12 Feb 2015

Bougainville poll help from NZers and Australians

5:38 pm on 12 February 2015

Electoral officials from New Zealand and Australia have arrived in Papua New Guinea's Bougainville to help preparations for this year's provincial elections.

The electoral commissioner, George Manu, says a date has yet to be set but he is expecting the poll for autonomous Bougainville government, the ABG, in May.

He says it will be a critical election for Bougainville because the next parliament will organise a referendum on possible independence, as laid out in the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

Mr Manu says he sought help from his Australian and New Zealand counterparts and they will mostly be involved in the preparation of documents and logistical arrangements for the poll.

"Part of their job will also be to train. I have identified people who will be based with them so they can grasp any skills that they can acquire from the expatriate officers."

Bougainville electoral commissioner George Manu.