10 Apr 2003

New Zealand Government delegation to visit PNG and Fiji

4:14 pm on 10 April 2003

Security and the Indonesian province of Papua are expected to be discussed during a visit to Papua New Guinea by New Zealand's foreign minister, Phil Goff.

Mr Goff, who is travelling with the New Zealand aid minister, Marian Hobbs, will also visit Fiji during his week long trip.

Mr Goff says he hopes the visit to PNG and Fiji will strengthen ties and help give a better understanding of the issues those countries face.

He also wants to emphasise the importance New Zealand attaches to being a member of the Pacific community.

Discussions in PNG will cover issues being addressed at this year's meeting of the regional grouping, the Pacific Island Forum, to be held in Auckland

These include model legislation to harmonise security laws across the Pacific, covering issues such as firearms.

Mr Goff describes the trip to Fiji as another step along the path to the full normalisation of the New Zealand Fiji relationship.

During the trip the ministers will also visit New Zealand aid projects in both countries.