Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

PHL Embassy mobile consular team delivers first ever services to Filipinos in Queenstown and adjacent cities in the South Island of New Zealand

/ news

Following the Philippine Embassy’s successful mobile consular services for Filipinos in the North Island of New Zealand last February, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez led the Philippine Embassy Mobile Consular Team composed of Consul Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa, Atty. Levy Strang, Ms. Ofelia Coralde, Ms. Mary Bel Garcia and Mr. Julius Verano in mounting its first ever reach out mission for the benefit of Filipinos in Queenstown and the surrounding cities of the South Island in New Zealand on 12-15 April 2013. Called “The Philippine Embassy in New Zealand: Serving with a Smile, Going the Extra Mile and Reaching Beyond Our Grasp” mobile consular services, a total of two hundred fifty Filipinos from Queenstown, Invercargill, Ashburton, Ranfurly, Christchurch and surrounding areas availed of e-passports and NBI applications, notarial documentation, dual citizenship acquisition and registration of births and marriages services.

The Filipino community members were unanimous in reiterating their deep gratitude to the Philippine Government through the Philippine Embassy for rendering the much needed and sought after consular services right where they are residing and working. For them, this marked improvement in the delivery of more effective and efficient services is a historic first in Queenstown and highlighted the Philippine Government’s priority and concern for their welfare and well-being as well as a distinct recognition of the vital roles and contributions of the global Filipinos to nation-building in the Philippines and New Zealand. “Thank you so much for this excellent and timely service. We have been looking forward to the day when the Philippine Embassy can come to Queenstown and nearby areas as its on-site services will save us much money, time and resources and it would have would have been extremely costly, inconvenient and difficult if we had to go all the way to Wellington,” said several Filipinos.

During the Fellowship Night with the Filipinos in Queenstown on 13 April 2013, Ambassador Benavidez and Consul Macaisa interacted with several members of the Filipino community and their families. Ambassador Benavidez thanked them for their invaluable assistance, support and cooperation, highlighted the important roles that Filipinos play in the national development of both the Philippines and New Zealand, answered their queries and concerns on consular and visa matters and shared with them the positive economic milestones and achievements arising from the reform agenda and anti-corruption, good governance, transparency and accountability policies and procedures of President Benigno S. Aquino III. She enjoined them to continue being united and supportive of each other especially in projects and for their welfare and benefit and in activities to help disaster stricken Filipinos in the Philippines and for the showcasing of the talents and skills of the Filipinos in cultural events and the visual and performing arts. Ambassador Benavidez conveyed her deep appreciation for their willingness and cooperation to lead the Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Plan in coordination with the relevant local authorities and the Philippine Embassy. Mr. Jon Mitchell, Emergency Management Officer of the Queenstown Lakes District Council gave a briefing on the emergency response programmes for Queenstown. Ambassador Benavidez also provided materials for the holding of the Filipino Language and Cultural Enrichment programmes for the children and youth of the Filipino community in Queenstown and surrounding cities. Ambassador Benavidez assured them that the Philippine Embassy will always be there for them 24/7 as protecting and advancing the interests of overseas Filipinos make up one of the three key pillars of Philippine foreign policy.

The Philippine Embassy reiterated its deep appreciation to Ms. Cristy Ross, President and the officers and members of the Queenstown Association of Migrant Pinoys, Inc. (QAMPI), notably, Rey and Muriel Vergara, Miles Hartshone, Maria Fe and Clark Hutton, Evelyn and John Boyd, Edwin and Fatima Yap and other Filipinos who ably assisted the Philippine Embassy Mobile Consular Team in ensuring a successful and productive outreach mission in Queenstown. “They exemplify the vital partnership between the Philippine Embassy and the Filipino community in carrying out our GOD-given mission for our beloved country and people,” Ambassador Benavidez stated. For her part, Ms. Ross reiterated the profound gratitude of the Filipino community in their area for bringing the Philippine Embassy services directly to them and said that “we now realize the priority being given to our welfare and stand ready to cooperate in the projects being undertaken by the Philippine Embassy for our benefit and those affected by calamities in the Philippines. I have been in New Zealand for the past twenty-six years and this is the very first time that a Philippine Ambassador and the Embassy Team have come and personally interacted with us and rendered the much needed consular services to hundreds of Filipinos and our families in Queenstown and the South Island. ”

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