An Analysis of New Zealand’s Role in Food Insecurity in Fiji
Access to adequate food is a human right. Despite this, globally around three billion people lack access to food sufficient to allow them to live free from hunger and malnutrition. In the Pacific, despite millennia of positive nutrition, they now have some the highest rates of diabetes and obesity in the world, and 75 percent of their population are dying prematurely from non-communicable diseases (NCD’s). One of the main risk factors for NCD’s is an unhealthy diet. A key finding coming out of the Pacific Food Summit in 2010 was that imported foods represent a threat to Pacific food security. New Zealand is a key trader with the Pacific. It has also come under criticism in recent years over its trade of poor quality meat to the Pacific, which it has been argued is contributing to poor health outcomes there. This research seeks to look deeper into the relationship between New Zealand trade and Pacific food insecurity, using Fiji as a case study. A key foundation for this research is the ‘right to food’. The right to adequate food is a fundamental right of all human beings. This is established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and subsequent treaties, to which all signatory countries are bound. Recently, this right is being discussed in an extraterritorial context, meaning states have obligations not only to those within their territory, but across the globe. This places obligations on states to both respect the right to food of citizens globally, and also to protect them against actions taken by those within their territory which would undermine this right. It is against this backdrop, utilising interviews, data and policy analysis, that the trade relationship between New Zealand and Fiji is analysed.