8 Nov 2018

New Zealand announces Pacific enabling fund

12:12 pm on 8 November 2018

New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced the establishment of a $US6.7 million Pacific Enabling Fund.

Winston Peters speaks to the media as acting Prime Minister

Winston Peters Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

The fund is billed as fostering engagement with Pacific Islands on a range of activities which sit outside New Zealand's formal aid funding arrangements.

These include cultural and sporting diplomacy, people to people links, and some military cooperation activities.

According to Mr Peters, the fund, worth $NZ10 million, will support development priorities of the government's so-called Pacific Reset.

He said that the initiative would be funded within the increased resource for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as provided for in the government's 2018 budget.

Mr Peters added that the ministry is increasing the number of offshore staff in Pacific posts over the next two years.

"This will result in a significant increase to our diplomatic and development footprint in the Pacific and which will reaffirm our commitment to a region of serious strategic significance to New Zealand," Mr Peters said in a statement.

"Further announcements on the detail of this increase in staffing at our posts will be made this year, following discussions with partner countries."

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