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05 June 2014
NZ to invest $1.25 million into tourism and energy in Niue

Prime Minister John Key has today announced New Zealand will invest $1.25 million to support tourism and renewable energy in Niue.

“Tourism is the primary driver of economic development in Niue, creating jobs for locals, growing business and pumping foreign capital into the economy,” says Mr Key.

New Zealand will contribute $1 million over five years to assist with Niue’s tourism development.  The money will be used to develop new accommodation, and improve key infrastructure, including telecommunications, electricity, waste management and water supply.

New Zealand will also provide $250,000 to assist the Government of Niue to ensure the stability of Niue’s electricity grid as it increases the share of renewables.

“Part of supporting a viable tourism industry is reliable energy. Niue is committed to increasing the proportion of electricity generation from renewable sources, and New Zealand is very keen to support that ambition,” says Mr Key.

Mr Key made the announcement in Niue today where he met with Premier Talagi and members of the tourism sector, chamber of commerce and private sector. He also visited a number of Niue’s key tourism operations.

“New Zealand’s relationship with Niue is a special one. Niue has been self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1974 and we have a shared history and strong links of family and citizenship,” says Mr Key.

Niue was the final destination on the five day Pacific Mission that also saw Mr Key travel to Samoa and Tonga.

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04 June 2014
NZ to invest $5 million to rebuild Tongan schools

Prime Minister John Key has today announced New Zealand will contribute $5 million to rebuilding schools in Tonga’s Ha’apai islands following the devastating Cyclone Ian earlier this year.

“The $7.5m joint project with the Asian Development Bank and the Tongan Government will have a big impact on the lives of nearly 1,300 students affected by the cyclone,” says Mr Key.

“Getting children back into a regular school is vital for their education, safety and emotional well-being. Education is one of the priority areas for Tonga under the New Zealand Aid Programme and we are very pleased to be able to respond to the Tongan Government’s request for assistance,” says Mr Key.

In January of this year, Cyclone Ian caused extensive damage to infrastructure, public utilities and services, agriculture and housing, as well as severely damaging schools in the Ha’apai island group.

The funding will be used to reconstruct classrooms and staff quarters, and replace school equipment across the island group by 2016.

“New Zealand enjoys a strong relationship with Tonga and the two countries are important regional partners,” says Mr Key.

“There is a significant Tongan population living in New Zealand, so it’s important that we are able to help Tonga in times of need.”

Mr Key made the announcement while visiting Government Primary School in Nuku’alofa today. While in Tonga, Mr Key also met with Tongan Prime Minister Tuʻivakanō and had high level discussions with Tongan members of cabinet. 

Mr Key is visiting Tonga as part of the 2014 Pacific Mission. He will visit Niue on Thursday before returning home.

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04 June 2014
NZ to contribute to the upgrade of Teufaiva Stadium

Prime Minister John Key has today announced New Zealand will contribute around $2 million towards upgrading Tonga’s national stadium in Nuku’alofa ahead of the 2019 Pacific Games.

“New Zealand looks forward to working with the Tongan Government to improve Teufaiva Stadium in the lead up to the 2019 Pacific Games and other international events,’’ says Mr Key.

“Teufaiva Stadium is already an important site for domestic rugby, athletics and community events and will be a great venue for the Pacific Games.

“New Zealand supports a fit-for-purpose upgrade of the stadium that will expand its utility while supporting the strong community that participates in current stadium events.

“I’m happy that New Zealand can assist Tonga in its efforts to promote sports and healthy lifestyles in Tonga,” says Mr Key.

The first step in the upgrade work will be a New Zealand-funded feasibility study and design, and technical support for the Tongan Government.

Mr Key made the announcement in Tonga today where he is visiting from June 3-5, as part of the 2014 Pacific Mission.

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03 June 2014
NZ to invest $1 million into Samoa’s tourism sector

Prime Minister John Key has today announced New Zealand will invest $1 million to help boost Samoa’s tourism sector.

“Tourism is critical to Samoa’s economy, contributing nearly a quarter of the country’s annual GDP.

“This funding will help the Samoa Tourism Authority to upgrade a number of important visitor attractions, and improve information and access to visitor attractions more generally.  The higher quality and more accessible visitor attractions will improve the tourist experience and should help increase income for local businesses and communities.”

New Zealand is also providing funding to Samoa to help the tourism sector rebuild following Cyclone Evan, increase market demand and develop a five year plan for tourism development as a basis for continued long-term support.

While visitor arrivals plateaued during 2012-13, arrival statistics are now showing a positive trend.

“New Zealand and Samoa have a strong relationship, underpinned by the many New Zealanders of Samoan descent living in New Zealand, so it’s important that we support economic development in the region,’’ says Mr Key.

While in Samoa, Mr Key participated in celebrations marking Samoa’s 52nd year of independence and met with his counterpart, Prime Minister Tuilaepa.  He will also visit areas affected by the 2009 Tsunami and 2012 Cyclone Evan and tour the site where the Conference on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) will be held in early September.

Mr Key is in Samoa as part of the 2014 Pacific Mission. He will also visit Tonga and Niue, returning to New Zealand on June 5.

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26 May 2014
PM to lead Pacific Mission to Samoa, Tonga and Niue

Prime Minister John Key will lead a delegation to Samoa, Tonga and Niue on Sunday for the 2014 Pacific Mission.

Mr Key will meet with Pacific leaders and visit New Zealand Aid Programme projects during the five day visit.

“The mission reflects the close relationship we have with our Pacific neighbours and the high regard New Zealand places on these relationships,’’ says Mr Key. 

The New Zealand delegation will comprise of around 40 members and include cross party MPs, Pacific leaders, and representatives from Non-Governmental Organisations.

The delegation’s first stop will be Samoa, where they will attend the 52nd independence celebrations in Apia.  

“This year also marks the 100th anniversary of New Zealand establishing an occupation over Samoa at the start of World War I. Despite these sombre beginnings New Zealand has developed a strong, vibrant relationship with Samoa which is reflected by the Treaty of Friendship between our two countries. I look forward to celebrating the strength of our relationship during the visit,” says Mr Key.

While in Samoa, Mr Key will also visit regions affected by the 2009 Tsunami and 2012 Cyclone Evan. New Zealand has contributed around NZ$22 million in response to these disasters.

The delegation will then head to Tonga.

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