25 Jan 2008

Australia and new Zealand support needed to deliver reform, says Solomons PM

4:30 pm on 25 January 2008

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Derek Sikua says his government needs the support of Australia and New Zealand to deliver reform in his country.

Dr Sikua is currently in New Zealand on a regional tour that has already taken in visits to Australia and Papua New Guinea.

He became prime minister last month following the parliamentary ousting of Manasseh Sogavare whose tenure saw relations strained with major partners, particularly those leading the Regional Assistance Mission in Solomon Islands.

Dr Sikua's tour has been aimed at rebuilding those strained relationships.

He says his government is committed to RAMSI but wants to see more resources made available for development work particularly in rural areas.

"I'm very conscious of the fact that our government has set out a very ambitious reform agenda over the next two years, and I will need to deliver substantially on these reforms commencing in 2008 and that is where I will need the support of both the Australian and New Zealand governments, to bring about those reforms."

Derek Sikua is due to meet his New Zealand counterpart Helen Clark this afternoon.