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Source: Massey University

Professor Rouben Azizian (front, centre) with Catherine Graham (third from left) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Palmerston North mayor Grant Smith (third from right) and other key participants at the symposium.

A symposium at Massey University’s Manawatū campus last week marked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s 75th Anniversary Through Collaboration. It was hosted by Massey’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies, the Palmerston North City Council and New Zealand Institute of International Affairs.

The symposium, recognising the ministry’s 75 years of service to the nation, explored the contribution of economic and trade diplomacy in national prosperity, economic security, and regional resilience.  

Guest speakers included Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith; Catherine Graham, division manager at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade; Bryan Wilson, head of New Zealand Food Safety and Deputy Director General Regulation and Assurance at the Ministry for Primary Industries; and local dairy farmer and Dairy NZ director Ben Allomes. They each offered unique perspectives on the central theme, joining a panel discussion to culminate the morning symposium.

Professor Rouben Azizian addresses the symposium, held in the Sir Geoffrey Peren Building auditorium.

Research opportunities canvassed

Professor Hamish Gow, director of Massey’s Business Innovation and Strategy, facilitated a short multi-disciplinary workshop to further analyse themes and concepts from the symposium. Potential research opportunities and key insights from the workshop were captured as feedback for the ministry. 

Ms Graham said she found the workshop insights extremely valuable from a ministry perspective, commenting on the merit of this style of collaborative conversation.

Centre for Defence and Security Studies director Professor Rouben Azizian says he looks forward to hosting similar innovations in 2019 to promote the opportunities for regional engagement and public outreach in response to the range of dynamic security challenges emerging for New Zealand. 

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