Kia Ora and welcome to the South African High Commission in Aotearoa New Zealand! We bring you greetings from South Africa, Msawawa, Mzansi or whatever name you choose to call our beloved country hugging the base of our great continent, with our long coastline enjoying the warm waters of the Indian Ocean to the east while the cold Atlantic Ocean laps at our western shores.
A striking feature of our two countries is how similar we are in some respects, yet so very different in others, the ties and interests which bind us together and the fierce rivalries we play out on the sporting field! The most obvious is around Diversity and how we both deal with such a defining characteristic of our societies, and the enormous amount of contestation around those definitions.
I would urge you to look at how SA continues to grapple with its legacy as the country and its people work through the ongoing process of Nation Building. From our world-renowned Constitution to our other National Symbols - the Anthem, the Flag, our Coat of Arms, our National Motto - Diverse People Unite, our 11 official languages -the list is endless. Coming to our host country, one would have to walk through local life with absolute oblivion to avoid the Waitangi Treaty / Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its impact on relations between the members of the recognised bi-cultural groups - Maori who are regarded as Tangata Whenua - People of the Land , and Pakeha -New Zealanders of European descent.
Add to that mix a rapidly growing Asian population in a country which is in the process of dealing with the mantle of being a Pacific nation rather than what SA also considered itself to be at one time, not so long ago - a far flung piece of the British Empire. That said however, as members of the Commonwealth, we share a heritage borne of having been sons and daughters of The Realm, which in the 21st century brings advantages and opportunities which can be translated into gains for the peoples of both our countries, which is particularly significant for SA as our country's blueprint since 1994, is the creation of a Better Life for All.
So why are we here? To conduct and build on relations with this country in pursuit of this Better Life for All, building on the strong foundation of more than a century of playing bruising rugby, which has always been more than a sport played by two (2) farming folk who set great store by physicality.
How else would you explain the tension and release which precedes and follows every Springboks vs All Blacks encounter, where in New Zealand, until an All Black has played, and dare I say, won against the fearsome Boks, he's not considered to have been "blooded"? To prove this, read the obituaries of former All Blacks recounting their feats dating back to the early to mid-decades of the twentieth century which appear regularly in the press! Activists of all ages who bear the battle scars from the fierce protests against the 1981 Springbok Tour, continue to be proud of their role in hastening the demise of apartheid, for which we continue to be grateful, especially as this society recognizes that milestone as a Defining Moment in New Zealand history.
The tens of thousands of South Africans who have emigrated here, and now call New Zealand home is another key feature of this relationship.
We invite you to browse through our website and familiarize yourself with the official gateway to South Africa from New Zealand! Siyabonga, Relebogile, Thank you, Rho livhuwa, Enkosi, Dankie, Inkomu, Siyathokoza!