European delegation to visit NZ Parliament
29 March 2010
A delegation from the European Parliament will visit the New Zealand Parliament tomorrow, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon Dr Lockwood Smith has announced.
“New Zealand relations with Europe are very important, especially for trade and the visit by the delegation with provide an important opportunity to further develop our relationship,” the Speaker said.
The delegation comprises members from the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Finland and Romania representing five political groups represented in the European Parliament.
A visit to a Canterbury sheep and beef farm and discussions at the University of Canterbury on research collaboration is planned before the group arrives in Wellington to meet with the Speaker and attend question time in the House tomorrow.
Meetings will follow with various ministries including Economic Development, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Foreign Affairs and Trade. During the three days in Wellington they will attend special caucus meetings of parties, and participate in a round table discussion on climate change chaired by Dr Jan Wright, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
Committees for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, and Primary Production will also meet with the European Parliament group.
The Speaker said this was the 17th visit by a European delegation and came at time when opportunities for trade were being vigorously pursued.
“New Zealand is a significant friend of the European Parliament and offers a link to the Pacific and Asia.
“Our connection with Europe has always been strong particularly in the area of agriculture,” he said.
The group departs New Zealand on Thursday 1 April.