Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta congratulates US president-elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta offered NZ's congratulations. 

In her first media outing as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris on their win.

Mahuta said that on behalf of New Zealand she wanted to "recognise and congratulate" them. 

"It's an exciting time for them I'm just sure, but I also want to recognise that New Zealand has enjoyed a warm relationship with President-elect Biden and he visited here in 2016, met a lot of people and by all accounts enjoyed himself."

Mahuta, who is New Zealand's first female Foreign Affairs Minister, acknowledged the special place Vice-President-elect Harris now has in history.

"I also want to note that Kamala Harris as Vice-President is the first elected woman of colour and she will bring I'm sure some very unique attributes to their leadership."  

Minister Mahuta shared a message about Vice President Kamala Harris.

Asked by media if she had a personal message for Harris, Mahuta said, "I'm not sure if I'm in the position to give her a message.

"But what I can say is, as the first woman representing the Foreign Affairs portfolio here in Aotearoa New Zealand, is we will do what we must do in the best interests of our respective countries and I know that we will have many opportunities to share some areas of common interest and I hope we can."

Mahuta says she is ready to get to work and acknowledged the warm and strong relationship between the two countries.

"New Zealand has enjoyed a very strong relationship with America and under the Trump administration we have enjoyed the ability to strengthen those common interests we have." 

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also offered her congratulations.