10 Nov 2017 - Foreign Minister Winston Peters says Japan’s decision to continue whaling in the Southern Ocean is out of step with international opinion and defies scientific advice. Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research announced on 9 November that the Japanese whaling fleet had departed Japan for the Southern Ocean.
“While the world calls for greater protection of the ocean’s ecosystems, Japan’s whaling vessels will be heading to the Antarctic to hunt over 300 minke whales.
“New Zealand has long been opposed to whaling and has repeatedly urged Japan to end its whaling programmes,” Mr Peters says.
“Japan’s decision to conduct whaling in the Southern Ocean flies in the face of the clear recommendations of the International Whaling Commission, its Scientific Committee and its expert panels.”
“Put simply, Japan can achieve its stated research objectives without killing whales. This is an outdated practice and needs to stop,” Mr Peters says.
The President of the Federal Republic of Germany, His Excellency, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, will make a State visit to New Zealand next week, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. President Steinmeier will visit from Sunday 5 November to Tuesday 7 November. He will be accompanied by his wife, Ms Elke Büdenbender.
“I am very much looking forward to meeting President Steinmeier as Germany is an important international partner for New Zealand. His visit will further underscore the warm and constructive relationship that exists between our two countries following the visit of Chancellor Merkel in 2014.”
The President’s visit will include engagements in Wellington and Auckland and a State Dinner at Government House in Wellington.
The visit reciprocates then-Prime Minister Bill English’s visit to Berlin in early 2017.
Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed the prompt and unanimous United Nations Security Council Resolution imposing additional sanctions on North Korea.
Resolution 2375 was adopted by the Security Council earlier today, following North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on 3 September.
It is the ninth Security Council resolution to impose sanctions on North Korea, whose nuclear and ballistic missile tests violate previous Security Council directives. It follows Resolution 2371, which was agreed in early August.
“North Korea has shown, time and again, that it poses a real and immediate threat to both regional and international security,” Mr Brownlee says.
New Zealand continues to condemn its provocative actions in the strongest possible terms.”
The resolution adopted today will significantly reduce North Korea’s oil imports, bans North Korea from importing natural gas and exporting textiles, and restricts the number of labourers from North Korea that will be able to work overseas and generate income for the regime. It also allows states to inspect vessels on the high seas suspected of carrying items prohibited by the sanctions regime.
The measures contained in the resolution are estimated to diminish North Korea’s export earnings by as much as USD $1.3 billion.
“This is money that North Korea will not be able to put towards its illegal nuclear and missile programmes,” Mr Brownlee says.
“These new sanctions send a loud and clear message to North Korea that its behaviour will not be tolerated by the international community and will be met with significant consequences.”
“New Zealand has identified the support that we can provide on sanctions implementation in the Pacific. We will also be undertaking prompt steps to implement the new resolution and the measures it contains.”
“New Zealand, once again, joins the international community in calling on North Korea to abide by its international obligations and turn away from its current course,” Mr Brownlee says.
oreign Minister Gerry Brownlee today announced the appointment of career diplomat Jonathan Curr as High Commissioner to Fiji.
“The Fiji – New Zealand relationship has warmed since 2014, with the reciprocal visits of former Prime Minister John Key and Prime Minister Bainimarama in 2016 a significant milestone,” Mr Brownlee says.
“New Zealand’s bilateral engagement with Fiji continues to grow in terms of two way trade, tourism, defence and development.
“New Zealanders travel to Fiji in ever increasing numbers to enjoy the sun and sea, and Fiji is our largest trade relationship in the Pacific.
“We also have close defence links in the Pacific and in international deployments,” Mr Brownlee says.
In 2018 Fiji will be focused on national elections, for which New Zealand is providing technical assistance to the Fiji Electoral Office.
Mr Curr is currently Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, cross-accredited to the State of Israel, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Georgia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan.
He has also served at the New Zealand Embassy in Cairo and the New Zealand High Commission in Nuku’alofa.
Croatia’s President, Her Excellency Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, will make her first official visit to New Zealand next week, Prime Minister Bill English has announced.
“New Zealand has a warm and constructive relationship with Croatia. The large Croatian community that has made New Zealand home has made an important contribution to our business, cultural and political life over many years,” Mr English says.
President Grabar-Kitarović and her delegation arrive on Saturday 19 August for a series of events, including an official welcome at Government House in Auckland and a State luncheon hosted by the Governor-General.
“I am looking forward to discussing a number of issues with the President, including her perspective on recent developments in Europe and opportunities to enhance New Zealand’s relations with the region.”
The President will be accompanied by her husband Mr Jakov Kitarović. They will visit Auckland, Wellington, Rotorua and Taupo, and will meet with members of the Croatian community.
The delegation will visit New Zealand until Tuesday 22 August.
Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced diplomat Jonathan Schwass as High Commissioner to Vanuatu.
“New Zealand and Vanuatu have close and long-standing ties,” Mr Brownlee says.
“In the last year, more than 4,000 Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Vanuatu were in New Zealand – representing about 40 per cent of the total workers in the scheme.
“The RSE scheme has been an enormous success over the last decade and, at an estimated $20 million a year for those 4,000 workers, the earnings have a significant effect on livelihoods in Vanuatu.
“Mr Schwass will lead the delivery of New Zealand’s Official Development Programme in Vanuatu, helping to oversee $82 million of investment over three years with a focus on tourism, agriculture, renewable energy and education,” Mr Brownlee says.
Mr Schwass is currently Unit Manager of the South East Asia Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was previously Ambassador to Timor-Leste.
Newly appointed Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has wasted no time dealing with the diplomatic intricacies of his new role, reaching out to Israel and advocating for Kiwis' rights in Australia. He spoke to Sam Sachdeva about the difficulty of following in Murray McCully's footsteps, and the legacy he leaves behind in Christchurch.
Gerry Brownlee, natural diplomat?
The reaction of some to his appointment as Foreign Minister is perhaps no surprise - after all, this is the man who took it upon himself to insult the people of Finland during a parliamentary debate.
However, take into account Brownlee’s experience as defence minister and his time forging cross-party consensus as Leader of the House, and it’s easier to see why Prime Minister Bill English saw him as a safe pair of hands.
Brownlee sees his new role not so much as a promotion, rather a progression on the work he has been doing for the past few years.
“I’ve always kept a fairly close eye on foreign relations and what was happening in that particular portfolio, and in defence you do quite a lot of 'defence diplomacy' if you like, so it seemed like a natural progression in a way.”