Travel Diary: Preparing for Secretary Clinton's Visit to New Zealand

Posted by David Huebner
November 3, 2010
Great River in Valley of Nun Curir Near Queenstown, New Zealand

About the Author: David Huebner serves as U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand.

We at the U.S. Embassy are delighted that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be coming to New Zealand on November 4. We were all disappointed that her original January trip had to be postponed because of the Haiti earthquake, but we knew that she would reschedule before year end.

Planning a high-level visit is an intense process. Teams here at the U.S. Embassy and in Washington, D.C. have been working full-time on the itinerary for the past several weeks, including drafting briefing papers and considering possible stops, kinds of events, and options for venues. I assisted with the planning effort on the ground in Washington, where I spent almost two weeks in October shuttling between an office in the State Department and meetings at the White House, on Capitol Hill, and elsewhere in town.

We are particularly pleased that we will be hosting the Secretary in Wellington and then taking her to Christchurch. We like to give our visitors a sense of the diversity of the country, and that means -- even when the schedule is tight or time is short -- stopping on both of the big islands.

The Secretary began her trip to Asia and the Pacific with a major policy speech in Honolulu on the United States' historical and ongoing role as a Pacific nation, and she then proceed to Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea. We will have the pleasure of her company for three days starting tomorrow. Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell and other prominent officials will be accompanying Secretary Clinton.

If you have a question for Secretary Clinton about her trip, I invite you to ask on the U.S. Embassy Wellington's Facebook page. You can submit your questions here.

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