Federal President Steinmeier visit to New Zealand
German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender paid a state visit to New Zealand from 5 to 7 November 2017.
Steinmeier is the first German Federal President to visit the country since Johannes Rau. His visit began at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, which commemorates the 300,000 New Zealanders who have served their country since the beginning of the Boer War and during wars like World War I, as well as the 30,000 New Zealanders who have died in service to their country.
The Federal President laid a wreath and unveiled a memorial rug, which represents the German contribution to the Memorial Park. After that, an official ceremony took place at the residence of the Governor-General with military honours, a Māori welcome, and a Haka.
There was also a state banquet, where the president even mentioned Lifeswap (external link), the animated series that explains cultural differences between New Zealand and Germany. In addition, 40 years of scientific collaboration between the two countries was celebrated at the Te Wharewaka Function Center and Steinmeier was able to visit the National Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongariro.
The Federal President met with Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Opposition Leader Bill English. In addition, a roundtable with experts, NGOs and minority representatives offered a chance to learn more about migration, refugees, and integration in New Zealand.