2 Sep 2010

New Zealand delegation briefed on Kiribati's plans to develop Christmas Island

5:32 pm on 2 September 2010

The New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully has been briefed by Kiribati officials on Christmas Island about development plans for the country's biggest island.

Mr McCully's visit follows a meeting on Tarawa with the Kiribati President, Anote Tong, in which the minister pledged to double New Zealand's aid to help with overcrowding in the capital.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The Christmas Island mayor as well as other senior officials have highlighted the tourism and fishing potential of Christmas Island. They also point to the need to upgrade the runway and dredge the port. Mr McCully has indicated his interested in helping boost development, saying this visit will form the basis to make decisions. This ties in with broader assistance to the government, that endeavours to relieve population pressure on Tarawa by considering resettling people on this island."