The Pacific Islands Forum is on and there are some issues that NZ must confront even if our Pacific Island whanau won’t.
Chinese influence: China has its tentacles throughout the Pacific with corruption and huge debts quickly following. To combat this, NZ needs to use Rugby Diplomacy with an All Blacks representative team touring the Pacific Islands annually and NZ should also support the Pacific Media Centre to expand the value and rights of Journalism throughout the region so that corrupt Governments can be held to account.
Meth: Wherever China’s influence expands, Triade organised crime follows. The meth crisis that is currently sweeping the Pacific Islands requires dedicated Police resourcing and treatment facilities.
Climate refugees: While our Pacific Island whanau refuse to consider the realities of being swallowed up by rising oceans, the enormity and unstoppable nature of the climate crisis requires NZ to start thinking about where this all goes. Do we offer open immigration to those Pacific Islands that we have close ties with (including the Realm of NZ), do we allow permanent displaced Pacific Government’s to have a level of representative autonomy on NZ land and help manage their economic zones and provide revenue for that? Do they retain their exclusive economic zone if there is no land as a starting point for that definition?
Australia: Their continued use of external sites to detain refugees so that they don’t breach International Refugee Conventions is sickening and quite frankly bordering on evil. Their rendition of NZ citizens and anyone else who fails their ‘character’ tests to Christmas Island is cruel and inhumane and their lack of real progress on climate change threatens everyone else in the Pacific. In short, Australia is awful.