Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni to lead first Pacific mission since COVID-19

Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni.
Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni. Photo credit: AM


Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni will lead the first mission to the Pacific since COVID-19 broke out.

Sepuloni, who is also the Associate Foreign Affairs Minister for the Pacific, will leave for Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga on Sunday.

It would be an invaluable opportunity to strengthen New Zealand's relationships and reaffirm the commitment to working alongside Pacific whānau to respond to challenges, Sepuloni said.

The region was the Government's "foreign policy priority", Sepuloni said.

"We proudly take a Pacific-led approach to solving the issues facing the region, not least to mention, climate change.

"Tackling climate change together, which has become a harsh reality here in Aotearoa New Zealand, continues to be of urgent importance. It's more important than ever that we all take collective action to combat its effects, especially alongside our Pacific whānau.

"Our shared Blue Pacific Continent also faces a range of challenges including institutional and economic fragility, social and demographic issues, and increasing geo-strategic competition."

Sepuloni will be accompanied by the Minister for Pacific Peoples Barbara Edmonds and the Climate Change Minister James Shaw as well as other community leaders.