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Goff to visit Vanuatu

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

26 January 2005
Media statement

Goff to visit Vanuatu

Foreign Minister Phil Goff travels to Vanuatu tomorrow for a two-day visit to meet members of the recently-elected government.

Mr Goff said he would reaffirm New Zealand¹s commitment to helping build a stable, secure and prosperous Vanuatu during his meeting with Prime Minister Ham Lini and other Ministers.

“Vanuatu is an important Pacific partner for New Zealand, with whom we have a long, historical relationship. We also share many regional common interests, and work closely together in the Pacific Forum," Mr Goff said.

"I am keen to meet the new government and hear their vision for the future direction of Vanuatu, especially as it has been through a period of disruption in its government following the election in July 2004."

As well as meeting Prime Minister Lini, Mr Goff will have talks with Foreign Minister Sato Kilman and other ministers who are involved in key New Zealand aid projects.

During the visit Mr Goff and Vanuatu Education Minister Joe Natuman will launch "book flood", a project designed to make reading books available to children in Vanuatu through the support of New Zealand's development agency NZAID.

Mr Goff will also visit two key New Zealand aid projects.

One is a prisons project designed to ensure the secure and humane containment of inmates that also seeks to develop more flexibility in handling young offenders.

The second project is a health clinic in the Blacksands squatter settlement run by Wan Smol Bag Theatre, a local non-government organisation active in community theatre, youth and health services.

All Phil Goff’s media releases and speeches are posted at www.beehive.govt.nz

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