27 Jan 2005

New Zealand foreign minister to encourage good governance in Vanuatu

11:36 am on 27 January 2005

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Phil Goff, says his trip to Vanuatu will allow his to encourage the new government to carry out principles of good governance.

Mr Goff is visiting the country for three days to meet with the Ham Lini government.

He says the trip is a chance to foster relations with Vanuatu, after a difficult period during the tenure of Serge Vohor.

"It went through a very difficult period with the Vohor government. There were four months of instability, there were actions taken that threatened it's international linkages, it's relationship with donor partners, and the things that underpinned democracy and human rights. Hopefully Vanuatu has moved on from that and we will see a better future for the country."

Mr Goff will also use the trip to launch a special aid programme for Vanuatu's primary schools.

One of the things that we'll be doing on the visit will be to launch an aid programme that allows New Zealand to provide books for 40 primary schools in Vanuatu, year 3 and 4.

Mr Goff says in the past New Zealand invested in scholarships but now believes basic education is a higher priority.