Home' Rangitikei Mail : February 23rd 2012 Contents 4 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2012
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Kia ora: U.S.
student at Hato
Fellow travellers: U.S. Ambassador David Huebner chats with students involved
with the Feilding Rotary Club’s exchange programme from left: Loren Hunt, Caleb
O’Fee and Kate Parkinson, who is the student Board of Trustees Representative.
On the left is US exchange student Kjersten Stafne.
By MEGAN MILLER
Feilding-area students recently
had a special opportunity to talk
politics, policy and international
travel with the United States
Ambassador to New Zealand and
the Independent State of Samoa.
US Ambassador David Huebner
spoke at the Rangitikei Club on
February 9 at the invitation of the
Rotary Club of Feilding.
It was only the second time Mr
Huebner had addressed a New Zea-
land Rotary club.
He accepted the invitation
because of the club’s commitment
to supporting young people in
international travel and study.
Youth education is a priority of
the embassy, Mr Huebner said. His
day around Feilding also included a
visit to Hato Paora College.
Rotary Club President Lindsay
Nicholls said it was the first time
the Feilding club had hosted an
ambassador from any nation.
Mr Huebner told the audience of
more than 80 Rotarians and guests
that he believes the relationship
between New Zealand and the US
is the best that it has been since
The relationship has ‘‘deepened,
warmed and broadened’’ in recent
years after turning chilly in the
1980s and 1990s.
He said the November 2010
signing of the Wellington Declar-
ation by US Secretary of State Hil-
lary Clinton and Foreign Minister
Murray McCully showed an
ongoing commitment to ‘‘working
on tangible, practical projects
Those projects include scientific
research into environmental issues
and renewable energy sources, Mr
He pointed to the Antarctic wind
farm powering New Zealand’s Scott
Base and the United States-run
McMurdo Station as one example.
Mr Huebner said officials from
several New Zealand agencies are
expected to travel to Washington in
March as part of ongoing policy dis-
cussions between the two nations.
Mr Huebner has served as
ambassador to New Zealand since
December 2009. He was nominated
to the position by President Barack
Obama on October 8 2009.
Prior to entering the diplomatic
service, Mr Huebner was a partner
at the law firm Sheppard Mullin
Richter & Hampton LLP. Based in
Shanghai, he headed the law firm’s
China Practice and International
Disputes Practice, specialising in
international arbitration and
mediation. He is a graduate of
Princeton University’s School of
Public and International Affairs
and of Yale Law School.
Appeals against the proposed Palm-
erston North and Manawatu boun-
dary change will be heard at the
beginning of March.
Local government commissioners
will travel to Feilding to hear the 21
appeals on March 1 and 2. A total of
48 people and organisations, includ-
ing the city and district councils,
have asked to be heard.
A joint boundary committee
decided to allow the city’s extension
into the district in November after
considering about 200 submissions.
The councils have promoted the
change in the interests of economic
growth. The extended boundary is
intended to ease development con-
straints around the airport by
bringing more land into the city and
to protect the future rural ring road,
improving distribution links.
Opponents are against including
more productive but flood-prone
land within the city and are worried
about the future viability of a
smaller Manawatu district. In
Linton and Kairanga there are con-
cerns the new boundary slices
through communities of interest.
The commissioners who will make
the final decision are chairman
Basil Morrison, formerly Hauraki
mayor and president of Local Gov-
ernment New Zealand, with Pike
River Royal Commission executive
director Anne Carter and former
Local Government Commission
chairman Grant Kirby.
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