10 May 2011

New Zealand foreign minister visits Tonga, Cook Islands

12:58 pm on 10 May 2011

New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, is visiting Tonga for the first time since its democratic elections last year.

Mr McCully will hold discussions with the Prime Minister, Lord Tu'ivakano, and will visit some of the projects supported by the New Zealand aid programme.

New Zealand has given Tonga more than 40 millon US dollars in aid over the past three years and the funds have been aimed at lifting economic performance, governance and education.

Mr McCully will also visit the Cook Islands where he will hold the first joint New Zealand/Cook Islands ministerial forum.

The ministers will discuss the shape of the future relationship between the two nations.

It's planned these talks will be held on an annual basis from now on.