5 Apr 2017

Fiji joins South Pacific Defence meeting in Auckland

2:14 pm on 5 April 2017
Fiji Military Parade.

Photo: Supplied

Fiji will this year join the South Pacific Defence Ministers's Meeting which is due to be held in Auckland tomorrow.

In a statement, the New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said he is particularly pleased to welcome Fiji, which lost its regional defence links because of objections to its military overthrowing the government in 2006.

Fiji's defence ties with regional powers were quickly restored after the elections in 2014 by which time Suva had consolidated its Look North policy and strengthened ties with the armed forces of several Asian countries.

The ministers and senior officials attending tomorrow's Auckland meeting are from Australia, Chile, Fiji, France, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.

They are expected to discuss disaster responses, peacekeeping developments as well as women in armed forces.

Mr Brownlee said experienced leaders will share observations on improvements that can made together, including lessons from last November's Kaikoura earthquake response and Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji last year.