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Peters names new High Commissioner to Kiribati

Peters names new High Commissioner to Kiribati

New Zealand's next High Commissioner to Tarawa will be diplomat Robert Kaiwai, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today.

Mr Kaiwai will also be accredited to the Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

"New Zealand's relations with Kiribati have historically been warm, and they were greatly enhanced by President Anote Tong's visit in June for World Environment Day," Mr Peters said.

"Kiribati faces some major sustainability challenges, including from overcrowding on Tarawa, and pressures on its drinking water supply.

"New Zealand's development assistance to Kiribati, which will rise to around $32 million over the next five years, will help address those challenges.

"New Zealand and Kiribati are also closely engaged in regional institutions, such as the Pacific Islands Forum and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission," Mr Peters said.

Mr Kaiwai was previously deputy director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Middle East and Africa Division. He has worked in Taiwan and Japan, and has a background in environmental issues.

Mr Kaiwai takes up his position in September, replacing Craig Rickit who has returned to Wellington.

ENDS

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