New Zealand High Commission Port Vila, Vanuatu

New High Commissioner, Bill Dobbie, presents credentials

HC Bill Dobbie presenting his credentials

New Zealand's new High Commissioner to Vanuatu, William (Bill) Dobbie, presented his credentials to the President of Vanuatu, Johnson Abill Kaniapinn, on Tuesday 01 February 2011.  The ceremony was held at the State Nakamal (meeting place) at the presidential offices.

His Excellency Bill Dobbie arrives at a time when relations between the two countries are on a high note. When presenting his credentials, HC Dobbie highlighted core elements of the bilateral relationship that have flourished over recent years, including the Regional Employment Scheme (RSE) and New Zealand's increased aid assistance to support various sectors of growth.

HC Dobbie also talked about the new Joint Commitment for Development with Vanuatu which is to guide New Zealand's aid program to Vanuatu for the next five years.  "I hope this new agreement will enable us to build on what we have already achieved, while also taking new initiatives to promote Vanuatu's sustainable economic development, including through development of the private sector. I look forward to working with the Government of Vanuatu to conclude and implement this new Joint Commitment for Development", says Bill.

Bill also cited the recent upgrade of Vanuatu's diplomatic office in New Zealand to a Consulate-General, reflecting the growing relationship between the two Pacific nations.

"Recent government decision to establish a Consulate-General in Auckland is an example of a stronger relationship. I look forward to working with the Government of Vanuatu, and the business community, to improve even further trade and economic relationship that exists between our two countries".

When receiving Bill's credentials, President Abil acknowleged the relationship between the two countries and saluted NZ's aid assistance to Vanuatu. The President reiterated the success of the RSE, highlighting the tremendous benefits the scheme has delivered to the people of Vanuatu. After the exchanges, HC Bill received a 'Guard of Honor' from the Vanuatu Mobile Force. A small contingent from the High Commission accompanied Bill to the ceremony. Earlier on Monday, the staff at the Vila office welcomed Bill to his new office in true Vanuatu tradition. HC Dobbie replaces Jeff Langley.

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