London Kiwis gathered in the Gherkin this Tuesday with leading New Zealanders from the fields of academia, culture, and business, to celebrate the special friendship between the UK and New Zealand, at the 25th Anniversary of the NZUK Link Foundation.
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, former All Black Zinzan Brooke and the High Commissioner to the UK Sir Lockwood Smith were in attendance, as were many British friends of New Zealand.
The Foundation, originally set up in 1990 as the Waitangi Foundation, exists to enhance links between the two countries. Its series of educational and business exchanges have to date supported over 250 individuals and a number of groups share ideas and excellence across the world.
Foundation Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, spoke at the event about the enduring and important friendship between Britain and New Zealand. She pointed to the many Kiwi men and women who have made a lasting contribution to the world, and to the UK, and celebrated the achievements of the Foundation.
In the spirit of the Rugby World Cup, she also spoke about the way New Zealand pushes for excellence, be it in sport or winemaking, and its contribution to the world in this way.
Its 25th Anniversary year saw the launch of the first UK academic exchange to New Zealand, following on from the inaugural annual lecture on a topic of cultural significance. With the centenary commemoration of Gallipoli, the lecture covered the ANZAC contribution to WW1.
Recent New Zealand visiting professors hosted by the Foundation in London have spoken on the issues of health service reform, immigration and pandemics, macroeconomic policy, and early years education.