"a Pacific region that is respected for ... the sustainable management of its resources"
Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu have all made clear their support for the sustainable management of marine resources, the Solomon Islands is home to peoples who utilise small cetacean resources, and the Marshall Islands also has declared it's interest in international forums related to conservation of marine resources (apparently they eat turtles there - didn't know that!).
New Zealand had a commitment to the Pacific Islands Forum goal of a "region that is respected for the quality of its governance, the sustainable management of its resources, the full observance of democratic values and for its defence and promotion of human rights".
This sounds promising - New Zealand agrees with the idea of sustainable management of resources, just like it's neighbours in the Pacific Islands Forum. Perhaps New Zealand may display a more enlightened stance at next year's IWC meeting, in line with this commitment?
"New Zealand is determined to seek out the benefits of the Pacific's significance and guard against the threats – among which I include chequebook diplomacy."These comments are interesting from Winston. They seem to be largely compatible with the recent comments of Tuvaluan Prime Minister Maatia Toafa protesting suggestions from Murray McCully that New Zealand should seek to tie aid to votes:
"We are an aid-dependent country and we feel that we should be left to make our decisions without any influences"Rightly so. Winston also passed comment on McCully's musings himself:
Peters, who heads the country’s NZ$160 million Pacific aid programme, said New Zealand will “respect Pacific Islands countries as sovereign nations who make their own policy decisions.”Commendable. Winston presumably also thus supports the comments of Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority, Glen Joseph made prior to the IWC 58 meeting, which noted that the Marshall Islands would make decisions
“Our preference is to talk with countries to understand their perspectives, rather than simply telling them they are wrong,” he said.
"on our own grounds and our own judgement of how the issues are presented at the commission"Winston presumably also accepts the 2005 call from Tuvalu that they be left to make their own decisions free of pressure.
Responding to a question on the controversial topic of whaling, which has drawn strong comments from both Japan and New Zealand, the minister said he understood the description of the issue as a cultural one.One gets the impression that IWC meetings would proceed a little more smoothly and rationally if Winston were representing us there instead of our current delegation.
"My people have been in New Zealand over a thousand years," said Peters, who is half Maori. "We didn't just arrive there yesterday. And the indigenous people of New Zealand are Maori and they ate whales."
"We used to eat our pigeons too, and our kiwis and all our rare birds ... but we stopped because their numbers were diminishing. Not that we don't have a sweet tooth for that sort of food, but we just thought that with the interests long term and the character of our country, and these birds being important to us, we should change our ways."
"We make far more money out of taking tourists to watch whales, including thousands of Japanese tourists, than we'll ever make out of selling it as a fish meat on the market."
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