Premier Hon. Dalton Tagelagi and his delegation, including Minister of Finance Hon. Crossley Tatui and Secretary to Government Peleni Talagi, were officially welcomed to New Zealand in Wellington yesterday.
In his official visit, Premier Tagelagi undertook a number of official engagements including meetings with the NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Pacific Peoples.
The meeting between Premier Tagelagi and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reaffirmed the close relationship between the two countries in a new Statement of Partnership signed in Wellington.
The new Statement of Partnership reflects Niue and New Zealand’s long-term cooperation on priority areas such as climate change, economic resilience and improved prosperity and the preservation of Niue’s culture and language.
The statement also highlighted areas of renewed cooperation arising from the pandemic, notably support for the health response and Niue’s economic recovery.
Premier Tagelagi said that “the Statement of Partnership reaffirms the vision of our leaders under the Niue Constitution in 1974, and the continued obligation of support and assistance from New Zealand to Niue.”
Prime Minister Ardern said that “Niue and Aotearoa New Zealand share deep whakapapa connections and our bonds remain strong”.
Prime Minister Ardern said that the talks with Premier Tagelagi were a warm exchange of views on issues of importance to both countries.
Prime Minister Ardern also acknowledged Niue’s success in the management of Covid 19 keeping the island free of the virus for two years, saying that “Niue’s enviable vaccination rates, with more than 93 percent of those eligible boosted, will be crucial as they continue to respond to the pandemic.”
“Aotearoa New Zealand has supported Niue since the outset of the pandemic through critical economic assistance, and health and border policy advice, and we stand ready to provide on-going support to Niue if requested,” says Prime Minister Ardern.
Premier Tagelagi notes that the challenges of the pandemic and climate change continue to place significant demands on Niue but that the small island nation is learning to adapt.
Premier Tagelagi said that “New Zealand’s and Prime Minister Ardern’s leadership have been an inspiration for the people of Niue with regard to how to manage COVID-19, climate change and global geopolitics”.
The Niue delegation also met with New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Nanaia Mahuta and Minister for Pacific Peoples’ Hon. Aupito William Sio.