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Visit to Samoa and Tonga

30 October 2009 Media Statement
Visit to Samoa and Tonga

Labour Leader Phil Goff leaves Monday for a four-day visit to Samoa and Tonga. The visit will focus on recovery and rehabilitation needs in both countries following the tragic loss of life and major damage caused by the recent tsunami.

"New Zealanders and in particular our Pasifika communities have been generous in their support for those who have suffered because of the tsunami," Phil Goff said.

"That reflects the closeness of our family, cultural and country ties with Tonga and Samoa.

"While the period of immediate disaster relief is over, there is now a much bigger job ahead in rebuilding and rehabilitation.

"We will be working with Government so that New Zealand does all it can to help in that process.

"The visit will involve an intensive programme of meetings with community leaders and communities, and in Samoa a visit to the areas affected by the tsunami, to talk with people about their needs and the recovery programme," Phil Goff said.

"I will also be having wider discussions around issues including development, trade and the threat posed to island communities by global warming.

"I appreciate the support that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has given in organising meetings for the visit.

"I will be accompanied by Labour's Pacific Island spokesperson, Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Chris Carter," Phil Goff said.

ENDS

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