31 May 2012

NZ defence personnel to help with PNG elections

3:16 pm on 31 May 2012

The New Zealand foreign minister says his expectation is that the election in Papua New Guinea will be calm.

New Zealand and Australia will provide 250 defence personnel and equipment for logistical support for the election.

The New Zealand Aid Programme will fund the charter of boats to transport electoral commission staff and supplies to remote locations.

Murray McCully says the governments were approached by Papua New Guinea.

"I'm going to be talking to representatives of their government over the next few days because we will have people going across there. My expectation though is that things are reasonably calm. Over recent months, PNG has had 2 prime ministers, 2 cabinets, 2 police commissioners and 2 chiefs of the defence force, on some days of the week, and that's one too many of each of those."

Murray McCully says his understanding is that the deployment is for a few weeks.