Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

Philippine Ambassador calls on the Mayor of South Waikato District, New Zealand

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As part of the Philippine Embassy’s networking with local officials to broaden linkages for trade, tourism, investment, business, people-to-people exchange and for greater access and discussions on Filipinos’ welfare and well-being, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez accompanied by Vice Consul Glenn Joseph Obach made a courtesy call on Mayor Neil Sinclair of the South Waikato District on 19 January 2015 at the South Waikato District Council Building in Tokoroa, New Zealand. Also present at the meeting was Deputy Mayor Jenny Shattock, QSM.

Ambassador Benavidez was warmly welcomed by Mayor Sinclair who was pleased to know that the Philippine Embassy chose to hold its first mobile consular services in 2015 in his district. Called “The Philippine Embassy in New Zealand: Serving with a Smile, Going the Extra Mile and Reaching Beyond Our Grasp,” the mobile consular services served hundreds of Filipinos in the area and other parts of the North Island on 16-19 January 2015. Ambassador Benavidez reiterated her appreciation to Mayor Sinclair for his and the local officials’ concern and support for the Filipino workers’ welfare and fair treatment in their district and acknowledgement of the positive work ethics, skills and contributions of Filipino workers especially those in the dairy farms.

Further discussions focused on developing deeper relations with the Philippines utilizing strengths that Tokoroa and the rest of the South Waikato have to offer, such as its dairy institutions, the healthcare and construction sectors, and possible business and investment ventures. Mayor Sinclair and Deputy Mayor Shattock expressed their appreciation to Ambassador Benavidez in reaching out to Filipinos, saying that great job is being extended by the Philippine Embassy through its “excellent and impressive” consular service which is at the same time an opportunity to meet the members of the Filipino community in the area and also to connect with the local authorities.

Ambassador Benavidez thanked Mayor Sinclair for the warm reception and fruitful meeting, and reiterated appreciation for his and the local community’s high regard for Filipinos in the South Waikato District, and for the Mayor’s Office’s open door for the Filipino community in Tokoroa.

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