28 Jun 2005

New Caledonian president to make official visit to New Zealand

12:02 pm on 28 June 2005

The New Caledonian president, Marie Noelle Themereau, will make an official two-day visit to New Zealand next week.

A statement by her office says Mrs Themereau will be accompanied by the economics minister, Didier Leroux, and arrive in Wellington on Monday at the invitation of the prime minister, Helen Clark.

Her visit comes three months after the New Zealand foreign minister, Phil Goff, visited Noumea on his tour of the two main French Pacific territories.

Mrs Themereau's government came to power a year ago this week, ending the long-running dominance of territorial politics by the Rassemblement UMP party.

She has been on several private visits to New Zealand which is geographically one of its closest neighbours.