Is our Government considering issuing 'climate change visas' to our Pacific neighbours?

New Zealand's government will use part of a massive expansion of foreign aid to tackle climate change in the Pacific - but any decision on "climate-change visas" might be some way off.

Since March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has called for a reset in relationships with Pacific neighbours, warning New Zealand and Australia risk losing relevance as nations with deeper pockets take more interest in the region.

That culminated in the announcement this month of a $NZ714 million boost to foreign aid over four years, most of which is expected to go to the Pacific.

By 2050 it's estimated up to 54 per cent of the nation’s main island will be inundated with sea water. Source: 1 NEWS

Today, Mr Peters said cabinet had agreed to long-term plan aimed at helping Pacific nations deal with climate change.

"Development assistance will focus on practical projects for climate change adaption, mitigation and ways to avert climate displacement of people," Mr Peters said.

"This includes building better infrastructure and developing disaster preparedness."

The proposal discussed by cabinet also calls for a look at how to deal with the migration that will be caused by rising sea levels and other climate challenges in the Pacific.

The idea of a "climate-change visa" was first mooted by Climate Change Minister James Shaw last year.

But while officials said spending was needed to "promote better settlement outcomes" in the event of migration across the region, any talk to changing New Zealand's immigration laws has been relegated to a longer-term plan, possibly until 2024.

"Once a clearer picture of Pacific needs and priorities emerges, there might be scope to increase the climate focus of existing policies," the paper says.

Mr Peters said Pacific leaders had made their wishes clear.

"(They) have told us that their people want to live in their own countries for as long as possible, and retain social and cultural identity," he said.


1 NEWS pacific correspondent Barabra Dreaver reports from the area in Fiji. Source: 1 NEWS


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Pedestrian dies after being hit by vehicle in South Auckland

A pedestrian has died after being hit by a vehicle in Mangere, South Auckland.

Police are in attendance at the crash on Robertson Road which happened at around 1.45pm.

The pedestrian has died at the scene, police say.

The road is partially blocked and diversions are in place on Robertson Road at Mckinstry Ave and Kivell Close.

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating.

Police car Source: 1 NEWS

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Ramming cop cars becoming a worrying trend say NZ Police; latest offender injures two Taupo

A growing number of wanted persons are ramming police officers and their patrol cars with their vehicles, the New Zealand Police Association says.

The latest incident occurred in Taupo on Wednesday night after a police car was rammed by a fleeing driver in an SUV, injuring two police officers.

When the officers attempted to restart their severely damaged car, the pair were then followed by the offender, Association Vice-president Craig Tickelpenny says in a statement.

The offender was later arrested at a Taupo motel.

"These incidents seriously endanger the lives of the police officers, put at risk innocent members of the public and the offending drivers themselves, and they can cause thousands of dollars of damage to the patrol cars," Mr Tickelpenny said.

"Ramming police offenders and/or their vehicles is only going to increase the severity of the charges against the offending driver when he or she is caught and as we saw in New Plymouth earlier this month, it is a practice that can quickly turn deadly."

It follows an incident last Thursday where a Hamilton motorist, who was driving erratically in a stolen 4WD ute with a horse float and two horses inside, rammed a police car after an officer tried to stop him.

The driver has since pleaded guilty to 12 charges.

And on May 5 in Morrinsville, a stolen truck rammed into the front doors of the Morrinsville Police Station then drove towards officers twice before the truck's front tyre was shot by police.

"There were also incidents in Mangere in March, Henderson in February and Northland and Tauranga in January in which officers were injured and vehicles severely damaged," he said.

"The Association is very concerned at this type of behaviour which shows reckless disregard for the lives of our members and anyone else who may be in the path of the offender. Police are under extreme pressure on the frontlines every day. They can do without adding ramming injuries and written-off patrol cars to their list of concerns on the job."

Source: 1 NEWS