Q: With the announcement of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s departure, can France give us an assessment of the New Zealand government’s posture toward our Indo-Pacific strategy?
A: We applaud Jacinda Ardern’s accomplishments throughout her term as well as her excellent cooperation with France, which led to the adoption of such joint initiatives as the Christchurch Call in support of a free, open, secure Internet that cannot be exploited by terrorists.
New Zealand is one of France’s close partners in Oceania, and we share a common vision of many fundamental issues. As a Pacific nation, France has long worked with New Zealand on regional matters, especially in the area of humanitarian assistance in disaster situations under the FRANZ Arrangement, and on climate change through the Kiwa Initiative. These cooperative efforts are an essential part of France’s Indo-Pacific strategy, whose aim is to make the region a free, safe, open space with ambitious goals for the ocean, the climate and biodiversity, and which takes infrastructure issues and exchanges between people into account.