16 Jul 2003

NZ foreign minister says intervention force must help Solomon Islanders govern themselves

11:04 am on 16 July 2003

The New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff says it is important that the intervention force heading into Solomon Islands is geared towards building the capacity of Solomon Islanders to govern themselves.

New Zealand announced yesterday that it would send a 140 strong force of police and soldiers as part of the Australia led force to restore law and order.

New Zealand will also contribute to a long term capacity building exercise aimed at restoring the Government's ability to function.

Phil Goff says rather than taking over, the focus has to be preparing Solomon Islanders to take on the governance responsibilities themselves.

"That means quite some degree of capacity building and that will be the focus of the exercise, not only in the law and order area, but also in terms of economic management and other aspects of governance."