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New High Commissioner to Australia

21st August 2002

New High Commissioner to Australia

The new High Commissioner to Australia will be New Zealand’s most senior woman diplomat, Kate Lackey, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

“Kate Lackey is a career diplomat who has served in Asia, the Pacific and North America. She was appointed New Zealand’s first female Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1997. She’d earlier served as Acting CEO of the Pacific Island Affairs Ministry.

“Earlier positions included Deputy High Commissioner in Ottawa, Consul General in Los Angeles and Director of the Ministry’s Americas Division.

“The relationship with Australia is our most important. It affects more aspects of New Zealander’s lives than any other. Often the focus of the trans-Tasman link is on our sporting contests. But there are also vital ties economically, politically and in people-to-people links in all sectors.

“Since CER was signed nearly 20 years ago, New Zealand’s exports to Australia have grown 66 percent faster that our exports to the world as a whole. The economic interaction is of fundamental importance.

“So too is the defence relationship. The constructive cooperation between the countries in East Timor, Solomon Islands and elsewhere is exactly what one expects of two close allies

“I am confident that Kate Lackey will bring her full energies and previous experience to bear on maintaining and developing this most important relationship,” Mr Goff said.

Kate Lackey will begin her appointment next month. She replaces Simon Murdoch, who is returning to Wellington to take up his role as Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Kate Lackey is married with two children.

Ends


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