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Speech: L Smith - Embassy Opening Chile

Check Against Delivery

An Address by

Hon Lockwood Smith PhD
Minister for International Trade
New Zealand

Official Opening of Upgraded New Zealand Embassy Premises

8 am
20 July 1999
Santiago, Chile


Ambassador, Chilean Ambassador to New Zealand Fernando Reyes Matta, New Zealand Consul General to Brazil, representatives of the Chilean Government, ladies and gentlemen.

Tena kotou, tena kotou, tena kotou, katoa.

This is a special day for New Zealand.

The process of upgrading the New Zealand Embassy and Trade Office in Santiago has required a great deal of work, and it's a pleasure for me to be here this morning to officially open the new premises.

Selling the old premises, identifying the new building and undertaking the "fit out" to bestow New Zealand's character within the building has taken many months and involved hundreds of people too many to refer to individually.

But each one of you involved with the process has contributed something of your soul to the magnificent result that we see here today.

The New Zealand Government is very proud of the upgraded Embassy and Trade Office, and on behalf of the Government, I want to extend my thanks to each and every one of you involved with this significant project.

I'd also like to acknowledge and thank the Kaumatua and Huia of Te Arawa who have travelled a great distance to bestow mana on these new premises, and to uplift us all through the Hiki Tapu ceremony.

For the benefit of our Chilean friends, the ceremony we have just taken part in is very special for the New Zealanders here today.

It is a recognition of our identity as a country with strong bi cultural influences, and a demonstration of our commitment to the heritage of New Zealand's indigenous people, the Maori of Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud.

Upgrading the New Zealand Embassy and Trade Office here in Santiago provides a useful opportunity to consider the status of the bilateral relationship between New Zealand and Chile.

And I'm pleased to say that New Zealand's relationship with Chile is in very good health. It is the longest and most comprehensive relationship that New Zealand has in Latin America.

We share many common interests, and often work together to achieve shared objectives in regional and international fora.

Ministers at all levels know each other and work well together.

Our is an excellent relationship with great goodwill on both sides, and we're committed to working together to make it even stronger.

The strength of the political links between us is more than matched in the economic sector.

Chile is New Zealand's second most important investment partner in the whole world.

It seems to me that the strong investment relationship between our two countries inextricably binds our economies, our communities and underpins our mutual prosperity.

For this reason New Zealand has every desire to want Chile to succeed, and I hope I can say that we Kiwis can be counted amongst the best friends that Chile has in the international community of states.

By upgrading our premises here in Santiago, New Zealand has demonstrated that we are committed to taking our shared friendship with Chile forward in the best possible way.

We now have a new whare a new house from which we can build a closer relationship, and develop the rewarding two way trade and investment links which already exist between our two special countries.

It gives me great pleasure to declare the upgraded New Zealand Embassy and Trade Offices in Santiago officially open.

And may all those who pass through these doors enjoy success in all their endeavours.

ENDS

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