A two-man delegation from New Zealand has visited Solomon Islands this week to gather information on the upcoming Festival of Pacific Arts in July 2012.

The purpose of the visit is to obtain information to assist them in their own preparations for the festival and to explore possible areas where New Zealand can possibly assist in prior to and during the festival.

Darrin Haimona, Chairman of the Maori Arts Board and Member of the NZ Arts Council and Jon Tamihere, Project Manager of the NZ Arts Festival held talks with Senior Officials of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism as well as officials of the National Organizing Committee in Honiara yesterday.

The delegation also visited to various proposed venues around Honiara to familiarize themselves with the type of facilities that will be put in place for the festival.

At a meeting with Board and Technical Committee Members in Honiara yesterday, Mr Haimona said New Zealand is very privileged to participate in previous Pacific Arts Festivals including the upcoming one in Solomon Islands next year.

New Zealand is expected to send around 120 delegates as participants in the festival.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mr Luke Eta said the government is pleased with the offer by New Zealand to assist the National Organizing Committee in some technical areas.