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Goff Opens New NZ High Commission In Apia


Media Statement Hon Phil Goff

27 January 2000

GOFF TAKES PART IN GROUND-BREAKING CEREMONY FOR NEW HIGH COMMISSION

Foreign Minister Phil Goff today participated in a ground-breaking ceremony for a New Zealand High Commission building in the Samoan capital of Apia.

Mr Goff, on an official two-day visit to Samoa, jointly marked the start of the new Chancery project with Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and Samoan Minister of Lands, Survey, Environment and Tourism, Tuala Sale Tagaloa. The Chancery will be built on the site of the former Samoan Lands and Survey building.

"The present Chancery was built in 1961 and, while it has served New Zealand well, it no longer meets our needs in this important Pacific capital," Mr Goff said.

"A very satisfactory arrangement has been made with the Samoan government to exchange the old Chancery building and land for an adjacent plot of land on which a new Chancery will be built which will meet New Zealand's diplomatic requirements in Samoa for the foreseeable future."

Title papers for the transfer of land ownership were also formally exchanged between the Ministers during the ceremony.

"New Zealand has a long and very significant association with Samoa and we will be constructing a new Chancery of an appropriate nature to conduct New Zealand's relations with one of our most important bilateral partners in a region of particular significance for us," Mr Goff said.

"The Chancery will be designed by Opus International Consultants of Wellington and there should be considerable opportunities for New Zealand input to the provision of materials and services during the construction phase."

Construction is expected to commence shortly and to be completed by August 2001, at an estimated building cost of $NZ4 million. The High Commission will continue to occupy the present Chancery until the new building is completed.

ENDS

Contact: Paul Goldsmith, Press Secretary 04 471 9794


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