Thursday, 20 September 2012 8:25 AM

NZ and Solomons Begin Meetings

New Zealand and Solomon Islands officials will begin meetings today to look at how New Zealand's Aid Program will be run over the next three years and evaluate progress made over the past year.

New Zealand High Commissioner Mark Ramsden says the annual high level consultation between the two countries is a vital part of their relationship.

Mr Ramsden says their aid program is not developed in a vacuum and that senior official in Wellington need to be brought in regularly to ensure they are matching their expertise and funding to development needs identified by the Solomon Islands government.

He adds that New Zealand is currently committed to several areas and this will continue in the future.

The New Zealand High Commissioner says both countries see education as critical to the future of Solomon Islands.

Meanwhile Mr Ramsden says New Zealand, in recent years, has invested nearly a third of it's bilateral programme in building up the basic education sector.

Currently New Zealand spends around a total of 275-million Solomon dollars each year on development assistance in the Solomon Islands.