Australia lends a hand in Kaikoura

flying-ops

After the earthquakes in Kaikoura last week, the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Darwin, Commanding Officer CMDR Phillip Henry and her crew were sent to support the response to the emergency.

As Lieutenant Brett Schulz said, in the Navy you have to “remain rubbery” – flexible and ready for change.

“One minute you might be ironing your whites in preparation for a Fleet Review, the next minute you’re in a sea boat heading ashore to render assistance to an earthquake affected town.”

LSET Vinnie Carrol and LSA Dan Colbert have shared their experiences helping the people of Kaikoura.

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Trans-Tasman business leaders to seek significant improvements to Australia/New Zealand relationship

Adrian Littlewood CEO 2013

By Adrian Littlewood, New Zealand Co-Chair of the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum

In two days, more than 200 senior Australian and New Zealand business leaders and nine Government Ministers will meet in Sydney to identify ways to further improve the trans-Tasman relationship. The meeting will coincide with the Australian and New Zealand Government’s annual CER/Single Economic Market meeting.

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Fly fishing diplomacy

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Piero Bertocchi releases a rainbow trout on a backcountry river in the South Island

Piero Bertocchi, Assistant Defence Adviser, Australian High Commission in New Zealand

For a fly fisherman, receiving a three year posting to the Australian High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand was like a dream come true. As a fishing friend of mine said – ‘that’s some job!’ Indeed it has been a true privilege to live, work and play in this wonderful country. But now in my final year here, it is with a tinge of regret, I contemplate my last trout season during the posting. With the opening of the trout season (1 October) rapidly approaching, I have been busy tying flies and preparing my gear for the fishing ahead but also reflecting on the journey already travelled.

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New Colombo Plan students broadening their horizons in the Cook Islands!

Kia Orana! For a three week period, eleven law students from the University of Newcastle undertook internships within the Cook Islands public service. Through the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan (NCP) they were able to gain pre-graduate experience in drafting legislation and reviewing parliamentary material. They also broadened their expertise in court procedures and issue-spotting skills in relation to different departments and management strategies. None of these achievements would have been possible without the support of their different Cook Islands supervisors and encouragement from the dedicated staff in each agency. Below is a snapshot of each student’s experience in the Cook Islands.

HOM with NCP students - Cook Islands

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Learnings from the Māori economy and benefits for Australia and New Zealand

Nick Williams, Former Second Secretary at the Australian High Commission in New Zealand

Learning about the growth of the Māori economy was a fascinating experience during my posting to New Zealand over the past three years. As an Australian of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, I thoroughly enjoyed engaging with Māori to gain a deeper understanding of culture and to explore the drivers of Māori economic development.

Nick

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The Battle of the Somme – 100 years on

Alison Duncan

Aust memorial

Two years ago, I undertook a pilgrimage to the Somme with my Kiwi fiancé and our baby son. I’m not a religious person and I don’t bandy about the term ‘pilgrimage’.  But as the great granddaughter of a Somme veteran and the fiancée of a former New Zealand army officer, there was indeed something of the spiritual in our passage around those beautiful green fields of France.

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A very Pacific solution for a Pacific challenge: the success of RAMSI

This week’s guest blogger is Quinton Devlin, Special Coordinator of the  Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI)

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Photo by http://www.ramsi.org/

Shortly after the first rays of dawn hit the tarmac of the Honiara international airport on 24 July 2003, Australian and New Zealand police, soldiers and civilians – along with forces from eventually 13 other Pacific Islands nations – began landing in Solomon Islands to help a neighbour ravaged by five years of ethnically-charged conflict. These men and women formed the first elements of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, widely known as RAMSI.

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Protecting our ocean home

Coral sea.jpg

Peter Woolcott

I have always had a strong professional interest in our maritime environment and the world’s oceans. So I have been delighted to follow the progress New Zealand is making over the establishment of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary.  The area is huge.  It will cover 15 per cent of New Zealand’s extensive ocean environment (some 620,000 square kilometres), and even more significantly shows an extraordinary commitment to preserving a pristine marine environment. The sanctuary initiative envisages the prohibition of all fishing, prospecting, exploration and mining activities.

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