National Office and branch activities.

 
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At Parliament on 14 November, in a seminar convened with the embassy of the United Arab Emirates, HE Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar (assistant minister for political affairs of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) spoke on 'Developments in the Middle East and Opportunities: the Perspective of the UAE and Moderate Countries'.

On 11 December the NZIIA combined with Victoria University of Wellington's Contemporary China Research Centre to hold a panel discussion on 'Hong Kong: Towards an Uncertain Future'. The panellists were Prof Brian Moloughney of the University of Otago, Ambassador Clifford Hart Jr, who was United States consul-general in Hong Kong from 2013-16, and Mark Russell, a strategic communications specialist and owner of Hot Meta Communications, the immediate past president of the Hong Kong/New Zealand Business Association and a former assistant foreign editor of Hong Kong's South China Morning Post.

On 4 February Dr Thitinan Pongsudhirak, associate professor of international political economy at the Faculty of Political Science at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, addressed a meeting in Wellington on 'Upcoming Challenges for South-east Asia'.

NZIIA Vice President Roberto Rabel has taken up a fellowship at the University of Warsaw.

Auckland

The branch had twenty meetings in 2019, with an average attendance of 33. Its membership stood at 81 at the end of November. The branch's last meeting of the year, on 17 October, featured Kamal Fader, the representative in Australia and New Zealand for Polisario, the United Nations-recognised independence movement for Western Sahara. He spoke on 'Western Sahara: Decolonisation and the Role of New Zealand'. This meeting was held in conjunction with the Auckland sub-branch of the International Law Association.

Christchurch

On 25 February Marilyn Garson, former consultant to the office of UNRWA's Gaza director and author of Still Lives--a memoir of Gaza, addressed the branch on 'Who Lives Behind the Gaza Blockade, and What can Aotearoa New Zealand (and we) Do?'

Hawke's Bay

The following meetings were held:

26 Nov Prof Paul Spoonley...

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