18 Mar 2005

NZ ministerial delegation to talk with Samoan counterparts in Apia

6:29 pm on 18 March 2005

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Phil Goff, and two of his ministerial colleagues will be in Samoa on Saturday as part of the inaugural Joint Ministerial Consultations.

The Immigration Minister, Paul Swain, and the Associate Pacific Island Affairs Minister, Taito Phillip Field, are accompanying Mr Goff.

Mr Goff says both countries want to further strengthen the relationship through ministers meeting regularly in formally-scheduled talks on issues of mutual interest.

Topics for discussion are to include immigration, quarantine issues, police co-operation and trade issues.

The ministers will also discuss regional matters including the Pacific Islands Forum, development of the Pacific Plan and regional trade integration.

The New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, and her Samoan counterpart, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, agreed at last year's Pacific Islands Form meeting to establish regular high-level consultations between the two countries.