Pacific Peoples


- Associate Minister

Talofa lava, malo e lelei, kia orana, taloha ni, fakaalofa lahi atu, ni sa bula vinaka, Talofa, Kia ora, tēnā koutou katoa. Warm Pacific greetings to you all.

I am really pleased I could be here with you today - to share this time with so many great innovators, thinkers and policymakers. Thank you for making the time to be here and for answering the call to come and share your expertise with us. I am looking forward to meeting and chatting with some of you later and hearing about the outstanding work you do.


Talofa lava, malo e lelei, kia orana, taloha ni, fakaalofa lahi atu, ni sa bula vinaka, Talofa, kia ora, tena koutou katoa. Warm Pacific greetings to you all.

A great pleasure to be here at Orakei Marae with you all to welcome you to the third Pacific Parliamentary Forum.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to be here with us in New Zealand.


Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all.

Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with local custom.


Chair, New Zealand commends this mid-term review of the Samoa Pathways. Let me convey to you the picture that I see as we conduct this review.
There is an unprecedented, man-made storm coming our way. Our youth can see the dark clouds gather at the outer limits of the horizons. We must paddle our canoe to safety and we must do it quickly. We must all paddle in the same direction or we’ll be caught by the storm and die.


The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says when he was in Tuvalu recently for the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the leaders reaffirmed climate change as the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific, but it was the youth of the Pacific region who reminded everyone that one of the issues often overlooked is the effect this crisis could have on Pacific languages.

Hon Aupito William Sio

We acknowledge that the subject of this event can be highly sensitive, and we understand and respect the reasons why this can be a delicate issue for people in our region. Ideally, countries of the world would be rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions to ensure that people do not need to move because of climate change.

In the Pacific, climate change-related mobility is, so far, limited to internal movements, such as people moving inland away from rising sea levels and coastal hazards. That’s what we would expect, given the passionate desire of Pacific peoples to not be forced to leave their homes, their communities, their countries, and their land and sea.


I wish to extend thanks to the organisers of today’s High Level Meeting.

In 2018, New Zealand’s Defence Assessment identified climate change is one of the most significant security threats of our time. The Pacific Island Forum’s Boe Declaration expands on this definition.

New Zealand is pleased that the links between climate change and security are increasingly being recognised, including through the good work of this Group of Friends. We add our voice to Germany and others to call on all big industrial nations to pick up the pace.


Excellences, colleagues, members of the diplomatic corps, ladies and gentlemen, kia ora tatou katoa, warm Pacific greetings to one and all.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak today.

We know that climate change is the single biggest threat to the livelihoods and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific and there is an urgent, immediate, and unprecedented need for greater and more ambitions action. And in my privileged position as Minister for Pacific Peoples, as I listen to my elders, the two, three, that have spoken earlier and as I get to engage with our Pacific leaders right across the Pacific region – we’re leading.