The National Council took place on 21 June. The evening before, more than a hundred guests sat down for the NZIIA's Annual Dinner at the Wellington Club. The guest of honour and speaker was Sir Douglas Kidd, completing his seven-year term as president. Those present were entertained to expositions on Utopian hopes by an Elysian panel' that included HE Rob Zaagman, HE Jose Traslosheros Hernandez, HE Mr Tantowi Yahya, the ambassadors of the Netherlands, Mexico and Indonesia respectively, South African high commissioner HE Vuyiswa Tulelo, Cook Islands deputy chief of mission Karopaerangi Ngatoko and Thomas Nash, who led the global campaign to ban cluster bombs. Pinky Agnew was master of ceremonies.
At the outset of the National Council tribute was paid to Treasurer Prof Athol Mann and Gerald McDouall, the long-time chair of the now defunct Wanganui branch, both of whom passed away since the last National Council meeting. In presenting his report, Sir Douglas Kidd noted the busy programme of lectures and panels, which were a credit to the director and her assistant Tina van Erpers Roijaards. He expressed the NZIIA's gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for its financial support, assistance in arranging speakers and other actions.
NZIIA Executive Director Maty Nikkhou-O'Brien reported a 'very productive year', which included 22 events with an estimated audience of more than 2700 people. Support was occasionally such that finding large enough venues was sometimes difficult. Although no conference was held last year--it was postponed till February 2018 to allow the 'electoral dust' to settle--the institute continued to lift its national profile. She promised that the innovative approach would continue, with efforts to replicate success in Wellington elsewhere in the country. She also noted the large and unsustainable workload imposed on the National Office by the expanded programme. Resolving this situation and diversifying the NZIIA's funding partners were the twin challenges facing the institute.
Acting Treasurer Luke Qin presented accounts that showed a very healthy position. The council accepted his draft budget. Prof Don Trow's contribution to the NZIIA in auditing its accounts was acknowledged.
Ian McGibbon's report on the NZ International Review prompted a long discussion of both the nature of the journal and arrangements for its distribution to members. Some members of the Wellington branch had queried why members were...