6 Nov 2019

PNG PM's visit to NZ deferred

1:20 pm on 6 November 2019

A planned visit by Papua New Guinea's prime minster to New Zealand has been deferred.

Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape, June 2019.

Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape, June 2019. Photo: PNG PM Media

It was announced this week that James Marape would visit New Zealand next week, for various meetings including with his counterpart Jacinda Ardern.

"New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have a warm and friendly relationship. I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Marape and continuing the conversations we started at our first meeting at the Pacific Island forum," Ms Ardern said yesterday.

In a statement, the New Zealand government said the visit would be an opportunity to strengthen the relationship with PNG as part of New Zealand's Pacific Reset policy, as well as discuss shared regional interests, including support for the upcoming Bougainville referendum on independence.

However, Mr Marape's office today said the trip had been deferred to next year.