An online magazine of news and opinions from the Asia New Zealand Foundation

Foundation leading high-level Track II delegation to Vietnam

As the primary facilitator of New Zealand’s think-tank engagement with Asia, the Asia New Zealand Foundation is leading a high-level Track II delegation to Hanoi, Vietnam, from 4-8 June 2018.

Hanoi street scene

Headed by the deputy chairman of the Foundation, Hon Steve Maharey (a former minister of education, research, science and technology), the visit builds upon the growing connections between Vietnam and New Zealand, and looks to deepen the delegation’s understanding of Vietnam by sharing perspectives on political, security, trade and economic issues.

Hon Maharey notes, “Vietnam is an important partner for us in the ASEAN region, and this visit will be extremely valuable in gaining new insights for progressing our relationship. Like New Zealand, Vietnam is navigating increasingly choppy waters between the major powers in the Asia Pacific. We have a lot to learn from each other.”

The delegation also includes:

  • Mr Simon Draper (Executive Director, Asia New Zealand Foundation)
  • Prof Roberto Rabel (Professorial Fellow, Centre of Strategic Studies, Victoria University of Wellington)
  • Ms Sarah Paterson (Consultant, Blue Circle Consulting)
  • Dr James To (Senior Advisor Research, Asia New Zealand Foundation)                     
  • Ms Sarah Pereira (Track II observer)

Over a three-day visit, the delegation will be calling upon representatives from different sectors of society and government to discuss topics of mutual interest. In particular, the delegation will meet with its main institutional think-tank partner, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, for a full day of roundtable dialogue.

This event highlights the Foundation’s longstanding association with the DAV – now into its 10th anniversary year. The strong bonds with New Zealand are also reflected in the DAV’s educational links with Victoria University of Wellington, supported by an ever-growing Vietnamese alumni. The delegation will also meet with business leaders and officials. A formal reception hosted by the New Zealand Embassy will acknowledge the importance of these people-to-people links.

 As part of cultivating more connectivity at this level, the Foundation is seeking to encourage more youth engagement and interest in its Track II programme. It’s doing this by including a new generation of participant to offer fresh perspectives on foreign policy and regional Asian issues. Ms Sarah Pereira, who has completed a Master of Strategic Studies and now a policy analyst with New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries, says she relishes the opportunity to join the delegation: “I’m interested in expanding my links with Southeast Asia. It’s important for us in New Zealand to have a better understanding of what is happening in the region and why it matters for our future. I’m looking forward to offer a youth voice on big issues such as climate change that affect us at home and abroad, and explore how we might work together moving forward.”


For more information contact Asia Media Centre manager Rebecca Palmer

1 June 2018