New Zealand Prime Minister John Key came to the defense of the country's tourism campaign, "100 per cent pure New Zealand," in a conference in Bali, Indonesia, ahead of the APEC summit. In the tourism conference focusing on sustainable development, Mr Key said the 100 per cent pure campaign continued to be a success when it was first used to promote New Zealand in 1999.
The prime minister warned that the campaign was not meant to be an environmental message. John Key also serves as Tourism Minister of New Zealand. He said that the tourism industry in New Zealand depended on how well the country takes care of its natural resources.
Mr Key said New Zealand has taken a sustainable approach and modeled it after two Maori concepts. The first was kaitiakitanga or guardianship, while the second is manaakitanga which means being a responsible host. Mr Key said the Maori values reflect what New Zealand offers in tourism.
Meanwhile, business confidence in New Zealand climbs to its highest in 14 years in the third quarter of 2013. This reflects the economy's recovery from a mid-year slowdown.
The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) surveyed 900 businesses in the country to gauge business confidence. NZIER principal economist Shamubeel Eaqub said businesses have become more optimistic with a rebounding economy. Consumer spending, home construction and rebuilding of Christchurch to bring back tourism contributed to increase in business confidence.
According to Mr Eaqub, local trading activity remains consistent with New Zealand's economic growth of 3 per cent. The New Zealand dollar rose against the Australian dollar after news of the report came out before easing to 83.06 U.S. cents.
New Zealand raises piracy case
Foreign Minister Murray McCully has spoken to Russian officials concerning two Kiwi Greenpeace protesters detained in Russia and accused of piracy.
New Zealanders Jonathon Beauchamp and David Haussman are part of the 30 Greenpeace members who were arrested in Sept. 2013 after two activists attempted to board the oil platform in the Arctic. Russian officials also seized Greenpeace members' Dutch-flagged ship, the Arctic Sunrise.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said the Greenpeace members were clearly not pirates. The Greenpeace activists who came from 18 countries including New Zealand, Australia, Canada, France and Britain are currently detained in Murmansk.
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