26 September 1995

DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT: High Commissioner to New Zealand

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Gareth Evans, today announced the appointment of Mr Geoff Miller AO as Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand. Mr Miller will replace Mr Ray Greet, who has been High Commissioner since January 1993.

In announcing the appointment, Senator Evans said that, for Australia, the relationship with New Zealand was of the first order of importance. The two countries shared a common heritage and links between Australian and New Zealand societies continued to deepen and broaden. These links were reflected in well-developed inter-governmental cooperation and consultation across a full range of issues, a process which the 1983 Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement had greatly strengthened. New Zealand was now Australia's third largest trading partner and third largest export market. Both countries worked closely together in pursuit of their shared interests in the Asia-Pacific region and more broadly internationally.

Mr Miller began as a career officer of the then Department of External Affairs in 1959. He served in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, New York (United Nations) and New Delhi, and from 1978-80 was Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. On return he held a number of senior positions in the then Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra, was seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 1982-83, and then was Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 1984-86. After serving as Ambassador to Japan up to 1989, he became Director-General of the Office of National Assessments, a position which he held until recently.

Senator Evans said that Mr Miller's Asia-Pacific background, and previous experience as Ambassador to two of Australia's other most important trading partners, made his appointment as High Commissioner to New Zealand particularly appropriate.

Mr Miller was the Tasmanian Rhodes Scholar in 1956 and is a graduate of the University of Oxford. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1993.

Mr Miller is expected to take up his appointment in January 1996.