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New Zealand's Foreign Minister says the country's "diplomatic footprint" is being boosted around the Pacific to bring better outcomes to the region.
This week, Winston Peters announced 14 new diplomatic posts in seven Pacific countries: Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Kiribati.
New Zealand's diplomatic presence in the US state of Hawai'i will also be boosted as a base for the North Pacific.
Peters said the move demonstrates New Zealand's commitment to making the Pacific safer and more prosperous and will enhance New Zealand's voice in the region.
"A more successful, more deep abiding relationship with Pacific Island countries, dealing with a range of developmental issues which we all need to do better on, including the island governments themselves.
"So it is matter of better pooling our resourcing and getting more significant outcomes in the interests of the long-term economic and security concerns of Pacific peoples."
Posts have also been created for Tokyo, Beijing, Brussels and New York to help push Pacific interests and Peters said these posts will boost the regional voice there, starting with New York and the United Nations.
"It's important that we have our input at the UN level. With respect to Beijing, it's important that that is an interest and influence that we need to be engaged with from the point of view of future planning and programme development in the Pacific.
"Tokyo is likewise and Brussels of course is the EU connection, Peters told Radio New Zealand Pacific.
SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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