Fiji’s Prime Minister, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta met in Suva, today, signing the Duavata Partnership: Aotearoa Whenua Manapori o Whiti Tauaki Mahitahi, an expanded Statement of Partnership between the two countries.
“The Duavata Partnership is a landmark achievement in the advancement of Fiji and New Zealand collaborations, which has continued to enhance over the years. It illustrates our shared commitment and vision for regional solidarity. New Zealand has been a great partner and friend to Fiji and our partnership is the strongest ever,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.
Both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the Duavata Partnership reaffirms Fiji and Aotearoa New Zealand’s commitment to work together on issues of shared interests and importance.
“The new Statement of Partnership reflects our joint ambition to elevate and strengthen our relationship, and underlines the importance of Fiji to Aotearoa New Zealand as a member of our Pacific whānau,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
“Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to working alongside Fiji and supporting common goals — both in Fiji and in the Pacific region — that build resilience in areas such as climate change, security, and sustainable economic recovery from COVID-19,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
Prime Minister Bainimarama also extended his appreciation to Aotearoa New Zealand Prime Minister, Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, for her strong leadership and unwavering support that has led to the Duavata Partnership.
“This has been evident through the remarkable support which New Zealand has rendered to Fiji during our greatest moments of need. Fiji is grateful to the New Zealand Government for its assistance to Fiji for the national recovery efforts from climate impacts and COVID-19 pandemic, through the provision of humanitarian, budgetary support and lifesaving vaccines,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.
“This strategic cooperation is timely, as our region paves its way forward to progressive socio-economic recovery. It will give impetus to our common aspirations on achieving greener, bluer and resilient recovery, with the interest of our Pacific people at the heart of it.
Prime Minister Bainimarama said the Fijian Government looked forward to working closely with New Zealand Government in the full realisation of the commitments made.
“As a unified Pacific family, we take great pride in commemorating this momentous occasion which speaks to our historical links and lasting bonds of friendship that inspires initiatives for the empowerment of ordinary Fijians and create platforms for national and regional prosperity,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.
The Duavata Partnership is a significant milestone in establishing the values, priorities and principles that will guide the Aotearoa New Zealand-Fiji relationship in the future.
Prime Minister Bainimarama formally welcomed Minister Mahuta to Fiji and wished her well for the week-long engagements to be undertaken during her first official visit to Fiji. He also conveyed to Minister Mahuta, the best wishes of the Fijian Government and the Fijian people to Prime Minister Ardern and the people of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Prior to the signing of the Duavata Partnership, the leaders took the opportunity to discuss a range of issues, including climate change cooperation, and each countries’ respective COVID-19 outbreaks and responses and support for Pacific regionalism.