CID Weekly: new minister, EQ in Turkey, cyclones and gender workshop

Posted on 03 November 2020

+ First female minister announced

We have a new minister and associate minister, and a team that is well  positioned to understand the priorities in the Pacific during COVID.

Ka whakanui matou i to angitu i tenei ra, nau mai, haere mai, haere mai.

Nanaia Mahuta is the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and we congratulate her on this ground-breaking achievement, and welcome Aupito William Sio as he takes on the Associate role.

"We have the first wahine minister of foreign affairs, recognising Nanaia Mahuta’s achievements as a consensus-builder. That is an immense honour and a display of belief in her from Jacinda Ardern," writes Shane to Pou in The Spin-Off.

Hon Aupito Tofae Su'a William Sio, Minister for for Pacific People's, is Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs. Delegations have yet to be announced, but he has been an active minister in the Pacific, a friend to our sector, and is likely to take on the aid and development role in some capacity.

Nanaia Mahuta is known as a 'consensus builder', both in parliament and amongst her iwi, Tainui. She is the MP for the Maori seat of Hauraki-Waikato, and a tribal member of Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Manu.

She currently holds ministerial positions in local government, Māori development, and an associate portfolio in trade. She will retain the local government job and will keep an associate role in Māori development. 

+ CID Workshop - Gender Responsive Programming in a COVID World

Register now!

These 2-hour workshops over two days will:

  • Revisit the role of gender mainstreaming in development and humanitarian responses, along with the role and impact of COVID on gender equality
  • Provide rich examples of gender mainstreaming in Asia-Pacific
  • Support participants to learn new skills and apply them to case-studies.
Both will be facilitated by two internationally leading gender experts, with vast expertise of working in the field, particularly in the Pacific.

Each workshop is two hours long and spread over two days.

Workshop 1
  • Wednesday 18 November, 12pm-2pm
Hosted by Anna Cowley from Fiji, who is a Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Specialist and trainer.

Workshop 2
  • Thursday 19 November, 12pm-2pm
Hosted by Gina Huong Lee, who is a trainer, a practitioner and a feminist and gender advocate for women's human rights in the Pacific

Register here to receive the Zoom link for both workshops.

Just $20 for both workshops.


+ 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake in Eastern Turkey & Samos

At least 62 people death have been confirmed dead and over 1,000 injured following a 6.8-magnitude earthquake in eastern Turkey on Friday. Of those injured, around 100 are undergoing treatment and the rest have already been discharged.

In addition to the human toll, hundreds of buildings in Elazig and Malatya provinces either collapsed or sustained damage. Around 1,200 families have moved into temporary shelters in the form of tents. 

Streets were flooded by a mini-tsunami on the Greek island of Samos, location of a camp of over 6,500 migrants and refugees. A fire had broken out at the camp, just three days after the earthquake. Around fifteen tents were destroyed in the blaze.

+ Typhoon Goni/ Rolly in the Philippines

Recovery efforts are underway in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Goni brought flooding, mudslides and strong winds to its largest island early Sunday morning.

The storm, whose maximum wind speeds earned it the distinction of the year's most powerful cyclone, left at least 17 people dead and three missing. More than 2million people have been impacted. Regional authorities said 345,000 people are being housed in evacuation centers.

Goni, which is referred to locally as "Rolly," was downgraded to tropical storm status on Sunday evening local time. It is continuing to weaken over the West Philippine Sea, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.

+ 'Oceania Connect' breaks record

Over 630 people participated from about 32 countries, as Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific came together for the first ever regional conference.

Many CID members and Pasifika  leadership from New Zealand took part, as well as global experts like economist Jeff Sachs.

If you were a participant you can revisit sessions here

For the joint statement released across the region from CID, PIANGO and ACFID members, go here.


+ 'Oceania  Connect' media coverage

There was extensive media coverage on radio, including Pacific media networks, and in daily news outlets, including AM Breakfast TV with Jeff Sachs (which will go to air shortly).

Media coverage included Sam Sachdeva's piece in Newsroom, 'The foreign policy challenges for Ardern’s second term'.

'Labour’s historic majority was unaffected by an extraordinarily bland foreign affairs section in its (late-arriving) campaign manifesto, offering anodyne commitments like “continu[ing] to promote and develop strong multilateral links between Aotearoa and our international community,' writes Sam.

He highlights the “unprecedented” economic pain that many Pacific nations are going through as a result of border closures, and quotes the Oceania Connect call for an increase in aid to the Pacific.

'The Government announced a $55.6 million boost for aid funding in May’s Budget, but will face pressure to put more into the Pacific to avoid further costs - both economic and human - down the line.'

'In a joint statement on Wednesday, aid agencies and community organisations from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific urged their governments to boost aid funding for the region to better deal with the effect of Covid lockdowns.

“Without sufficient increases to international development expenditure, the progress and the key indicators of life expectancy, infant mortality, literacy, and income across the region will be lost,” (Oceania Connect joint statement).

The National Business Review also covered the conference, and focused on Jeff Sachs' keynote speech. Dita de Bono's article is being the paywall, so here's a quick summary, of 'Top global economist urges Pacific Islands to remain COVID-free':

  • Jeff Sachs 'delivered the plenary speech to the Oceania Connect Conference 2020 – a virtual meeting, which for the first time has combined the international development networks of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific on ways to meet the varying crises of our times, Covid foremost among them.'
  • 'UN and others have warned that the Pacific islands will struggle to cope with Covid-19.
  • “The islands have an advantage because [they] can monitor every visitor … [they] can stomp on every outbreak before it spreads, and it is extremely important that [they] do so,” said Jeff Sachs.
  • 'Sachs promised conference delegates that if there was a lack of testing or protective equipment, he would take it up with the UN on any nation’s behalf as he had access to UN leaders.'
  • Sachs believes the main crisis of our time at the moment is Covid, but that is followed by climate change, the destruction of earth’s biodiversity, and pollution. Many were interlinked and would be particularly devastating to island nations – “including the island nation of Manhattan, where I live” he said.
  • 'Sachs said the world came to agreement over the UN Sustainable Development Goals and reached the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 because it was understood such goals were vital for human wellbeing – “I hope Covid is a substantial wakeup call to this reality,” Sachs said.
  • “Because many politicians … are playing games. They hold office and want to win elections, they are not solving problems. When you have politics as just a game of power rather than politics for the human good, we are imperiled.”


+ CID Annual Dinner (and AGM) @ The Beehive hosted by Hon. James Shaw on Thursday

This is a reminder that the CID Annual Dinner (and AGM) is coming up this Thursday 5 November, starting at 1:30pm at the Grant Hall in Parliament.

The schedule for the day is as follows:

AGM (for members only): 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Afternoon Tea: 3:00pm - 3:40pm
Membership Survey Panel: 3:40pm - 4:50pm
Drinks: 4:50pm - 6:00pm
Seated for Dinner and Presentations incl. James Shaw Speech: 6:00pm

CID Staff will greet you as you come into Parliament and you will be checked in and given a name badge, and then directed through to the Grand Hall. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

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+ Why are some countries more newsworthy?

New Zealand has deserved the accolades from overseas media on its handling of COVID.

But Houssem Ben Lazreg and Adel Dhahri of E-International Relations have questioned why some developing countries doing an equally good job with fewer resources have not also been singled out for praise.

Last week at the Oceania Connect conference, Jeff Sachs made it clear that success in dealing with COVID is dependent not on the wealth of a country, but on good governance. 'Even poorer countries can do it better than richer countries. Just look at the USA'.

Houssem and Adel single out western media bias as a reason for the lack of media coverage of developing countries and COVID. 

"Western media bias underlies both a sense of a white savior narrative and structural racism. The embattled Global North – equipped with a powerful media machine – desperately needed some hope and New Zealand managed to offer it. Culturally, New Zealand is closer to the western world than countries in Africa, Middle East or South-East Asia who managed to suppress the virus despite limited resources and the lack of adequate technologies."

"The unequal and under-representation of the Global South is a great concern as it influences the way people perceive the image of countries."

Examples of success include Senegal (4996 cases, 52 deaths) and Ghana (11,118 cases and 48 deaths), as well as many Pacific Island countries.

+ IDYP Korero on Racism in International Development

On Thursday 19th November at 6pm, IDYP will be hosting a Korero on Racism in International Development, to be held in Auckland

The expert panel will delve into the often ignored areas of institutional discrimination, unconscious bias, a lack of true diversity and the unequal power dynamics of Western donors in relation to local practitioners, communities and organisations in the Pacific and further afield.

There are 3 confirmed panelists (Dr Wiremu Manaia, Dr Yvonne Te Ruki-Rangi-o-Tangaroa Underhill-Sem and Dr Mahdis Azarmandi), and Siobhan Patia (a Crown lawyer based up north) will moderate. 

Please register here

+ Save the Date: MFAT Virtual NGO Hui on 10 December

MFAT’s Pacific and Development Group are pleased to announce the annual NGO Hui – this year held virtually on Thursday 10 December.
Details to come

+ CID Activities 
  • Annual conference - Oceania Connect with ACFID and PIANGO (27-30 Oct)
  • Preparations for AGM and CID Annual Dinner Event (5 Nov)
  • Review of member Code compliance self-assessment triennials resubmissions
  • Finalisation of Unsolicited Bilateral Donations campaign proposal
  • 2019/2020 Membership Survey report development
  • ACFID/PIANGO/CID meetings and actions
  • Refinement of new strategy - ready to present at AGM
  • Preparations for Gender Workshop (mid November)
  • In partnership with Mekong Club, progression of research on responsible recruitment of migrant workers in Asia, and the impact of recruitment practices on modern slavery
  • Sponsorship of research on Digital Access Across Cultures
  • Recruitment of new staff to CID.