Rt Hon Winston Peters Minister of Foreign Affairs
02 December 2005
Peters winds up visit to United Kingdom
Foreign Minister Winston Peters returns home today after a visit to the United Kingdom that followed his attendance at
the CHOGM Foreign Ministers meeting in Malta.
“I was pleased that my first overseas bilateral visit as Foreign Minister, as distinct from my participation at APEC and
CHOGM, was to the United Kingdom. The excellent discussions I had with Foreign Secretary Jack Straw confirmed that the
relationship with the UK is not just about historical connections. New Zealand and UK responses to developments in
recent years such as international terrorism and Afghanistan have shown how similar our approaches are and how well we
work together,” Mr Peters said.
Mr Peters also met the UK Ministers responsible for the armed forces, pensions, and racing, visited the Department for
International Development and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and met organisations and
individuals involved in the people to people relationship at a reception at the New Zealand High Commission. As well as
London Mr Peters visited Glasgow and Edinburgh.
“The devolution of powers to Scotland has meant that contact with the Scottish Executive and Parliament forms a part of
our official relationship with the United Kingdom. I was well received by Ministers in the Scottish Executive.
I also saw at first hand the good work our new Honorary Consul in Edinburgh, former Lord Provost Eric Milligan, is doing
in partnership with the High Commission in London to strengthen New Zealand’s already extensive business and people to
people links with Scotland. While I was in Edinburgh the All Blacks’ successful conclusion to their grand slam tour gave
a further boost to New Zealand’s image in Scotland,” said Mr Peters.
In London Mr Peters also participated in the regular New Zealand-EU ministerial level consultations. As the UK currently
holds the EU Presidency, the EU side was led by Foreign Office Minister of State Ian Pearson, supported by
Brussels-based European Commission officials.
“The outcomes of the Prime Minister’s visit to Brussels earlier this week and the Presidency consultations in London
show that we are making good progress taking forward New Zealand’s relationship with the European Union. New Zealand’s
trade and economic relations with the EU are extremely important, and we welcome the positive role the EU is playing in
world affairs, including increasingly in Asia, and in the Pacific,” Mr Peters concluded.