NZ Defence Minister to visit Fiji

June 12, 2023 10:52 am

[Source: NZ Labour Party]

New Zealand’s Defence Minister Andrew Little will be visiting Fiji from tomorrow in an effort to further strengthen the relationship between both countries.

Little will be meeting his Fijian counterpart, Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration Pio Tikoduadua.

Little says the two countries have a strong defence relationship built on close cooperation and people-to-people ties.

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He adds our militaries already cooperate across many areas and he looks forward to further strengthening this relationship with Fiji as it is one of their key Pacific partners.

While in Fiji the Ministers will sign a Status of Forces Agreement providing a legal framework for New Zealand and Fijian military forces to effectively cooperate within each other’s territories.

They will also discuss a range of defence and security issues.

Little explains this agreement will allow NZ and Fiji to work together more effectively to lift cooperation in areas that support security and stability in the Pacific, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

He says climate change is an existential threat in the region and as defence leaders they cannot view it as something that only others must grapple with.

The visit follows Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka’s visit to New Zealand where his NZ counterpart Chris Hipkins announced a further NZ$11.1 million of support for Fiji to respond to the effects of climate change.