The Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, Trevor Mallard, will lead a delegation of MPs to Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands from 30 September to 5 October, 2018.
This will be the first time a New Zealand Speaker has led a delegation to this part of the Pacific.
It is also the first delegation from New Zealand with all current Presiding Officers attending.
The cross-party delegation consists of Anne Tolley, Deputy Speaker (National); Poto Williams MP, Assistant Speaker (Labour); Adrian Rurawhe, Assistant Speaker (Labour); Louise Upston (National); Stuart Smith MP (National); Matt King MP (National); Willow-Jean Prime MP (Labour); and Jan Tinetti MP (Labour).
They will be meeting with parliamentarians; government and non-governmental organisations; businesses; and women leadership groups in both Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.
The objectives for the visit include exposure to New Zealand’s development programme in the region, growing relationships and networks with parliamentary colleagues, and exploring trade and investment ties between New Zealand and Melanesia.
“As a Pacific country, the Pacific region is incredibly important to us. The programme will allow New Zealand MPs to gain an insight into the current political and economic landscape of the region, and see where we can work closer with our Pacific parliamentary colleagues,” the Speaker said.
“I’m pleased that this delegation includes five of our female parliamentarians, who will have discussions with women leaders in both the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu about the contributions women can make in Parliament.”
“With our Presiding Officers also in attendance, we will have a wealth of parliamentary knowledge and experience to share. We also expect the programme to help us identify mutually beneficial business opportunities in the Pacific.”