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(This article originally featured on It has been slightly modified for purposes of the newsletter.)


Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern has praised the initiatives taken by the New Zealand co-operative sector to help meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The goals were set by the UN in 2015 and are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address global challenges, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice. In her address to New Zealand’s co-operative business sector leaders on February 26, Ms Ardern said New Zealand was due to go before the UN at a High Level Political Forum that is scheduled to take place in New York in July to report on this country’s progress in tackling the 17 sustainability goals. In preparation for the Co-operative Business Leaders’ Forum, Ms Ardern had been reading about the innovative ways Kiwi co-ops are finding to help achieve the sustainability targets that the world signed up to in 2015. She said the NZ delegation would acknowledge the work of NZ’s co-ops when it presents to the UN in July.


The one-day Co-operative Business Leaders’ Forum was organised by Cooperative Business New Zealand, the industry peak body which represents the country's co-operatives, mutuals and societies. They include household names such as Fonterra, Southern Cross Health Society and Foodstuffs, and generate almost one-fifth of NZ’s GDP. Cooperative Business NZ Chief Executive, Craig Presland, said sustainability was central to the co-operative ethos, and co-operatives were key to meeting the SDGs.



Craig Presland with the Hon. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern


“It is widely recognized that the co-operative business model, with its underlying strengths of endurance along with economic, environmental and social sustainability, is the most closely aligned towards supporting the UN in achieving these goals,” he said.