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New High Commissioner to Canada - Graham Kelly


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

20 December 2002

New High Commissioner to Canada

Graham Kelly will be New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to Canada, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

“Previously the Member of Parliament for over 15 years for the electorates of Mana and before that for Porirua, Mr Kelly has been the Chairperson for Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence Select Committee for the last three years.

“Mr Kelly has a longstanding interest in and broad knowledge of foreign affairs. He will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to his new position in Ottawa.

“New Zealand’s links with Canada are long established and strong. We have an excellent bilateral relationship. New Zealanders share many common interests with Canadians – global issues such as human rights, environmental conservation, disarmament and good governance - and Canada is one of our closest allies in the United Nations and the Commonwealth. It is an influential player on the international scene.

“Graham Kelly’s appointment comes at an important time of international engagement. New Zealand and Canada are both deeply engaged in the global fight against terrorism, the start of the WTO Doha Development Round, and APEC.

“Canada is also New Zealand’s ninth most important export destination (worth $676 million this year) and our eleventh largest trading partner. An important aspect of Mr Kelly’s new role will be on expanding export and investment opportunities in Canada, for which he is well qualified from his extensive involvement in the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee,” Mr Goff said.

Last year Graham Kelly chaired the important Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee review on CER (Closer Economic Relations with Australia). With other New Zealand parliamentarians, he saw at first hand the work being done by the Defence Force and other New Zealand officials in East Timor, and he recently headed parliamentary delegations to China, Tibet, North Korea and Australia.

Graham Kelly takes up his posting next April. He replaces Wade Armstrong.

ENDS

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