Solomon Islands ready for Aust exit: Payne

Defence Minister Marise Payne says the Solomon Islands will cope when Australian police withdraw. (AAP)

Defence Minister Marise Payne is confident the Solomon Islands will be able to cope when Australian police pull out in late June.

Defence Minister Marise Payne insists the Solomon Islands is ready to stand on its own feet once Australian police withdraw in late June.

The 15-country Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) moved to restore law and order in 2003, when the country was at the mercy of warlords and the government had no control outside the Honiara capital.

The situation has stabilised and RAMSI's military operation wound down in 2013 moving to a policing focus.

Senator Payne said institutions had properly developed in the Pacific island nation ahead of RAMSI's departure in just over two months.

"I think this has been a long time coming," she told ABC Radio.

"I think the Solomon Islands... is in the right place now to go ahead."

A Lowy Institute report from 2014 estimated Australia had spent $2.6 billion on RAMSI in a decade.

Senator Payne is in Auckland on Friday discussing regional security, disaster relief and peacekeeping with her counterparts from New Zealand, France, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, and Chile.

Source AAP

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