Prime Minister Honourable Sitiveni Rabuka joined His Excellency the President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere to commemorate Waitangi Day at the New Zealand High Commissioner’s residence earlier tonight.
The national day of New Zealand marks the anniversary of the initial signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February in 1840.
The Treaty is regarded by many as the founding document of the nation of New Zealand.
New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Fiji Her Excellency Charlotte Darlow, while addressing the guests, said Waitangi Day is an event that brings people together for a time of celebration.
“Waitangi Day is usually a day that reminds us that a Treaty was signed 183 years ago between two parties, and up to this day, the people of Aotearoa is still trying to bring this Treaty to life,” she said.
“We dont have a formal constitution in New Zealand but we have the Treaty. This Treaty gives us the basis of partnership, and how we govern our nation, among other important aspects.”
While raising a toast on behalf of the Coalition Government and the people of Fiji, acting Chief of Protocol Mr Paulo Daurewa said that Waitangi Day reminds us all that the traditions and ethos of our elders still have relevance more than ever before.
“It has paved the way for New Zealand’s support and cooperation at the various levels of engagements for the development of our peoples,” he said.
He added that New Zealand’s continued partnership is highly appreciated and “we are confident that our long standing bilateral relations will further strengthen in the years ahead to our mutual benefit”.
Meanwhile, some Cabinet Ministers, members of the diplomatic corps and representatives from other organisations were also part of the event.