NEW Zealand Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand says his country is committed to working with PNG in addressing the many challenges it faces.
Sir Anand said New Zealand would assist PNG to extend education and health services and in fostering economic development, particularly in rural areas.
He pledged his country’s assistance on Wednesday night during a dinner hosted by the East New Britain provincial government in Kokopo.
Sir Anand said his visit to PNG was to reaffirm the importance that New Zealand placed on maintaining and enhancing the existing relationship.
“New Zealand will remain an old friend and committed regional partner to PNG and its people,” he said, adding that the visit also enabled him to appreciate the rugged and yet majestic topography and natural beauty of the extraordinary and diversity of languages, culture and people.
He said his delegation’s trip was put together by the New Zealand High Commissioner Niels Holm, connecting the ministry of foreign trade in Wellington and emphasised the number of relationships between New Zealand and PNG to which was marked by familiarity and cooperation.
“The beginning of this relationship lie in World War Two and with PNG achieving Independence in 1975.
“Our countries quickly moved to establish diplomatic relations.”
He said the relationship now included regular consultations at the political level, development assistance programmes, defence corporation activities and the network of commercial and business linkages.
He said both nations were members of the UN, Commonwealth and Apec.
New Zealand recognised the significant role that PNG played in the Pacific Forum as a large Pacific island state.
In Kokopo, he visited the Bitapaka War Cemetery, Kokopo Museum, Rabaul Volcano Observatory and met with Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) staff in Kokopo.
His delegation departed for Port Moresby yesterday afternoon.