Irish president to visit Waitangi

  • 28/10/2017
Michael D Higgins and Jacinda Ardern.
Michael D Higgins and Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Getty

The Irish President is visiting where the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document, was first signed.

On Saturday morning Michael D Higgins will attend a powhiri at Waitangi, then he'll tour the Treaty grounds and visit the Museum of Waitangi.

He's been in New Zealand all week and leaves on Sunday after an event in Auckland.

On Wednesday he met Jacinda Arden, the day before she was sworn in as Prime Minister.

"We need to reframe economics, as political economy, in such a fashion as will generate responsible policy formation with the capacity to reconnect with our publics," he said in a speech at the University of Auckland on Friday.

He said there was much the citizens of Ireland and citizens of New Zealand could continue to achieve together.

"We are both small countries who value our democratic traditions and who seek to be authentic in our commitment to international institutions - a commitment expressed best, perhaps, by our shared abhorrence of the threat posed by nuclear weapons."

There are about 14,000 Irish-born people in New Zealand and one in six people claim Irish heritage, including Ms Ardern.

Mr Higgins started his New Zealand tour with the announcement that Ireland would open an embassy locally, seven months after it was revealed New Zealand would open one in Dublin.