6 Feb 2013

US sends best wishes to NZ

10:04 am on 6 February 2013

United States President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have wished New Zealanders around the world a happy Waitangi Day.

Mr Kerry, who took up the job this week following Hillary Clinton's retirement, said the America and New Zealand share a strong and enduring relationship, AAP reports.

New Zealand is commemorating its national day and 173 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the country's founding document.

"On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send congratulations and best wishes to the people of New Zealand as you commemorate the February 6 anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi, or Te Tiriti o Waitangi," Mr Kerry said in a statement from Washington DC.

"This is an opportunity to reflect both upon New Zealand's unique culture and diverse heritage and to celebrate the promise of the future as new generations carry on your rich traditions.

"The United States and New Zealand share a strong and enduring friendship, which has continued to deepen since we first established diplomatic relations in 1942.

"Our countries share a commitment to work together to bring peace, stability, and sustainability to the Pacific region and beyond.

"As New Zealanders around the world come together to celebrate, I wish you a happy Waitangi Day, and a prosperous and successful year."