The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands welcomes a new Deputy Special Coordinator, Justin Fepulea'i, a Samoan-New Zealander with significant experience in the Pacific.

"Justin Fepulea'i replaces outgoing Deputy Special Coordinator, Jonathan Austin who has made an outstanding contribution to RAMSI's work in Solomon Islands," RAMSI Special Coordinator Graeme Wilson said this week.

"I am confident that Justin is equally well prepared to take up the challenges of this post given his previous experience in the Pacific."

Dr Austin had played a very important role in developing the partnership between RAMSI and the Solomon Islands Government, Mr Wilson said.

"I also want to thank and commend the Government for their commitment to taking that partnership to a new level and for developing very productive and cooperative relations with all of Solomon Islands' friends from the region and internationally."

In his farewell speech last week, Dr Austin, said RAMSI has gone from strength to strength during his time in the country.

"I think that both RAMSI and the Government now have a much better understanding of what RAMSI is here to do and relations are in excellent shape.

"The partnership framework that we have been working on will provide a much needed clear plan for the remainder of RAMSI's work. And I do hope that after so many delays it is completed soon," he said.

Permanent Secretary with Special responsibility for RAMSI, Paul Tovua, said that, on behalf of the Government and the people of Solomon Islands, he wanted to thank Jonathan for his efforts.