22 Sep 2003

NZ military commitment in Solomons under review ahead of visit by Helen Clark

8:24 am on 22 September 2003

New Zealand's Prime Minister says she'll be assessing Wellington's military commitment in Solomon Islands during a quick visit there this week.

Almost 300 New Zealand soldiers and police are in the Solomons as part of the Australian-led intervention force to restore law and order.

Community groups fear that once the force leaves, the weakness of the government will see the country fall back into lawlessness.

But Helen Clark is optimistic one of the outcomes of the intervention will be a more honest government, and a more prosperous and independent nation.

"As long as there's been anarchy and lawlessness, the economy has been in ruins and the society has been under very considerable pressure. What I want to see out of this intervention is teh ability of the Solomons to get on with orgniasing its own affairs."

Helen Clark says she will be briefed by New Zealand military officials on the progress of the deployment during her seven hour visit tomorrow.