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New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs : Services : VIP Visits and Ceremonial Events Skip to Access Key assignments for this site
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VIP Visits and Ceremonial Events

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VIP Visits and Ceremonial Events

Service Overview
The Visits and Ceremonial Office manages VIP visits including Guest of Government visits and VIP co-ordination, State and ceremonial occasions and commemorative events.

VIP visits
Working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Prime Minister's Office (in the case of Heads of Government visits) and Government House (in respect of Heads of State and Royalty), the Visits and Ceremonial Office manages visit logistics and develops programmes and itineraries. The primary objective for all visits is to enhance the bi-lateral relationships between countries.

Visit logistics includes making arrangements for:
  • accommodation
  • air and ground transport
  • official government hospitality
  • official calls on Ministers and other parliamentarians
  • cultural representation.

To meet the visit objectives, the Office liaises with other government and non-government agencies, private sector organisations and industry.


Some visits managed by the Visits and Ceremonial Office in 2001:
  • President Rau of Germany paid a State Visit from 6-9 May visiting Wellington, Queenstown and Auckland. Visit engagements included a formal welcome on the lawn of Government House in the presence of the Diplomatic Corps and a State Dinner; visits to a farm and winery in Queenstown, and a keynote address to the New Zealand German Business Association in Auckland. While in the Capital, Mrs Christina Rau visited Wellington Girls College and met with German language students.
  • The Honourable Chaoba Singh, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries from India visited Wellington, Palmerston North, Hamilton, Tauranga and Auckland during a seven day visit in June. The Minister met with producer board representatives, viewed plant operations at Lamb Packers Fielding Ltd in the Manawatu, at the NZ Dairy Group of companies at Te Rapa in the Waikato, and a kiwifruit orchard in Tauranga.
  • The Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Workplace Relations from Australia had a Wellington-only visit from 12 to 15 June. The Committee met with politicians, the NZEI, NZCER, PPTA, Ministry of Education, and various school principals.
  • The Foreign Minister for Italy paid a three day official visit in February for talks with the Prime Minister and other senior Ministers. He was received by the Governor-General and met with representatives of the Italian community.

State and ceremonial occasions
Managing state and ceremonial occasions includes:
  • ensuring that the venue is correctly stage managed
  • compiling the guest list
  • issuing invitations
  • arranging the menu and entertainment.
These events may occur as part of an official visit or be a stand-alone event.

Some State and ceremonial occasions in 2001:
  • State Funeral for the Honourable Sir David Beattie, former Governor-General of New Zealand.
  • State Farewell to outgoing Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie-Boys including State Luncheon preceded by a Maori ceremony and final inspection of a Tri service Guard of Honour.
  • Swearing in Ceremony of the Honourable Dame Silvia Cartwright as the new Governor-General.
  • Ceremonies of Welcome for President Rau of Germany and President Wahid of Indonesia.

Ceremonies of Welcome comprising a Maori Welcome (featuring the challenge, karanga and haka powhiri) and Military Ceremonial (inspection of a Presidential or Royal Tri Service Guard of Honour with national anthems and 21 Gun Salute) are accorded to visiting Heads of State and usually take place at either Government House Wellington or Auckland.

Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) receive a similar formal welcome on the forecourt of Parliament.

Commemorative Events
Working in partnership with government and non-government organisations including Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, Office of Veterans Affairs, Wellington City Council and Wellington Cathedral, the Visits and Ceremonial Office is responsible for the national commemorations for:
  • ANZAC Day - the National Commemorative Wreathlaying and associated ceremonial at the National War Memorial and ceremonies at the Ataturk Memorial.
  • Significant war and battle anniversaries - wreathlaying ceremonies commemorating significant war and battle anniversaries for New Zealanders, including the Battle of Crete, Korean War and Battle of Britain, and signing of the Armistice ending World War 1.
  • Commonwealth Day - support services for this multi-faith event involving representation from the major faiths of the Commonwealth and strong youth involvement.

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Last updated: 13/05/2005