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2023 Ambassador's letter
Kia Ora e hoa ma, dia dhaoibh a chairde,
I recently presented my credentials as New Zealand’s Ambassador to Ireland. It is a tremendous honour. I want to acknowledge the work of my predecessor Brad Burgess. He worked tremendously hard and built both some great networks and an excellent team in the Embassy. This was all in spite of the disruption of COVID-19.
The relationship between Ireland and New Zealand is long-standing and deep and has been enhanced by the opening of Embassies in Dublin and Wellington in 2018. While closed borders have made international visits difficult since then, we’re now making up for lost time. The Minister of Agriculture Charlie McConalogue travelled to New Zealand for St Patrick’s Day to meet with Ministers, visit farms and research institutions, and engage in meetings with diaspora groups. Charlie was already regarded as a friend of New Zealand and this visit has strengthened that friendship.
My most important priority this year is to support the ratification of the New Zealand European Union Free Trade Agreement. To that end I’ve been taking every opportunity to meet with both leaders and decision makers and discuss the issue. My former role as Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives has been helpful in opening a few doors at the Oireachtas. TDs and Senators have been very generous with their time. My sense is that all major parties in Ireland want to concentrate on cooperation in agriculture generally but especially in agritech. climate change, and methane reduction research.
Ratification will lead to numerous opportunities to increase trade in both goods and services. Wine, honey and seafood will have much improved arrangements. A big part of my role will be to work with companies from or with links to New Zealand, the New Zealand Business Network Ireland and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to identify those opportunities and take advantage of them.
But developing the relationship is not all about trade. Ireland and New Zealand are closely aligned on many multilateral issues such as climate change, disarmament and human rights. New Zealand recently hosted Secretary General of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs Joe Hackett for talks to discuss ongoing cooperation in these areas. As we look to meet our common challenges, we are looking to build new partnerships. A great example is in agriculture, where we recently announced $10m NZD of combined funding to support new research projects aimed at reducing on farm emissions.
Sport especially rugby has a high profile and has been useful in developing links. My predecessor did that well but was a bad omen when it came to All Black results. I hope we can involve New Zealand’s art and culture sectors more and thereby extend the range of people we can regard as friends. There is a lot of interest in the revival of Te Reo Māori amongst Gaeilgeoirs.
We always want to share our work and highlights with the Kiwi community in Ireland. So to keep up to date on our work, follow our feeds on Facebook (@NZinIreland), Instagram (@NZinIreland) and X (@NZTrevorIreland), and if you would like to send us your thoughts or simply add your email to the Embassy contact lists, drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nga manaakitanga, is mise le meas,
Trevor Mallard, Ambassador, and all the New Zealand Embassy team.
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