Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Goff Welcomes First Weapons Surrender In Solomons

Goff Welcomes First Weapons Surrender In Solomon Islands

Foreign Minister Phil Goff today welcomed the first surrender of around 40 weapons from a former militant group, the Isatabu Freedom Movement, to the International Peace Monitoring Team (IPMT) in the Solomon Islands as a promising start.

"Today's hand over ceremony in the Eastern Guadalcanal district was an important event for the ex-combatants, their families, the local communities, and the Guadalcanal Provincial Government," Mr Goff said. "It represents a formal closure for one group of Solomon Islanders to the violence which has had such a devastating impact on the country and its people.

"Although the deadline initially set by the Townsville Peace Agreement for the surrender has been extended by one month, it is good to see the Isatabu militants in the east of Guadalcanal Island are ahead of schedule in handing over their weapons to the IPMT.

"The weapons, handed over by 50 ex-IFM combatants, have been checked against an inventory by IPMT members, labelled and placed in the container. The container was locked under the IPMT’s supervision.

"The monitors will not guard the weapons. The process relies on good faith and commitment, which the peace monitors will encourage by helping build confidence.

"It is a welcome occasion for all Solomon Islanders committed to the peace process, and it is pleasing that members of the New Zealand Police, Defence Force and Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been able to play such an important role.

"Further weapons surrender ceremonies are planned in the coming weeks, involving both ex-militant groups (Isatabu Freedom Movement and Malaita Eagle Force

"Tensions, however, remain in the Solomon Islands and the situation remains fragile. It will take a great effort from all sides to maintain the momentum of the peace process. New Zealand will continue to do all we can to support the people of the Solomon Islands with the challenges which lie ahead."



There are 14 New Zealanders now in the Solomon Islands. The Deputy Leader of the IPMT is MFAT official Mr Chris Seed. Other New Zealanders are Police and Defence personnel, working as peace monitors in team sites (a NZ Police officer is leader of one of the Honiara teams), coordinating IPMT operations, and providing communications and other support to team sites. The total IPMT size is currently 39, and will be 49 when second Australian deployment arrives next week. There are currently 5 container sites, 3 on Guadalcanal and 2 on Malaita. Teams are at present located in Honiara and Auki on Malaita. When the full Team arrives there will be additional team sites to the east and west of Honiara.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods (is the dollar up or down?) the outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country... More>>




Submissions Summary: The People's Commission On Public Media

This Summary is a preliminary report from the People’s Commission. It brings together views and aspirations of the hundreds of people who made submissions, attended public meetings, filled out the online survey and made speeches to our Panel. More>>

Housing Plans: Protest Over Ihumatao Development

Ihumatao in Mangere, next to the airport in Auckland, holds the archaeological remains of 1000 years of food production; from when Maori first landed in the area, through to early European settler agriculture and right up until today. More>>


Negotiations: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word.. More>>


Contains Highly Colloquial Language: Your F**king Guide To Government Formation

The following message is in no way endorsed by the Electoral Commission. They are f**king done with this election. More>>

NZ Emissions Up 50% 1990-2013: Report Confirms CLimate Change Impacting NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: Inland Revenue Steps Back From Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election