An online magazine of news and opinions from the Asia New Zealand Foundation

Asia Perspectives on New Zealand: 25 July–2 August

What are English-language media in Asia saying about New Zealand? Here's a roundup of news and views from the region.

Singapore air force to train in NZ

Republic of Singapore Air Force

New Zealand Defence Minister Mark Mitchell announced Wednesday that the Royal New Zealand Air Force will host a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) flying exercise at Ohakea Air Force base from August 30 to September 25. Due to Singapore’s limited air space, the RSAF conducts F-15SG fighter jet training worldwide. Training will include missions across New Zealand, day and night flying, using New Zealand’s air weapons ranges, and flying at high and low altitude. Both Mitchell and Singapore’s Ministery of Defence emphasised the close relationship and long history between New Zealand and Singapore as defence partners. The exercises come as the two countries scope the possibility of New Zealand hosting RSAF F-15SG fighter jet training at Ohakea long-term.

Filipino workers: Suitably qualified, but underemployed

New Zealand recognises the Philippines as a comparable labour market with similar educational qualifications. The majority of overseas Filipino workers are employed as associate professionals, trades and craft workers, sales and service staff and technicians. However, they are often not considered to have knowledge and education equivalent to foreign counterparts, and therefore are underemployed and underpaid.

Brownlee discusses terror threat in Southeast Asia

New Zealand Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee attended a meeting in Indonesia on 29 July to discuss strategies to combat terrorism in Southeast Asia in light of returning Islamic State militants and the fighting in Marawi, Philippines. The conference, co-hosted by Indonesia and Australia, was also attended by officials from Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei.

A taste of home for Southeast Asian migrants

A slice of home is never too far away for homesick Southeast Asian migrants living in Auckland and Wellington. Blue Elephant in Auckland offers true Thai flavours and atmosphere, while Wellington’s Little Penang delivers authentic Malaysian cuisine, says a Malaysian writer.

NZ, S Korea to work closely over N Korea threat

NZ Army Lt Gen Tim Keating and South Korean Army General Lee Sun-Jin, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Military leaders of New Zealand and South Korea have agreed to boost security co-operation as North Korea provocations escalate. Lt Gen Tim Keating met Army Gen Lee Sun-jin on 26 July to discuss conditions on the Korean peninsula, after the latter asked New Zealand for support in its defence against its northern neighbour. Lee emphasised both nations were friends, and expressed his gratitude to New Zealand for its contribution towards freedom and peace.

Man asked to take off kirpan on NZ bus

A Sikh man in Auckland was removed from a bus by New Zealand police, after another passenger alerted them to the man’s kirpan or ceremonial knife. The kirpan is one of five Sikh articles of faith, in addition to kesh (uncut long hair), kanga (a comb), kara (an iron bracelet) and kachehra (under shorts). After the police spoke to the man, no further action was taken.

New obligations on IP rights may be on table under RCEP

New Zealand lead negotiator Mark Trainor was in Hyderabad, India, last week for talks at the 19th round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The RCEP would see a free-trade agreement between all 10 ASEAN states, as well as Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. The deal, which would cover more than 3 billion people or nearly 50 percent of the world’s population, is already subject to Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Japan and South Korea have pushed for further obligations on patents. Other countries are resisting due to fears that further obligations would impact generic drug production.

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2 August 2017