20 Aug 2005

New Zealand says it's ready to help Tonga resolve strikes

5:09 am on 20 August 2005

The Foreign Minister Phil Goff says New Zealand will assist the Tongan Government to resolve the pay dispute involving the kingdom's civil servants.

Mr Goff says the violence and vandalism against government property shows things are heating up and New Zealand's high commission is keeping a watch on things.

Tongan civil servants have been striking for more than a month and want a pay rises of up to 80 percent.

Mr Goff says the Tongan authorities have not asked for assistance yet but the Government is ready to help in many ways.

He says New Zealand will provide mediation services if required.