Foreign ministers praise strong ties between Ireland and New Zealand
By Chinedu Onyejelem
Nearly 13 per cent of New Zealanders are Irish by heritage, according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“There are over 600,000 New Zealanders who can trace their heritage back to Ireland out of a total population of 4.7 million,” said Minister Charlie Flanagan, following a meeting in Dublin with his New Zealand counterpart.
And he added that New Zealand has welcomed some 30,000 Irish citizens who worked in New Zealand within the last 10 years, including large numbers of Irish construction workers who participated in the reconstruction of Christchurch following the devastating earthquake in 2011.
Other matters of discussion between Minister Flanagan and New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully included Brexit, Ireland’s Rugby World Cup bid for 2023, as well as Ireland’s plans to seek the rotating seat on the UN Security Council in 2020.
Minister Flanagan said New Zealand’s experience as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council over the last two years was important.
“Learning from the experiences of a small like-minded state such as New Zealand is very useful to us and is an example of our close co-operation on international issues,” he added.
“I would like to congratulate Minister Murray McCully on New Zealand’s consistent and principled approach as a security council member and the significant progress New Zealand made on issues such as tackling the root causes of conflict.”