/////////////////////////////////////////// Global climate change agreement extended to Tokelau
New Zealand has taken action to formally bring Tokelau into major global climate change agreements, Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement will apply to Tokelau from today. Minister Shaw and Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio are attending the UN climate change conference in Germany, known as COP23.* “I am pleased to announce that, as requested by the Government of Tokelau, New Zealand has submitted a formal declaration to the United Nations to extend the territorial application of both the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement to Tokelau.” The declaration is likely to mean increased recognition for Tokelau’s climate mitigation work, as well as greater focus on its vulnerability to the effects of climate change, given New Zealand’s national reporting to the UNFCCC will now report on action taken by Tokelau. It is also a mark of New Zealand’s recognition of the serious impact of climate change on small islands in the Pacific. “This gives a formality to the clear stake Tokelau already has in the negotiations, and in securing its future as a climate-resilient Pacific island,” Mr Shaw says. “It also signals the commitment both countries have to addressing climate change at home and in the world.” “This is a monumental achievement for us and I want to commend New Zealand for hearing our voices,” says Tokelau’s Climate Change Minister Kelihiano Kalolo. Mr Kalolo says Tokelau is well positioned to do its part in addressing climate change, as detailed in Tokelau’s Living with Change (LivC)** climate change strategy. Mr Shaw says New Zealand is serious about addressing climate change urgently. “We want to demonstrate our commitment to the Paris Agreement and the Pacific community. “That means working at home and abroad to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. “We are ramping up our efforts at home, and will continue to support other countries’ efforts – particularly in the Pacific, where we have the relationships and the experience to make a difference. “New Zealand and Pacific countries are aligned in pushing for a strong global response to climate change and I look forward to working with all Pacific countries in Bonn and beyond as we begin to bed in the rules for the Paris Agreement,” Mr Shaw says.
* The 23rd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), or COP23, takes place from 6-17 November in Bonn, Germany.** https://www.tokelau.org.nz/site/tokelau/files/ClimateChange/LivCStrategy_web-2.pdf Q&As What does this mean for New Zealand? In technical terms, the main change to New Zealand’s obligations through this development is that New Zealand will now need to include information regarding Tokelau in its mandatory reporting under the UNFCCC and in any future reporting required under the Paris Agreement. What does this mean for Tokelau? Tokelau’s contribution to mitigation, as well as its vulnerability and adaptation to the impacts of climate change, would be highlighted through the reporting process. Does this mean New Zealand’s NDC will include Tokelau now? A decision on whether New Zealand’s Nationally Determined Contribution will include Tokelau has not been taken. Any such decision would be taken in close consultation with Tokelau. What is Tokelau’s relationship with New Zealand? Tokelau is a dependent territory of New Zealand, a non-self-governing territory for the purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and “part of New Zealand” under the Tokelau Act 1948. While substantially self-governing in practice, it does not have its own international legal personality. Any treaty making in respect of Tokelau is done by the New Zealand Government in consultation with the Government of Tokelau.
/////////////////////////////////////////// Kaikōura Harbour back in business
The Minister of Civil Defence Kris Faafoi today announced that the Kaikōura Harbour is open again after being badly damaged in the 14 November 2016 earthquake. “The harbour is the heart of Kaikōura and today it is back in business,” Minister Faafoi said. Speaking at the harbour opening, Minister Faafoi said the complex 7.8 magnitude earthquake ruptured 21 fault lines, generated a tsunami and rocked the top of the South Island and bottom of the North. “This created a truly unique set of challenges. The land movements and shaking were among the strongest in our history, and the earthquakes had a devastating effect on many people, whānau, communities and businesses across Kaikōura, Hurunui, Marlborough and Wellington. “Communities, te Runanga o Kaikōura, the volunteer sector, business, local and central government all made a huge contribution to the response, pulling together to help and support eachother. “On Friday I spent the day with people working on the rebuild or affected by it: everyone has shown amazing perseverance and patience. There has been real progress for many but there is still some way to go – so we will keep working with the community for as long as we need to.” A dawn ceremony held at the harbour this morning brought together many of those who had helped in the recovery, Minister Faafoi said. “The community showed out in force because they know the marina re-opening means so much to the town. People are truly appreciative of the mammoth effort to get the harbour back in business.“ At the blessing, the Rūnanga unveiled a monument created from three whale ribs. A part of each bone will be carved later then the monument will be installed permanently. Minister Faafoi said it was an honour to have spent time in Kaikōura recently, and to have officiated at the harbour opening with Mayor Winston Gray. Civil Defence Emergency Management Director Sarah Stuart-Black and national recovery manager Dave Brash also attended the opening ceremony, as did Minister responsible for Earthquake Commission Megan Woods.
/////////////////////////////////////////// Haere mai Ngāpuhi nui tonu
The people of Ngāpuhi have been invited to a series of hui with Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little. “The Ngāpuhi Treaty settlement is a top priority for me and I am keen to begin face-to-face meetings with the rangatira, key advisors and the hapū before Christmas. “I have invited the main claimant groups Tūhoronuku and Te Kōtahitanga to meet on Friday and then I will attend an open hui with the people on Saturday at the Waitangi Copthorne from 9am to midday. “This is the first in a series of hui to meet, greet and listen to the people of Ngāpuhi. It will take time to get around the rohe. I will return in December and February. “I’m looking forward to being in Te Tai Tokerau for the listening hui as I see this as a new opportunity for genuine consultation with Ngāpuhi about their settlement issues, interests and aspirations,” says Andrew Little.
/////////////////////////////////////////// Women effectively working for free from today
Women are working for free from today till the end of the year because of the gender pay gap and this needs to change, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter. The average man in New Zealand is paid 13.1 percent more than the average woman. From 14 November till the end of the year, women are effectively working for free. “New Zealanders expect women to be paid fairly for their work, but the gender pay gap shows that women are still being underpaid,” said Ms Genter. “A woman shouldn’t be paid less just because she is a woman or she works in a female dominated industry. Even after adjusting for age, education, experience and other variables there’s still an unexplained gap. “As Minister for Women I am committed to closing the gender pay gap, starting with the core public service, and working on pay equality issues for New Zealand women. “I encourage all New Zealand employers to look at what they can do to understand and close their gender pay gaps.
/////////////////////////////////////////// Farewelling a fair and just New Zealander
Ai auē. Kua hinga mai te kaitoa o te ao ture. Kua wahangūhia te arero o te kaiwhakaihuwaka reo. Kua tere atu rā koe i ngā tai whenewhene, i ngā tai haruru o te wā. E te taniwha hikuroa takoto mai i to āhuru mowai, takoto mai, moe mai rā. The Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta has paid her respects to a Māori Land Court Judge who passed away at the weekend, describing him as a softly spoken, intelligent man who was held in high regard by Māori and Pākehā alike. “Judge David Ambler was a well-respected New Zealander. Presiding over matters to do with Māori and their land is a very complex area. Judge Ambler rose to the challenge with dignity, clarity and respect. Judge Ambler was appointed to the Māori Land Court in 2006 where he was a resident Judge for the Taitokerau District. Before that he had an accomplished career as a lawyer in Auckland and Rotorua. “When presiding over Te Rohe Pōtae District inquiry for the Waitangi Tribunal, emotions ran high but I remember Judge Ambler remained considered, respectful and committed to the task at hand. “This fair and just New Zealander had much more to give, and has gone too soon. None will feel his absence more though, than his wife and family. My aroha is with them now. “As a fluent speaker of te reo Māori, Judge Ambler gained a deeper understanding of the Māori communities he worked with and their philosophies. In return he earned their regard. But he was always clear that he did not speak for Māori,” says Mrs Mahuta. “He had a healthy respect for the differences between us but also said ‘to ignore the cultural contexts in which we attempt to walk together is to ignore 200 years of history’. “As a lawyer, Judge Ambler represented clients on many Māori land issues and acted for Māori Trust Boards and Incorporations as well as claimants in the Waitangi Tribunal. "Not only did he have a remarkable legal mind with a strong sense of social justice, he was simply a nice man. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered,” says Nanaia Mahuta.
/////////////////////////////////////////// Nationwide test planned for Emergency Mobile Alert system
New Zealanders are set to start receiving emergency alerts to their mobile phones, warning them that their life, property or health is in serious danger. Minister of Civil Defence Kris Faafoi said implementation would start with a live nationwide test of Emergency Mobile Alerts on 26 November. “By running this test and asking people to be aware of the alerts, we are able to test our systems, the cell towers and your phones ability to receive an Emergency Mobile Alert,” Mr Faafoi says. “This is a test for now but when emergencies happen this is another tool we can use to keep everyone in our community safe. Not all phones are currently capable of receiving the alerts, so we need people to look after others: if you receive an alert, tell your neighbours, your whanau, your colleagues.” The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) is leading the implementation of the new emergency alert channel. A nationwide multi-media campaign starts today (Sunday), online, on radio and on street posters, letting people know about the alerts and how to check whether their phones will receive them. The alerts are sent using cell broadcast technology, so there is no need to sign up or download an app. They can be targeted to affected areas, so you will only get them if the emergency is in your area. It is expected that around one third of phones will immediately be able to receive alerts but this will rise over time. You can check whether your phone can receive the alert and find out more at civildefence.govt.nz. Minister Faafoi says Emergency Mobile Alert is an additional channel to help keep New Zealand safe in an emergency and does not replace other alerting systems and information channels, or the need to take action after natural warnings. “If you feel your life may be in danger, don’t wait for an official warning. Take immediate action. For example in local source tsunami, there may not be time to send an alert. Please recognise the natural warnings and get safe – ‘Long or Strong, Get Gone’”. Emergency Mobile Alert messages can only be sent by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups, NZ Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry for Primary Industries.
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