13 Feb 2006

NZ High Commissioner to PNG says education funding of roadblock boys is a pilot

7:39 am on 13 February 2006

The New Zealand High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea says a scheme funding the education of 12 rebel youths, who previously manned south Bougainville roadblocks, is being treated as a test case.

The 12 young men, who themselves asked for funding so they could go back to school and abandon the roadblocks work, will be monitored by the Bougainville police.

New Zealand's representative in PNG, Lawrie Markes, says it is hopefully, just a start.

"We're going to run this as a pilot scheme and see how it goes. And if it works well, then we will consider the merits of extending it other boys in similar circumstances."

Lawrie Markes says the money is paying for the boys' education and books and they won't be given any cash.