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Goff leads delegation on Pacific trip

Goff leads delegation on Pacific trip

Foreign Minister Phil Goff will lead a delegation of MPs, NGOs, academics, media, business people and officials on a week-long visit to Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands on Wednesday.

The trip will involve meetings with senior figures in all three countries, including the Vice President of Palau, President of Marshall Islands, Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Foreign Ministers, and a number of other Cabinet Ministers. The delegation will also talk to business people and academics, and visit projects funded by New Zealand's development agency, NZAID.

“The aim of the trip will be to strengthen New Zealand’s relationship with all three countries," Mr Goff said.

“Our relations with Palau and the Marshall islands are warm but limited. This visit offers a chance to learn more about two of the most distant members of the Pacific Islands Forum, and to provide a firmer basis for discussing Pacific regional issues, especially in the context of work being done within the Forum."

In Palau Mr Goff will announce funding for a conservation project aimed a preserving the iconic giant clam. In the Marshalls he will visit a computer classroom at the University of the South Pacific that is funded by NZAID.

In the Solomons Mr Goff will meet with key figures of the Regional Assistance Mission (RAMSI), as well as business figures, members of civil society and non-government organisations. He will visit an NZAID education project and the New Zealand Police operations centre in Honiara.

“New Zealand is committed to the long-term development of a safe and prosperous Solomon Islands. We are providing considerable funding and technical assistance to help the Solomons government restore essential public services, and have already committed NZ$30 million over the next three years to support the education sector," Mr Goff said.

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