PHL Embassy continues outreach programme to Filipinos in Kerikeri, Bay of Islands in New Zealand
As the Philippine Embassy continues to reach out to Filipino communities throughout New Zealand, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez and Honorary Consul General to Auckland Atty. Paulo Garcia met with members of the Filipino community in Kerikeri, Bay of Islands on 12 January 2012. After the Mass officiated by Fr. Samuel Polanco, Parish Priest, Holy Family Catholic Church, a group of Filipinos and their families got together and met with Ambassador Benavidez and Consul General Garcia to discuss legal and other matters of concern to them.
Ambassador Benavidez thanked them for their assistance and shared with them the Philippine Government’s priority for their welfare and well-being as the third major pillar of Philippine foreign policy. “In recognition of the vital roles and crucial contributions of the global Filipinos to nation-building in the Philippines and New Zealand, the Philippine Embassy will continue to reach out to them through our mobile consular services and dialogue, demonstrate its caring and sharing spirit and bring the Embassy’s services closer to more than 40,000 Filipinos here,” Ambassador Benavidez stated. She also updated them on the on-going recovery and reconstruction programmes in the massively affected areas in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan and reiterated the deep appreciation of the Filipino people for the generous outpouring of kindness, support and solidarity from New Zealand and other countries and Filipino communities. In reply to many queries regarding legal implications as they stay in New Zealand, Honorary Consul General Paulo Garcia provided the relevant information and necessary advice on matters of interest such as immigration, wills, enduring powers of attorney, relationship property, dealing with the police and courts, marriage, civil union and divorce and trusts. Specific scenarios were shared and discoursed to provide a clearer picture of common cases encountered by Filipinos in New Zealand.
Fr. Polanco, Ms. Marrieta Alexander, Ms. Marissa Hon, Ms. Lorna Weatherup, Ms. Joan Lascuña, Mr. Jose Combo and the other Filipinos conveyed their deep appreciation to Ambassador Benavidez and Consul General Garcia for their concern and advice and for the highly informative and interactive session which enlightened them on many important aspects while living in New Zealand. They look forward to receiving the Embassy Team again and subsequent meetings with Ambassador Benavidez and Consul General Garcia in the near future in Kerikeri.