Today I announce the appointment of Mr Peter Woolcott as Australia’s next High Commissioner to New Zealand.  Mr Woolcott will also have non-resident accreditation to the Cook Islands and Niue.

Australia and New Zealand are natural allies and our close relationship reflects a long and shared history, common values and institutions, and extensive economic and people-to-people links.

New Zealand is a valuable partner internationally, including in its current role on the United Nations Security Council and we share many common objectives and work closely together in our immediate region.

Our economic and trade relationship is framed by the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER or ANZCERTA). Two-way trade in goods and services was valued at just over $23 billion in 2014-15 and Australia is New Zealand’s second largest trade partner.

Mr Woolcott is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, most recently serving as Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment. He has previously served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva and to the Conference on Disarmament; Ambassador to Italy and Permanent Representative to the World Food Programme and the Food and Agricultural Organisation; Deputy Head of Mission in Jakarta; and Consul-General in Honolulu and representative to US Pacific Command.

Mr Woolcott is expected to take up his appointment in February. I thank outgoing High Commissioner Michael Potts for his strong contribution since 2012 in further advancing Australia’s interests in New Zealand.

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