Fiji is an excellent example of a Pacific country “punching above its weight”, says newly appointed New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Jonathan Curr.
Mr Curr, who was joined by his wife Fololeni Curr, made the remarks during his welcome speech at his residence on Wednesday night while hosting Government ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, members of the armed forces, and guests.
He said his arrival in Fiji came at an exciting time when the New Zealand-Fiji relationship was good after the challenges of the last decade or so.
Mr Curr said he was both encouraged and humbled by the warm welcome received from the Fijian Government and the people.
“This is an exciting time for New Zealand’s Pacific engagement, and for our relationship with Fiji,” he said.
“And I look forward to doing my part to deliver on the Government’s objectives, and to strengthen our treasured friendship, over the next few years.”
He said apart from being intensively engaged in the Pacific, the New Zealand government has committed itself to a refreshed and reinvigorated approach to the Pacific region.
“This commitment reflects our collective striving for greater prosperity for our peoples, and shared concerns about security and resilience in the face of both man-made and natural threats,” Mr Curr said.
“But the region is also one of opportunity and empowerment, where Pacific countries stand as equals, making their own choices, and having their own voices heard on the global stage.”
He told those present to expect more NZ political leaders to visit our shores as the Defence Minister Ron Mark will soon arrive into the country for the University of the South Pacific’s (USP) 50th anniversary.
Mr Curr will serve a term of four years here.