Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins met with Fijian Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, in Wellington this morning, announcing NZ$11.1 million to support climate change efforts in Fiji.
“We had an inspired discussion on how we can further cooperate on combating the effects of climate change. It’s clear it remains the single greatest threat to lives and livelihoods in the Pacific region,” said PM Hipkins.
“Many New Zealanders have experienced first hand through Cyclone Gabrielle the devastation it causes communities, and this additional funding will assist Fiji to deliver community-based climate adaptation and mitigation projects.
“Climate change is an issue we must all face together, and our international climate finance commitment of NZ$1.3 billion will help address the increased vulnerability climate change creates for economies, communities, food and water security, and ecosystems in the Pacific,” he said.
Prime Minister Rabuka said the official visit marked a significant milestone in the New Zealand–Fiji relationship, clearly demonstrating a commitment to elevating how the two nations work together.
“The Duavata Relationship Statement of Partnership is the platform from which we are able to approach issues of mutual interest and importance to Fiji and New Zealand, such as, climate change, social well-being, regional security, and building economic resilience,” said Prime Minister Rabuka.
“This additional funding from New Zealand is very welcome. It will support Fiji to implement discrete projects in renewable energy, infrastructure resilience, climate policy, and capacity strengthening.”
Prime Ministers Hipkins and Rabuka also discussed their vision for the region, in line with the goals set out in the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent by Pacific Leaders during the Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji, last year.
“New Zealand and Fiji are connected by a kinship forged in Pacific culture, identity and interests, founded on our long history, friendship, and mutual respect,” Mr Hipkins said.
“Prime Minister Rabuka and I exchanged views on a wide range of issues that are important to our countries and region, including strengthening our regional institutions which have long served pacific interests, as well as economic and security matters that are impacting our region.”
Prime Minister Rabuka last officially visited New Zealand in 1998.