As New Zealand’s international borders begin to open, this week’s foreign Heads of Mission Diplomatic tudy tour of Tauranga comes at a crucial time for the region, highlighting local trade and investment opportunities.
The delegation – consisting of New Zealand and Australian-based Heads of Mission, Ambassadors and High Commissioners from 37 countries – is the largest domestic delegation of foreign diplomats to visit New Zealand in recent history.
Led by Priority One (the Western Bay of Plenty’s economic development agency) on behalf of Tauranga City Council and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the tour provided a key opportunity for the Bay of Plenty (and Aotearoa) to reconnect to the rest of the world.
Nigel Tutt, Priority One Chief Executive, says hosting the diplomats was invaluable for enhancing important international relationships and proactively re-engaging with overseas markets.
“Tauranga has become a key economic hub in the upper North Island and is home to New Zealand’s largest port, allowing connectivity to the rest of the world.
“The visit couldn’t come at a better time, particularly after a period of disruption and closed international borders. We are proud to showcase the fantastic export companies we have in our region, to the world” says Tutt.
During the visit, the delegation visited a variety of local businesses and experienced the region’s Māori culture, innovation, education, trade, tourism, and local cuisine.
Anne Tolley, Tauranga City Commission Chair, says this rare opportunity to host the diplomats in the region allows the city to showcase its best assets, as well as the trade and investment opportunities on offer.
“Tauranga is New Zealand’s fastest-growing city, which is a testament to our wonderful environment, climate and lifestyle. The area is rich in culture, is a centre of innovation and logistics and is home to horticultural excellence and productive fisheries.
“As a result of the visit, we hope new trade relationships will open up, which will strengthen our ties with these countries and create lasting partnerships to be valued and fostered by all,” says Tolley.
During the tour of New Zealand, the delegation will also visit Hamilton.