Tuesday 30th October, 2018-Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Tuesday welcomed the High Commissioner of New Zealand to Antigua and Barbuda and the O.E.C.S.
His Excellency Anton Ojala becomes the second diplomat since the creation of the New Zealand Embassy in 2014 in Barbados.
During their meeting, PM Browne noted that both Antigua and Barbuda and New Zealand have enjoyed a strong and cordial relationship, mostly based on shared Commonwealth heritage, sports and common areas of focus on the international scene.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne humored the proceedings by reminiscing on the many matches the West Indies Cricket Team played against the New Zealand team, noting the level of sportsmanship displayed between the two nations. Other areas of common interest PM Browne noted included their collaboration on issues of Climate Change and promoting climate resilience for developing countries.
PM Browne congratulated him on his appointment and thanked him and his government for their support of Antigua and Barbuda through our highly-valued bilateral relationship.
These areas include assistance in regional agricultural projects, small community projects, scholarships and most recently, a committed grant of USD$500,000.00, 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.
PM Browne also indicated the government’s support for New Zealand’s Candidacy for Interpol and 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 a more collaborative work together.
The High Commissioner noted that 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% energy-renewable island.