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Peters names new Ambassador to the United States

Rt Hon Winston Peters Minister of Foreign Affairs

21 December 2005

Peters names new Ambassador to the United States

New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the United States of America will be career diplomat Roy Ferguson, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.

“The United States remains the dominant country in world affairs and is crucial for stability and economic progress throughout the world," said Mr Peters.

“It is a key partner for New Zealand. We have a wide-ranging and close relationship that encompasses many areas of cooperation. The relationship is based on shared values, including respect for democracy and the rule of law.

“The United States is our second largest trading partner after Australia. We work closely together on regional and multilateral issues. It is also an important source of investment capital and technology, a major source of tourists, and a huge influence on New Zealand popular culture.

“A strong relationship with the United States is important to this Government. It is in the interests of all New Zealanders for us to continue to look for opportunities to strengthen relations with the United States.

"In particular we have shared interests in preventing terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Another important priority for both countries is promoting trade liberalisation, both through free trade agreements and through the current Doha Development Round.

“Mr Ferguson’s wide experience of New Zealand’s relations with the United States means he is well qualified to represent our interests there.

“He has been Director of Americas Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the last four years and was on the Board of the NZ/US Council, Fulbright NZ and the Ian Axford Fellowships. He also previously served in Washington as Deputy Chief of Mission between 1991 and 1995," Mr Peters said.

Mr Ferguson was educated at the University of Canterbury, the University of Pennsylvania and more recently at the Harvard Business School where he completed the Advanced Management Programme. As well as Washington his previous postings include Manila, Canberra and as Ambassador to Korea.

Mr Ferguson takes up his assignment in early February 2006, replacing John Wood, who is returning to New Zealand

ENDS

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