Minister Mahuta to pay her respect to the newly-installed Vunivalu na Tui Kaba

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta garland by the staff of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat during the unveiling of the plague and the rededication of the Maori carving. Picture: ATU RASEA?FT FILE

Aoteroa New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta will pay her respects to newly-installed Vunivalu na Tui Kaba Ratu Epenisa Cakobau on Bau Island today.

Highlighting the significance of the visit, Ms Mahuta said it would be a learning experience and one steeped in strengthening their indigenous connections.

“For me it is very significant,” she said.

“The opportunity to visit Bau will be an educational experience but also reaffirm being how important it is to ensure that indigenous culture is connected

“It is very important during my time as Minister for Foreign Affairs to ensure that as we connect at an indigenous to indigenous level, with culture, that we strengthen one another’s understandings of our common aspirations.

“So visiting Bau will inform me of a number of things but actually give me a deeper insight into iTaukei culture and their aspirations going forward for the future.”

She added that including the indigenous community in Fiji’s national ambitions was vital.

“One of the key messages that I have as a Foreign Minister, who is a Maori woman and indigenous, is that the opportunity that we have to include the indigenous perspective alongside the ambitions of your country deepens the nature of the relationship.

“It sits alongside the opportunities for everyone else in your country who seeks to ensure that we strengthen the way in which we work together and in this case between Fiji and New Zealand for the broader benefits that we observe and necessary for the wellbeing of our families.”

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