NEW ZEALAND TO ASSIST TUVALU IN SEA LEVEL BATTLE
FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (June 22, 2000 - Radio Australia?s Pacific Beat)---New Zealand has offered a helping hand to low-lying Tuvalu, which is faced with rising seal levels as a result of global warming.
Tuvalu Prime Minister Ionatana Ionatana earlier formally requested assistance.
New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff said New Zealand, Australia and other Pacific nations wouldwelcome Tuvalu citizens who might be required to leave their homeland should global warming have adisastrous impact on the small Pacific country.
"This is good news to hear," said Tuvalu Secretary of Government Saufatu Sopoanga in an interview withRadio Australia's Caroline Tiriman.
"Tuvalu is happy to learn that there is a place to should rising sea levels cause devastation in thefuture," he said. "New Zealand is one place in the Pacific where there is a sizeable community of Pacific Islanders. Tuvaluans going there would feel at home."