Minister determined to boost NZ and Aust partnership

Amongst the pertinent people-to-people initiatives to strengthen bilateral relations, Governments of Papua New Guinea and New Zealand are in discussion about the Labour Mobility Program.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Justin Tkatchenko and his New Zealand counterpart Hanaia Mahuta discussed ways of enhancing the current status of the labor mobility program to include more Papua New Guineans across various industries in the New Zealand market - an objective that mirrors that of Australia.

“We will also negotiate with the Victoria University to have diplomacy classes for our Foreign Affairs Department personnel that will greatly improve the standard and professionalism of our country’s Foreign Service. Fifty positions have been made available for our Papua New Guineans to be trained as part of the Foreign Affairs Department. 

“We want to roll that over five years to have about 250 young men and women from being taught in Diplomacy in Victoria University and we are going to finalize that program during this official visit,” Minister Tkatchenko said.

He acknowledged New Zealand who have done well in promoting, training and implementing capacity building for the PNG Defence Force and many other avenues so they will be talking about there will be a continuation of mutual Defence Cooperation as well.

“We will also be visiting the Papua New Guinea Female Football Team currently in New Zealand for the finals to give them moral support.”

“Four days of activities in Auckland and Wellington, and I will be catching up with our Foreign Minister for New Zealand and we will also have a chance to meet the new Prime Minister of New Zealand, Chris Hipkins. From there we will head straight across to Canberra, Australia to the National Parliament for the Ministerial Forum where some of my colleague ministers will be following me there.”

Tkatchenko stated that they will be discussing and finalizing the Bilateral Security Treaty between Australia and Papua New Guinea and finalizing and getting outcomes for our visa system between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

“There will also be a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of “Foreign Affairs in Australia and PNG Forestry, besides discussions on areas such as Education, Internal Security, Policing and Defence Force.”

There will be nine ministers from Australia participating in this ministerial forum.

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