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Retirement Of Secretary Of MFAT

Retirement Of Secretary Of Ministry Of Foreign Affairs And Trade

The State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, announced today that Neil Walter will retire as chief executive and Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 31 July. He will also retire from the Public Service.

Mr Walter entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1965. He has had a long and distinguished career as a diplomat, which included roles as the Deputy High Commissioner in London (1985-87), Ambassador toJakarta (1990-94) and Ambassador to Tokyo (1998-99). His Public Service career culminated in his appointment as Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1999.

Mr Wintringham said under Mr Walter's leadership, the Ministry had enhanced New Zealand's reputation internationally and had created significant new trading opportunities for New Zealand at both the bilateral and the multilateral level.

"Mr Walter also personally established and fostered the External Relations and Defence Chief Executives forum, which coordinates New Zealand's strategic external response to trade and security issues.

"Internally, he has directed the effort to build the Ministry's capability through a programme of organisational and management improvements and increased investment in technology and employee conditions of work, through such initiatives as mid-career recruitment."

Mr Wintringham said he has begun the process to appoint a new chief executive and Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including advertising this week.

Ends

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