Pacific Peoples Minister heads to Samoa for top environment meeting

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will help to officially open the Pacific Climate Change Centre in Samoa this week, another example of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset in action.

Minister Sio will represent New Zealand at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) Environment Ministers’ High Level Talanoa on Friday 6 September in Apia and will also speak at the official opening and handover ceremony of the Pacific Climate Change Centre on Thursday 5 September.

“In September last year, Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters announced New Zealand’s commitment to cooperating with Japan, Samoa and SPREP to help set up the Pacific Climate Change Centre on SPREP’s Apia campus,” Aupito William Sio said.  

“New Zealand’s $3.5 million of support to the Centre, which is a regional hub of excellence for the coordination of climate change initiatives, highlights the Government delivering on its plan to move from a donor-recipient relationship towards genuine partnerships with Pacific countries.

“Recently the Government announced that $150m of its $300 million global commitment to climate-related development assistance would go to the Pacific region.  

“The Talanoa will now provide an important opportunity to progress the conversation to ensure the strongest possible action is taken in relation to climate resilience and critical environment issues across the Pacific,” Aupito William Sio said.

SPREP is the leading regional agency on environment and climate related issues in the Pacific, with a goal of promoting regional cooperation for a more resilient Pacific.

Minister Sio will travel from 4 to 7 September.