August 1, 2021

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Cat’s out of the bag on overseas journey by MFAT chief

3 min read
Chris Seed, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Chief Executive and Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade in December 2020.

Hagen Hopkins/Getty Illustrations or photos

Chris Seed, Ministry of Overseas Affairs and Trade Main Government and Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade in December 2020.

New Zealand will hope to be the cat that received the product next trade talks with the United Kingdom, and the country’s leading diplomat indulged his inner animal lover throughout a astonishingly reduced-vital offshore journey all through the pandemic.

An impromptu image prospect with a well known British feline has drawn interest to a uncommon but small-profile Covid-19 vacation beyond New Zealand’s borders by a senior authorities formal.

Chris Seed, the chief govt of the Ministry of International Affairs and Trade, was photographed by media around 10 Downing St on Tuesday early morning (NZ time) as he himself took a image with Larry the Cat, the chief mouser to the Cupboard Office environment of the United Kingdom.

A shot of the come across was shared by an unofficial Twitter account run by a supporter of Larry, attracting approximately 7000 likes on the social media system.

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It is by considerably the maximum-profile moment of a multi-place diplomatic take a look at by Seed that has been underway for extra than a week but attracted no serious publicity, irrespective of the rarity of offshore excursions at a time when returning New Zealanders (chief executives incorporated) confront a 14-working day continue to be in managed isolation services.

While the tour was not precisely a solution, with a range of international and Kiwi diplomats tweeting about his engagements, MFAT itself did not appear to launch any media statements or info about it in progress of Seed’s departure.

In a assertion to Newsroom, an MFAT spokeswoman claimed Seed would be away from July 5 to 19, and was traveling to Singapore, Berlin, London and Washington.

“Mr Seed is assembly with his counterparts in each money in help of New Zealand’s trade recovery system. He will be advancing New Zealand’s interests in APEC, the Indo-Pacific region, bilateral trade difficulties, provide chain resilience and Covid restoration.”

His conferences would also address a variety of topics on the multilateral agenda, including climate alter and reinforcing the intercontinental policies-based mostly method.

The spokeswoman reported Seed was also connecting with personnel in New Zealand’s embassies and large commissions, “who have been operating to advance New Zealand’s pursuits and assist New Zealanders in tough ailments for in excess of a year”.

Trade Minister Damien O’Connor and MFAT’s deputy secretary for economic and trade issues Vangelis Vitalis visited the Uk last month for in-particular person trade talks, with the two getting to endure a two-7 days stint in MIQ on their return.

In its once-a-year report for the 2019/20 economic yr, MFAT reported the lack of ability to vacation for confront-to-deal with engagements owing to Covid had had “an instant and fundamental impact on New Zealand’s diplomatic engagement”.

“While some routines halted totally or had been seriously curtailed, primarily in the multilateral arena, many transitioned to digital platforms.

“New Zealand ministers and officials adapted swiftly to making the finest use of these platforms, in certain to sustain bilateral ministerial contacts, but also for regional and multilateral engagements, trade negotiations, and even signing a treaty.”

Larry, the number 10 Downing St cat, sits in front of the annual Christmas decorations on December 29, 2020 in London, England.

Hollie Adams/Getty Illustrations or photos

Larry, the number 10 Downing St cat, sits in entrance of the yearly Xmas decorations on December 29, 2020 in London, England.

Less surprising than Seed’s vacation is the simple fact he stopped for a feline photograph: when he returned to New Zealand in 2018 to choose MFAT’s top rated work following serving as the country’s large commissioner in Australia, his cats Jackson and Malone also made the trip back from Canberra.

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