13 Jul 2009

New Zealand's Foreign Minister on trip around the Pacific

6:03 am on 13 July 2009

New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, has begun a week long trip to the Pacific including visits to the island nations of Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Samoa.

Mr McCully, who will meet with Ministers, political leaders and senior officals, says the trip is designed to strengthen New Zealand's relations with its Pacific nighbours.

Discussions will include the key issues for the Pacific Leaders Forum in Australia next month and the impact of the global economic crisis on the Pacific.

Environmental issues will also be on the agenda, especially in Kiribati and Tuvalu, where both government's face considerable social and economic challenges as a result of climate change.

Mr McCully is due to return to New Zealand on Friday.