Sultan receives ceremonial welcome in NZ

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday consented to attend the Official Welcoming Ceremony in honour of His Majestyís State Visit to New Zealand, which was held at the Government House, Wellington.

Upon arrival at the Government House, His Majesty was welcomed by Neils Holm, the Official Secretary, and was introduced to Lewis Moeau and Hiria, Government House Kaumatua and Kuia by the Maori way.

His Majesty then consented to watch the traditional Maori Warrior Dance performance.

After the performance, His Majesty met Lieutenant General the Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae and spouse, Lady Janine Mateparae.

The welcoming ceremony with pomp and pageantry was presented by 350 students performing the Haka Dance. His Majesty was introduced to the leader of the Haka and Hongi.

His Majesty proceeded to the dais to receive the Royal Guard of Honour, which was accompanied by the National Anthem of Brunei Darussalam and a 21-gun salute. His Majesty then inspected the Royal Guard of Honour.

The monarch was introduced to the state dignitaries, diplomatic community based in New Zealand and a group of New Zealand students.

After the ceremony, His Majesty proceeded to the Liverpool Room to sign the visitorís book and for the exchange of souvenirs. His Majesty and the Governor General with his wife later went to the Porrit Room for a photo session.

His Majesty, the Governor General and his wife later proceeded to Blundell Drawing Room for the welcome reception.

Later, His Majesty and the Governor General discussed bilateral issues of mutual interest as well as international and regional matters, which was held at the Liverpool Room.

After the welcoming ceremony at the Government House, His Majesty attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the National War Memorial, which is located in Buckle Street, Wellington.

His Majesty was greeted on arrival by Chris Tremain, Minister of Internal Affairs, and was introduced to Rear Admiral (R) David Ledson ONZM, National War Memorial Advisory Councils and other senior officials.

His Majesty then proceeded to the middle forecourt of the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior where His Majesty was introduced to Lieutenant General (R) Don McIver CMG OBE, National President of Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association and NZDF Representative and the Peace Bell Rang Once.

His Majesty paid his respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and proceeded to the Hall of Memories where His Majesty was introduced to Paul Riley, the Curator of the National War Memorial. His Majesty then went to the Sanctuary for the wreath-laying ceremony.

His Majesty consented to watch a choir performance and was introduced to its members. Later, His Majesty proceeded to the Hall of Memories for the signing of the visitorís book.

His Majesty was introduced to Sam and June Jackson, Taranaki Whanui (Maori Elders) and consented to receive a rose which His Majesty placed it at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

Accompanying His Majesty to the meeting and ceremonies were YB Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, the Minister of Education; YB Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II; YAM Pengiran Penggawa Laila Bentara Istiadat Diraja Dalam Istana Pengiran Haji Alauddin bin Pengiran Paduka Tuan Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, the Grand Chamberlain; and Datin Paduka Tan Bee Yong, the non-resident High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam to New Zealand; Permanent Secretary at the Prime Ministerís Office, as well as other senior government officials. - Borneo Bulletin (27 March 2013)