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Goff names new Ambassador to Italy


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

24 February 2002

Goff names new Ambassador to Italy


New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Italy will be career diplomat Julie MacKenzie, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

Mr Goff said the relationship between Italy and New Zealand was exceptionally warm and friendly.

“The friendship has its roots in the participation of New Zealand forces in the liberation of Italy in the Second World War. More recently the America’s Cup has helped forge a new sense of mutual respect as well as highlighting opportunities to further strengthen links between the two countries," Mr Goff said.

" Italy is currently New Zealand’s 10th largest trading partner with two-way trade in 2002 worth NZ$1.3 billion. It is one of the world’s top five economies, and is a founding member of the European Union. Italy excels in creativity and design, and its economy is complementary to that of New Zealand.

“We also cooperate closely at government level on a range of international issues including trade liberalisation, climate change, the Antarctic and the elimination of nuclear weapons.

"Since 2001, a Working Holiday Scheme allows young New Zealanders and Italians to visit and work in each other’s countries for up to a year. People-to-people links are the bedrock of a lasting relationship.

“I look forward to a further strengthening of New Zealand’s ties with Italy during Ms MacKenzie’s term,” Mr Goff said.

Ms MacKenzie, currently Director of Europe Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will replace Peter Bennett in Rome in August. Her previous postings were to Tokyo, Brussels and Noumea, where she was Consul General. From 2000 to 2002, Ms MacKenzie was Mr Goff's Special Advisor on East Timor.

ENDS

All Phil Goff’s media releases and speeches are posted at www.beehive.govt.nz

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