WELLINGTON, March 20 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand will deploy a Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Inshore Patrol Vessel to Fiji for three months in 2018 to support maritime and fisheries surveillance, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said on Tuesday.
Later this year a New Zealand Offshore Patrol Vessel will also conduct complementary patrols in Fiji's wider Exclusive Economic Zone.
"We share a deep and abiding interest in supporting the region's maritime security and ensuring that the Pacific's natural resources are protected for future generations," Peters said.
"Fiji has an exclusive economic zone about one third the size of New Zealand's and, as fellow island nations, both our countries place enormous importance on the security and protection of our maritime environment," he said.
This deployment will further links between the two countries, detect and deter illegal fishing in Fiji's waters, and complement regional surveillance coordinated by the Forum Fisheries Agency, Peters added.
The RNZN Inshore Patrol Vessel will be deployed to Fiji between May and August, followed by the Offshore Patrol Vessel conducting patrols later in the year.