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"New Zealand and Fiji are connected by a kinship forged in Pacific culture, identity, and interests..."
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Chris Hipkins, and the Prime Minister of Fiji, Sitiveni Rabuka, met in Wellington to reaffirm the strength of their mutual relations, as outlined in the Duavata Relationship Statement of Partnership.
"New Zealand and Fiji are connected by a kinship forged in Pacific culture, identity, and interests, founded on our long history, friendship, and mutual respect," Hipkins said.
According to Hipkins, during the meeting, both parties talked about several topics that hold significant relevance to their respective and region;
Such discussions encompassed the need to fortify regional establishments that have historically advanced Pacific interests, as well as socio-economic and security matters that currently influence the region.
Upon arrival at the New Zealand Parliament House, I was accorded a traditional Maori welcome before inspecting a guard of honour this morning.
Hipkins also announced an additional allocation of 11.1 million New Zealand dollars (around 6.74 million US) of climate change support for Fiji to respond to the impacts of climate change.
"We had an inspired discussion on how we can further cooperate on combating the effects of climate change. It's clear it remains the single greatest threat to lives and livelihoods in the Pacific region," Hipkins said.
This additional funding will assist Fiji to deliver community-based climate adaptation and mitigation projects, he added.
According to Rabuka, the visit represents a noteworthy breakthrough in the relationship between New Zealand and Fiji, effectively indicating a dedication towards enhancing bilateral collaboration.
Rabuka also stated that the Duavata Relationship Statement of Partnership serves as a suitable basis for addressing concerns of shared significance and concern between Fiji and New Zealand, including but not limited to climate change, social welfare, regional security, and the building of economic resilience.
"This additional funding from New Zealand is very welcome. It will support Fiji to implement discrete projects in renewable energy, infrastructure resilience, climate policy, and capacity strengthening," Rabuka said.