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New Zealand launches Pacific maritime safety initiatives

(Xinhua)

16:03, September 06, 2011

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Prime Minister John Key Tuesday unveiled a range of initiatives to improve maritime safety in the Pacific, where sea transport provides vital lifelines for smaller nations.

"Following a number of serious accidents in 2009, both New Zealand and Australia offered to work with regional and national organizations to improve maritime safety in the region, and this assistance was accepted by fellow Forum leaders," Key said.

New Zealand, which had a dedicated Pacific maritime safety advisor role, would also provide assistance to Tonga, Cook Islands and Kiribati.

Land Information New Zealand, a government agency, would also provide support for improving navigational charts across the region.

"This will feed into work to develop the cruise ship industry in the Pacific and to improve electronic charts and survey information," said Key.

Key is chairing the 42nd Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland from Sept. 6 to 9.

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