On behalf of the United States of America, I send my best wishes to the people of Aotearoa New Zealand as you commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on February 6.
Our relationship is one of mutual trust, common values, and unwavering friendship. We work together to protect our natural environment, champion our diversity and cultures, and ensure a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
Our ties continued to deepen in 2021. I was honored to host Foreign Minister Mahuta at the Department of State during her visit to Washington, D.C., in November 2021. The United States joined the Christchurch Call to Action to combat online violent extremism, and New Zealand signed the Artemis Accords with NASA, which aims to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon. We maintained a mutually beneficial security relationship – from enhancing interoperability through the visit of the USS Howard to disaster assistance provided by the USS Sampson. Most recently, the United States and New Zealand worked together to provide humanitarian assistance to Tonga after the volcanic eruptions and tsunami waves.
We continue to stand together and do the mahi – work – as we face global challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. As we look forward to another year of cooperation, I am reminded of the te reo Māori phrase – he waka eke noa – we’re all in this together.