us all by their constant service and advocacy for our youth, children, women, elderly groups, disabilities groups, LGBTQI+ groups, and trade unions.

"All we want for Christmas is a fair deal" - Sistema Plastics workers

E Tū union members have walked off the job five times this year, some fed up with working 60 hours a week on minimum wage at the Māngere factory.

Solo mother of four, Maria Latu, has been with the company for more than three years.

She works 12 hours on night shift for $16.50 an hour and says she's struggling to meet her family's basic needs.

"Standing 12 hours, $16.50 and we're only asking for 25 cents more and they're still not giving it.

Permanent homes for displaced Ambae evacuees

New Zealand has contributed VUV 8,736,006 to purchase building materials for 22 local houses, 6 shared toilets, and a community rainwater harvesting system.

The materials were delivered Thursday to Ifira Wharf, and are ready to be shipped to Maewo this week.

The National Disaster Management Office has developed a plan to assist the 22 most affected Ambae households who have lost their homes and livelihoods on Ambae.

NZ funds medical staff houses, aid post in South Efate

The two medical staff houses in Erakor and Mele and aid post in Eratap were jointly completed by the New Zealand Defence Force, Vanuatu Mobile Force and China’s People’s Liberation Army Engineers.

NZ Ministry of Health issues dengue fever warning for travellers to the Pacific

Earlier this year the Ministry launched a social media and online campaign to raise more awareness about the diseases mosquitoes in some countries can carry. 

It was prompted by recent outbreaks of dengue at the time, mainly in Auckland, among travellers returning from the Pacific.

The Ministry of Health reports that from August last year through to March this year, 263 dengue cases were reported in New Zealand, with 222 believed to have been acquired in the Pacific Islands. 

NZ flies in relief supplies for Ambae residents

The NZDF Boeing 757 landed at Bauerfield Airport and the relief supplies including shelter kits, family hygiene kits, mother-and-infant kits, water containers and tarpaulins were cross-loaded on to a NZDF C-130 Hercules for transport to Luganville.

According to the NZ High Commission in Port Vila, these supplies will be added to those pre-positioned in warehouses in Luganville last night, for the NDMO to arrange for them to be distributed as required.

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.