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New ambassador to the Netherlands

New ambassador to the Netherlands

Career diplomat David Payton will be New Zealand's next Ambassador to The Netherlands, Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Jim Sutton announced today.

Mr Sutton said New Zealand had a close relationship with The Netherlands, typified by the strong family links established since Dutch migration began here more than half a century ago. Today 150,000 New Zealanders can claim Dutch ancestry.

"New Zealand and The Netherlands share a common perspective on many international issues, especially in the context of the UN, the environment and disarmament.

"I am confident David's considerable experience in foreign affairs and expertise in environmental issues will serve New Zealand well in The Netherlands and the other countries to which he will be accredited."

Mr Payton will also have responsibility for New Zealand's relations with Sweden, Finland, Norway and the Baltic nations of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.

The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Norway are important trading partners of New Zealand and also significant sources of investment and tourism.

He takes up his appointment in April, succeeding Chris Butler who will return to Wellington as head of the Asia 2000 Foundation.

Mr Payton is a former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and has also served in Tonga, Iran and at the United Nations in New York. He is currently Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Environment Division where has been heavily involved in climate change negotiations.


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