RAMSI photographic exhibition opens in Auckland

A photographic exhibition showcasing the history and achievements of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, RAMSI: A history in pictures, was officially opened in Auckland today by the most senior New Zealand official currently serving in the mission, RAMSI Deputy Special Coordinator, Wayne Higgins.

Many of the New Zealanders who have served with RAMSI over the past nine years in the mission’s military, police and civilian contingents attended the opening at the Aotea Centre where the exhibition will be open free to the public for the rest of March.

The exhibition documents the history and progress achieved by Solomon Islands in partnership with RAMSI highlighting many of the people, places and events that have shaped this unique regional mission.

RAMSI: A history in pictures features a wide range of spectacular images from the past nine years. These include many from the initial period when weapons were being surrendered as well as the work of the Solomon Islands-RAMSI partnership to strengthen the government’s systems and institutions. The exhibition also includes presentations on the contributions made by each of the 15 countries that are part of RAMSI.

Mr Higgins said that the exhibition will give New Zealanders a chance to see the progress that has been made in the Solomon Islands. He also paid tribute to the many former RAMSI civilians, police and military personnel from New Zealand, and across the Pacific, who have supported RAMSI over the past nine years, saying their commitment to helping a fellow Pacific country was a great example of the ‘Pacific spirit’.

“I am very proud to be opening this exhibition which shows all the good work, all the progress made by Solomon Islands since those dark days. RAMSI: A history in pictures tells a wonderful story of many nations coming together to support a neighbour in need,” Mr Higgins said in his opening remarks.

He added that RAMSI is now changing, and building on the progress to date, Solomon Islands is taking a greater lead in defining its own future.

“Much has been achieved through perseverance, commitment and a strong sense of teamwork. But RAMSI will not be in Solomon Islands forever.”

“However we continue to work together with the Solomon Islands Government to ensure that the transition to Solomon Islanders taking the lead is as smooth as possible,” he explained.

“I hope the exhibition provides us with optimism about what can be further achieved as the process of transition, and the progressive drawing down of RAMSI, takes place in the coming years.”

RAMSI: A history in pictures will be open to the public from Tuesday 6 march until Thursday 29 March at the BNZ Foyer of the The Aotea Centre, Auckland. Admission is free.

If you have any questions or would like to conduct an interview about the Exhibition please contact:

Mary-Louise O’Callaghan, Manager RAMSI Public Affairs Unit on +677-74-94447 or email info@ramsi.org.