Minister for Emergency Management, Kieran McAnulty, will travel to Fiji and Vanuatu today in a bid to strengthen cooperation between the countries in building resilience to natural disasters.
Mr McAnulty will meet with his Ministerial counterparts in Suva and Port Vila, and spend time with local disaster management teams.
“New Zealand and our Pacific whānau have a proud history of supporting each other whenever severe weather hits, and working together on recovery and resilience,” Mr McAnulty said.
“Earlier in the response to Cyclone Gabrielle, Fiji sent personnel over to assist us, and New Zealand sent assistance over to Vanuatu when they were hit shortly after that.
“Our nations share whānau and community. When disasters strike our Pacific neighbours, it affects our Pacific communities back home – and vice versa. We’re all in this together,” he said.
National Emergency Management Agency’s Rapid Response Team regularly deploys staff to Pacific nations as part of a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade-funded Pacific Disaster Risk Management Programme.
“The impacts of climate change are increasingly being felt across the Pacific, and it’s more important than ever that we work together to strengthen our collective disaster resilience.”
“Fiji and Vanuatu have a wealth of experience in dealing with natural disasters such as cyclones, tsunami, and earthquakes. I’m really looking forward to learning from them, and to see what help we can offer,” said Mr McAnulty.