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Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m delighted to have had the opportunity of a lengthy and very productive meeting today with Prime Minister John Key. 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.

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.

We had a broad and positive discussion about issues of mutual concern such as climate change. And I was again able to thank the Prime Minister for New Zealand’s wonderful response to the crisis we faced in Fiji back in February after being hit by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

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.

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.

So Prime Minister, thank you for the honour of making an official visit to New Zealand. Thank you for your warm welcome and that of ordinary Kiwis, who will always be the very best of friends. And I look forward to being with you at Eden Park tonight to watch the All Blacks hammer the Wallabies in the Bledisloe Cup.

Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
P. O. Box 2220
Government Buildings
Suva, Fiji
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Levels 1&2, South Wing, iTaukei Trust Fund Complex, 87 Queen Elizabeth Drive, Nasese
Tel: (679) 330 9645