Speech at Indonesia’s Pacific Exposition 2019
“Welcoming Indonesia’s greater engagement”
12 July 2019, SkyCity, Auckland
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It is a privilege to be here today, alongside leaders and Ministerial colleagues from across the Pacific, for the opening of Indonesia’s Pacific Trade and Cultural Exposition.
Auckland is the largest Polynesian city in the world, and a fitting location for an event that brings together representatives from over 20 Pacific countries. The New Zealand Government extends a warm welcome to Auckland and New Zealand to all participants in the Expo both from the Pacific and from Indonesia.
Indonesia has long been one of New Zealand’s most significant partners in Asia. We work together on a range of shared priorities in that region, both in a bilateral sense, and through our work with ASEAN. New Zealand is committed to extending the ways in which we work together with Indonesia on areas of common interest.
Indonesia has many links with the Pacific, some of which go back many centuries. For example, Bahasa Indonesian is part of the same Austronesian family of languages that includes Te Reo Māori, Tongan, Samoan, Cook Islands Māori, all the Pama-Nyungan (Palm-a Newng-a) languages of Australia, Hiri Motu from Papua New Guinea, and many other Pacific languages.
This Exposition, where all of the Pacific has been welcomed, is a very tangible expression of Indonesia’s increasing embrace of its Pacific connections. New Zealand, as a country both in and of the Pacific, welcomes this greater engagement. Our government has been very clear that under the Pacific Reset, building deeper partnerships across the Pacific is one of our priorities.
And observers will have seen that New Zealand too is lifting its strategic ambition and investment in our region. At the heart of this work is our focus on building stronger and more mature political partnerships in support of Pacific regionalism. A strong Pacific will enable us to tackle together those challenges that can only be addressed collectively; climate change; sustainable economic, human and environmental development, and regional security to name a few.
New Zealand is doing this through increased leader-level diplomacy, increased development funding that is focused on key regional priorities, and our enduring participation in and support for the pre-eminent regional organisation, the Pacific Islands Forum.
Through effective regionalism, and working together to advance collective solutions to the shared challenges we face, the Pacific will prosper, thrive, and be able to take advantage of the opportunities presented by increased connectivity between our region and the rest of the world.
We therefore welcome and are encouraged to see representation at this Exposition from across the Pacific.
And on that note, let us extend thanks to Indonesia for their generous hosting of this important event.
Over the next three days, there will be hundreds of individual opportunities for engagement between governments, businesses and people from Indonesia and the Pacific. It is our hope that these will together foster and deepen existing connections, and the development of new and dynamic relationships that will serve the future prosperity and well-being of all our communities.
So a very warm welcome to Auckland and New Zealand and a highly valuable Pacific Exposition.