The High Commissioner of the Republic of Vanuatu to New Zealand, late Mr. Johnson Naviti. Photo: File | Kizzy Kalsakau

Vanuatu’s High Commissioner to New Zealand, Johnson Naviti, has passed away in Wellington, New Zealand.

The confirmation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday afternoon was a shock to the people of Vanuatu.

Late Naviti was appointed as Vanuatu's inaugural High Commissioner to New Zealand back in December 2017.

He was commissioned by the President of the Republic of Vanuatu, Obed Moses Tallis on Friday 19 January 2018 at the State Office, after his appointment by former Foreign Affairs Minister, Ralph Regenvanu.

With his commissioning, the late Naviti represented the Government of Vanuatu and assumed his full duties and responsibilities. He presented his credentials to the Governor General of New Zealand on the 1st of February and the Vanuatu High Commission in Wellington was opened on the 2nd of February.

He was a longtime civil servant and also served as a former Director General of the Prime Minister's Office.

Public Relations Officer to the Prime Minister, Fred Vurobaravu has confirmed the government will release an official statement and more details later today.

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