Foreign Affairs Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand Winston Peters has signed a Statement of Partnership with Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Jeremiah Manele in Honiara.

The Pacific Mission delegation led by Mr Peters has seen the breadth of New Zealand’s partnership with Solomon Islands since arriving on Tuesday afternoon.

The New Zealand-Solomon Islands Statement of Partnership underscores the relationship between the two countries on issues of inclusive development, economic growth, peace and security, and resilience.

“Our shared goals are to ensure the stability and prosperity of Solomon Islands and to ensure that all Solomon Islanders benefit and participate equitably in the country’s growth,” Mr Peters said.

Mr Peters also announced that New Zealand will support the launch of the Solomon Islands Airport Corporation Limited, in partnership with Solomon Islands Government.
SIACL is a state owned enterprise responsible for the ongoing operation, management and maintenance of all Solomon Islands Government-owned airports and related infrastructure.

“Safe, cost-effective and well maintained airport infrastructure is critical to connecting Solomon Islands to domestic and international markets and tourism opportunities,” Mr Peters said.

“This builds on our existing investments to lift connectivity in Solomon Islands, including New Zealand’s assistance to develop Munda airport to enable it to receive international flights.”

Winston Peters, who departs Solomon Islands for Vanuatu today, says his government is not exerting any pressure on the Solomon Islands regarding its decision to remain with Taiwan or switch its recognition to China.

"It's up to the Solomon Islands government and its people. We would hope that they would make a decision in the long term interests of their values and Pacific values, and that's the crunch.”

Mr Peters and the New Zealand Pacific Mission, which consists of around 75 people, will depart Solomon Islands today for Vanuatu. The Mission composition includes Members of Parliament from across the political divide.