Murray McCully

NZ delegation in PNG

The delegation, led by NZPNGBC Chair Murray McCully, will be in the country till August 24.

Welcoming the group to the country today, Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Wera Mori, said PNG is looking forward to establishing partnerships with various businesses in the country.

He said their visit to PNG comes at a very important time when the country is going through a financial situation, especially with trade relationships.

Mori added that as PNG enters the next cycle, there is a strong desire to see New Zealand play a more important role across the board.

Gerry Brownlee new New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister

Brownlee's current portfolios will be divvied up: Mark Mitchell will take on Defence (and will be promoted to Cabinet), Nathan Guy will take on Civil Defence, and Nicky Wagner will take on the Christchurch rebuild.

Prime Minister Bill English finalised the Cabinet ministers he'll take into the September election today (Monday). 

There were no surprises associate education minister Nikki Kaye was rewarded with the education portfolio to take over from Hekia Parata, who announced last year she was stepping down from politics.

NZ identifies growth capacity in Solomons

Murray McCully was in the country last week, where he met with the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to discuss the two countries' relationship once the Regional Assistance Mission ends in July.

He said fisheries had been identified as an opportunity for significant economic and employment growth for the country, and New Zealand was sponsoring a number of projects.

"If you look at what the contribution has been at the Soltai Tuna Plant, the Tri Marine facility at Noro in the Western Province," Mr McCully said.

UN aid needs to be 'better targeted' - Murray McCully

Giving New Zealand's statement at the summit for the new sustainable development goals set by the United Nations, McCully said they were particularly important for the Pacific region and New Zealand would play its part in trying to ensure those goals were met.

The goals will cover all countries rather than just the developing countries, and McCully said he welcomed goals in areas such as ocean fisheries, which were important for the economy of many Pacific islands. He called for a step up in surveillance for illegal fishing.

NZ doubtful that Indonesia will allow West Papua mission

Murray McCully's comments come after the Forum Chair and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said Jakarta had been accommodating recently.

Mr McCully has met with the Indonesian vice-minister for foreign affairs and a fact-finding mission into human rights was brought up.

"Well I did raise that with the vice-minister that we would certainly hope that if the idea was put forward that they would respond to it positively, but I have to say that I didn't get a very reassuring response to that."

NZ not in favour of Pac Forum West Papua mission

Murray McCully is part of the New Zealand delegation attending the Forum leaders meeting in Port Moresby this week.

The situation in West Papua is one of the five big issues on the Forum agenda and there have been calls from both NGOs and West Papuans for a mission to look into allegations of human rights abuses in the Indonesian province.

However Mr McCully says he does not back the calls.