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Tasman Mayor Attends State Dinner with Royal Couple

9 November 2016

Media Release

Tasman Mayor Attends State Dinner with Royal Couple

Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne represented the District at a state dinner with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands at Government House in Wellington on Monday.

Mayor Kempthorne said: “My wife Jane and I had the privilege of attending a state dinner to celebrate the visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. This was an important step in recognising the great relationship between our district and the people of the Netherlands. We have a close relationship with the town Lutjegast in the municipality of Grootegast. There have been visitor exchanges between our community and theirs over the years and there is a close and enduring friendship.

“The importance of Tasman District’s connection with the Netherlands results from Dutch explorer, Abel Janszoon Tasman being officially recognised as the first European to ‘discover’ New Zealand. He and his men anchored near Wainui Inlet to the north of what is now Abel Tasman National Park, on 18 December 1642. It was Abel Tasman who recorded the western coastline of New Zealand and the Cook Straight for the first time. He and his men were also the first Europeans recorded to have met with Māori people. This is hugely significant to New Zealand’s history and it is from Abel Tasman that our district gets its name.

“This highlights for me the importance of recognising Tasman District in the history of New Zealand and it was an honour to represent our district when we met the King and Queen of the Netherlands.”


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