7 Jul 2009

NZ Prime Minister visits Tonga on first leg of Pacific trip

9:00 pm on 7 July 2009

New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key has begun his goodwill trip of the Pacific with a day in Tonga, meeting the King and the Prime Minister, Feleti Sevele.

While visiting Nuku'alofa, Mr Key announced New Zealand will provide a 1.5 million US dollar funding boost to the Tonga Police Force.

He says aid is a fundamental way New Zealand can provide support to its Pacific neighbours.

"It's our intention to direct more of that aid into the Pacific. We think that's where New Zealand can play its greatest leadership role. There's tremendous linkages between New Zealand and the people of the Pacific."

Feleti Sevele says he briefed Mr Key on the progress that's been made as a result of New Zealand aid.