Karori Rotarians hosted a joint dinner with Karori Lions on 2 October. The evening's highlight was an address by the Britsh High Commissioner, HE Laura Clarke.
HE talked of the cultural links between our countries, stressing that these cannot simply be taken for granted but must be recognised and built on where ever possible. One of her main roles is to futire proof the relationship between the countries.
HE spoke of three main areas of concern. The first is to strengthen business links and to encourage growth of trade in goods and services. Part of this will be to investigate the prospects for a free trade agreement. The second area is to ensure cooperation in response to events on the world stage. This includes intelligence, climate change and cyber crime. The UK is currently establishing 3 new High Commissions in the Pacific. The third area is to encourage exchanges in the arts and in culture. These are all aspects of a broad and rich relationship between the UK and NZ.
An example of the outreach on a personal level was to run a competion 'Be The British High Commissioner For A Day'. This attracted a large number of entries and was won by a girl from Rangiora. She was able to meet with various political figure and to take part in the celebrations for International Womens Day.
Inevitably discussion turned to Brexit. Although negotiations are going through a bumpy phase HE stressed that there is a lot at stake. These issues simply have to be worked through. Many of the problems will be resolved simply by using WTO rules.