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Fijian women parliamentarians team up with NZ counterparts

This week, New Zealand will be hosting eight women members from the Parliament of Republic of Fiji. The visit is part of an ongoing programme of parliamentary capacity and relationship building between members of Parliament in the Pacific region.

“New Zealand and Fiji share a warm relationship, with regular parliamentary exchanges. There are now record numbers of women in both our Parliaments, with 20 percent in Fiji and 40.8 percent in New Zealand,” said Rt Hon Trevor Mallard, Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives.

“However, on the whole, representation of our women in the Pacific region is low. Programmes such as this are an important way to build relationships, mentor, and share best practice between women MPs. I am delighted we are hosting this visit so soon after the Fijian election”.

Delegates will participate in a range of workshops as part of the programme, on topical issues including communication, representing constituencies, chairing, managing office budgets and party responsibilities, campaigning and negotiation, interactions in select committees, and advocating for women in the Parliament. There will also be opportunities to shadow New Zealand MPs as they undertake a range of parliamentary business, and to visit electorates in Auckland and Christchurch.

The delegation includes members of both Government and Opposition parties: Hon Premila Kumar, Hon Mereseini Vuniwaqa, Hon Rosy Akbar, Hon Ro Teimumu Kepa, Hon Salote Radrodro, Hon Selai Adimaitoga, Hon Lynda Tabuya, and Hon. Adi Litia Qionibaravi.

The visit programme is arranged by the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives of New Zealand, with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Commonwealth Women’s Parliamentarians Group (CWP). The CWP is part of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, with the aim of increasing the numbers of women in Parliaments and supporting the wellbeing of women and girls in decision-making.

The programme runs from 18 to 22 February 2019.

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