Foreign Minister Phil Goff has left for Solomon Islands on a visit which may decide whether New Zealand continues to give aid to the strife-torn country.

Mr Goff is travelling with his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer to assess plans to restore law and order and economic stability.

The pair will meet new Solomons Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza, sworn in last month along with a cabinet of first-time ministers following an ethnic militia coup in 2000.

In December, the two foreign ministers warned that restoration of law and order, including reform of the police force was essential if aid to the country was to increase or even continue at all.

"There must also be a realistic budget and economic strategy along with a commitment to transparent and accountable government," the ministers said in a joint statement then.

The islands have been in turmoil for three years. Ethnic conflict has led to political crisis, a breakdown in law and order and the virtual collapse of the economy.

- NZPA