NEWS

Kiwis Target Agriculture, Dairy And Seasonal Workers Scheme

Increased co-operation between Fiji and New Zealand in areas of defence, agriculture, dairy and recognised seasonal employers’ scheme is expected in coming days. New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully yesterday
17 Feb 2016 14:09
Kiwis Target Agriculture, Dairy  And Seasonal Workers Scheme
New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully in Suva Yesterday. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Increased co-operation between Fiji and New Zealand in areas of defence, agriculture, dairy and recognised seasonal employers’ scheme is expected in coming days.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully yesterday met Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, and Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, and discussed areas in which co-operation will be expanded.

Also on the agenda was the impending visit by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to Fiji.

Speaking to the Fiji Sun after his meeting with Ratu Inoke, Mr McCully revealed more security forces personnel would be going for training to New Zealand.

He also said New Zealand was not concerned about the growing relations between Fiji and Russia.

He understood the importance of Fijian peacekeepers serving overseas to be adequately armed, which is why Russia recently delivered arms to Fiji.

“One of the early moves that have been made is the defence co-operation. Our Defence Minister and your Defence Minister have agreed that we will see more exchanges and more co-operation and I touched on it with Ratu Inoke. We will pick this up on formal discussions tomorrow (today),” Mr McCully said.

“Dairy co-operation and agriculture capacity building is important and on Thursday I will have a chance to look at one of the projects we are getting underway and that’s one area we have considerable ambition.”

On a lighter note, Mr McCully also said: “I think there is terrific relationship except for the rugby. We have got Rio coming up a bit later this year and I am sure that New Zealand and Fiji relations will be able to weather the storm that will take place around that time.”

Mr McCully said they’ve received positive responses from employers in New Zealand who have hired Fijians under the Recognised Seasonal Employers scheme and more Fijians would soon find employment there.

“We have seen very successful pilot lead onto 80 placements by employers this year and employers who lead the scheme are very positive about their engagement with Fiji so I think there will be very rapid expansion of RSE,” he said.

“Your Prime Minister and our Prime Minister met at the margins of the UN General Assembly last year and discussed the opportunity for our Prime Minister to pay a visit and that’s a topic I have picked up informally again today to see whether we can bring that closer to setting some dates.

“The dates of the visit is something I have to get an all clear from our Prime Minister but I got a very welcoming response from Prime Minister Bainimarama and I will be conveying that to our Prime Minister.”

Ratu Inoke said Fiji hoped NZ would allow Pacific Islands Development Forum space to grow in the Pacific.

Speaking at a cocktail last night at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, Ratu Inoke said: “PIDF exists to complement the existing regional organisations.”

He said PIDF last week received United Nations approval and registration for its charter.

“The PIDF is an example of how regional architecture has changed dramatically in the last few years,” Ratu Inoke said.

“We hope, your visit, Minister McCully, will serve as a reminder that there is little that can break our bond of friendship.”

 

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper