15 Apr 2003

New Zealand government grants funding to Pacific Co-operation Foundation

4:43 pm on 15 April 2003

The New Zealand government is to give close to 350,000 U.S. dollars to help set up the Pacific Co-operation Foundation.

The organisation plans to increase co-operation between New Zealand and its Pacific neighbours.

Foreign Minister Phil Goff says New Zealand has a growing inter-dependence with the region through significant trade and people to people links and the growing part that Pacific Islanders play in New Zealand's national identity.

Foundation spokesman, Ian Johnstone, says there are specific aims.

"Most New Zealanders know what Asia 2000 is about and what it does is improve and develop and extend and expand all the links between New Zealand and Asia. We have set up an organisation called the Pacific Foundation which will try to do the same for New Zealand and the rest of the Pacific as Asia 2000 does for New Zealand and Asia."

Ian Johnstone, spokersperson for Pacific Co-operation Foundation.