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Official Engagements.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 9 March 2006

Thursday, 9 March 2006

Ceisteanna (158)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

149 Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will be travelling abroad for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities; and if so, the location he will be visiting; the functions he will be attending; and the groups he will meet with. [9938/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs)

I will be travelling to New Zealand for the St. Patrick's Day festivities. I will visit Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga and Christchurch, and my visit will focus on developing links with Irish community groups. I will participate in traditional St. Patrick's Day events, including the St. Patrick's Day festival parade and banquet in Auckland. I will also attend the Wellington Irish Society dinner and Hutt Valley Irish Society supper.

New Zealand is a small economy but, like Ireland's, one of the most open economies in the world. There is great potential to enhance economic ties between Ireland and New Zealand. Total trade with New Zealand in 2004 was valued at approximately €83 million. The year 2004 witnessed a 34% increase on the 2003 figures for visitors from New Zealand to Ireland, and there will be a significant economic and tourism focus to many of the events I will attend. I will also be looking at developments in rural tourism, as New Zealand is regarded as one of the premier destinations in this regard, as well as touching on New Zealand strategies in support of their minority language.

I include my draft schedule for this visit for the Deputy's information.

2006 St. Patrick's Festival Visit — New Zealand

Minister's Draft Itinerary

Friday 10 March

10.50Éamon O Cuív TD, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and his wife Áine Uí Chuív and Party arrive Auckland International Airport

Met by Honorary Consul General, Rodney HC Walshe and Vice Consul Darragh Walshe along with representative of Distinguished Visitors Division of Internal Affairs, Ross McLeod or Frances Reynolds

11.30Depart airport for hotel

PMRest

Saturday 11 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.

14.30Return to hotel

19.00Depart hotel

19.15Attend the St. Patrick's Festival Banquet. The Prime Minister Rt. Hon Helen Clark, or her Deputy will be in attendance. Also in attendance will be 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 with a toast to "The Irish and the Friends of the Irish in New Zealand"

Midnight Conclusion of banquet, return to hotel

Sunday 12 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 — details to be confirmed

15.00Transported to Hotel

17.30Mayoral Reception, His Worship Mayor Stuart Crosby

19.00Dinner at venue to be confirmed

22.00Return to hotel

Monday 13 March

09.00 Depart hotel for Tauranga Domestic Airport

10.15Domestic flight 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, for lunch meeting with the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Haami Piripi to discuss preservation and development of languages

14.15Walk to next meetings

14.30Minister Ó Cuív meets with Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, Minister of the Community and Voluntary Sector — to be confirmed. (separate meeting)

15.30Minister returns to hotel

18.00Dinner at location to be confirmed

19.45Transported to the Wellington Irish Society Clubrooms for function hosted by the Wellington Irish Society

20.00Irish Society Function

22.00Return to Hotel

Tuesday 14 March

09.15Transfer to Beehive from hotel

09.30Hon. Damien O'Connor, Minister of Tourism at the Beehive, 5th Floor (5.3) 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

14.00Presentation of Minister to Parliament to be confirmed

14.30Beehive tour

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, at the Beehive

18.00Return to hotel

18.30Dinner at hotel

19.15Transported to the Hutt Valley Irish Society for Supper

20.00Hutt Valley Irish Society Supper at the Hutt Valley Irish Society Clubrooms

22.00Return to Hotel

Wednesday 15 March

09.15Depart hotel for Wellington Domestic Airport

10.20Domestic flight to Christchurch

11.15Arrive Christchurch Airport, transported to Hotel

17.00Transported to the Christchurch Irish Society for function attended by Mayor of Christchurch, His Worship Garry Moore

19.30Return to Hotel

20.00Dinner at location to be confirmed

Thursday 16 March

09.00Depart hotel for Christchurch Domestic Airport

10.30Domestic Flight Auckland

11.50Arrive Auckland Domestic Airport and transported to Hotel

PMWalkway site briefing — arranged by Auckland Tourism

Friday 17 March

06.30Transported to Auckland Harbour Bridge, Transit Services Area

07.00Climb Auckland Harbour Bridge to raise the Irish Flag

08.00Return to hotel

08.20TV Interview

09.00Transported to Claddagh Irish Bar, Newmarket to attend Starship Hospital Charity Breakfast

10.30Attend Youth Mass and Auckland Irish Society function followed by lunch

14.30Return to hotel

16.45Transfer to the Auckland Club

17.00Attend the Irish Consulate General cocktail reception to be held at the Auckland Club

19.00Transfer via hotel to attend Irish function

TBCReturn to Hotel

Saturday 18 March

AMRest

13.00Depart hotel for Auckland International Airport

15.30Delegation depart on International Flight

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