5 Nov 2010

New NZ/US declaration evokes joint aid delivery plans

2:35 pm on 5 November 2010

New Zealand's Foreign Minister says the Wellington Declaration co-signed with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlines how the two countries' aid responsibilities can be put into action to benefit Pacific nations.

Murray McCully says the new US aid base in Suva will have a budget from next year and this offers significant partnership opportunities for New Zealand as well as Australia.

He says humanitarian and climate change issues are a priority.

Mr McCully says the Tongan energy roadmap to self-sufficiency is a good example of where New Zealand could work with the US to support a one megawatt solar power plant in Nuku'alofa.

"I've been talking to the US administration about becoming one of our partners in relation to that and subsequent projects. We're looking at projects in places like Tokelau, Samoa, and other parts of the region. And we're really in the early stages of engagement with the US about which bits they feel comfortable about supporting."

Mr McCully says future humanitarian projects are also likely in Solomon Islands and Kiribati where both New Zealand and the United States have historical links.