PNG welcomes new NZ High Commissioner

2:45 pm on 5 May 2017

Papua New Guinea's prime minister Peter O'Neill has accepted the credentials of New Zealand's new High Commissioner to PNG, Sue Mackwell.

Meeting the new High Commissioner yesterday in Port Moresby, Mr O'Neill expressed appreciation for New Zealand's ongoing support to PNG.

Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O'Neill accepts the credentials of New Zealand's new high commissioner to PNG, Sue Mackwell, 4 May 2017.

Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O'Neill accepts the credentials of New Zealand's new high commissioner to PNG, Sue Mackwell, 4 May 2017. Photo: PNG PM Media Office

This includes in the provision of independent observers for the upcoming elections and also expertise for PNG's preparations for hosting the APEC leaders summit next year.

Before taking up the new position, Ms Mackwell was the National Children's Director of the Children's Action Plan in New Zealand.

She takes over in Port Moresby from Tony Fautua.

Mr O'Neill said that Ms Mackwell was arriving in PNG at an exciting time as it approaches the general elections in late June, and prepares to host major events such as the Rugby League World Cup and APEC.

Manish Joshi, ChildFund PNG Country Director
Paul Brown, ChildFund New Zealand CEO
Ume Wainetti, Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee (FSVAC) National Program Coordinator 
Mr Tony Fautua - New Zealand High Commissioner for PNG

Manish Joshi, ChildFund PNG Country Director Paul Brown, ChildFund New Zealand CEO Ume Wainetti, Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee (FSVAC) National Program Coordinator Mr Tony Fautua - New Zealand High Commissioner for PNG Photo: RNZI Courtesy of ChildFund New Zealand

"PNG will vote in the coming months, and the presence of international observers is always appreciated to ensure independent verification of transparency in the election process."

"New Zealand will have three former Ministers of State participating as observers and we look forward to them arriving in Papua New Guinea," said the prime minister.

New Zealand is also providing a role in the areas of security and protocol preparations for next year's APEC event.

Opposition MPs have raised concern about the $US80-million cost of hosting APEC and a planned lavish structure in Port Moresby.

A planned building to host APEC events in Papua New Guinea's capital. Photo: Supplied/ PNG Government Website

In their discussion the Prime Minister and High Commissioner spoke of a desire to continue development co-operation in areas where New Zealand has expertise.

"New Zealand has been supportive of Papua New Guinea in strengthening our key sectors such as agricultural production and enhancing energy security," said Mr O'Neill.

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