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I thought I would use the opportunity to give you a sense of the direction of travel across my portfolios and how some of that work intersects with your interests.

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I’m delighted to have this opportunity to address the NZEI conference, the first opportunity I’ve had to do so since I became Minister of Education almost two years ago.

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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.

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Speech at Dargaville High School to mark the opening of first house built by the school's Trade Academy.

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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.

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It is a pleasure to be here at this important gathering of Pacific public sector leaders.

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Ko Ranginui ki runga,

Ranginui is the sky father above

Ko Papatuanuku ki raro

Papatuanuku is the earth mother below

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Kia ora koutou katoa

I was born in the 1980s, the decade of big hair, big shoulders and big reforms.

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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.

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I greet you in te reo Māori, language of the tangata whenua, or first people, of Aotearoa New Zealand.