31 Aug 2012

New Zealand announces nearly 40 million US dollars for Pacific fisheries protection

1:06 pm on 31 August 2012

The New Zealand Government says it will commit 50 million New Zealand dollars or over 39 million US towards increasing surveillance and protection of fisheries in the Pacific.

John Key has made the announcement at the Pacific Islands Forum summit being held in the Cook Islands.

Radio New Zealand's parliamentary chief reporter, Jane Patterson, is there.

"The leaders arrived on Long Foot Island where they were welcomed by drummers both in the water and on land. But first they lined up for the traditional photo in the so-called silly shirts, this year Rarotongan blue and white. Each leader was led to a small plot on the islands where they planted a baby tamanu or mahogany. The main topics this year are progress on preparations for elections in Fiji, fisheries and gender inequality in the Pacific. Mr Key says fisheries is a potentially significant source of revenue for the Pacific, and the 50-million-dollars will help to protect the resource. The money will target the management of longline tuna, and will allow better surveillance through satellite technology."

Meanwhile the leaders' meeting on Aitutaki is still in progress.