Honoring Waitangi Day

Our cross-cultural friendships continue! 

On 6 February, we honored New Zealand’s national day known as “Waitangi Day.” It commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi by NZ’s indigenous Māori people and the British Crown 184 years ago, marking the country’s founding document. While they may be miles from our country, I think it’s safe to say we did a great job of making them feel right at home here.

Esteemed guests flocked to the Fairmont Hotel in Makati to join the New Zealand Embassy in Manila to honor this occasion and to catch up, too. One of my best chats — and photo ops! — of the night was with the New Zealand ambassador himself, His Excellency Peter Kell. He welcomed us all with empowering remarks on the continued camaraderie and commitment to the partnership of our two countries.

But His Excellency proved to be an excellent entertainer, too. He went back into the spotlight with guitar in hand to accompany the Deputy Head of Mission Tim Given and the rest of the New Zealand Embassy team. Together, they made two Waiata (Māori song) performances. Plus, Ambassador Kell also sang alongside Gherns Calina, a Filipino independent singer-songwriter. Iconic!

After the program, we still had high spirits and spirits in hand. We then decided to keep the catch-ups going ’til midnight. It might not feel enough, but there’s always next time! Truly a memorable and meaningful event to be a part of. Thank you for having us, Ambassador Peter! 

Cheers… or as the Kiwis say: Chur!