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NZ PNG Business Council AGM update

News 15 Nov 2019

The Annual General Meeting for the NZ PNG Business Council was held on 12 September 2019 at The Northern Club in Auckland.

Murray McCully provided his final annual report to the members in attendance, noting that the economy in PNG continues to be a challenging issue, however it was commended that the diplomatic relations between both countries are strong.

Mr McCully had chaired the council for the last two years providing his support and assistance into the outstanding debts owed to New Zealand companies, however, due to other commitments Mr McCully made the decision to step aside.

Andrew Wilson, formerly of BECA Group and who has been involved with the Council since 2010, was elected as Chair for the 2019 - 2020 year. Andrew is supported by the following committee members:

Ray Allen of Code Avengers, Martin Devlin of Fletcher Construction South Pacific, Ian Furlong of Pacific Trade & Invest, Peter Kiely ONZM of Kiely Thompson Caisley, Paul Pledge of Tradestaff Global, Deane Tuck of Bricks2Clicks, Eric van Duin of Plant & Platform.

The committee has continued support from the following organisations who sit at the table in Honorary capacity: NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and Pacific Cooperation Foundation.

The council was honoured to have Sir Don McKinnon as the guest speaker, who had recently returned from a visit to Bougainville in July, where he reacquainted himself with the region and its progress to the referendum. Sir Don, as New Zealand's former Minister of Foreign Affairs was instrumental in brokering a peace agreement that ended a decade of civil war in Bougainville in 1997, which earned him a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

The Bougainville Peace Agreement required a referendum to be held on the future of Bougainville. This referendum is scheduled for November 2019.