4 Jul 2005

New Caledonia makes first official visit to New Zealand

8:18 pm on 4 July 2005

The New Caledonia president, Marie-Noelle Themereau, is using her first official visit to New Zealand to learn more about how this country deals with trade, health and welfare issues.

Ms Themereau has visited Wellington hospital, which is being rebuilt on the same site.

Ms Themereau's government last year decided to rebuild Noumea's hospital on a new site outside the city.

She says the way New Zealand's welfare system operates is of particular interest and could be applied in the territory.

Her words are translated.

"We've been able to make some great high-level contacts which have allowed us to have some very fruitful exchanges of ideas and information between three ministers here and ministers from the New Zealand government. And this we hope will serve us to put in place some concrete actions in the future."

Marie-Noelle Themereau.