Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development appointedForeign Affairs
Foreign Minister Murray McCully has today announced Shane Jones as New Zealand’s new Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development. He will also serve as High Commissioner to several small island developing states in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, which will be announced once diplomatic formalities have been completed.
“The appointment of Mr Jones signals a clear intention on the part of the New Zealand Government to improve economic outcomes in the Pacific, and to make a more constructive contribution to economic development in small island developing states,” Mr McCully says.
“New Zealand contributes over $300 million in development funding to the Pacific annually and our new Ambassador will focus on supporting income generating opportunities for Pacific countries in sectors like tourism, agriculture, horticulture, and fisheries.
“Last year the Pacific tuna fishery yielded between US$4 billion and US$5 billion of fish to international markets, yet less than 10 per cent of that amount made its way back to Pacific countries. Clearly, we need to do more to ensure that Pacific countries benefit from the resource they own, and Mr Jones will have a wide ranging brief to work with Pacific leaders in this area.
“As a leader in the Pacific Islands Forum, New Zealand needs to play a more active role in encouraging inter-regional cooperation between the Pacific, the Caribbean nations and the states of the Indian Ocean Commission. The Small Islands Developing States conference sponsored by the United Nations in Samoa this September is an opportunity to take this agenda forward in areas such as oceans and fisheries management, as well as renewable energy and climate change initiatives.
“The role to which Shane Jones is being appointed is a new one. It is intended to supplement, not replace the work already being undertaken by Ministers and officials. Mr Jones is uniquely qualified to play this new leadership role on New Zealand’s behalf and I am delighted that he has chosen to accept these responsibilities,” Mr McCully says.