Life in Kiribati: An Interview with Rob Kaiwai–New Zealand High Commissioner

Rob Kaiwai is a really neat fellow. Not only because he stores my bike and trainer in the Tarawa High Commission’s garage. A former multi-sport athlete, he has great personal energy and enthusiasm.

It’s not easy working in Kiribati, and to spend several years there managing a major development program is quite an achievement. On September 12, 2011 Rob was interviewed on Radio New Zealand and this interview really captures Kiribati’s challenges. As Radio New Zealand notes:

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has described the job of High Commissioner to Kiribati as the toughest assignment in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Rob Kaiwai talks about the challenges of representing NZ in one of the most remote and geographically dispersed countries in the world, and the challenges Kiribati faces from climate change and population growth.

I love is way of describing Tarawa: imaging standing in the middle of a motorway with nothing but ocean on either side. Brilliant. And very accurate. Listen here and learn.


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