Short’s visit to build on NZ-Fiji ties

New Zealand's Minister for Defence Ron Mark (middle) leaves the Nausori International Airport after being accorded a traditional welcome ceremony yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

New Zealand's Minister for Defence Ron Mark (middle) leaves the Nausori International Airport after being accorded a traditional welcome ceremony yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

New Zealand Defence Force’s vice chief Air Vice Marshal Kevin Short hopes his visit to Fiji will further strengthen ties between the two countries.

Vice Marshal Short said Fiji’s relationship with New Zealand was “on a very good basis”.

He is in the country with New Zealand Defence Minister Ron Mark to attend a commemorative event for the Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel who were based at Laucala Bay in Suva. He said unveiling of the monument today at the University of the South Pacific had much significance to the NZDF.

The No.5 Squadron was originally formed in November 1941 as the RNZAF expanded to meet the inevitable fact of a Pacific War. The group was stationed at Laucala Bay with flying boats and provided a maritime patrol force for that region

Mr Mark will unveil the monument at 6pm.