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Pipitea Marae

55 Thorndon Quay

Wellington, Wellington 6011

New Zealand

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'An Eye, an Ear and a Voice: New Zealand’s Changing Place in the World'

MFAT 75th Anniversary Conference at the Pipitea Marae, Wellington


In 1942 then Prime Minister Peter Fraser declared that New Zealand needed ‘an eye, an ear and a voice’ wherever decisions affecting the country were likely to be made. That led to the formation of the Department of External Affairs on 11 June 1943 and the establishment of New Zealand’s first overseas posts. This conference marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Department and its progress to today’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


The conference has a primary focus on the core elements of New Zealand’s external engagements, as these have developed and become enduring priority interests over the past three-quarters of a century. There is recognition of the Ministry’s increasing diversity as it has evolved, in keeping with the changing nature of New Zealand society.

Full-day registration includes: morning & afternoon tea, lunch, and reception to follow from 5:30pm-6:30pm.

7:30am Registration desk opens
8:00am Welcome/Whakatau in Main Conference Hall, followed by the Conference Opening



MORNING SESSIONS - 8:30am to 12pm

The morning segment begins with the reflections of two distinguished New Zealand political leaders who worked closely with the Ministry during challenging years. That is followed by panel sessions that profile ‘New Zealand’s Pacific Story’ and the country’s ‘Evolving Trade Agenda’. These panels and the first two in the afternoon have a three-part structure; a ‘look back’ that provides some historic context, a ‘case-study’ of an especially significant event where New Zealand’s interests were notably at stake, and a ‘look ahead’ that addresses emerging trends and new challenges.


AFTERNOON SESSIONS – 12:45pm to 5:30pm

The afternoon panel segments start with ‘New Zealand’s Asian Story’ and then an overview of the country’s involvement in some major trans-border ’global issues’. Between those panels is a reflective tribute to the role of Maori in Diplomacy. The mid-afternoon highlight is an address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. That is followed by a panel session with a focus on New Zealand’s historic and current relations with Australia and ‘the Great Powers’. The concluding conference remarks will be given by the Ministry’s chief executive, Dr Brook Barrington.



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Pipitea Marae

55 Thorndon Quay

Wellington, Wellington 6011

New Zealand

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