HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 642: 14 November 2012

PM encourages science-policy links

The Prime Minister Henry Puna opened his official schedule in New Caledonia on Monday night, delivering a keynote address to a prestigious body of international scientists. The independent body, Science Technology and Resources (STAR) Network, has been meeting in Noumea this week as part of its annual gathering in conjunction with the SOPAC Division of SPC. Both STAR and SOPAC Division provide advice and expertise to the member countries of SPC and have a long history of ties and assistance to the Cook Islands, especially in lagoon management, seabed minerals, bathymetry, and coastal mapping.
“The ability to mobilize excellent science and bring it to bear, so as to address the national needs of island member countries, is critical – and STAR has an instrumental role in working in conjunction with SOPAC to help us in time of critical need,” the Prime Minister said.
“The long-established working relationship between SOPAC and the international research community is thus a vital element in addressing national needs.”
In his address, the Prime Minister encouraged the STAR Network to keep strengthening its engagement with the SPC through SOPAC, and to consider expanding its involvement across the organisation’s broader technical programme of services. Puna said STAR had the potential to lift the relationship between scientists and high level policy-makers by becoming more involved with the SPC’s governance systems.
As a Pacific Leader, the Prime Minister said he would encourage that link by helping to bridge the distances between the two worlds.
“As political leaders, it’s important that we continue to receive advice of the highest quality – better informed by science that’s compelling and conclusive, and pertinent to our changing world.”
Among the dignitaries attending the evening speech was Linda Te Puni, former NZ High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, now serving in Noumea.
The Prime Minister was welcomed to New Caledonia by the President Harold Martin, during the weekend. Shortly after touching down on Sunday, Puna was escorted to Paita where the President was attending the annual Beef Festival and Rodeo.
The Prime Minister was special guest for lunch, taking part in the traditional veal and beans, and then watching part of the rodeo, which featured international riders and cowboys – Pacific style. Rodeos have a long tradition in New Caledonia and the fair in Paita attracts up to 20,000 people to the one day event of picnicking, music, and entertainment.

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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