20 June, 2005
PM awarded the Star of the Solomon Islands
Prime Minister Helen Clark was today awarded the Order of the Star of the Solomon Islands.
The Star of the Solomon Islands is that country's highest honour, and is awarded in recognition of New Zealand's exceptional contribution in restoring law and order in the Solomon Islands.
Helen Clark said she accepted the award on behalf of the government and people of New Zealand, especially those who have served with distinction in the regional assistance mission.
"I am honoured to accept this award, on behalf of those New Zealanders who made a dedicated contribution towards the restoration of peace and stability in the Solomon Islands through the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI)," Helen Clark said.
RAMSI began in July 2003 to help restore order and stability to the Pacific nation. It included a contingent of more than 3000 military police and civilian personnel.
More than 300 of those were from the ranks of the New Zealand police and Defence Force.
The Star of the Solomon Islands has also been awarded to Australian Prime Minister John Howard. The two prime ministers are seen as co-leaders in partnership with the Solomon Islands government, in restoring peace and stability to the Solomon Islands.
The Governor-General of the Solomon Islands, Sir Nathaniel Waena presented the Star to Helen Clark in Wellington this afternoon.