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Peters; New Chancery reflects growing relationship

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

7 June 2006

New Chancery reflects growing relationship

Delivered at the opening of the new NZ High Commission Chancery
Port Vila, Vanuatu
7 June, 2006

It is a pleasure to be here with you today with our small delegation to open the New Zealand High Commission offices that also includes, for the first time, a large NZAID office as part of the Chancery.

The move to these new premises is necessitated by the expansion of the New Zealand team in Port Vila, and the significant expansion of NZAID’s bilateral and regional development assistance programme in Vanuatu.

It is a timely investment in our long-standing relationship with Vanuatu and demonstrates the New Zealand government’s re-commitment to doing much more in our shared neighbourhood – the Pacific.

Significantly, it reflects both the importance that New Zealand attaches to its relationship with Vanuatu; the increasing diversity and complexity of the relationship, including two-way trade, shared security interests, resource and environmental management concerns, and importantly New Zealand’s on-going commitment to a long-term development partnership with Vanuatu, as well as neighbouring Melanesian countries.

Vanuatu is an important Pacific partner to New Zealand. The waves of the same ocean lap on both our shores. We are both active Pacific Forum members. We have a long-standing and friendly relationship. Many senior members of the public sector have studied in New Zealand both at secondary school and university.

The deepening of New Zealand’s engagement is based on our commitment to work in partnership with the government of Vanuatu towards Vanuatu’s development goals.

The new staff, New Zealand and local, will enable us to engage more closely with our Ni-Vanuatu counterparts in matters of mutual concern.

Travellers who require a visa for New Zealand will no longer have to crowd into a small waiting room or stand in the hallway as before.

New Zealanders visiting Vanuatu, whether it is for tourism or for business and investment reasons, will now have a comfortable and modern place to go should they need any sort of assistance.

And from these new offices New Zealand will be better placed to administer New Zealand’s ODA programme. In possibly a first, the NZAID team at the High Commission will have its own suite of offices on the floor below the Chancery, allowing for easy access and contact with local agencies, NGOs and development partners.

As noted at the outset, the New Zealand government sees these new offices as a sound investment for the future and one that provides a platform for wider and deeper engagement with our Ni-Vanuatu neighbours.

It is a tangible demonstration of New Zealand’s commitment to working with you for a better future.

It is therefore a great pleasure to declare this relocated New Zealand High Commission officially open.


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