16 Aug 2005

PNG's PM plays tribute to former NZ PM Lange

1:50 pm on 16 August 2005

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, has joined the list of leaders to pay tribute to the former New Zealand prime minister David Lange, who died last Saturday.

Sir Michael says with Mr Lange's death the Pacific has lost a pearl from its ocean.

In a letter of condolence to the New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, Sir Michael said Mr Lange's strong opposition to nuclear testing inspired courage among Pacific Island states to advocate for a nuclear-free South Pacific.

According to the news agency, AAP, Sir Michael said amidst the trend of globalisation, Mr Lange had cautioned against unfettered economic liberalisation and expounded the virtues of a government's social obligations to its people.

He says Mr Lange was resolute in his conviction that there were some critical social policy areas that must not be ceded to the vagaries of market forces but that needed deliberate government intervention to ensure the social wellbeing of the people were protected and promoted.