Home The Big Stories New Zealand High Commissioner visits PM Browne

New Zealand High Commissioner visits PM Browne

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Antigua and Barbuda and New Zealand have enjoyed a strong and cordial relationship, mostly based on a shared Commonwealth heritage, sports and common areas of focus on the international scene.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne made the observation yesterday as he welcomed New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda and the OECS, Anton Ojala.
The prime minister lightened the atmosphere of the formal event by reminiscing on the many cricketing encounters between the West Indies and New Zealand. He also pointed to other areas of common interest including collaboration on issues of Climate Change and promoting climate resilience for developing countries.
Ojala is the second New Zealand diplomat to Antigua and Barbuda and the OECS, since the creation of the New Zealand Embassy in 2014, located in Barbados.
The prime minister, in congratulating the High Commissioner on his appointment, thanked him and his government for supporting Antigua and Barbuda through a highly-valued bilateral relationship, which includes assistance in regional agricultural projects, small community projects, scholarships and most recently, a committed grant of US $500,000 contribution to the United Arab Emirates’ Power Station and Solar Hybrid Plant in Barbuda.
Prime Minister Browne highlighted the timely contribution of the grant towards the government’s commitment to building a more climate-resilient Barbuda.
He also affirmed his government’s support for New Zealand’s Candidacy for Interpol and he pledged further support for the Pacific Island State’s Ocean Acidification initiative.
High Commissioner Ojala in his appreciation of the Prime Minister’s remarks noted that he has since gained a better understanding of the region and looks forward to more collaborative work together.
He said: “In thinking about the relationship between our countries, we have three Cs in common. The Commonwealth, Cricket, and Cheese.”
PM Browne responded: “And now we can add Climate Change to the list.”
According to the High Commissioner, New Zealand remains committed to supporting Antigua and Barbuda’s recovery following Hurricane Irma. He indicated that his government is pleased to offer its support for the project of renewable energy and Antigua and Barbuda’s aspirations to make Barbuda a 100 percent energy-renewable island.

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