PHL Embassy joins New Zealand's Waitangi Day commemorations 2016 at the Bay of Islands
The Philippine Embassy in Wellington joined the celebration and commemoration of New Zealand’s National Day, Waitangi Day, together with fifty Heads of Diplomatic Missions accredited to New Zealand based in Wellington and Canberra, Australia as well as officials from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Affairs (MFAT). Philippine Chargé d'Affaires, a.i. Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa and her spouse, Mr. Allan R. Macaisa, attended the 176th Anniversary of the Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi National Day commemorations at the Bay of Islands on 3-6 February 2016.
Organized by MFAT, the well-rounded and highly informative Waitangi 2016 programme enabled the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Spouses to experience and learn more about New Zealand’s history, culture, and business endeavours. Ms. Joanna Kempkers, Chief of Protocol, led a business outreach with Auckland City Council, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) at the Auckland Wynward Quarter, Auckland’s largest waterfront urban renewal project led by Panuku Development where His Worship, Mayor Len Brown of Auckland addressed the group. Included in the programme was a visit to the Soljans Estate Winery where the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Spouses were treated to a vineyard and winery tour by Owner and Managing Director, Mr. Tony Soljans. The group was also addressed by Mr. Jeffrey Clarke, General Manager Advocacy and General Counsel for the New Zealand Winegrowers Association.
A part of the programme introduced Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Spouses to FrameCAD Solutions, an innovative exporter that manufactures simple, cost effective, end-to-end design and build solution using light gauge steel framing. Frame CAD was established in 1987 and has offices in Asia, the Americas Australia, the Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. The company’s CEO, Mr. Mark Taylor, led a tour of the company and provided information about FrameCAD.
The Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Spouses were also toured around Fonterra’s Jordan Valley Farm, a 260 hectare dairy farm with 600 milking cows producing 260,000 kilograms of milk solids each season. The farm works in partnership with the Department of Conservation’s Clean Water Programme.
On 5 February 2015, the Ambassadors and High Commissioners and Spouses were welcomed at the Te Tii Marae (Maori Meeting House) by the Chiefs and Elders of the Nga Puhi tribe, the largest Maori tribe in New Zealand. The Te Tii Marae is a historical site steeped in Maori legacy and tradition built in 1940 to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. When the Heads of Mission were invited to speak, Philippine Chargé d'Affaires, a.i. Gonzales-Macaisa conveyed the greetings of the Philippine Government and the Filipino People on the occasion of Waitangi Day and thanked the Maori hosts for their hospitality.
The Morning Tea hosted by Governor-General Lt. Gen. The Rt. Hon. Sir Jerry Mateparae and Lady Janine Mateparae for the Heads of Diplomatic Missions on 5 February 2016 provided an excellent opportunity for interaction and fellowship amidst the historical atmosphere and significance of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. The Maori cultural performance of the Te Pitowhenua, visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and historical town of Russell were meaningful and provided greater knowledge about Maori culture, the New Zealand heritage and the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi which ushered New Zealand onto the path of nationhood.