New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully will head to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu next week to discuss the aid and development challenges facing the island nations and to expand trade.
The 2013 Pacific Mission would be an opportunity to meet leaders and see first-hand the challenges confronting the region and the impact New Zealand was having, McCully said in a statement Friday.
"New Zealand's investment in projects such as the runways at Munda and Nusatupe and the Noro-Munda road in the Solomon Islands have been attempts to significantly lift our development efforts as the RAMSI (Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands) initiative transitions," said McCully.
"Munda is the gateway to the Western Province, an area with significant tourism and fisheries potential to which access has been very difficult. This 25 million NZ dollar investment in these three projects is our largest in the region, and demonstrates our commitment to boosting economic growth in the Solomon Islands."
New Zealand's last remaining military personnel in the RAMSI mission are currently pulling out after 10 years.
RAMSI was agreed by the governments of the Pacific Islands Forum in 2003 after five years of civil unrest in the Solomon Islands.
The delegation for the annual mission was made up of parliamentarians, leaders from non-government organizations and business people representing New Zealand companies with an interest in the Pacific.
In Papua New Guinea, they would meet Prime Minister Peter O' Neill to discuss opportunities for commercial partnerships, particularly in agriculture and energy.
"In the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, the delegation will see the difference the New Zealand Police Community Policing Initiative is making, and discuss the issues the region faces in the lead up to a referendum on its status," McCully said.
The Vanuatu leg of the mission would focus on how New Zealand could support sustainable economic development through tourist infrastructure in Port Vila.