The delegation includes Hon Amy Adams (National), Hon Jacqui Dean (National), Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi MP (National), and Priyanca Radhakrishnan MP (Labour). The delegation will be engaging in a wide-ranging programme in Singapore, Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. Sharing perspectives on security, sustainable development, and other key challenges in global affairs will also be a key priority.
Rt Hon Trevor Mallard said, “It is a privilege to lead my first Speaker’s Delegation at such an important juncture in New Zealand’s international relations. We attach a lot of importance to our warm bilateral relationship with Singapore and we are seeking to advance our relationship on many levels, including trade, science, education, the arts, and the environment. Spain, the fourth largest economy in the Eurozone, and a strong promoter of liberal trade policy, will be important in post Brexit trade negotiations, and with whom we look forward to deeper connections in the future.
Similar to New Zealand, Portugal has a coalition Government, with a strong focus on gender equality, family-friendly measures, and technological advancement, which we can learn a lot from. They have made enormous progress in reducing drug deaths through a different approach to policy. The Portuguese Parliament is also considering legislation on assisted dying and medicinal cannabis providing a timely opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences in these complex policy areas. New Zealand’s heritage is strongly tied to the Commonwealth, whose values we hold dear, and the United Kingdom is one of our oldest and closest friends. This visit to London comes at an important time as we lay the groundwork for our enhanced, forward-looking relationship post-Brexit.”
Mr Speaker explained that bilateral visits of this kind provide a valuable opportunity to engage directly with legislators and those in positions of influence, allowing for New Zealand’s perspectives and policies to be better understood and our goods and services promoted to the world. “It is a great privilege to showcase our robust parliamentary scrutiny systems, and our approaches to indigenous issues and political representation to the world. The interactions will strengthen the capability of our own Parliament and contribute to the professional development of our parliamentarians.”
The programme begins with a brief stop-over in Singapore, where the delegation will meet with the President of Singapore and the Deputy Speaker, and visit schools and businesses with links to New Zealand. Following this the delegation will head to Spain for an official programme at the Spanish Congress and Senate, where they will meet with the Speakers of both Houses and Chairpersons of the Foreign Affairs Committees. To promote our agriculture outreach and gain insights into Spain’s world-renowned production systems, the delegation will visit orchards and viticulture sites.
Before heading to Portugal for a full parliamentary programme and engagement with Kiwis’ living in Lisbon, the delegation will visit the regional Parliament of Basque to meet with the Speaker and President. The visit draws to a close in London, where the delegation will meet with Speaker Bercow of the House of Commons, Speaker Fowler of the House of Lords, the Minister for the Asia-Pacific, and the Committee on Exiting the European Union. The Speaker will also represent the New Zealand Parliament at ANZAC Day commemorations.
The Speaker-led delegation to Singapore, Spain, Portugal, and London takes place from 13 to 26 April 2018.
| A Beehive release | || April 10, 2018 |||