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APEC Showcases Young And Creative NZ

MEDIA STATEMENT

Sunday 22 August 1999

Prime Minister Jenny Shipley today profiled the gifts to be given to leaders of the 20 economies coming to New Zealand for APEC, saying they were a magnificent showcase of young, vibrant New Zealand talent.

"We are reflecting the diversity and vitality of New Zealand arts and crafts with our selection of gifts for the world leaders who will be here for APEC.

"I want all New Zealanders to be very proud of the gifts we have chosen.

"We are giving each leader something uniquely New Zealand. Each will receive a vessel made out of material that comes from the earth -wood, glass or clay. Each is a beautiful piece in its own right that will be proudly displayed in the Leaders' offices or homes. They will not languish in a back cupboard. We want these gifts to be talking points - they will be free advertising for New Zealand and our creative people, for years to come."

Mrs Shipley said that the principal gift for each leader will contain two kete with taonga inside. One kete will contain a tiny piece of pounamu gifted by Ngai Tahu. The second kete will contain three Tanemahuta seeds gifted by Te Iwi o Te Roroa, symbolising our land and our people.

"APEC is an enormous opportunity to showcase the best of New Zealand in its many different guises - our food, wine, scenery, people, arts and other produce. The selection of gifts is an important and personal way of showing world leaders what we have to offer," the Prime Minister said.

"An important part of this will be the showcasing of young, talented New Zealanders.

"I am delighted that the National Youth Orchestra will be playing at the Leader's Dinner on Sunday 12th, and the National Youth Choir has been asked to sing at the State dinner for President Kim of Korea. These are fabulous opportunities for talented young New Zealanders to perform for some of the world's most influential leaders. It will be an unforgettable experience for them," Mrs Shipley said.

School children from around Auckland will also perform for the Leaders Spouses. Ngati Whatua Kohanga Reo will entertain at the Orakei Marae; St Cuthberts School junior choir will sing during the visit to Puketutu Island, and Leaders' Spouses will receive a Pacific welcome and farewell by students from De La Salle College when they have lunch at Kermadec restaurant.

Gifts were selected by the Prime Minister's Advisory Group for Art and Culture. They will be presented by the Prime Minister when she meets Leaders during bilateral meetings, as part of the APEC Leaders meeting.

ENDS

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