News Release

PH, NZ agree to re-energize ties to promote, secure regional peace, security, rule of law

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. emphasized before New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon the Philippine government’s commitment to continue working with them in promoting regional peace and security, and safeguarding the rule of law.

“So, I take this opportunity to emphasize the intent of the Philippines to continue working with New Zealand on promoting regional peace and security, and in safeguarding the rule of law under the framework of international law,” President Marcos said during the bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Luxon.

Prime Minister Luxon is currently in Manila for a two-day visit to the Philippines from April 18 to 19. He was warmly welcomed by President Marcos at the Malacañan Palace, a few hours before their bilateral meeting.

President Marcos said the Prime Minister’s visit will be a signal of a re-energized bilateral relationship between the Philippines and New Zealand, which will see both countries develop their existing cooperation and expand on areas of great potential amid “an ever-changing regional and global landscape.”

The formal diplomatic relations between the Philippines and New Zealand span 57 years since their establishment on July 6, 1966.

President Marcos said the Philippines and New Zealand have pursued cooperation on matters of mutual interest, resulting in 30 bilateral agreements in the fields of defense, development, agriculture, education, energy, labor, food security, visa, environment and trade, among others.

“Throughout the decades, we have remained committed to this friendship through a trade relationship with immense untapped potential, a strong commitment to international law, and a robust people-to-people tie,” President Marcos said.

“These enhanced our deep connections that have already rooted in our common Austronesian heritage and our shared realities as archipelagic and maritime nations,” he added.

As fellow Pacific states, President Marcos also underscored the need for the Philippines and New Zealand to share challenges and the risks of climate change and the sea level rise, along with the natural hazards such as volcano eruptions and earthquake.

He said that “no single country can manage the effects of these phenomena alone,” prompting him to call for greater collaboration of like-minded countries.

“So, as mature democracies and responsible states, both our countries uphold similar values, including our shared respect for international law, such as the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” President Marcos noted.

“And respecting and upholding the rule of law is a matter of concern not only for the Philippines and New Zealand, but absolutely, certainly, the rest of the international community as well. Underscoring our Pacific friendship is the strong people-to-people connection between the Philippines and the Kiwis,” he added.

New Zealand serves as the second home to over 100,000 Filipinos, the President said.

For his part, Prime Minister Luxon extended his gratitude to President Marcos, saying that it is a good time to visit Manila and talk about the things in common between the two countries.

“Obviously, for New Zealand, we are deeply committed to re-energizing our relationships across the Southeast Asia, for Philippines in particular, we look at this market and this country, we think it’s a fantastic future that you have,” Prime Minister Luxon said.

The Prime Minister also acknowledged the growing population of the Filipino community in New Zealand especially in terms of their contributions to the country’s economy. *PND*