4 Mar 2019

Tuvalu hopes NZ agreement will bring greater communication

4:49 pm on 4 March 2019

The Prime Minister of Tuvalu says he hopes a partnership between his government and New Zealand will bring about closer communication between the two countries.

Over the weekend Enele Sopoaga and New Zealand's Foreign Minister Winston Peters signed the 'Tuvalu Statement of Partnership' in Funafuti.

The agreement aims to prioritise co-operation around climate change, workforce development and regional security.

Mr Sopoaga said with its various challenges, Tuvalu's voice needs to be heard more clearly internationally but also within the region.

He said the new agreement will assist in this regard.

"We need constant consultation and collaborations, you know, clarification of issues. It's a pathway for us to move forward and hopefully we can regularise our meeting between Wellington and Tuvalu. Not only between governments but also other sectors of communities."

Former Tuvalu Prime Minister, Enele Sopoaga

Former Tuvalu Prime Minister, Enele Sopoaga Photo: RNZ Pacific / Koro Vaka'uta

Mr Sopoaga said there were many areas the two countries can work together on.

"Issues of climate change; responding to climate change; issues of visa, immgration issues of Tuvaluans coming to New Zealand; issues of co-operation in many areas like vocational training and hands-on training and the building of local capacity in Tuvalu."

Winston Peters said the agreement sets out fundamental principles for the relationship to develop between 2019-2023.