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Prime Minister Bill English will travel to the Cook Islands, Niue and Tonga next week leading a delegation of New Zealand Pasifika community leaders, iwi and business representatives.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Gerry Brownlee and the Minister for Pacific Peoples Alfred Ngaro will accompany the Prime Minister, alongside leaders and representatives of parties from across the House.

“The mission is a reflection of the close relationship we have with our Pacific neighbours and the high regard New Zealand places on these relationships,” Mr English says.

“In the Cook Islands I will meet with Prime Minister Puna and Cabinet Ministers to discuss a range of regional and domestic matters. 

“New Zealand supports a number of development projects underway in the Cook Islands and this meeting presents an opportunity to reiterate our support and discuss progress on those projects.”

In Niue, Mr English will meet with Premier Talagi as well as members of the Chamber of Commerce and tourism operators.

“Tourism is a key focus area for New Zealand’s aid programme in Niue.  I look forward to engaging with leaders to discuss on-going development and progress.”

In Tonga, Mr English will meet with Prime Minister Pohiva and Deputy Prime Minister Sovaleni. 

“New Zealand has deep links with Tonga so I’m looking forward to the opportunity to exchange views and discuss how we can continue to support our shared goals.

“This mission is not only a valuable opportunity to engage with the leaders of these countries on regional priorities but also to deepen understanding and strengthen the links between our communities,” Mr English says.

The delegation departs New Zealand on Tuesday 13 June and returns on Saturday 17 June.

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