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New Zealand aiding Pacific nations to be resilient to climate change

WELLINGTON, June 7 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand will help Pacific island peoples adapt their homelands to climate change and rising sea-levels as many are unwilling to leave their homes, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett said Tuesday.

Bennett said she had visited Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tuvalu last week to see first-hand how communities were working to mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt to big weather events and king tides.

She also met climate change ministers and officials and reinforced New Zealand's commitment to providing climate-related support to the region.

"Ultimately, the residents I spoke to said they do not want to leave their homes, which is why New Zealand is committed to working alongside impacted communities to make them more resilient and sustainable," Bennett said in a statement.

New Zealand was involved in initiatives such as building water tanks, sea walls, toilet and shower blocks, and improved rubbish collection systems.

"New Zealand is providing in excess of 200 million NZ dollars (138.24 million U.S. dollars) over the next four years for climate-related support, most of which will benefit the Pacific," Bennett said.

"We are focusing our efforts on projects to bring more renewable energy to the region, which is good for the environment and helps isolated communities become more self-sufficient."

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