8 May 2024

Foreign Affairs minister to lead Pacific delegation

12:11 pm on 8 May 2024
Foreign Minister Winston Peters gives a speech to the New Zealand China Council amid debate over AUKUS.

Foreign Affiars Minister Winston Peters. Photo: RNZ / NICK MONRO

The Foreign Affairs minister is heading on a five-stop Pacific tour, which he says will strengthen New Zealand's engagement in the region.

Winston Peters will visit Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Tuvalu.

He will be accompanied by Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, the chairperson of Parliament's Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee Tim van de Molen, and Labour's foreign affairs spokesperson David Parker.

Peters said New Zealand had long-standing relationships across the region, and the trip would provide the opportunity to re-affirm the connections and demonstrate bi-partisan commitment to key Pacific partners.

"We will be sharing and discussing views on priority issues in each country, including the impacts of climate change, development priorities, and challenges to broader stability," Peters said.

The delegation will meet with government political and cultural leaders, visit New Zealand-supported development initiatives, and participate in community activities.

The delegation leaves on Sunday, and returns next Saturday.

This was the third Pacific trip Peters had taken since becoming foreign minister.

Last December, a visit to Fiji was the first overseas trip he took after being sworn in.

In February he visited Tonga, Cook Islands, and Samoa, and was again accompanied by Reti.

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