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New High Commissioner for Ottawa

New Zealand’s next High Commissioner in Ottawa will be career diplomat Wade Armstrong, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

Mr Goff said that New Zealand’s links with Canada, the world’s seventh largest economy, were deep and long-established.

"Canada is an important friend and ally of New Zealand in fora such as the Commonwealth and the United Nations," said Mr Goff.

“It is an influential player on the international scene and we share common interests on a range of global issues such as the environment, human rights, good governance and disarmament.”

Trade ties and a shared interest in promoting global trade liberalisation through the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and APEC were also important features of the relationship, said Mr Goff. Canada and New Zealand were both members of the Cairns Group.

“Our exports do well in Canada but we need to keep pushing for better access for primary products and develop potential value-added niche markets,” Mr Goff said.

“The role of the High Commissioner in Ottawa will be key to realising these export opportunities and therefore it is very pleasing to announce the appointment of someone with Mr Armstrong’s extensive background not only in UN and disarmament issues, but also in trade matters.”

Mr Armstrong is currently Principal Trade Negotiator and Director of Trade Negotiations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and is responsible for New Zealand policy in the WTO and OECD and managing multilateral trade negotiations.

He has served previously in Saigon, Tokyo, New York, Canberra (twice), and was most recently posted in Geneva where he was Permanent Representative to the UN and its Specialised Agencies; to the Conference on Disarmament; and to the WTO.

Mr Armstrong replaces former National MP and Deputy Speaker, Jim Gerard, who is returning to Wellington.


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