New Zealand High Commission Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

New Zealand and Papua New Guinea

New Zealand has a long standing relationship with Papua New Guinea. Diplomatic links were formally established soon after Papua New Guinea achieved independence in 1975, building on official New Zealand representation in the country before that. The relationship is underpinned by our common interests in Pacific regional developments, regular political-level consultations, one of New Zealand’s largest development assistance programmes, defence co-operation activities and a network of commercial and business linkages. Up to two and a half thousand New Zealanders are estimated to live and work in Papua New Guinea and there is also a significant network of Papua New Guinean “alumni” who have studied in New Zealand or have on-going interests and connections with us.

For historical and geographical reasons Papua New Guinea’s strongest bilateral relationship is with Australia. While the relationship with New Zealand is longstanding and warm, to some extent it has not had the depth of some of New Zealand’s other Pacific relationships. This is changing as Papua New Guinea enters a new stage of development based on utilisation of its own resources. Opportunities are opening up for New Zealand to develop a broader and more strategic engagement that can advantage both countries. We have an excellent basis on which to do so and it is in the interests of both countries.

Papua New Guinea is repositioning itself as a growing economy sitting between Asia and the Pacific. It is seeking to utilise its significant resources to move its development upwards. It is now starting to put in place the plans that will make this happen. There is a long way to go but Papua New Guinea’s conscious and structured development process provides the basis under which the existing linkages in our relationship can be drawn together in a coherent way that creates business opportunities for New Zealand companies, enables our aid programme to support Papua New Guinea’s own development process in a consistent way and leverages the strengths of the New Zealanders already involved in Papua New Guinea.

The outcome we are both looking for is a strong stable developed Papua New Guinea as a partner for New Zealand in both Asia and the Pacific.

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