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Woods new NZ Chair of NZ-France Friendship Fund

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

6 March 2008

Woods new NZ Chair of NZ-France Friendship Fund

Former diplomat Richard Woods will be the new New Zealand Chair of the New Zealand-France Friendship Fund (NZFFF), Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.

The Fund was established under an agreement signed by the Prime Ministers of France and New Zealand in 1991. It makes grants to projects in New Zealand, France and French Pacific Territories that promote friendship, and have an emphasis on young people.

“Mr Woods, who was Ambassador to France in the late 1990s, is well qualified for the job. He takes up the position at an important time for the Fund, which has increased resources for funding suitable projects,” Mr Peters said.

“The Fund is an important part of the France-New Zealand relationship, particularly in strengthening people-to-people ties.

“It is administered by a joint board of six members (three in each country), which meets annually to consider funding applications. Since its inception, the fund has supported many educational, cultural and sporting exchanges.”

Mr Woods takes over from Judith Trotter, who was chair for six years. The other two New Zealand Board members are poet, writer and editor Jenny Bornholdt, and Richard Baker, Policy Director at the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.

In 2006, the Joint Board agreed to the gradual drawing down of capital, which will allow around 100,000 Euros (approximately NZ$200,000) to be disbursed annually over the next 10-15 years until the fund’s closure.

Further information about the NZFFF is available at: www.nz-franceff.com. The next funding deadline is 31 March 2008.

ENDS

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