Brief History of the Philippine Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand, and its mission
History. Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and New Zealand were established on 06 July 1966 on a non-resident basis. For a period of ten years, from 1966 to 1976, the Philippine Embassy in Canberra, Australia exercised diplomatic and consular jurisdiction over New Zealand.
The resident Philippine Embassy to New Zealand in Wellington (Wellington PE) was officially established on 09 October 1976. On 17 November 1976, Ambassador Pacifico Evangelista presented his credentials to H.E. Sir Denis Blundell, then Governor-General of New Zealand, as the first resident Philippine Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (AEP). From May 1981 until his retirement from the service on 31 March 1986, Ambassador Evangelista was the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Wellington.
The following served as AEPs in Wellington:
- Pacifico G. Evangelista (1976-1986);
- Eduardo J. Montilla (1986-1990);
- Ernesto V. Llamas (1990-1993);
- Vesta R. Cuyugan (1993-1996);
- Alicia C. Ramos (1996-2002);
- Francisco F. Santos (2002-2003);
- Bienvenido V. Tejano (2005-2010);
- Virginia H. Benavidez (2011-2015).
The most recent Head of Post, Ambassador Jesus S. Domingo, assumed in April 2016 and was recalled, after an extended tour of duty beyond six years, on 30 June 2022. No replacement has been named so far. As such, while waiting for an Ambassador to be appointed and to assume, the Embassy is headed by Querobine Deapera Laccay as Chargée d’Affaires, a.i.
Consuls Lolita B. Capco and Giovanni E. Palec served as Chargés d’Affaires from October 2003 to July 2005 and October 2010-August 2011, respectively.
The Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand also has concurrent jurisdiction over the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga; consular jurisdiction over Niue; and oversight jurisdiction over Tokelau, Palau, Micronesia and Marshall Islands.
Wellington PE also serves as the Philippines’ liaison with the region’s various organizations, including the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF), Pacific Community (PC), and the United Nations (UN) and Red Cross (RC) Pacific Offices.
Wellington PE is assisted in its work by Honorary Consulates in Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand, and Suva, Fiji, and by the many enthusiastic volunteers from among the Pacific Filipino Communities.
Mission. Wellington PE is the nation’s diplomatic vanguard in the Pacific. As the Philippine Government’s principal representative in the region, Wellington PE continues to uphold and promote the interests of the Philippines and the Filipino people throughout the Pacific. It closely engages the Filipino Community and general public. Wellington PE’s continuing missions are to:
- Empower and protect the more than 80,000 Filipino Community in New Zealand, constituting over 1% of the total population, and those in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
- Advance the relations between the Philippines and the countries and regional organizations under the Embassy’s jurisdiction, in political-security, economic, cultural and humanitarian dimensions.
- Provide quality consular and related services to the Embassy’s various publics.
- Promote Filipino Culture and People-to-People relations between Filipinos and the citizens and residents of the Pacific through effective Public Diplomacy.
- Boost Philippine trade, tourism and investment from and with the Pacific.