Foreign Minister Murray McCully will travel to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands next week for meetings with their political leaders about partnerships, economic development and maintaining political stability.
“Papua New Guinea is the largest Pacific Islands country, a leader in the region, and an important partner for New Zealand,” Mr McCully says.
“I will be discussing New Zealand’s support for PNG’s hosting of APEC, its broader leadership role in the region, and our partnership to expand public access to energy.
“I will also visit the Autonomous Region of Bougainville to see New Zealand’s development assistance, including meeting New Zealand Police and Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) volunteers stationed there.
“It will also be an opportunity to discuss PNG’s upcoming national elections.”
In the Solomon Islands, Mr McCully will discuss New Zealand’s ongoing partnership with the country, particularly how to move it forward once the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) ends in June 2017.
“New Zealand has been a strong supporter of stability in the Solomon Islands through our contribution to RAMSI,” Mr McCully says. “New Zealand will continue to support its stability and economic development after RAMSI departs. Tourism is an important economic opportunity for the Solomon Islands, and my trip will include a visit the Western Province to discuss New Zealand’s support in this area.”