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By Rashika Kumar in Suva

The New Zealand government has reaffirmed its 55-year partnership with the regional University of the South Pacific and will contribute NZ$35.8 million to the institution in the next five years to support USP’s long-term planning, innovation and stability.

This was confirmed by NZ’s Deputy Prime Minister and Associate Foreign Affairs (Pacific) Minister Carmel Sepuloni following bilateral talks with USP vice-chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia yesterday.

New Zealand and USP have also signed a new 10-year partnership.

Professor Ahluwalia said the money provided was for the university to deliver strategic plans which encompassed the best education over its campuses without which they would not survive.

Sepuloni said that now more than ever — and in true Pacific spirit — they must continue to maintain regional solidarity and be unified in what was a very important partnership for New Zealand.

She said the partnership further provided New Zealand with the opportunity to support the university’s strategic direction.

Blue Pacific strategy
It also would deliver against shared priorities while supporting Pacific action on the region’s 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, and working towards Pacific countries’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Sepuloni said New Zealand was committed to upholding regional security and stability in the Pacific.

She said it was even more important now to strengthen further the relationships with their Pacific whānau, and work with them to maintain and build on the institutions that had long maintained peace and security within the region.

Sepuloni added that this partnership was an excellent demonstration of NZ’s commitment to a regional approach making them stronger together.

Rashika Kumar is a Fijivillage reporter. Republished with permission.

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