12 April 2013
Speech to the New Zealand China Partnership Forum
It’s a great pleasure to be here at the opening of the first-ever New Zealand China Partnership Forum.
The Forum is the first of this nature and scale to take place between China and New Zealand.
So this is a notable occasion.
I want to start by acknowledging the two partner organisations – the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, and the New Zealand China Council.
Thank you for organising this event and ensuring an impressive line-up of presenters and guests.
I know that, on the Chinese side, an extremely distinguished delegation is present here today to take part in the Forum.
With me from New Zealand are three of my ministerial colleagues, a number of top-ranking government officials, and leaders in New Zealand business, education, scientific and cultural fields.
We are all engaged with China, and we are keen to strengthen what is one of New Zealand’s most important relationships.
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11 April 2013
Speech to Peking University, Beijing, China
Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today.
This is my third visit to China in four years and my second address here at Peking University.
In a sign of the importance we place on this relationship, I am travelling with what is possibly the largest delegation ever taken overseas by a New Zealand Prime Minister.
With me here in China are Hon Steven Joyce – Minister of Economic Development, Hon Tim Groser – Minister of Trade, Hon Pita Sharples – Minister of Māori Affairs, and a number of top-ranking government officials.
I am also accompanied by leaders in business, education, scientific and cultural fields, who are keen to make new connections and strengthen existing relationships in China.
That includes the Board and members of the recently-established New Zealand China Council.
I am here in China, with this delegation, to support the growing relationship between our two countries, which has gone from strength to strength over recent years.
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Thank you for welcoming me here today.
This is my first visit to Colombia, and the first visit of a New Zealand Prime Minister to this country.
Today also happens to be an anniversary for Colombia and New Zealand. On March 6th, 1979, New Zealand accredited its first ambassador to Colombia, formally establishing diplomatic relations between our two countries.
So it’s fitting to be here, 34 years ago to the day that we officially began building our relationship.
This is a time when we both want to seize opportunities to do more together – regionally and internationally, and across issues from education to trade.
It’s an exciting time to be here.
06 March 2013
Speech to Mexican Council of International Affairs
Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to be here in Mexico. I’ve been here once before and have wanted to come back for some time, so it’s great to be here in this vibrant and energetic city.
I’m looking forward to my first meeting with President Peña Nieto later today.
And I’m pleased to be leading a delegation of some of New Zealand’s most innovative businesses, which are keen to strengthen their ties with their counterparts here.
This visit comes when New Zealand and Mexico are marking 40 years of diplomatic relations.
It’s a good time to reflect on what we have achieved together, and to focus on what we can do more of in the future.
There is certainly plenty of room to grow our already broad relationship, given our history of close cooperation in trade and multi-lateral issues.
We share similar views in many areas, from the big foreign policy challenges confronting us at the UN, through to our excellent relationship at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, and the OECD in Paris.
We in New Zealand also welcome your leadership in this region, and through forums like the G20 and APEC.
Your joining the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations last year was enthusiastically received by New Zealand, and we were pleased to host you at the last round of negotiations in Auckland in December.
I want to talk more about the trade relationship shortly, particularly the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations.
But first I want to tell you a bit about New Zealand.
We are a small country of 4.4 million people. We are far away from major markets. Our closest neighbour and biggest trading partner, Australia, is about a three-hour flight away.
So we are always looking outward – to new markets and new opportunities. Our geographic location and small population means our economic prosperity relies on taking what we do best to the rest of the world.
An example of that is agriculture. New Zealand is now the world’s largest exporter of dairy products. Our country exports 95 per cent of its dairy production, and we are now world-leading innovators in this field.
We have a liberal, free market economy, which stems from reforms started around 25 years ago.
We realised back in the 1980s that we couldn’t grow with a closed economy supported by subsidies. Reforms from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s were wide-ranging, and set New Zealand on a pathway to play to our strengths and compete with the rest of the world.
We continue to focus on economic reform. One of my Government’s priorities during this term in office is to grow a more competitive and productive economy.
New Zealand’s future lies in export-oriented growth – where we are competing with other exporters on a level playing field.
That is why we are committed to top-quality, ambitious, comprehensive free trade agreements.Read full article
22 February 2013
Address to the Christchurch Earthquake Memorial Service
Good afternoon. Thank you for the invitation to be here with you as we remember the destructive and terrifying earthquake that struck this city and the surrounding areas two years ago today.
It claimed the lives of 185 people and because of that, February 22nd will always be a poignant day for the people of Canterbury.
I would like to acknowledge and welcome here the family and friends of those who lost their lives.
I know this is a difficult day for you.
Your grief is still raw and only time can help to numb the pain of your loss.
This city and this country continue to feel for you.
Today is also about remembering those who were badly injured in the earthquakes.
And it’s about paying tribute to the strength and resolve of Cantabrians.
People have lost their homes and businesses.
People have faced massive disruption, uncertainty and anxiety.
And people have endured more than 11,000 earthquakes and aftershocks since September 2010.Read full article