Diplomat tells of his Covid encounter

German Ambassador to New Zealand Stefan Krawielicki meets University of Otago students (from left...
German Ambassador to New Zealand Stefan Krawielicki meets University of Otago students (from left) Tarryn Clark, Natalie Dunn, Angela Seyb, Emily Bridgland (obscured), Edan Feint (with glasses) and Claudia Cooke at the university Staff Club yesterday. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
After a 30-year diplomatic career, German Ambassador Stefan Krawielicki found his close encounter with Covid-19 more than enough.

During a visit to Dunedin and the University of Otago yesterday, Mr Krawielicki, of Wellington, made a lively student morning tea presentation and answered questions, including about his experiences with Covid-19.

"I never had it before, and I don’t want to have it again," he said about his pandemic experiences.

He told about 20 German language students that earlier in his life he had been a German lawyer working in Paris, but had wanted to visit other places.

He highlighted the value of learning foreign languages, and said they helped new graduates to gain good jobs.

He has held many diplomatic posts, having joined Lisbon’s German Embassy in 1990, later appointed head of the economic section of the German Embassy in Riyadh and became German ambassador to New Zealand in 2019.

He reflected on long and demanding days, and some early mornings, arranging many repatriation flights to Germany for thousands of German citizens who had been caught up in pandemic travel disruption.

University languages and cultures head of programme Dr Antonie Alm said Mr Krawielicki had later given a noon talk to 60 people on "sharing experiences from 30 years of diplomatic life’’.

He had also met the university’s senior academic administrators, Dr Alm said.

john.gibb@odt.co.nz

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