16 Apr 2008

New Zealand aims to raise international profile through more backing for Foreign Ministry

1:31 pm on 16 April 2008

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to increase its profile in the Pacific as part of a Government commitment to an expansion of services and facilities around the world.

The Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, says the new Budget will allocate 410 million US dollars in operational funding and a capital injection of 77 US million dollars over the next five years for the Ministry.

He says New Zealand has struggled for too long to manage the demands it faces off-shore.

Mr Peters says the new commitment is a seismic change in direction from the previous incremental tinkering with the management of New Zealand's international representation.

The changes will include more resources for posts in troubled Pacific countries and additional funding for the relevant country desks in Wellington.