The return of controversial Fijian leader Frank Bainimarama to the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) is an important milestone for the annual event, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

She made the comments ahead of her three-day trip to Tuvalu for the Pacific Island Forum.

Ardern touches down today and has a number of bilateral, and trilateral, meetings planned with Pacific leaders over the coming days.

She will be back in New Zealand on Friday night.

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It has been 10 years since the Fijian Prime Minister has attended the forum, after years of boycotting the event in 2009.

It was that year

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Tuvalu:

What's on the PIF agenda?

Who are the main players at PIF?

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama:

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Neioti Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi:

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape

Tongan Prime Minister Samuela 'Akilisi Pohiva

Prime Minister of Tuvalu Enele Sopoaga

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison