Institute notes: National Office and branch activities.


A panel discussion was held at Parliament on 16 September on 'The Potential Pitfalls and Windfalls of the Nuclear Deal with Iran'. Chaired by Don MacKay, the panel comprised Dr Rouzbeh Parsi (senior lecturer, Department of History, Lund University, Department of History), Profs Robert Patman and Bill Harris (both Otago University), Dr Negar Partow (Massey University), and new NZIIA executive director Maty Nikkhou-O'Brien. Labour MP David Shearer hosted the event.

On 22 September, in conjunction with the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre, the NZIIA convened a meeting to hear Fu Ying, the chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese National Peoples Congress, give a lecture on 'China's Development and its Implications'. The edited text of her address is to found elsewhere in this issue.

On 5 November a panel discussion on 'Sports Diplomacy: New Zealand's Hardest Soft Power?' was held in the Backbencher Pub, Wellington. Chaired by Patrick Gower, political editor of TV3 News, the panelists were Hon Sir Jim McLay, New Zealand's permanent representative to the UN (2009-15) and former deputy prime minister; HE Mark Gilbert, US ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa and former major league baseball player; Chris Laidlaw, broadcaster, author, sports commentator and former high commissioner, All Black and member of Parliament; Prof Steve Jackson of Otago University's School of Physical Education; and Michalis Rokas, charge d'affaires of the embassy of the European Union Delegation to New Zealand, former diplomat and professional basketball player. Between 190 and 200 people attended this event, including 25 diplomats and 50 students.

On 20 November the National Office co-hosted with the Wellington branch a seminar 'New Zealand and the United Nations' to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations founding conference in San Francisco, with a view to reflecting the organisation's achievements, the challenges it faces to remain relevant in today's world and its place in New Zealand's network of international engagements. The occasion recognised the contributions of three former New Zealand diplomats, Merv Norrish, Tom Larkin and Malcolm Templeton, all of whom had close United Nations involvement at times in their distinguished careers. The seminar was conducted in association with the United Nations Association of New Zealand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the New Zealand Defence Force, Victoria University of...

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