Winston Peters and Jacinda Ardern will both represent New Zealand at the Pacific Island Forum in Nauru this week.
Jacinda Ardern will not go for the full length of time because her baby, Neve, is young and she doesn’t want to spend too much time away from her.
The RNZAF VIP jet will fly back from Nauru to pick her up on today at a cost of about $100,000 to the taxpayer.
Newly-elected Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will not be going.
Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, said that New Zealand’s Pacific relationships are its most important, and that having both the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters there is vital.
“Jacinda’s doing her job as Prime Minister representing us and we should be proud of that.”
What is the Pacific Island Forum?
The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is an inter-governmental organization that aims to enhance cooperation between the independent countries of the Pacific Ocean.
Australia and New Zealand are generally larger and wealthier than the other countries that make up the rest of the forum, Australia’s population is around twice that of the other 17 members combined and its economy is more than five times larger. They are significant aid donors and big markets for exports from the other countries.
Papua New Guinea