13 Dec 2012

New Zealand navy vessels could help with accommodation for Marshall Islands Forum summit

7:25 pm on 13 December 2012

New Zealand Navy vessels could be made available for accommodation in the Marshall Islands when it stages the Pacific Islands Forum summit next year.

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, made his first ever visit to the Marshalls earlier this week and he says assistance for the summit meeting was a key matter discussed.

He says New Zealand has committed a couple of hundred thousand dollars of material support so far, but accommodation will be the critical issue.

Mr McCully says because of the shortage of commercial accommodation, it is hoped countries trim their delegations, but he says New Zealand might be called on to help, doing such things as providing navy ships to house the visitors.

"That sort of thing. I wouldn't want to go further at this stage to try to define it. I think it is going to depend on numbers but certainly one of the big challenges there may well be that numbers are bigger than the accommodation, taking into account both the hotels available and private homes that might be made available as well."