His Holiness the Dalai Lama in New Zealand: Day 2

December 5th 2009

Auckland, New Zealand, 5 December 2009 - After Friday's rain, the day dawned in Auckland with just a few light clouds.

His Holiness started a busy day with an interview with Maori television presenter Mike King.

After this he held an audience for the Mongolian community in New Zealand.  Aproximately 70 members of Mongolian families received advice about the preservation and development of their own culture while taking full advantage of modern education and technology.  They were able to have a group photo with His Holiness as well as receiving individual blessings from him as he left the audience.

The next stop was a meeting with the committees of Friends of Tibet New Zealand and the Tibetan Childrens Relief Society. Since 1962 the society has been supporting hundreds of children at the Tibetan Childrens' Village in Upper Dharamsala and the Tibetan Homes Foundation in Mussoorie.  At this event a special presentation was made to two committee members, Thuten Kesang and Jean Nuttall, honoring them as Life Members of the Society after 45 years of continuous service.  Joyce Murdock and Michael van Walt van Praag were also appointed as honorary members, for their many years of service for the Tibetan community.
His Holiness then met with members of the Parliamentary Green party. Co-leader Russell Norman, together with Sue Kedgley, Keith Locke and David Clendon were briefed by His Holiness particularly on concerns of climate change and especially the potential effect of policies on the Tibetan Plateau for all the communities of Asia that may be affected by disruption to water supplies through deglaciation.
These Members of Parliament were then joined by 7 more members of the Parliamentary Lobby Group for Tibet.  This group was established under the urging of Thuten Kesang, as a cross-party Parliamentary grouping that takes particular concern for the interests of Tibetan people.
Their comments recorded by TV One News after the event showed that what His Holiness had to say was deeply appreciated by all the members present.  We hope that this will influence parliamentary and Government initiatives in the future.
After lunch His Holiness gave an interview to Jason Moon of Radio New Zealand Asian Report.  Jason had previously reported on the preparations for the visit.  This report is available on podcast  at http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/asian_report
In the afternoon His Holiness addressed an audience of over 6000 people at the Vector Arena on the topic 'A Peaceful Mind'.  After an opening of songs by Tibetan singer Jungchen Lhamo, His Holiness was welcomed onto the stage by members of the local Maori iwi (tribe) Ngati Whatua in a traditional greeting of mihi whakatau, a call of welcome by a woman of the local tribe with responses by a woman from another tribe acting as representative of His Holiness.
In his talk His Holiness spoke on the themes of compassion, tolerance, dialogue and cause and effect as components to promote inner peace and from that, outer peace.
The event concluded with thanks on behalf of the audience from film-maker Niki Caro.
Simon Harrison
Secretary, Dalai Lama Visit Trust New Zealand

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