Mahuta to meet with Fiji's PM in visit to island nation

By Kelvin McDonald
Photo / File

Days after Defence Minister Peeni Henare travelled to Fiji to meet his counterpart, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced she will also travel to the island nation next week.

“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,” Mahuta said Friday.

The visit is Mahuta's first trip to the Pacific since announcing New Zealand’s Pacific Resilience approach last year, which takes a Pacific-centric view of our collective interests in the region.

“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.”

While in Fiji, the NZ Foreign Minister will meet with Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, who is also Fiji's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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.

“I look forward to engaging with our Fijian partners in person and reaffirming the close links that already exist between our two countries."

Emphasising the goal of promoting Pacific resilience, Mahuta added, “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.”

Mahuta departs on Monday and will return on Thursday.