The last post
20th December 2011 by Andrew Matheson, | No Comments
I’m not sure that all good things must come to an end, as the proverb would have us believe, but sadly this one must. After more than three years in a satisfying, demanding, enjoyable and fascinating diplomatic assignment, the time has come for me to leave the Philippines.
The last few weeks have seen me and Sue attend a daunting series of farewell functions. While this has been somewhat exhausting, above all we have been moved by the range of people who have wanted to mark our time here and bid us farewell. We have found this very touching, and we greatly appreciate the many kind sentiments expressed. We have enjoyed our time here a lot. We are sad to leave, though naturally are keen to be closer to family and friends and to reconnect with our home country that we are proud to represent internationally.
I must also say farewell to this blog as I leave my post as ambassador. I’ve really enjoyed helping to develop blogging as a tool for our organisation, and to use my blog to inform and interact with a much wider group than I would normally encounter in my routine work. I said in my first post in June 2010 that I would use the blog to “describe what ambassadors overseas do — well, this one at any rate”. I also said that I hoped the blog would “show you the sorts of things I do to represent New Zealand’s interests in the Philippines, and to gather information for reporting back on developments in this country that are relevant to New Zealand”.
The range of topics I’ve covered in the blog is some indication of how diverse New Zealand’s interests in the Philippines are. I hope the blog has helped to raise New Zealanders’ awareness of the Philippines too, as many don’t realise the vibrant political, business and cultural links between our two countries.
Though my blog has ended, you can keep up with the embassy’s work and with news of interesting New Zealand/Philippine links through our Facebook page. Don’t forget that other ambassadors are still contributing to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade blog pages. Our organisation will be doing more with social media in future, in line with the wider New Zealand government social media strategy.
In the meantime thanks for reading, and thanks to those of you who have taken the time to contribute to the discussion with your comments.