News 17 May 2018
Jonathan Curr hit the ground running when he took up his role as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Fiji in February.
After receiving a typically warm Fiji welcome on his arrival, he was on hand to witness the Fiji Government’s special tribute to the veterans of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) No.5 Squadron, who were part of the flying boat operations based at Suva's Laucala Bay Air Base from 1941 to 1967.
Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel and Laucala Bay veterans witnessed the unveiling on land originally home to the No.5 Squadron, now the campus for the University of the South Pacific.
“It was a significant occasion to be at and it was pleasing to be able to attend, having just arrived to my post in Fiji,” says Jonathan.
He adds that the New Zealand Government’s Pacific Reset Mission in March set the tone to strengthening relationships between New Zealand and the region.
In his first eight years at MFAT (New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade), Jonathan worked on various Pacific issues, initially as manager of New Zealand’s aid programme with the Cook Islands, then as Deputy High Commissioner in Tonga.
After a brief stint in the Ministry’s Environment Division, he was seconded to the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (headed by Rt Hon Winston Peters) as Private Secretary.
He has served New Zealand across the globe (Africa, Asia, the UK and the Pacific) in various roles and has studied a variety of languages as well as political science.
Jonathan’s wife Florence (Fololeni) was born and raised in neighbouring Tonga, graduated from the University of the South Pacific, joined Tonga’s Ministry of Finance then migrated to New Zealand.
March was significant as the New Zealand Navy announced it is extending its assistance to Fiji after the deployment of HMNZS Hawea for six months a year.
An inshore patrol vessel will spend three months on surveillance work, with an offshore patrol vessel to conduct patrols in Fiji's wider Exclusive Economic Zone later this year.
New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Rt Hon. Winston Peters, said New Zealand and Fiji shared a deep and abiding interest in supporting the region's maritime security and ensuring resources are protected.
He said the deployment would extend links between the two countries, detect and deter illegal fishing in Fiji's waters, and complement regional surveillance.
Jonathan looks forward to the upcoming HOMS (Heads of Mission) Breakfast at Auckland’s Hilton Hotel on Friday May 25.
“I met a few of them at the PCF offices late last year,” he recalls.
“It’s a great networking opportunity and I’m positive attracting business leaders from New Zealand and the region will result in genuine and quality prospects.”
Find out more
The Pacific Head’s of Mission Breakfast (HOMs) is on 25 May 2018 in Auckland.