by Alanna Mackay, First Secretary at the Australian High Commission in Wellington
Originally posted at blog.dfat.gov.au.
State Visits are usually very formal affairs, with lots of gilt and glitter. Every country has their own traditions, but a State Visit will more often than not involve a formal welcome, a black tie lunch or dinner, a wreath laying at an important memorial, and a series of cultural events. The host country wants to put on a show; the guests are on their best behaviour. Behind the scenes, officials will have worked out every single detail to make sure the visit goes off without a hitch.
As Aotearoa New Zealand celebrates Matariki, First Secretary Alanna Mackay writes:
Last weekend my family and I visited Wellington’s Space Place at Carter Observatory to see its ‘Matariki Dawn’ show. My kids are learning about Matariki at school, and they loved seeing how the Maori stories of the stars are linked to the changing seasons.
Nick Williams, Former Second Secretary at the Australian High Commission in New Zealand
Learning about the growth of the Māori economy was a fascinating experience during my posting to New Zealand over the past three years. As an Australian of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, I thoroughly enjoyed engaging with Māori to gain a deeper understanding of culture and to explore the drivers of Māori economic development.