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New Zealanders to observe Bougainville election

New Zealanders to observe Bougainville election

New Zealand is contributing two members and $150,000 in funding to an 11-strong observer team to monitor provincial elections on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

The New Zealand observers will be Dr Andrew Ladley, director of Victoria University’s Institute of Policy Studies, and former High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Nigel Moore.

“Both Dr Ladley and Mr Moore are well known to Papua New Guinea and are well qualified to be part of the observer team. Their participation is consistent with New Zealand’s long-standing engagement in Bougainville and support for the peace process there,” Mr Goff said.

“The observers will help Bougainvilleans have full confidence in the electoral process by acting as an independent source of validation that the elections comply with good governance principles.

“The election is a significant marker for the people of Bougainville. It is an important step in securing the future prosperity of the island, and represents the final chapter in a peace process that has taken many years.

"The election is also testament to the dedicated efforts of a great many people to bring a lasting peace to Bougainville, and the New Zealand government congratulates all parties for their commitment and perseverance," Mr Goff said.

New Zealand's observer contribution is under the banner of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. Dr Ladley and Mr Moore will join observers from the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Forum Secretariat, Australia, Japan and the United Nations in monitoring the election from 20 May to 2 June.

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