The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Media Release

FA011 - 20 January 2006

Diplomatic Appointment - High Commissioner to New Zealand

I have today announced the appointment of Mr John Dauth LVO as Australia's High Commissioner to New Zealand with concurrent accreditation to Cook Islands. Mr Dauth will replace Dr Allan Hawke who has been High Commissioner since July 2003. Mr Dauth is expected to take up his appointment in February 2006.

Australia's relations with New Zealand are the closest and most broad-ranging that we have with any country. The relationship continues to grow and reflects our shared history, geography, common values and institutions, and significant economic ties, underpinned by the Closer Economic Relations Trade agreement and associated arrangements. These links are reflected by an extensive network of government-to-government contacts and strong business-to-business and people-to-people relationships. Australia is New Zealand's principal trading partner, and New Zealand is Australia's fifth largest export market. Our exceptionally strong economic, political and personal connections give the two countries a significant stake in each other's success and the incentive to look for opportunities to promote even closer relations through initiatives such as the Single Economic Market which seeks to create a seamless trans-Tasman business environment. Both countries work closely together in pursuit of their shared interests in the Asia-Pacific region and more broadly internationally.

Mr Dauth is currently Australia's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, a position he has held since August 2001. Prior to this he was Deputy Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (1998-2001).

Mr Dauth has served in a number of positions overseas including as High Commissioner to Malaysia (1993-96), Consul-General, Australian Consulate-General, Noumea (1986-87), Charge d'Affaires, Australian Embassy, Tehran (1983-85), First Secretary, Australian Embassy, Islamabad (1974-76) and Third (later Second) Secretary, Australian Embassy, Lagos (1970-72). From 1977-1980, Mr Dauth worked on secondment to Buckingham Palace as Assistant Press Secretary to the Queen and Press Secretary to the Prince of Wales.

Mr Dauth has also held a number of positions in Canberra, including First Assistant Secretary, South and South-East Asia Division (1996-98), First Assistant Secretary, International Security Division (1991-93), Chief of Staff to the Minister for Foreign Affairs (1989-91), Assistant Secretary, Public Affairs Branch (1987-89), and Head, Commonwealth and Multilateral Organisations Section (1980-82). He joined the then Department of External Affairs in 1969.

Mr Dauth was born in 1947. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sydney.

Media Inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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