New Zealand Embassy Warsaw, Poland

Minister Sikorski visiting New Zealand

Minister Sikorski and Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, H.E Mr Radosław Sikorski, visited New Zealand from 3 to 5  May, 2013. During the visit he had a series of high level meetings, including with the Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae. and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Murray McCully.

The latter hosted a formal lunch in honour of Minister Sikorski which was attended also by the Attorney-General and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon. Chris Finlayson.  Discussions with the New Zealand government focused on Poland and New Zealand’s historical and cultural linkages (including the WWII legacy and the “Pahiatua orphans”), the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations, and international foreign policy issues.

During his visit, the Minister visited the national Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, where he and his wife were welcomed on to the marae and toured some of the exhibits, focusing on Māori art and culture.  Following this, the Minister laid a wreath at the plaque commemorating the arrival in 1944 of the 733 Polish refugee children who became known as the ‘Pahiatua children’. Minister Sikorski took part in a panel discussion hosted by the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs where he outlined his perspectives on the EU and the Asia Pacific Region.  He was also was the guest of honour at a Polish National Day reception hosted by the Polish Ambassador at which Minister Finlayson announced officially that New Zealand would contribute an additional €50,000 to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum Perpetual Fund.

Minister Sikorski was accompanied by his wife, Ms Anne Applebaum who was interviewed by the New Zealand media and took part in a public launch of her own book.

 

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