New Zealand P.M. to visit Samoa

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will pay a short visit to Samoa on Saturday.

The Samoa Government did not release more details on the trip except to advise that the New Zealand P.M. has a short programme on Saturday afternoon in Apia which ends with a reception at the New Zealand High Commissioner’s residence.

Ms. Ardern will also visit the Apia Waterfront Project as well as unveil the ‘Save the Manumea’ mural painted on the wall of the New Zealand High Commission premises, before launching a national strategy paper prior to a bilateral meeting with her Samoan counterpart, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

The visit on Saturday marks her second to the island nation after March last year, when she and her delegation visited a number of Pacific Island states including Samoa, as part of the New Zealand government’s “reset” policy towards the region. 

Ms. Ardern announced $17.5 million tala in funding to assist Samoa recover from Cyclone Gita and support local businesses during that visit. Her delegation last year included New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vaovasa Winston Peters and the trip included stops in Tonga, Niue and the Cook Islands. 

The Apia Waterfront Project is supported by funding from New Zealand’s bilateral aid program with Samoa, starting in 2015 and will continue until project conclusion in 2026. The funding covers financial aid, design supervision and the construction of the central events space and the clock tower boulevard. Phase 1 of the project – which included public walkways, car parks and event spaces – were commissioned early this month in time for the recently concluded 2019 XVI Pacific Games.

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