30 Sep 2005

NZ and Australia sign deal with Fiji to fund 2006 polls

4:06 pm on 30 September 2005

New Zealand, Australia and Fiji are today signing a multi million dollar arrangement to ensure Fiji's elections next year run smoothly.

New Zealand's caretaker Aid Minister, Marian Hobbs, says this country will contribute nearly four million US dollars and Australia around two point eight million dollars, with the bulk of the money coming from the Fiji Government.

She says it is a good example of the aid donors combining resources to support a Pacific country achieve a very positive outcome for its people.

"One of the things is that the Fiji Elections Office needs a better premise in Suva. Then we are going to put in financial support for a vote registration campaign. Basic things like computer equipment, both software and hardware - then actually training the people. Something as simple as ballot paper printing, how you manage postal and overseas voting, how you do electoral roll support and maybe work with New Zealand Post."

Ms Hobbs says New Zealand will also send in an advisor to provided technical support.

She is confident that the various activities will be completed in time for the poll.