WELLINGTON, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced the establishment of a 10-million-New Zealand dollar (6.8-million-U.S. dollar) Pacific Enabling Fund on Thursday.
Peters said, the government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand's standing in the Pacific, supporting its Pacific partners, and continuing to deliver on the Pacific Reset priorities.
Peters said in a statement that the fund would allow engagement with Pacific partners on a diverse range of activities which sit outside the government's formal aid funding arrangements, such as cultural and sporting diplomacy, people-to-people links, and some military cooperation activities.
This initiative will be funded from within the increased resource for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced in Budget 2018, and build on the momentum generated by the Pacific Reset and the development program, said Peters.
The ministry is increasing the number of offshore staff in the post in Pacific over the next two years, he said, adding that this move will significantly increase New Zealand's diplomatic and development footprint in the Pacific.
Further announcements on the details of expansion of staff will be made this year, following discussions with partner countries, he said.