After greeting one another in their respective Te Reo Māori, Minister Mahuta and the Cook Islands Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mark Brown, discussed the strength of the special partnership between the Cook Islands and New Zealand, based on our constitutional foundation. They discussed the unprecedented economic and social impact of COVID-19, their countries’ responses to the pandemic, and access to vaccines. The Ministers also discussed the outlook for the Pacific region and Pacific Islands Forum matters.  

Alongside Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, Minister Mahuta held an introductory call with the Premier of Niue, Dalton Tagelagi, and members of the Niue Cabinet. The Ministers and the Premier acknowledged the special constitutional relationship between Niue and New Zealand and the depth of our connections. They discussed the unprecedented economic and social impact of COVID-19, responses to the pandemic, and the shared priority of protecting populations including through equitable access to vaccines. Ministers and the Premier also discussed matters of regional importance such as oceans and fisheries, and New Zealand’s upcoming hosting of APEC.   

Minister Mahuta held a warm and constructive introductory call with the Ulu-o-Tokelau (Leader of Tokelau), Esera Tuisano, to discuss the various work streams stemming from PM Ardern’s visit to Tokelau in 2019, in light of the current COVID-19 environment. They discussed how New Zealand and Tokelau can best partner to keep development projects moving forward in areas such as critical infrastructure, renewable energy, ICT connectivity, health and education, while steadfastly seeking to ensure that COVID-19 does not reach Tokelau’s shores.