Malaysia National Day CelebrationImmigration
44th Anniversary of Malaysia's National Day Dinner
Christchurch Casino Grand Cafe
Thank you for the opportunity to say a couple of words as a local MP but also as Minister of Immigration.
I was late here tonight because before I cam here I was with the migrants who came to New Zealand as displaced peoples from Europe, who were celebrating 50 years since the arrival of the SS Goya that made three trips to New Zealand in 1951.
Garry (Moore, Mayor of Christchurch City) has accused me of just rehashing the speech I have there. He is right – it seems appropriate to repeat here the fact that all New Zealanders have in their history a migrant story. And to repeat the fact that New Zealand society has been enhanced from the diversity migrants have brought, from culture and art to cuisine and from the business boardrooms, to the science laboratories and research and development facilities, from the classrooms to the lecture theatres, from public service to politics – in other words to every sphere of New Zealand life.
New Zealand has a close and special relationship with Malaysia. From the Colombo Plan to fee-paying international students to high-level business and political friendships we share a common commitment to quality education as the basis for economic and social development. Our relationship goes from strength to strength.
I thank the NZ/Malaysian Business Council for organising tonight’s celebration of Malaysia’s National Day.