Study Tour for the Diplomats and Spouses in Christchurch
10th December 2020
The NZ MFAT organized a Study Tour for the Diplomats and Spouses to Christchurch from 2 to 4 December, 2020. The Samoa High Commissioner (HE Leasi Papali’i Scanlan) and Mrs Joyce Scanlan joined the group of about 50 Diplomats & Spouses (plus the Team from NZ MFAT, headed by the Chief of Protocol) during meetings and discussions with the Mayor of Christchurch and City Councillors. The Delegation also met with the Christchurch City Chamber of Commerce, several members of the Business Community as well as Lecturers and Post-graduate students from Canterbury University, ARA Institute and Lincoln University. Site visits were made to a number of businesses, Universities, the International Antarctic Centre and the Christchurch Airport.
It was very exciting and heart-warming to witness the resilience and positive mood of the business community and people of Christchurch, especially after going through the devastating earthquakes of 2011 and the Mosques shooting last year. It was also very impressive to see the many new developments going on as well as several new innovations being developed and advanced in Christchurch. The ability of the people of Christchurch to move forward and make a positive out of the negatives, is very commendable. The main objective of the Tour was to familiarize the Diplomats with developments in Christchurch with the hope of increased travel, trade and investment between Christchurch and the countries represented by the Diplomatic Corps.
For the Pacific, the work done by the International Antarctic Centre in promoting awareness about the ice melting in Antarctica and the subsequent effect of the sea rise on Climate Change is of critical importance. There was a video done by two young Samoan students on the adverse impact of Climate Change on the Pacific Island countries which was quite moving. The Tuvalu High Commissioner is working on putting together some images showing the devastating effects of Climate Change on Tuvalu for the use by the Antarctic Centre in their educational programs. On behalf of the Diplomatic Corps, the Samoa High Commissioner & Dean of the Dip Corps spoke to acknowledge (with appreciation) the warm hospitality extended to their Group by the Mayor of Christchurch (Ms Lianne Dalziel), the Business Community, Educational Institutions and the good People of Christchurch. The Dean also thanked NZ MFAT for arranging the Study Tour which the Members of the Diplomatic Corps found very useful.