NZ and Fiji commit to strengthening partnership

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has met with his Fijian counterpart, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, and discussed how New Zealand and Fiji can further strengthen their partnership. 

During their bilateral talks in Suva this morning, Mr Luxon and Mr Rabuka canvassed a range of issues including defence and regional security, trade, and people-to-people links.

“Fiji is a critical partner for New Zealand and we look to Fiji for its leadership in the Pacific. We share values and interests, and we work closely together on the challenges confronting our region,” Mr Luxon says.

A joint statement by the two leaders highlighted areas of alignment in Fiji and New Zealand’s world views and set ambitious goals for future cooperation.

This includes their joint aspiration to grow the trade and investment opportunities between New Zealand and Fiji.

“Prime Minister Rabuka and I have set a goal of lifting two-way trade to $2 billion by 2030. 

“With two-way trade currently worth nearly $1.4 billion we are building on a strong foundation. But there remains significant opportunity for growth that will benefit both our countries.” 

Mr Luxon also announced that the Government will remove the requirement for Fijian nationals transiting through New Zealand to have a transit visa. 

“This is a tangible demonstration of New Zealand’s commitment to Fiji, and the value we place on our bilateral relationship.

“Many Fijian nationals travel through New Zealand to reach other destinations in the Pacific and around the world – we expect this will have a positive economic impact for the region.

“This change will mean that Fijian nationals will be able to transit New Zealand with a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA), similar to many other Pacific countries,” Mr Luxon says.

Mr Luxon also announced funding for several other initiatives in Fiji through New Zealand’s International Development Cooperation programme: 

  • A further NZ$3.6 million to Fiji’s Climate Relocation of Communities Trust Fund. 
  • Funding of NZ$572,000 for an upgrade to the High Temperature Forced Air (HTFA) Facility at Nadi International Airport alongside Australia, to help Fijian horticultural exporters meet New Zealand’s strict biosecurity requirements.
  • NZ$15.3 million for a New Zealand Plant and Food Research-led programme to support farmers in five Pacific countries, including Fiji, to adapt to the impacts of climate change on production.
  • NZ$7.5 million for the Government of Fiji’s economic reform programme, which is focused on improving fiscal management and sustainability, and economic resilience.

Notes to editors:

Transit visa waiver

  • Work to implement this change is still underway, including changes to immigration regulations. This is expected to be completed in the coming months. In the meantime, Fiji nationals transiting New Zealand will still need a Transit Visa. 
  • Once the transit visa waiver is implemented Fiji nationals will need to apply for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) to transit New Zealand. 
  • Fiji nationals intending to visit, study, or work in New Zealand will still need to apply for the appropriate visa.
  • The fee for an NZeTA is NZ$23 for online applications, or NZ$17 if using the free app. NZeTA requests are processed within 72 hours and are valid for two years.