Vuvale leaders to visit Fiji

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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta. Image: SUPPLIED

Vuvale leaders Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta will be in the country this week.

Mr Albanese will be given a traditional welcome ceremony on Wednesday at the Blackrock Camp in Nadi before formal engagements while Ms Mahuta will hold bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and senior Fiji Government ministers through the week.

According to a press statement from the New Zealand Embassy in Suva, her visit will be the minister’s first to the country since the election of the new Coalition Government led by Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sitiveni Rabuka.

“Aotearoa New Zealand is a committed partner for Fiji and I look forward to meeting with Prime Minister Rabuka and senior ministers to discuss areas of mutual interest for both countries,” Ms Mahuta said.

“Our focus will be on how Aotearoa New Zealand can support Fiji’s priorities under our Duavata Partnership, and how we can continue to work together to address issues facing our region.

“We have strong links with Fiji through trade and regional security, and deep community connections through the Fijian communities who have made Aotearoa New Zealand their home.”

Following Fiji’s successful hosting of the Pacific Islands Forum Special Leaders’ Retreat last month, and the positive progress made in strengthening regional unity, the visit will be an opportunity to further discuss shared regional priorities.

“A clear demonstration of our friendship is Fiji’s rapid deployment of military and emergency personnel to support the response to Cyclone Gabrielle. In times of crisis we can rely on each other — as Pacific whanau — to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, meeting any challenge.”

It is uncertain if there will be discussions on issues raised by Fijians on employment schemes in New Zealand in relation to work arrangements, remuneration and accommodation.

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