19 Aug 2013

NZ's tourism aid to help maritime safety in Vanuatu

6:26 am on 19 August 2013

New Zealand's increased support for tourism in Vanuatu is set to increase maritime safety, with help for the inter-island shipping project.

The Foreign Minister Murray McCully was in Vanuatu on Friday and announced the joint project with the Asian Development Bank and the Vanuatu Government.

The support project will take five years to complete and will see a new inter-island terminal in Port Vila and new jetties on Malekula, Ambae, Tanna and Pentecost islands, as well as renovations to other jetties on remote islands.

Murray McCully says shipping has been a main focus of the Pacific Islands Forum and New Zealand has committed half the funding, to the order of 13.7 million US dollars.

He says the investment will help tourism in the long run.

"In Vanuatu there are 65 inhabited islands in this country and so the connections between them are very important. Trade and tourism depend upon those links and of course from a tourism point of view in particular the safety is an important issue."

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully.