Visit of New Zealand Foreign Minister to Tonga

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Hon. Nanaia Mahuta will arrive in Tonga tomorrow, August 18, for her first official visit.

His tour, which included Niue earlier in the week, builds on Aotearoa New Zealand’s Pacific Resilience Approach announced last year and climate action priorities to build resilience, support the collective action and increasing the capacity of partner countries.

King Tupou VII will receive the minister in audience.

Hon. Mahuta will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Hon. Hu’akavameiliku and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Fekita ‘Utoikamanu.

In a statement, she said: “After the disruption caused by covid-19 border closures, this is another opportunity to connect in person with our Pacific whanau, reaffirm Aotearoa New Zealand’s enduring ties to the region and engage in future cooperation.

“These are challenging times for the Pacific. Leaders at last month’s Pacific Islands Forum reaffirmed climate change as the greatest security threat with the adoption of the Pacific Blue Continent Strategy 2050. .

“We stand with the Pacific to mitigate and adapt to the impact of sea level rise. Half of our $1.3 billion climate finance commitments announced by year end are for the Pacific. I will provide an update on our climate finance strategy during a speech in Nuku’alofa on Friday.

While in Tonga, the New Zealand delegation will visit projects and agencies where Aotearoa New Zealand works in partnership with Tongan community leaders, including civil society organizations and frontline health workers.

The Pacific Resilience Approach takes a Pacific-centric view New Zealandcommon interests in the region.

“Aotearoa New Zealand is in and of the Pacific. Our ties to Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa and its people run deep, through whakapapa, language, shared histories, cultures and interests,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

She left Tonga on August 19.