Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has wrapped up her first official visit to Niue, reaffirming Aotearoa New Zealand’s commitment to work together to strengthen resilience in the region and support climate action.
During the visit, Minister Mahuta met with Niue Premier, Dalton Tagelagi and Cabinet, and was the first outside speaker to address a special session of the Niue Legislative Assembly, the Fale Fono II.
“This visit has allowed New Zealand to emphasise the strength of our special constitutional relationship with Niue as we continue to collaborate on areas of shared interest to both our countries and the wider Pacific region,” Ms Mahuta said.
“We know climate change is the number one challenge facing Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa — and our top priority moving forward. Premier Tagelagi and I discussed New Zealand’s climate finance contributions, and how to enable Niue to meet its climate change priorities.
“We confirmed a further $500,000 investment from our 2022-2025 international climate finance commitment, to complete design and planning for Niue’s renewable energy projects. This builds on $5 million for solar generation from a previous climate package, announced by the Prime Minister in 2018. Niue has a target of 80% renewable generation.”
The Minister visited Niue High School where she opened refurbished buildings upgraded by the NZ Defence Force in July as part of Exercise Tropic Twilight. She also discussed new initiatives to support the preservation of Vagahau Niue and other Pacific languages through greater collaboration, and sharing of teaching and learning resources.
“Investing in the preservation and resilience of Vagahau Niue and other Pacific languages is a priority for New Zealand and our Pacific Peoples Minister. Our commitment reflects support for intergenerational and cultural resilience in the Pacific,” Ms Mahuta said.
“The whakapapa connections of te reo Māori and the languages of Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, including Vagahau Niue, provides a basis for a rich and productive partnership.”
The Minister also met with Niue’s health workers and the Niue COVID-19 Committee to commend their efforts at keeping the community safe during the pandemic. New Zealand and Niue worked closely on the COVID-19 pandemic response, including the provision of vaccines and surge personnel to support clinical and public health teams.
The Minister departed Niue for Tonga this morning.