Yesterday three Kiwi boys from Dilworth School in Auckland, New Zealand, who are currently on a year-long exchange visit to Dungannon Royal School, welcomed the New Zealand High Commissioner on his first visit to Northern Ireland. They performed a traditional “haka” at The Ballance House before being introduced to Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mataparae in front of distinguished guests who included Prof Sinclair Stockman, the recently appointed Hon NZ Consul for Northern Ireland and Willie-John McBride, one of the patrons to The Ballance House. Sir Jerry, only the second Maori to hold the position of New Zealand High Commissioner in London was accompanied by his wife, Lady Janine; they were initially welcomed by the Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh, Councillor Brian Bloomfield, on one of his last official duties prior to leaving office. After the official welcome the visitors were taken on a tour of The Ballance House, the birthplace of one of New Zealand’s more distinguished premiers, before having lunch with other friends, guests and volunteers of the Ulster New Zealand Trust. A memorable afternoon.
Thanks to one of our guests, McKenzie Cathcart, for the haka video.