Saturday, April 25, 2009

ANZAC Day message from His Excellency Mr Niels Holm, New Zealand High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea

New Zealand High Commissioner H.E. Niels Holm

On the occasion of ANZAC Day 2009, we again pay tribute to the past bravery and sacrifice of the servicemen and women of New Zealand and Australia, and mark a proud ANZAC tradition of gallantry and camaraderie that has continued for over ninety years. The messages on this page from New Zealand’s Governor-General Hon Sir Anand Satyanand PCNZM QSO, and Prime Minister Hon John Key convey the feelings of New Zealand and New Zealanders as we contemplate once more the meaning of this special occasion.

Although the ANZAC spirit was first forged at Gallipoli in 1915, it has continued to inspire acts of bravery and sacrifice during many campaigns on many battlefields in the ensuing 90 years, not least in the Pacific campaign during World War Two. We take this opportunity to acknowledge with the greatest respect the contributions of the people of Papua New Guinea to the successful outcome of the bitter conflict that was waged in this country.

It is also fitting today to acknowledge our ongoing defence cooperation relationship with Papua New Guinea. New Zealand's armed forces have enjoyed a long and close association with those of PNG ever since independence, and the longstanding personal and professional relationships that exist between many of the officers of our respective services have made our defence links one of the most valuable and enduring strands of the bilateral relationship.

Papua New Guinea and New Zealand also continue a warm spirit of cooperation in other areas. Our leaders maintain a cordial and frank dialogue on issues of mutual interest and importance, including in the Pacific Islands Forum. Our bilateral development assistance to PNG, delivered through NZAID, now totals over 35 million Kina per annum and continues to expand. A significant number of Papua New Guineans travel to New Zealand each year to study, and many New Zealanders also call PNG home. Trade continues to grow, and we hope the eventual development of a new PACER regional trade agreement will see this aspect of the relationship further expanded in future.

Today the Pacific is at peace. But many other challenges – political, economic and social – continue to confront us. New Zealand will continue to stand with Papua New Guinea and our other regional neighbours to defend and advance regional interests.

On this ANZAC Day 2009, New Zealand again pays tribute to the ANZAC tradition, and remembers the great sacrifices made on the battlefield to secure the future for generations to come.

Lest we forget.

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