Pacific Islands Heads of Mission (PIHOM) Meeting

1st March 2021
Pacific Islands Heads of Mission and/or their representatives with Ms Megan Robins of the Office of the Clerk.
The Papua New Guinea and the Vanuatu High Commissions co-hosted the first quarterly Pacific Island Heads of Mission (PIHOM) at the PNG Mission Chancery on Thursday 25th February 2021. Accordingly, the Meeting were co-Chaired jointly by the High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea (HE Brigadier General Francis Agwi) and the Charge D’Affaires of Vanuatu (Ms Saniani Trief). The Meeting opened with a prayer offered by the High Commissioner of Tuvalu, HE Mr Paulson Panapa. During the meeting, updates from each Pacific Island Country were presented. The subsequent discussions focused mainly on the COVID-19 situation in the Region and the proposed vaccination programmes for each country. There are eight Pacific Island Missions established in Wellington. These are; Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The Heads of Mission posts for Vanuatu and Solomon Islands are still vacant since the passing of the late High Commissioner of Vanuatu (HE Mr. Johnson Naviti) on 3rdAugust 2020 and the departure of the High Commissioner of Solomon Islands, HE Mrs. Joy Kere, early last year. The Guest Speaker for the Meeting was Ms. Megan Robins, Inter-Parliamentary Relations Advisor at the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Ms. Robins delivered a presentation on the ‘Tai a Kiwa’ programme, which provides (on request) technical and other assistance from the New Zealand Parliament to the Pacific Islands’ Parliaments. The ‘Tai a Kiwa’ programme was established in May 2019 with the focus on enhancing capability and capacity of Pacific Islands’ Parliaments. Several Pasifika MPs and Parliamentary Staff have benefitted from the Programme to date. The Samoa High Commissioner, H.E. Leasi Papali’i Scanlan, was accompanied by the Counsellor, Mr. Robert Niko Aiono, to the meeting.