Van de Ambassade – Farewell to Christine Hofkens

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Goodbye but not Farewell to Christine Hofkens from the Embassy

Christine Hofkens, who worked for the Netherlands Embassy in Wellington for more than 20 years, retired at the end of 2015.

In her role as Public Diplomacy Officer Christine looked after a vast array of NZ-NL cooperation projects and links in such diverse areas as Trade and Economic Affairs, Culture, Arts, Higher Education, Sciences, and everything in between.

She also maintained close links with the New Zealand Netherlands Foundation, the Dutch Connection Museum Trust and the local Dutch Societies and Communities in New Zealand.

In recent years new communication technology enabled the use of Facebook and Twitter to promote Holland to an ever larger audience via the Embassy Facebook page, something which Christine excelled at, reaching 7000 Followers in 2015. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/netherlandsembassywellington and website http://newzealand.nlembassy.org

Highlights during her time at the Embassy have included: visits to Fiji and Samoa for development projects; Going- Dutch Exhibition at Te Papa; DROOG Design exhibition at The Dowse Art Museum; Opening of the Foxton Windmill; Visit to New Zealand of then Crown Prince Willem Alexander and Princess Máxima; Projects around Abel Tasman, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Anne Frank; Projects around the Dutch Diaspora in New Zealand; Launch of the ceremonial waka taua ‘Te Hono ki Aotearoa’ project for Volkenkunde Museum, Leiden; Human Rights events; Visits and Missions to New Zealand by Dutch officials and experts; and meeting many interesting people of Dutch descent in New Zealand.

It seems that Christine knows everyone and everyone knows her, testimony to her skills as an easy communicator.

Her warm and open personality and humanity, her loyalty and her dedication to the many successful projects she has guided and managed, as well as the invaluable knowledge of the history behind the many enduring connections she has established will be sorely missed. It is no exaggeration to say that Christine’s departure signifies the end of an era at the Embassy. Her life motto is “Carpe Diem”. Christine, we wish you many more days and many enjoyable moments to be seized. We know you will maintain an active interest in all things Dutch. So, Goodbye and farewell, but not Farewell!

We look forward to keeping in touch.
Ambassador Rob Zaagman and the Team at the Embassy

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