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July 2, 2010 - Independence Day Event hosted by the U.S. Embassy, Wellington

From Ambassador Huebner's Blog:


We celebrated the 4th here in Wellington on the 2nd – which is, historically speaking, the date on which the delegates of the American Colonies actually voted to declare their independence from Great Britain. (The delegates spent the subsequent two days debating the language of Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence before approving a final version on July 4th.)


Because of the vagaries of the weather this time of year, we held our celebration at the Intercontinental Hotel in the form of an evening reception, rather than an afternoon picnic out in a park. Because of the size of the available room, we had approximately 350 guests drawn from all segments of New Zealand society including university and secondary school students, teachers, and members of the faith, philanthropic, arts, LGBT, business, and public service communities. Among the many public servants present were Ministers Gerry Brownlee, Simon Power, Dr. Wayne Mapp, Peter Dunne, Heather Roy, and Tony Ryall; Attorney General Chris Finlayson; Members of Parliament Clayton Cosgrove, Winnie Laban, Grant Robertson, and Dr. Kennedy Graham; and former New Zealand Ambassadors to the U.S. Merwyn Norrish and Dr. John Wood.




Of course the celebration was not confined to Friday. The prior evening we held a similar reception in Auckland at the Northern Club for approximately 250 guests including Lady Hillary, the Rt. Hon. Paul East, students from my groups at the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology, and Jools of the Topp Twins (Lynda was under the weather). The Hon. Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Immigration, delivered remarks on behalf of the Government of New Zealand. Entertainment included a live Blue Grass band and a selection of Broadway show tunes sung by my colleague Nick and his wife.


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Taken on July 2, 2010