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Our work in education is far bigger than politics. It is about building a better Fiji long after all of us gone. It is about raising a new generation of talented, ambitious and motivated young people who will carry this nation to even greater heights in the years ahead. That is our mission. That is the ultimate aim of my Government.
Yesterday my Cabinet took an important step in protecting this Great Sea Reef. We approved the nomination of a significant part of the Reef as a Ramsar site under the Convention on Wetlands, ensuring its management and protection for future generations. I look forward to returning here in the near future to formally launch this initiative. But in the meantime, I want to congratulate the Tui Macuata and his people and partner organisations, like the WWF, for your leadership.
We have to light a fire in the hearts and minds of young Fijians – instilling them with a great belief in themselves, and in the potential of this nation. We have to inspire them with our own actions and set a high bar of expectation for what Fiji can achieve.
My fellow Fijians, Fiji is on the move. We are rapidly becoming a more modern and more prosperous society. Eight straight years of growth for the Fijian economy have meant eight straight years of rapid and unrelenting progress for our nation, eight straight years of unprecedented infrastructure development and eight straight years of better opportunities for all of our people, especially young Fijians.
This rural electrification project I am opening today will bring 105 Fijians in the Vunarewa Settlement onto our national grid, giving them access to the enormous benefits of electricity. This is one of several rural electrification projects I’ve had the pleasure of opening these past few weeks, and again today we are taking another step along the path of progress my Government has charted for Fiji and the Fijian people over the last ten years.
We are lucky to call home a nation so rich in different cultures and religions, and I am especially grateful that in Fijian society we so openly share in the traditions and celebration of our fellow Fijians, as we do so today in welcoming the Ramleela Festival.

We’ve grown our economy every year for the past eight years, and it is our duty to transform that prosperity into real development that makes a real difference in the lives of people. That is what the Fijian Constitution demands, that is what the Fijian people deserve and that is the spirit that has driven my Government’s ambitious agenda for development.
My fellow Fijians, our work isn’t only about making services available, it’s about making those services accessible and affordable. My Government has a network of support in place to support eligible Fijians with a fifty per cent subsidy on electricity bills.
My Fellow Fijians, Bula vinaka and a very Happy New Year to you all. What a year it has been for Fiji, and what a year to be a Fijian. We began this past year with steadfast resolve and great ambition, as we prepared to take the lead on two global causes that are critical to our future: climate action and the preservation and protection of our oceans.

As Christians around the world gather to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, I extend on behalf of my wife Sarote and our family our warmest wishes that all Fijians find the real meaning of Christmas this season and share in the joy of peace, love and compassion.

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