Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Jane Campions Oscar win; NZDF staff heading to Europe to help Ukraine

Dame Jame Campion has put “New Zealand on the world stage”, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said when congratulating the Kiwi director on her Oscar win.

Campion won the Best Director Oscar for her film The Power of the Dog this afternoon.

“It’s a phenomenal outcome and I know we’re all very proud of her,” Ardern said this afternoon.

“Dame Jane to be there again – not once but twice – at this level, it’s just phenomenal,” Ardern said.

“It speaks to her skill, her talent, but she has used that to put New Zealand on the world stage.”

“She has used that to put New Zealand on the world stage,” Ardern said.

Ardern said members of the Film Commission were in the United States to leverage off Campion’s success.

NZDF head to Europe to help Ukraine with Russia invasion

New Zealand Defence Force staff are being deployed to Europe to help with the war effort in Ukraine, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

They will be deployed to the United Kingdom. Two further officers will go to the UK and Belgium.

Two further officers will go to the UK and Belgium.

One will work with the defence attache to Nato, the other will work at the UK defence headquarters.

Cabinet has also approved the use of the Defence Force’s open source intelligence capability for three months.

This will help with the effort during the European night, which is day time in New Zealand.

Ardern says the Government will announce further sanctions against Russia in coming days and months.

The situation in Ukraine continues to worsen. There are reports the southern city of Mariupol is on the brink of falling to Russia.

The New York Times reports Mariupol is without food and water, and people there are forced to use untreated sewage water to survive.

The Government has been rolling out support for Ukraine and sanctions against Russia since the start of the conflict.

Last sitting block, the Government passed legislation making it possible to sanction Russians associated with the conflict and Putin regime.

Last week, the Government announced it would be sending helmets and defensive equipment to Ukraine.

Ardern spoke this morning about her concerns around the deteriorating security environment globally.

She said the Government was concerned about China’s decision to negotiate a security agreement with the Solomon Islands.

“We do see this as gravely concerning,” Ardern said.

The conference is then likely to pivot slightly in tone, as Ardern speaks about any New Zealand success at today’s Oscars awards.

Dame June Jackson

Ardern today also acknowledged the death of Dame June Jackson.

Jackson is the mother of Minister Willie Jackson, who will take the week off to mourn.

Tauranga by-election and China in the Pacific

Ardern said she has not yet set a date for the Tauranga by-election

Ardern implied she did not expect Labour to win the seat. She said that given Tauranga’s strong record of voting towards the centre-right, she did “not expect” a change to that record.

Ardern said New Zealand does “not want to see the militarisation of the Pacific”.

Her remarks follow news the Solomon Islands are negotiating a security deal with China.

Ardern said New Zealand would raise its concerns directly as well as as part of the wider Pacific Island community.

Ardern said the Solomon Islands’ relationship with China has been “an issue” since the end of last year.

Ardern said she had raised it with the Solomon Islands’ prime minister at the end of last year. She said she would raise it directly with China.

Ardern said she was not concerned there would be similar agreements between China and other Pacific nations.

She said New Zealand had to acknowledge the Solomon Islands had a right to make a decision as a sovereign nation.

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