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New NZ Ambassador to China Named

13 May 2014

New NZ Ambassador to China Named

Trans Tasman, NZ's leading political weekly, can reveal the Govt is nominating John McKinnon to be NZ’s Ambassador in China, succeeding Carl Worker, whose term is ending later this year. McKinnon, fluent in Mandarin, has already served two terms as a diplomat in Beijing, posted there first in 1978, and in 2001 for a three-year term as Ambassador.

With China becoming NZ’s largest export market, the Government is placing a high priority on ensuring its diplomatic team in Beijing is the most experienced available. Trans Tasman says the Government has plucked McKinnon from his role as Chief Executive of the Asia-NZ Foundation, to which he was appointed only last year after finishing a term as Secretary of Defence. McKinnon, a brother of Sir Donald McKinnon, who was Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Bolger Government, and subsequently Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, has been a diplomat and Government official for most of his life.

He has wide professional experience in dealing with Asian countries through his work at both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence, and is well-versed in all aspects of NZ’s relations with Asia and in international security issues.

When Worker returns from Beijing later this year he is expected to become involved in a new entity, a China-NZ Council, which will foster the relationship between the two countries.

ENDS

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