Murray McCully New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs

New Zealand and the United States: Pacific Partners
  • Wednesday, May 18, 2011

  • Foreign Minister Murray McCully of New Zealand spoke at CSIS about the rapidly improving U.S.-NZ relationship and the prospect for further cooperation with the United States in the Pacific. CSIS president and CEO John J. Hamre introduced the minister, calling the rejuvenated friendship a “long overdue rapprochement.” Mike Green, senior adviser and Japan Chair at CSIS, hosted the event and moderated the question and answer session.

    Minister McCully said that New Zealand regards the Pacific as a zone of responsibility, with close regional ties through immigration making development in the Pacific a high priority. He welcomed U.S. engagement to help New Zealand materially improve the lives of its Pacific friends and neighbors. He said that cooperation could be enhanced by

    • Coordinating USAID’s presence to take advantage of New Zealand’s regional capabilities;
    • Promoting good governance and political stability in Pacific island nations;
    • Supporting renewable energy to soften the economic blow of high diesel prices;
    • Combatting illegal fishing to help keep natural wealth in the hands of poor countries; and
    • Promoting, with the United States, an open and inclusive regional architecture.

    Asia, on the other hand, is New Zealand’s zone of opportunity, said Minister McCully. To take advantage of Asia’s economic growth, New Zealand is fully engaged politically in ASEAN and the East Asia Summit, among other forums, and is working to boost trade with the region through free trade agreements (FTAs) with Korea, India, and Russia. New Zealand has already concluded an FTA with China, making it the first developed country to do so. At the regional level, Minister McCully called the Trans-Pacific Partnership a game-changing initiative, but said that economic leadership from both the United States and New Zealand will be critical to its success.

    CSIS Southeast Asia Program hosted a Banyan Tree Leadership Forum on

    “New Zealand and the United States: Pacific Partners”

    Keynote Remarks by
    The Honorable Murray McCully
    New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for the Rugby World Cup

    Introduction by
    Dr. John J. Hamre,
    President & CEO, CSIS

    Moderated by
    Dr. Michael J. Green
    Senior Adviser and Japan Chair, CSIS

    Wednesday May 18, 2011
    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

    B1C Conference Facility
    1800 K ST NW, Washington DC

    This important speech by New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully. The United States – New Zealand relationship has received significant attention from leaders of both countries over the past two years. A strong partnership and bond is forming from a solid foundation of mutual interest and common values. Minister McCully and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been key drivers of the relationship, and together with Prime Minister John Key announced the Wellington Declaration in November, 2010.

    Minister McCully is a member of the New Zealand National Party and has served in many cabinet roles since 1987. He began his career as a member of parliament for East Coast Bays. He has held several key positions including the Minister of Customs, Minister of Housing, Minister of Tourism, and Minister of Immigration. As a seasoned politician, he is regarded by many as the National Party’s chief strategist. He was appointed the ministerial posts of foreign affairs, sports and recreation and Rugby World Cup by Prime Minister John Key.

    He was educated at the University of Auckland and Victoria University of Wellington. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) and is a qualified Barrister and Solicitor.

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