Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way. On Monday evening Kurt Meyer outlined the highlights of his 32 years in New Zealand’s Diplomatic Corps promoting the Kiwi way.
After an initial stint in the Cook Islands assisting with the establishment of a Department of Human resources as the Cooks moved from an agrarian economy, Kurt was posted to our Embassy in Washington DC as Consul General under Ambassador Bill Rowling. The fall-out from New Zealand’s anti-nuclear stance meant that Invitations to the White House at that time were non-existent. However, it was not unusual for representatives of other countries to quietly signify their support of the New Zealand position.

Returning to the Pacific, Kurt was assigned to Nuie as High Commissioner just at a time that Air Nauru had cancelled the only regular jet service to the Island.  The Island continues to be heavily reliant on NZ Aid and struggles with de-population.

After a posting as Consul General in Brisbane, Kurt accepted an invitation to return as Consul-General to the Cook Islands with a focus on assisting the economic development of the outer islands.
During question time, Kurt had some interesting insights about the effectiveness of diplomats who had become politicians and of politicians who, on retirement, had attempted to become diplomats. His experience in the Pacific also enabled him to answer a question from Ron French by outlining his concerns at the increasing influence of China in both Samoa and the Cook islands.
Kurt was introduced and thanked by Dennis Kavanagh.