It is an honour and a privilege to welcome everyone this morning and to thank the Thai Society of Canterbury for bringing everyone together to celebrate our local Thai community.
Not only is Thailand home to many of our local residents, it’s also a favoured destination for Kiwi travellers of all ages.
Covid may be keeping us apart, but I know there are many who will take advantage of the opportunity as soon as they can.
Thailand is a fascinating, beautiful country with a unique culture and history.
We have missed travelling to each other’s countries, but I want to particularly acknowledge those who have been separated from family and close friends. Our thoughts are with you all and I hope those connections can be restored soon.
We must remain vigilant, and we must continue to do our part if we are to enjoy the freedom to gather for events such as this – and I’d like to thank everyone for thinking of each other’s safety today.
Last year marked 65 years of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand – a significant anniversary. When our two leaders met last year – virtually of course - they underscored a mutual commitment to reconnect and reinvigorate strong people-to-people, education, and trade links. This is a real positive as we look to a post-Covid future.
People who know me, know just how much I value the Thai culture and of course the food, which remains my favourite.
Thank you for putting both on display today as we celebrate Thailand and thank you Ambassador for coming to Christchurch to celebrate with us.
Khob khun Ka