BARNABAS ORERE PONDROS
NEW Zealand regards Papua New Guinea as a regional power house and will continue to maintain cordial ties and provide support to ensure PNG reaches its full potential, New Zealand governor-general Sir Anand Satyanand said.
Sir Anand affirmed that PNG was a powerhouse because of the rich natural resources and rich human resources that it had.
“While the rugged topography makes for many challenges, you boast of a wealth of natural resources.
“But without doubt, your country’s richest resource is the enormous reservoir of talent that lies with your people,” he said.
To drive home his message, he acknowledged the many professional Papua New Guineans employed abroad and posed a challenge for PNG to invite these skilled people to return and help develop the nation.
Sir Anand also said despite the many challenges PNG faced, the Government was committed because of its desire to extend services to the rural areas.
“New Zealand is committed to working with Papua New Guinea, assisting it in extending education and health services to a largely rural population, much of which is very difficult to reach,” he said.
Sir Anand was speaking last night during a dinner hosted by the PNG vice-regal.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu heaped praise on New Zealand for its efforts in regional cooperation, especially towards aiding PNG to overcome many challenges.
One of the initiatives that stands out, is the help given to restore peace on Bougainville after the decade-long civil war.
“We highly value the contributions and support provided by New Zealand over the years when we were searching for ways to end this crisis,” Sir Puka said yesterday.
“Regional cooperation has proven to be the way for us in overcoming the challenges we face in our region,” he added.
He was speaking during a luncheon, at the State function room, hosted by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare in honour of Sir Anand and his wife, Lady Susan.
Yesterday, Sir Anand visited the Anglicare StopAIDS facilities and presented K19,000 to support its various outreach programmes.
Earlier, he laid wreaths at the New Zealand war graves at Bomana War cemetery.
Prior to the lunch, Sir Michael paid a courtesy call on Sir Anand.