Prime Minister Jacinda Arden begins Pacific tour in Samoa

 

New Zealand Prime Minister, Ms. Jacinda Ardern

APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 05 MARCH 2018: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden kicks off her first visit to Samoa 0800 this morning with the inspection of the police guard of honour after the playing of the national anthems of New Zealand and Samoa in front of the Government Building downtown Apia.

 

Jacinda Arden will meet with Prime Minister Tuilaepa for an hour before meeting the media.

It is the start of what the New Zealand government calls the “Pacific reset”, with Jacinda Ardern beginning her first trip to the region as Prime Minister.

Climate change and renewable energy would be a major issue and a revisit of the Treaty of Friendship in view of immigration and the Recognized Employment Scheme and the 1,100 annual quota for Samoa.

Prime Minister Arden will attend a Climate Charge Luncheon, visit the Taumeasina Hideaway, the Moata’a Mangrove Walkway, Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, the National University of Samoa and the Marist Sports Club, Lotopā.

The Prime Minister is accompanied by Foreign Minister Winston Peters who has promised to boost aid and embark on a new strategy with New Zealand’s Pacific neighbours.

In his speech to the Lowy Institute in Sydney last week, Peters raised concerns about the Pacific “attracting an increasing number of external actors”.

Also on the trip is Climate Change Minister James Shaw, who said that New Zealand would continue to invest in green initiatives like the $4 million solar panels in Niue that will increase the islands renewable energy generation.

A business delegation is also on the Pacific Mission trip and includes Ministers Carmel Sepuloni, Aupito William Sio, Fletcher Tabuteau, and National MPs Gerry Brownlee and Alfred Ngaro.