The National Council took place at the Wellington Club on 30 May.

In presenting his report, Sir Anand Satyanand noted the passing of two stalwart members of the NZIIA, former president Giff Davidson and long-serving Standing Committee member Douglas Day. He also referred with regret to the health travails of his predecessor, Sir Douglas Kidd. He expressed the NZIIA's gratitude for the support of both Victoria University of Wellington and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the latter especially for its financial support, which made 'a crucial difference'. After noting the shocking events in Christchurch and Sri Lanka, Sir Anand suggested that they 'made so much more important, the existence of a civil society committed to advancing insightful discourse on the conduct of international relations'.

Director Melanie Thornton observed that, having taken up her position last December, her report covered a year in which she was not director. She noted that sixteen events had been held, attracting a total of just under 3000 people. These included a highly successful national conference in February, attended by 315 people. She recorded her surprise and delight on finding 'the on-going commitment and vitality in the branches' and indicated that she was committed 'to finding ways to support the branches further', especially in finding speakers. She also pointed to the National Office's efforts to develop a 'more consistent presence on its social media platforms'. Another priority would be settling the strategic direction of the NZIIA 'focussing on increasing the diversity of our audiences, increasing our National Office activities in Auckland, creating a new website, undertaking a communications review, reviewing the Constitution ... and reviewing the governance of the institute'.

Dr Ian McGibbon's report on the New Zealand International Review indicated a substantial deficit, which he attributed to a slump in revenue, both member and corporate subscriptions, and to problems experienced during 2018 because of the simultaneous departure of both executive director and executive secretary. A better result was forecast for 2019 because of both changes in the production of the magazine and the restoration of order in the National Office. In regard to the latter, he paid tribute to Andrew Wierzbicki's and Yvonne Palmer's efforts in late 2018 to remedy deficiencies. The council acknowledged the efforts of the managing editor over 38 years.

The chair...

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