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McCully to attend meetings with PM

Monday February 20, 2017 Written by Published in Politics
New Zealand Foreign minister Murray McCully. 17021920 New Zealand Foreign minister Murray McCully. 17021920

Foreign minister Murray McCully will travel to the Cook Islands tomorrow (Tuesday) to undertake a range of meetings, with prime minister Henry Puna and his cabinet. 

“My discussions will cover a range of matters including New Zealand’s support to the Cook Island’s tourism sector, which accounts for over 60 per cent of national GDP,” Mr McCully said.  

“Ensuring the ongoing health of the tourism sector is a top priority in our partnership. For this reason, New Zealand has committed to projects designed to improve sanitation and water quality infrastructure, specifically in Rarotonga and Aitutaki.”

This visit will also provide an opportunity for McCully, to hear from Cook Island representatives about economic development opportunities in the outer islands. 

While in the Cook Islands, McCully will also meet with members of the Opposition and attend engagements with the Cook Islands Tourism Board and key business leaders.

Last year McCully announced he would be giving up the East Coast Bays seat he's held for nearly 30 years and said he would retire from Parliament when his role as Foreign Minister ended.

He said he would not contest the East Coast Bays electorate in this year’s general election, to be held in September.

He said his decision not to contest East Coast Bays was not related to his illness late in 2015.

McCully was off work for several weeks after undergoing surgery reported to involve the removal of a potentially cancerous growth which turned out to be benign.

"It is a real privilege to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs, but it is an office that does not always sit easily with the role of a constituency MP," he said in a statement at the time.

"When my role as Foreign Minister comes to an end it is my intention to retire from Parliament.

"Quite when that will be, and whether I seek election as a list member of Parliament in 2017, are decisions for the Prime Minister in the first instance."

McCully said at the end of this term he would have served as a local MP for 30 years.

"This is the right time for me to announce my intentions and clear the way for an orderly succession process."