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Source: New Zealand Parliament

For release: Friday 20 September 2019

A New Zealand parliamentary delegation is heading to Kampala, Uganda for the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference.

The delegation includes Clayton Mitchell MP (NZ First, Chairperson of the New Zealand Branch of the CPA), Hon Maggie Barry MP (National), and Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki MP (Labour, Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Pacific Chairperson). The New Zealand MPs will present on three workshops: Bullying, Sexism and Harassment in Parliament; the potential impacts of Brexit on smaller jurisdictions in the Commonwealth; and post-legislative scrutiny.

New Zealand is part of the Pacific Region of the CPA and Clayton Mitchell MP and Speaker of the Cook Islands Niki Rattle are standing for two governance roles in the CPA: Treasurer and Small Branches Chairperson respectively.

New Zealand’s 9th Commonwealth Youth Parliament delegate, Josiah Tualamali’I, will also join the delegation in Uganda. Josiah was selected by the international CPA leadership as one of two youth delegates from across the Commonwealth to present on a workshop on strategies to deal with youth unemployment.

Participation in Commonwealth conferences and visits to other legislatures promote New Zealand’s national interests abroad. They also provide opportunities to share parliamentary and political developments.

Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, Rt Hon Trevor Mallard, said, “New Zealand’s relationships with these countries are warm, but with room to grow. Our parliamentary links are deepening and growing following a conscious effort to better engage with our counterparts in Africa.”

Following the conference, the delegation will visit the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho for bilateral meetings with their counterparts.

“Our collaborative relationship with South Africa goes beyond sports and trade. We work together in many areas, including science and technology, education, film and on multilateral issues such as Antarctica, climate change, and disarmament,” Mr Speaker said.

“I am pleased that our delegation can visit their counterparts in this significant year, in which we commemorate the end of apartheid and reiterate our commitment to unity and peace.

“We have a special relationship with Lesotho: we are both small countries in the Commonwealth and Lesotho is one of four countries to use the Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP) system. Like New Zealand, Lesotho has adapted the system to its own context and we share an interest in ensuring greater representation of women in Parliament.”

In South Africa, the delegation will have a briefing with our High Commission, visit the Apartheid Museum to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the end of apartheid, have a roundtable with the Wit School of Governance, and have a series of meetings with legislators based in Gauteng Province, Johannesburg.

In Lesotho, the delegation will meet with the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, MPs, and senior parliamentary officials, and meet with members of the diplomatic corps from other jurisdictions based in Maseru.

The delegation takes place from 22 September to 3 October 2019.


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