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APEC Spouses Take A Snapshot Of New Zealand

APEC SPOUSES TAKE A SNAPSHOT OF NEW ZEALAND

While APEC Leaders discuss tariffs, technical cooperation and making business easier in the Asia-Pacific region, their partners will take in an array of unique New Zealand experiences, APEC New Zealand 99 Spouses’ Programme Host Burton Shipley said today.

Mr Shipley has overseen the creation of the APEC 99 Leaders’ Spouses Programme. He says the programme was designed to show spouses New Zealand’s diversity and encourage them to return to New Zealand.

“The Spouses’ Advisory Group concentrated on finding high quality locations, giving spouses an accurate snapshot of New Zealand and its lifestyle within commuting distance of the central city.

“The resulting programme is one that encompasses rural, conservation and cultural facets of the country.”

The Leaders’ spouses programme begins on the afternoon of 12 September, with a taste of rural life at Sorrento in the Park, in Cornwall Park. Here, spouses will be given a beginner’s guide to sheep shearing, mustering and cattle herding.

“Rural New Zealand is a vital part of our economy, so it’s important to include it in the Spouses’ Programme,” Mr Shipley said.

Spouses will then travel to the Orakei Marae, where they will be officially welcomed with a powhiri. The powhiri will be conducted by Auckland iwi, Ngati Whatua. While at the marae, they will be guided through a wharenui (meeting house) and entertained with traditional singing and dancing.

The programme continues on Monday, 13 September on Puketutu Island, where a Department of Conservation representative will speak to spouses about New Zealand’s approach to preserving its lands and oceans. Projects on endangered species will be a particular focus of the presentation and Sir Peter Blake will discuss his work with the Cousteau Society.

The spouses’ trip to Puketutu Island will be followed with an excursion focussed on the Pacific and oceanic flavours of New Zealand life. Kermadec Restaurant will host a luncheon specialising in seafood with a Pacific bent and entertainment will be provided by a De La Salle College’s Pacific Island cultural performers.

The APEC 99 Spouses’ Programme will be capped off with a New Zealand lifestyle presentation.

“DFS Galleria Customhouse will host the final event of the programme,” says Mr Shipley.

“Spouses will arrive to a presentation of New Zealand made outdoor clothing, business attire and evening wear.

“They will get the chance to see the wares on parade, while also given the opportunity to view an array of New Zealand made goods.”

The Spouses’ Advisory Group sought input from a range of individuals and organisations when preparing the Spouses’ Programme. It has also devised a programme for spouses of Ministers attending the APEC Ministers’ Meeting on September 9 and 10. The Ministers’ Spouses programme takes in a number of different activities, including a visit to Penrose High School and a short harbour cruise.

ENDS

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