Washington D.C., 24 November 2021 (TDI): The United States Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, welcomed New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, to Washington D.C. today.
He congratulated Minister Mahuta for New Zealand’s successful Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Chairmanship in 2021.
The two leaders reiterated their mutual commitment and values towards a free and open Indo-Pacific. They also exchanged views on the global importance of tackling climate change, besides underscoring the US-New Zealand scientific cooperation in Antarctica.
Foreign Minister Mahuta and Secretary Blinken further discussed New Zealand’s new Pacific Resilience approach towards the region and coordinated efforts to support its Pacific allies amid Covid-19.
Pleasure to welcome New Zealand Foreign Minister Foreign Minister @NanaiaMahuta to D.C. today. We reiterated our shared values and commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. I thanked her for New Zealand’s efforts on COVID-19, climate, and @apec2021NZ. pic.twitter.com/BrHENhQAJi
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) November 23, 2021
Visit to Smithsonian National Museum
While in Washington, Nanaia Mahuta toured the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History to observe the display of Māori ‘Waka,’ (a traditional canoe) named Tuia Te Here Tangata. She expressed immense pleasure to meet with the Museum’s director and paleobotanist, Kirk Johnson.
Nanaia Mahuta further added that Waka Tuia Te Here Tangata exhibits the innovation and vibrancy of New Zealand’s Māori culture and art, besides providing an opportunity to strengthen the historical friendship between New Zealand the United States.
Meeting with USAID Administrator
In addition, Foreign Minister Mahuta held a meeting with Samantha Power, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Administrator Power expressed great pleasure to meet with Nanaia Mahuta.
She noted that New Zealand’s collaboration and regional expertise have allowed the development partnership between both sides to succeed, particularly with regards to the Pacific’s disaster response and risk reduction.
The two sides further discussed bilateral cooperation on the Covid-19 response and climate change. They also discussed ways to improvise infrastructure development that is entirely focused on climate resilience.
Lastly, they spoke about women’s empowerment in the Pacific, enhancing renewable energy transformation, protecting coastal fisheries, and fostering good governance in the region.