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McCully to lead 2013 Pacific Mission

McCully to lead 2013 Pacific Mission

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully will lead a delegation to Papua New Guinea, the Papua New Guinea Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu next week for the 2013 Pacific Mission.

“The delegation will have the opportunity to meet leaders, see first-hand the challenges confronting the region and the impact New Zealand is having,” Mr McCully says.

“New Zealand’s investment in projects such as the runways at Munda and Nusatupe and the Noro-Munda road in the Solomon Islands have been attempts to significantly lift our development efforts as the RAMSI initiative transitions.

“Munda is the gateway to the Western Province, an area with significant tourism and fisheries potential to which access has been very difficult. This $25 million investment in these three projects is our largest in the region, and demonstrates our commitment to boosting economic growth in the Solomon Islands,” Mr McCully says.

The delegation for the annual mission is made up of parliamentarians, leaders from non-government organisations and business people representing New Zealand companies with an interest in the Pacific.

In Papua New Guinea the group will meet Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to discuss opportunities for commercial partnerships, particularly in agriculture and energy.

“In the Autonomous Region of Bougainville the delegation will see the difference the New Zealand Police Community Policing Initiative is making, and discuss the issues the region faces in the lead up to a referendum on its status,” Mr McCully says.

The Vanuatu leg of the Mission will focus on how New Zealand can support sustainable economic development through tourist infrastructure in Port Vila.

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