“We acknowledge that the development needs of Solomon Islands remain high, and we are committed to do what we can to support greater prosperity, stability, and resilience in this country,” Tabuteau said.
“This includes our significant investments in education, fisheries, tourism, economic reforms, renewable energy, bio-security, forest protection, aviation, police, and labour mobility – to name but a few of the sectors where we are working,” he added.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said Solomon Islands and New Zealand had enjoyed a long, respectful and mutually beneficial relationship for many years, and the opening of the new office had elevated the relationship to another level.
“This beautiful building situated in one of Honiara’s prime locations provides a new home for New Zealand High Commission in Solomon Islands - one that should make New Zealand proud, and one that has the admiration of my Government and the people of Solomon Islands.”
The construction of the office was a long term commitment to friendship and partnership, Prime Minister Sogavare said.
“New Zealand has been, is, and will always be, a true friend to Solomon Islands.”
New Zealand High Commissioner to Solomon Islands Don Higgins, who has been in the role for three years, said the building was a physical symbol of the strength of the relationship between the two countries.
“The new office building represents our strong and enduring commitment to our development partnership with Solomon Islands.
“The relationship between New Zealand and Solomon Islands goes back 150 years – and it is our strong people links that sustain us.”
The function at the office on Tendai Highway began with a powhiri – a Maori welcoming ceremony performed by kapa haka group from Rotorua, New Zealand.
The New Zealand High Commission supported the group from Te Puia to travel to Honiara to celebrate the opening, acknowledging New Zealand’s culture as a fellow Pacific nation.
The powhiri – consisting of traditional singing and dancing – welcomed guests to the dedication of the building, with the acting Governor General and Prime Minister being led in as VIPs.
Prime Minister Sogavare has his own special connection to New Zealand – being the recipient of a scholarship that saw him study at Waikato University.
The building has distinctly Pacific elements, which can be seen through the architecture and other elements of the Chancery.
It also houses the British High Commission, whose staff were present at the opening celebrations, along with other members of the diplomatic corps and other distinguished guests.