NZ Trip Fruitful: Bainimarama
Warmth of personal friendship now matched politically
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s trip to New Zealand seeking stronger ties between old allies has been fruitful. While addressing the media yesterday after closed door talks with his New Zealand counterpart, John Key, Mr Bainimarama said he was pleased with the outcome. “I came with the intention of seeking a much stronger engagement between Fiji and New Zealand. And I’m very pleased that the Prime Minister has agreed to work with me to take our relationship to another level. A relationship in which we let bygones be bygones and work closely together to advance the interests of the Fijian and New Zealand peoples.” Mr Bainimarama was formally welcomed to New Zealand at Government House in Auckland. He was accorded a state visit and honours in his official visit since the 2014 elections. The ‘wero’ a welcome ceremony was held at the traditional grounds of Kaumatua and then a 50-person Guard of Honour welcomed him. “We’ve always been the closest of friends at a personal level and now the warmth of that engagement is finally being replicated at a political and diplomatic level,” the PM said.
Broad and positive discussion about issues of mutual concern like climate change were among the issues discussed.
“From Fiji’s perspective, we must do a lot more to persuade the world of the need for more radical action to curb carbon emissions. And try to ward off the extreme weather events and rising sea levels that pose such a threat to nations such as Fiji,” Mr Bainimarama said. “I’m pleased to say that New Zealand recognises this imperative and we will be working much closer together on climate change and a range of other regional challenges.”
From left: Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu, Fijian High Commissioner to New Zealand Filimone Waqabaca, and Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali at the Government House meeting with New Zealand representatives led by Prime Minister John Key in Auckland, New Zealand, yesterday.
The ‘wero’ welcome ceremony was held at the traditional grounds of Kaumatua by the Maori yesterday.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama inspecting the 50-person Guard of Honour outside Government House in Auckland, New Zealand, yesterday.