KIWIS, VANUATU ENJOY GOOD RELATIONS: HIGH COMMISSIONER

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Outgoing diplomat points to many achievements

By Glenda Shing PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, , 2010) – In Vanuatu, the outgoing New Zealand High Commissioner, Jeff Langley, has praised the country for the very good working relationship established with New Zealand.

Well-known for his fluency in Bislama, Langley has served three and a half years in Vanuatu and said the achievements gained were made possible through the strengthened partnership with New Zealand.

The outgoing High Commissioner compared Vanuatu and New Zealand to a Canoe and its outrigger. He said Vanuatu being the "canoe" find and sets its priorities right, and gives power to move forward, while New Zealand which is the "outrigger" sees how it would assist and provides support in order to achieve the developments.

Langley has committed himself to a number of programs to support Vanuatu’s developments "including making sure the New Zealand Government assisted with the major road infrastructure under the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA)-Vanuatu Program on Efate and on Santo".

In his speech, Prime Minister Sato Kilman acknowledged one of the most outstanding achievements during Langley’s term, was the establishment of the Recognized Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE Scheme) which provides opportunities for approximately 2,500 ni-Vanuatu to work in New Zealand.

Some of the achievements which contributed to the development of Vanuatu during the three and a half years include the doubling of NZaid Program to Vanuatu as well as the increases of the number of those involved with the RSE Scheme.

Other achievements are the new levels of support for education including the school grants scheme, increase in number of scholarships and short term training awards in New Zealand, and the successful Passport Project that has given Vanuatu a modern machine-readable passport.

One important achievement is the building of closer relationships between New Zealand agencies and their ni-Vanuatu counterparts as part of a ‘whole government’ approach, to name a few.

"Let me take this time to wish you and your family all the best and God’s blessings wherever life’s journey you take", the Prime Minister told Langley.

With the level of achievement attained during the three and a half years, Jeff Langley was awarded with a medal of recognition of the service provided in Vanuatu, by the Head of State, Iolu Abbil.

In his response, Langley also acknowledge especially, the Vanuatu Government, the New Zealand High Commission Staff, the New Zealand community and anyone who have contributed in assistance in a way or the other in order to achieve the developments.

Langley accepted the medal and said he not only receive it in his capacity as the New Zealand High Commissioner, but on behalf of everyone who has made his work during the three and a half years a successful one.

He admitted that he will leave this country with "sadness in his heart" but is sure that he will return to Vanuatu one day, but maybe as a tourist.

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