Minister to travel to Northern Hemisphere for employment engagements and International Arts Summit

ACC Arts, Culture and Heritage Social Development and Employment

Carmel Sepuloni will travel to the Northern Hemisphere for a range of key engagements following the opening of Aotearoa New Zealand’s borders and as we reconnect with the world.

The Minister will be travelling to Paris, Amsterdam, The Hague, Glasgow and Edinburgh, departing Wednesday 24 August and returning on Saturday 3 September.

“Now that Aotearoa New Zealand is open for business, it is vital that we continue to lay the foundations, build upon existing work to reconnect and restrengthen our ties with the rest of the world,” Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.

“With our unemployment rate one of the lowest in the OECD, our response to COVID-19 has positioned us well to respond to a challenging global situation. Our economy has come through the pandemic better than nearly anywhere in the world and this is a story worth sharing,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

In Glasgow, the Minister will meet her employment and social development portfolio counterpart, Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training.

“As with Aotearoa New Zealand’s Regional Workforce Plans, Scotland’s regional skills investment plans aim to create a more highly skilled and resilient workforce and better balance the skills of local workers with the skills employers need,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“Empowering workforce planning at a regional level recognises regions have diverse and distinctive needs. It will be invaluable to learn more about Scotland’s more established experience with this approach,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

In The Hague and Paris, she will meet with her counterparts to discuss how their employment programmes have supported their recovery from COVID-19 and their approach to social unemployment insurance.

“The Dutch social unemployment insurance scheme has been in place since 1952. I’m interested in how they’ve achieved success with their scheme, and how we can benefit from their learnings and feed that into the design of our proposed New Zealand Income Insurance scheme.

“It’s crucial that we continue to learn from our foreign counterparts to improve our ways of working, how we can better protect workers and their incomes, and build the skilled workforce that we need as we secure our recovery from COVID-19,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

The Minister will also visit the headquarters of the OECD in Paris, building on Aotearoa New Zealand’s strong relationship with the organisation.

“I am looking forward to meetings with the OECD Secretary-General, as well as key employment and income insurance experts to draw on their unique international expertise with regards to these initiatives,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage will present to the Edinburgh International Culture Summit in Scotland, which runs over three days from 26 to 28 August 2022, and will connect with arts and culture sector leaders attending from all around the world.

“As one of the most important events in the international arts and culture calendar, the Summit is a unique opportunity to learn about other Governments’ experiences when facing similar challenges to Aotearoa,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

Under the korowai of the Culture and Education theme, the Summit will explore the vital role of arts and culture in curricula and how it enriches our worldviews.

“The Summit will be an important platform where we can demonstrate the prestige of toi Māori and highlight the benefits of Aotearoa New Zealand’s arts and culture on the world stage,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“I’m looking forward to using the opportunity to present to highlight Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum rollout and our Creatives in Schools programme.

“Following significant investments in New Zealand’s arts and culture sectors as part of our COVID-19 response, the Summit will also provide key international insights that will help inform our future supports for creatives.

“This trip presents a real opportunity for us to share our learnings from COVID-19, and gain insights into how we can continue moving our employment, education and training system as well as our economy in the right direction,” Carmel Sepuloni said.