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Goff To Samoa And Cook Islands April 8-14

5 April 2002

Foreign Minister Phil Goff heads a delegation of MPs from across the political spectrum, NGOs, academics and officials to Samoa and the Cook Islands next week.

The visit is an opportunity for New Zealand to broaden its understanding of the Pacific and to strengthen links with Samoa and the Cook Islands.

“The visit to Samoa will be particularly meaningful this year as it celebrates its fortieth year of independence.

“It will also provide a valuable opportunity to build on working relationships with members of the Samoan Government following my last visit there in August 2000 for the Forum Foreign Ministers meeting.

“The delegation will also be visiting aid projects funded through the New Zealand Overseas Development Assistance programme.

“New Zealand has exceptionally strong family, economic, political and sporting ties with Samoa. It is estimated that 120,000 Samoans now live in New Zealand.

“The visit to the Cook Islands will be my first opportunity to meet with the new Government and renew acquaintances with newly appointed Cooks Prime Minister Dr Robert Woonton.

“During the visit I will be opening a NZODA funded air strip on the outer Island of Mitiaro. This facility will provide a much-needed boost to one of the Cooks lesser developed islands,” said Mr Goff.

Basic itinerary details

NB: add 23 hours for Samoan times and add 22 hours for Cooks times.

DAY ONE: MONDAY 8 APRIL
12noon Depart Wellington on RNZAF Boeing 727, via Auckland
6:25 pm Arrive Faleolo airport, Apia, Sunday 7 April (cross dateline).

DAY TWO: MONDAY, 8 APRIL (Samoa)
9-9:45am Minister calls on PM
9:45-10:30am Minister of Finance
10:30-10:45am Minister calls on Education Minister
2:30pm Visit SPREP for a briefing on their activities
6-8pm Reception at Official Residence

Overnight in Apia

DAY THREE: TUESDAY, 9 APRIL
10am Depart Mulifunua on ferry to Savai'i, Salelogona
Lunch Welcomed at the Marist centre (ava ceremony) followed by lunch and visit of their centre for Special Learning at Vailoa
Afternoon Visit NZODA Women in Business Project at Matavai

DAY FOUR: WEDNESDAY, 10 APRIL
Continue Savai’i visit
2pm Return ferry from Salelologua to Mulifunua
3:20pm Depart direct from Mulifunua Wharf to Faleolo airfield (5-10mins)
4pm Depart Apia in RNZAF Boeing 727 to Rarotonga, Cook Islands
7:30pm Arrive Rarotonga

Overnight in Rarotonga

DAY FIVE: THURSDAY, 11 APRIL - RAROTONGA
9:15am Minister calls on Prime Minister Hon Dr Robert Woonton
10am Joint press conference: Minister and PM
9:15-10am MPs and officials call on Speaker of the House
11-11:25am Minister calls on DPM
11:30-12am Minister calls of Minister of Outer Island Development
12:30-2pm Lunch meeting with Chamber of Commerce – Minister, MPs, officials
2:30pm Minister calls on Leader of the Opposition
3pm Whole delegation meets with House of Ariki Traditional Leaders, Parliament
6pm Function at Official Residence, Ngatipa

Overnight in Rarotonga

DAY SIX: FRIDAY, 12 APRIL
9am Minister to Mitiaro Island for opening of landing strip (NZODA project)
7:30pm Evening function hosted by Cook Islands Government, National Auditorium

Overnight in Rarotonga

DAY SEVEN: SATURDAY, 13 APRIL
11am Delegation depart Rarotonga. Refueling stop in Niue (11.55am – 12:55am)

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