THE launch of the new Buka urban council office complex this week will ensure the continuing progress of the town’s facelift.
The building, costing K600,000, was co-funded by the New Zealand and Australian governments - and New Zealand's foreign minister, Murray McCully says his nation is assisting Bougainville "for the long haul".
Buka town mayor John Angamata thanked the governments for funding the building which would go a long way in the drive to develop Buka town.
“Our partners have always been an integral part of the development on Bougainville and we are very appreciative of this,” Mr Angamata said.
He further stated that he hopes this partnership with these two nations will continue to help Bougainville’s further development.
New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully said the people of Bougainville and New Zealand have a long shared history as Pacific neighbours.
“It is a history that New Zealanders are very proud of, particularly the peace process and the reconstruction period, and we are trying to play an active partnership role,” Mr McCully said.
“My visit to Bougainville is to check on the relationship that we have to ensure we have thought our way forward and ensure our support arrangements are relevant.”
Mr McCully said one of the important aspects of the partnership with the Australian government has been its support of the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
“In terms of capacity building, the role of the urban council is very important,” he said.
“The New Zealand government takes its responsibilities as partners seriously and we’ve been in this for the long haul and we will stay for the long haul especially as Bougainville deals with challenging and exciting times ahead.”