23 Jul 2012

Energy, tourism and infrastructure the focus of McCully Pacific mission

5:06 am on 23 July 2012

A delegation led by New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully will tour the Pacific this week looking at New Zealand funded tourism and energy developments, export and infrastructure opportunities.

This year's mission includes New Zealand MP's, business people, defence officials and aid groups and will visit Tonga, Niue and New Caledonia.

Sally Round reports

"The visit will showcase two developments. Tonga's first solar power plant is a joint project between the New Zealand and Tongan governments and energy companies aimed at reducing Tonga's reliance on diesel. The 8 million US dollar New Zealand-funded Matavai Resort renovation on Niue has been long been anticipated as a way to boost the island's mainstay tourism industry. Noumea's port and steel plant are the focus in New Caledonia which is New Zealand's third largest export market in the region. Mr McCully says the tour is an important opportunity to engage with Pacific counterparts and it also reinforces the importance of the region for New Zealand."