Bainimarama talks trade, diplomacy in New Zealand visit
Fiji Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe 'Frank' Bainimarama is visiting New Zealand for the first time as leader of the Pacific nation, attending a number of events across Auckland.
Relations between the two countries have been strained since Mr Bainimarama seized power over Fiji in the 2006 coup, but the visit represents a thawing of relations.
In a speech on Thursday morning, Mr Bainimarama said he was "Frank by name, and frank by nature," but his relationship with Prime Minister John Key is "very cordial".
"I deeply appreciated Mr Key's gesture in coming to Suva back in June, when we had our first encounter and were able to give the Prime Minister a warm Fijian welcome," he said.
Mr Bainimarama visited the Bula Centre kindergarten in Mangere East on Thursday morning, ahead of an official reception on Thursday afternoon.
The keen rugby fan will conclude his New Zealand visit at Eden Park on Saturday, watching the All Blacks take on Australia.
Also speaking as Fiji's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Bainimarama opened the Fiji Trade and Investment Symposium in Auckland. He encouraged investors to look at Fiji's trade and business opportunities with "fresh eyes".