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New Zealand - Russia Relations - Page 12
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The visit confirmed the new opportunities that had arisen for New Zealand and Russia to develop their relationship.  At the same time, people-to-people contacts, made possible by the opening of Russia’s borders to travel and emigration, and of Russia’s regions to visitation by foreigners, broadened the range of connections.  Russians began to visit New Zealand as tourists.  Others migrated to New Zealand, where they form today significant communities with many links with Russia which are increasingly being used to stimulate economic and social relations between our countries.

The economic relationship continued to develop through the second half of the 1990s until the Russian economic crisis of 1997/1998 leading to the default of 1998, provided a major shock.  In particular, the default led to major losses by the New Zealand Dairy Board that was not paid for $100 million worth of products delivered to Russia.  Five years on, the New Zealand view of the economic relationship is still coloured by this event although new trade and economic opportunities based on a partnership model and mutual advantage are now attracting the attention of New Zealand businesses.

Politically, the relationship between New Zealand and Russia has continued to develop.  In 2001 the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Phil Goff, visited Moscow and the breadth of the Minister’s discussions showed the wide range of common interests held by the two sides.  While the main focus of the relationship is economic, Russia’s positions on international security and disarmament issues, including the war against terrorism, environmental issues, and a range of international problems and issues, including Antarctica, are of keen interest to New Zealand.  New Zealand supports Russia’s participation in APEC, and in Asia/Pacific regional processes.  New Zealand is also keenly interested in the involvement of Russia in the major economic processes of globalisation.  In this connection, New Zealand strongly supports the earliest possible entry of Russia into the World Trade Organisation (WTO).


Russia - New Zealand History

Mr. A. Williams, in the Auckland Herald, gives an account of the visit of British warships to Russia last June, among them being the New Zealand. “When I made myself known as a onetime resident of Auckland and Wellington, I was invariably greeted with the remark. Don't I wish I was there now,” which speaks well for the memories the men took away of our country. The New Zealand was visited by the Czar and Czarina and their daughters, probably because Prince George of Battenberg, a nephew of the Empress's is an officer of this ship, and the Imperial visitors expressed much interest in the many trophies presented by the New Zealand towns, and especially in the Maori curios displayed in Captain Halsey’s quarters. The English colony in Petrograd (late St. Petersburg) entertained the Admiral and officers at a dinner and dance, and in return Admiral Beatty and his officers gave a ball on the night of June 27th. The flagship, the Lion, served as a cloak and supper room, and the New Zealand, beautifully, decorated, was turned into a ballroom. The Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna, daughter of the late Duke of Edinburgh was present with her husband, the Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich. On this occasion, a haka, danced by 20 of the crew of the New Zealand was a decided novelty to the Russians, and had to be repeated. There were many inquiries as to Maori customs and as to the meaning of the names “Cook”, “Tasman” and “Ao-te-aroa”, inscribed on the turrets." Poverty Bay Herald, Vol. XLI, Issue 13482, 10 September 1914, Page 5

Stuart Prior, Honorary Consul for Belarus in New Zealand

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