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McCully names new High Commissioner to Cooks

10 December 2008

McCully names new High Commissioner to Cooks

Career diplomat Tia Barrett will be New Zealand's next High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Foreign Minister Murray McCully said today.

"New Zealand and the Cook Islands have a special relationship, based on constitutional links - the Cooks have been self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1965 - a shared cultural heritage, and strong personal ties.

"The maintenance and enhancement of the extremely close bond that has developed between our two countries is vitally important to New Zealand, as is the cooperation we enjoy with the Cook Islands on regional and international issues," Mr McCully said.

Mr Barrett, currently director of the Maori Policy Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has extensive Pacific experience. He has previously served as High Commissioner in both the Solomon Islands and Fiji, and has also served in Tonga and New Caledonia.

Mr Barrett is of Ngati Maniapoto and Waikato descent from the Tainui iwi, and will be New Zealand's first Maori High Commissioner to Rarotonga. He takes up his appointment this month, in place of the late Brian Donnelly.

ENDS

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