Acting President on NZ Visit
The Referendum to decide Bougainville’s political future remains the focal point of the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
The ABG’s expectations are not limited to the issue but consider a wide spectrum of issues that will uphold the successful implementation of the referendum.
Acting ABG President Raymond Masono in meeting with the New Zealand Minister for Foregin Affairs, Murray McCully said Bougainville has a long history of shared cooperation, from your their support in the signing of the Bougainville Peace Agreement to ongoing development cooperation.
“Through ongoing cooperation we can do much more, for the ABG we want to see our relationship strengthened and enhanced further, drawing on continued opportunities for practical support,” Masono said.
“Specific examples I have in mind include, examining ways that New Zealand can provide additional support for the upcoming referendum and the newly established Bougainville Referendum Commission,” he added.
“There are also other avenues such as exploring ways that we can enhance trade ties, potentially through the establishment of a New Zealand Trade Office in Bougainville; and
Looking at opportunities for enhancing ties between ABG Ministers and their New Zealand counterparts to help our Ministers understand the complexities of working with an advanced bureaucracy and exercising ministerial powers,” Masono said.
“I would particularly like to place on record my appreciation for the diverse range of development projects which have been, and are being support by the New Zealand government in cooperation and partnership with other development stakeholders and non-government organisations,” Masono stated.
Masono said these projects are helping to enhance security and policing, governance, electoral support, infrastructure development, economic mobilsation and health and education outcomes.
Through this work Bougainville has enhanced development outcomes and genuine improvements in the lives of its people.
“By working in partnership we are progressing down the path of autonomy, building our own capacity and learning how to develop our own priorities,” Masono said.
“All of this has led to a strong foundation of partnership and bilateral cooperation.
Through the ongoing support of the New Zealand Government Bougainville is increasingly being seen by the National Government and its development partners as being firmly on the right path – a path of economic growth, development and stability.