New Zealand Embassy Manila, The Philippines

Experience New Zealand 2011

Nga Hau e Wha performers at Experience New Zealand 2011

The New Zealand Embassy hosted an ‘Experience New Zealand’ gala evening at the Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu on 15 February, focusing Cebuanos’ attention on the great events being hosted in New Zealand later this year, including the Rugby World Cup.

The evening featured top-quality New Zealand food and beverage products that are already being imported into the Philippines.  Such products are also on show at a food and beverage festival that will ran at the hotel from 15-20 February .

Maori cultural performance group Nga Hau e Wha were the stars of the show, wowing the nearly 200 invited guests with their waiata (songs) and haka (dances), the latter made world-famous by the champion All Blacks rugby team.

2011 is a big year for New Zealand, in part because it will host the Rugby World Cup — one of the world’s biggest sporting events — in August and September.  Around 85,000 people are expected to visit New Zealand around the time of the tournament, so the country will also turn on a huge range of associated activities. 

In his remarks, New Zealand Ambassador Andrew Matheson encouraged Filipinos to get to the ‘REAL New Zealand Festival’ — a nationwide celebration of New Zealand’s arts, food, wine, heritage, culture, entertainment, business and lifestyle, that is being held around the time of the Rugby World Cup. 

“Everyone already knows that New Zealand is a beautiful, peaceful and fun place to visit.  Its reputation for producing first-rate agricultural products is well deserved.  But New Zealand is opening its doors to the world to move beyond those accurate but limited impressions of the country,” he said. 

Ambassador Matheson emphasised that international business links were vital for New Zealand’s economy, and that many visitors would want to take advantage of being in New Zealand to establish business connections.  New Zealand government assistance was available for businesspeople who were interested in setting up personalised programmes of events and introductions.

“New Zealand will be showcasing advanced manufacturing and smart IT solutions.  Visitors can experience fine fashion, haute cuisine and world-class wines.  Business people can make valuable linkages in fields as diverse as renewable energy, biotechnology and aviation services”, he said.

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