Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to lead Pacific delegation

  • 19/02/2018
Jacinda Ardern
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Newshub.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is set to lead a delegation across the Pacific to witness first-hand the recovery after tropical cyclone Gita.

Ms Ardern will take a smaller-than-usual contingent with her to Tonga, Samoa, Niue, and the Cook Islands for the annual prime-ministerial trip from March 4-9.

"The government carefully considered whether the Pacific Mission would impose a burden on Tonga and Samoa in the wake of tropical cyclone Gita," said Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters.

"However, the government decided to proceed to allow the delegation to see first-hand the ongoing response.

"We will also discuss with the governments of Tonga and Samoa, as much as able to be learned at this point, what support is required for long-term recovery."

The Pacific Mission delegation is made up of politicians, representatives from charities and Pasifika community leaders, but this year will be smaller with the focus on the aftermath of the storm.

Last week New Zealand announced aid packages to Tonga, Samoa and Fiji, which all felt the cyclone's impact, including funding for the recovery and deliveries of emergency supplies.