News Item

Don Mann | CEO May 2019 Pānui

News 9 May 2019

(L - R: Patrick Brockie, Fletcher Tabuteau, Don Mann)

Kia ora, Mālō e lelei and Bula Vinaka,

Regional engagement

I am fortunate to be in Suva this week at the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat headquarters participating in the Private Sector Dialogue and the Forum Economic Ministers' Meeting.

Private sector representatives made a collective presentation to ministers on the subjects of accessing climate financing including resilient infrastructure finance, building standards and insurance products in response to climate risk mitigation; and a proposed Pacific Business Travel Card. Full statement here.

As a result of the submission there was a commitment to enhanced engagement with the Private Sector in climate financing discussions at a regional level.

To give context to the discussions, Forum Secretary-General, Dame Meg Taylor stated in her opening address to private sector delegates that climate change was the 'greatest security threat to the Pacific region.' Consider the findings of the United Nations University, World Risk Report, 2016. Three Pacific Island Countries sit in the top six global hotspots for disaster risk with Vanuatu and Tonga most at risk.

Pacific Cooperation Foundation initiated the attendance of Patrick Brockie on behalf of New Zealand's six Pacific business councils. Patrick is a senior banking executive with Asia-Pacific experience, a current Director and former Chair of Infrastructure New Zealand. His insights and knowledge of climate finance and climate risk infrastructure were key in shaping the collective statement and presentation to Forum Economic Ministers .

Paul Pledge, Vice-Chair of the NZ Pacific Business Council was also in attendance and provided considerable input around improving the mobility of business and skilled personnel across the region via a proposed Forum Business Travel Card.

PCF would like to thank Patrick and Paul for giving up their time to attend and for their valuable contribution.

We would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Mr. Howard Politini who has resigned from his role as the Chairperson of the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO). Howard was appointed chairperson in 2016, being the second Fijian in the role. He will continue to serve PIPSO as a board member.

(L - R: Don Mann & Howard Politini. PC: Don Mann)

Congratulations to Cook Islands businessman and PIPSO board member, Mr. Stephen Lyon who is the newly appointed PIPSO Chairperson.

(Stephen Lyon during the FEMM meeting. PC: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat)

Attending the Private Sector Dialogue and the Pacific Island Forum Economic Ministers' Meeting at the same time New Zealand government introduced to Parliament the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill gave substance to our participation.

Techweek goes Pacific

Pacific Cooperation Foundation is pleased to announce the expansion of Techweek into the Pacific region through the collaboration with NZ Tech and the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce.

A digital technology capability workshop 'Digital Technology' will be held in the Cook Islands on 20 - 22 May at the Edgewater Resort.

In shaping the outcomes of the workshop I spent time with Misa Tovia Va'aelua, Chair of the Pasifika in IT, a recently formed collective of experienced industry professionals whose goal is to see Pacific communities educated and employed in the IT industry.

Ultimately this workshop is about the inclusion of Pacific youth and entrepreneurs in the digital transition of the workforce. Through knowledge, access to connectivity and availability of tools the opportunity to live in the Pacific region with a global mindset is realistic. See official PCF press release here.

United Nations Secretary-General Pacific tour
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres confirmed he will travel to the Pacific next week to discuss climate change. His visit to Tuvalu, Vanuatu, New Zealand and Fiji will include a visit to Pacific Island Forum Secretariat in Suva and participating in a lecture at the Auckland University of Technology on Monday 13 May.

The AUT lecture is free to attend.

It is has been a great honour to represent PCF in my first regional engagement and I look forward to meeting more Pacific leaders and innovators the coming months.

Ngā mihi nui,

Don Mann