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RNZ Pacific

Members of Fijian communities in Auckland and Wellington are eager to meet Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka next week when he arrives on his first official state visit to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Rabuka and wife Sulueti are expected to arrive in Auckland on Monday before meeting with the local Fijian community in the afternoon.

They and the delegation accompanying them will then make the trip down to Wellington where they are scheduled to meet with the Fijian community in the capital on Tuesday evening.

Rabuka will also meet NZ Prime Minister Chris Hipkins on Wednesday before a bilateral lunch with Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

But it is the meeting with the Fijian communities that is expected to be the highlight of the tour.

Wellington’s Viti Community president Maciu Vucago said the group was excited to have the chance to meet Prime Minister Rabuka at the Wellington Indian Association centre.

“This is the first time he is coming here as Prime Minister after the elections of 2022,” he said.

“After 16 long years we have the opportunity to meet our own Prime Minister. Everyone is excited and we will use the opportunity to get updates on what is happening and hopefully ask some questions to help us understand what is happening,” he added.

The Fijian community meeting in Wellington will feature Fiji’s major ethnic groups — the iTaukei, Indo-Fijian and Rotuman — who have come together to prepare for the event.

“It will be a good day for all of us coming together to meet our Prime Minister,” Vucago said.

Rabuka and his delegation will return to Fiji on Thursday.

The Prime Minister is currently in Apia as part of the Pacific Leaders contingent there celebrating Samoa’s Independence Day.

  • According to the 2018 NZ Census, there are 36,000 Fiji islanders — including all ethnic groups — living in the country.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

The launch of Voqa ni Veisemati: Vola Italanoa ni Viti e Aotearoa in Wellington
A Fijian community gathering . . . Image: RNZ Pacific

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