27 October 2005
New Zealand initiatives announced at Pacific Forum
Prime Minister Helen Clark has announced new initiatives to be funded by New Zealand in the Pacific.
Helen Clark is attending the Pacific Islands Forum in Papua New Guinea. She said that the new initiatives are aimed at
supporting the Forum's priorities for growth, sustainable development, and good governance in the Pacific.
The measures announced today are in the following areas:
New Zealand will provide a package of support of up to $12 million over the next 3 years. Support will be targeted
towards the implementation of the Pacific Regional HIV/AIDS strategy and for a number of other initiatives aligned to
the goals of the Strategy.
Pacific Judicial Development Programme
NZAID and AusAid will each provide A$5 million for judicial education and development through a range of activities
delivered at the national and regional levels, as first outlined in the Pacific Plan.
New Zealand will provide $1.4 million over two years to help establish a permanent home for the Oceania Customs
Organisation Secretariat in Suva. This will enhance its work in the region on border security and trade facilitation.
New Zealand will provide $825,000 to support the South Pacific Commission and the NZ Ministry of Health’s efforts to
strengthen national preparedness and response to avian flu. This funding will be channelled through existing agencies.
Kula II Fund
New Zealand will contribute US$150,000 to help cover the operating costs of the Kula II fund for an initial 3 year
period. This is a new Pacific investment fund aimed at promoting investments in Small and Medium Enterprises in the
Pacific Islands. Kula II is supported by the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and the Commonwealth
Development Corporation. Additional support is also being explored with other partners.
Tokelau Trust Fund
New Zealand will be putting an additional NZ$3 million into the Tokelau Trust Fund later this year. This will bring the
balance of the fund to $19 million.
Small Island States
New Zealand will increase funding to the Forum Secretariat to enable the establishment of a unit to support the
integration of the Small Islands States into regional cooperation activities.
Many in the region do not enjoy the benefits of access to telecommunications and the internet. New Zealand has offered
to host the next Forum Communication Ministers meeting in the first half of 2006. Amongst other things, the meeting will
consider how a regional approach to ICT, through the digital strategy, may be further developed.
Helen Clark said that the Pacific faces many challenges and pressures.
"New Zealand is regarded in the region as a good partner and friend, and I know that these new initiatives will be
welcomed," said Helen Clark.