I refer the Deputy to my answer to Question 149 on 9 March 2006. I travelled to New Zealand for the St. Patrick's Day celebrations there and was accompanied by my wife, the Secretary General of my Department, the private secretary and the media adviser. As we arrived in New Zealand on 10 March and departed on 18 March it is not practical to provide an accurate indication of costs involved at this juncture.
I attach a comprehensive itinerary for information and the Deputy may wish to note the wide range of Irish groups and interests met with during the trip across New Zealand in Auckland, TaranguaTauranga, Christchurch and Wellington; meetings with Ministers of the New Zealand Government about rural tourism, including walkways, and with the chairman of the Maori Language Commission on language issues; my formal presentation to the New Zealand Parliament; breadth of contacts with both local and national representatives throughout New Zealand; key representational work undertaken for St. Patrick's Day, commencing with the parade in Auckland on 11 March and continuing daily throughout the visit; attendance at consular reception in Auckland on 17 March, attended by Minister Clayton Cosgrove MP on behalf of the Prime Minister, Members of Parliament, and representatives of the diplomatic corps, public and business life; extensive media coverage, including interviews on national television.
There is great potential to enhance economic and cultural ties between us — total trade with New Zealand in 2004 was valued at €83 million and substantial numbers in the New Zealand population claim Irish ancestry. Also of the order of 26,000 visitors from New Zealand visited Ireland in 2005 and their stays tend to be above average in duration, and encompass visits to the regions, as well as Dublin. Against this background, and matters of common interest which we share, I believe that the visit was immensely worthwhile and will help reap considerable benefits for the State.
2006 St. Patrick’s Festival Visit — New Zealand
Éamon O Cuív TD, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and his wife, Secretary General of the Department, media adviser to Minister, private secretary to the Minister
As at 16 March 2006
Friday 10th March
10.50Deputy Éamon O Cuív, Minister of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and his wife and party arrive Auckland International Airport
Met by Honorary Consul General, Rodney HC Walshe along with representative of distinguished visitors division of internal affairs, Frances Reynolds.
11.30Depart airport for hotel
Saturday 11th March
11.30Depart hotel for St. Patrick's festival parade meeting point
12.00Participate in St. Patrick's festival parade
12.30Parade concludes and music festival commences at Aotea Square
13.00Join Mayor of Auckland City, His Worship Dick Hubbard, in the opening of the St. Patrick's Music Festival at Aotea Square, draw a prize for tickets to the U2 concert the following week.
14.00 Return to hotel and on the way visit Waterford display at Smith & Caughey Department Store, 253-261 Queen St., Auckland.
19.00Depart hotel for Langham Hotel Auckland, 83 Symonds Street, Auckland,
Attend the St. Patrick's Festival Banquet at the Langham Hotel Auckland. Lynne Pillay, MP for Waitakere, Auckland will be representing the New Zealand Prime Minister. Maurice Maxwell, Chargé d'Affaires, Delegation of the European Commission, will also be in attendance as will His Worship Garry Moore, Mayor of Christchurch, and four of Auckland Region's mayors; His Worship Dick Hubbard, Mayor of Auckland City, His Worship, Bob Harvey, Mayor of Waitakere City, His Worship Sir Barry Curtis, Mayor of Manukau City and His Worship George Wood, Mayor of North Shore City along with Mike Lee, Chairman, Auckland Regional Council. Minister to respond to the Toast to St. Patrick proposed by the Prime Minister's representative with a toast to "The Irish and the Friends of the Irish in New Zealand"
Midnight — Return to hotel.
Sunday 12th March
09.30Depart hotel for Auckland Domestic Airport
10.45Domestic flight Tauranga
11.20Arrive Tauranga Airport and transported to Hotel
12.00Attend Irish Fair Day at the Tauranga Race Course Reserve.
14.00Tauranga Port tour accompanied by the Mayor of Tauranga.
15.00Transported to Hotel.
17.30Reception hosted by Tony Fahy and attended by His Worship Mayor Stuart Crosby at Fahy's Motor Inn, 1237 Cameron Road, Tauranga.
19.00Dinner at venue to be confirmed
22.00Return to hotel.
Monday 13th March
09.00Depart hotel for Tauranga Domestic Airport
10.15Domestic flight to Wellington
11.30Arrive Wellington Airport, transported to hotel
12.30-14.00Transfer to the Maori Language Commission, Level 14, Investment Centre, Corner Featherston & Balance Streets, Wellington, Ph: 04 471-0244, Fax: 04 471-2768, firstname.lastname@example.org for lunch meeting with the chairman and chief executive officer, Mr. Haami Piripi, to discuss preservation and development of languages.
14.15Walk to next meetings. Minister Ó Cuív returns to hotel.
16.45Attend function at Department of Social Development
17.45Return to hotel
18.00Dinner with CEO Maori Language Commission
19.45Transported to the Wellington Irish Society Clubrooms for function hosted by the Wellington Irish Society
20.00Irish Society Function, 10 Fifeshire Avenue, Wellington City, PH: 64 4 384-8535, Web: www.irish. wellington.net.nz/
22.0022.00 — Return to Hotel
Tuesday 14th March
09.15Transfer to Beehive from hotel.
09.30Hon Damien O'Connor, Minister of Tourism at the Beehive, 5th Floor to discuss New Zealand's experiences in visitor access to rural land and to sea and lake shore.
10.30Transfer from Beehive to Hotel
13.00Lunch at a venue to be confirmed
13.45Transfer to Beehive for presentation to Parliament.
14.00Hon. Damian O'Connor, Minister of Tourism presents Minister Ó Cuív to Parliament
15.00Return to hotel
15.45Transfer to Beehive for meeting with Minister of Conservation, Housing and Ethnic Affairs.
16.00Meeting with the Honourable Mr. Chris Carter, Minister for Conservation, Housing and Ethnic Affairs, on Walkways and Rural Tourism issues
18.00Return to hotel
18.30Dinner at hotel
19.15Transported to the Hutt Valley Irish Society for Supper at the Hutt Valley Irish Society Clubrooms, 12 Raroa Rd, Lower Hutt.
22.00Return to Hotel.
Wednesday 15th March
09.15Depart hotel for Wellington Domestic Airport
10.20Domestic flight to Christchurch
11.15Arrive Christchurch Airport, transferred to Hotel
14.00Briefing on Christchurch walkways with Kay Holder from Christchurch City Council, and visit to Walkways.
17.00Transported to the Christchurch Irish Society for function attended by Mayor of Christchurch, His Worship Garry Moore, 31 Domain Terrace, Spreydon, Christchurch
19.30Transferred to Hotel
20.00Dinner hosted by Mayor of Christchurch
Interviewed by Oliver Lee for Local Community Radio.
Thursday 16th March
09.00Depart hotel for Christchurch Domestic Airport
10.30Domestic Flight to Auckland
11.50Arrive Auckland Domestic Airport and transported to Hotel
14.10 Meet Julia Hart, Department of Conservation who is an expert on the DOC track network, she will discuss the network and the DOC perspective on access issues.
14.20Board ferry to be transported to Devonport.
14.45Arrive Devonport and met by Bill Trusewich and another DOC Officer who will transfer the group from Devonport Wharf to North Head.
15.00Arrive at North Head, the group will be met by Senior DOC archaeologist Dave Veart and Geoff Chapple from the Te Araroa Trust. Dave Veart will give an overview of DOC's work in the Auckland area especially at North Head. Geoff Chapple will talk of his experience in setting up a Walkway of New Zealand — including issues of gaining access across the front of residential properties in Devonport.
17.15Ferry back to Auckland — 5:15pm or 5:45pm.
Friday 17th March
06.00Leave hotel for Auckland Harbour Bridge, Transit Services Area under southern end.
06.20Climb Auckland Harbour Bridge and raise the Irish Flag on top of bridge.
07.45Transported to TVNZ studio, TVNZ Television Centre, 100 Victoria Street West, Auckland.
08.00Interviewed by Paul Henry on Breakfast show operated by TV New Zealand.
08.45Minister transported from TVNZ to Claddagh Irish Bar, Newmarket to attend Starship Hospital Charity Breakfast
08.45Remainder of Party transfer from Hotel to Claddagh Irish Bar, Newmarket
10.10Transferred to Eden Rugby Club, Gribblehust Park, Sandringham Road to attend Auckland Irish Society function.
10.30Attend Youth Mass and Auckland Irish Society function followed by lunch.
13.30Transferred to Consulate General of Ireland office, Level 7, Citibank Building, 23 Customs Street East, Auckland.
16.00Interviewed Auckland Community Radio
16.45Leave for the Auckland Club, 34 Shortland Street, Auckland
17.00Attend the Irish Consulate General cocktail reception to be held at the Auckland Club, 34 Shortland Street, Auckland
20.00Dinner at venue to be arranged.
TBCReturn to Hotel.
Saturday 18th March
07.50Transported from Hotel to TVNZ for interview with Lisa Owens from TV New Zealand.
15.30Delegation depart on International Flight.