PHILIPPINE AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER, MPs AND FILCOM IN AUCKLAND


Newly-appointed Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand, Jesus S. Domingo, travelled to Auckland, the country’s largest city and business capital, from April 22 to 23. Domingo was invited by Atty. Paulo B. Garcia, Philippine Consul General a.h., in Auckland, to meet with Prime Minister John Key, Members of Parliament (MPs) and the Filipino Community.

Prime Minister Key, an Auckland native, warmly welcomed Ambassador Domingo, recalled their first meeting in Manila last November during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, and subsequent encounter in Paris during the United Nations Climate Change Conference last December. The Auckland MPs, led by Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-IIga also welcomed Ambassador Domingo and expressed their deep appreciation for the important contributions of the Kiwinoy (Filipino-New Zealander) community to New Zealand. MP Melissa Lee underscored the importance of the Kiwinoy community being represented in the New Zealand parliament. MP Lee, a New Zealander of Korean heritage, is joined by MPs of Asian heritage in the country’s national Parliament, including Chinese and Indian. Other MPs in the welcoming party, including Messrs. Jami-Lee Ross, Simon O’Connor, Jian Yang, and Ms. Parmjeet Parmar, added to the expressions of support for the Kiwinoy community and the election of a Kiwinoy MP. The MPs praised the leadership and service of ConGen Garcia to the Kiwinoy Community and the New Zealand public at large.

Over 500 Filipino Community leaders and members were also on hand to greet Ambassador Domingo. They expressed support for the Philippine Embassy’s plans and programs particularly for the 2016 celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of PHL-NZ Diplomatic Relations. Ambassador Domingo urged the Community to make sure it votes in this year’s national elections, and for those who are also New Zealand citizens, to participate fully in the political, economic and socio-cultural life of their new home. He also regaled the Community and MPs by singing the 1980s hit tune “Six Months in a Leaky Boat” by the New Zealand New Wave band Split Enz.

Ambassador Domingo, incidentally, is a classmate of ConGen Garcia, both having been former members of Class 1992 of the University of the Philippines College of Law.

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