U.S. Ambassador Tom S. Udall Credentials Ceremony Remarks
E te Kāwana-Tianara o Aotearoa, tena koe
Ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe ko Te Atiawa me Taranaki Whanui
Kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi
Ko Sangre de Cristo te maunga
Ko Rio Grande te awa
Nō Santa Fe ahau
Ko Jill Cooper taku hoa wahine
Ko Udall tōku whānau
Ko Tom tōku ingoa
Your Excellency, I have the honor to present to you the Letter of Credence, which President of the United States of America Joe Biden has addressed to Your Excellency, accrediting me as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to New Zealand. I also have the honor to present the Letter of Recall of my predecessor.
It is a tremendous honor to be here, in the service of my country, to represent the United States in New Zealand. President Biden asking me to serve is the honor of a lifetime, and there is no place I would rather represent my country than right here in Aotearoa.
I am honored to assume duties alongside Jill, my wife, partner, and chief advisor. I am also lucky to have the support of our incredible daughter Amanda and son-in-law Judge Jim Noel. Together Jill and I are proud to bring with us the culture and traditions of our home, New Mexico – a state rich in natural resources and traditions, with a diverse and vibrant people, much like New Zealand.
The relationship between the United States and New Zealand is one of mutual trust, common values, and unwavering friendship. Americans and Kiwis have stood shoulder to shoulder in battlefields, including during both World Wars, and today work hand in hand in every sector of society.
I recently learned about the concept of Kaitiakitanga. I am proud that the United States and New Zealand share a passion for the protection of our natural environment. With the conclusion of COP 26 and both of our countries support of initiatives like the Global Methane Pledge and climate financing, we are fighting climate change together.
As fellow Pacific nations, the United States and New Zealand are both committed to the democratic resilience, security, stability, and prosperity of our shared neighborhood in the Pacific and Antarctica.
Our security cooperation is the best and broadest that is has been in decades. Look no further than our successful U.S. Navy ship visit to Wellington this week. We are like-minded partners in promoting human rights, peace and prosperity, maritime security, and counter-terrorism.
Our economic relationship is robust and growing, made ever more possible by our strong people-to-people ties. The United States is one of New Zealand’s top trading partners. I look forward to continuing to promote investment, trade, and commercial opportunities that will help both our nations grow and innovate, like in the space industry.
I am thrilled to be able to work with and learn from the Māori and Pasifika communities in New Zealand. As a U.S. Senator, I championed legislation to protect the Arctic wilderness and worked with the Navajo and Pueblo nations in New Mexico to oppose fracking near national parks. I look forward to learning Te Reo Māori and about Maori culture and beliefs, including the beautiful waiata.
Your Excellency, thank you for this honor. Many of my whānau have dedicated their lives to public service. I was taught at a young age that there are few greater honors than being able to give back to your community, your people, your country. Jill and I are eager to strengthen the relations between the United States and Aotearoa New Zealand and meet the people of this amazing country.