News 8 Jun 2018
The NZ Minister of Finance Hon. Grant Robertson hosted a Post Budget Breakfast for the Pacific community at a packed Fale o Samoa in South Auckland on Wednesday June 6.
While his audience primarily came to hear Labour Government policy in regards to Pacific people in New Zealand, the Finance Minister was keen to promote what the government is doing across the Pacific region.
“We will make a significant investment into the region as part of the Pacific Reset programme,” he says, which relates to the $714 million boost over four years into the region.
The Minister admitted having a soft spot for the region. Following university, he joined MFAT in 1997. His overseas postings included the United Nations in New York and managing the NZ Overseas Aid Programme to Samoa with a $7.7 million fund which involved projects relating to basic education, healthcare, public sector capacity building, small business development and supporting the empowerment of women.
“My time in Samoa taught me about relationships in the Pacific,” says Mr Robertson.
“First and foremost, they are partnerships. As a developed country that’s relatively prosperous, we have big responsibilities in the region, and that’s why we’ve invested in a way that hasn’t been seen in many years.
Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito Su’a William Sio hosted the event in his home electorate of Mangere. Also present were fellow Pacific MPs Jenny Salesa (who spoke about education initiatives for Pacific students), Carmel Sepuloni (who also spoke as the Minister for Social Development and Disability Issues) and Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki.