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Peters names High Commissioner to South Africa

Rt Hon Winston Peters Minister of Foreign Affairs

24 January 2006

Peters names High Commissioner to South Africa

New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to South Africa will be career diplomat Malcolm McGoun, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.

“New Zealand and South Africa enjoy excellent bilateral relations cemented though people-to-people links, a shared passion for sports, and common membership of the Commonwealth.

"New Zealand and South Africa share similar views and cooperation on many subjects of international interest and concern, including trade liberalisation, environmental protection and nuclear disarmament.

“Malcolm McGoun takes up his position at a time when relations with South Africa are of increasing importance to New Zealand. South Africa is New Zealand’s largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and 18th most important source of visitors. New Zealand exports to June 2005 were $141 million, while New Zealand imports from South Africa were $188 million for the same period. There are now some 40,000 South Africans living in New Zealand.

“South Africa has become a leading international actor since its re-emergence on the world scene after being isolated during the apartheid era. South Africa is also a leading player its own region though membership of the Southern African Development Community, and the New Partnership for African Development, both of which are in instrumental in forging a new and positive destiny for Africa," Mr Peters said.

Mr McGoun has served in The Hague, Seoul, Paris and Kuala Lumpur and was most recently New Zealand Ambassador in Ha Noi. He is currently the Chief of Protocol in the Ministry. He will take up his post in March this year and will be accredited to ten other African countries. He replaces Warren Searell as High Commissioner, who is returning to Wellington.

ENDS

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