Sunvoice

Bula Vinaka And Welcome To Fiji, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key

We welcome New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to Fiji today. It has been long time coming, but he is here and that’s what matters the most. This is an
09 Jun 2016 13:15
Bula Vinaka And Welcome To Fiji, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

We welcome New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to Fiji today. It has been long time coming, but he is here and that’s what matters the most.

This is an important visit, though only for two days, for many reasons.

It means that Mr Key and his National Government have finally shaken off any reservations or inhibitions they may have had about Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his FijiFirst Government.

Despite their differences over the Pacific Islands Forum membership, the fact is we have more things that unite us than those that divide us.

That is why this visit is a cause for celebrations. It cements the warm relations that have been re-established between the two countries after the 2014 general elections.

Mr Key has said in New Zealand that the soured relations that were there before 2014 are “ancient history” and the timing is right to visit.

He will be the first NZ Prime Minister to visit this country in 10 years.

Mr Bainimarama made an unofficial visit to New Zealand before the 2014 election to address Fijians in Auckland. He did the same in Australia. Our contacts with Australia have been on ministerial level only through Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop.

Despite criticisms from the anti-lobby group about the visit, Mr Key said Mr Bainimarama’s government was “doing quite well” and any shortcomings should not prevent him from visiting Fiji.

“I’m not saying it’s absolutely perfect, but there are probably quite a few countries that have a form of democracy we wouldn’t see as perfect,” he said. Tomorrow Mr Key will tour the reconstruction work done by members of the New Zealand Defence Force after Cyclone Winston.

He is expected to discuss what more NZ could offer in the rebuilding phase and the Pacer Plus talks. NZ donated $15 million worth of assistance to Fiji.

The seasonal worker scheme appears to be going well as more of our people are provided short term employment in NZ.

NZ’s help has strengthened the relations between the two countries. Mr Key and Mr Bainimarama are set to build on this in their talks in Suva.

We say to Mr Key bula vinaka and welcome to Fiji.

 

 

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj



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