Israel's ambassador to New Zealand has made a brief visit to Tauranga, taking in the sights and building important connections with local businesses.
Dr Itzhak Gerberg is spending two days in the city, at the invitation of the deputy mayor and Holy Trinity Church.
Itzhak, who has been in the role for a year, and in New Zealand for seven months, says it's his first time visiting the city.
“It's an amazing place, with very positive vibes. There's a good combination of industry, culture, and the landscape – I'd like to come back with my wife and kids.”
During his visit he's met with different companies to explore trading opportunities, particularly in the field of technology.
He's also keen to see an Israeli cultural exhibition brought over to the Tauranga Art Gallery, as well as more Kiwi students studying in Israel.
“This year in particular, the number of tourists visiting Israel from New Zealand, and vice-versa, has increased drastically. I think our relationship is good, because we're both small, democratic countries with similar values.”
Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout, who recently visited Israel with his wife, says it's been a pleasure to show the ambassador around, including giving him a tour of the city's popular tidal stairs.
“It's been a great chance to show off Tauranga and what we have to offer, as well as strengthen our international ties.”