Two well attended events were organised recently.
The first was an evening event on 17 November at the Ministery of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This was arranged to enable PEN members and supporters to meet 5 New Zealand High Commissioners from Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
Each High Commissioner briefly outlined recent political, economic and business highlights in their countries of accreditation. This was followed by questions and answers. Considerable dialogue took place with individual High Commissioners at the conclusion of this welcome event.
Feedback from those who attended was positive. With this is mind we will seek to engage further with all Pacific High Commissioners when they visit Wellington in the future.
The second event was an after 5 event on 20 November, hosted jointly by Minter Ellison Rudd Watts and PEN using Minter Ellison's reception and board room facilities in central Wellington. The featured speaker was Dr Yves Lafoy, Official Representative of New Caledonia to New Zealand.
Dr Lafoy provided a well attended event with a detailed presentation outlining New Caledonia's political, economic and future prospects for interaction with New Zealand and other Pacific countries. In addition, Dr Lafoy provided some insight into potential investment into New Caledonia and prospects for New Zealand's exporters to that country.
Again attendees found this presentation extremely timely and useful. PEN will continue to have frequent dialogue with Dr Lafoy. New Caledonia is a future growth market for New Zealand exporters as the country works toward becoming a Pacific nation with reducing reliance on it's long established links with France and the EU.
These two events conclude PEN's networking acivities for 2014. Having arranged 7 events during the year we are looking forward to even more events in 2015, with the first likely to be on 29 January, again using the excellent facilities at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.