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Peters names High Commissioner to London

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

21 November 2007
Media statement

Peters names High Commissioner to London

New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom will be career diplomat Derek Leask, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today.

Mr Leask is currently Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington, responsible for trade and economic matters.

While in London he will also serve as Ambassador to Ireland, and High Commissioner to Nigeria.

“The relationship between New Zealand and Britain is built on shared history, common traditions and values, extensive family ties, and a constant flow of people, both young and old, between our two countries,” Mr Peters said.

“Maintaining the strength and value of those historical ties is itself important for New Zealand and New Zealanders.

“Our links are also of great significance across the spectrum of economic, security, environment, education, science and technology, and social issues.

“Britain remains a key global player, in its own right and as a member of the European Union. New Zealand’s interests – including our major trade relationship of 150 years’ standing – will continue to depend on our close and productive engagement with Britain.

“Britain and New Zealand will continue to have common interests in dealing with global developments and trends in trade and investment, in climate change and sustainability, and in matters of terrorism and security. In all these areas the role of the High Commission in London will continue to be pivotal.

“We also enjoy a warm relationship with Ireland through shared aspirations and strong people-to-people links. As a successful small country, Ireland is a valuable point of contact in our engagement with the EU,” Mr Peters said.

Mr Leask was previously Ambassador to the EU in Brussels, and has been posted to Ottawa, London and Suva. He takes up his appointment next April, replacing Jonathan Hunt, who completes his three-year term in March.

ENDS

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