Dutch State Visit to New Zealand: Day 1, Wellington

  November 7, 2016 at 6:20 pm by

At the invitation of the Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Patsy Reddy, Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima began today, Monday November 7, a three-day state visit to New Zealand along with Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Henk Kamp, Minister of Economic Affairs.

The Royal Couple were officially welcomed at Government House in Wellington with a traditional Maori ceremony with the performance of a pōwhiri, a traditional welcome dance and the Hongi greeting, in which people press their noses together. Then, inside Government House, the King and Queen had a meeting with the Governor and her husband, Sir David Gascoigne.

Afterwards the Royal Couple paid a visit to the Pukeahu National War Memorial where they laid a fern on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior along with the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key. The King and the Queen also laid a wreath at the National War Memorial.

Later King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima visited the Great War Exhibition located at Dominion Museum in Wellington. The exhibition, organized by director Sir Peter Jackson, commemorates the role played by New Zealand in the First World War. The Royal Couple toured the exhibition and signed the Visitor’s Book of the Museum.

In the afternoon, in the Parliament of New Zealand, the King and Queen had a meeting with Prime Minister Key and the Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Little. Then the Royal Couple visited the facility of Park Road Post Productions, a motion picture post-production that works in the development of the New Zealand and the internationally film industry.

In the evening took place a state banquet at Government House. King Willem-Alexander, in his speech, thanked the Governor for the invitation and stressed the friendship that ties New Zealand and the Netherlands.

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