Thursday, April 25, 2024

PM unveils carving gift to Singapore

A carving celebrating the long-standing friendship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Singapore has been unveiled by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay.

“Tāne Te Waiora is a bespoke carving which takes the form of a kūwaha and represents a symbolic doorway. It is a metaphor for our reconnection with Singapore, – demonstrating our intention to strengthen the “doorway” between New Zealand and Singapore, and the rest of the world,” Prime Minister Ardern said.

“The presence on the kūwaha of Hina, represented by the moon, and Tāne, represented by the crops, are also significant as they symbolise a relationship of trust and reciprocity – defining features of New Zealand’s relationship with Singapore.”

The Prime Minister is in Singapore, accompanied by Minister for Trade and Economic Growth, Damien O’Connor, leading a trade mission to support New Zealand’s economic rebuild following the global COVID-19 pandemic.

While in Singapore she met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Halimah Yacob. She also addressed Singapore entrepreneurs and business leaders as part of a New Zealand-hosted gala dinner, where she reiterated New Zealand’s interest in collaborating on opportunities in Singapore and the broader South-East Asia region.

“The reopening of borders is an important first step in rebuilding our people-to-people links that will lay the foundation for our future cooperation,” Ms Ardern said.

“We look forward to warmly welcoming our Singaporean friends to New Zealand from 2 May, when our border reopens to visa waiver countries. In turn, I am also pleased New Zealand visitors can now enjoy the sights and sounds of Singapore.”

Tāne Te Waiora, which has been in development over the past two years, was carved at the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute at Te Puia in Rotorua, and was supported by Gardens By the Bay, Tourism New Zealand, Fonterra and Zespri. The project was led by Master Carver James Rickard.

It is housed among native New Zealand fauna at the Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay.

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