Press Releases

Unplug, wait 5 minutes and start again! The Pacific Reset challenge

Posted on 29 October 2018


If you’re a New Zealand government department or an NGO doing the same thing you were doing in the Pacific twenty years ago - and nothing’s changed - it’s probably time to stop and do something else.

According to Pacific community, business and government leaders talking at today’s Council for International Development’s conference this morning in Wellington, that is what the Pacific Reset is all about.

The Pacific is in our DNA, and we need to do more to take the New Zealand tax-payer with us, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said at the conference.

The Pacific Reset is about resisting a narrow-minded isolationism, and promoting our shared democratic tradition, the importance of the rule of law and human rights, he added.

‘It’s about us owning our own development agenda, and we welcome the chance to reset the relationship with New Zealand’, said Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Mark Brown.

‘More collaboration between government, NGOs and business is the key to success,’ he said.

Practical ideas that emerged during today’s discussions include:

  • Extending Pharmac to the Pacific, so that affordable medicines are available in the Pacific and health issues can be dealt with in-country.
  • Including other New Zealand government departments in the reset, for example the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards (DHBs).
  • Increasing coordination of activities between governments, NGOs and businesses active in the region.
  • A campaign to communicate the potential impact of a Pacific Reset, and the benefits to us all of a more independent, strong and aspirational Pacific.

“We must stop seeing the Pacific through a negative lens and realise the huge opportunity for us all to move beyond a beneficiary relationship to one of equals,” said Winston Peters.

Keynote speakers:

  • Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Hon Mark Brown, Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands

Panelists included:

  • Peter Fa’afiu (Chair of Pacific Media Networks, and Amnesty NZ)
  • Caren Rangi (Director Cook Islands Investment Corporation )
  • Kiki Maoate (Head of Pasifika Medical Association)
  • Pene Lefale (Director/Climate analyst at LeA International)
  • Josiah Tualamali'i (Chair of Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation Council)


New Zealand Pacific Islands