NZ to provide support for Solomon Islands election

Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins today announced New Zealand will provide logistics support for the upcoming Solomon Islands election.

“We’re sending a team of New Zealand Defence Force personnel and two NH90 helicopters to provide logistics support for the election on 17 April, at the request of Solomon Islands’ Electoral Commission,” Ms Collins says.

“They will help transport election officers and materials around Solomon Islands in what is an excellent opportunity for our personnel to work again with the Solomon Islands’ Government and alongside Australian counterparts in support of regional peace and security.”

Mr Peters says the deployment is part of a NZD$10.8 million election support programme announced in January.

“In addition to the deployment, the programme includes funding towards the Commission’s election preparation and management, technical support from the New Zealand Electoral Commission, and an independent observer mission,” he says.

“New Zealand’s overall contribution will support the Commission to lead the delivery of a safe and successful election. It demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to a resilient democracy in Solomon Islands and the wider Pacific region.”

HMNZS Canterbury will leave Auckland tomorrow to transport the helicopters and crew, command and maintenance personnel to Honiara.

New Zealand has a long history of supporting elections in the Pacific, including providing a similar level of logistics support during Solomon Islands 2019 election alongside the Australian Defence Force.