Ladies and Gentlemen, liebe Landsleute,
Nō Tīamana ahau, ko Stefan Krawielicki toku ingoa.
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
On the 3rd of October, our national day, Germans all over the world come together to celebrate 31 years of German unity - also in Aotearoa New Zealand. After a division of 40 years, the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 opened the way to unify the two German states a year later, on the 3rd of October 1990.
Since then, Germany has been on a new journey, as a solid anchor of democracy and stability at the core of the European Union. Expectations of the world towards the unified Germany have grown. Over the past 31 years Germany has taken on a larger international role and more responsibilities on a global scale.
All this time the friendship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Germany has been forged and deepened. Both countries might be separated by hemispheres and vast oceans but we are united by common values and ideas.
Unfortunately, just like 2020, the joy of this year’s celebrations is diminished by the fact that the world is still amid an unprecedented pandemic. This is also the reason why - for the second year in a row - we will not be able to come together and celebrate. We feel deeply for the many victims and their families as well as for all the people affected by this global calamity. And we are grateful and fortunate to be able to live safely, here, in Aotearoa New Zealand.
However, I am with you hoping for a quick return to level 1 for the whole country as well as the possibility for your families and friends in Germany to visit you without border restrictions as soon as possible in 2022.
One week ago, German citizens were called upon to cast their vote for the Federal Parliament which will elect the next Federal Chancellor of Germany. After 16 years, Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to not run for office anymore. The results of the election will require the formation of a coalition government which will have to tackle many challenges, among them the pandemic, climate change and the changing international landscapes. But the new government will also be able to build on many resources, among them an innovative spirit, a country known for its scientific and technological capabilities, as well as a diverse and dynamic civil society.
I wish you all the best for the 3rd of October, wherever you are, and stay in good health.
Alles Gute und bleiben Sie gesund.