31 October 2007
Laban welcomes new role
Luamanuvao Winnie Laban says her new role as Pacific Island Affairs Minister is a wonderful opportunity to build on the
huge economic and social gains made by Pacific people under the Labour-led government.
"Our Pacific people are young, vibrant, full of aspiration and have a great future ahead of them. As Minister I look
forward to working together with all our Pacific communities to ensure our people reach their true potential," said
"Pacific people have made real gains under Labour. Unemployment has halved since 1999. Working for Families is
increasing the incomes of thousands of our families. KiwiSaver is making it easier to save and the price of going to the
doctor has halved.
"I particularly look forward to working to advance the economic development of our pacific people through the
implementation of the Pacific Economic Action Plan and the Pacific Women's Economic Development Plan.
"These plans have specific milestones for our people and I look forward to working with the community, the private
sector and government agencies to meet these.
"There is now a very real sense of optimism within our Pacific communities and I will work to lead our people towards
greater economic prosperity.
"It is important to me that our people can fully contribute to, and share in, New Zealand's success.
"My personal approach has always been one based on collaboration. As Minister I want to bring all of our people together
and give each of them a voice and a stake in their future.
Laban said she would also work closely with her Ministerial colleagues across all portfolios to ensure that the huge
gains of the past nine years continue.
Laban also becomes Associate Minister of Trade in today's reshuffle.
"I look forward to working with Trade Minister Phil Goff in this new role. My hard work and passion for advancing trade
opportunities and two-way trade within our Pacific region is well known," said Laban.