Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee will travel to Fiji today to meet with Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

“I last visited Fiji in December 2014 as Defence Minister and am looking forward to discussing a range of matters with Prime Minister Bainimarama,” Mr Brownlee says.

“These will include regional issues, our Defence and disaster risk reduction ties, and New Zealand’s aid and development programme.

“The Royal New Zealand Navy has recently deployed inshore patrol vessel HMNZS Hawea to Fiji for six months to help bolster the nation’s maritime security and to protect its fisheries.

"Fiji is an island nation, like New Zealand, and therefore protecting our maritime borders is extremely important.

“New Zealand’s response to Cyclone Winston in 2016 demonstrated the deep friendship between the people of our two countries. Responding to natural disasters is an area where I believe we could more closely collaborate.

“Fiji is New Zealand’s largest trading partner in the Pacific and a growing number of New Zealand businesses are active there.

“While in Suva I will also meet with Pacific Islands Forum Secretary-General Dame Meg Taylor,” Mr Brownlee says.

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