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Cablegate: New Zealand Prime Minister Reiterates Her Praise For

VZCZCXRO9440
RR RUEHNZ
DE RUEHWL #0749 2681904
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251904Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3303
INFO RUEHNZ/AMCONSUL AUCKLAND 0931

UNCLAS WELLINGTON 000749

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/PD-AGRIMES, EAP/ANP-DRICCI

E.O. 12985: N/A
TAGS: OEXC SCUL OIIP KPAO OPRC PREL NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER REITERATES HER PRAISE FOR
EMBASSY CULTURAL PROGRAM.

1. SUMMARY: New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has publicly
underscored her appreciation of the US State Department's
contribution to fostering people-to-people cultural links. The PM
made special mention of a reception at the Ambassador's residence
that was a strategic use of Public Affairs grant and
representational funds. The significance of these brief words in the
context of the larger congratulatory speech should not be
overlooked. END SUMMARY.

2. On Friday night, September 22, Prime Minister Helen Clark.
launched the music CD, "View From Olympus," by New Zealand composer
John Psathas. This work features American saxophonist Joshua Redman
as soloist.

In her congratulatory speech to the influential audience of
government representatives, diplomats, cultural leaders, and
sponsors the Prime Minister said, "In May of this year I was able to
learn more about this extraordinary project when the United States
ambassador hosted Joshua Redman and me for a reception following
that day's recording."

These brief words convey a significant message for the bilateral
relationship. The final production featured artists from the United
States, Portugal, and New Zealand; but American Ambassador William
McCormick was the only diplomat to be mentioned. The Prime
Minister's acknowledgement of the American ambassador's contribution
to this project was both complimentary and appreciative.

3. New Zealand composer John Psathas is much admired by the New
Zealand Prime Minister, who cultural is also the Minister for Arts,
Culture, and Heritage and appreciates the role the arts plays in
expressing New Zealand's culture and national spirit. With this
(and the fact that Joshua Redman is a leading American saxophonist)
in mind, Public Affairs provided a grant in support of Redman's
visit. Additionally, the Ambassador hosted a reception for key
embassy contacts to celebrate the recording. We invited PM Helen
Clark, and for the first time as Prime Minister (7 years!) she came
to the ambassador's residence. Her experience at this event, which
celebrated the artistic collaboration between an American musician
and a New Zealand composer, was very positive. The Prime Minister
stayed much longer than anticipated, and by the evening's conclusion
the she was very relaxed and communicating well with the ambassador
and other American officers.

4. Following this (also for the first time as Prime Minister), PM
Helen Clark accepted Ambassador McCormick's invitation to attend the
American Embassy's Fourth of July reception. In his speech
recognizing the year's achievements, the ambassador thanked the
Prime Minister for attending the "wrap-up party" for Joshua Redman's
recording of Psathas' Saxophone concerto.

In her reply, the PM emphasized the friendship between New Zealand
and the United States and the benefits of the many areas the two
countries have in common. And now, this past Friday, September 22,
she referred to the ambassador's support of John's Psathas' project
in her launch of the completed recordings.

5. Post is pleased that the initial grant and reception initiated by
Public Affairs generated a bridge of mutual appreciation shared by
Prime Minister Clark and Ambassador McCormick and that the program
had such a lasting impact. Public Affairs is pleased that our
emphasis on the strategic use of grants and representational funds
has enabled Post to achieve this valuable step towards greater
bilateral appreciation and common interest.

KEEGAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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