Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Dutch State Visit to New Zealand, Day Two

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima visited a nature reserve on day two of their State Visit to New Zealand
(photo koninklijkhuis Twitter)

Day two of the Dutch State Visit to New Zealand had a very serious message at its heart as King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima visited Christchurch to see how the city continues to rebuild after the earthquake of 2011. But there was time for a smile on the way - from a cuddle with a Kiwi (bird) to meeting the Dutch community in Christchurch, there were moments that marked the State Visit with happiness. Here's Day Two of Willem-Alexander and Maxima in New Zealand.

The King and Queen of the Netherlands began the day at the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve to hear about its work to protect the bird which is the national symbol of New Zealand - the Kiwi. 

There was a rare chance for a cuddle with one - the birds are more active at night than in the day - although King Willem-Alexander seemed keener on this part of the trip than his wife.

Queen Maxima is well known for her work on inclusive finance and she got a chance to hear about the link between economics and the local community on the next stop of the royal visit. The couple popped in to the financial headquarters of the Ngai Tahu tribe, the largest Maori tribe on South Island, where they heard about sustainable farming projects and how the local community is put at the heart of these schemes.

Then it was time to take the tram. In order to see the reconstruction and redevelopment of Christchurch, all carried out since the earthquake of 2011, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima hopped on the tram for a tour of the city.

They also spent time at the new Quake City exhibition at Canterbury Museum which has been set up to show how the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 were experienced by those living in the city at the time.

It also showcases the rebuilding work going on in the city following the earthquakes and the King and Queen of the Netherlands were given an overview of some of those projects.

The day ended with a chance to meet members of the Dutch community living in Christchurch. The Dutch State Visit to New Zealand ends on November 9th with a day in Auckland.

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