Remarks to the Diplomatic Corp

Whangarei Art Museum - Te Manawai Toi, Whangarei. 5.15pm 4 February 2018


Acknowledgements:  Prime Minister the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Ministers…the Hon..., your Excellencies, Dean and members of the diplomatic corps, your Worship the Mayor of Whangarei District Cheryl Mai, and fellow MPs.

Greetings and welcome.

And our thanks to the Prime Minister for including this event in a very busy schedule. Today is day 101 of the new coalition government, and we’ve achieved an immense amount in our first 100 days.

Welcome especially to those Heads of Mission who have travelled so far to be with us this week.

It is good to see so many familiar faces today, many of whom were at the recent reception at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wellington. And we look forward to meeting a number of you for the first time. 

Some of you have been to the Northland region before, and for others, this will be your first time.  Over the next few days, you have a programme put together by the Ministry that will enable you to experience something of what Northland has to offer.

Northland was a critical area in the first days of indigenous Maori and European contact.   Today, Northland has a strong visitor economy and is also underpinned by industries that harness Northland’s natural advantages – its land, water, climate and its places of cultural significance to New Zealanders.

This year’s commemorations mark 178 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, a defining moment in the history of New Zealand.

The signing of the Treaty between Māori and the British Crown is a significant touchstone in New Zealand’s history and holds particular resonance for many New Zealanders.

Tomorrow, you will be welcomed at Te Whare Rūnanga, at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. There, you will see that Te Whare Rūnanga is facing the Treaty House, the two buildings together symbolising the association agreed between Māori and the British Crown.

We hope that your experience and visit to the Treaty Grounds, reinforces the importance we place on the relationship between Māori and the Crown.

For many years the Diplomatic Corps has attended Waitangi commemorations, and this year a record number of Heads of Mission are here. We have put together this programme for you, to help you see and understand an important part of New Zealand history and culture.

Waitangi Day is a time for all New Zealanders to reflect on our past, celebrate our achievements, and to look with great enthusiasm to the future.    

Again appreciation for coming to share this year’s celebration with us.

Finally, thank you to our host today, the Whangarei Art Museum.

If you have the time, we encourage you to have a look at the art collection, which embraces heritage and contemporary art work.

Enjoy Northland, and enjoy Waitangi.

No reira, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa