Mutual gains from NZ ties

Flight Lieutenant Jonathan Pound, front, with his crew in front of the RNZAF P3 Orion aircraft at the Nausori International Airport after a demonstration flight yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Flight Lieutenant Jonathan Pound, front, with his crew in front of the RNZAF P3 Orion aircraft at the Nausori International Airport after a demonstration flight yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

“FIJI is showing that it has got some innovative thinking that might be well ahead than other parts of the world.”

These were the words of New Zealand Defence Minister Ron Mark during a press conference at the Fiji Navy headquarters in Walu Bay, Suva yesterday.

Mr Mark said the challenges faced by Fiji was an opportunity for the two countries to strengthen their ties.

“From a NZ perspective there’s also a plus for us too, it’s the fact that we get to operate in a different environment,” Mr Mark said.

“We get to cement our people-to-people relationships and we get to test ourselves against the training of others and validate what we do.”

Mr Mark added the partnership would benefit not only Fiji but the rest of the region as well.

“This is a partnership arrangement. It’s good for New Zealand as it is for Fiji and we’re just immensely privileged that we’re able to be asked and be able to do this work,” he said.

“Then we think more broadly this is not just about Fiji. These problems and issues are being experienced by every Pacific Island nation out there and if the learning and changes we bring to how we operate here are beneficial to other nations then everybody is winning.”

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