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New High Commissioner to Australia

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

01 June 2006

New High Commissioner to Australia

The new High Commissioner to Australia will be senior diplomat John Larkindale, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.

“New Zealand’s relationship with Australia is our most important and enduring. Indeed it is as close a relationship as can be found anywhere in the world between two countries," said Mr Peters.

“It is supported by close political ties, the world’s most comprehensive free trade agreement, a vital defence relationship, and a tradition of close cooperation on an extensive range of both domestic and external issues

“This in turn rests on a foundation of common values, ties of family and friendship, shared histories, traditions, institutions, and of course geography.

“The two countries are committed to consolidating and enhancing the relationship. In the economic area, both governments are moving towards a Single Economic Market with the goal of a seamless business environment.

“Cooperation in respect of our shared interests in the Asia-Pacific region, and further afield, is a very significant part of the relationship. It has intensified, as demonstrated by the exemplary way in which the two countries have sought, in concert with others, to bring stability and security to Solomon Islands and Timor Leste.

“There is strong political support for the relationship in both countries. There is extensive contact between the two Prime Ministers, including in an annual dedicated meeting, and between Ministers on both sides of the Tasman," said Mr Peters.

John Larkindale is currently a deputy secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington. He was previously New Zealand’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation, and his earlier postings were London, Beijing, Apia, Washington and Vienna.

He replaces Kate Lackey, and takes up his appointment later this year.

ENDS

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