Philippine Ambassador calls on the Mayor of the New Plymouth District Council in New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
In line with the Philippine Embassy’s continuing efforts to promote closer ties with New Zealand’s local governments, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez, accompanied by Minister and Consul General Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa, made an official and business call on His Worship Mayor Andrew Judd at the New Plymouth District Council Civic Centre in New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand on 24 October 2014. The meeting was made during the simultaneous delivery of the Embassy’s mobile consular services for the benefit of Filipinos in the Taranaki and surrounding areas in the North Island in New Zealand on 24-27 October 2014.
Mayor Judd warmly welcomed Ambassador Benavidez and stated that Filipinos are active and vibrant members of the New Plymouth District. He said that Taranaki’s doors are open to Filipinos and that he encourages more to come to Taranaki. The Mayor also expressed his delighted in being invited to formally welcome the participants of the Filipino Labour Weekend Festival in New Plymouth on 24 October 2014.
Ambassador Benavidez shared with Mayor Judd that the Filipino Labour Weekend Festival is an annual event for Filipinos in New Zealand and that the Embassy’s mobile consular services was planned to coincide with the Pistang Pilipino 2014 sa New Plymouth on 25-26 October 2013. She informed the Mayor that New Zealand has significant and growing, people-to-people links with the Philippines, and told him that the Filipino population has increased significantly in New Zealand totalling 40,350 with 666 living in the Taranaki Region.
Discussions focused on developing deeper relations with the Philippines utilizing strengths that Taranaki has to offer, such as Taranaki’s excellent educational, engineering and dairy institutions. Mayor Judd and Ambassador Benavidez both stated that they hope to collaborate in projects to strengthen people-to-people ties between the Philippines and New Zealand.
Ambassador Benavidez thanked Mayor Judd for the productive meeting and looked forward to further enhancing relations with Taranaki.