New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta departs for Fiji this week, her first trip to the Pacific since announcing New Zealand’s Pacific Resilience approach last year.
“This visit is an important step in reconnecting Aotearoa New Zealand with our Pacific whanaunga, and an opportunity to engage on key issues facing our region,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
“As our largest Pacific trading partner and a key regional hub, the importance of the Fiji–Aotearoa New Zealand relationship is both significant and influential,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
While in Fiji, Minister Mahuta will meet with Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama. She will also attend an event at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, participate in a Fijian women leaders’ roundtable and visit development projects.
“Over the past two years COVID-19 has had profound health, economic and social impacts on our Pacific partners and our ability to connect kanohi ki te kanohi,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
“I look forward to engaging with our Fijian partners in person and reaffirming the close links that already exist between our two countries.
“This visit will allow me to discuss and strengthen further opportunities for Aotearoa New Zealand to work alongside Fiji — and their government, leadership and stakeholders — to deliver long-term resilience for our region,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
The Foreign Minister departs on Monday subject to the Fijian Government’s COVID-19 protocols, and will return on 31 March.
SOURCE: NZ GOVT/PACNEWS